The work that was performed in the cemeteries this year consisted of two projects. One of them was at Nails Creek Baptist Church, where the graves of Andrew Daniel Ariail and his wife Martha Elizabeth Duncan were upgraded. New coping, corner stones with A engraved on them, weed killer, plastic and chipped stone was put on the grave.

   The second project was at the Cedardale Cemetery in Mullens, South Carolina, where the grave of William (Little Willie) Ariail will be fitted with a new stone. This stone has been engraved and will be placed on the grave on our first trip to that area.

   Before his untimely death, William Smith Ariail had told me about the need for this stone to be replaced and we decided to accomplish the task as soon as possible, therefore, the reason for it being on the list for last years consideration.

   The total cost for both of these projects was estimated to be $1,150.00 and the actual cost was $1,200.00. This makes for an overrun of $50.00 above our estimated cost.

   We were very saddened this year with the death of William Smith Ariail. He was born on Feb 27, 1926 and died on Feb 6, 2007 in Little River, South Carolina where he made his home. He was a very accomplished man during his lifetime and was certainly a joyful associate. He leaves a wife, 2 children, 6 grandchildren and 4 greatgranchildren.

   We also lost Lake Winona Hendricks, wife of Maj. Leland Arthur Jackson. She was born on Jan 2, 1925 and died Jan 18, 2007 at Leesville, South Carolina. She was a very close relative to the several members of the Hendricks family we were honored to have attend the reunion in 2006.

   It is through the generous contributions of the Ariail family that we are able to do this work and we wish to thank so very much those who gave for the upkeep of the cemeteries. Anyone knowing of a grave which needs upgrading, especially those who have no known descendents, should make it known to the committee so we can take some action to properly mark or upgrade the grave site.

   Last year we had a carry-over of $1,903.62. Private contributions, received outside the reunion, came to $75.00 with an additional $415.00 collected at the reunion. That gave us a total of $2,393.62. With the expenditure of $1,200.00 for the 2007 years work, we are left with a total of $1,193.62 in the fund.

   This leaves us with $306.38 short of the $1,500.00 earmarked for the grave of Manna Rich Ariail in New Orleans, Louisiana. I realized this shortfall was happening, but to accomplish the work scheduled, it was necessary. After the receipts at the reunion this year, if a shortfall still exists, I will make up the difference with a private donation to bring the fund back up to the $1,500.00 that we had set aside for the work in New Orleans.

   I want everyone to realize that no money is ever taken to cover the cost of coordination and transportation to accomplish the cemetery work. It is something that I am compelled to do for the family, as long as no objection is raised, and I will always personally bear any cost outside the actual cost of the stones and materials to repair the graves.

   The only project suggested for this coming year will be that of Manna Rich Ariail in New Orleans. Although I have been unable to get any work started working with either Mr. Freeze or Mr. Gatley, I believe we are now on the right track to accomplish some work on pressure washing, sealing and doing minor repairs to the tomb of Manna.

   Mr. John Ariail, a descendant of Manna Rich Ariail, still lives in New Orleans and will be working with me on this project during the coming year. We wish to thank him so much for his willingness in doing the legwork there in New Orleans.

   Again, I have an accounting for all monies received and expended, with names of contributors, but do not feel it would be appropriate to publish the list here. Any individual wanting to see this list of contributors should contact Doyce Ariail, President of the Reunion Association, and we will be happy to arrange for you to see the list of donors.

   We again thank you so much for your response to our efforts and sincerely thank those who so very generously gave. If you desire to help this year, please come prepared to give during the Reunion Meeting so that we can continue to accomplish the goals that we have set. It should be remembered that the collection taken at the reunion for the cost of conducting the Reunion is completely separate from the Cemetery donations. All contributions for the cemetery fund should be deposited in the appropriate collection vehicle. Again, the entire Cemetery Committee as well as all Family members, desire to thank you so very much. We continue to meet and make lasting friends for the family from the efforts that have been made.

Committee: Lorraine Patterson, Secretary, James Patterson, Chairman, Trenton Patterson & Keith Ariail, members.


Historical report

   Lorraine and I made the trip to the Midwest that we had planned on making as reported in last years’ historical report. Not only did we go to Annapolis, Indiana and Faribault, Minnesota; we continued through Iowa, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas before returning home.

   Before we tell you what we found on our trip, there are a couple of things that are very important and need to be documented here.

