I. INTRODUCTION             

II. BACKGROUND               

III. THE VIRGINIA PERIOD (C1638 - C1775)         

IV. THE CAROLINA PERIOD (C1775 - C1801)         

V. MISSISSIPPI PERIOD (C1801-C1845)       





X. GEORGE LEA GAYDEN, JR.             

XI. Bible records 51






I.                   INTRODUCTION[MEC1] 


Genealogical research is never really complete and this paper should not be considered definitive. While the facts are as accurate as diligence and the sources available permit, there are many areas that need further research.

My interest developed some years ago, but for a long time the only source I had was the paper prepared by Robert Abner Love in 1936. In 1983, my aunt Irene Gayden Yancey allowed me to copy the files assembled over the years by her late husband Clarence L. Yancey. His first research appears to have been done in Washington, DC. while he was stationed there during World War II. Later, he corresponded over many years with my great aunt Mrs. Robert L. Tullis (Octavia Perkins Gayden) and was able to get much of the work she had done during the 1920's and 1930's.[1] He also corresponded with many others including Rice University. Rice was interested in great grand father Iveson Greene Gayden's (V) service in the Mexican War. Uncle Clarence's material included several important papers that are not recorded elsewhere. Beginning in 1984, I began to spend time in the Genealogical Section of the Dallas Public Library and produced an earlier version of this paper in August of 1984.

I was never able to talk to Mr. Love and it is my understanding he has long been dead. In the Fall of 1992, I spoke with Julian Gayden of Columbia, South Carolina who said he met him once in  nineteen forty. He reported that this was just a hobby of Mr. Love and Mr. Love was surprised at the wide distribution of his paper.


II.                BACKGROUND


How the Gayden’s (Gayedon, Gaydon, Gayton, Gaton) came to America is not known. On February 17, 1634/35, the ship Hopewell sailed from England to Barbados. One of the passesngers was Thomas Gaton aged 25.[2] The fact that they were in Virginia soon after the establishment of Jamestown in 1607 and Williamsburg in 1633 is well documented with the first mention in 1638. It is possible that they originally came from one of the six villages in England named Gayton, but at this time we don't know when or what part of England they embarked from.

The name was spelled Gaton, Gayton,Gayedon, Gaydon or Gayden in various documents. There is no doubt this is the same family as these spellings are encountered well into the nineteenth century. In fact it is a problem I continue to encounter today as people spell my name in various ways. It is interesting to note the reoccurrence of the name John and George throughout the generations from the 1600's until the present. To prevent confusion caused by the repetition of names from generation to generation, I have decided to identify the direct ancestor with a roman numeral starting with (I) for Ralph Gayton.

We might assume that their English background was agricultural, since from the beginnings in Virginia until well into the twentieth century the Gaydens were involved in agriculture. Many of the records we have involve land transactions. Once in Virginia, they became part of the migration over nearly two hundred years down into the Carolinas and then westward to Mississippi and Louisiana. In my opinion this migration was driven by the desire to find cheap agricultural land and the early Gaydens were part of the semi literate middle class continuing to seek a better way of life West of the Alleghenies. It was not until the mid twentieth century that a majority of family members in our line were involved in occupations other than agriculture.


III.             THE VIRGINIA PERIOD (C1638 - C1775)


The first mention we find of Gaydens in America is George Gaton living on Queens Creek in Charles River County, Virginia on May 12, 1638.[3] His relationship has not been established, but he may have been the brother of John Gayton, who was involved in a land transfer on the Chickahominy River in James River County on May 20, 1648.[4] Both of these sites are close to each other and within about twenty miles of Williamsburg, although it appears the county names have been changed to Charles City County and James City County.[5] While we have not established the relationship of these two men to later members of the family, it is not difficult to speculate that one of them might have been the father of Ralph Gayton (I) the first in line of George L. Gayden, Sr. and his family.

Robert Abner Love reports that Ralph Gayton (I) was born about 1654 and lived in Old Rappa County, where he was a sub-sheriff.[6] Even though Mr. Love does not cite his source, I think it is reasonable to accept him at this time as we have several documented instances of Ralph Gayton (I) at later dates. Mr. Love reports that Ralph Gayton (I) married Johanna Webster, the daughter of Henry and Charity Webster.[7]

At some point prior to 1680, Ralph (I) and Johanna moved to the vacinity of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia since we encounter them in the records of North Farnham Parish in late 1680. Richmond County is located on a peninsula between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers some forty miles north of Williamsburg. While living in the county, Ralph (I) and Johanna had three sons:[8]


The Children of Ralph Gaton (I) and Johanna Webster


Ralph Gayton October 2, 2020 - unknown

George Gayton (II) December 22, 1682 - June 1, 2020

John Gayton August 14, 2020 - unknown



Ralph Gayton (I) is reported to have legally changed his name to Gayden in 1682 and to have died in Richmond County prior to 1692.[9] I doubt if the name change occurred in 1682 since we have later records from North Farnham Parish that continue to use the name.

With Ralph's children we begin to see the repetition of the names George and John which supports my speculation that Ralph might have been the son of either George or John Gayton cited earlier. On the other hand we know there were other Gaytons in Virginia during this period. We find an administrators bond or estate account filed in Henrico County on Thomas Gayton in 1697.[10] Henrico County is the site of Richmond, Virginia some forty miles to the west of Richmond County.

We now turn our attention to George Gayden (II), the middle son of Ralph (I) and Johanna Gayton born December 22, 1682. Notice that the name has changed from Gayton to Gayden and for the most part is consistently spelled Gayden from here forward.

We do not know anything of the early life of George (II). In March of 1710, a George Gayden put up the bonds for John Heaford and William Phillips accused of "suspition of hogg stealing."[11] In the case of  William Phillips the bond was the very considerable sum of  ten pounds. A George Gayden is cited again on May 9, 1716, when he attested that he helped survey a piece of land owned by a Mr. Burdett.[12]

George (II) first married Elizabeth (last name not known) and while living in Richmond County they had two children.[13]


The Children of  George Gayden (II) and Elizabeth (last name not known)


George Gayden (III) January 4, 2021 - June 8, 2020

Elizabeth Gayden June 19, 2020 - unknown



Love reports that he later married Hannah (last name not known)[14] and had two more children who are recorded in the North Farnham Parish records.[15]


The Children of George Gayden (II) and Hannah (last name not known)


Winney Gayden March 7, 2021 - unknown

John Gayden April 19, 1753 - abt. 1811



I have a small concerned there may be a generation between George Gayton born in 1682 and the George Gayden who died in 1764. He would have been a man of forty seven years old when his first child was born and seventy years old when John his last was born.

There is also an earlier will of a George Gayedon whose estate was inventoried in Richmond County in 1718.[16] By the time we get to the reprint of  these documents the name is spelled George Gaydon and is worth repeating here.  Note that the accounting is pounds of tobacco. It is my understanding that tobacco served as a currency substitute in Virginia at this time:

p. 102. July th 2’d  1718. The Estate of George Gaydon

                                                                                                            Dr Tobo

To funerall Expences                                                                                  500

To the Charge of Administra’con                                                 150

To Judgm’t paid John Harris                                                                   3541

To paid John Champe                                                                           500

To his Leavy                                                                                          38 1/2

To 8 Months Board at my house                                                                   800     

                                                                                                     Total             5529 1/2


To my charge and Expense

To Clerk and Sherr foes

Per Contra

By  Goods by appraysm’t  L18.  5.  0

By Tob’o recd of  John Fleming                                                                          64

By Tobo recd of Rich’d Apleby                                                               94

By more rec’d of Charles Lewis                                                               602

By more recd of John Branham                                                                       541

By more Recd of Michall Meldrum                                                          785

By more recd of Mr Taffe                                                                200     

                                                                                                     Total             1825

Recd of Mr Barrow                                                                               100     

                                                                                         Total             4211

There is due from Charles Lewis                                                   648

Peter Duncans Bill                                                                             450

Sworn to in Richmond County Court the Seventh Day of August 1718 by Martin Sherman and ordered to be Recorded. Test M Beckwith, Cl Cur.[17]                                                          

 Even with the different spellings, it is hard to believe that these people were not closely related. There were just not that many people in Virginia during this period. This point bears more investigation but I am afraid the sources are obscure. Robert A. Love in his work firmly believes there was only one generation. I have received information from other researchers supporting Mr. Love.

On June 1, 1764, saying he was very sick and weak, George Gayden (II) wrote his last will and testament and it is presumed he died shortly thereafter. The text of his will is included here[18]:

In the name of God Amen, I, George Gayden of the county of Richmond and Farnham Parish being very sick and weak but of perfect mind and memory thanks be to God for it.

I do make and appoint this my last will and testament in manner and form following and first of all I bequeath my soul unto the hands of god my heavenly father hoping by the merits of Jesus Christ my blessed Savior to receive it again at my resurrection and my body to be decently buried by my executors hereafter named.

I give and bequeath all my land whereon I now live being about one hundred acres to my son George Gayden if alive to him and the heirs of his body forever and in case the said George should die without lawful issue then I give  the afore said land to my son John Gayden and the lawful heirs of his body forever.

I do make and appoint Charles Taylor my executor to take care of my estate to pay my debts and to gather in what is due to the said estate and my desire is that my estate should be kept together till such time as my son John shall come of age except my daughter Elizabeth Nixon I desire she may have her equal part of my estate when she pleases except her part of my negroes they are not to be divided till my son John Gayden arrives to the age of twenty-one years. I do make and appoint this my last will and testament revoking and disannulling all other wills and testament whereunto I doe my hand and seal this first day of June in the year of our lord God one thousand seven hundred and sixty four.

George Gayden (seal)

Signed and sealed in presence of test:

Charles Jones

John Hammack


This will was presented into court in Richmond County on the fifth day of September 1764 by John Nixon who was probably the husband of George Gayden's daughter Elizabeth.

The first mention of the next George Gayden (III), the son of George Gayden (II) is when he purchased 100 acres of land on Mine Run from Nicholas Porter and wife Sarah in October of 1772.[19] there is no mention in this document that George, who would be thirty-three years old was married. Prior to 1774, he married Ann (Nanny) Wardell as their first daughter Rebeccah Gayden (born February 27, 2021 - January 14, 2021) was born in that year.[20]

At this time he was probably in Orange County, Virginia. In September of 1775 he and his wife Nanny sold the previously mentioned one hundred acres to William Cove.[21] This was probably done in anticipation of moving to North Carolina.


IV.              THE CAROLINA PERIOD (C1775 - C1801)


John Gayden, half brother of George Gayden (III), and his wife Caty Collins Gayden (married in Organge County, Va.)[22] had moved to South Carolina after March of 1773 and prior to 1775 since their daughter Sarah Gayden was born in Kershaw County, South Carolina.[23]

We first find George Gayden (III) in the Carolinas when he took the oath of allegiance in Granville County, North Carolina on May 22, 1778.[24] There are some comments that he served in the Revolutionary War, but no documentary evidence has been found.[25] During this period George and Nanny had three more children for a total of four:


The Children of George Gayden (III) and Ann (Nanny) Wardell


Rebeccah Gayden February 27, 1774 - After 1819[26]

Agrippa Gayden (IV) July 21, 1778 - January 17, 2021[27]

Cadesby Gayden Abt 1776[28] - 1841[29]

Martha (Patsey) Gayden[30] Abt 1781[31] - After 1819[32]



Between the Summer of 1778 and the Fall of 1782, Nanny Gayden must have died since George Gayden (III) married Lois Collins in Granville County, North Carolina on February 4, 1782.[33] Their children were:[34]

The Children of George Gayden (III) and Lois Collins


George L. Gayden Unknown - After 1819[35]

Elizabeth Gayden 1785 - 1853[36]

Diana Gayden Unknown - After 1819[37]

Griffen Gayden Unknown - After 1830[38]



On March 24, 1787, George Gayden (III) witnessed the sale of 200 acres of land in Lancaster County, South Carolina to Elizabeth Collins for 150 pounds sterling by John Gayden.[39] When this deed was filed on July 16, 2020 George Gayden (III) reaffirmed that he had witnessed the sale.[40] Elizabeth Collins was George Gayden's (III) mother-in-law and may have been John's as well.[41]

We last find George Gayden (III) in South Carolina listed in the 1800 Census for Kershaw County, South Carolina.[42] He is listed with his wife and eight dependents. He must have been thinking about and planning his trip west to Mississippi at this time.


V.                 MISSISSIPPI PERIOD (C1801-C1845)


In 1798, The United States Congress organized the Mississippi Territory with Nathez as its Capitol.[43] The original territory was much different than the present State of Mississippi, since it went only as far north as the mouth of the Yazoo River (about the present city of Vicksburg) and to the east to the Chattahoochee River (the eastern boundary of the state of Alabama today).

This event opened vast new lands to the Americans and started a westward movement from the Carolinas and Eastern Tennessee that brought most of the early settlers of English extraction to Southwest Mississippi and the Feliciana Parishes of Louisiana. George Gayden (III) must have gotten the fever early; for in 1801, he was on his way to Mississippi.[44]It was not until December 10, 1817, that Mississippi was admitted to the Union as the twentieth state.

George Gayden (III) probably had a large entourage with him since his sons Agrippa, George Lea, Cadesby and Griffen are known to have been with him at later dates.[45] It is probable that his daughter Rebeccah was also with him.[46] We have no information on his wife or other daughters but it is safe to assume at least some of them were with him since they are all later mentioned in his will.

They most likely headed west from Kershaw County, South Carolina across Georgia to the area around the present Muscle Shoals, Alabama. At this point the Tennessee River becomes navigable to flat boats and heads north across Tennessee and Kentucky to empty into the Ohio River. George Gayden (III) and his family would have gone up the Tennessee until it reached the Ohio, and then down the Ohio to the Mississippi and on down the Mississippi to Natchez. From Natchez, they went south by land to an area close to Liberty, Mississippi in the present Amite County.[47]

In 1805, George Gayden's (III) household had two males and three females over the age of twenty-one and two males under the age of twenty-one. In addition, he had fifteen slaves.[48] Since George Gayden (III) had been in Mississippi only four years at this time, we can assume that some of his slaves came from South Carolina with him, creating a rather large group. In this same census, Agrippa (IV) now a man of twenty-seven years old is listed as having one male and four females over the age of twenty-one and two males under the age of twenty-one years old. The twenty slaves listed with Agrippa (IV) would have made him one of the largest slave owners in the County at this time.[49]

George Lea Gayden and Cadesby are not listed in the 1805 Census. I believe they were still living with their father George Gayden (III). We first encounter them as head of households in the 1810 Census. At this point everyone in the family seems to have been involved in agriculture. On July 14, 1807, George Gayden (III), Cadesby Gayden and on December 29, 2020 Agrippa Gayden (IV) were each granted 320 acres of land "on the banks of the Amite".[50] An interesting note occurs July 29, 2020 in that there is some evidence that George Gayden (III) was granted 300 acres of land on White Oak Creek, Camden District, South Carolina and 145 acres on Beaverdam Creek, Lancaster District, South Carolina.[51] I have not been able to find these records, but if they exist, it would indicate that George Gayden (III) had at least some service in the Revolutionary War. It is obvious he did not take up these grants since he was living in Mississippi at the time.

