Clay County Mississippi Genealogy & History Network

William Rush Staggs Biography

(Written & Submitted by William G. Latham, Jr.)

William Rush "Bill" Staggs was born Jan. 1847 in Jefferson County, Alabama, the son of William & Lucinda “Garner” Staggs. He married Cynthia Rebecca Wilburn on Sept. 10, 1885 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Cynthia was born circa 1854 and died before 1900 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. and was buried at the Wilburn Family Cemetery, near Elrod, Alabama. Her parents were James A. J. & Catherine “Hisaw” Wilburn. Bill and Cynthia had four known children: Alma Pearl, (my wife’s Great Grandmother), Edna Effie, Dollie “Staggs” Criddle, and James Rush Staggs. After Alma Pearl died during childbirth, he married Ida Butler Simmons on Jan. 21, 1900 in Clay Co., Miss., and they had five children: Buelah, Maggie, Nannie Lee, Haney F., and William Rush Staggs Jr.


William Rush Staggs, Sr. had three known brothers, John W., David Floyd, and Thomas Jefferson Staggs. Tom also settled in Clay County, Mississippi and later went on to Webster County, Mississippi, near Maben. Thomas Jefferson married Nancy Allen Elmore in Pickens County, Alabama, and had five children. Thomas and Nancy left Alabama, planning on going to Texas, but when they crossed the Tombigbee River, near Aberdeen, he noticed the wagon tongs were worn out, so they had to camp there on the riverbank for about a month, until Thomas fixed the wagon. He had a son already living near Maben, so they decided to make Maben, Mississippi their home.


Thomas first lived at West Point, Clay County, Mississippi and ran a boarding house in the town of West Point. They later moved to Pheba, Mississippi and finally to Maben, Webster County, Mississippi. Thomas died Apr. 11, 1944 and was buried at Providence Methodist Church Cemetery, Maben, Webster County, Mississippi. Nancy was born Mar. 17, 1850 and died Mar. 15, 1940 at Maben. She was buried next to Thomas at Providence Cemetery. Thomas and Nancy had five sons: Oscar Lee, Arthur Edward, Junior Absalom, H. R., and Monroe Randolph Staggs. Monroe R. married Eula K. Gibson on Jan. 4, 1898. Alma Pearl Staggs was born June 7, 1885 in Pickens County, Alabama and died during childbirth on Mar. 1, 1920 near Montpelier, Clay County, Mississippi.


She married James Alvin Terry about 1901, and they had ten children: Selina Mae, Willie Edna, Lula Sevate, Alvin C., Leonard Rush, John Henry, James Lewis, Little William, Lillie V., and Grace Terry. Alma Pearl was buried at Old Montpelier Cemetery, Montpelier, Mississippi. William Rush and Ida Butler “Simmons” Staggs were buried at the Houston City Cemetery in Houston, Mississippi. James Alvin later married Maggie Jackson, and they had 10 children also. Dollie Staggs married George Eldridge Criddle, and they had 16 children, seven sons and nine daughters. George Eldridge and Dollie were buried at Arbor Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Chickasaw County, Mississippi.

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