Special thanks to genealogist Frederic Saunders for his invaluable assistance in tracking down many of these records. If you are looking for relatives in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky he does excellent work for a very reasonable rate and I highly recommend him.
William Franklin "Frank" Privett was born on December 17, 1904 in Kelso, Arkansas (Desha County). He was the son of Marion Herman Privett and Lucinda Harper. After a rather tumultuous childhood and early adulthood in Kelso and Little Rock (and hoboing through the south), Frank ended up settling in St. Louis, MO, working as a steelworker at Scullin Steel. Frank married Eva Alpha Morton in 1927. The family relocated to land around seven miles south of Salem, MO that was purchased from Eva's parents sometime in the 1930s. Frank continued to work as a laborer in St. Louis and joined the family in Salem during periods when there was no work in the city. Frank Privett passed away on December 15, 1997 in Salem, MO and is interred in Corinth Cemetery.
Marion Herman Privett (father of Frank Privett) was born around 1878 in Tennessee to William and Mollie Privette. The only record I have found of his origins is in the 1880 census in Tipton County, Tennessee (District 8, Roll T9-1282, Page 412B), which is northeast of Memphis. In the 1910 census he lists himself as being born in Tennessee and it is likely that he was born in Tipton or Crockett County (see William Privette below). Although he was remembered by his son as being named Herman and gives his name as Herman in the 1910 census, on his 1903 marriage license he gives his name as M.H. Privett, which is consistent with the 2-year-old Marion listed in the 1880 census.
Herman and Lucinda Privett Marriage: Herman Privett and Lucinda Harper were married in Desha County in 1903. Their marriage license is dated February 14, 1903 but, curiously, has no actual date of marriage. Although Herman lists his last name on the marriage licence with a final-e (Privette) and his parents spelled their name likewise in the 1880 census, by the 1910 census he had begun spelling the name without the final-e, a spelling that was kept by his immediate descendants. Herman and Lucinda Privett had three children: William Frank Privett, Elizabeth Privett, and Jeff Davis Privett. Herman Privett worked and lived in logging camp in Desha County, AR and supplemented his income by raising crops. Herman Privett supposedly loved to hunt and passed that enthusiasm on to his son, Frank. Lucinda and the children left Herman around 1911, reputedly because Herman was an alcoholic and/or would/could not provide adequately for his family. Lucinda and the children moved to Wilmot, AR living with her older sister Martha and her husband Ben Staton who was a lawyer. Staton helped make arrangements for Lucinda and the three children to enter an orphanage called the Working Women's Home in Little Rock, AR.
Herman Privett Death: The family story had been that Herman Privett died of Bright's Disease sometime around 1914/15. Supposedly it was common in that time for a divorced woman to state that she was widowed to avoid the stigma of divorce, and Lucinda specified "wid Herman" on her listing in the 1915 Little Rock City Directory. However, a draft registration card dated 9/12/1918 lists Herman very much alive in Kelso with his nearest relative listed as his son Frank (then 15 years old), supposedly also living in Kelso. On the draft registration card lists his occupation as a "Farmer", employed by B.F. White. An Arkansas Death Certificate lists a Herman Privett as dying on February 12, 1920 at the Arkansas State Hospital for Nervous Diseases. The cause of death is listed as mitral regurgitation (a heart valve disease), with interstitial nephritis chronic (a kidney disease leading to kidney failure) given as a contributary cause of death. The kidney problem is usually caused by toxins that cause damage to the kidney and could have be related to alcoholism. Since mental hospitals were used for alcoholics in that period, his presence at the Arkansas State Hospital may confirm the family story of his decline and demise. Regardless, he is listed as having been buried in the hospital's graveyard. That graveyard was later moved to a location that is currently at the intersection of I-430 and West Markham Street. Some remains were moved a second time to the Arkansas Health Center in Benton, AR, but since the graves were unmarked, it is impossible to know with any certainty where his remains are interred in Little Rock and/or Benton.
Herman and Lucinda Privett Children: Herman and Lucinda Privett had three children:
- William Franklin "Frank" Privett was born on December 17, 1904 in Kelso, Arkansas. (more information given above)
- Elizabeth "Lizzie Bell" Privett was born in 1907 in Kelso, AR to Herman and Lucinda Privett. She married Denty Kutson in 1926 and they had two two children, Mildred and Hosea. Elizabeth divorced Denty and married again to Wallace Lindsey around 1929 and had a daughter, Loretta Lindsey. Elizabeth was killed in an auto accident on the evening of January 15, 1971. She is interred at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Funeral Home and Memorial Park, 7724 Landers Road, North Little Rock, AR, just off Hwy 167.
