Saturday, May 19, 2012


 Louisa Spradling

    Louisa Spradling was born to Richard Spradling and Elizabeth (Beaver) Baber in Virginia about 1808. She married James Wade in Albermarle County, Virginia, October 26, 1827. The following year with Louisa’ parents they moved to an area a few miles south of what is now known as Tranquility and settled on approximately three hundred acres south of and adjoining the property of Michael and Nancy Wattenbarger.

    Louisa’s parents settled on several hundred acres adjoining and to the south of the Wade place. The stream that was later to become known as Rogers Creek originated in the Wade spring from which the family got their water.

    Louisa bore five children to James before he died October 29, 1842. The ages of the children ranged from fourteen (William) down to James who was only two years old. There were four boys and one girl who they named Malinda. Malinda was also later known as Linny and eventually Minnie after she moved to Texas.

    Louisa then married Hiram Brandon, a “Minister of the Gospel” September 1, 1845. Hiram’s name is listed as one of those who helped organize Tranquility Methodist Church in 1848. The family appears in the census records of surrounding counties in the following years evidently as Hiram moved when he was called to different churches. The Wade children eventually disappeared from the Brandon census records and were replaced by the five children Louisa bore to Hiram.

    It is believed Hiram died sometime after 1889 and we know from the records  available Louisa died July 14, 1897, at approximately age ninety. We do not know where Louisa was living when she died or where she is buried. In a document dated July 20, 1897, and signed by five Brandon descendants, Louisa’s belongings were assigned to Silas to dispose of and distribute any remaining proceeds, above that required to meet expenses, to the rightful heirs. From this I surmise Louisa was probably living in the Mt. Zion area where other Brandon family members are buried.

    Silas paid his cousin Richard Spradling Jr. $1.00 to “Cry” the sale of Louisa’s belongings that were not divided among the heirs. The sale brought in $39.00. Silas paid James Colens $7.50 for Louisa’s “cofin”. He paid Steve Brandon $1.00 for “feeding the hogs”. He paid A. Wattenbarger $2.97 for “buring close”. He paid E. L. Harmon for 8 days $5.00 doctor bill. He pade out to Steve for “mesh” 50 cents. Total paid out  $17.97.

    Equally of interest is how this information is still with us. Following Silas’ death in 1902 his only living son, W. D. Wade, was appointed the administrator of his estate. W. D. gathered up all of Silas’ papers and notes, placed them in an old cardboard suitcase, and brought them down to his home in Rogers Creek.

    A few years later W. D. and his cousin W. S. Sradling formed a partnership and opened a “country store” out of the W. D.’s former father-in-law Marshal C. Owen’s house which he had purchased from his sister-in-law, Angeline Owen Campell. The attic of the old house was used for storage and that is where Silas’ old cardboard suitcase was placed.

    And there the suitcase remained until 1989 when Bettye and I tore down the old Owen house to make way for the new house. I looked through some of the papers and found Silas’ “Grand Army of the Republic” medal and many documents and records.     Also, there was one picture in the suitcase. Obviously someone who was important to both Silas and his son W. D. The fading tintype picture was of a lady who appears to be about ninety years old. Her face reflects the hardships of her life. Her eyes penetrate ones soul. Could this be Silas’ mother, Louisa Spradling Wade Brandon?

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