Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper1

Female, #11456, (13 Apr 1848 - 29 Nov 1947)
Father*Rev. Lewis Peek Culpepper (25 Aug 1816 - 4 Jun 1915)
Mother*Sarah Ann Culpepper (21 Nov 1817 - 29 Mar 1858)
Birth*13 Apr 1848 Clarissa was born at Zebulon, Pike Co., Georgia, on 13 Apr 1848. 
1850 Census1 Jun 1850 Clarissa, Martha, Sarah, Sylviah, Joseph and Sarah listed as a household member living with Rev. Lewis Peek Culpepper on the 1850 Census on 1 Jun 1850 at Pike Co., Georgia.2 
Death of Mother29 Mar 1858 Her mother Sarah Ann Culpepper died on 29 Mar 1858 at Pike Co., Georgia.3 
Census19 Sep 1860 She was listed as a resident in the census report at Wesobulga, Randolph Co., Alabama, on 19 Sep 1860. 
Marriage*24 Oct 1867 She married William Henry Griffin at near Pinckneyville, Clay Co., in||, Tallapoosa Co., Alabama, on 24 Oct 1867 at age 19. 
Married Name24 Oct 1867  As of 24 Oct 1867, her married name was Griffin. 
Photographed*circa 1870 She was photographed circa 1870 at Good Hope (near Lineville), Clay Co., Alabama.4
Wm. H. & Clarissa (Culpepper) Griffin with daughter Dora
Census1870 She was listed as a resident in the census report at Coppermine P.O., Clay Co., Alabama, in 1870. 
Photographed*say 1890 She was photographed say 1890 at Lineville, Clay Co., Alabama.5
Clarissa Eugenia (Culpepper) Griffin
Death of Father4 Jun 1915 Her father Rev. Lewis Peek Culpepper died on 4 Jun 1915 at Chambers Co., Alabama.6 
Death of Spouse21 Feb 1924 Her husband William Henry Griffin died on 21 Feb 1924 at Olive Branch, Clay Co., Alabama
Death*29 Nov 1947 She died at Ashland, Clay Co., Alabama, on 29 Nov 1947 at age 99. 
Burial* Her body was interred at Old Lineville City Cemetery, Lineville, Clay Co., Alabama.7 
Biography* Census: 1880 Lineville, Clay Co., AL. \Beat 13 p. 3 #20 (C.E. 30 GA SC SC in hh of W. H. Griffin)\ Census: 1900 Clay Co., AL. \(Eugenia Apr 1848 GA in hh of William Griffin)\
      Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper was the youngest of her mother Sarah's five children. Her father recorded her birth in his Bible: "Clarrisa E. Culpepper was born April the 13th 1848." Clarasy, as she was called, was eight when her mother died, ten when her father remarried, and eleven when her family moved to Randolph Co. AL.
      In 1867 she married William Henry Griffin of Mellow Valley, AL at her home in Pinckneyville, Clay Co., AL (the marriage is recorded in Tallapoosa Co.) The couple settled in Lineville, Clay Co. AL to raise a family of ten children (one other died as an infant.) An early photograph shows a young Clarissa and her husband with their first child, Dora. Clarissa had blue eyes.
      A granddaughter, Mrs. J. W. (Lena Whatley) DeVaughn wrote, 4 Dec 1978: With reference to Grandmother Griffin, I consider her to be an outstanding individual. She was faithful to her church and always ready to help those in need. She set a wonderful example for her children and grandchildren. I am so thankful for the things she taught me when I stayed with them [the William Henry Griffin's].... Grandmother Griffin... became deaf in ... later years. She was tall and slender and very energetic. Older age did not affect her posture. She had beautiful blue eyes.
      Another granddaughter, Mrs. J. A. (Mildred Whatley) Kerley, wrote in a 23 Nov 1978 letter that she remembered her grandmother as "a very gracious person in her home. She was a great cook and I so enjoyed her good food."
      Mrs. Charles (Margaret Whatley) Lee, a granddaughter, wrote in a 14 Oct 1978 letter: I always remember her [Clarissa] as being very hard of hearing and she only had one eye. She got one of her eyes [her right eye based on later photographs] put out making lye soap when she was in her 20's. She always had rheumatism bad, which is called arthritis now. Aunt Maude and Aunt Lelia never married and they lived with her and did most all the work. She was a very proud person, very stern, and had little patience for wrong doing of any kind. She believed in being on the up & up in a big way. She used to come to my mother's house and spend the day quite often. She would come in the buggy. She always brought candy or something. She always had good cakes, etc. cooked when we visited her and would fix our favorite dishes.
      A great-granddaughter, Mrs. G. W. (Elaine DeVaughn) Mendenhall wrote in an 8 Feb 1979 letter that Clarissa "had quite a reputation as a stern disciplinarian." Jokes were told about her telling her son Olin that he was "not too old to whip" when he was himself a grandfather several times over.
      Emyl Griffin recounted his memories of his grandmother in a 1 Oct 1994 letter:
      MEMORIES OF MY GRAND MOTHER
      CLARISSA EUGENIA GRIFFIN
      BY: EMYL GRIFFIN After my fathers death in 1922 when I was four years of age my mother carried my brother and me to visit our grand mother Griffin at regular intervals perhaps every month or so. One of my memories [is] that she would always have Aunt Maude and Aunt Lelia get us something to eat such as cake, cookies, pie & etc. This was a practice until I finished high school. She was handicapped by eye sight from my first memory and later her general health declined. She was seventy years of age when I was born so I did not know her when she was completely active physically. I do remember her mind was clear until the very last years of her life. Another memory of her is the reunions held yearly as I recall beginning in the early years [of] my life until she was some 90 years of age. As I remember it came to the point that crowds somewhat bothered her so the reunions were discontinued and family members visited her at different times. The four living boys lived elsewhere out of Clay County, therefore, these reunions provided us the opportunity of seeing uncles, aunts and cousins that we would not see otherwise. Another memory of grandmother (and Aunt Maude) was the 1927 touring Ford car which Uncle Will drove down in from Washington, D. C. He and his brother-in-law had a Ford agency in D. C. He taught Aunt Maude to drive the car and she continued to drive it for some 50 years. I remember it was the talk of the community in the 1950's when most model T Fords had gone to the junk yard. A Dr. Owens, their family doctor in prior years, then living in Birmingham, bought the car, had it refurbished and carried it to antique car shows for a number of years. This Memory shows a loving heart in my grand mother. When I graduated from high school in 1936 she gave me money to buy a suit of clothes. I well remember this was the first suit of clothes that I had. With our family, especially during depression years, financial resources were limited, as was true with most families. She must have been aware of this, and, too, I always thought maybe she thought of me in a special way since my father died when I was so young. Anyway I remember my mother carried me to her uncle's store and we bought a double breasted solid grey suit. This suit lasted me through my college days and until I found employment.
