Mansion04: The Foote Family

 The Foote Family Affiliation
Excerpts from "One Hundred and Sixty Acres of Paradise"
Mamie Stanley Smith

Aunt Rosa had one living child, a son named Charlie Foote. Aunt Rosa's husband was Robert E. Lee Foote from the Foote family of St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana.  He and Aunt Rosa were separated while they lived in New Orleans when Charlie was six years old.  Charlie Foote and Frank Stanley, Jr. were about the same age and they married about the same time,  near the time of Mama's death.  Brother Frank Jr. married Minnie Allen, Mr. Sam Allen's daughter; and Charlie married Euphemia, "Phemie" Case, Mr. Ance Case's daughter.  Both the Alien and Case families were from out around New Hope Methodist Church.  Phemie was a wonderful person and we loved her and Charlie and all of their family very much. They were part of our family too and they enjoyed many happy days at the "One Hundred and Sixty Acres of Paradise" with us.

A few years after Charlie and Phemie were married, they left Lincoln County and moved to Stephenville, Texas where Charlie's first cousin, Amy Stanley and her husband, Eugene Brewer had moved a couple of years earlier.  Amy was a double first cousin to Charlie.  She was more like a sister he never had than a cousin.  Amy's father was Uncle Fred Stanley, Papa Stanley's baby brother that sailed from Ireland with him and Grandma in 1866.  Uncle Fred was just six years old when they came to America.  Amy's mother was Valerie Foote, a sister to Charlie's father, Robert E. Lee Foote.

Valerie and Lee Foote's father was wealthy before the Civil War.  George O. Footer in partnership with his brother Henry (who died in Port Barre, Louisiana in the year 1889), owned and operated a large sugar plantation on Bayou Teche in St. Mary's Parish west of New Orleans on the gulf coast. The plantation was located seven miles above the town of Franklin, Louisiana. The assessment of real and personal property in the year 1860 showed a cash value of seven hundred thousand dollars - well over a million dollars at today's currency value - and their private schooner landed regularly at the piers of New Orleans and Galveston.

The Civil War brought death and destruction not only to the soldiers of The South, but to a large part of the civilian population as well.  St. Mary's Parish was not spared and the Foote families' fortune went up in the smoke of war. With what little that could be salvaged, George O. Foote chose to start over in Central America rather than live under the heel of the despised Yankee oppressors.  He started a sugar plantation just outside the town of St. Thomas in the Central American country of Guatemala.  Aunt Rosa used to tell the following story about Aunt Vat when she was a young girl in Central America.  When she was a small child she had a pet monkey that the family had raised after it was taken as a baby from the jungle surrounding their plantation.  One day Valerie was ironing her doll clothes and the little monkey was watching her.  Valerie's mother called her to another part of the house and she left a dress on the ironing board. While she was gone the little monkey tried to iron the dress and scorched it rear badly.  Valerie, attempting to teach the monkey to leave her iron alone and to let him know it was hot, touched the iron to one of his paws for just a second.  The little monkey must have known she was mad at him and later in the afternoon she could not find him anywhere.  She kept on looking for him until finally she found her pet in a tall tree with a rope around his neck hanging from a limb.  The little monkey had been so heart-broken because of Valerie's anger at him until he hanged himself!

That was only one small tragedy in a series of many larger ones that happened while the Foots family lived in Guatemala.  The final one was a revolution in 1877 in which they lost everything and were forced to flee the country. They returned to New Orleans in destitution just in time to go through the terrible yellow fever epidemic there in 1878.

It was in New Orleans, while Aunt Rosa was visiting her half-brother Henry Frederick Stanley, that she met her future husband, Robert E. Lee Foote.  After Lee's sister Valerie married Rosa's brother, Fred Stanley, Mr. and Mrs. George O. Foote came and lived with their daughter and son-in-law, Valerie and Fred Stanley in Pike County, Mississippi.  George O. Foote died and was buried in a family cemetery on Fred Stanley's place on November 11, 1897.  A lengthy obituary appeared in the McComb newspaper from which most of the above facts about the Foote family were gathered.  It was found among Aunt Rosa's possessions when she died.

Charlie and Phemie stayed in Texas for only a few years and then moved back to Lincoln County.  Amy and Eugene Brewer and their only child, Lucius Brewer, used to come ever so often from Stephenville to visit them and us too since Amy was also a niece of Papa Stanley's and our cousin.  Uncle Fred Stanley and Aunt Val had only two children, two girls named Amy and Eva.  Eva was the youngest and she married a Brown and had only one child, a son named John Brown.  She lived many years in Wichita, Kansas but moved to Fresno, California in her old age and died and is buried there.  The last we heard of John Brown he was living in Florida.  Over the years contact was lost with the Brewer family, but I believe Amy and Eugene lived in Stephenville, Texas until they died and that Lucius Brewer raised a large family in the Stephenville - Fort Worth area.

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