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Collection Title: Batson Family Deeds

Collection Number: M139

Dates: 1841-1908

Volume: 10 items

Provenance: Unknown.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

James Dunnon Batson was born near Brooklyn, Mississippi (Perry County), on March 15, 1856 and died in the family home near Wiggins, Mississippi, on January 6, 1936. He was the son of Lorinza and Elizabeth Byrd Batson. During the Civil War, the few slaves which his family owned ran away. Although his family's aristocratic attitude considered manual labor to be slave work, James, as a young boy, had to plough the family fields near Brooklyn.

In 1877, Batson married the former Theodocia "Ernestine" Price in Harrison County, Mississippi. They settled with her parents, Rev. Thomas Price and the former Maris Dale, in their home which was located five miles west of Wiggins. After the death of her parents, the Batson's inherited the home and lived there the rest of their lives. James and Ernestine were the parents of nine children: Dolphus Leon, Cora May, Hallie and Callie (twins), Effie Josephine, Obed Eugene, Lela Anette, Braxton Cheatham, and Hollis Hale.

As a young man, Batson worked as a surveyor. After he married, he continued farming while engaging in trading cattle and logging. He owned large tracts of timber land in Perry and Harrison counties, which he logged himself.

Batson stressed education, high moral standards, and was a leader in school, church, and civic activities. His home was a popular meeting place for family as well as for community gatherings.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of ten property deeds for land and timber located in Harrison County, Mississippi, which James Dunnon Batson and other members of the Batson family acquired from family (e.g. the Dale family and Price family who are Ernestine Batson's grandparents and parents, respectively) and non-family relations, between 1841 and 1908. Included are deeds from the U.S. Government for military service, land acquired under a homestead act, as well as a deed for timber logging rights. A complete list of documents follows. Unless otherwise stated, all individuals and property mentioned are from Harrison County, Mississippi. The described land became part of Stone County, Mississippi, in 1916.

  1. Dated January 5, 1841, a certified deed from the U.S. Government to John Dale for 41 12/100 acres. Purchased under an 1820 Public Lands Act Sale for an undetermined amount of money.
  2. Dated May 23, 1855, a deed from James M. and Barbara Head to S.C. Dale and H.H. Dale for 79 94/100 acres for an undetermined amount of money.
  3. Dated February 14, 1880, a deed from Thomas and Maria Price to J.D. Batson for an undetermined amount of land for $150.00
  4. Dated February 25, 1888, a certified deed from the U.S. Government to James D. Batson for 123 37/100 acres under an 1862 Homestead Act. It is unknown if any money was paid for this land.
  5. Dated July 25, 1891, a deed from Thomas Price to J.D. Batson for an unknown number of acres for the amount of $10.00
  6. Dated December 18, 1893, two title pages (without deeds) for land sold to J.D. Batson by Thomas Price. Noted on each page is the book and page in which the original deed is recorded.
  7. Dated April 30, 1903, and recorded May 6, 1903, a deed from George and Easter Kennedy to J.D. Batson and Randolph Batson for the merchantable timber on 80 acres. For the price of $100, the Batsons were permitted to "build and maintain log or turn roads over and across said lands continuously for the purpose of moving the timber...and Shall have thirty years in which to cut and remove said timber."
  8. Dated June 4, 1903, a certified deed from the State of Mississippi to W.J. McCoy for an undetermined number of acres. Purchased for $100 under an 1892 Swamp and Overflowed Land Patent. [There does not appear to be any relationship between W.J. McCoy and the Batson family.]
  9. Dated December 12, 1904, a certified deed from the U.S. Government to James D. Batson for 80 76/100 acres of land in Harrison County. The land had originally been granted under an 1850 Officers and Soldiers Bounty Land Act to James Darsey who served in Captain Lasseter's Company, Georgia Militia, during the Florida War.
  10. Dated November 12, 1908, a deed from W.R. and A.E. Dale to James D. Batson for an undetermined amount of land for $150.00.

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