Bessie Lee Byars

Bessie Lee Byars

Female 1925 - 2013  (88 years)

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  • Name Bessie Lee Byars 
    Born 8 Feb 1925  DeKalb County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    • in the Green Hill Community...
    Gender Female 
    Occupation Co-owner of the Tot-Teen-Shoppe, McMinnville, Tennessee, with her sister, Pearl Byars Bess Fultz 
    Died 12 Jul 2013  McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    • at Riverpark Hospital...
    Buried 14 Jul 2013  Mount View Cemetery, McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Person ID I751  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 11 Nov 2015 

    Father Perry Green "Green" Byars,   b. 27 Jun 1894, DeKalb County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Dec 1968, Murfreesboro, Rutherford County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Mother Vernia Elvira "Ma" Swindell,   b. 1 Jun 1894, Green Briar Bend, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Apr 1985, McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 4 Jan 1915  DeKalb County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7
    • Pop courted Ma only two months before they were married by W. H. Cantrell, JP

      When Pop proposed, Ma replied, "Are you sure?" - after all, it was only two months earlier that they met and Ma didn't think she was pretty enough for the most handsome man she'd ever met...
    Residence (Family) 0___ 1920  Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Residence (Family) 0___ 1930  Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Residence (Family) 0___ 1935  Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Residence (Family) 0___ 1940  McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Photos
    Green Byars
    Green Byars
    Photo taken circa 1945 in Detroit, where he worked at "Budd Wheel" during WW II
    Pop with Uncle Fred
    Pop with Uncle Fred
    Taken in Detroit just after WWII ended as Uncle Fred is still in uniform...
    Ma Byars with her first three children.
    Ma Byars with her first three children.

    Circa 1921 at their home in Green Hill, DeKalb Co.,TN

    Left-to-Right:
    Lucile Byars Hennessee (1918-2008)
    Vernia Swindell Byars (1894-1985)
    Fred Swindell Byars (1920-1950)
    John Claybourne Byars (1916-1987)
    Perry Green 'Pop' Byars (1894-1968)
    Perry Green "Pop" Byars (1894-1968)

    Sunday morning, October 20, 2013:

    Spoke to Aunt Pearl this morning about Pop & Uncle Pete in regards to their "troubles with the law"...

    Pop thought that if he could run one load of whiskey to Nashville, that would solve all of his financial problems as...

    This was in the early 1930's and he was living with his young family in Green Hill (DeKalb County) where he was cropping shares and hauled logs part-time. Can you imagine working the fields all day and then hauling logs to McMinnville, 10 miles away, all on foot and by mule? No wonder he thought this was an easier way to make a few dollars.

    Pop got caught. Aunt Pearl tells us that it took everything he had to avoid jail and he never did that again!

    Ma told me that Pop worked as a mechanic (probably during the 1930's). At some point, Pop began selling farm implements for the Sullivan Company of McMinnville and apparently did this through the early 1950's as I remember travelling with out in the country to call on his propests and customers...

    In 1941 Pop went to Detroit. He worked for Budd Wheel through the summer of 1945. On his return he bought the log house on North Warren and the family moved there from their residence on Towles Avenue.

    Then Pop buys a taxi which he ran until late 1949 - early 1950. It is at this juncture that Uncle Pete began a felon. Uncle Pete borrows the taxi from Pop and drives to Manchester and picks-up a lady(ies) for an evening of dancing and driking. Pete is "higher than a Georgia pine", crashes the car and kills a passenger. He is convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison in 1949 when he returns home about three years later...Pop got out of the taxi business.

    It is at this point that he works full-time for Sullivan. It was 1950 and I remember Pop bought a brand-new 1950 Plymouth, "Sea Mist Green" 4-door sedan as this was the car we travelled in when he called on his clients.

    He retired in the mid-1950's and spent his life fishing, whittling and guarding his realm from an old wood chair propped-up against the garage in the backyard...

