Samuel Wilson Pruitt
1900 – 2004
My paternal grandfather, Rev. Samuel Wilson PRUITT (or Papa as he is known to the family) passed away just short of his 104th birthday, on February 12, 20041. I often wonder about all the things that he might have witnessed, experienced, or was indirectly affected by during his lifetime. So I have decided to take a stab at listing some of the events that occurred during his 103 years on Earth.
Papa was born to Henry Bristol PRUITT and Nancy CARR PRUITT in Jasper County, MS on February 22, 19002, just 35 years after the abolishment of slavery. At that time, President William McKinley was serving his second term in office, but President Theodore Roosevelt would soon take office. During the 103 years, there were 19 people to serve as President of the United States and 24 people to serve as Governor of Mississippi.
World War I (1914 – 1919) – I found draft cards for him3 and his brothers; however his brother, Lafayette Pruitt, did go on to serve in the Army during WWI4.
The Great Depression (1929 – 1939)
World War II (1939 – 1945) during which his son, J. W. Pruitt served in the Army5.
Korean War (1950 – 1962) – two of his son’s served in the Army during this time – Clifton Pruitt in Alaska6 and my father, Lee Roy Pruitt in Korea7.
The Vietnam War (1963 – 1989)
He endured the “Jim Crow” Era (1880s – 1960s) and the Civil Rights Movement (1954 – 1968), which led to The Voting Rights Act of 1965 being signed into legislation and finally granting him the right to vote in his own country at the age of 65. A right that most people today have enjoyed since the age of 18 and have taken for granted.
The Persian Gulf War (1990 – 1992)
The beginning of a new millennium (2000)
September 11, 2001 attacks & War on Terror (beginning in 2001)
After two marriages (Louella DUKES & Betty Louise JACKSON), 12 children (including 2 step-children), 29 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren and 16 great great grandchildren8, I would say that Papa lived a full life. He may not have enjoyed many of the luxuries that some have, but I believe he was happy just the same.
1. Mississippi State Department of Health, death certificate 123-04-005576 (2004), Samuel Wilson Pruitt; Vital Records, Jackson.
2. United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918, digital images. Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 14 April 2014), card for Wilson Pruitt, serial no. 1121, Registration Clarke County, Mississippi; Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.
3. United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918, images, Ancestry.com, card for Wilson Pruitt, serial no. 1121, Registration Clarke County, MS.
4. Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 14 April 2014), memorial page for Lafayette Pruitt (1890–1959), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3,167,532, citing Memphis National Cemetery, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee; the accompanying photograph by Family Hunter is materially informative.
5. East Galilee Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery (Jasper County, Mississippi; 232 County Road 1828, Rose Hill, MS 39356), J W Pruitt marker, photograph taken by Amy L Cole, 10 March 2013.
6. Clifton Pruitt, Pachuta, MS, interview by Amy Pruitt Cole 16 March 2013; audio privately held by interviewer, Georgia, 2014.
7. Lee Roy Pruitt, phone interview, interview by Amy Pruitt Cole 06 October 2013; audio privately held by interviewer, Georgia, 2014.
8. Samuel Wilson Pruitt funeral program, 2004. privately held by Amy (Pruitt) Cole, Georgia.
© 2014 Amy L. Cole and Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey. All rights reserved.
Cite This Page:
Amy L Cole, “52 Ancestors #7: 103 Years of Life: Samuel Wilson Pruitt (1900 – 2004),” Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey, 14 April 2014 (https://tracingamy.wordpress.com: [access date]).
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