This prompt reminded me of my Great Granduncle Tom Pittman.
Isaac Pittman and his wife Elizabeth (née Thompson) had four living children when Thomas Edward Pittman was born, as recorded in his sister’s Bible, on 18 January 1894. The family lived in Baldwin County, Alabama, not far from Pensacola, Florida, where the newspaper reported unseasonably warm winter that week.
The older children were 11-year-old Mary Elizabeth, called Mollie (my great-grandmother); 8-year-old Grover Cleveland, called Cleve; 6-year-old Nancy Charity, and 4-year-old Medrick.
I can’t be sure what Isaac Pittman was doing for a living when Tom was born. In 1880, the newlywed was living with his wife in the household of her father, Origen Thompson, and both men worked as teamsters. By 1890, the Census lists Isaac as a farmer in his own household.
The family would add three more children in the coming years, Ruthia, in 1899, who died as a young child; Isaac Junior, born 1896, who was killed in a farming accident, age 15; and Charlie, born in 1901. All the children who lived to adulthood, except Tom, would marry and have families.
The 1900 Census does not indicate whether the children were in school. The enumerator recorded Thomas’ birthdate as January 1893 and gives his age as 7 years old. Did the census taker make a mistake, or did Mollie, writing it into her Bible?
By 1910, Isaac Pittman had died. His widow lived in the Holman and Gateswood area of Baldwin County with four of her boys, Medrick, Tom, Isaac Jr., and Charlie. Mollie, Nancy, and Cleve had all married and had homes of their own. Medrick and Tom are listed as farmers, Isaac as a laborer.
Ten years later, the Census shows Medrick, Tom, and Charlie are still living with their mother. They’ve moved now to Muscogee, in Escambia County, Florida. Medrick and Charlie worked at the tar plant, and Tom worked at the saw mill. Later that year, Medrick married Margaret Oglesby.
In April 1921, Charlie married Ada Jackson. Eight months later, they had a baby, Robert Lee Jackson. Robert died a week later, and his mother followed in February 1922.
Mosella Elizabeth Thompson Pittman died in 1924.
The following year Charlie Pittman and his sister Mollie’s husband Billie Stephens were arrested and charged after a drunk-driving crash in Pensacola. Charlie re-married in 1933, to Genevieve Manning.
I can’t find Tom in the 1930 or 1940 Census. In 1950, he is living alone and doing odd jobs to make a living.
My mother said Tom was going with a girl once, and they might even have been engaged. Then she got sick. According to my mother, the girl got well, but Tom said he didn’t want to marry a sickly woman and broke it off.
Thomas Edward Pittman died on August 3rd, 1964.
I guess he just wasn’t inclined to get too involved in a relationship.