On November 19, 1818, George Gayden (III) sold land to Thomas Batchelor.[52] Mr. Batchelor was George Gayden's (III) son-in-law, having married Rebeccah Gayden Wren on December 26, 1805.[53] On June 20, 1819, a deed was recorded where George Gayden (III) also sells land to Thomas Batchelor.[54] This must have been an earlier sale since it was recorded after his death on June 8, 1819. I presume this is Beech Grove Plantation, the land where Thomas Batchelor and Rebeccah built their home between 1822 and 1827.[55]

On May 29, 1819, George Gayden (III) wrote his last will and testament and it was filed in Amite County.[56] I have a xerox copy of this document in the original handwriting. It is presented in its entirety here:

In the name of God Amen, I George Gayden of the State of Mississippi and County of Amite being of perfect mind and memory (blessed be God) do this 29th of May in the year of our Lord One thousand  eight hundred and nineteen, make and publish this my last will and testament, in manner following that is to say.

FIRST I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Rebeccah Batchelor a negro girl named Vilet.

SECONDLY I give and bequeath unto my dutiful son Cadesby Gayden two negroes to wit, Syphan a negro man and Moriah a negro girl and one small desk.

THIRDLY I give and bequeath unto my dutiful son Agrippa Gayden, two negroes, to wit, a negro man named Meriday and a boy named Simon.

FOURTHLY I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Patsey Perkins a negro women named Serriby and her increase.

FIFTHLY I give and bequeath unto my dutiful son George L. Gayden two negro men, to wit, Frederick and Peter and one half of the cows, horses, and hogs.

SIXTHLY I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Elizabeth Morgan, one negro boy named Issac, two cows and calves and one hundred dollars, the money to be paid to her at the expiration of five years.

SEVENTHLY I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Diana Davis two negros to wit, Isum a negro man and Owen a negro boy.

EIGHTHLY I give and bequeath unto my dutiful son Griffen Gayden a negro man named Tom and one half cattle, hogs and horses, also one waggon and gears and also a negro man named Soloman, and two beds and steads.

NINTHLY I give and bequeath unto daughter in law Hannah Gayden twenty dollars to be paid to her at the expiration of five years.

TENTHLY I give and bequeath to my loving grand daughter Serifina Gayden, three hundred and sixty dollars to be paid to her at the expiration of five years.

ELEVENTHLY I give and bequeath unto my grandson Francis Wren three hundred and sixty dollars to be paid to him at the expiration of five years.

TWELFTHLY I give and bequeath unto my grandson George Gayden Wren three hundred and sixty dollars to be paid to him at the expiration of five years.

And I hereby make and ordain my beloved sons Cadesby Gayden, Agrippa Gayden, and George L. Gayden executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and disannulling all and every other will, testament, legacies, bequests and executors by me in any wise named, willed or bequeathed ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.

George Gayden (LS)

Signed, sealed, Published and declared by the said George Gayden the testator in the presence of us who was present at the time of signing and sealing hereof and attested by us in presence of the devisor;

Daniel Wilkinson

William Morgan


Since no land is mentioned in his will, he must have given it to his children earlier or let it pass through some other mechanism. He obviously at least had the use of land at his death since he speaks of his livestock in his will.

The next in our line was Agrippa Gayden (IV), born on July 21, 1778 in either North or South Carolina. He is reported to have first married the widow of Wilie Collins, Elizabeth Perry Collins and had one child.[57] On July 31, 2020 at the age of forty-three he married Margaret Muse Lea (January 2, 2021 - October 9, 2020) who was twenty-five years younger than him.[58] There children were:


.The Children of Agrippa Gayden (IV) and Margaret Muse Lea


George Lea Gayden October 8, 1822 - August 30, 2020[59]

Iveson Greene Gayden (V) Nov. 9, 1825 - Nov. 17, 1896[60]

Mary Elizabeth Gayden March 17, 1830 - Circa 1851[61]

Elvira Scott Gayden July 6, 1832 - Circa 1851[62]

Franklin Agrippa Gayden June 23, 2020 - Unknown[63]

Minerva Cecilia Gayden Died at age six[64]

William Gayden Died at age one



In the 1805 Census, Agrippa (IV) is listed as having four females under the age of twenty-one and two males over the of twenty-one in his household. In addition, he was one of the largest slaveholders in the county with twenty.[65]

On December 15, 1815, Agrippa (IV) received a 320 acre grant "on the waters of the Amite."[66] In 1809 (between January and March) he is listed as having paid $157.46 toward 314.92 acres.[67] It also seems he was given another grant on 640 acres on January 1, 1809.[68]

In the 1810 Census, Agrippa (IV) is listed as having two males below the age of twenty-one, one female over twenty-one and two females under twenty-one, as well as one free person and 23 slaves.[69]

He is reported to have been a soldier in the War of 1812 and was a participant in the Battle of New Orleans.[70] He is listed as having been appointed a lieutenant in the 5th Regiment of the Mississippi Territorial Militia on December 11, 1805. There is a remark on the side of the entry that he resigned but we do not know when this occurred[71]

On April 18, 1814, Agrippa (IV) became the guardian of Willie Collins children.[72] While we do not know for sure, I think it is safe to assume these were the children of his first wife Elizabeth Perry Collins.

On December 9, 1815, Agrippa (IV) was given another grant of 157 acres in Amite County.[73]

The 1820 Census lists two people in Agrippa's (IV) household, a male over the age of forty five and a female between eighteen and twenty-six.[74] During this same year he sold land to his brother Griffen.[75]

In the 1830 Census, Agrippa (IV) is listed as having two males less than ten years old, two females between ten and twenty years old and one female between the age of twenty and forty.[76] He is also listed as having thirty eight slaves.[77]

Agrippa (IV) and Margaret were members of Unity Presbyterian Church in Liberty, Mississippi. On September 10, 1837; Mary Elizabeth, Elvira Scott, and Franklin Agrippa were baptized by Dr. E. P. McLean.[78] It is interesting to note that in this same church in 1844, "Frank a negro man of A. Gayden was received by baptism."[79]

On March 19, 1838, Agrippa (IV) and Cadesby sold land to Thomas Batchelor[80] and on August 10, 2020 Agrippa (IV) bought land from Ed Jenkins, Sheriff.[81] Again on August 8, 2020 Agrippa (IV) bought land from the Commissioners of the Town of Liberty.[82]

On January 17, 1845, Agrippa died in Amite County, Mississippi at the age of sixty-six.[83] His wife Margaret Muse Lea passed away in the Fall on October 9, 1845.[84]

Iveson Greene Gayden (V) born January 19, 1825, was raised in Amite County, Mississippi. He was sent to Oakland College about ten to fifteen miles south of Port Gibson, Mississippi in 1837 at the age of twelve and remained in school there for six years until 1843.[85] His older brother George was with him and his younger sisters boarded at a female academy in Liberty, Mississippi.[86]In 1846, during the Mexican War, he entered the Army becoming a member of the First Mississippi Regiment commanded by Colonel Jefferson Davis. This unit saw action at Monterrey and Buena Vista.[87] The Company Muster Roll for Captain Douglass H. Cooper's Company B, First Mississippi Infantry shows that I. G. Gayden enlisted as a private for twelve months on June 10, 2020 at Woodville and was present in Vicksburg June 12, 1846. He must have taken a train or steamboat as Woodville and Vicksburg are quite a ways apart. He was mustered out in New Orleans on June 11, 1847.[88] The companies from various parts of the state rendezvoused at Camp Brown near Vicksburg and then proceeded to New Orleans and thence to Port Isabel, Texas where they trained prior to entering Mexico.[89]


VI.              LOUISIANA PERIOD (FROM C1848)


By 1850, Iveson Greene Gayden (V) is found in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana listed as a member of his brother George Lea Gayden's household along with his younger sister Elvira and brother Franklin.[90] George Lea Gayden had married Martha E. Scott on December 3, 1840.[91] It is probable he moved to East Feliciana shortly thereafter to be with his wife's family Judge Thomas W. Scott and Elizabeth McKenny Kirkland. We don't know whether they retained the property in Mississippi some twenty to thirty miles away.

It appears the Gayden family had known the Scott's for some time since Agrippa (IV) named one of his daughters Elvira Scott in 1832. Judge Scott, who built Oakland Plantation about 1837 was a prominent citizen of East Feliciana being one of the founders of Silliman College on July 21, 2020[92] and was the oldest member of the convention that met on January 23, 2021 in Baton Rouge to consider secession from the United States.[93]

On December 2, 1851, Iveson Greene Gayden (V) married another of Judge Scott's daughters Ellen E. Scott (May 2, 2020 - February 21, 2021). Their children were:[94]


The Children of Iveson Greene Gayden (V) and Ellen E. Scott


Margaret Lea Gayden August 28, 1852 - June 20, 2020

Agrippa Gayden November 9, 1853 - October 22, 2020

Minerva Gayden June 5, 1855 - August 26, 2020

Martha Gayden November 30, 2020 - November 24, 2020

Thomas F. Gayden May 11, 1858 - November 6, 2020

Ellen E. Gayden April 8, 1860 - September 18, 2020

Mary Elvira Gayden February 9, 1862 - July 6, 2020



About 1856 - 1857, George Lea Gayden had moved to Bolivar County, Mississippi and bought Glenwood Plantation from Joesph Sillers.[95] Iveson Greene Gayden (V) is reported to have owned large land interests in Bolivar County but never lived there.[96] My father remembers my grandfather telling of Iveson Greene Gayden (V) riding horseback to Bolivar County.

At some point during this time Iveson Greene Gayden (V) and Ellen Scott Gayden came into possession of Oakland Plantation. There is a story that they named the place after Oakland College where Iveson Greene Gayden went to school.[97] This place has always been surrounded by a number of live oak trees and it could have as well gotten it's name from it's location.

After the death of Ellen E. Scott Gayden on February 21, 1864, Iveson Greene Gayden (V) married Martha Jane Thompson (December 17, 2020 - October 26, 2020), the daughter of O. M. Thompson and Mary J. Williams on February 7, 1867.[98] Their Children were:[99]


The Children of Iveson Greene Gayden (V) and Martha Jane Thompson


Julia Lea Gayden March 4, 1868 - June 1, 2020

George Lea Gayden (VI) February 10, 1870 - March 18, 2021

Iva May Gayden May 20, 1872 - June 7, 2020

William Percy Gayden December 24, 1875 - March 8, 2021

Joesph Redwood Gayden February 8, 2021 - February 19, 2021

Octavia Perkins Gayden March 4, 1881 - May 27, 2020

Iveson Greene Gayden May 2, 1883 - February 13, 2021

Margaret Kirby-Smith Gayden  February 6, 2021 - May 1971



Iveson Greene Gayden (V) died on November 17, 2020 in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.[100] He fathered thirteen children by two wives, but did not name any after himself or his brother until his second marriage. The use of the name Lea which came from Agrippa's (IV) wife has become firmly established by this time. I do not know the relationship of the Leas other than Agrippa's (IV) marriage.

George Lea Gayden (VI), was born February 10, 2021 at Oakland Plantation in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Not much is known of his early life except that my father believes he attended a business school in Kentucky for a short while. On November 30, 2020 he married Irene Keller (January 26, 1873 - December 27, 2020) and they had five children:


The Children of  George Lea Gayden (VI) and Irene Keller


John Keller Gayden December 12, 1899 - November 23, 2020

Martha Octavia Gayden November 8, 1902 - September 13, 2020

George Lea Gayden June 16, 1906 - November 27, 2020

Harry Perkins Gayden (VII) May 8, 2020 -

Irene Elizabeth Gayden September 20, 1912



The best account of George Lea Gayden (VI) is Cavalier Gentleman by Daisy Kennedy that appeared in the Morning Advocate Magazine Section (Baton Rouge) on Sunday November 2, 1952. Since Ms. Kennedy prepared this piece from personal interviews with George Lea Gayden (VI), I am including it here:

The fifty mile stretch between Gurley, in East Feliciana and Amite, in Tangipahoa, is a long hard ride by horseback. When George L. Gayden of Sunny Slope Plantation made the ride back in 1886, he was a young man of 16.

But the business he transacted at the end of that ride was to have far reaching effect, for in Amite he bought the first dairy cow on Sunny Slope.

Today Sunny Slope is a sprawling 5000 acre dairy and cattle ranch, stocked with some of the finest cattle in the state. Its owner, the young man of 1886, is as alert and business like as he was the day the first cow was led back to Gurley behind his prancing mare.

Probably more fantastic than the fantastically model dairy and cattle ranch, which is located twenty six miles north of Baton Rouge on State Highway 19, is the 82 year old man who owns and operates it.

A short, ever smiling man with a shock of white hair and an equally white mustache, George Gayden's appearance belies his 82 years. But his manners are as courtly as those of a knight in Good Queen Bess' court.

Brought up in the old Southern tradition of plantation life, Gayden remains one of the last monuments to the days when men thought their ladies' duties were only to pour a fine cup of tea and point a pretty foot in the Quadrille. He calls his wife "my lady" and is very fond of showing pictures of her taken in the days when he claims she was the belle of Louisiana. "Miss Irene" was plantation bred like her husband, and the Gaydens have reared five children at Sunny Slope.

Aside from the courtliness of the fabulous farmer, "Mr. George" is an outstandly astute businessman as his acquisitions would imply. At 82 he rides horseback like a teenager and seemingly never tires. He is command of everything that occurs on Sunny Slope.

His chief interest is his dairy herd, which he has seen grow from the single head in 1886 to a herd numbering far into the hundreds. And his chief domain is the dairy barn - daybreak finds him registering the weights of each cow's milk in his dairy book, along with daily notations the weather and important events.  Noted in the margin of the book are deaths of prominent men throughout the state who have been his friends.

The dairy book has been kept meticulously for 25 to 30 years, he reports; and each cow has its special place in the register.  Since the advent of milking machines, Mr. George says his stay at the barn each morning isn't so long as it was in the old days when he had to wait for the cattle to be milked by hand.

