Hiram Bembry

Hiram Bembry, the son of John Thomas Bembry and Matilda Williams,  was born 23 December 1881, probably in Echols County, Georgia. He married Palma Lashley on September 1905 at the age of 22. They set up a farm right next to his parents’ place near Fort Union in Suwannee County. 
Hiram Bembry and Palma Lashley Bembry
Hiram Bembry and Palma Lashley Bembry

Together, Hiram and Palma had ten children: seven boys, and three girls: Edgar, Maggie, Jessie Mae, Willard, John Allen, Payton, Marvin (Shug), Henry, Evelyn Lois, and Hiram Jr. Two girls, Jesse and Evelyn died as babies. A son, Willard, also died young. His wife, Pauline, died soon afterward, leaving Hiram and Palma with two young grandchildren which they raised as their own.

In 1910, Hiram is listed as owning his land, and living between his widowed mother, and John Mack Bembry, his older brother.

In 1917, he registered for the draft in Suwannee County. His draft card shows that he was medium height, with a stout build and blue eyes and brown hair.

Shortly after the war he moved to Jasper, in Hamilton County, where in 1920 he is found renting a farm in District 63.

By 1930, Hiram and Palma owned a good-sized farm in District 4 of Jasper. On this census, and every other census but one, Hiram states that he can read and write, however, he probably had a very minimal education. In addition to farming, he occasionally worked as an armed guard on chain gangs and produced a little moonshine during Prohibition–until Palma made him give away his still.

Hiram and Palma’s farm was located just west of Jasper at the intersection of State Road 6W and SW 86th Blvd. By using Google Earth the small, shotgun-style house that Hiram built himself can still be seen on the south side of 6W, now unoccupied and surrounded by a small grove of pine trees.

Hiram and Palma Bembry's house, Jasper, Florida
Hiram and Palma Bembry’s house, Jasper, Florida

Hiram Bembry died on 14 June 1940.  He is buried with Palma in Geiger Cemetery, just west of Jasper.

Hiram and Palma Bembry
Hiram and Palma Bembry, Geiger Cemetery

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