- Jeff Davis Privett was born in September 11, 1909 in Kelso, AR to Herman and Lucinda Privett. Jeff was married twice. Jeff and his second wife, Louise Privett, had two children: Conrad Privett and a daughter that died as an infant. Jeff passed away October 26, 1988 in Little Rock, AR and is interred at Forest Hills Cemetery (section 2, lot 247, space 3) 10200 Highway 5 North, Alexander, AR, to the southwest of Little Rock off Interstate 30.
William Privette (father of Herman Privett, grandfather of Frank Privett) was born around 1848 in Tennessee to Little and Mary Privette. No information about William was passed through the family and what little is known about him must be gleaned from public records.
- William Privette first appears in the 1850 census in Fayette County, Tennessee as the two-year-old son of Little and Mary Privette. (1850 U.S. Federal Census, Civil District No. 6, Fayette County, Tennessee, Page 280)
- He also appears in the 1860 census as a 15-year-old living with his widowed mother in the same Tennessee county (1860 U.S. Federal Census, Civil District No. 6, Fayette County, Tennessee, page 485).
- In the 1870 census he is listed as a 22-year-old still living with his mother at the same location but with no occupation listed. (1870 U.S. Federal Census, Civil District No. 6, Fayette County, Tennessee, page 301)
- In 1874, William and his brother, Berry mortgaged a 50-acre tract of land to W.T. Caraway - probably the land owned by their mother. In 1876, William and wife Mollie sold their interest in the tract to Berry. (Fayette County, Tennessee Deeds 6, 1876-1877, FHL microfilm 1,003, 168, pages 294 an 375)
- In the 1880 census, William (age 32), Mollie (age 28) and their three children, Clarance (age 3), Marion (Herman - age 2) and Cloee (age 7 months) are listed as living in Tipton County, Tennessee. William lists his occupation as Farmer. (1880 U.S. Federal Census, District No. 8, page 412B, sheet 38B).
- In the 1900 Census, two probable young siblings of Herman Privett, Willie Privett (b. 1/1883) and Addie Privett (b. 10/1888) are shown living in Desha County, Arkansas with a cousin, Thomas Scott and his wife Maggie (daughter of Martha Walker, granddaughter of of Little and Mary Privett). This would place the death of William and Mollie sometime between 1888 and 1900. There are no known further records to indicate what happened to them or where they are buried. (1900 U.S. Federal Census, Jefferson Township, Desha County, Arkansas, Page 168B)
Mollie Privette (wife of William Privett, mother of Herman Privett, grandmother of Frank Privett) is listed in the 1880 census as having been born around 1852 in Tennessee. She lists her father as being born in North Carolina and her mother as being born in Tennessee. No further information about her origins, maiden name or ultimate fate is currently available.
Children of William and Mollie Privett: William and Mollie Privett had at least four children. I cannot find census records for any of these people past 1910, but it is fairly safe to say that none of that generation of Privetts were blessed with simple or stable family lives.
- Clarance Privette was born around 1877 in Tennessee.
- Cloee Privette was born around 1879 in Tennessee.
- Marion Herman Privette (father of Frank Privett) was born around 1878 in Tennessee. (More information above)
- William "Willie" Privett was born in January, 1883 in Tennessee. Willie and and his sister Addie are listed in the 1900 census as both being from Tennessee and were living in Jefferson Township, Desha County, AR with their cousin, Thomas Scott (detailed above). Frank Privett (William Frank Privett) was reputedly named after his uncle Willie (William Privett, Jr.), although he could also have been named after his late grandfather (William Francis Privette). A marriage licence in Desha County lists William Privett marrying Lizzie Tedden 10/7/1905. The family story is that Willie allegedly died around 1910 while attempting to rescue a sow during a flood on the Mississipi River. The 1910 Census lists Willie's widow (listed as Elizabeth rather than Lizzie) having just remarried a Frank Cotton and living with him and Willie's his two children, Terrell and Ethel (who kept the surname Privett).
- Addie (Hattie) Privette was born in October 1888 in Tennessee. A marriage licence in Desha County lists Hattie Privett marrying Tom Cherry on 6/2/1906. The 1910 Census also lists a Hattie and Thomas Cherry living in Desha County with an adopted daughter, Merle.
Little B. (Berry?) Privette (father of William Privette, grandfather of Herman Privett, greatgrandfather of Frank Privett) was born around 1821 in North Carolina. In the 1850 census he is listed as living with his wife, Mary, in Fayette County, Tennessee and gave his occupation as farmer. Based on the ages of their children, they presumably got married around 1842 in North Carolina and moved to Tennessee before 1852. Little Privett passed away sometime between 1852 and 1860 as his wife is listed as a widow in the 1860 census. The 1850 census is the only record I have of him, although his origins in North Carolina (where there were a large number of Privetts) is a topic for further research.