Gayden shares his dairy kingdom with John Mills, an aged Negro who has been in his employ 55 years.  John keeps the dairy spotlessly clean and feels his importance as an old family retainer.  He says, "I'm liable to be here 'till the very day I die."

The central headquarters of the plantation is the old commissary and spry plantation owner may be located there if he cannot be reached at home.  The old building itself is reminiscent of the horse and carriage days, with its  high ceilings and old walls joined together by wooden pegs.  Built close by the side of the Y&MV railroad tracks shortly after the first passenger train passed over the line in 1884,  it is little younger than the moss draped oak trees which grow by its front porch, on which Mr. George's "boys" sit and gossip when they have a few minutes off from their farm duties.

The plantation has a five mile frontage along Highway 19 and observant tourists will certainly see the Sunny Slope sign set in the midst of a huge pasture, so well kept that it looks like the lawn of a home.

And observant tourists are almost sure to see grazing by the side of the road the large herds of  Jersey and Hereford cattle which populate the pastures.  What they may see and never realize that they have seen, is the only herd of English Park cattle in the United States.

The Gayden ranch herd numbers a hundred of the fabulous cattle, a handsome breed with a pure white body, buff nose and maroon ears.  As far as records can prove, the Parks arrived in this country shipped to St. Helena Parish, from where Gayden bought several.  The original immigrant herd has vanished into other breeds.

The Parks are indigenous wild cattle of England which instinctively hide their calves in the brush like deer, and only one herd remains in England itself.  Gayden has had the cattle for about 30 years.

The Plantation is a haven for many wild animals, due to his strict regulation of hunting.  The place is stocked with quail and a covey of the birds may be flushed from almost any group of  bushes to be found.  Good fishing is to be had in Redwood and Little Redwood Creeks, which also provide water for the Sunny Slope cattle.

The stately old Gayden home is still on the plantation, the home in which Mr. George and his elder son, John were born.  The house built in 1828, is of colonial architecture and reflects slavery days by the old slave porch which is now a modern bedroom.

On noting the changes in the house, which has been modernized by John, who lives in it, Mr. Gayden reminisced about the days when his father lived there and rode horseback some 300 miles into Bolivar County, Miss., to tend to his farming interests there.  In those days, he remembered, the old slave porch was crowded with Negroes getting their daily ration of food and waiting to be assigned some task to perform.

Running true to the old adage, "Like father, like son," the three Gayden sons are all interested in cattle.  John's primary interest is dairying, with his elder daughter, Ann, sharing it.  However, Ann, 15 is branching out into a new field of beef cattle -- she is attempting to start a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle which will wear a red coat instead of the prevailing black.

She has been successful in crossing two red Angus cows and getting a red offspring, a very rare occurrence, according to Irvin J. Heath, East Baton Rouge county agent.  Heath stated that  this was possibly the first time such an event had occurred in Louisiana.  Ann has high hopes that she will be able to be the one to start this strain and has investigated bringing some of the chunky animals from England to continue her experiment.

Harry, Mr. George's youngest son, is secretary-treasurer of the Louisiana Brahman Association, and George Jr. serves as president of the Louisiana Cattlemen's Association.

Mr. George has two daughters, completing the roster of his five children, and he proudly explains that it was necessary for him to acquire 5,000 acres of  land "so things would work out even" when his children inherited Sunny Slope.

Every portion of Sunny Slope shows the touch of Mr. George's work.  Some 25 full grown oaks line the drive to his home.  He explained that he had changed the land from a bare cotton field to the tree shaded lane which it is today, planting each tree himself 55 years ago.

The smiling old gentleman knows every foot of the land by heart and never forgets even the smallest creature residing on the plantation.  Each year he is careful to preserve enough underbrush in which his quails may make their home.  He makes all of the laborers on the place observe carefully all game laws in order to keep the farm abundantly stocked with squirrels, birds and other wild animals that may make Sunny Slope their sanctuary.

Due to the vastness of the cattle ranch, it was necessary for him to find some means of identifying the various pastures on the place.  He struck upon the novel idea of painting the gates to the pastures in different colors.  When he tells one of the "boys" to go to the "black gate" there is no trouble in finding the right place, as there is only one black gate on  Sunny Slope.

But more often, rather than sending one of the "boys",  Mr. George will ride to the pasture himself to find out what is the matter with his cow, "Bessie."  And he does know every cow by name!  His day is just as active as any person on the plantation and just as strenuous.

A fabulous 82 year old has created the fabulous Sunny Slope Plantation, but when the day's work is over he goes home to "Miss Irene", his bride of 53 years, and, in his words, is content to be "a quiet old man who enjoys life with my lady."[101]

My father, Harry Perkins Gayden (VII) was born in Gurley, Louisiana on May 8, 1908. He attended prep school at Chamberlain Hunt Academy at Port Gibson, Mississippi from about the age twelve. I have often wondered if Chamberlain Hunt had any relationship to Oakland College in Port Gibson that was earlier attended by Iveson Greene Gayden (V). He tells of taking his first plane ride while away at school and having the plane crash. He was not seriously hurt.

Upon leaving Chamberlain Hunt, he attended Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. After graduating, he went to the University of Minnesota in 1928 and received his masters degree in dairy husbandry in 1930. He went back to Louisiana State University to teach and work with the Extension Service.

On March 8, 1933, my mother Helen Phillips Baker and my father were married in Homer, Louisiana. My brother Harry Perkins Gayden, Jr. was born in Baton Rouge on September 28, 1934. I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 1, 1941.


The Children of Harry Perkins Gayden (VII) and Helen Phillips Baker


Harry Perkins Gayden, Jr. September 28, 1934

William Kernan Gayden (VIII) [WKG2] May 1, 1941

On October 17, 1964, I married Cynthia Beach Newton of San Antonio. We have two unmarried daughters at this time. Beth was born in Washington, D.C. and Katherine was born in Dallas, Texas.


The Children of William K. Gayden (VIII) and Cynthia Beach Newton


Elizabeth Anne Newton                                                    December 5, 1968

Katherine Newton Gayden                                       December 6, 2020





The purpose of this section is to collect in one place basic information on the descendants of George Lea Gayden and Irene Keller. To accomplish this a new numbering system is being introduced. It is best explained by illustration using may daughter Beth. Her grandfather Harry Perkins Gayden is the fourth child of George Lea Gayden (VI), I am Harry Perkins Gayden's second child and Beth is my first Child; therefore her number is 421. I believe it is accurate as of April 1, 1995.


The Children of  George Lea Gayden (VI) and Irene Keller


1  John Keller Gayden December 12, 2020 - November 23, 2020

2  Martha Octavia Gayden November 8, 1902 - September 13, 2020

3  George Lea Gayden June 16, 2020 - November 27, 2020

4  Harry Perkins Gayden (VII) May 8, 1908 -

5  Irene Elizabeth Gayden September 20, 1912-



The Children of John Keller Gayden (1) and Dorothy Lucile Cassidy


11  Dorothy Anne Gayden                          June 6, 1937

12  Frances Irene Gayden January 4, 1945



The Children of Martha Octavia Gayden (2) and William Kernan Irwin





The Children of George Lea Gayden, Jr (3) and Madelouise Robards


31  Eugenia Robards Gayden                          September 17, 1942



The Children of Harry Perkins Gayden (4) and Helen Philips Baker


41  Harry Perkins Gayden, Jr.                           August 28, 1934

42  William K. Gayden May 1, 2020



The Children of Irene Elizabeth Gayden (5) and Clarence L. Yancey


51  Martha Gayden Yancey                          October 17, 1941

52  Stephen Richard Yancey                          October 13, 1943

53  Laura Irene Yancey                                       September 13, 2020



The Children of Dorothy Ann Gayden (11) and George Worley Newton


111  William Gayden Newton                          June 5, 1958

112  Georgia Newton                                       August 8, 2020

113  Melissa Newton                                       January 27, 2021

114  George Worley Newton                          August 1, 1965



The Children of Frances Irene Gayden (12) and Ed Robin “Buddy” Mangum


121  Irene Keller Mangum                          June 18, 1969

122  Robyn Cassidy Mangum                          April 21, 1974



The Children of Eugenia Robards Gayden (31) and Carl Allen Burlingame


311  Georgene Gayden Burlingame             November 14, 2020

312  Carl Allen Burlingame                          June 24, 1968



The Children of Harry Perkins Gayden (41) and Sylvia Ann Simoneaux


411  Harry Perkins Gayden III                          August 1, 1956

412  Elizabeth Vance Gayden                          March 22, 1959

413  Valerie Helen Gayden                          September 26, 1960



The Children of William K. Gayden (42) and Cynthia Beach Newton


421  Elizabeth Anne Gayden                          December 5, 1968

422  Katherine Newton Gayden                          December 6, 1971



The Children of Martha Gayden Yancey (51) and James William Carr


511  Gayden Lea Carr                                       July 26, 2020

512  Rachel Griffin Carr                                       September 12, 2020



The Children of Stephen Richard Yancey II (52) and Jaquetta Lynn Strain


Stephen Richard Yancey III                          November 9, 1984

David Thomas Yancey                                       May 5, 2020



The Children of  Laura Irene Yancey  (53) and Robert David Burford


531  Julia Gayden Burford                          December 23, 1985

532  David Westbrook Burford                          August 13, 1991



The Children of William Gayden Newton (111) and Lynn Stietenroth


1111  Hallie Elizabeth Newton                          October 11, 1983



The Children of Irene Keller Mangum (121) and Heath Alan Wray


1211  Kathryn Keller Wray                          June 7, 1993



The Children of Georgene Gayden Burlingame (311) and Jeffery Enoch McKnight


3111  Jess’lyn Gayden McKnight                          February 14, 1989


The Children of Harry Perkins Gayden III and Susan Jeannine Ragsdale


4111  Harry Perkins Gayden IV                          December 9, 1987

4112  Elizabeth Newell Gayden                          February 17, 1989



The Children of Valerie Helen Gayden (413) and George Hinton Holman


4131  Sylvia Gayden Holman                          February 17, 1992















WKG:            Daddy, when were you born?

HPG:            May 8, 1908.

WKG:            Where were you born?

HPG:            At Gurley in the old home that was built there in 1905 and burned in 1926.

WKG:            That was the wooden Victorian-looking house that was where George's house is today?

HPG:            Right.

WKG:            Where did you first go to school?

HPG:            I first went to school right there at Gurley in the little Methodist Church... the one-room Methodist Church where we had a school.

WKG:            Where was that church located?

HPG:            Well, just back of the old store there at the Gurley Crossing on the Y&G Railroad.  Just back from that.

WKG:            Is wasn't where Bert and Ina's house was?

HPG:            Yes, they later lived in that.

WKG:            And that was a church?

HPG:            Yeah, that was the church and the school.

WKG:            How many years did you go to school there?

HPG:            I went there until the 6th grade, which I think was in 1921... in the fall of 1921 or 1922.  I left and went to Chamberlain Hunt Academy at Port Gibson, Mississippi.  I went there three years.  And then I went from there because I had some trouble with my ears and had to be near a specialist, Dr. Weiss in Baton Rouge, and so I went to Baton Rouge and went to University Demonstration High, finishing there in the summer of 1925.  During that time I stayed with the Flower family, 604 Laurel Street.

WKG:            How did you know the Flower family?

HPG:            Well, our family had known them many years.  I don't know just how that originally came about except that at one time the only daughter, Dorothy Flower, had some type of disease or something that, a skin disease or something, and had to have a certain type of milk or something and the family would bring her up and they would stay at Gurley there to help her use some of the milk that was produced there at that time.  Father and Mother ran a large dairy for many years there.

WKG:            Was that when high school was only 11 years?

HPG:            Yes, 11 years.

WKG:            So you were what... maybe only 15 or 16 when you got out of high school?

HPG:            Right.  In the fall of 1925 I started to LSU which originally had been on the old campus there near where the State Capitol is today.  And that's where I went to high school.  It was University Demonstration High School.  I finished there and then that year in the fall of 1925 they moved Louisiana State University to its present site.  I used to go down to the train station for the first few months and we would ride a shuttle train from Baton Rouge down to the University which was just opening there in the fall of 1925.

WKG:            Before we go to your college years, let's go back and talk some about your earlier childhood.  One thing I've always wondered was how did Gurley get its name?

HPG:            My dad said it was named for an engineer, a Mr. George Gurley, who was an engineer on the Y&G Railroad.

WKG:            He knew this engineer?

HPG:            Yeah.

WKG:            And it had been named Gayden before then?  I have heard a story that the name was changed.

HPG:            Yes, it had been called Gayden, but there was another place, Gueydon or Gueydan, in Louisiana, and they used to get the mail confused, so they decided to change the name.  I guess my father was chiefly responsible for naming it for this Mr. George Gurley.

WKG:            Do you have any idea when that was that the name was changed?

HPG:            No, I don't.

WKG:            But it was Gurley by the time you were born?

HPG:            At any rate, when I knew anything, it was some years prior. A number of years.

WKG:            Who were some of your early friends as a child?

HPG:            Well, in that area there were very few white families.  Just a few of the families that lived nearby that went to school. For instance, the year that I went to Chamberlain Hunt it reduced the number of school children at the Gurley School to nine.  They wouldn't run a school without ten students, so they closed the school then.  But there was a family that worked on our place, the Halls, and the Terrys that had a small place and worked mostly for my father at the sawmill and he was a mechanic.  And the Dawsons in the western part of the Parish there.  And then several students were the section foreman's children down toward McManus.  That was about it.  We never had more that I can remember.  At one time there were quite a few Dawsons.  We never had more than 15 or 16 students that I ever remember there.

WKG:            Tell me something about living up there.  Do you remember when you got the first automobile or was that earlier than you remember?

HPG:            No, I remember the first automobile.  The first one was a Ford.  Then we later got Dodges.  Maybe the first was a Dodge and we later got Fords.  I think that's it.  But I've forgotten what year.  That must have been in the early Teens.

WKG:            Were the roads good then?

HPG:            No, very difficult.  You started out to go to Baton Rouge, why, sometimes it would take all day, and one of the real hazards was trying to cross Carr's Creek going down there. Of course, there were no bridges then and you had to go through it in mud.  If you started out early in the morning and got there the same day it was quite a record.  I recall the first person I ever heard of was Mr. Charley Riley who was a neighbor and lived several miles from home.  They went down and came back the same day and they thought it was quite a feat to go to Baton Rouge and back in the same day.

WKG:            And that's 28 miles one way, right?

HPG:            Yeah.

WKG:            Tell me about Chamberlain Hunt.  How big a school was it?