    Photo taken circa 1960...
    Pop & Ma Byars
    Pop & Ma Byars
    Photo provided by their grand-daughter, Christine Bess Cornett. Appears to be have taken in the late 1940's...
    Pop & Uncle Fred
    Pop & Uncle Fred

    Taken sometime during World War II while Uncle Fred was in the navy...
    Ma Byars' Granddaughters
    Ma Byars' Granddaughters

    Janet Wright Robbins
    Kathy Bess Tugman
    Karen Sue Mitchell

    Photo taken Summer of 2006 on Aunt Pearl's porch in Rock Island, Tennessee
    Deux Grandes Dames
    Deux Grandes Dames

    Two great ladies...

    Aunt Bessie & Aunt Pearl

    Photo taken the Summer of 2013
    Grandmother & Grandson
    Grandmother & Grandson

    Ma Byars (1894-1985)
    Fred Hennessee (1950-1985)

    Photo taken in 1977
    Sisters...
    Sisters...

    Aunt Pearl and Aunt Bessie at the table in Rock Island, Tennessee

    Photo provided by their niece, Karen Mitchell...
    Three Devoted Sisters...
    Three Devoted Sisters...

    Aunt Bessie (1925-2013)
    Mother (1918-2008)
    Aunt Margie (1930-1997)

    Photo provided by cousin Karen Mitchell...
    Pop & Sons-in-Law
    Pop & Sons-in-Law

    This photo was probably taken in Detroit after Aunt Margie's wedding to Jack DeCuennick, June 3, 1949. Shown from the left is:

    Murlis Wright (1925-2004)
    Pop Byars (1894-1968)
    Bert Hennessee (1918-1986)
    Jack DeCuennick (1928-2010)

    Photo contributed by cousin Christine Cornett, July 1, 2014.



    Ma & Pop Byars' Family
    Ma & Pop Byars' Family

    This photo was taken in June, 1949, on Continental Avenue, Detroit, when Aunt Margie married Uncle Jack.

    Top Row, Left-to-Right:

    My Mom (1918-2008)
    Aunt Bessie (1925-2013)
    Aunt Margie (1930-1997)
    Uncle Fred (1920-1950)
    Aunt Marie (1922-2012)
    Aunt Pearl (1928
    Pop Byars (1894-1968)

    Middle Row:

    My Dad (1918-1986)
    Uncle Murlis (1925-2004)
    Uncle Jack (1928-2010)
    Uncle Bob (1917-1990)

    Bottom Row:

    Me (1942-
    Ma Byars (1894-1985)
    Cousin Linda Gayle (1945-

    Photo provided by cousin Christine, July 1, 2014...

    Pop & Ma Byars' Family
    Pop & Ma Byars' Family

    Back Row: Aunt Pearl, Aunt Margie, Mother, Uncle Bob, Cousin Linda Gail, Dad, Cousin Kathy, Aunt Bessie, me, Uncle Jack, brother Fred & Uncle Murlis

    Middle Row: cousin Robert on Pop's lap, Ma Byars & cousin Janet

    Bottom Row: cousin Kenny, cousin Debbie, cousin Christine, cousin Dawn & cousin Karen.

    Photo was taken in front of Pop's house on Warren Street, McMinnville, Tennessee circa Summer of 1962...

    Ma & Karen
    Ma & Karen

    Ma and Karen on their birthday, June 1, 1981.

    Ma was 87 and Karen was 27.

    Photo provided by her loving granddaughter, Karen...
    The Three Younger Byars Daughters...
    The Three Younger Byars Daughters...

    From the left:

    Margie Sue (1930-1997)
    Eva Pearl (1928-
    Bessie Lee (1925-2013)

    Photo provided by Christine Bess Cornett, November 8th, 2016
    The Four Byars Girls
    The Four Byars Girls

    Photos supplied by Robert & Angelia Bratcher Bess, late December, 2016
    Daughters & Grandchildren
    Daughters & Grandchildren
    Top Row: Margie Sue, Bessie Lee, Eva Pearl & Robert Lucile

    Bottom: Janet, Gayle holding Karen, Fred, Ma holding Kenny and Kathy

    Photo supplied by Robert & Angelia Bratcher Bess, late December, 2016
    Uncle Fred, Ma & Uncle Pete
    Uncle Fred, Ma & Uncle Pete
    This photo was probably taken in the late forties at the homeplace on Warren Street.