      Clarissa preferred the "old ways" to modern conveniences such as electric lights. The following article about her 99th birthday is from an unknown source, possibly the Birmingham News-Age-Herald: MRS. W. H. GRIFFIN HONORED ON 99th BIRTHDAY Relatives and friends gathered at the home of Mrs. W. H. Griffin on Ashland, Route 1, on Sunday, April 13th, to honor her on the occasion of her 99th birthday. Mrs. Griffin was born in Pike County, Georgia in 1848; moved with her parents to Alabama at the age of 11, later removing to Clay County where she has resided for the past 80 years. She was married in October, 1867. Her husband died in 1924. Mrs. Griffin is the mother of eleven children, seven of whom are now living, they are: Mrs. W. T. Dean of Ashland, Dr. J. O. Griffin of Memphis, Tenn; Mrs. Ike Reeves of Lineville; J. A. Griffin of Sylacauga; G. W. Griffin of Lineville; Mrs. Robert Whatley of Lineville and Miss Maude Griffin, who resides with her mother, all of whom were present. She also has 31 grandchildren and 33 great great grandchildren. Although Mrs. Griffin's eyesight, is dimmed and her hearing is somewhat impaired, she is seemingly in the best of health and does her part in the work about the house. Her father, the late Rev. L. P. Culpepper, was 98 years of age at the time of his death. At the noon hour a fine luncheon was served. Pictures were made during the afternoon. The honoree received many useful gifts. Other relatives and friends present were Mr. W. T. Dean of Ashland, Mrs. E. A. Speer of Birmingham, E. G. Dean of Ashland, Otho Dean of Oak Hill, Miss Annie Maude Dean, of Montgomery, Mr. and Mrs. Flora Griffin and C. M. Mason of Sylacauga; Mrs. J. W. Griffin, Mrs. J. T. Griffin and son, Emil [Emyl], Robert Whatley, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Vaughn and daughters, Misses Eloise and Elaine, Mrs. Mattie Reeves, W. L. Bell, De Hurst and Arnold Clark of Lineville; Mr. and Mrs. Charnell Middlecoff of Memphis, Tenn; Rev. J. W. Dean and son, Aubrey, of Cragford; Mrs. and Mrs. Billy Walker of Anniston, and Bill Street of Ashland
      Clarissa Culpepper Griffin remained active to within a few months of her 100th birthday, but died before reaching that goal after breaking her hip in a fall in 1947. The following obituary is from p. 14B of the Birmingham News-Age-Herald for Sunday, 30 Nov 1947: Woman Nearly 100 Succumbs; Son-In-Law Dies Soon After Ashland, Ala. Dec. [Nov.] 29--Mrs. W. H. Griffin who would have celebrated her 100th birthday next April 13 and her son-in-law, W. T. Dean, 77, died here Saturday morning after short illnesses. Joint funeral services will be held at 2 p. m. Sunday at Ashland First Baptist Church. Mrs. Griffin will be buried in Lineville, while Mr. Dean will be buried here, Blair directing. Mrs. Griffin died about 3 a. m. Saturday, her son-in-law several hours later. Mrs. Griffin was honored at a luncheon and received many gifts as she celebrated her 99th birthday last April. Although Mrs. Griffin['s] eyesight became dimmed and her hearing somewhat impaired, she was active and assisted in work about the home in advanced years. BORN IN PIKE COUNTY, Georgia, Mrs. Griffin moved to Alabama with her family at the age of 11. She had lived in Clay County the last 80 years. Mr. Griffin, whom she married in 1867, died in 1924. Mrs. Griffin was the mother of 11 children, seven of whom survive her. There are three sons, Dr. J. O. Griffin, Memphis; G. W. Griffin, Lineville and J. A. Griffin, Sylacauga, and four daughters, Mrs. W. T. Dean and Miss Maude Griffin, Ashland and Mrs. Ike Reeves and Mrs. Robert Whatley, Lineville. Also surviving are 34 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. Mr. Dean, a retired farmer, is survived by his widow; two daughters, Annie Maude Dean, Montgomery, and Mrs. E. A. Spear, Birmingham; two sons, Otho Dean, of Montgomery and Oak Hill, and Edward Dean, Butler, Pa. and four grandchildren.
      A granddaughter, Mrs. Charles (Margaret Whatley) Lee wrote 21 Jan 1990 about some pictures of Good Hope from the Lineville paper of 20 Jan 1990: You see the church? Well that's the church Grandmother and Granddaddy Griffin attended and all their children.... They have remodeled the church in recent years. They added the little steeple, the little porch & also put siding on the outside. Grandmother's children went to school there too. That headstone hasn't always been there. That church must have been there be before 1884. Every one of Grandmother's children was born there in Good Hope. You see the house in the lower right corner? Well I'm familiar with that house, you go on around that house to go to Grandmother's old home place. I doubt if it is still standing there. It was almost impossible to get to their home in a car the road was so rocky & rough.... I think the road going to the left in the picture goes to Pyriton.
      In a 12 Apr 1990 letter Margaret Lee added: Mildred [(Whatley) Kerley] drove down by grandmother Griffin's home place between Lineville & Ashland. The house is very old. No one lives in it, looks like it's about ready to fall in. 
Research note*3 Jun 2010 From: Eloise [mailto:eloisesamuels@centurytel.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 8:58 AM

