Mary Exa Culpepper

Female, #35689, (29 Feb 1900 - 22 Jan 1988)
Father*Thomas Jefferson Culpepper (1 Sep 1861 - 22 May 1955)
Mother*Avie Jane King (26 Jun 1864 - 19 Sep 1905)
Birth*29 Feb 1900 Mary was born at Gibsonville, Clay Co., Alabama, 29 Feb 1900. 
Census*1900 She was in the in 1900 census at Clay Co., Alabama
Death of Mother19 Sep 1905 Her mother Avie Jane King died on 19 Sep 1905 at New Hope, Sabine Parish, Louisiana
1910 Census15 Apr 1910 Bessie, Iva and Mary was listed as a daughter in Thomas Jefferson Culpepper's household on the 1910 Census at San Jon, Quay Co., New Mexico.1 
1920 Census1 Jan 1920 Mary was listed as a daughter in Thomas Jefferson Culpepper's household on the 1920 Census at Amarillo, Potter Co., Texas.2 
Marriage*26 Jul 1923 She married Spencer Burnis Crossman at White Deer, Carson Co., Texas, on 26 Jul 1923. 
Married Name26 Jul 1923  As of 26 Jul 1923, her married name was Crossman. 
Death of Father22 May 1955 Her father Thomas Jefferson Culpepper died on 22 May 1955 at Amarillo, Potter Co., Texas.3 
Death of Spouse1 Apr 1959 Her husband Spencer Burnis Crossman died on 1 Apr 1959 at Pampa, Gray Co., Texas
Photographed*say 1970 She was photographed say 1970 at Texas
Left to right: Mary Exa (Culpepper) Crossman, Hattie Mae (Culpepper) Smith, and Ive (Culpepper) Cline.
Culpepper sisters
Death*22 Jan 1988 She died at Pampa, Gray Co., Texas, on 22 Jan 1988. 
Biography* Mrs. S. B. (Mary Exa Culpepper) Crossman wrote in a 24 Sep 1978 letter that she was nine months old when her parents left Alabama. The following article appeared in the Pampa News in 1976: Leap Year babies By ANNA BURCHELL, Pampa New Staff Mrs. Exa Crossman of 601 N. Sumner is observing her 19th real birthday today--but she is 76 years old. She was born in 1900--on February 29--which only comes round every four years. "I've never thought anything about being a Leap Year baby." she said. "I've never missed a birthday. They counted it on the 28th, and I became a year older." Mrs. Crossman's daughter, Mrs. Fred Carothers of 1620 N. Nelson, reminded her mother that today is a "real birthday." "I'll attend church and go to the Carothers for dinner," she said. As for birthday wishes, Mrs. Crossman asks for "peace and happiness for my children and the world. That's my only birthday wish and if I'm here four years from now. I'll wish the same." During Mrs. Crossman's school years, she doesn't remember a single student who had the same birthday as she. She was born February 29,1900, in Ashland, Ala. in "the most beautiful, spacious five - room log house with pine trees and magnolias in the back yard." "My father was a carpenter and he built the house himself," she said. The family moved to Amarillo in 1910 where they stayed until 1921 when they moved to Pampa and Mrs. Crossman's father went into business--a candy factory and a confectionery. After Mrs. Crossman, the former Exa Culpepper, moved to Amarillo she heard her father describe the house he built so many times that she went back to see it when she was 19 years of age. "It was just lovely," she said. Mrs. Crossman is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T.J. Culpepper. Her mother died when she was a child and her father never remarried. She is the youngest of six children. Mrs. Crossman remembers when she moved to Pampa in 1921 at a time when there were no paved streets and the sidewalks were made of wood. She met her husband, Spence Crossman, in 1921 and they were married on July 26, 1923. They lived in Pampa a short time following their marriage then moved to Amarillo. When they returned to Pampa in 1931 he worked for the "police force," she said. He also sold cars for Frank Culberson. Her husband died in 1959 following a heart attack. Mrs. Crossman is quick to say she doesn't like a lot of fuss and bother over her birthday. "I like to do for others," she said. She remembers one day when her family was getting ready to attend church and a big dust storm blew in and even with the lights on inside the house the dust was so thick one couldn't see. She said her husband was working as a constable then -- filling in for someone -- and a lady in a club on the Lefors highway got down on her knees. "She thought the world was coming to an end," Mrs. Crossman said. Although the years have gone by and there have been some hardships. Mrs. Crossman counts her blessings each and every day. "I read a lot," she said. "I read the New Testament through 12 times each year." Her other children include a son, George Crossman of Franklin, La., and a daughter, Ann Green of Hobbs, N.M. She has five grandchildren. She was presented a birthday cake by the Pampa News. "What a surprise!'' she said. "I had planned to bake my own cake. Now I won't have to." The cake featured "Happy 19th" with a rabbit leaping in one corner of the icing.... Leap Year babies are not common in Gray County. There wasn't a single Febrary 29th birth recorded here in 1972, and only one each in 1968 and in 1964.
      Exa mentioned in a 29 Jul 1978 letter that she had a small garden. She also suffered from arthritis, in a 13 Dec 1978 letter Exa wrote: Have suffered with my right hip where I had surgery in 73. At times I make a false move this hip slips and touches the nerves in my leg and oh I almost lose my mind. I'm trying so hard to get over this for George and family will be here for Christmas also Ann and Ray.... You know Dick [Lunus] was a candy maker for a firm in Amarillo. And guess it has rubbed off on me. At Christmas time I get so many calls for my recipes for candy I rise to go and help the friends make it but I can't do that any more so I just keep my recipes by the phone so I'll have them handy when people call.
      Exa suffered a stroke before her death. 


Spencer Burnis Crossman (8 Nov 1899 - 1 Apr 1959)
Marriage*26 Jul 1923 She married Spencer Burnis Crossman at White Deer, Carson Co., Texas, on 26 Jul 1923. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited17 Sep 2006


  1. 1910 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 144, Sheet 3A, Line 30, San Jon Precinct 12, Quay Co., NM
    Thomas T. Culpepper, Head, M, 48, wid, AL/AL/AL, RR Shop Quartz Cleaner
    Herman Culpepper, Son, M, 24, Sng, AL/AL/AL, RR Shop Foreman
    Bessie Culpepper, Dau, F, 16, Sng, AL/AL/AL
    Iva A. Culpepper, Dau, F, 13, Sng, AL/AL/AL
    Lunas Culpepper, Son, M, 12, Sng, AL/AL/AL
    Exa Culpepper, Dau, F, 9, Sng, AL/AL/AL.
  2. 1920 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 199, Sheet 10B, Pg 159, 1101 S. Johnson St., Amarillo, Potter Co., TX
    Rent=Y, Farm=N
    Thomas J. Culpepper, Head, M, 59, WD, AL AL AL, Car Inspector-RR
    Exa Culpepper, Dau, F, 19, S, AL AL AL.
  3. Texas Department of Health, compiler, Texas Death Index, 1903-2000, Online database at, 2006.
    Thomas J. Culpepper died 22 May 1955 in Potter Co., TX.