Henry Clark Spraggins
My mother's people, the Spraggins, were people of the land. We know they came to Arkansas from South Carolina before the Civil War. First Daniel T. Spraggins came with his parents to Bradley County and set up a farm. Born in 1825, Daniel T. married Rebecca James of Georgia in 1855. They had a baker's dozen of children! 
William Thomas 1856-'32, m. Martha Whittington; daughters Nettie, Mamie, and son William Knox, Daniel W., James T., Irma Nora, Charley J.,  Mary
Joseph Marion 1858-1942, m. Dora Blythe, daughters Bessie and Lola
Daniel J. 1860-'89, m. Bettie Moore, son Edd,
Ann 1860-1954, 
James 1862-'69
Martha Ann 1863-1901, m. John T. Haygood; daughters Grace & Evie, son Horrace
Stephen 1864-1954, 
Henry C. 1865-1952
Emma J. 1867-1951, (twins?) m. Arthur Blythe, had Leonard, Lee, Lois, Vergie & Pete
Simeron Stevens  May, 1867-1933, m. Minerva McKinney, had Selvin, Lester, Jesse, Willie, Ottis, Minnie, & Zelphin.
Mollie Rebecca 1868-1930, m. Alex Harris, had: Ruth, Mary, Alma, Aubra,Winnie & Otha
Lucuda 1868/ 1869-1963, m. Oliver Haygood, had Pearl & Oscar.
Rebecca 1869/70-1963. 
I have no idea what happened to most of these folks, and some might have been twins or adopted. But we know about at least two of the brothers. Of course my ancestor was Henry, pictured below. He stayed in Warren, Arkansas, while some of the others moved away. We know Simeron moved to Jacksonville, Texas where he started quite a tribe of Spragginses, many of which are still there...
Henry C. married Sara Frances Reynolds. They had six children: Ola 1889-1968, Norman Stevens 1890-1975, Eunice 1894-1930, Webster Allen 1897-, Henry Grady 1899- and Shelby Arvil 1902-, my mother's father.

Henry C. Spraggins with his growing family about 1897. That must be little Norman on the left and Henry is holding baby Allen. Ola would be the taller daughter on the right, holding Eunice. Grady and Shelby are not born yet.

The kids of the Ebeneezer school, including a bunch of Spragginses... in their "Sunday go to meetings" clothes... although a few are still barefooted... That's Shelby hunkered down in the middle of the second row.
Henry and Sara Spraggins about 1930
The four sons. This picture says it all. Norman was the oldest and the most respected, and he occupies almost half of the picture. Allen was the the teaser, Grady the schemer, and Shelby the outlaw and the runt, almost ignored. Shelby was my grandfather. 
Ola married W. V. "Boss" Tucker. They had Zettie, Merlie, Frances, Austin, Lucille, Victor, Ethel, Lesley, Bobby & Peggie (died as baby)
Norman married Lilly Tucker. They had: Lois, Evelyn, Mary & Harold Stevens
Eunice married Walter Hairston. They had: Willowrene, Laverne, Lewis, Frances, Dudley & Dwaine
Webster Allen married Lula Mae Singer. They had Jefferson Clark, Webster Claude, & Barbara
Henry Grady married Veda Waits. They had: Martha Sue
Shelby married Bertha Thomas and they had Margaret and Shirley.

Shelby married Bertha Thomas, and they had two daughters. After working in the Arkansas sawmills for awhile,  they left Warren, Arkansas for good. They came to Houston, Texas and started a life of their own... no more farming! That is my mother, Margaret Spraggins with her Easter basket. Shelby ended up in the Service Station business for forty year
Cousins Margaret and Jefferson Clark "J.C." Spraggins around 1927.
 My mother Margaret Spraggins in Grade School, about the time her family moved to Texas.

Shelby stands proudly in front of his sparkling new Cities Service service station on the "East End."

Bertha lived to be 99, and often recounted her struggles as a daughter-in-law.

We called him "Grandaddy." In the end, Shelby loved working in his garden more than anything. He and my grandmother raised a serious crop of okra every summer, and home-grown tomatoes, yellow squash, snap beans, purple hull peas, and cucumbers, cabbage, and tons of dewberries. "Maw" canned like crazy, "putting up" all kinds of jellies, preserves and pickles.  In many ways, they never left Warren. In fact they brought Warren to Houston.


  1. This is my family also, Norman is my grandfather; Thanks for sharing this history. Donald H. Spraggins

  2. These photos and stories are WONDERFUL! Henry C. and Sara Reynolds were my great-great grandparents. I descend from Norman, through his oldest daughter Lillian Evelyn, my beloved grandmother (Mamaw). Based on how warm and loving both Norman (Papa Spraggins) and my grandmother were, they must have received a great deal of love and affection from Henry and Sara. Thank you for these special photos and memories... they are a treasure. Georgie Vivian Denman (the daughter of Joy, Evelyn's oldest daughter with Bryan Adams).