HPG:            Well, it was a little over 100 students usually.  In the area of 100 students.  It was a Presbyterian military academy.  Very strict rules in the military there and we had to wear uniforms all the time.  Ties and everything.  The holiday was on Monday rather than Saturday because so many people were in town on Saturdays.  They didn't want both white and black... they didn't want the students intermingling with them too much, so we went to town, if we wanted to, on Mondays and went to school on Saturdays.

WKG:            And, obviously, being a Presbyterian School, you went to church on Sunday.

HPG:            Yes, but you could go to the church of your choice.  You didn't have to go to the Presbyterian Church.  A few students went to various other churches.  In fact we attended the Methodist Church most of the time.  Sometimes the Baptist Church, sometimes the Presbyterian.

WKG:            Now, was George there the whole time you were there?

HPG:            No, he was there... no, one year that I was there.  The first year.  He finished, George finished before he was 14 years of age.  No, no, he entered LSU before he was 15. He finished at 14 and then went from there to LSU.

WKG:            How would you get from Gurley to Fort Gibson?

HPG:            Well, at that time, we had six trains, six passenger trains a day that came through Gurley, three going north and three going south.  We had an early morning train going south called "15" and a comparable train going north at 6:00 o'clock in the afternoon called "12".  And then we had an early morning train going north in the morning called the "B", and coming south at night around 8:00 or 9:00 o'clock, and then two midday trains, "30" and "31", I believe it was. They often met at home and that's the way we shipped our milk, on that noonday train to Baton Rouge and New Orleans. So I went up on one... we'd usually go on the train.  The Monday noon train came through Gurley at noon on Monday and arrived at Fort Gibson about 4:40 in the afternoon.  And I came back to spend the weekend at home very often and would leave on what we called the "B" that came through Fort Gibson around 4:30 in the afternoon and arrived home around 9:00 o'clock at night.  Since my dad had the ticket office and all, we were provided with passes on the train, so we rode free.

WKG:            Where is Fort Gibson?

HPG:            It's about 30 miles south of Vicksburg on the Y&G Railroad which is a branch of the old ICC Railroad.

WKG:            On the river?

HPG:            No, it's back from the river, oh, five or six miles from the Mississippi River.

WKG:            Did you have any interesting experiences while you were at school there?

HPG:            Yeah, several very interesting....  One thing we used to enjoy, we'd go out to a place and look for old relics of the Civil War out at Sunset Hill.  That was a very favorite thing to go sometimes on Sunday afternoon.  I guess the most noteworthy experience I had was in an airplane.  That wasn't too long after World War I.  A pilot was coming around barnstorming in a biplane and taking people up for a short ride for $5.00 an hour.  I got permission from home to take a flight on this plane.  They sent me the money and I got permission from the authorities there and went out late one afternoon.  I offered him my money and he looked in his plane and said, "I've got enough gas in here for one more flight."  By the way, at that time they had to put gasoline in from five gallon cans and filter it through chamois cloth.  And so they had a place out in a field or pasture there where they cut the broom sedge and a little pathway. He would taxi down to the far end of this opening out in this old pasture.  He'd have one of his helpers there that would catch the struts on that plane on one side and he would give it the gun and it would spin around and then come on back towards this tree where they kept the gasoline and other supplies and where people usually stood around under it.  On this occasion, the man held the strut a little too long, and when he started back flying down that pathway he was headed for that tree, so instead of cutting his motor off and stopping and starting again, he just gave it the gun and went forward and tried to veer off and miss the tree. But the left wing caught in the top of tree...

WKG:            You were in the air?

HPG:            Yeah, in the air, and top of this pecan tree and swung around and hit the ground.  It tore the propeller.  It had an old laminated wood propeller and it just tore it to shreds.  I was in the front cockpit and fortunately nothing hit me.  I think it broke every strut in the biplane.  I jumped out of the plane and it was nearly time for retreat at the military school and it was pretty tough, you know, not to be there at that time, so I took off and ran to school.  It had torn my knees up a little bit and torn my pants pretty bad a the knees, but nevertheless it hadn't broken anything.  I had to make it there at 6:00 o'clock.

WKG:            What were you, about 14, maybe?

HPG:            I guess I was about 14.  No, at that time, I guess I was only about 13. 

WKG:            Now, you talked about having some Brahman cattle yourself very early that you had bought from a man.

HPG:            Well, actually, how it came about, a great uncle of mine, Uncle R. E. Thompson, had a place nearby.  He had bought a good many Brahman cattle, commercial, and some pretty high-bred bulls, more or less pure breds, from down south of Houston, from the ______________, which was the Crescent V, and from another man by the name of Mr. Will Cornelius that had the KX brand.  He bought cattle down in there and also mules.  He had bought several hundred commercial brand cattle.  Then on one occasion he sold 100 cows and 100 calves to a fellow by the name of Zack Miller, who was part owner of the 101 Ranch in Oklahoma.  The next morning after he sold the cows he found that he had three orphan calves that they hadn't properly matched up with their mothers.  He gave me a couple of them and I bought a couple more calves for, as I recall, $5.00 or $10.00 a head... something like that.  I had two bulls and three heifers as I recall. Pretty high-bred bulls.  We brought them back and put them in a horse stall and fed them and quieted them down there. I kept those for a number of years until I finally went off to college and my dad wasn't too happy with Brahmans running with his Jersey and Hereford cattle so he finally sold them to Mr. Dewey Wilbanks in Florida when I was in school.

WKG:            What year do you think you bought those?

HPG:            I think it was around 1923, the best I can figure.

WKG:            You went into LSU....

HPG:            In the fall of 1925.  I finished in June of 1929.

WKG:            Where did you live while you were in LSU.

HPG:            With the Flower family the first two years and then with Mrs. Irwin (his older sister) the remainder of the time.

WKG:            You graduated in 1928?

HPG:            '29.  Then I went to the University of Minnesota in '30 and '31 and received the degree of Master of Science in Dairy Husbandry.

WKG:            That's where you met Mr. Edwards.

HPG:            That's where I met Dr. Joe Edwards.

WKG:            Where was that, in Minneapolis?

HPG:            The main campus was in Minneapolis but what we called the farm campus or the agricultural division was in St. Paul. But they had an inter campus special to go from the main to the farm campus.  The first year I went up by train.  The second year my dad gave me a Ford coupe with a rumble seat in it and I drove up that year and spent that year there. Then Joe and two other fellows and I lived the last half year in an apartment together.  Four of us, Don Johnson from Iowa and a boy from Penn State, I've forgotten his name.

WKG:            Then when you came back down from there... of course, by then the Depression was on full force.

HPG:            Yes.

WKG:            What did you do about a job?

HPG:            Well, of course, the interesting thing... we didn't have much money and I borrowed $100 from Sis, my sister, Mrs. Irwin to make a trip.  Dr. Joe Edwards, who was just Joe Edwards, he had a Master's Degree then, and I decided to come back in my car and go out to the Pacific coast and come down the coast in the car.  We left Minneapolis on the 12th of June and we were on the road 31 days that I recall.  We drove out across the Northwest to Portland, Oregon, up in the upper end of Oregon and then on down through California and down to San Diego and back across the Southwest.  We camped out.  They were just starting,... the first motels I ever saw were in California.  But at that time they didn't supply any linen or anything like that.  They did have a bed but you had to supply your own linen.  Occasionally in the city we'd have to stay at a motel.  But we made the trip, which was over 7,000 miles in 31 days and the approximate cost was $100 each for food and transportation and everything.  We had seven flats on the car coming down. Because we had to use a luggage carrier sitting on the running board we couldn't use that side at all to get out of the car.  We had an extension on the back where we kept some of our luggage.  We had a rumble seat so we had limited space in the back to carry our things.  That was the approximate cost, $100 each, for that period of time.

WKG:            What did you do after that trip?  Here you were with a Master's Degree and no job, I guess, at that time.

HPG:            That's right.  But the next year LSU was beginning to require that some of its professors have advanced degrees, and many of them didn't have at that time.  The head of the Dairy Department, Professor C. H. Staples, was having to go off for a year and get a Master's Degree.  He had only a Bachelor's at that time.  So he asked me to teach his classes for the year that he was going to be away.  So I started teaching all of the dairy husbandry classes at LSU then for a year at $125 a month.

WKG:            That was probably pretty good.

HPG:            We thought it was awfully good.  I thought it was awfully good because all of the professors there were being paid in scrip at that time.  Very seldom did they get any money. That was during the Depression and they were getting a good part of their salaries in scrip.  And I got mine in cash from Professor Staples direct, not from the University.

WKG:            What did you do after that year?

HPG:            Well, after that I started working for the motor fuel testing lab for $50 a month.  Then for a while after that I got a job teaching one class in animal husbandry, a class of freshmen, for $20 a month.  So I was getting a total of $70 a month for a year.

WKG:            You had no interest in going back to Gurley, or Pips had no interest in you being there?

HPG:            Well, no, really George had finished college in the meantime and he was back there working with him and there really wasn't any place for the two of us there.  There wasn't enough work and all for the two of us there.  George seemed to be destined to stay there and work, helping with the dairy and beef cattle and all.  So I continued there in later years with the University.  Then later on I got a full time job with the Animal Husbandry Department, as they called it then.  It's Animal Science now.  So I started working there with them until 1940.

WKG:            What were you doing for them then?

HPG:            Well, at first, soon after I started there, the herdsman down at the beef farm resigned and went back to where he had formerly worked at Mississippi State University, and I took that job for a while and at the same time teaching some freshman classes for several years.  Then I gradually moved into a full-time instructorship and they employed Mr. S. E. McCrane to replace me as herdsman down there.  He took over that and I went on to full-time teaching animal husbandry.

WKG:            And you did that until 1940?

HPG:            Yes, and then I went with the Agricultural Extension Department as Associate Animal Husbandman, an assistant really to Mr. W. T. Cobb who was the Animal Science specialist, the beef cattle specialist then, in the Agricultural Extension Service.  I continued there until 1948.

WKG:            What did you do there?  What was the nature of that job?

HPG:            Well, really I had charge of the 4H beef cattle extension work where I worked with the county agents in preparing the 4H program, the beef cattle program that the Extension Service had throughout the state.  I traveled throughout the state and worked through the county agents.

WKG:            I thought you had some responsibility in establishing the Brahman herd at LSU.

HPG:            Well, that's true.  When I had charge of the cattle there in 1937, that was during the time that Governor Lesh was Governor of Louisiana.  As you probably know, during that period we transformed a part of the beef cattle barn into a place to keep his horses.  He had a stockman working there, a man from New Orleans, a Mr. Jim McLochlin, who watched after his horses and all.  We showed his horses around at some horse shows.  In fact at the Casa Manana in Fort Worth in 1936 we showed a couple of his walking horses there when they dedicated the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum there in Fort Worth.

WKG:            You rode some of those horses, didn't you?

HPG:            Yeah, I rode one of the horses there, they called him a Tennessee walking horse.  I didn't win first place.  I won second place, but the horse of his who was supposed to be good -- Mr. McLochlin was riding him -- was third.  But, anyway, he would ride down through the pastures and all and they had some anaplasmosis among the cattle and lost several of the bulls.  Nobody had taken too much interest, apparently, in the Animal Science Department and they were using the bull and his son on all the Hereford cows. Finally, at one point Mr. McLochlin suggested that maybe he get Governor Lesh to see if he couldn't get a little money for us to buy some new breeding stock for the Animal Husbandry Department.  So he got $10,000 for us to buy cattle and we bought several Hereford bulls and a herd of Angus cows.  We did not have any registered Angus cows at that time.  Mr. McLochlin and I went to Kentucky and bought some Angus cattle.  Then we had $2,000 to buy a Brahman herd.  I visited Houston and checked with some of the breeders to see if we could buy some cattle, but I didn't particularly like the cows that they offered to me at $70 a head.  They would only sell me one apiece.  But then I found some cattle that were owned by the Stark Estate at Orange, Texas.  The manager was a fellow by the name of Dan Hines, who was a former Texas Ranger.  They had some cattle and actually a few of the cows were halter broken.  They had shown them some at the show there in Houston.  They had had an outbreak of tick fever in Orange County, Texas, and so it was quarantined.  But in some way before the quarantine shut down in some measure they got this herd of cattle out of there and over into Louisiana in Calcasieu Parish at the ranch of Miss Matilda Gray.  He offered to sell me some of those cows.  I went down and inspected them and bought 20 cows for $100 apiece and we had them shipped back by train to Baton Rouge at the University.  They were very thin but they had good breeding and four of them were very gentle cows, which was unusual at that time.  Only those four were registered. The others had to be registered as foundation females at that time.  Of course, that was the first university in the United States that owned a herd of purebred Brahman cows, the first herd established at any state university.  That was in 1937.

WKG:            You said worked for the Extension Service until 1948.  So you worked throughout the war for the Extension Service?

HPG:            Right.

WKG:            If I remember right, you got to travel around the state a good bit at that time.

HPG:            I traveled more than half the time, I guess.

WKG:            How did you get gas with the rationing?

HPG:            Well, we had an "A" card, I believe they called it at that time.  We get a certain amount of gas and tires.

WKG:            So that was quite a privilege?

HPG:            Yes, it sure was.

WKG:            Then in 1948?

HPG:            I became the first Executive Secretary of the American Brahman Breeders' Association in Houston.

WKG:            How did you make contact with the Brahman Association?  Did they seek you out?

HPG:            After I bought these cows....  Mr. __________ and Dr. Jacob's and Mr. Hudgins and a number of the prominent breeders of that era....  I knew some of them, and then in 1942, I think it was, I was put on the Board of Directors of the American Brahman Breeders' Association as a representative of Louisiana State University.  They only had about 12 Directors at that time, and I served on the Board of Directors for four years, 1942 to 1946, I believe it was. So I knew a good many of the people.  When they decided in 1948 to hire an Executive Secretary, I was contacted.  Gale Whitcomb was President of the American Brahman Breeders' Association at that time.

WKG:            Was the Association --  had they moved to Houston then or were they in the process of doing that?

HPG:            Yes, they had already moved.  They moved to Houston in 1947. They had been there part of a year before I went with them.

WKG:            That was on Louisiana Street?

HPG:            No, that was 2711 S. Main in Houston.

WKG:            I remember that.

HPG:            We later moved to 1208 Louisiana, where the Hyatt Regency Hotel is now, and then later built a building of our own out on the Gulf Freeway.  I think that was built in 1956.  We stayed there for several years and in 1973 we built the current building out near the domed stadium, 1313 La Concha Lane.

