Some years ago an individual, curious about the depth of my well, asked if I might run out of column topics. Not with the Magee lineage. But I won't be error free either. I'm just beginning Part 3, and I've already got a correction. In Part 2a, Jacob Wood Magee married Mary Alice Bateman. I strangely switched her last name from my own, to Bickham. Thank you to my good friend and Magee descendant Anne Jackson for setting me straight. Unfortunately, this wasn't my first mistake, and it won't be my last.
Getting back to today's task, well-known local historian Daunton Gibbs's article in "The Bogalusa Daily News" on November 17, 1976, was headlined, "The Magees - Union troops camped at Hezekiah Magee's farm." I have touched on this topic before, but this column examines in detail the life of venerable Hezekiah Magee. Hezekiah Magee (1796-1870), the second child of William Magee I (1762-1837) and Mary Margaret James Magee (1771-1867), was born on October 13, 1796, in Georgia (according to the "William Magee and Mary Margaret James and their Descendants 1770 - 1993" book though Mr. Daunton noted Pike County, Mississippi, as Hezekiah's place of birth).
Hezekiah's family moved to the Hayes Creek community of Washington Parish when he was just a boy, and it was there that he was raised. I learned from the "History of Washington Parish, As compiled From the Records and Traditions," by the late Judge Prentiss B. Carter, that Hezekiah Magee's raising, before that, took place in the Magee's Creek area in Pike County, Mississippi. Soon after he turned nineteen years old, Hezekiah and his brothers John and Benjamin joined the army, serving under General Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815. Hezekiah signed up for duty on November 11, 1814, and he was discharged on March 15, 1815 in Madisonville.
Hezekiah Magee married Dicey Magee (1800-1878) of Pike County, Mississippi, who, said to be his cousin, was born in 1800 in South Carolina. She was thought to be the daughter of John and Bethany Scott Magee. After Hezekiah and Dicey were married, they lived for a short period of time in Mississippi where Pleasant, his oldest child, was born. Upon their return to Louisiana, they lived just to the west of Franklinton on the Bogue Chitto River. The exact location of their home site was to the south of the Magee cemetery which is on the east side of Highway 25, just south of the turn toward Richardson. Hezekiah was a superior citizen in our area and was active in many civic, religious, and educational endeavors. For example, he helped form the Franklinton Academy, our first organized education, in 1838, and served as a trustee at the school which most of his children attended. He also helped to organize Fisher Methodist Church.
During the Civil War, when federal troops came to Franklinton, they encamped on his property and built camp fires, fueled by his rail fence. They also took not only his livestock but also his corn and cotton. Dying in 1870, Hezekiah is buried in the Magee Cemetery, with his wife Dicey, to the west of Franklinton. But before that, the couple had a passel of children, thirteen in all, many of whom are also buried in the Magee Cemetery. They were Pleasant, Nehemiah, Morgany, David, Bethany, Elbert, Louisa, Hezekiah II, Jefferson, Tabitha, Thomas M., Warren, and Frances Sarah Magee. I will attempt, in this and next week's column, to provide basic information on each.
Pleasant Magee (1820-1883), the firstborn, married Harriett Bickham, first, and Margaret D. Garrett, second. Pleasant was the father of ten children: Martha Magee, who married John K. McLain; Adelia "Deed" Magee, who married Wilbur Pipking "Pip" Warner; Samantha "Nannie" Magee, who married J. S. Bickham; Andrew P. Magee, who married Margaret Jones; Lewis Magee; Lillie Louise Magee, who married David Jones, first, and Robert Lee Toney, second; T. C. Magee, who married Sally Jordan; Roscoe Hezekiah Magee, who married Ella Fidella Varnado; Ferdinand "Ferd" Magee, who married Fanny Bateman; and Jeni Magee, who married Willie Madison Bateman.
Nehemiah (1822-1868), the second child, married Celia Roberts in 1849. The couple made their home on Highway 38, building the house at the time they were wed. The home is on the National Register of Historical Places and remains in the family. Notably, elected to office in 1860, Nehemiah Magee was a State Representative at the time that Louisiana seceded, and he bravely signed said Ordinance of Secession which can be found in the Louisiana State Archives. Their children were: Monroe Elbert Magee, who married Emma Katherine Merritt; James Oscar Magee, who married Fannie E. Varnado, first, and her sister Leah Ofelia Varnado, second; Mary Emily Magee, who married William Jacques "Jack" Alford; Leah Dicey Magee, who married Walter Thomas Ott; Dewitt Nelson Magee, who married Fannie H. Varnado; Thomas Jefferson Magee, who married Lamanda Merritt at the Nehemiah Magee home; Infant son (born October 4, 1864, and died October 15, 1864), and Rosa Jane Magee, who died at age 21 of typhoid fever. Nehemiah Magee is buried in the Roberts Cemetery.
Stay tuned for next week's column which will include the remaining eleven children of Hezekiah and Dicey Magee.