    Photo supplied by Robert & Angelia Bratcher Bess, late December, 2016
    Family...
    Family...
    Pop, Dad, Uncle Bob, Linda Gayle & me.

    Photo supplied by Robert & Angelia Bratcher Bess, late December, 2016
    Brothers-in-Law
    Brothers-in-Law

    Uncle Pete & Dad standing in front of Dad's 1947, maroon, Pontiac...

    Photo supplied by Robert & Angelia Bratcher Bess, late December, 2016
    'The P. G. (Perry Green) Potter Home'
    "The P. G. (Perry Green) Potter Home"
    Built in 1875-1876 in Dibrell, Warren County, Tennessee by Kitt Swingle for Perry Green Potter.

    First, he built a large two story house, then a store, barn and a blacksmith shop.

    Aunt Pearl provided this image and tells us that Ma & Pop lived in this house between 1935 to 1937. They then moved to the "Hennessee House" on Main Street (no longer there).

    Note: Kitt Zwingle was a 2nd cousin to Ma. Pop was a grandnephew of P.G. Potter and both of whom were named after their antecedent, "Perry Green Magness".
    Aunt Margie & Ma
    Aunt Margie & Ma
    Marjorie Lois Griffith Byars (1914-2006) was wife of Pop's first cousin, Perry Green Byars. As a matter of fact, Perry & Margie were so well loved by Ma & Pop, they named their youngest daughter, "Margie Sue Byars".

    Photo taken in August, 1973 at Perry & Margie's place in Warren County, Tennesseee and contributed by Joe Byars, February 5, 2017
    Family ID F274  Group Sheet

    Family Robert Murlis "Murlis" Wright,   b. 8 Dec 1925, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Nov 2004, McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Married 2 Mar 1946  Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • I remember it was a cold, sunny day...DAH
    Residence (Family) 1950-1955  Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence (Family) 1956-2004  McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Janet Lynn Wright
     2. Kenneth Reed Wright
     3. Debra Joyce Wright
    Last Modified 26 Apr 2017 
    Family ID F288  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 8 Feb 1925 - DeKalb County, Tennessee Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 2 Mar 1946 - Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence (Family) - 1950-1955 - Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence (Family) - 1956-2004 - McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 12 Jul 2013 - McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 14 Jul 2013 - Mount View Cemetery, McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Aunt Bessie (1925-2013)
    Aunt Bessie (1925-2013)
    Bessie Lee Byars Wright (1925-2013)

    Sweet Aunt Bessie passed today, July 12th, 2013, at 7:25 a.m., surrounded by her loving family and three children were by her side, night and day, since her admission, July 6th.

    Also ministering to her was her devoted, younger sister, Aunt Pearl Bess-Fultz...

    Photo taken as a young woman, in McMinnville, Tennessee, 1942
    Janet, Mom, Aunt Bessie & Mother Wright
    Janet, Mom, Aunt Bessie & Mother Wright

    Janet Lynn Wright Robbins Garrett (1951-)
    Lucile Byars Hennessee (1918-2008) her aunt
    Bessie Lee Byars Wright (1925-2013) her mother
    Vernia Swindell Byars (1894-1985) her grand-mother
    Mary Elvira "Mother-Wright" McPeak Wright (1904-1966) her grand-mother

    Photo taken in the Spring of 1952, Detroit, Michigan
    Uncle Murlis & Aunt Bessie
    Uncle Murlis & Aunt Bessie

    Robert Murlis Wright (1925-2004)
    Bessie Lee Byars Wright (1925-2013)
    Aunt Bessie's new heifers...
    Aunt Bessie's new heifers...
    Her son, Kenny, has been raising cattle on their family farm since Uncle Murlis passed in 2004...and he's "proud as punch" of the farm and cattle...
    Aunt Bessie & Dad
    Aunt Bessie & Dad

    Bessie Byars Wright (1925-2013)
    My father, Bert Hennessee (1918-1986)
    Aunt Marie Prince Byars Millsaps (1922-2012) is in the background
    Supper at Aunt Bessie's...
    Supper at Aunt Bessie's...
    McMinnville, Tennessee
    The Family Gathering
    The Family Gathering

    at Aunt Bessie's funeral, July 14th, 2013 at Mount View Cemetery, McMinnville, Tennessee.