WKG:            Why don't we get ready to go hunting, and then I'd like to talk to you some about some of your traveling next time we sit down, o.k.?

WKG:            When we stopped yesterday I said I was going to ask about some of your traveling while you were with the Brahman Association.  When did you first start going overseas and what was the reason for all that?

HPG:            Well, actually, the first overseas trip I took was to Cuba in the fall of 1948, soon after I joined the Association in April of 1948.  The reason for it was that all of the calves to be registered in Cuba, even though they were out of registered cows and by registered bulls, had to be inspected by a committee from the United States.  The Cubans didn't trust each other enough to give the right records, so we had to inspect, give the color, the brand and the description of every calf we registered in Cuba.  We went over there every year in late November or early December from 1948 to 1960 just before Castro took over.

WKG:            Weren't you there about the time Castro was taking over in 1960?

HPG:            We were there in the middle of December of 1960 and right at Christmas time or right at the first of the year in 1961 was when he took over.

WKG:            Were there any differences then in the city from the previous times?

HPG:            Oh, yeah, there was lots... well, even the year before that when we traveled down the central highway in Cuba on one occasion we were stopped three of four times and they inspected all of our luggage.  In fact, we were traveling in a station wagon.  We had to get out and take out all of our luggage, open it and they looked at everything in there. The last couple of years they would not allow us to wear khaki pants.  If you took khaki pants down and you entered Customs in Havana, they just put them in escrow until you left and gave them back to you.  You couldn't wear khaki pants because, I've forgotten what year, a year or two prior to that Castro first got into the Army barracks in Santiago and took over.  He dressed in Army khakis and got into the Army and killed a bunch of people in that city, Santiago.

WKG:            You and I went to Cuba together in 1952 and we went to, as I remember, besides Havana, down to Camaguay province and then back up to Pina del Rio Province.  Is that typically where you would go or would you go all over the country?

HPG:            Well, usually, in later years when the numbers became quite large.  We actually started out with one committee and finally got up to the point where we were inspecting over 1,500 calves a year and then we had it broken down into three committees of two men each.  Usually what we did... maybe a part of the committee would go up to Pina del Rio and then take a nearby area or province.  I think Cuba has five provinces, five or six.  Then one committee would fly all the way down to Santiago and one to Camaguay and inspect in those areas.  Maybe Santiago would come back toward Camaguay and Camaguay would come back toward Havana.  We just went to the central provinces like Camaguay which was the largest cattle-producing area.

WKG:            When did you start going to Central and South America.

HPG:            Well, in the early 1960's we started making annual trips down there.  About '60 or '61 we started inspecting cattle there in several of those countries, largely Guatemala and Costa Rica.  We went all the way to Panama and inspected cattle in Panama.

WKG:            For the same reason?  For registration?

HPG:            Yeah.

WKG:            How about South America?  You used to go to Colombia some, I believe?

HPG:            Just occasionally to shows. We never registered cattle as such in Colombia.  They had a very excellent cattle breeders' association of their own and usually the cattle registered in the American Brahman Breeders' Association were accepted in the Colombian Association when they were purchased by breeders in that country.

WKG:            I thought you had gone to Brazil and Argentina.

HPG:            Well, yes, on one or two occasions I went with a group from the State Fair of Texas.  They sponsored tours down there and they usually had representatives from several cattle breeders' associations and other interested people.  One year we visited every capital in South America except Bolivia.

WKG:            Do you remember what year that was?

HPG:            No, I don't.  I went on two trips and we went all the way down.  We did not go to Bolivia, but every other country. The Pan American Livestock Exposition sponsored a dinner in the capital city of each country in South America that particular year.

WKG:            When did you first go to Africa?

HPG:            1963.  I judged the first national Brahman show in South Africa.

WKG:            Where was that show in South Africa?

HPG:            Capetown or Johannesburg.  They ran an Easter show in April, 1963.

WKG:            In Johannesburg?

HPG:            Yes.

WKG:            What other countries in Africa?

HPG:            Well, the only others in Africa that I visited was in Southwest Africa, Rhodesia and Mozambique.

WKG:            You made more than one trip to Africa, didn't you?

HPG:            Two.  Again, in '65 or '66, I've forgotten which.

WKG:            How many times did you go to Australia?

HPG:            Just once.

WKG:            With Mr. Carpenter?

HPG:            Mr. Locke, Mr. Carpenter and I.  In 1973, I believe that was.

WKG:            You stayed?

HPG:            Five weeks.

WKG:            What was your principal reason for that trip?

HPG:            Well, that particular year, Mr. Carpenter was President of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and Australia was shipping quite a lot of frozen beef to the United States.  Some of the cattlemen were not too happy with it for several reasons.  So Mr. Carpenter decided that he wanted to go down as President of the largest cattlemen's association in this country, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, to investigate the situation there.  So he had planned to go down and he had chartered a plane and was going to stay and go around.  He had planned to take some of the other officials of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers, several past presidents and several other of the officers.  It ended up all of them checked out on him.  Leon Locke and I were in Venezuela at the time.  He called us in Venezuela and told us that all of the people at Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association had to cancel plans to go with him.  So if we could get to Australia, we would be his guests on that plane route for five weeks there.  I contacted the Foreign Agricultural Service that had sponsored our trip to Africa and other places promoting the sale of Brahman cattle.  Leon Locke at the time was President of the American Brahman Breeders Association.  The head of the Foreign Agricultural Service at that time, Jim Hart, told us that they had various reports from nearly all of the foreign countries where they had foreign agricultural agents in those counties, but if we would write them a complete report of what we saw as cattlemen, he would give us plane tickets to Australia.  So that's what we did.  We got plane tickets there and the three of us collaborated in writing the report of what we thought about the cattle business and what we found in Australia.

WKG:            Daddy, you went to the Philippines one time, or at least once.

HPG:            Twice.

WKG:            When was that?

HPG:            I've forgotten, but Mr. Locke and I came back through the Philippines on that particular trip in '73.  I'd been through there prior to that.  Mr. Perette and I went there a few years prior to that.  It must have been in late '60's, around '69 or '70.

WKG:            Why did you make those trips?

HPG:            Because we were selling a lot of cattle to the Philippines.

WKG:            So those were just marketing trips.

HPG:            Yes.

WKG:            Did you get to see many of the islands in the Philippines?

HPG:            Saw them all.  Fortunately, the man that kind of took us under his wing there was a Filipino, a cattleman there who had bought a lot of cattle in the United States, Tony ______.  The government of the Philippines has bought a good many cattle.  So we went there and one of the representatives of the Agricultural Service in Washington went along with us.  ______ had some interest in, did a lot of business with Cal-Tech Oil Company.  They put a plane at our disposal for the better part of a week while we were down there.  We flew all the way down to the large island on the end, Mindanao, and stopped at four or five of the large islands and visited cattle ranches.  But largely in Mindanao.  We did visit quite a little on several islands there.

WKG:            What others?  Did I leave any of the particular areas of the world... you went to Europe, but you never went there really on business, did you?

HPG:            No, just went through Europe going to Africa.  I came back through and Barbara met me and we traveled in Europe then. I had been to Africa before, but that's the way we got there.

WKG:            You never went to India, did you?

HPG:            No.

WKG:            What do you think were during the 25 years you were with the Brahman Association the major events or accomplishments during that period of time?  Of course, the registrations increased dramatically, didn't they?

HPG:            Yes.  Well, of course, we did sell a lot of cattle in several of those countries during that period through visiting there.  Several years we were transferring more cattle into foreign countries than we were in the United States.  More cattle were going out of the country than were registered in this country.

WKG:            Weren't there some years 4,000 or 5,000 head were being exported?

HPG:            Yes.  Venezuela at one time bought nearly 4,000 head one year.  Then one year Nicaragua bought 1,000 heifers.  A lot of those countries bought several hundred head a year.

WKG:            How were they typically shipped?

HPG:            Nearly all of them went by plane when I was with the Association.  One shipment went to Africa by boat.  Most of them went by plane.  I believe the cattle that went to the Philippines, the first shipment went by boat perhaps.  And one shipment to Botswana went by steamer, but by and large in later years they were all going by plane.  In fact, one of the biggest early planeloads of bulls went to Madagascar.

WKG:            I'm going to switch the subject and go back a good bit and ask you a few miscellaneous questions.  The house that Pips (George L. Gayden, Sr.) and Grandmother lived in that I remember, how did that come to be built?  The little house behind George's house.

HPG:            They lived there right after they married.  Sis and John were both probably born up in the old one.  Then they built this house and lived there when Father was building the other house that was built in 1905.  John was born just at the turn of the century, just a year or two later, I guess. But I don't really know why that house was built there, but it was first built there.  Of course it took them more than a year to build it.  It burned in 1923.

WKG:            I think yesterday you said it burned in '26.

HPG:            '26, maybe that's right.  Yes.

WKG:            You would have been off to school.

HPG:            I was in Baton Rouge at the time.

WKG:            Why did they not rebuild it?  Most of you gone by then, or was it just too expensive?

HPG:            Well, that was one of the things, too expensive.  He built that when he had his own sawmill and sawed most of the timber there.  Just too expensive.  They repaired this other older house that had been used by some people that worked for him from time to time.  Several families lived in that house.

WKG:            That was a good sized house, the big house was, wasn't it?

HPG:            Yes, it was quite a large house.  It had six bedrooms upstairs, but no baths upstairs.  Only two baths in the house, one downstairs between the master bedroom and the back bedroom and then another one over back behind what we called the parlor.  Have you ever seen a picture of that house?

WKG:            No.  I didn't know a picture existed of it.

HPG:            I have a picture of it on a sale catalog.

WKG:            I'd like to see that some time.  Maybe I can get somebody to copy it for me.

HPG:            I thought I gave it... it was on the back of a sale magazine and I thought I gave one to somebody to have reproduced.

WKG:            I don't remember us getting it.  Maybe someone else.

HPG:            I have one at home.  I'd be glad for one of you to have it.

HPG,JR:            That was a sale when they used to come up on the railroad and Pips used to tell me they'd bring the cars up, the railroad cars to the sale and stop the train there and disconnect the cars, and people would come up on railroad cars.

WKG:            For what, a dairy sale?

HPG:            Yes, he had sales there in 1918 and 1919, I believe.  Sales of dairy cattle.  The barn was completed in 1918, and I believe he had a sale in 1918 and one in 1919.  I had two of those magazines.  One had the house on one them and the barn on the other... a picture on the front of those magazines.

WKG:            Harry, have you got anything?  I'm going to change the subject again.

HPG:            You know something, some time along the line I hope both of you can come home in Houston and just spend a day or two. There are some things around the house, something like that I'd like to give you all.

WKG:            I've been thinking about coming down and just spending... just come down one day and spend the night with you and come back the next day.

HPG,JR:            Things like that... a lot of things that Sis has.  Since she has the interest and the time to preserve it, I think It ought to be somebody else's place to get that stuff from her.  I mean some... I don't mean to take Sis's things, but, for instance, I know that she has a copy of the program of a piano recital that grandmother played in when she was a young girl in, I want to say in New Orleans.

HPG:            Well, maybe she played in New Orleans, but she was raised right there.

HPG,JR:            No, I mean while she was in school, because she went to school in New Orleans. 

HPG:            No, I don't believe Mother did.  She went to Millwood, right up by _________.

HPG,JR:            Where did I get in my mind someone telling me about laughing at the girls that went to Sophie Newcomb because it was such a small school compared to the ones they went to.  I just had in the back of my mind that it was Grandmother.  It might have been someone else.

HPG:            I don't think so.  I could be wrong.  Of course, Irene and Sis both went to Newcomb.

HPG,JR:            Right.  But I thought that Grandmother did.

WKG:            Sis went off to school before she went to Newcomb, didn't she?

HPG:            Oh, yes, she went to Belle Haven in Mississippi.  Sis and Irene both went to _______, of course.  Then Sis went to Belle Haven.  She went two or three times in the fall and came back early in the spring.

WKG:            Daddy, to the best of my recollection, Pips was born at Gurley in February of 1870.

HPG:            February 19, 1970.  Well, actually, at Oakland.  Not at Gurley, back up at Oakland, half a mile west of Gurley.

WKG:            What do you remember him telling you about his early life.

HPG:            Well, not too much about it.  I really didn't know too much about his early life.

WKG:            Do you know anything about where he might have gone to school?

HPG:            No, I really didn't exactly.  I understood he took a business course someplace, possibly Kentucky, because he always thought a lot of Kentucky.  I thought somewhere up in Kentucky he and my mother's brother, Dr. _____ Keller.  I think they went to school together up there and took a business course.  But I really didn't know much of his younger life.

WKG:            I showed you a few months ago a map that looked like he owned 700 or 800 acres of land by 1899, most of the land being from where the present crossroads of the railroad and the Jackson-Clinton road are back towards Clinton.  Do you have any memory of how he may have gotten the land back west of there?

HPG:            No, I really don't.  I didn't know how he acquired that land.  That's something I never really knew, how he got that land.  I was only familiar with him buying the _____ place and then later another place he bought in there, but I wasn't too familiar... we called it the Riley place and then the East place.

WKG:            How did he acquire that land back where Sis was?  Some of that was called the Chapman place.

HPG:            Well, no, Dr. Irwin bought the Chapman place.  Well, actually, Jack Thompson's father owned that.  He was an uncle of Pips', brother to Pips' mother.  It was owned by Jack Thompson.  Actually, the bank took it over and they wanted to get rid of it.  Dad didn't really want it.  He was kind of land poor then at the time.  They sold it to him very cheaply to get it off of their books.

WKG:            Do you have any idea about when that would be?

HPG:            No, not really.

HPG,JR:            That was in my lifetime, because I remember when the Thompsons lived there.

HPG:            Yeah, they lived there a year or two after he bought it.

HPG,JR:            Is that right?

HPG:            Yes.  I've forgotten just how long.  He let them continue living there.  Then later he bought the East place.  I believe Dr. Irwin bought the Chapman place.

WKG:            He bought the East place after he bought the Thompson place?

HPG:            No, prior to the Thompson place.  Two brothers, Merritt and Charlie East, owned the East place.  They both left and I think some of their sons and daughters sold it to him.

WKG:            In terms of time frame, are we talking about the 1920's or the 1930's?

HPG:            Well, I would say the East place was probably in the 30's.

WKG:            And then the Thompson place...

HPG,JR:            Late 30's, from what I can recall.

WKG:            But Uncle Kernan told me one time that he bought some land from Pips.

HPG:            Yes.

WKG:            Was that part of the Thompson place he may have bought?  Or did he buy the Chapman place from Pips?

HPG:            I think he bought a part of the Thompson place.

