The Family of Ed Whitten
and Effie Taylor

INTRODUCTION

This page last updated January 19, 2004

Ed Whitten was born in 1881 in the Noxubee Hill community of northern Winston County, Mississippi. He married Effie Taylor on January 8, 1905 in Louisville, MS. Their first child, Ester C. "Pete" (a son), was born in 1905, followed by two girls: Allie Dean about 1915 and Nellie Sue after 1920. Ed, along with his brothers Johnny and Bose, was involved in the Whitten Killing of November 1908. Ed and Johnny surrendered to the authorities in Winston County in September 1909 and were sentenced to prison in Rankin County in June 1911. They applied for a pardon in October 1912, but I am not sure exactly when Ed and Johnny were released from prison. After the killing, Ed moved his family from the Noxubee Hill area of northern Winston County where his parents lived to the Ellison Ridge area of far eastern Winston County where he began a new life.

Effie was born in 1887, the daughter of Bert and Alice Taylor. Her brother Elbert Taylor married Ed's first cousin, Lummie Whitten. Ed died in Winston County in 1952, and Effie died there in 1955. Both were buried at Poplar Flat Cemetery in Winston County near his brother Jack Jr.

FAMILY TREE

Ed J. Whitten
Born: January 8, 1881 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
Married: January 8, 1905 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
Died: February 29, 1952 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
Buried: Poplar Flat Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi
Father: John Thomas Whitten
Mother: Sue Mayo
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Effie Taylor
Born: February 2, 1888 born in Mississippi, probably in Winston County
Died: July 16, 1955 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
Buried: Poplar Flat Cemetery, in Winston County, Mississippi
Father: E.B. "Bert" Taylor
Mother: Alice Taylor
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  1. Ester C. "Pete" Whitten
    Born: October 18, 1905 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Married: July 17, 1932 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: Lillie Eakin
    Died: March 20, 1986 in Ackerman, Choctaw County, Mississippi
    Buried: Fentress Cemetery, Choctaw County, Mississippi

    At the time I met Pete in March 1983, he was the only living Whitten who remembered the Whitten Killing of 1908. After some coaxing, he finally told me the story of how his father and uncles slew their uncle and cousin. Although he was in his late seventies at the time, his mind was very sharp. He even took me on a tour of both Noxubee Hill and Antioch Cemeteries to show me where the "old folks" had been buried. He also explained to me that, while he had an initial for a middle name, he actually had no middle name. Once, when he was questioned by a policeman about his middle name, Pete made up a name and told the officer the C stood for Cornelius. He and Lillie had three children: Bobby Joel Whitten, Jane Faye Whitten, and William Paul Whitten. Lillie died in 1997 and was buried at Fentress Cemetery with Pete.

  2. Allie Dean Whitten
    Born: About 1915, probably in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Married: October 12, 1941 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: Horace Hurt
    Died: Unknown
    Buried: Unknown

    Allie Dean and Horace had two children: Donald Hurt and Jackie Hurt (daughter).

  3. Nellie Sue Whitten
    Born: After 1920, probably in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Married: November 13, 1937 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: Lester Smith
    Died: Date not known, probably in either Detroit, Michigan or Chicago, Illinois
    Buried: Unknown

    Nellie Sue and Lester had three sons: David Smith, Dennis Smith, and Gene Smith.

FAMILY HISTORY

Although Ed was born in 1881, the first census on which he appears is the 1900 Winston, MS.

1900 Winston County, MS Census: Enum. Dist 96, House 115, Sheet 7
Eddie P., Born March 1881 in Miss., Age 19, Living with John T. and Sussie M. Whitten.