Mary Privette (wife of Little Privette, mother of William Privett, grandmother of Herman Privett, greatgrandmother of Frank Privett) was born around 1825 in North Carolina. No information about her was passed down through the family, but there are quite a number of records of her existence and these were the key to finding the ancestors of Frank Privett's father, Marion Herman Privett.
- Mary Privette first appears in the 1850 census living with her husband and four children in Fayette County, Tennessee. She lists her age as 25, giving the probably birth year of 1825 (1850 U.S. Federal Census, Civil District No. 6, Fayette County, Tennessee, Page 280)
- In the 1860 census, Mary Privet is listed as a widow in the same Tennessee county, living with her five children. She owned real estate valued at $1,000 (1860 U.S. Federal Census, Civil District No. 6, Fayette County, Tennessee, page 485).
- In the 1870 census, Mary Privett is still the head-of-household living in Fayette county. However, her daughter Martha has married John Walker (b. 1836) and they are living in the house with their 7-month-old daughter, Florence, and her two brothers, Francis (grandfather of Frank Privett) and Berry. (1870 U.S. Federal Census, Civil District No. 6, Fayette County, Tennessee, page 301)
- In 1874, William and his brother, Berry mortgaged a 50-acre tract of land to W.T. Caraway - probably the land owned by their Mary Privette. In 1876, William and wife Mollie sold their interest in the tract to Berry. (Fayette County, Tennessee Deeds 6, 1876-1877, FHL microfilm 1,003, 168, pages 294 an 375)
- In the 1880 census, Mary Privette is still living in the same county and district in Tennessee, however, her son-in-law, John Walker, is listed as the head-of-household and they live there with Martha Walker (nee Privett) and with John and Martha's four children. (1880 U.S. Federal Census, District No. 6, page 280D, sheet 16A).
- In the 1900 Census, a 75-year-old Mary Privette is listed as having relocated to Drew County, Arkansas, adjacent to Desha County where her great-grandson Frank Privett was born four years later. She had moved in with another of her daughters, Elizabeth (b. 1843) and her husband, John Applebury (b. 1838). The household also includes two of the Appleberry children and one of Mary's neices, Oda Privett, presuably one of the daughters of her late husband's brothers. The son-in-law she had previously lived with, John Walker, was now a widower living in Desha County with his son-in-law, Thomas Scott, and a pair of Mary's grandchildren, Willie and Addie (siblings of her grandson, Marion Herman Privett, father of Frank Privett) (1900 U.S. Federal Census, Franklin Township, Drew County, Arkansas, Page 337A, Sheet 8A)
- The 1900 census is the last known record of Mary Privette. There are no cemetery or death records for Mary Privette.
Children of Little and Mary Privette: Little and Mary Privette had five children:
- Elizabeth (Eliza Ann) Privette was born on September 29, 1842 in North Carolina. She married J.D. (John) Applebury (Appleberry) in Fayette County on December 29, 1863. The couple had at least two children, James (b. 5/1877) and Frank (b. 10/1882). At some point after 1882, the couple relocated to Drew County, Arkansas. Her husband passed away on April 2, 1916 and she followed soon thereafter on December 29, 1916. The couple is buried in Selma Cemetery in Drew County, Arkansas.
- Matilda J. Privette was born around 1844 in North Carolina. She married R.G. Appleberry (the brother of her sister Elizabeth's husband?) in Fayette County on January 18, 1865. No further information is available on what became of her.
- William Francis Privette (grandfather of Frank Privett) was born around 1845 in North Carolina. Information on him given above.
- Martha E. Privette was born February 25, 1850 in North Carolina. She married John Walker (b. 2/25/1833) in Fayette County, Tennessee on October 21, 1869. They had at least six children: Florence (b. 1869), John Jr. (b 1871), Maggie (b. 1873), Emmett (1874 or 1878 - 1897?), Russell (b. 1884) and Robert (b. 1887). Martha passed away on September 25, 1890. Her husband passed away on April 27, 1903. The couple is buried in Newton Cemetery, Jefferson Township, Desha County, Arkansas.
- Berry H. Privette was born on September 20, 1852 in Tennessee. He may have married Ann McKinzie in 1881. He was a Deputy County Court Clerk in Somerville, TN (Fayette County) and passed away during a Yellow Fever outbreak in 1878. He is buried in Somerville (Forest Lawn) Cemetery.