   At the last reunion, Phyllis Hendricks Herring Harrison and several members of the Hendricks family attended the Ariail reunion. They spent much time in preparing some beautiful charts for all to view showing the history of the Hendricks family and the area where they lived. We wish to thank them so very much for coming to be with us and hope that they will make this an annual event. It is so good to have members of the extended family to come from so far away and spend the day with their cousins.

    Another member of our family who left her mark, not only upon Georgia, but the Nation was Edna Jane Hurt Yarn, Environmentalist. She was the great granddaughter of Climelia Abigail Ariail, a daughter of John Harvey Ariail and Chloe Climelia Ives of Connecticut.

   For more than 25 years, Jane Hurt Yarn fought to preserve what was wild. She raised $28,000 to purchase tiny Egg Island on the Georgia coast in 1969. “Housewife Saves an Island,” a newspaper headline read. After that, Mrs. Yarn helped the Nature Conservancy of Georgia buy three more islands; Wolf, Ossabaw and Wassaw.

   From there, she became a nationally known environmentalist, serving as one of former President Jimmy Carter’s closest advisers in Georgia and the White House. “Without her insight and sensitivity, I could never have accomplished what I did environmentally,” Mr. Carter said. “Her calm, patient leadership long since qualified Jane Yarn as a hero of mine.” “No other single individual has done as much for conservation in Georgia as Jane Yarn,” Gov. Zell Miller said.

   Her dedication earned her dozens of awards, including the Conservationist of the Year Award from the Georgia Wildlife Federation, which she won in 1969 and again this year.

   As an activist, Mrs. Yarn combined her knowledge of conservation issues with social graces that “left even the most rabid land developer saying ‘yes, ma’am,’” said Joe Tanner, head of the State Commission on Privatization.

   Mrs. Yarn and Mr. Tanner worked together when he was commissioner of natural resources in Georgia. She helped organize the department in 1972, Mr. Tanner said.

   “Anything important in conservation and she was involved in it,” he said. “She leaves a lasting legacy to Georgia and the nation.” Mrs. Yarn’s interest in conservation was ignited by a 1967 hunting expedition with her family in Africa. “When we returned I was convinced we needed to save what we had,” she was quoted as saying in an interview.

   Edna married Dr. Charles P. Yarn and they had three children, Amanda Yarn Hughes of Atlanta, Charles Andrew Yarn of Lilburn and Douglas Hurt Yarn of Watkinsville.

   The Honorable Jane Hurt Yarn, a prominent figure in both state and national environmental movements for three decades, died Oct. 18, 1995 of cancer. Born in Greenville, SC on Oct 15, 1924, Jane Hurt Yarn was the daughter of John Henry and Edna Brown Hurt of Scottsboro, AL.

   She was educated in Saint Mary’s College, Raleigh, NC and Converse College, Spartanburg, SC where she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 1979.

   Jane Yarn began her environmental work by initiating the preservation of Georgia marsh and coastal islands. She became an advisor to then Governor Jimmy Carter and later served in the White House during the Carter Presidency.

   She served on the boards of numerous state and national environmental organizations including The Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, The Georgia Conservancy, and the Southern Environmental Law Center. She was Chairperson of the Charles A. Lindbergh Fund and served on the boards of several foundations including the Cumberland Island Foundation, Saint Catherine’s Island Foundation, and the American Farmland Trust. She has been an advisor to the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Her many honors include: Atlanta Woman of the Year (1970), the National Nature Conservancy Oak Leaf Award (1989), the National Wildlife Federation Special Conservation Award (1978), and the Common Cause Public Service Achievement Award (1995). She is a two time recipient of the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Conservationist of The Year (1969) and (1995). The New Interpretive Education Center at Tallulah Gorge State Park will be named after her, and the Southern Environmental Law Center, Atlanta Office, will be dedicated in her honor.

   In 1994, she received the first Jane Hurt Yarn Award of The Nature Conservancy in Georgia, named in her honor. Trees have been planted in her honor in the Chattahoochee River Park by the National Park Service and in LaFayette Square in Washington, DC by the U.S. Forest Service.

   The next person that we would like to present to you, and was partially the object of our trip to the Midwest, is the story of Elizabeth Ann Seymour, granddaughter of Lucy Ariail from Connecticut. This is a story of her youth and life and is truly amazing in its content. A picture of her will be available at the reunion for all to view.

   Our research on the descendents of Lucy Ariail was hindered for a long time because all we knew to do was look in the area where Lucys’ children were born, Southington, Connecticut.

