Jessie Beulah Phillips Vaughn
Updated 4 November 2019 by author Lawrence Eugene Vaughn Jr
Table of Contents
- Jessie Beulah (Phillips) Vaughn
- Autobiographical Sketch of Jessie Beulah Phillips Vaughn
- Marjorie’s Notes About the Vaughns
- The Phillips Family
- Alfred Morefield Phillips
My paternal grandmother, Jessie Beulah (Phillips) Vaughn, was mother of my father, Lawrence Eugene “Gene” Vaughn (Sr). She lived in an apartment at 406 North Fifth Street in Hannibal in the years after grandfather’s death, and I fondly remember frequent visits to her apartment, which was just up the 5th Street hill from the YMCA, where I frequently went for swim lessons.
I have fond memories of her cooking. She baked what she called “soda powder” biscuits in the mornings we stayed overnight with her. And a special treat was Ovaltine hot chocolate in the evening. She was a good cook, and I still vividly recall her extra crunchy fried chicken dinners with mashed potatoes and gravy made with real cream, green beans cooked with diced bacon and chopped onion, and served with fluffy, steaming hot, homemade dinner rolls.
I remember her as a kind, soft spoken, slender woman, who had the habit of burping . . . it seems she did that a lot . . . but the funny thing was that she never made a sound when she burped. However, after the burp, she would make a sound like “phew!” as she exhaled. So, even though you wouldn’t hear the burp, you knew she had burped, because of the noise she made afterwards. I always thought that was funny!
Good Behavior on the Balance
She served hot drinks to me and Sharon Lee Sampson, my cousin, in real china teacups on a saucer. We felt so grown up, but we had to be really extra careful. I remember how hard I worked to get a sip and put the cup gently back without spilling a drop, or making a mess, because she was so nice, I didn’t want to be a problem.
It is difficult, however, when you have to sit on your knees to be tall enough to lift the big cup, and I’m afraid I wasn’t always as successful as I would have liked to have been. Sometimes it was a relief just to be finished with the snack, get down from the table, and get on with playtime! I am happy that I don’t remember any broken china or cross word!
Beulah’s Birth Certificate: Listing date of birth as 7 March 1896, born to Alfred Phillips, age 31, and Leona McAnelly, age 29, both of Williamson County. He was a farmer, she was a housewife. She had one previous child, which was still living. Alfred, the father, delivered Beulah, and it appears that her birth was not recorded until January 28, 1942.
In the above composite, at top left is Jessie Beulah Phillips at 15 months; center is her brother Clyde, age 2, and Beulah in 1896; right is Clyde, Harry and Beulah, with baby Arley, 1910.
Bottom left is Beulah in 1917; center she is with Helen Ruth in 1918; and bottom right with Lawrence Eugene Vaughn (Sr), 1924.
After my Grandfather died, Grandmother tried briefly to live with us when she first returned to Hannibal, but I’m sure it wasn’t a good fit with four rug rats scampering about while she was still in mourning and having to rearrange her life. She soon after moved to an apartment and had her furniture brought over by their church family from St. Joseph.
In her later years, she lived with her youngest son, Bill, who lived in Charlotte, North Carolina where he operated the Carolina School of Broadcasting. She is buried next to her husband in Grandview Cemetery, Hannibal, and Bill is buried just down slope from them, with his wife Paul something. They have matching heart shaped markers.
In those days gays couldn’t marry, so Bill convinced grandmother to formally adopt Paul so he and Paul could live together and have the same last name. Paul died not long after of diabetes complicated by AIDS, and Bill soon died of AIDS. Paul does not appear in my family tree.
Beulah’s Family Register from her Bible:
Above entries are from Beulah’s bible
Next chapter: Beulah’s Autobiography