1900 Winston County, MS Census: Enum. Dist 96, House 30, Sheet 2
Effie, dau, Born Feb 1889, Age 11, Born MS, Living with parents Bert E. and Allice Taylor.
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Newspaper article in the Winston County Journal, Louisville, MS on January 27, 1905:
"Married" -- At the residence of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Taylor, on Jan. 8, at 3 o'clock p.m., Ed Whitten and Miss Effie Taylor. D.H. Roberts, M.B.S.,officiating. There were present about one hundred friends and relatives to witness the happy union of these popular young people.
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Newspaper article in the Winston County Journal, Louisville, MS on September 24, 1909:
Article on Ed and John Whitten's surrender. (Not transcribed)
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Newspaper article in the Winston County Journal, Louisville, MS on June 23, 1911:
"Local and Personals" -- The Whitten boys were carried to Rankin farm this week, where they will serve their sentence.
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Newspaper article in the Winston County Journal, Louisville, MS on October 18, 1912:

Petition for Pardon, State of Mississippi, Winston County, To His Excellency, Earl Brewer, Governor:

Your petitioners, citizens of Winston County, would respectfully petition that your Excellency grant a pardon to Ed and John Whitten, convicted at the January Term of circuit court of Winston County A.D. 1911 of the crime of manslaughter and sentenced to a term of imprisonment in the penetentiary for 15 years, and assign the following reasons:

Because they are guilty of no offense against the Law, and because when they took the life of the deceased, they acted in self-defense, or in the defense of their brother, their brother was at the time in iminent peril of his life, and was killed. That the deceased was armed at the time of the trouble and held a pistol in his hand when the said John and Ed Whitten fired the fatal shots, and the father of the deceased was shooting the brother of the defendants before either of the defendants fired a shot, and they did not shoot until their brother was mortally wounded and the deceased was approaching with a drawn pistol and in a hostile manner.

Respectfully submitted -- John and Ed Whitten, R.C. Jones, L.H. Hopkins

Department of Corrections - Subgroup I: [Parchman] Penitentiary Convict Register, State of Mississippi,  (Book H, 1909-1912, Microfilm Roll No. B-1412), Page 347.

No. 1829 - Edgar Whitten

Where Received:  Rankin [County, MS]
When Received:  6-20-191
Received by: J.T. McCoy
Height: 5 feet 8 1/2 in.
Weight: 130
Age: 29
Health: Good
Use of Whiskey: Yes
Use of Tobacco: Yes
Able to Read:  Yes
Able to Write:  Yes
Number of Years at School: 3
Has:  A Wife, 1 Parents, 1 Children
Residence:  Louisville, Miss.
Relation's Address:  [not answered]
Nose:  Long 
Eyebrows:  Dark
Mouth:  Medium 
Teeth:  Bad
Face:  Long
Style of Whiskers worn when received: [not answered]
Complexion:  Blonde
Hair:  Brown
Eyes:  Blue
Measurement when arms extended: 5 ft 9 in
Build:  Slender
Peculiarities, Marks, Scars, General Remarks:  Hairy breast.  Hair thin on top head
Nativity:  Miss
Race:  White
Occupation:  Farmer
Religion:  Methodist
County of Conviction:  Winston Crime:  Manslaughter
Date of Sentence:  1-19-1911, affirmed 6-12-1911 Term:  15 yrs
Expiration of Sentence:  6-12-1926  Good Time Allowed:  1551
Expiration of Sentence Allowing Good Time:  3-13-1922 Pardoned:  7-18-[1912?] 

This pardon is granted on condition that Edgar Whitten shall observe all the laws of the state and a breach hereof shall put in full force the remainder part of said sentence.

[Photocopy provided by Peggy Mitchell, 2000.  Records available by request at Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Mississippi]
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1910 Winston County, MS: Enum. Dist 123, House 19, Sheet 2
Ed Whitten, head, age 27 (1883), married 5 yrs, born in MS, parents born in MS
Effie, wife, age 20 (1890), mother 1/1 children, born in MS, parents born in MS
Ester, son, age 4 (1906), born in MS
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1920 Winston Co. Miss: Supervisor Dist 5, Enum. Dist. 131, House 134, Family 134 (pg 56).
Ed Whitten, head, age 38 (1882), born in MS, parents born in MS
Effie, wife, age 30 (1890), born in MS, parents born in MS
Ester, son, age 13 (1907), born in MS
Allie D., dau, age 4 6/12 (1916), born in MS

GENEALOGY RESOURCES

PHOTOS
See pictures of Ed's family in my Whitten Family Picture Album.

LINKS & CREDITS

| Parents and Siblings of Ed | Main Whitten Page | The Whitten Killing of 1908 |

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Mary K. Johnson
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