I've found the death certificates of William Mack Sumner and also his first wife, Lelia Skaggs Sumner. I have found their families listed in US Census from 1880 to 1920. I found Denis Skags, Lelia's father, in the 1930 census, and I think I found Isaac Sumner, too. I found two marriage certificates for William Mack Sumner and Lelia (one was Lelia Skaggs and the other was Mrs. Lelia Mathis) --the latter in 1918 and the former in 1923.
I know they had my grandma, Juanita Marie Sumner, in 1924. Her sister's name is Frances, and I believe her to be born in 1925. Frances Sumner married Earl Cunningham, and I found a marriage certificate from Arkansas. I know that Frances and her brother William were extras in the 1939 movie Jesse James with Tyrone Power.
Lelia Sumner died at the age of 35. Her death certificate says she died of "dropsy"--now known as congenital heart disease. My father, Juanita's son, said that William's first wife died in "an accident." He said the second wife was named Janise. Janice Sumner is listed on William Mack's death certificate as the person providing the information.
If you know anyone who is a lifelong resident of Pineville or Noel, can you please ask them if they remember any of these people? It's got to be one amazing, messed up story and I'd love to hear it! Juanita has passed away, too, in 2004. My dad was small when he used to go to Pineville, but he remembers a Skaggs family living "down the street." According to the census I've read these are not immediate relatives but probably cousins. My dad was probably 4 or 5 last time he was there. When I speak with him again, I will ask for more details, but he doesn't have much.
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