Monday, July 21, 2014

In Loving Memory of Bro. Johnnie Boykins

Johnnie Reed Boykins
Celebrated and loved by his family and all those he came into contact with,  Johnnie Reed Boykins transitioned to his rest with his Lord and Savior on June 4, 2014 at 10:30 p.m., at the Rehab Department of Kentwood Manor Nursing Home in Kentwood, LA.

Mr. Johnnie R. Boykins, Jr., was born on December 24, 1934 to the late Elnora Tillery Boykins and Johnnie R. Boykins, Sr., After the passing of Johnnie Boykins, Sr., Ms. Elnora was then united in holy matrimony to the late Linnie Walls, Sr., and he stepped up as Johnnie's stepfather and continued to raise him into the great man that everyone came to know. Johnnie was married to the late Amanda Bush Boykins and to this union 6 children were born. Years after the passing of Amanda, Johnnie married his current wife, Helen C. Bates of Kentwood, LA.

Johnnie was baptized and reared from an early age of Community Missionary Baptist Church in Fluker under the leadership of Rev. Bruce Hunter.  Johnnie was a graduate of the class of 1955 from Westside High. He attended Leland College in Baker, LA majoring in Culinary Arts. He later chose to join the military where he served our country for a number of years and received honorable discharge. Johnnie worked many years as a Long Shore man on the river were he remained dedicated until his retirement. After he retired, Johnnie became a successful entrepreneur and owner of various businesses: JR Boykins Trucking, Boykins Vault Company, and Angelic Funeral Home along with Mr. Darrell Calvey.

Johnnie will always be remembered for the love he shown others. He believed that every young man and woman should receive a proper education and be afford the opportunity to make something of
themselves. He sought to improve the African American community and surrounding communities. He often took many high school students to Mississippi Valley College and assisted them in registering in school and many received scholarships.  Johnnie did this out of his own expense. In many ways, he was a philanthropist and it meant everything to him to see a child become successful. His loving kindness was recognizable by any and everyone he met. He had a giving spirit and he would shared everyone he could if he was able to and he will forever be remembered for that.

He leaves to cherish his memories: his loving and devoted wife of 12 glorious years, Helen Bates Boykins; five sons: Darren, Wendell, Derrick, and Lyndon (Terry) Boykins of New Orleans, and Brian Richardson of Amite; two daughter; Rosalind of New Orleans, and Brittany Dillion (Brandon) of Amite; two God-daughters; Melody Showers of Hammond and Katherine Thomas of Fluker, a great nephew: Bobby J. Ginn; three brothers: Linnie Walls, Jr (Birdie) of Fluker, Percy Boykins (Ethel Bell) of New Orleans, and Hollis J. Walls (Mary Ann) of Houston, TX; one sister Darletta Turner ( Emile) of Baker; 12 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild; and a host of sister-in-laws, brother-laws, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Johnnie was preceded in death by his mother, Elnora T. Walls; father, Johnnie R. Boykins; stepfather, Linnie Walls, Sr., brother Willie Boykins, sister Deloris Walls and son Tracy Boykins.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Bush Family of Amite, Louisiana

My maternal grandmother Emma Mead Harrell was the daughter of John and Emily Bush. Emily later married Tony Bush. According due the Warranty Deed that was files in the State of Louisiana and the Parish of Tangipahoa on December 6, 1923. Tony and Emily had five children born to their union. Alice Bush, Maggie Bush Perry, Hannah Bush Leonard, Tony Bush, Jr., Peter S. Bush.

Know all men by these presents, that I , Tony Bush, of lawful age, married twice, first to Mamie Temple, now dead, second to Pearly Clark who is living and residing with me. Alice Bush, of lawful age, singe, never married, Maggie Perry Nee Bush, of lawful age, married twice, first to John Denman, who is dead, second to Amos Perry, who is also dead, Hanna Leonard Nee Bush, of lawful age, married once then to Arthur Leonard, who is living and residing with me, Emma Harrell of lawful age, married once then to Alex Harrell, who is now dead, all resident of the Parish of Tangipahoa, and Peter S. Bush of lawful age, married twice Ida Butlers, divorced second to Olevia Hicks, who is living and residing with me. a resident of the City of New Orleans, herein appearing by and through his agent and attorney in fact, Tony Bush, as per power of attorney hereto attached and made part of this deed, all resident of the State of Louisiana,

Emma Mead Harrell Left Footprints in the Amite City Courthouse

Johnny Harrell researching with genealogist
Antoinette Harrell
My cousin Johnny Harrell and I spent the earlier morning hours looking in the vendors and vendees books for property records on our Harrell ancestors. We look in the records of Palmer and Jasper Harrell, Sr., it was the records of their mother Emma Mead Harrell that caught our attention. Our grandmother Emma was a very assertive woman of her time. She purchased land, she farmed land and she sold he produce at the markets.

It delights my heart to see one of the descendants of Alexander and Emma Mead Harrell wanting to know his family history. Johnny walked out of the Amite City Courthouse with great appreciation for his paternal great grandmother Emma. He learned so much about her and the legacy she left him. Johnny is the first male descendant that has researched the Harrell family history with me.

Emma Mead Harrell was the widow of Alexander Harrell. In 1924 she purchased land in Tangipahoa Parish from the U.S. House of Representatives from the Louisiana's 6th District. A Democrat, Kemp won the 1924 primary election for the 6th District seat and was unopposed in the general election. His wife was named Esther Edwards Conner, known as "Lallie" Kemp.  She passed away in 1943, she was appointed in 1937 by Governor Richard Leche to the Louisiana Hospital Board. She was honored by naming of the medical center, a critical access hospital, in Independence, LA.

Bolivar E. Kemp
Member of the U.S. House
of Representative from
Louisiana's 6th District
On June , 1924 in the State of Louisiana and Parish of Tangipahoa, Bolivar E. Kemp sold to my maternal great grandmother Emma Mead Harrell eleven and 64/100 acres of land. The personally appeared before Louis F. Lefevre, a notary public, duly commissioned and qualified in and for the Parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana, and in the presence of the witnesses hereinafter named and undersigned. Bolivar E. Kemp, of lawful age, married but one time, then to Lallie Kemp,

For the consideration of the price and sum of three hundred and no/100 ($300.00) dollars cash in hand. The witnesses were Lorina L. Ponder, Carroll Buck.

I'm so happy to know that I'm walking in the footprints that my great grandmother left to her descendants. If only I can get others in the family to take interest in their family history.