Mayo Emmett Jeter and Mary C. Summerville

Mayo Emmett Jeter
and Mary C. Summerville

Mayo Emmett Jeter
1853 - 1932

Mary Catherine Summerville
1855 - 1936

Mayo Emmett Jeter, the 4th son and the 9th and last of the children of William Griffin Jeter and Elizabeth McCutchen Berry, was born 6/5/1853 on the family farm located between Petersburg and Atterbury in Menard County, Illinois.  He married Mary Catherine Summerville on 12/25/1873 in Livingston County, Missouri, the Rev. J. H. Tharp officiating.  Their issue: William Thomas (1874-1877); Edward Elton (1876-1937), Harry Albert (1878-1963),  Maude Myrtle (1883-1974), and Nell May (1885-1974).

Mary Catherine ("Molly") was born on 3/29/1855 in Kittaning,  Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania to Azel Freeman Summerville and Jane Ann Sample.  The family removed to Caldwell Co., MO in 1868 and a year later to Livingston Co. in the same state.  The Jeter and Summerville farms were then within a mile of each other and located to the east of Chillicothe. 
Molly died at the home of her daughter, Maude Gill, in Memphis, TN at 7:45AM on 1/8/1936. 
 The family removed from Illinois to Missouri in 1857 and Mayo grew up on his father's farm east of Chillicothe, in Livingston County, Missouri.  In 1887 he took advantage of an opportunity with the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway (the "Frisco") and with his wife began operating a hotel for them in St. Paul, Madison County, Arkansas, a hotel he would later own.  He also entered the hardwood lumber manufacturing business in which he was active for several years, owning and operating several mills in the region. 

Mary Catherine (Summerville) Jeter, daughter Nell Gilstrap, and grandson, Walter Gilstrap, Jr.,
1906, in front of the Glendale Hotel, St. Paul, Madison County, Arkansas

He began to suffer a loss of vision in his late fifties, probably as result of cataracts, and was only able to distinguish night from day at the end.  He retired from the hardwood business but as a grandson, William T. Jeter wrote, "His oncoming handicap was a reality that both accepted, and sympathy was unwelcome.  He managed to keep physically active and grandmother read to him hours on end.  He built a barn, a chicken house, and a stone smokehouse at their last home in Combs, Arkansas.  He raised hogs and cured pork the Ozark mountain way.  In building construction he did the manual labor, lifting the materials, mixing the mortar and laying the masonry.  Grandma was there to see, help with the measurements and control the plumbs and verticals for near perfect alignment.  In the vegetable garden he was almost a perfectionist.  Rows of vegetables were as straight as stretched strings because he set and planted his crop to a stringline.  He used sticks of different lengths for spacing rows and different plants at the proper intervals.  His educated touch separated the weeds from the vegetables."
Mayo was a lifelong Republican and Presbyterian and a big man, 6' 4" tall and well over 200 lbs in his prime.  He died on a Monday at 1:00AM, 3/14/1932, at his home in Combs,  Madison County, Arkansas and is interred with his wife in the Brashears Cemetery there.

Submitted by C. Victor Jeter, August 9, 1999