WKG:            He told me he bought it right after the end of the war, World War II, and that Pips had told him that to be fair to the rest of the members of the family that he would have to charge him what it was worth.  I can't remember whether Uncle Kernan told me it was $10 an acre or $12 an acre, something like that.

HPG:            I think he bought a couple of hundred acres.  I've forgotten what.  It may have been the Chapman place, I'm not sure. But I think it was part of the Thompson place, the Jack Thompson, we called it.  Uncle Hezzie was Jack's father.

WKG:            Daddy, what do you know of Pips' early livelihood, his work? He was a farmer?

HPG:            Yes, he was a farmer and cattleman.  In fact, at one time in his desk, right around 1904 or somewhere in that area, I saw some records right around the turn of the century where he used to sell beef to the Asylum for 1.25¢ per pound, delivered dressed beef and carcasses to the Asylum.  At that time usually the beef was mature oxen.  A lot of times old worn-out oxen.  They would buy them up and put them out on the range and feed them a little for a year.  That was pretty typical, even in my lifetime in later years in the Teens, I can remember some of the last oxen in that country. He bought 100 head of oxen and worked two or three yokes of them.  But the others, he just put them in the pasture for a year or year and a half and then sold them.  Around the turn of the century he had a slaughter house back of the old gin where they slaughtered that meat.  It was all concrete where they could wash down and everything.  It was back of the old gin down there.  He delivered that meat, put it in a covered wagon kind of thing and delivered it over to Jackson to the Asylum.

WKG:            In farming, what was his principal crop in those days?

HPG:            Well, corn and cotton.  Corn for feeding the cattle and hogs.  He had a lot of hogs.  He always raised a lot of hogs.  I remember each winter it wasn't unusual for him a couple of times during the winter for him to kill 10 or 15 hogs at a time.  They'd make sausage at home and sell a lot of the meat to the store there.  They raised a lot of hogs. And the dairy as long as I can remember was the biggest cash crop that we had.  The dairy that was up there where we were talking about just to the north of George's house.  Mother weighed the milk there every day and they must have milked between 75 and 100 cows there for years and years and sold the milk.  Then for a number of years the biggest cash flow was a contract with the charity hospital in New Orleans.  I think it finally got up to 250 or 300 gallons a day.  He shipped it by the noon train in thermos cans.  When he built that barn in 1918 and 1919 that you all knew.

WKG:            The one by the railroad tracks.

HPG:            Yeah.  They put in refrigeration, as you recall, there. That milk would go over this aerator and would nearly bring it down to freezing and then they put it in cold storage and later put it in thermos cans with covers over them and put them on the noon train and shipped it to New Orleans every day to the charity hospital for years and years.  When he got up to the point where he was getting 30¢ a gallon for the milk, we thought it was something great.

WKG:            30¢?

HPG:            A gallon.  It finally got up to that point.  I don't think he ever got any more.

WKG:            Daddy, how many cows did he milk down at the barns there at the railroad tracks?

HPG:            The total number of stalls that barn had was ... (gap on tape)... completely full         at once.  I don't think that north barn was always full.  But he milked, what did we say?  240? He milked over 200 for a good long time.

WKG:            In those days they wouldn't bring in two bunches? 

 HPG:            No, they all came.

WKG:            All the cattle came in at one time.

HPG:            Yeah, they were segregated into pastures.  Holsteins here, and some of the Jerseys here, and different cows in different pastures.  I mean, different barns came from different pastures.  They had as I recall five or six different pastures they sometimes were using.

WKG:            Now, they milked those by hand.

HPG:            All by hand for a long time.

WKG:            Daddy, don't I remember that he had those barns segregated and that one barn was a Guernsey barn and one barn was Jersey, and then the big double barns were Holstein barns, or something like that?

HPG:            Well, no, actually, right where they weighed the milk they were always Jerseys there.  The next one over was Holsteins primarily.  And then in later years he did have some Guernsey's, but not many.  But most of the time he had about two-thirds to three-fourths Jerseys and about one-fourth Holsteins.

 WKG:            He always had a pretty good number of beef cattle, and he always had those?

HPG:            Yes, as long as I can remember he had beef cattle.  In the early days just before and after World War I, he fed out some old steers.  I'm talking about four and five year old steers.  And one year he shipped two steers to St. Louis. We called them "Nip" and "Tuck".  And at that time they said they were two of the best steers that had ever come out of Louisiana.  The most money he ever got for steers was around 22¢ right after or during World War I.  They were Red Poll and Devonshires, big red steers he sold in a carload.

WKG:            Where did he ship those to?

HPG:            St. Louis.

WKG:            Why were they going to St. Louis?

HPG:            I don't know why.  He bought all of his mules at St. Louis. And New Orleans later.

WKG:            Now would he go up to St. Louis to buy mules?

HPG:            Yes, he always went there to buy mules.

WKG:            I guess he could get on the train and go up that way?

HPG:            Yeah.  And then they were shipped by riverboat back to Bayou Sarah.  John and I drove the last bunch of mules back that he bought in St. Louis.

WKG:            Remember when that would have been?

HPG:            No.  I don't know.  I would say in the '20s, but I don't know exactly when.  I must have been in my middle teens.

HPG,JR:            How long did it take you to drive them back?

HPG:            We rode over there in the afternoon.  John was going to a dance that night.  He went with somebody else and a Negro named Mathis _____ and I rode over and led his horse.  We waited for him till the dance was over and before daylight, about 3:00 or 4:00 o'clock in the morning we went south with those mules.  I remember coming down the road and somebody had just run over a goose with a car.  I killed a goose down there.  We were coming out of  Bayou Sarah then.  I think its St. Francisville now.

WKG:            Were you driving the mules or leading them?

HPG:            Driving them.  Sometimes we had to take an old mare or maybe lead one.  But by and large we drove them.  We drove through Jackson and down that way.  As I recall, we got home in the early afternoon.

WKG:            Daddy, Pips like to ride horseback, didn't he?

HPG:            Yeah, even up until he was past 80.

WKG:            Did he like horses?

HPG:            Very fond of horses, what we called then "walking horses", with a fox-trot or running walk.

WKG:            When did he get the white cattle?

HPG:            I don't know exactly what year it was.  He bought those cattle from a Mr. Ball, as I recall.  Most of them were white with red ears.  There weren't many of them with black ears.  Those cattle down through the years have been crossed with most every other kind, Red Polls and everything else, and that color was dominant.  A few of them had dark ears. Some of them had red ears.  I've forgotten what year that was.  We first used a white Shorthorn bull on them.

WKG:            How did this Mr. Ball get them?  Did you all have any idea?

HPG:            No.  Some way they were supposed to be descendants of some cattle that the Barrows family over near St. Francisville had and they supposedly came in about the same time the first Brahman bulls in that area.  1849 or somewhere in that area there.  The same people maybe had some of those early white cattle.  Then, of course, in later years, I believe after I came to work in Houston, I found out the King Ranch had a herd of those white cattle on their place.  Dr. _____ was down there.  I contacted him and he sold us a bull. Then after that when Secretary of Defense Wilson lived up there, he got a bull from -- what's the big place in Washington.

HPG,JR:            Not the Smithsonian?

HPG:            Yeah, the Smithsonian had a herd of white cattle and they swapped a bull with Pips.  They sent him a bull.  Probably the first pure white, that one and the King Ranch, were the first pure white cattle he ever used.  The only two really pure that he ever used.

WKG:            Was sheep production ever any major crop?

HPG:            Wool, yes.

WKG:            I can remember shearing and all and the people coming to shear.

HPG:            He ran at one time more than 100 sheep and had an old colored man, Howard Robertson, that did all the shearing. I used to catch them for him, jam them in the pen and catch them for him.  He'd tie them up and shear them.  We sold the wool and then at a later date Mother used to send that wool off and have blankets made of it at a company somewhere. I've forgotten where.  She'd send the wool off and they'd make blankets and send the blankets back.  We also had a bunch of goats in the swamp.  Like the Spanish goat.  Most of them were white.  Sometimes they would get up to 100 goats.  But frequently dogs would get them or the high water.  The creeks got up and drowned a bunch of them.  We'd go down and catch a few of the young billies to eat.

WKG:            He had the only sheep I remember seeing in that part of the country.

HPG:            We always had sheep.

WKG:            Daddy, you were listening and describing that period of time, at least up to the late 30's.  That agricultural operation at Gurley was a pretty diversified, self-sufficient type operation.  That was a lot more typical then than now, wasn't it.

HPG:            Right.  We always had a good many hogs and a one time a pretty big flock of sheep, some goats, beef cattle and dairy cattle.  Of course, then we had to grow feed.  At one time we were filling four or five silos.  They had one there and then they had two behind the big barns down there.  And we had silos over at Alpinwood.  That was the part Clarence and Sis had.  We called that Alpinwood.  That at one time belonged to the old Morgan family.

WKG:            Describe where the Alpinwood part is.  Down by McManus?

HPG:            No.  It was right up, you know where our land goes south on the highway?

WKG:            Down to where the pens were?

HPG:            Yeah, a road went right by those pens and right up the hill where Irene and Clarence... you know where Clarence planted those pecan trees up on the hill?

WKG:            Yes, sir.

HPG:            There was a great big old home up there built by the Morgans.

WKG:            Then the Fay place was north of there?

HPG:            No, that's the Fay place.

WKG:            That's part of the ____ place.  The house was called Alpinwood.  It appears to me there was a lot of equipment and things around Gurley.

HPG:            Of course they had the gin there and then they had a workshop down there where the did work of that kind.  They had a scale, a big scale where they could weigh cattle, and cattle pens.  They could drive a truck, or wagons mostly, and weighed cotton.  And the gin and all that was just south of the old store.  They had the gin right next to the railroad and then a big seed house, we called it, and then the scales and cattle pens.  Below that they had the loading pens where they loaded our carloads of cattle just below the old gin.

HPG,JR:            Yes, I remember.  Also Pips had an extremely large garden.

HPG:            Four or five acres.

HPG,JR:            Five acres of garden.  I'm sure I'm wrong, but it seemed like almost a half acre of strawberries.

WKG:            I remember strawberries being up toward Kid White's house.

HPG:            You see from that ditch on to the top of the hill was a garden on the left going up there.  Then you remember the pecan trees all on the right?  We used to run calves from the old dairy along there.

WKG:            Daddy, didn't Pips operate a steam engine at one time?

HPG:            Well, yeah, when he filled the silos.  All of that that was eventually cut up was run by steam.  It was not self-propelled, but it had big wide wheels, high wheels and had a smokestack and it was fired by wood.  In the early days all the engines were run by steam and his sawmills and all were run by steam.

WKG:            Oxen would pull those things?

HPG:            Yeah, used oxen a lot to move that thing.  Well, used oxen and mules, sometimes together, to pull it around, depending on how much mud was around.  And that same steam engine ran for years and years the little sawmill.  We called it a tie mill.  They used to saw cross ties.  You'd saw them up and sell them to the railroad.

WKG:            Why would you ever use oxen rather than a mule?

HPG:            Oxen could pull in mud in places where mules wouldn't do too well.  In woods and places like that, where we used to get cut logs out down in a wet place, that had a little thing they called a bummer.  It was triangular and had two little wheels with a metal ring around them.  That bummer was triangled out like that with the wheels back here.  They could take that thing and stand it up with the triangle up and put two hooks in the end of a log and then put oxen to it and pull it down and as it pulled down, it would flip the end of that log on top of that bummer and you dragged the rear end out to get it out of the woods, out to where you could load it on an ox cart.

HPG,JR:            Ties were also hand cut.  I can remember....

HPG:            Yeah, a lot of them were hand-hewn.  People brought them in from back out in the sticks, we called it, back out west of home there.  We had a man who used to live back in there, Mr. Kent.  He would haul ties from back in there and load them on gondolas and fill them up with cross ties and ship them out to where they had to be treated.

HPG,JR:            Mr. Davis used to hand-hew.

HPG:            Yeah.

WKG:            Daddy, do you remember when Highway 19 was built?

HPG:            Oh, yes, yes.  There was quite a discussion about where to put it.  Pips thought it should have been on the west side of the road up the other way.  He thought it shouldn't have been down on that side, and he fought it for a long time and lost some friends over that.

WKG:            Where did he think it should be?

HPG:            He thought it should have been up toward Oakland, somewhere up there.

WKG:            Oh, on the other side of the railroad?

HPG:            Yeah, up there.  Back up kind of between our house and Oakland, somewhere up on that side.  He thought that higher land up through there was better than coming through the redwood bottoms over there.

WKG:            When it was first built it was built as a gravel road, wasn't it?

HPG:            Yeah, that's right.  It was a gravel road a good long time.

WKG:            Pips was active in the local parish politics?

HPG:            Yeah, he was a Police Juror for years and years.

WKG:            Is that the equivalent of a county commissioner.

                   HPG:    Right.  Police Juror, they called it -- same as a county commissioner.  They still call it Jurors.

HPG,JR:            That's right.

HPG,JR:            Didn't Pips plant those oak trees at the courthouse?

WKG:            Yeah.  Robert Bell and Johnny Mills planted all of those. And, of course, all of those in front of George's house. The first group of them, about two-thirds down toward the railroad, were planted prior to any time I can remember.  It must have been soon after 1905 after they built the house. Just at the lower edge of that corn, right there was the end.  Over that road there was a great big white gate.  It had a big gate, kind of like coming in the entrance.  On the left just beyond there was a great big pin oak or water oak on the left with a little old shop under it.  For a long time they didn't put any trees down there.  Then later on they put those trees on down nearly to the railroad.  That was up in the early Teens before they put those there.  That soil down there, you see, doesn't wash at all... better soil.  They have caught and passed some of the trees up further.  Originally, they had live oaks on either side of the road and then water oaks, or pin oaks, two rows of those on either side all the way down.

WKG:            Daddy, yesterday you told us a story about live oaks not being native to that part of the country and how they supposedly came in there.

HPG:            Yes.  As far as I know, in that immediate country, there were not any live oaks.  I have never seen a live oak in the swamp or anywhere in that area, and on the land that we owned, all of our land is east of 19.  I only know of two live oaks and that's in recent years.  There's one right east of the pens and another one over on the East place.

WKG:            Both probably at old house sites, maybe.