Dear Lew,
Yes, I remember all about the house and surrounding property, including the barn, old garage for Aunt Maude's buggy, storage house and smoke house and best of all a "double seat out- house"!!!!
This will take awhile for me to describe, but I will be happy to share my precious memories. We were there once each week as long as she lived and yes, I remember Aunt Lelia WELL. She was an excellent cook and always had the best "tea cakes" you've ever tasted. Aunt Maude was a great cook as well. Elaine and I always looked forward to the summers because we enjoyed an entire week at their sweet modest little home. Aunt Lelia planted a huge garden and their fruit trees were bountiful, which she allowed us to participate in preserving everything available. Her peaches, apples, pears and grapes were the best......oh, and the many fig bushes, plus the mouth-watering strawberries! Just for the sake of keeping an oddity, they had two Quince trees across the winding little dirt road. Flowers, for every season, adorned the entire place and especially around the house. The front yard was small and practically in the road with a tiny little mailbox surrounded by petunias. The back yard was well groomed by the hands of Aunt Lelia who meticulously swept it weekly with a broom made of oak limbs.If a sprig of grass were detected, a sharp- blade- hoe took care of it immediately . Now you must remember that the standard attire for all three ladies was long skirts, as well as long underskirts, long sleeves (usually dresses were always made by the same pattern with white collars), long black stockings and black low heel shoes. All clothes, table cloths, napkins, scarves and curtains were heavily starched with Grandmother's homemadeconcoction of ingredients. Spotless was an understatement for the interior as well as exterior.
As for thestructural appearance, it was a unique OLD house built with hard pine wood. Everyone parked in the back yard and the main entrance was the back door. Approaching the door, one 's eyes were captured by the manually dug well on the back porch and conveniently located to do the family laundry (each Monday morning and you have already envisioned the wire clothes line near the house) The house faced north and south and on the east side, there was a large room that extended the length of the house with small high windows. This was Grandmother and Aunt Lelia's room , which actually would accommodate four people. Each bed was neatly covered with white chenille bedspreads. Aunt Maude's room was on the front side of the house joining a small living room, which we referredto as her library. Having taught school for many years, she had accumulated numerous children's books that Elaine and I were allowed to sit quietly and properly to read. When entering the house by rear entrance, after passing the porch, the aroma from the kitchendirected your nose to the next room, which was the dining room and "sitting room" for everyone. The extended dining room table seated six and even eight on occasions. A huge fireplace was located in this room and Grandmother's old leather and oak trimmed chair occupied the corner by the fireplace. Since she could not hear well at all, plus blind in one eye, we each knew our seating arrangement near her, which was a circlein the following order: Mama sat first, Elaine second, Eloise third, Daddy fourth, Aunt Lelia fifth and Aunt Maude sixth unless she was in her room preparing for school. We sat very quietly, listened carefully and knelt at her chair if she were speaking directly. She and Mama were excellent seamstresses and Grandmother wanted to feel and make every effort to examine our clothes. Unlimited respect was shared between her and my Daddy because both were "business-minded and honorable." Aunt Lelia was lots of fun and always gave us tea cakes wrapped in a starched white cloth as we were leaving....

