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Mansion06: Uncle Henry Stanley

  Uncle Henry Stanley
Excerpts from "One Hundred and Sixty Acres of Paradise"
Mamie Stanley Smith

We were always happy to have Aunt Issie and Uncle Henry Stanley come to visit us. Aunt Issie was so sweet and refined. She had grown up in a wealthy family in Dublin - the Haines family - but they had disowned her when she eloped to America with the young policeman, Henry Stanley, Papa's oldest brother. Grace Warner Moss of Forrest Mississippi, who has researched the Warner and Stanley families and visited Ireland, found a record of Henry and Isabella Stanley embarking on the S. S. Texas in Liverpool, England and arriving in New Orleans on November 8, 1876.

Aunt Issie and Uncle Henry lived most of their lives in New Orleans and were the parents of four children that lived to become adults. The four were Charles H. Stanley, Nell Stanley, Harry F. Stanley and Frank Stanley. Charles married Minnie Beldon and lived in New Orleans. He only had one child, a daughter named Minnie, who became a nun in New Orleans.

Nellie first married John J. "Jack" Corbitt by whom she had one daughter, Isabella who was known as Issabie. Nell Later moved to El Paso, Texas and married Lawrence Gardner, a local businessman there.  After his death Nell took over the leadership of the business and for many years was a prominent businesswoman in El Paso.  She was one of the pioneers in establishing homes for the elderly and during the depression years she offered my husband a job as maintenance foreman for one of her companies if he would move to El Paso. At the time Aunt Issie was living with Nell and Aunt Rosa was living with my husband and me.  Aunt Issie and Aunt Rosa - sister-in-laws - had always been best of friends and Nell not only wanted to help my family, but also thought it would be good for Aunt Issie and Aunt Rosa to be near one another in their old age. My husband's mother discouraged us from leaving Mississippi and we turned down Nell's offer. I have often wondered how different our lives would have been had we raised our family in E1 Paso, Texas rather than in Lincoln County, Mississippi.

Uncle Henry and Aunt Issie also had a son named Harry F. Stanley who married Mary Magruder, daughter of Dr. John Magruder. Harry and Mary raised their family in Jackson. They had two sons, Charles and Lloyd, and a daughter named Marie who later became the wife of D. A. Biglane of Natchez.  Charles raised his family in Ft. Worth and Lloyd lived in Fl Paso.  I don't know who they married.

The other son of Uncle Henry and Aunt Issie was named Frank. No doubt he was named for Papa, his uncle.  Frank had two daughters Eleanor and Helen.  He raised his family in Houston, Texas. Eleanor Cone lived in Scottsdale, Arizona as an adult. I don't know anything about Helen.

In their old age, Uncle Henry and Aunt Issie lived with their daughter Nell Gardner in El Paso where they are buried.  In later years Aunt Issie's twin brother Tom Haines came from Ireland to El Paso and is buried beside her there.

Uncle Henry was a fine looking man.  He was big and stout and stood ramrod straight.  He walked like he owned the world.  He was completely bald, except for a little gray fringe around the edges; unlike Papa who had a full head of hair until be died.  Papa was not quite as tall as Uncle Henry and had a long face instead of a square jaw like Uncle Henry.  Uncle Henry was always clean shaven whereas Papa always wore a full beard and a mustache.  Papa's beard was to cover a scar on his lower face that was the result of an accident when he owned the cotton gin at Red Star.  The two brothers really didn't look much alike.  Papa was said to favor Uncle Richard Warner so Uncle Henry must have taken after their father's people the Stanley’s, that we knew so little about.  Uncle Fred up in Arkansas looked more like Papa than Uncle Henry.

Uncle Henry had a good job with a railroad in New Orleans and would come up on the train for visits several times during the year sometimes with Aunt Issie and sometimes alone. We were always happy to have him visit for we knew we would have lots of fun listening to his tales, him reciting his poems and his songs. He was always talking and laughing just a perfect example of the jolly fun loving Irishman.  He made up many of the poems he recited and most were very funny.  I so wish that I could remember some of them but I can't.  I do recall one of my favorites was called "Paddy's Dream" that was something about an Irishman named Paddy who dreamed he was eating flannel cakes and when he woke up his blanket was missing. Another very funny one was called "St. Peter at the Golden Gate", but I can't remember how it went.  At night after the family altar while sitting around the fireplace on a cord winter's night, Uncle Henry would recite his poems hour after hour and we never tired of listening or got sleepy.  Every night while he was visiting there would be neighbors dropping by to listen to him recite. He would keep us laughing so hard with his words and expressions that our sides would ache.

Aunt Issie was sweet to always bring us something from New Orleans when she came and she would always hug and kiss us all. My brother Edward would run and hide. He just didn't like anyone hugging and kissing him.

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