Monday, October 17, 2016

Finding my Maybelline Roots in Morganfield Kentucky

My Great grandmother, 16 year old Susan Anna Alvey, in 1877.

My Great grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Willliams,  the local Sheriff and tax collector, was fearless when it came to doing the right thing.  He lost his right eye and often teased his grandchildren by pulling fake eye out and handing it to one of them. My dad remembered running away screaming.

Susan Anna Alvey Williams and TJ had 6 children. The most famous being Tom Lyle Williams, founder of the Maybelline Company. When Susan Anna, died in 1919, of the great flu, TJ turned his attention to keeping the books for Tom Llyle in the early years of Maybelline. 

On the farm as children, my grandfather William Preston Williams and his little sister Eva K. Williams in 1909. 

The 500 acre family farm and homestead was over 100 years old, by the time the Williams kids were born.  By 1916, the farm was sold and the family moved to Chicago, to assist Tom Lyle with the Maybelline Company.

TJ and Anna's third grandchild, and their son, Noel James and Frances Williams second child, Annette Williams, plays with the chickens before the farm was finally sold.
The country story wore many hats in the early day's, including being the local post office, photography studio, soda fountain, and supply store.  it also acted as a saloon at one time, before Prohibition  in 1920.

Noel James, wife Frances, with their two girls, Helen and Annette, in Morganfield, visiting the homestead.  The family was now prospering in Chicago, as the Maybelline Company continued to grow.

Little Helen, with the chickens in Morganfield.

                   Little Annette in the chicken coop.

Sheriff TJ with my father William Preston Williams Jr., in 1925.

And finally the Big Three, Sheriff Thomas Jefferson with his son, Tom Lyle Williams, and his first grandchild, Tom Lyle Williams Jr. in Chicago, 1934.

Read more about Morganfield and the early days of Maybelline in The Maybelline Story.

Do you watch the TV Show, "Finding your Roots?" Anyone interested in their Genealogy, would learn a lot from the tremendous research done to produce every episode. Several of my cousins have researched our family history and even proved our connection with the great Patriot, Benjamin Franklin, and General Jonathon Williams, of the Revolutionary War. Here is a tiny glimpse into my roots in Kentucky. I'm proud to have those Southern ties in my background.

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