Monday, January 17, 2022

James Polk Acuff(12 Jan 1872-23 Nov 1939)--52 Ancestors

In the early 2000s, my maternal grandmother's 1st cousin, Sarah Josephine Acuff Woodlee and I exchanged letters.  I still have a large envelope of the letters she wrote to me.  In a letter written in Oct of 2001, she also included a small tin type picture of my Gr Grandfather James Polk Acuff(1872-1939) sitting on his Dad's lap.  It is one of my favorite and my most treasured possessions. I thought for sure I'd lost the picture in my move back to Tennessee in January of 2012.  Thankfully, I had not.  In packing up my desk, I'd inadvertently knocked the envelope into my box of backup discs and that was where I found it when I was going thru those discs in 2018.  

Polk looks to be around the age of 2 in the picture which would mean it was likely taken around 1874.  I have a copy of a picture of  Polk's parents, William Leon Acuff and his wife Sarah McElroy Acuff which would have been taken around the same time.  I can tell this because Polk's Dad looks exactly the same in both pictures(groomed and clothing wise.)  Polk grew up in Van Buren Co TN and later moved to Huntsville AL in the Dallas area of Madison County as many folks did in search of work. His oldest daughter(my grandmother) was living there in 1920 with her husband and his family and their two sons.  Many folks who moved to that area went to work in the Dallas cotton mills.  Polk and and his wife moved there some time after 1927. He is listed in the 1929 City Directory of Huntsville along with 4 of his children, his brother and nephew, all employed by Dallas Mills.  Polk and family are in the 1930 census there as well.  Polk's wife, Fannie Hale Acuff died in September of 1939 and Polk died that same year in November.  Any time I hear Rison Avenue mentioned I think of my Acuffs  I believe the section of Rison Avenue they lived on no longer exist after the Interstate 565 exchange was built 

To give you an idea of how small the picture is, I'm including a photo of it in my hand below.

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