Aden and Serral WHITE

by Everett H. Turner

Aden WHITE was born in the Fort Creek District of Granville County, North Carolina in 1806, son of Serril and Susannah Lankford White. He was in Bedford County Tennessee by 1830 and Marshall County, Tennessee, in 1850. He is mentioned in the verbal will of Serril in 1843. In the 1840 Bedford County, Tennessee, census he is shown as Edwin Aden WHITE, living in District 19. He died in Polk County, Arkansas, and is said to be buried at Old Dallas in Polk County where there are many unmarked graves.

The 1850 Marshall County, Tenn., census lists Aden WHITE, age 44, farmer, with 300 acres, born in North Carolina. Wife Martha, age 42, born in N.C. Children listed and ages are, Slomon (23), Serral (17), Shedrick (13), Marthena (11), Gillis Ann (10), Samuel (6), Spencer W. (4), and Silas (2), all born in Tenn. Lenna had married John Wesley EARP in 1849 and is listed separately.

By 1860, he is listed in the Polk County, Arkansas census as head of household with wife Martha and children, Gillan Ann, Samuel, Spencer, and Silas. By 1860 children Slowman, Elizabeth, Serral, Sheriah, and Marthina had married, each noted in the 1860 Polk County census with their respective families.

Aden was married to Martha Patsy MOUNT around 1825, probably in Bedford County, Tenn. She was the daughter of Harris and Nancy Ann Haynes NOBLIN MOUNT. Harris was born in 1776 in North Carolina and is listed on 1830 Bedford County, Tenn. census as a neighbor of Serril WHITE. His parents were John, born around 1755 in Virginia, and Hannah HARRIS. Grandparents were John, born around 1740 in Virginia or New Jersey, and Susannah MATHEWS. Harris MOUNT died after 1830 and Serril married his widow, Nancy. Serril died in 1843 and the 1850 Marshall County census shows Nancy WHITE and son, Harris N. MOUNT, as neighbors of Aden WHITE.

Martha was born in 1808 in an area of Alabama which later became Mississippi. She had nine brothers and sisters; Lucy; Dorothy; Thompson married Jane CALDWELL; Mary Ann married William JONES; Francis married Nancy BUCHANAN; Sarah; William Jackson "Billy," married Sarah WILSON; Harris Noblin married Louvenia BARNETT, and Nancy A. married Edward STEVENSON. William Jackson also went to Polk County Arkansas. In 1880, Martha was living with daughter Minerva and her husband, B. F. PIRTLE. She died in Polk County and is said to be buried at Old Dallas.

Aden and Patsy had nine children, all born in Bedford/Marshall Counties Tenn., 1826 to 1848; Slowman "Slo" married Martha Caroline EARP; Lenna married John Wesley EARP; Serral "Pete" married Matilan "Til" "Matilda" BICKLE; Sheriah M. "Fed" married Rebecca LANE; Minerva "Nerv" married Benjamin F. PIRTLE; Gillia Ann "Gil" married John Rial PERRY; Samuel J. "Jay"; Spencer H. "Spence" married Susan A. BUCHANAN; and Silas Bynam married Mary A. MORRIS.

Some researchers indicate Aden and family marched on the "Trail of Tears" with others from southern states. He did not arrive in Polk County till around 1855 however, long after the end of the forced removal of Indians from southern states in 1839. He is noted in the 1850 Marshall County, Tennessee, census and in the 1860 Polk County, Arkansas census.

Serral, third child and second son of Aden and Patsy, was born in Bedford County, Tenn., June 6, 1833, and married Matilan C. "Matilda" BICKLE in the 1850's, probably in Arkansas. Matilda was born August 11, 1839, in Coffee County, Tenn., daughter of John M. and Rhoda BICKLE. Serral died October 31, 1878, in Polk County and was followed by Matilda December 3, 1919. Both are buried on old White place in Polk County.

History of Polk County, Arkansas, Curtis Media Corp. 1988
by Thelma Dehart Ferguson

"Great grandpa Pete is listed in the Polk County census records as Surrel, and as Serral on his headstone in the old White family cemetery, with birth date June 6, 1833 and death Oct. 31, 1878. Pete had a sister whose married name was Pirtle and is the ancestor of one branch of the local Pirtle family. Pete WHITE and Matilda BICKLE were probably married during the 1850's. Matilda BICKLE had a half sister who was later to be called "Aunt Martha" IMOE, and members of this family married a RILEY and two of the PERRY boys and all lived near Mena.

