This is the grandfather I never knew, James Ezra Fleagle. He was born the day after his parents moved the family to the farm at Mayberry, Maryland, from nearby Taneytown, (first syllable pronounced as in “tawny”), and lived and worked on that farm until he went off to college. In James Ezra’s own words:
The family had been living on Frederick St. Taneytown but on Mar. 21, 1884 they moved to Mayberry, Md about 5 miles east of Taneytown where a small farm had been purchased. This place lay to the east of the village about ½ a mile, back of a line of forests with Bare Branch1 creek running thru it. It was the next day that J.E.F. came to this world of light and of trouble. It is related that in those days when such a thing as hospitalization for child-birth was unknown that Father Benj. arose early, mounted his horse + went to Bankerts’ Mill about 3 miles distant as you go to Uniontown to get some help in the form of Cousins Jennie Bankert, that is a first cousin of J.E.F’s mother. It is also said that owing to some miscalculation the famly Hymilles had not vacated the House so that things were a bit cramped when J.E.F. arrived. Lest we forget, he was named after his maternal grandfather James and fraternal uncle Ezra.”
Like several of his siblings, James became a school teacher. He taught in several places out West in his early years, including Nebraska, which is how he came to know the woman he married, my grandmother Jennie Coffin. He settled with her in Reisterstown, Maryland, where my father and his five older siblings were born.
This is the image that comes into my mind when I think of my grandfather, because this photograph was pretty much the only one of him I ever saw until I was well into my adult years. The photo was in a silver-colored metal frame with decorative edging. I don’t remember whether it belonged to my father or Granny (Jennie lived with us in Bellevue, Washington, from sometime in the late 1970s to the mid-80s). Anyway the photo was around the house during my youth — maybe on a bookcase or the wooden hutch my dad made, or on a dresser or side table in Granny’s room.
For a larger version of this image click here. – mdf
1Most maps I’ve seen show this as Bear Branch.
Image archive ID:
About the physical photograph:
Measures about 4″ x 6″.