"Bear up all you can, the hardest stroke falls to me..." John Mulkey Reneau was born in Clinton County, KY on June 25, 1844. The son of Rev. Isaac Tipton Reneau, John married Eleanor Ann "Nelly" Means, daughter of my 3rd great-grandparents, Azel and Susan Wright Means, on January 10, 1867.
Nelly had been born a week after John, on July 2, 1844. To them were born 3 children: Alice, born in 1867, Susan, born in 1869 and Azel Tipton, born in 1871. On August 18, 1873, Nelly died giving birth to twins. Both babies died two days later.
A few hours after his wife's death, John wrote the following to his father:
It falls to my lot to record to you the death of my loving companion and your affectionate daughter, Nelly. She died about sunrise this morning, praising her God and maker. She was not delivered. She flooded to death. I would be proud if you could be here, but you could not get here in time, and I thought you would not wish to be gone so long and know nothing about it. Bear up all you can, the hardest stroke falls to me, my little motherless babes, for whom I crave your earnest prayers.
Your bereaved son,
Of their children, Alice never married. In 1920, at age 47, she was living in Union County, New Mexico with her brother, Azel. Susan married Dr. Richard Claborn of Clinton County in 1890. They moved to Knox County, Texas.
Eleven months after Nelly's death, John married Mary Dillon Mullins of Fentress County. They had seven children:
Elmore (1875-1940), Thomas (1877-1947), John (1879-1954), James (1882-1960), Margaret (1885-1889), Elizabeth (1888-1889) and William (1890-1951). Most of them moved to areas in and around Texas.
John Mulkey Reneau servd two terms as Surveyor of Clinton County.
On April 6, 1910, at age 65, John Mulkey Reneau died at his home in the Huntersville community after an illness of just three weeks. Mary died four months later.
(John Mulkey's sister, Mariba, is the great, great grandmother of actor Johnny Depp, who was born in Owensboro, Ky in 1963.)
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