Pete and Matilda had a large family and she was left a widow with several small children after twenty odd years. Four of these children were life long residents of Polk County. My grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth WHITE was born in 1858 and lived to be almost 82. She married James Henry WOOSLEY and their story is in a separate account. Spencer WHITE and wife, Ninnie, both died in 1946 and are buried in White Oak Cemetery. A grandson, Raymond CUNNINGHAM, still lives near Potter Junction. Will WHITE and wife, Lennie, are both buried at White Oak Cemetery as are their children, "Bud", Lula, and Earl. Earl's children living locally are, Lloyd, Roy "Bat", Loren KOCH, Helen Marie McMELLON, and Earlene HUGHES. Drucilla, the youngest girl, married Olin TURNER (son of Eli TURNER) and they farmed in Texas for a time. Their daughter, Edith (Mrs. Cleo ARMSTRONG) lives in Mena. Jasper "Boss" WHITE married Trabor GRAVES and they are buried at Gann Cemetery. Their youngest daughter, Verral RIND, lives in Mena.

Great grandma Matilda WHITE lived to be past 80, surviving her husband more than 41 years. She is buried in the old White Cemetery with birth date of August 11, 1839, and death date of December 3, 1919."


Matilda smoked clay pipes and several were found in an old trunk of hers, left to her daughter, Drucilla. She was said to have been very industrious and ran the old place alone after Pete died, with the help of her oldest son, John Aden.

In 1989, Aunt Edith ARMSTRONG gave me a wool coverlet and blanket that were made by Matilda. She raised the sheep, sheared them, combed and spun the yarn, and wove the two pieces. They are in fairly good shape with some moth damage to the edges. I estimate they were made around 1880. I remember the spinning wheel sitting on the porch of the old house of Uncle Will WHITE (son of Matilda) at Mena. It sat there for years. I was told Earl WHITE (son of Uncle Will) burned it and the old house after Lula WHITE died.

The old house was a wooden frame home with a huge porch, at least huge to me, as a child. The house sat on blocks of stone. There were apple trees all around. My first memory of eating a green apple was there. I was three, maybe four. The old WHITE place was just across the road from Grandpa McGINNIS' farm. The old McGinnis home is still there, almost as it was. Across the road, nothing is recognized as the old White place, even the apple trees are gone.

The only thing to be recognized today, along the stretch of road where Grandad McGINNIS, Boss, Earl, and Uncle Will WHITE lived is the McGINNIS place. There have been some changes to the old house but still recognizable. Many new homes have been built in the area since the early 1970's and nothing is left to indicate the White's presence. Serral and Matilda are buried just east and south of the old place and their graves have not been desecrated.

On an afternoon ride down the old road, I can still see Boss, Trabor, Uncle Will, Ninnie, and Lula. Lula and Trabor with a dish cloth in their hand or their apron serving as a basket, full of fresh eggs, fruit, or vegetables from the garden, and Uncle Will and Boss stretching to see who was coming, always with a ready smile.

Grandad TURNER courted Grandma Martha Drucilla WHITE for a good while and many Sunday afternoons were spent at Jannsen Park in Mena. Pete, Grandma's dad, was dead by this time, but Grandad had a real fear of Matilda, Grandma's mom. He went out of his way to be sure he didn't cause her any problems. After they married, he returned to his old self, however, and teasing and bantering were his style. He often recalled one occasion when he was helping Uncle Will patch the roof on the old White place. Matilda kept geese, and other yard animals. She was particularly fond of her geese.

While the repair job was underway, Grandad and Uncle Will were on the roof. One of the geese, chasing others in the yard, got entangled in a briar bush near the fence. At about the same time an old man, unknown to Grandad, was passing. Matilda, hearing the honks of the goose, finally came around to see what the trouble was. As she freed the goose she asked, probably to herself, "how did you get so hung up?" Grandad, never missing an opportunity, said, "that old man there, he threw her in it." At this Matilda gave the old man a good stare; he was well down the road by this time.

An hour or so later, Grandad and Uncle Will had quit for dinner and were lounging on the porch with Matilda, when the old man came back down the road. Grandad spotted him and warned Matilda, "here comes that old man again." "Good day, Mrs. White," he greeted. Rising to her feet, Matilda greeted back, "I'll good day you, you old S__ of a ____, you touch my goose again." The old man, obviously perplexed, ducked his head and continued on down the road. Grandad, telling that story, would cry, laughing so hard.

Pete and Matilda had eight children, all born in Polk County, Arkansas, 1857 to 1879; Dirotha A. married James Polk MOUNT and moved to Oklahoma around 1900. Elizabeth Sarah "Lizzie" married James Henry "Jim" WOOSLEY and remained in Polk County; John Aden "John Ade" married Sarah Della MILLS and went to Oklahoma around 1900; Spencer Lee "Uncle Spence" married Minney Delaney ROGERS and remained in Polk County; William S., "Uncle Will" married Melinda "Linnie" RICHARDS and died on the old White place near Mena; Samuel J. "Uncle Jay" married Savannah MILLS, niece of Sara Della MILLS and moved to Oklahoma around 1900, Martha Drucilla "Druce" married Robert Olin TURNER and moved to Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma, both are buried in Polk County; and Jasper H. "Boss" married Alice Trabor GRAVES and remained in Polk County.

Everett H. TURNER
6985 Granero Drive
El Paso, TX 79912
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