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Thursday, November 20, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #43 Stella Rhoetta Chisum Gresham

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while
the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to
make the connection. Click on the family tree to see a larger image.

Stella Rhoetta Chisum Gresham was the daughter of Martha "Mattie" Elizabeth Hairston and James C. Chisum. She was born in Falls County, Texas on February 20, 1879. Before the age of five, her family moved to Erath County, Texas. Her father is said to have died and Stella's mother married John A. Thompson in 1884. 

Stella married William Barnett Gresham in Erath County and soon after, they were living in Hall County and later, in nearby Childress County where she remained until her death. 

Stella's obituary gives all of the important places and dates, but these quotes from those who knew Stella, tell us a little more. 

From her grandson, Bill:  

Stella was wonderful to me as we grew up 4 miles west of Cary. I used to eat lunch at her house and then came home to eat again. She raised turkeys so that we could have shoes and coats.

From her niece, Juanita: 

We had a Thompson reunion in Seymour Park once and there were several Thompson cousins there. I don't know if anyone took names down or not. Aunt Stella's family was there.

 Aunt Stella was a real tall woman, and really showed her Indian descent. Her daughter was named Frances Clifton; they lived in Childress, Texas. She sure favored the Thompsons. 

From her niece, Nadine: 

Aunt Stella came and stayed with us {in Erath County} almost every summer.  We visited her also but we never visited Uncle Floyd. 

From my notes written on April 17, 2001: 

Dad just told me that he was at the Gresham's home when he found out his mother died. It was probably Stella's home as he remembered someone who looked much like his mother. {Look at the Gresham family photo at Find a Grave. The young Stella does resemble photos of my grandmother.} 

Written on the back of this photo is
Stella Gresham's daughter. It is not
known if this is Frances or Hazel. 
At the time of Stella's death in 1962, only three of her six children were living. Her children are as follows:
  • Hugh Wiley Gresham (1899-1819)    
  • Rex William Gresham (1902-1964)
  • Millard "Jack" Gresham (1909-1992)
  • Hazel Illene Gresham (1910-1923)
  • Frances Jewel Gresham (1913-1997)
  • Lafayette "Fate" Gresham (1918-1960)
The photos below are scans of paper scans so the quality is poor. The first photo of Edd, Stella, and Floyd is on my website and Edd was mistakenly named as William Gresham. Edd's daughter and owner of the photos made the correction. By looking at the second photo, I realized that it was definitely Edd. 

Stella Chisum Gresham with half-brothers, Edgar Richard Thompson and Floyd William Thompson 

Mattie and Edd Thompson, Stella Chisum Gresham, Floyd and Ora Thompson


© 2014

Sources Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. Texas, Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave.

Chisum, Stella Rhoetta, Certificate of Birth (1942), Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Chisum, J. C. and Hairston, M. E., Marriage Certificate, The State of Texas, County of Falls.

Clifton, Bill (Childress, Texas) to "Dear Diana" [Diana Quinn]. Letter. 26 October 2000. Bryan-Quinn Genealogy Papers. Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Family photographs from the collection of Nadine Thompson Waugh. Accessed September 2001. Used with permission.

Gleghorn, Juanita Pearl Thompson. The Thompson Family, The Early Years. Duncan, Oklahoma. Print.

Waugh, Nadine Thompson (Stephenville, Texas) to "Dear Diana" [Diana Quinn]. Letter. 26 September 2000. Bryan-Quinn Genealogy Papers. Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

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