Mary Josephine Moore Kendrex
Aunt Josie is listed in the 1900 Federal Census of Dade County, Georgia, as a sister in the household of William Alexander Moore. It has been said that she married 1 – Kendrex and 2 – Davidson. Her gravestone has Josephine Moore Kendrex.
In 1920, she was listed as an aunt in the household of James (Jim) Moore.
Copied from page 19 of From Colony to the Continentparagraph 1 lists a “Josephine Bradford as the daughter of Henry Martin Bradford. Josephine Bradford, called Aunt Josie, was born in 1856 in Tennessee. This may be the date of Mary Josephine daughter of James Williamson Bradford. She was sixteen when her family left the mountain, but she did not move with them. She ran off with a man by the name of Moore. Later she married a Kendrex and, then, a Davidson.”
This was not the daughter of James Williamson Bradford since his Mary Josephine, born 3-20-1856, married Joseph Morton and lived at Hinkle. They were married 4-20-1879. She died on 4-24-1926. The Mortons are buried in the Payne’s Chapel Cemetery. If she were the daughter of Henry Martin Bradford, she would have been a niece of Martha Bradford who married John Moore.
Little seems to be known of her. Could she have been the daughter of Henry Martin Bradford who left the mountain leaving her behind? Could she have been John Moore’s daughter or possibly adopted by John and Martha? She was listed on several census records in the Moore families’ households. It has been said that she just appeared on John Moore’s doorstep. The important thing is not to necessarily know who she was but what she was and what she left behind.
Mary Josephine was a good person, spent her time staying with those she could help, and was always happy and kind regardless of the circumstances.
She died, according to her death certificate, on 1-16-1943. Her gravestone at Hawkins Cemetery has 1942. Included is an article from the Dade County Times written after her death by Mrs. John C. Matthews. She was in this home when she died.
Dade County Times Article “Aunt Josie”
Aunt Josie! Of whom does that make you think? It makes me think of the dearest, sweetest, most loving person I have ever known. Also it makes me think of the poorest, most neglected and uncared-for and sad person I have ever known.
Please don’t think that I am trying to make anyone feel bad. If I, by God’s help, can make you see the way we are doing our aged and sick people-well, I feel that Aunt Josie didn’t suffer in silence; alone, in vain, but that in dying this way, that she will still be as she has always been-helping those in need.
Now if you feel that there was something you could have done for her, if just a smile, a kind ‘word, or maybe money, or as Mr. Hixon said, just a dose of medicine.” Please don’t read this and forget it, but ask god to forgive you, as I hope He has forgiven me; for there were so many things that I could have done to cheer and comfort her that I didn’t do.
Of course, this can’t help her, (not that she needs help), for if there was ever a saint on earth, I believe she was one, but there are others all around us who need our help. “Lord when saw we thee anhungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick or in prison and did not minister unto thee? Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to the least of these, ye did it not unto me.” (St. Matthew 25:55-45).
Now, people, we can think we are Christians, but Jesus said “It is not the one that say Lord, Lord, but he that knoweth the will of my father, and doeth it.” Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become a sounding brass and tinkling symbols.
Let us all pray God that He will soften our hearts and fill them with love for our poor and sick people.
Anna Wallace Sweetwater, TN 37874