My Grandfather, John Henry died in 1937 when my dad was only twelve years old. I don’t recall my dad ever talking about him, but since my dad died when I was only 16, we didn’t have very much time together.
Grandma didn’t talk much about Grandpa Johnie either but I did get the impression that he hadn’t been the best husband. The only story I can recall her telling is that he would come home late and make her go outside, kill a chicken, skin it and fry it. I think that’s why my dad never cared for fried chicken, but us kids loved Grandma’s fried chicken. We always knew on Saturday night when she would spend the night with us, it was fried chicken for dinner.
When I was first researching dad’s family, in an attempt to identify John Henry’s parents, I emailed Joyce Hambleton Whitten, a genealogist in Craighead County, gave her information about John Henry and his family and asked if she had any information. Joyce wrote me back and said:
“You hit the jackpot in more ways than one. My husband, James, knew your grandfather…remembers him well. He (her husband) sat up on the iron bridge railing on Cocklebur slough when John H. was baptized. Even my 97 year old mother-in-law who has Alzheimers remembered your family. James says that John Henry died during the overflow in late February 1937. The water was very high so it is more likely that he was buried in Upper Cain Island…it was before the levees were built and that would have been the highest ground. He and Grover Osborn would play one game of pool every Saturday, and after John died Grover never played pool again. They played pool in the second building from the north end of Main Street. It is painted pink, but the paint is finally fading. They served beer back in the 1930s but it wasn’t a low class place. If you were at a table and only one person asked for a drink, the others were asked if they minded. If someone objected then the person wanting the drink could move or do without.”
John Henry died June 27, 1937 from septicemia from a carbuncle. A story in Jonesboro Sun Times read: “Blood Poisoning Fatal J. Schults”
John Schoults, 39 of Black Oak, died at St. Bernard’s Hospital Sunday morning at 12:30 following a short illness of blood poisoning caused from a boil. The deceased was admitted to the hospital only a few hours before death occurred.
Funeral services were held this morning at 10 o’clock at the Baptist church at Black Oak. Interment was at the Cane Island Cemetery in charge of the Gregg Funeral Home.
Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Maggie Schoults, three sons, Leroy, J. C. and Charles Schoults, two daughters Lilly and Mable Schoults, and three sisters, Mrs. Pearl Chaptman, Mrs. Callie Colter of Ward and Mrs. Zulu Cope of Little Rock.