HPG:            No, neither of them was.  I think a bird or something must have just taken them there.  Neither one of them is at a house site.  They're relatively young trees, grown up since I can remember.  An old lady, her name was Flowers, supposedly brought acorns from Pass Christian or somewhere over on the Mississippi coast and planted them up at Oakland.  The big live oaks are still standing there, and supposedly all of the others came from acorns the birds spread around, primarily over in front of there.  All of the oaks down in front of George's house, most of them, came from right across in front of Oakland, down towards the Negro church and over that way, north of Oakland, all in that area.  They'd dig them up where the birds had spread them, you know, about that big and planted them down there. I don't know any of that country within a given distance of there where there are any live oaks in that part of the country.

HPG,JR:            Daddy, is pine really indigenous to that area?

HPG:            Yes.  There are not a lot of pines in there, but those pines are indigenous there.




John Keller Gayden


Mrs. John K. Gayden

January 26, 2021


John Keller Gayden is the first born to George L. Gayden and Irene Keller Gayden at Oakland Plantation, Y. & M. V. R. R.,[103] East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana on January 28, 1899.

He graduated from high school at Chamberlain Hunt Academy, Port Gibson, Mississippi, and attended Mississippi State University, Starksville, Mississippi, where he was a member of the Lee Guards, later Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Due to World War I left Mississippi State to work in the oil fields at Smackover, Arkansas. Due to an old football injury was forced to leave oil fields for surgery after which he returned to his home, Gurley, Louisiana to farm with his father.

He was employed by the Pet Milk Company to work for the Blue Ribbon Creamery in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was made manager. He later became engaged in the ice cream business in Mississippi and then in Louisiana.

he married Dorothy Cassidy of Bogalusa, Washington Parish, Louisiana in 1936 and fathered two daughters, Anne and Irene.

In 1937, he returned to Gurley to assist his father in the dairy and beef cattle business and later acquired a dairy and beef cattle business of his own.

In 1940 the Fidelity Bank of Baton Rouge, Louisiana hired him as an outside salesman for their bank to acquire new business and accounts for them. He continued to carry on his dairy and  beef  cattle business at Gurley during this time and upon terminating his association with Fidelity Bank, was engaged by the then newly organized American Bank and Trust Company of Baton Rouge in more or less the same capacity.

His beef cattle and dairy business grew and demanded full time so after several successful years with the Baton Rouge banks he devoted full time to his interests in East Feliciana.

In November, 1952 he accepted an offer from the Deposit Guaranty Bank of Jackson, Mississippi to join them and organize an agricultural and livestock department and manage same. In 1953, he was named a vice president.

He continued to oversee his operation in East Feliciana for a number of years but eventually sold out, bringing his beef cattle to Mississippi and operating a beef cattle farm in closer proximity. After his retirement from Deposit Guaranty in December, 1965, he remained with the bank in an advisory capacity for a couple of years after which he devoted full time to his beef cattle interest in Hines County. For health reasons, he retired from this five or six years later.

During his tenure with the Deposit Guaranty Bank, he was active in many civic organizations, Chamber of Commerce, Hinds County Farm Bureau, The Farm Club, Production Credit Association, to name a few. He is a member of St. James Episcopal Church. He and his daughter Anne were among the original officers and on the board of the Red Angus Association and charter members of same. While in East Feliciana before moving to Mississippi in 1952, he served on the East Feliciana School Board at Clinton, Louisiana.

John K. Gayden related to his daughter Anne that as a boy, "Pips" (George L. Gayden (VI)) sent him to Puerto Rico on a cattle boat with Jersey cows to deliver them to a doctor there. They were to be the first on the island.[104] ( I had heard this story before and only doubt that these would be the first Jersey cattle in Puerto Rico.)


X.                 GEORGE LEA GAYDEN, JR.


Gayden Remembered[105]



 With the passing of George L. Gayden Jr., conservation has lost a great friend and a staunch supporter.

George L., as he was known to many friends dedicated 44 years to promoting soil and water conservation.

In the roaring '20s, there was an expression, "Let George Do It." That expression was especially true of Gayden. If there was a hard job to be done that required the greatest tact and leadership, you could be sure Gayden was called on to do it. People in the Feliciana Soil and Water Conservation District knew Gayden was a man who you could be depended on to do the job and do it well.

Gayden was born on June 16, 1906, at the family plantation at Gurley. He began handling cattle at the tender age of 6 and loved working on the farm from that time on.

He attended prep school at Chamberlain Hunt Academy at Port Gibson, Miss., and received his bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University, where he played end for the Fighting Tigers football team. He was also a member of the LSU wrestling team.

The Gayden farm was an ideal place to receive training in all phases of farm work. Farming began on the farm in 1832, when members of the Gayden family moved there from South Carolina.[106] In 1932 George L. Gayden Sr. was honored as Master Farmer. With this background, it was natural that George Jr. would understand and love farming and raising cattle.

Gayden loved people, and this, combined with a desire to help his fellow man and an outstanding personality, made him one of the most popular men in this area.

In 1937, he became a friend to many farmers by his work with Baton Rouge Production Credit Association. He helped many struggling farmers begin a profitable cattle farm.

When the Feliciana Soil Conservation District was organized in 1938, it was only natural that Gayden was elected District Supervisor. He served in that capacity and as chairman of the district board of supervisors until his death. Gayden was recognized in April 1982 as holding a national record for continuous service as a Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor.

Gayden was a past member of the State Soil Conservation Committee, served as president of Louisiana Cattlemen's Association, Louisiana Hereford Association, East Feliciana Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Committee, Louisiana Brucellosis Committee and as vice chairman of the Louisiana Brand Commission.

The Progressive Farmer magazine named Gayden Man of the year in Louisiana Agriculture in 1959.

Gayden married the former Mattie Louise Robards of Jackson. Mattie's gracious charm endeared her to the hearts of everyone. The couple was blessed with a lovely daughter, Eugenia "Gene" Burlingame, and two grandchildren, Georgene "Happy" Burlingame McKnight and Carl Allen Burlingame.

This can in no way portray the warm and friendly person that George L. was. We who have been closely associated with him during his career, will feel an emptiness that can never be filled.

XI.              BIBLE RECORDS


The following is a copy of a hand written list done by my great aunt Octavia Gayden Tullis

“This copy is made from our Family Bible- Gayden- by me, Octavia Gayden Tullis, Sept. 9, 1953.[107]


In handwriting of may father Iveson Green Gayden.

Agrippa Gayden and Margaret Muse Lea, Dec. - 1821(2)

Thos. W. Scott and Elizaberh McKirkland, April 11, 2021

Iveson G. Gayden and Ellen E. Scott, Dec. 2nd, 1851

Agrippa Gayden and Mary Octavia Perkins, Dec. 26th 1878

E. Norwood Perkins and Minerva Gayden, Jan. 23rd 1879

I. Duncan Norwood and Ellen E. Gayden, Jan 23rd 1879

In the handwriting of someone else, probably Georgie Perkins

Agrippa Gayden and Kate Norwood Perkins, Feb. 16, 1882

Harry S. Perkins and Mary Elvira Gayden, Jan. 13, 1887

Dr. Samuel J. Perkins and Julia L. Gayden, Jan. 23, 1890

George L. Gayden and Irene Keller

William Percy Gayden and Gertrude Brownlee, Dec 21, 2020

Donald Derickson and Margaret Gayden, June 27, 2020

Iveson Green Gayden and Mamie Hands, Aug. 11, 1917

Octavia Perkins Gayden and Robert Lee Tullis, Oct 23, 2020

James J. Robert and (Mary) Octavia Gayden, March 18, 2021

Erwin F. Lyon and Mary Eleanor Perkins

Edwin Meador and Ellie Lee Perkins

Lewis Gayden Perkins and Frances Webb, Sept. 12, 1920

William Floyd Williamson and Georgie May Perkins, Aug. 16, 1922

Thomas Rasco Drisdale and Iva Gayden Perkins, July 22, 2020



In Papa’s handwriting( Iveson Green Gayden)

Agrippa Gayden, Born July 21, 2020

Margaret Muse Lea, Jan 2, 2021

Thos. W. Scott, April 7, 2021

Elizabeth McKenny Kirkland, Oct. 11, 1798

Ellen E. Scott, May 2, 2020

Iveson Greene Gayden, Jan. 19, 1825

Margaret Lea, daughter of I. G. Gayden and Ellen E. Scott was born Aug. 28, 1852

Agrippa Gayden, son of I. G. Gayden and Ellen E. Scott, Nov. 9, 1853

Minerva, daughter of ditto, born June 5, 2020

Martha, daughter of ditto, born Nov. 30, 1856

Thomas F. Gayden, son of ditto, born May 11, 2020

Ellen E., daughter of ditto, born April 8, 2021

Mary Elvira, daughter of ditto, born Feb. 9, 1862

Julia Lea Gayden, daughter of  I.G. Gayden and Martha J. Thompson, April 24, 2020

George Lea Gayden, son of ditto, Feb. 19, 1870

Iva May Gayden, daughter of ditto, May 20, 2020

Wm. Percy, son of ditto, Dec 24, 2020

Joseph Redhead, son of ditto, Feb 8, 2021

Iveson Green Gayden Jr. son of Agrippa Gayden and Mary Octavia Perkins,   October 4, 2020

Octavia Perkins Gayden, daughter of Iveson G. Gayden and M.J. Thompson, born March 4, 2021

Iveson Green Gayden, son of ditto, May 2, 2020

Margaret Kirby, daughter of ditto, Feb. 6, 1887

This is the end of birth records in Papa’s handwriting (Octavis G. Tullis)

The following births are in Georgie P. Williamson’s writing.

Lewis Gayden Perkins, son of  Harry Scott Perkins and Mary E. (Gayden) Perkins, March 13, 2021

Mackintosh Bridges Perkins, son of ditto, June 4, 2020

Georgie May Perkins, daughter of ditto, June 19, 2020

Iva Gayden Perkins, dauthter of ditto, March 27, 2021

Mary Octavia Gayden, daughter of Agrippa Gayden and Kate Perkins Gayden, born Nov 13, 2020

Lewis Perkins Gayden, son of ditto, April 14, 2021

Mary Eleanor Perkins, daughter of E. N. Perkins and Minerva Gayden Perkins Dec. ? 1880

Agrippa Gayden Perkins, son of ditto

Ellie Lee Perkins, daughter of ditto, born March 4, 2021

Minerva Norwood, daughter of I. D. Norwood and Ellen E. Gayden Norwood, Dec 1879

Thomas S. Norwood, son of ditto

Ellen Amanda Norwood, daughter of ditto

Frank L. Norwood, son of ditto, born Jan 7, 2021

William Floyd Williamson, son of W. Floyd Williamson and Georgie Perkins Williamson, born Dec. 20, 1924.



These in Papa’s (I.G. Gayden) writing

Agrippa Gayden, Jan. 17, 1845

Margaret M. Gayden, Oct 9, 1845

Elizabeth McKenny Scott, Sept. 18, 1848

Martha Gayden, Nov. 24, 1857

Margaret Lea Gayden, June 20, 1859

Thomas F. Gayden, Nov. 6, 1861

Ellen E. Gayden, wife of I.G. Gayden, Feb 21, 2021

Thomas W. Scott, Feb 28, 1871

Mary Octavia, wife of A. Gayden, Jr., Dec. 19, 1879

These in Percy’s writing

Iva May Gayden, June 7, 1896

Iveson Greene Gayden, Nov 17, 1896

This in Margaret’s writing

William Percy Gayden, March 8, 1911 ( I understand that this was a hunting

accident - William K. Gayden)

Georgie Williamson’s writing

Harry Scott Perkins, Oct 22, 1905

Dr. Lewis Gayden Perkins, Aug. 6, 1906

Mary Eleanor Perkins (wife of  Dr. Lewis Gayden Perkins), June 6, 1910

Katherine Perkins Gayden, April 12, 2021

Agrippa Gayden, Oct. 22, 1923

Martha Thompson Gayden, Oct. 26, 1930

Iveson G. Gayden, Jr. February 13, 2021

Georgie Hands Gayden, March 7, 1951

George Lea Gayden, March 18, 1954

Mamie Hands Gayden (first wife of I.G. Gayden, Jr.), Nov 23, 2020


Bible of George Lea Gayden and Martha Evelyn Scott Gayden, Bolivar County, Mississippi, original owners. Bible published by Jasper Harding, Philadelphia, 1850.[108]



George L. Gayden, October 8, 1822

Marhta E. Scott, August 2, 1828

Ellen Scott Gayden, September 2, 2020

William  Iveson Gayden, son, February 27, 2021

George Lea Gayden, March 19, 1853

Margaret Eliza Gayden, March 20, 2021

Mary Elvira Gayden, April 2, 1857

Ida Elvira Gayden, January 21, 1859

Theodore George Gayden, January 10, 2021

Thomas Scott Owen, November 5, 1870

Agrippa Gayden, born July 21, 1778, died January 19, 2021

Mary Muse Gayden, born January 2, 1803, died October 9, 2020

George Gayden Christmas, born June 8, 2020

Elizabeth Howell Christmas, born November 19, 2020



George Lea Gayden and Martha Evelyn Scott, December 3, 2020

Charles Thomas Christmas and Ellen Scott Gayden, June 8, 2020

Martha Evelyn Gayden to James M. Owen, May 20, 2020



Margaret E. Gayden, September 14, 2020

Mary Elvira Gayden, November 26, 2020

George Lea Gayden, Sr., September 30, 2020

Ellen Scott Christmas, April 16, 1872, daughter of George L. Gayden, Sr.

Martha E. Owen, February 11, 1878





XII.           OAKLAND[109]


Oakland, Gayden Home at Gurley, Is Carolina Plantation Type


Judge Thomas W. Scott Erected

House Century Ago In First Hills

of Feliciana at Scott Settlement


By Claire L. Gueymard.

            Built of heart pine cut from the virgin forest of the Feliciana hills, Oakland, the home of the Gayden family, is as sound today as ever, after more than 105 years.

            Almost fort-like in its strength and solidity, the house has a sturdy English simplicity combined with a perfection of finish and workmanship which make it truly distinctive among plantation houses of this section.

            Set deep in the rolling pasture lands of the Gayden plantation at Gurley, it stands behind a screen of magnificent live oaks so that those who approach get only an intriguing glimpse of many green-shuttered windows against white walls, under a sweeping shingled roof.

            But the house itself is even better than its promise-long and spacious, its picturesque quality enhanced by a quaint red-chimneyed “plantation office” at one end and a vast white-washed, green-topped kitchen at the other.  All has been softened by time, and verdue covers even the spreading branches and roots of the trees, carpeted with lichens and velvety green moss.  Yet Oakland wears its years with an air of timelessness rather than of great age.

                        Built By Judge Scott.

            Judge Thomas W. Scott, who built the house as a young man, came from South Carolina, as did Agrippa Gayden, whose descendants still live there.  Thus the house has a hint of Carolina traditions about it, even today.  Unlike many of the plantation houses of this section, which show French or Spanish influence, its derivation is purely English.