    Photo submited by her devoted son-in-law, Gary George...
    Sweet Aunt Bessie
    Sweet Aunt Bessie

    Just sent you a picture of you and Aunt Bessie on Mama's porch, which I thought you should have. It's a great picture and I know it will be special for you, as it's special for me to see the two of you together. It was made your earlier trip this year. [April, 2013]

    Cousin Kathy Bess Tugman...

    Documents
    Aunt Bessie
    Aunt Bessie
    This note was written to Sheila in the summer of 2010. I have uploaded it because I want to preserve a sample of her hand-writing...DAH

  • Notes 
    • Sweet Aunt Bessie passed into paradise July 12, 2013. Gone to be with all those whom she loved; Uncle Murlis, Ma, Pop, sisters Lucile, Margie, brothers, Pete and Fred. What a happy reunion for her.

      I'll never forget her loving nature, her wonderful fudge pies and cakes and how she loved:

      Sweets,
      Garage sales,
      Shoes,
      Prune juice and
      Dinners out...

      She will be sorely missed by all who knew her...DAH

      * [4]
    • McMinnville, TN resident and Warren County, TN native Bessie Lee Byars Wright, age 88, was born February 8, 1925 and died July 12, 2013 at River Park Hospital following a short illness.

      Part-owner of Tot-To-Teen Shoppe and a member of the First Baptist Church, she was the daughter of the late Perry and Vernia Elvira "Ma Byars" Swindell Green. She was married to Robert Murlis Wright who preceded her in death November 2004. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Fred and Pete Byars; and two sisters, Lucille Hennessee and Margie Tarasovich.

      She is survived by three children and their spouses, Janet Lynn Robbins of Smyrna, TN, Kenneth Reed and Lisa Wright of Mt. Juliet, TN and Debbie and Gary George of McMinnville; five grandchildren, Lori Warrick and husband David of Smyrna, TN, Paul Robbins of Smyrna, TN, Briena Harmening of Knoxville, TN, and Jessica Wright and Marcus Wright both of Mt. Juliet, TN; three great-grandchildren, Janie and Andy Warrick both of Smyrna, TN and Jazelle Featherston of Mt. Juliet, TN; sister, Pearl Bess Fultz of Rock Island, TN; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

      Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, July 14, 2013 in High's Chapel with Rev. Bobby Howard and Bro. John May officiating. Burial will follow in Mt. View Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday until the time of service at High's.

      Memorials may be made to Amedisys Hospice, First Baptist Church in McMinnville, or do something nice for someone you love. [11]

  • Sources 
    1. [S46949] Bessie Byars Wright (1925-2013) | 2 Mar 1991 | Telephone Interview.

    2. [S8773] "United States Census, 1930", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SP7L-15Q : acc.

    3. [S8774] "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4HF-9VX : acc.

    4. [S37323] David A. Hennessee| Researcher | info@classroomfurniture.com | 626 Biscayne Drive, West Palm Beach, FL | 561.832.6612.

    5. [S52319] http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=113707163.

    6. [S7902] DeKalb Co.,TN Marriage Book:1901-1950, compiled by Jorene Washer Parsley, p. 78 (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S8770] "Hogg DNA Project - A List of Hogg Lines", line VA1657: descendants of John Hogg of New Kent Co. VA, http://hdhdata.org/.

    8. [S48654] https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MNGR-Y8P.

    9. [S48652] https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/SP7L-15Q.

    10. [S48653] https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K4HF-9VX.

    11. [S50104] http://www.highfuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2150694&fh_id=11416.