Love to you,
Eloise. 

Family

William Henry Griffin (20 Oct 1847 - 21 Feb 1924)
Marriage*24 Oct 1867 She married William Henry Griffin at near Pinckneyville, Clay Co., in||, Tallapoosa Co., Alabama, on 24 Oct 1867 at age 19. 
ChartsBenjamin (son of Joseph) Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC: Descendant Chart
John Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
LWG / Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper Griffin (Lew Griffin's gtgm): Ancestral Chart
Last Edited5 Oct 2011

Citations

  1. Clarissa's middle name, Eugenia, was from Queen Victoria Eugenia of England.
  2. 1850 Federal Census, United States.
    Page 125, District 68, Pike Co., GA
    Lewis P. Culpepper, 33, M, Mill Wright, $400, SC
    Sarah A. Culpepper, 32, F, SC
    Joseph R. Culpepper, 9, M, GA
    Silviah A. Culpepper, 8, F, GA
    Sarah E. Culpepper, 6, F, GA
    Martha J. Culpepper, 4, F, GA
    Clarissy E. Culpepper, 2, F, GA
    Robert A. Vaughn, 6, M, GA
    Nancy Nabors, 76, F, SC.
  3. Pike Co. Cemetery Records, Unpublished.
    Vol 1 p 505 13 May 1858 issue.
  4. Ellaree Dean Speer records, Ellaree Dean Speer to Lew Griffin, 1977-1994.
  5. Joe Inzer Griffin, Irondale, AL.
  6. Tombstone.
  7. Clay County Alabama Historical Society, Cemeteries of Clay County, Alabama, La Grange, GA: Family Tree, 1987.
    p 217.