Elijah C. Haywood #10 of 52 Ancestors

Elijah C. Haywood was born about 1884 in Arkansas, according to the Haywood family researcher. I’ve never been able to find this great grandfather on a census record. No pictures of him. In fact, the only thing I knew about him growing up was that my grandmother’s father, old man Haywood, died from being kicked in the head from a mule.

With the help of Tamara Bridges Mitchell, a double cousin, I finally know the rest of his story. I find it ironic that my family referred to him as “old man Haywood” when he was only about 25 years old at the time of his death.

There are two known records of him that Tamara was able to find.

On 25 June 1905, in Viola, Fulton, Arkansas, Elijah C. Haywood (age 21) married Mary Bridges (age 25). Then, four years later, this:

From the Sharp County (Arkansas) Record newspaper
Vol. 32, No. 5, Friday, March 5, 1909
p. 1, col. 4
Shocking Accident
Yesterday evening about 2 o’clock, Rev. J.C. Haywood
and his son, Elijah, were returning from Salem to their
home near Moko. At the southern approach of the South
Fork bridge, their team became frightened and they both
dismounted from the wagon, the elder man on one side,
and the younger on the other. Rev. Haywood noticed his
son stagger and fall, but never realized he had been
kicked by one of the mules until a few moments
afterward. The injured man only lived about 20 minutes
after the accident. He was brought to town, to the home of
his brother-in-law, Frank Decker. Haywood, whose
untimely and shocking death occurred so suddenly, was
an honest and respected young man. He leaves a widow
and one child to mourn his demise. The entire community
is shocked and extends sympathy to the bereaved relatives
and family. – Salem Sun

The “one child” would have been my Aunt Kate, the daughter of Mary Bridges and an unknown man. My grandmother, Louise Myrtle Haywood, was born 10 days after his death on March 15, 1909.

So, while that is one family folklore that turned out to be true, grandma’s dad was kicked by a mule and died, but “old man Haywood” was definitely a misnomer!

If someone reads this someday and finds that they have a picture of Elijah, I hope you contact me. I’d like to see what he looked like.

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