   Well, we have long since learned that we were looking in the wrong places. They did not stay in Southington. Lucy, herself, did not even stay there. Shortly after the death of Lucys’ husband, Samuel, the family must have scattered like flies. We have found that only one of her sons stayed in Connecticut to raise his family. That was Henry A(riail) Dunham. He married and went to Oxford, Connecticut. One of Henrys’ children became the High Sheriff of New Haven County, Connecticut; another was one of the larger landowners in Seymour, Connecticut and was also in the real estate business.

   Albert Dunham married Sylvia Cowles and fathered seven children. After his death in Curriluck County, North Carolina in 1845, his wife relocated to Faribault, Minnesota where the family prospered and became politically active and served in the Minnesota legislature and other positions of local government. They were also in the brick making business, making up to 300 thousand bricks a year. A daughter of Albert Dunham, Sylvia Jane Dunham, married George Stevens Woodruff.

   George Stevens Woodruff became a stonemason and also served in the Minnesota legislature in 1878. He either built some of the more architecturally distinct buildings in Faribault or furnished the stone for their construction. Two of these buildings were the court house in Faribault and the school for the deaf and blind. This building still stands and there are pictures of this structure in the archives of the Ariail library. He and his wife eventually retired and moved to Stockton, California. They are buried in the Park View Cemetery in Stockton, California.

   Sally Dunham married William Augustus Seymour and they moved to Dubuque, Iowa. Their descendents scattered to the mid and northwest. Some becoming ranchers and truly pioneers in the settling of the west. They are scattered from Faribault, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wyoming (where one of the large ranches is still in operation by a member of Sally’s descendents), Arizona and Washington. A large number of the family eventually went to the State of Washington.

   Two of the large ranchers were: 1) Edward Beecher Chatfield, Jr. and his son Edward Bernard Chatfield and 2) Bruce Jennings Walker.

   The story of the father of Edward Beecher Chatfield Sr. is quite sad. He was living in Topeka, Kansas with his wife and five children. His youngest child, Florence Chatfield, became sick and died in 1901; his wife Dora Bushchar Chatfield died one year later leaving him with four young children. He was unable to provide for them because of his suffering with TB, so he contacted his sister Anna Augusta Chatfield Woods who lived about 5 miles west of Rapid City, South Dakota and asked her to help.

   She was the mother of 8 children and was almost unable to help him, however, arrangements were finally worked out and Edward Beecher Chatfield, Sr., sent his three young daughters by train to be with his sister for their care. He then hooked his team to the wagon, and with his son, made his way by wagon from, either, Topeka, Kansas or Dubuque, Iowa to Rapid City, South Dakota. The trip took him approximately 8 months. After arriving in Rapid City, South Dakota, he only lived for about 2 years. The drier air did not help his TB, it had advanced to such a stage that the progression was definite. He died in 1906, leaving his eldest child only a little less than 15 years of age. Edward Chatfield is buried with his sister at Mt. View Cemetery, Rapid City, South Dakota.

   Edward Beecher Chatfield, Jr., eventually became the owner of a large ranch near Sundance, Wyoming. His son, Edward Bernard Chatfield, after serving in WWII in the Philippines and Hawaii, returned home to become a partner in the ranching business run by his parents, his brother and sister-in-law. He loved sheep and in the 1950’s began raising registered Rambouillets. He built his flock into one of the best in the nation. His breeding stock was sold throughout the United States and even in South America. His wool brought the highest price in the nation several times during his lifetime.

   He died April 26, 1995 and his wife and family are still operating the ranch.

   The other large rancher was Bruce Jennings Walker. After graduating from Colorado State University, he joined his father in the Bear Butte Banking Business in Sturgis, South Dakota. He had a forty-year career in the banking business, serving in many capacities during this time. He was very active in all community affairs where he could contribute his time to his town and neighbors. In 1984, the citizens of Meade County voted him to serve in the South Dakota State Senate. The thing that Bruce loved the most, though, was the time that he spent at his ranch near Union City, South Dakota. This love for ranching was nurtured by the time he had spent on his grandfather, William Hughes, ranch near Interior, South Dakota. William Smoot Hughes was the husband of Maude Julia Woods, who was the daughter of Anna Augusta Chatfield Woods.

   Now we come to the daughter of Lucy Ariail, Elizabeth Dunham. She married George Seymour and moved to Annapolis, Parke, Indiana. They were the parents of 5 children of which the eldest was named Elizabeth Ann Seymour.