            There is a wide front gallery the length of the house, with posts octagonally shaped above the wooden railing with its graceful sweeping balusters.  Above the gallery’s slanting roof is an unbroken line of shuttered windows, beneath the high eaves and the steeply slanting roof.  The entire house is raised high off the ground on brick pillars interspaced with lattice work, and great red brick outside chimneys speak of fireplaces within deep and wide enough to hold generous log fires.

                        Named for College.

            The name Oakland was given the place by its second owners, Iverson Green Gayden and Mrs. Ellen Scott Keller Gayden.  Mr. Gayden, like the sons of many other aristocratic southern families, had attended old Oakland college in Mississippi, one of the South’s great schools which became in later years an institution for Negroes.  Mr. Gayden gave the plantation the name of his college, which it has retained ever since.

            Oakland is today much as it was in the past and there are many things to remind one of ante-bellum days.  Descendants of the negro families who were brought there as slaves still live in the picturesque cabins which dot the countryside.  In some of these families five generations of colored folk have served the people in the “big-house.”

            The house itself is in an excellent state of preservation.  The massive beams and timbers, pegged and dovetailed together, and the fine woodwork, secured with slave-made iron nails, were all cut and finished on the place.  Every piece of timber in the house is heart pine, and “not a single knot or knothole can be found in them.”  The door and window frames in the colonial tradition are carved in a firm and clear design embodying broad, bold lines and spaces capped by the conventionalized rosette.  The wainscoting, broad spaces bound by a finely carved molding, was also made there by plane and whipsaw.  Some of the great saws used in felling and cutting the heart timber are still under the house.

                        Wide Corridor.

            Perhaps Oakland’s most unusual and delightful feature is the great wide corridor through the center of the house which in summer can be thrown open to form a veritable “out-door living room.”  At each end are great double doors of pine, almost 14 feet wide, which can be thrown open to permit the breezes unbridled in the summer and are barred against the winds to form a comfortable sitting room in winter.  The walls are painted white and the wainscoting and doors are of the natural pine.  Bookshelves line the walls, and low, comfortable chairs and settees make it a favorite spot whether it is thrown open pavilion-like to the summer breezes or closed between wood fires in the living room and dining room on either hand.

                        Formal ‘Parlor’

            To the right is the formal “parlor” where an ornate oval mirror in a gold leaf frame over the mantle reflects a room which might have been lifted wholly from the long ago with its old-fashioned charm.  The fireplace is both wide and deep, and the high mantle is unusual, supported by fluted columns on each side, above which are niches each holding a small pedestal column.  The shelf is wide and its edge is cut in bold, clear lines.

            The door and window frames, mantle and wainscoting in this room are painted white, and the wall is papered in old rose and old gold.  There is beautiful old furniture, too-low settees and chairs carved in the acanthus leaf and flower designs, old brass including the highly polished andirons and fireplace accessories, and a lovely oval center table with a marble top and graceful carved legs.

            A spacious guest room in dark mahogany, with a great four-poster bed whose canopy-lining has been changed by time from rose to a soft pink, has chests of clean, rectangular lines and typical brass mountings.  The dining room formerly located in that delightful green-topped and white-washed kitchen building, is now on the left side of the hall.  Here firelight shines on glass-doored cabinets of old china and glass, and bright linen curtains swing at the low, wide windows.  A handsome mahogany gate-leg table, polished mirror-bright, centers the room and holds at this time of year a cut glass bowl of pure white camellia japonicas.

            The mantle here is stained dark and has a carved medallion derived from the Brothers Adam.  The woodwork and wainscoting are of the natural pine color.

                        Plantation Kitchen.

            Just outside at the end of the house is the old plantation kitchen, still in use, and the former dining room, now used as a wash and store room.  The upper story of the house has four bedrooms, all with nicely finished woodwork and beautiful mantles.  Throughout is much lovely colonial and Victorian furniture, some of it brought from the family’s plantation in Mississippi and before that from the ancestral home in South Carolina.

            The exact age of Oakland is not recorded.  However, the family trace the date through the birthday on Minerva Scott Flower.  Minerva is known to have been a child 4 or 5 years old when the house was built, and she was born in 1824.  Thus the house dates before the beginning of the 1830’s.

            It was Minerva Scott who planted the trees which have grown to gigantic size about the house, too.  She brought the acorns back from Biloxi in her pocket after the family had made a trip to the coast, and buried them in the yard almost a century ago.  Today they have grown to patriarchial size and rare beauty.

                        Virgin Forest Tree.

            One of the trees remaining in the yard is part of the original forest there when the house was built.  It is a veritable giant today, weighted down with mistletoe.  In recent years a number of young oaks have been planted on the grounds to replace the oldsters when they go.

            Minerva A. Scott, the “little girl” of Oakland’s earliest days, married Richard P. Flower of East Feliciana and became the mother of Walter Chew Flower, beloved mayor of New Orleans.  The Flower family spent much time at Oakland, during war times and long afterward.

            Judge Thomas W. Scott, the builder of Oakland, was a member of that distinguished Scott family whose members came to Louisiana early in the century and built many fine  homes in East Feliciana, including The Shades and Hickory Hill.  John Scott received a Spanish land grant in that parish, and his sons, William, Alexander and Thomas, made claims there.  The group formed a little family community quite detached from outside influences, living the lives of English squires and their ladies, entertaining with a generosity and lavishness which have made the Scott settlement still ramous for its hospitality and fine type of plantation life.

                        First Gayden Brothers.

            Shortly after the Mexican war, about 1846, the two Gayden brothers, Iverson and George, came to East Feliciana parish.  They were natives of Mississippi, where their father, Agrippa Gayden, had settled at the turn of the century, coming from his home in South Carolina.

            Iverson Green Gayden married Judge Scott’s daughter, Mrs. Ellen Scott Keller, and Oakland became their home.  After his death Mr. Gayden married a second time and the children of the second marriage also grew up there.  The members of well-known Gayden family of Louisiana were thus born and reared in this community.  Literally, the house can be said to have never been out of the hands of members of the same family during its more than a century of existence, since it changed hands through marriage in a closely knit group.

            During the War Between the States the Scott plantations were sought as a refuge by members of the family in other places.  However, the federal troops swarmed over the hillsides, taking everything they could remove.  They threatened the house, but did not burn it, although they burned everything else they could not kill or transport - the crops and haystacks and cotton bales, even the barrel of molasses they could not use.

                        Plantation Office.

            In Judge Scott’s little plantation office at the right end of the long front gallery were found records which give a picture of what life was like on a large scale Louisiana cotton plantation.  An inventory of the slaves on the place 100 years ago has the names of many whose descendants to the fifth generation still live and work on the place in much the same manner as they did in days long ago.  Old Caroline, the last of the slaves mentioned in the inventory, died on the place only a short time ago.

            The Gayden plantation has a railway station on the farm, and the community was known as Gayden for many years.  Due to confusion with the little town of Gueydan, the name was changed to Gurley for a conductor on the branch railroad to Jackson which runs through the farm.

            At the present time Oakland is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. I. G. Gayden, and the George Gayden family live nearby in another pleasant old house approached by a double avenue of oak trees.

            Three sisters of the Gayden brothers, I. G. and George, live in Baton Rouge.  They are Mrs. Mary G. Perkins, Mrs. Julia G. Woodside and Mrs. Robert Lee Tullis.

            Oakland is reached by traveling north on the Scenic highway to Scotlandville and then taking the right fork, Highway 36, which runs parallel to the Y. & M. V. railroad[110] and passes through Zachary, Ethel and McMamus.  About a half mile north of McManus a sign marks the turn leading to Gurley, which is one mile west.




These charts are on Family Tree Maker.

[1] These papers have been copied by the Church of Later Day Saints and can be found on their microfilm #0982157, item 11.

[2]Compact Disk 113, Automated Archives, Inc., 1994.

[3]Nugent, Nell Marion, Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virgina Land Patents and Grants, (1934), Vol. 1, Pg. 90.

[4]Nugent, Pg. 173.

[5]Rand McNally United States Atlas, (New York: Rand McNally and Company, 1981).

[6]Love, Robert Abner, The Gayden Family, 1936, (Memeographed), Pg. 17.

[7]Love, Pg 17.

[8]King, George Harrison Sanford, Compiler, The Register of Norh Farnham Parish 1663-1814 and Lunenburg Parish 1783-1800, Richmond County, Virgina, (Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1966), Pg. 67.

[9]Love, Pg. 17.

[10]Torrence, Clayton, Compiler, Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800 and Index, (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1972), Pg. 167.

[11]Fleet, Beverly, Compiler, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1961), Vol. XVII, Pg. 97.

[12]Fleet, Vol. XVII, Pg. 69.

[13]King, Pg. 67.

[14]Love, Pg. 17.

[15]King, Pg. 67.

[16]Fleet, Vol. XVII, Pg. 76.

[17] Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, “The Original 34 Volumes Reprinted in 3”, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1988, Vol. 1, Pg. 316.

[18]State of Virginia, County of Richmond, Will Book No. 6, Pg. 367.

[19]Brockman, William Everett, Orange County, Virginia Families, (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1957).



[22] Bentley, Elizabeth Petty, Virginia Marriage Records, “Alist of Marriages recorded in the back part of Deed-Book 17”, Genealogical publishing Co., Baltimore 1964, pg. 466.


[24]The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. 22, Pg 176.

[25]Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana, (Chicago, The Goodspeed  Publishing Co., 1892).

[26]Listed in George Gayden's (III) will dated May 29, 1819.

[27]Tullis, Octavia Perkins Gayden, Extracts From Gayden Family Bible, (Handwritten Notes, 1953).

[28]Kilbourne, Walter H., Personal Records, C.H. Hillegeist Co., 5200 Ventnor Road, Bethesda, MD, 20816.




[32]Listed in George Gayden's (III) will dated May 29, 1819.

[33]Granville, North Carolina, Marriage Bonds.


[35]Listed in George Gayden's (III) will dated May 29, 1819.

[36]South Carolina Genealogical Society, Lineage Charts, Vol. IV, No. 60.

[37]Listed in George Gayden's (III) will dated May 29, 1819.

[38]Listed in U.S. Census 1830 - Amite County, Mississippi.

[39]Lancaster County, South Carolina, Deed Book A, Pg. 192.

[40]Citation lost.

[41]Dorman, John Frederick, The Robertson Family of Culpepper County, Virginia, (Richmond, Virginia, 1964).


[43]The World Book Encylopedia, 1976, Vol. 13, Pg. 536.

[44]Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana.

[45]U.S. Census 1805 - Williamson County, Territory of Mississippi.

    U.S. Census 1810 - Amite County, Mississippi


[47]Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana.

[48]U.S. Census 1805 - Wilkinson County, Territory of Mississippi.

[49]U.S. Census 1805 - Wilkinson County, Territory of Mississippi.

[50]Casey, Albert N., Amite County Mississippi 1699-1865, Vol. 1, (Birmingham, Alabama: Amite County Historical Fund, 1948), Pg. 392.

[51]Love, Pg. 5.

[52]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 258.

[53]Brockman, Pg. 110.

[54]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 258.

[55] THE LEWISES, Amite County, Mississippi Magazine, September/October 1991.

[56]Amite County Wills, Vol. 1, Book B, Pg. 1.

[57]Brockman, Pg. 110.

[58]Casey, Vol. 3, Pg. 237, Amite County Marriages, Book 2B, Pg. 38.

[59]Miller, Mississippi Bible Records and Perquisite Items, (1934-1936), Vol. 2, Pg. 113.


[61]Casey, Vol. 2, Pg. 402.

[62]Casey, Vol. 2, Pg. 402.

[63]Casey, Vol. 2, Pg. 402.

[64]Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, (The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1891).

[65]U. S. Census 1805, Wilkinson County, Territory of Mississippi.

[66]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 392.

[67]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 400.

[68]Casey, Vol. 1, Pgs. 519-520.

[69]U.S. Census 1810 - Amite County, Territory of Mississippi.

[70]Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana.

[71]Register of Military Appointments 1805-1812, Territorial Militia, Set A, Vol. M, Pg. 9, Mississippi Archives, Jackson, Mississippi.

[72]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 370.

[73]Casey, Vol. 1, Pgs. 519-520.

[74]U.S. Census - Amite County, Mississippi.

[75]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 258.

[76]U. S. Census 1830 - Amite County, Mississippi

[77]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 212.

[78]Casey, Vol. 2, Pg. 402.

[79]Casey, Vol. 2, Pg. 402.

[80]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 259.

[81]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 237.

[82]Casey, Vol. 1, Pg. 237.



[85]Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana.

[86]Letter from David Lea in Amite County, Mississippi to Jeremiah Clay in Cole County, Missouri dated June 24, 1840. (Copied from the original by Elsie W. Wadell, February 21, 2021).

[87]Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana.

[88]My cousin Gayden Newton of Jackson, Mississippi provided me with photocopies of the muster roll cards that he found in the Mississippi State Archives.

[89]Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, (Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891), Vol. 1, Pg. 140.

[90]U. S. Census - East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.

[91]Miller, Pg 113.

[92]East Feliciana Sesquincentennial 1824 - 1874.

[93]East Feliciana Resources and Facilities, Survey by East Feliciana Development Board, (Published in cooperation with the State of Louisiana Department of Public Works Planning Division, 1964), Pg. 14.


[95]Sillers, Florence Warfield, History of Bolivar County Mississippi, (Hederman Brothers, Jackson, Mississippi, 1948), Pg. 449.

[96]Sillers, Pg 449 and Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana.

[97]Reeves, Miriam G., The Felicianas of Louisiana, (Claitor's Book Store, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1967, CCN 67-30952), Pg. 64.




[101]Kennedy, Daisy, Cavalier Cattleman, Morning Advocate Magazine (Baton Rouge), Sunday, November   2, 1952.

[102]Recorded on JANUARY 21, 2021 in Cuero, Texas.

[103]Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad

[104]Newton, Anne Gayden, Note to William K. Gayden, 1984.

[105]Nesom, Lee A., Jr., Soil Conservation Service, The Watchman, Clinton, Louisiana, December 15, 2020

[106]This information is erroneous and I do not know the source of it.

[107]Xerox copy of document in Octavia Gayden Tullis’ handwriting, from Clarence L. Yancey files. I do not know what happened to the original of this Bible.

[108]Miller, Mississippi Bible Records and Prerequisite Items, 1934-1936, Vol. 2, pg. 113.

[109] Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, January 17, 1937.

[110] Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad.


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