The Jordans of Black Creek
(from the Jordan book)
For months I have been immersed in our family’s history and it has been like re-visiting with each sibling and their family as I pored over their smiling faces in old, sometimes very old photos. I re-lived a lot of precious moments, lingering over Lloyd’s smile or recalling Nezzie’s throaty giggle or J.B.’s mischievous raised eyebrows. I invite you to do the same as you look through these pages. These were and are good people—known by others for their high energy, positive outlook and strong character.
I have learned a lot for certain, but primarily I have relished memories of Christmases, reunions, visits to the old homeplace, visits from and to relatives–the warm relationships the Lon Jordan family have always cherished.
Whatever you say about the Jordans, you have to say they were hard workers. All of them worked hard on the farm growing up. Interestingly, most of the brothers went into business for themselves which demonstrates the independent spirit of the Jordan clan. Through their hard work and frugal living, they produced doctors and educators, ministers and government officials. That independent spirit lives today in this generation of Lon’s grandchildren and will doubtless pass on to the next and the next.
My main regret in working on this book is that I waited too long. Too many of the rich, fascinating stories died with our parents, 11 of the 13 deceased children of Lonnie Jordan and his two wives Gabriela and Tincie. I am labeling this edition a first draft in hopes that more of the stories will surface as the second generation reads and remembers things their parents have said which can be included in an updated version.
This was an interesting family, nestled in the back sticks of Black Creek, Chesterfield County, S.C. distant from other neighbors and largely cut off from the rest of the world. You could imagine leaving civilization behind in the dust trail behind your car as you drove there.
As a child, I’d go to the old homeplace for a week or more in the summer and stay with Grandpa Lon and Grandma Tincie, as we called her. I marveled at his beautiful white hair and how peacefully he would sit on the front porch in a straight-back chair whittling on a small branch. He would pull me on to his knee and chat occasionally or tease me about something I had said but, looking back, I suspect his mind was on his watermelon crop and when it would go to market. I still remember the semi trucks backing into the bone dry front yard to be loaded with the thousands of watermelons being harvested by numerous chug-chugging tractors pulling trailers in the hot sandy fields nearby. I don’t know where all the extra laborers came from, but this was a big day to load a tractor-trailer truck headed for New York with watermelons from my grandfather’s farm. There was a black child, doubtless the son of one of the laborers, who played with me in the yard as we watched the watermelons being tossed from the gathering trailers to the large trailer.
Occasionally one would get dropped and we would scramble to it to enjoy the cool red meat with our bare, dirty fingers. What a sensuous, delicious treat!
I loved sitting on the barrels or long pine benches around the oilcloth-covered table in the kitchen where Tincie would serve us homemade buttermilk biscuits, country ham, grits with redeye gravy and cantaloupe for breakfast. Keeping in mind that the biscuits were made on a wood fired stove in the middle of summer and you can get an idea of how warm the kitchen would get as she cooked. She opened the “burners” to the stove to add more wood and I would recoil at the heat which rushed to my face.
The family stories I heard from my mom and other relatives often focused on how hard life was on the farm. But there is also the clear message that values were important and this family had a lot of pride and integrity. There was also a closeness when they would get together which continues today. I remember most of my mother’s siblings visiting us at our home, especially after the death of my father in October, 1956. They would almost always leave behind some cash or other gift with my mom knowing that she was raising four children with very little income.
Another realization as I worked on this book is the sad fact that life is tentative. Too many of my plans to spend time with my relatives and learn more about this family as I worked on this book got delayed by the “important” things I was working on. Consequently, I feel robbed of the rich story line which this family would have freely shared with me had I taken the time to sit under a shade tree with them and simply listen. Unfortunately, I don’t hold much hope that my generation will do differently. We are all very busy–although my own family has been especially close since my mom’s death in February, 2005. Still, the message is clear: We must enjoy each other while we can, since none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.
Please allow yourself to relax and bathe in the pictures and stories in this book and I hope you enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. More importantly, I hope you will send me your corrections and revisions and stories to include in the next edition. (I hereby officially beg forgiveness of my cousins and other relatives for pestering you for details to include.)
There is another regret: To my knowledge there is only one photo of Gabriela extant. So most of the photos of “Grandma” are Tincie. While she is the only grandma I knew, that is certainly not the case for the original siblings. Nonetheless, Tincie was very good to me during my visits and while she was not a “warm” person, I remember her very fondly. —Jerry Hancock, Fall, 2005, Davidson N.C.
Note: Included here is a 12 page history from Newsom produced in 1978 which describes among other things how the old home place came to be and how my grandfather obtained the land for his farm.
Special thanks to all the grandchildren who supplied information and photos for this book…it was a team effort!
|Jordan Timetable (major dates)|
|January 16, 1849||Joseph Barry (Dock) Jordan born (Lon’s father)|
|October 17, 1852||Frances Lugenia Hancock born (Lon’s mother)|
|December 25, 1886||Lonnie Franklin Jordan born|
|March 28, 1890||Gabriela Sis Purvis born|
|June 17, 1891||Joseph Barry (Dock) Jordan killed|
|April 14 1907||Lon, Gabriela Sis Purvis married|
|July 3, 1908||Nezzie Geneva born|
|1911||Lon begins building homeplace with no deed|
|October 18, 1911||Trudie Cleo born|
|1913||Lon buys farm land from his mom|
|July 13, 1913||Daniel Blease born|
|April 10, 1915||Leonard Horace born|
|February 23rd, 1917||Lonnie Wilson born|
|December 8, 1918||J.B. Born|
|October 2nd, 1920||James Lloyd born|
|1921||Lon buys first car 1918 T model Ford|
|September 7, 1922||Lon buys 75 more acres|
|April 9, 1923||Ester Lougenia born|
|December 23rd, 1924||Virginia Aline born|
|March 21, 1927||Mamie Clarice (“Kitty”)/Robert Maurice (“Bo”) born|
|1934||Lon leases mule/wagon to Government for road work (WPA)|
|February 27, 1934||Gabriela Jordan dies of pneumonia at 44|
|May 16, 1935||Lon Marries Tincie Rodgers|
|June 28, 1936||Thomas Newsom born|
|May 14, 1938||Ruby Irene born|
|1939||Lon acquires the “Upper place” was acquired for $600|
|January 19, 1942||Frances Lugenia Hancock died (Lon’s mother)|
|April 18, 1957||Tornado strikes farm|
|May 12, 1957||Lon Jordan Dies|
|March 14, 1969||Tincie Rodgers Jordan dies|
|July 17, 1976||J.B. Jordan dies|
|Februry 8, 1982||Nezzie Rollings dies|
|May 13, 1983||Daniel Blease Jordan dies|
|September 27, 1983||Leonard Horace Jordan dies|
|September 19, 1988||James Lloyd Jordan dies|
|July 15, 1992||Ruby Irene Jordan Horton dies|
|June 7, 1997||Thomas Newsom Jordan dies|
|August 1, 2000||Bo Jordan dies|
|February 21, 2004||Lonnie Wilson Jordan dies|
|February 3. 2005||Trudie Cleo Hancock dies|
|June 18, 2005||Kitty Jordan Haithcock dies|