   Elizabeth Ann Seymour, daughter of George and Elizabeth Dunham Seymour, was born Apr 7, 1828, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She was christened by Parson Field, the father of Cyrus W. Field. Elizabeth Seymour was the playmate of Mary Field, and was a student in the same school attended by Cyrus W. Field, who projected the Atlantic cable. The early surroundings of Elizabeth Seymour were those of wealth, even affluence for that period.

   She had many advantages both social and intellectual, and received a fine English education. She was both artist and poet, and painted pictures and wrote meritorious poetry.

   Her husband, Wilshire Coffin, to whom she was married in 1853, was a man of intellectual attainments who took an active interest and participation in the political life of Parke County. Mrs. Coffin made a collection of many rare and valuable books, and was at one time librarian at Annapolis, where she had the opportunity to read the good books which constituted that collection; an opportunity which she improved.

   Mrs. Coffin was the subject of an article printed in a New York paper which resulted in a wide range of correspondence with people who wanted to know more about a personality so interesting and so charming. Just before her death, June 9, 1908, a representative of Collier’s Weekly interviewed her for personal reminiscences concerning her long and interesting life.

   Mrs. Coffin was a modest, entertaining and fascinating conversationalist, and could entertain one for hours with the observations and incidents of her own life, which were related without the slightest suggestion of egotism. Being a survivor of our pioneer period she had a fund of personal reminiscences. With the extensive and varied reading of her long life, her acquaintance with many of the characters prominent in local history, her accurate knowledge of events, she was able to contribute both to the entertainment of auditors and to the history of the epoch in which she lived. She was a lovable character and well deserves a place among the notable women of Parke County.

   Elizabeth was married to William Wilshire Coffin. The Coffin family were Quakers.

   They originally came from Europe to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. From there they eventually came to Guilford County, North Carolina. The father of William Coffin, who married Elizabeth Seymour was Jethro Coffin.

   There are many interesting notes which can be made regarding the Coffin Family.

   Levi Coffin, of the fifth generation, tells of harrowing scenes they were forced to witness in North Carolina – the selling of children from heart-broken mothers; the cruel entrapment of slaves trying to escape, and the brutality which the slave chain encountered. These conditions, coupled with the difficulty of free labor competing with slave labor, impelled Matthew Coffin (1754), son of William (1720) with his children and grandchildren to join the covered wagon caravan and brave the long and dangerous journey over the Alleghanies, through the Cumberland Gap to their new homes near Salem, Ind. The Quaker element in North Carolina, for some reason regarded the freeing of the slaves their own mission, in the yearly meeting of Friends, they chartered a ship called the “Sally Ann” for the purpose of sending slaves to Haiti, where they would be free.

   The representative members of the Quakers in North Carolina then were the Coffins, the Worths and the Mendenhalls. The Manumission Society of North Carolina sought to put an end to slavery. The underground railroad was the outgrowth of this society. It was a secret organization begotten in the ingenious brain of the Coffins by which slaves were sent to the northwest. Addison Coffin was the originator of it. The couple portrayed as Penias and Rachel Halliday in Uncle Tom’s Cabin were Levi Coffin and his wife.

   Judith Coffin (Tristram’s grand-daughter), daughter of Steven Coffin, was Benjamin Franklin’s mother.

   Lucretia Coffin (whose line leads back to the Nantucket Coffins) in 1848, in conjunction with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, called the first Woman’s Rights Congress ever held.

   As you can see from the above information, the history of our family is truly a fascinating one. We encourage everyone to send any biographical sketches that they have on their line of the family to us so the information can be listed in the Ariail family archives.

   We know there must be hundreds of such stories as the above within our family history and we can only find out about them if they are sent to us, or as in the case of the above, we find in a library in the town from which the people lived.

   There are always different versions of such stories, however, we can only present to you the version we find documented in books or libraries and newspapers. We believe such data to be accurate, however, it is only accurate to the point that the author of the document we viewed was correct in his presentation.

   Again, we find that space limits the amount of information that we can send to you in the historical report. There is much more information that we have and some of it will be available to view at the reunion. We do hope that everyone will make an effort to be with us and enjoy the fellowship of the day during our annual get-together.

   If someone is coming from far away and would like to stay with us, please give us a call. First come, first served as we only have so much space in our home. Our phone number is 706 886 5669 and we will be happy to be your host while here if you would like to stay with us.

   I am out of space and must close. If you have any questions, please call me. We do hope to see you at the reunion this year. It would be so wonderful to have someone from the descendents of Lucy Ariail to be with us for the first time and tell us all about your family. May God bless each of you richly until we once again meet.


James W. Patterson, Historian --- Son of Lillie Blanche Ariail