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William E. Blackledge (b. ca. 1851) married Eliza E. Hodges (b. 1869) in Wayne County, Mississippi, on January 19, 1888. They had a number of children, including Drusilla, Fannie N., Hop, John I., Kate, Leona, Madison, Maude, Nelson, and Pauline. William E. Blackledge was a Wayne County farmer who had died by 1910, but Eliza Hodges Blackledge continued to operate the farm. She was living in nearby Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi, by 1930.
John I. Blackledge was born in Wayne County on May 10, 1894. He was a farm laborer in 1910, and he worked at a logging camp in 1920. Blackledge was later a plantation manager in the Arkansas and Mississippi delta region. He married Myrande D. Loper in Jones County on January 22, 1921. She had been born in Mississippi on March 23, 1901. The Blackledges lived in Laurel, and they had at least two children: Rodrick L. Blackledge and Johnette Blackledge Hamilton. John I. Blackledge was a land supervisor for a number of years, and from 1948 to 1957, he was an administrator at Ellisville State School in Ellisville, Jones County, Mississippi. He was a member of the Masonic Order and a Shriner. John I. Blackledge died on February 29, 1980, and he was buried in Jones County. Myrande Loper Blackledge died on January 24, 1990.
Scope and Content:
This collection contains certificates and awards, correspondence, photographs, and miscellaneous papers related to the Blackledge family. Most of the collection concerns John I. Blackledge, but other documents concern John W. Blackledge and an unspecified John Blackledge.
A 1948 certificate indicates that John Blackledge was a colonel and aide-de-camp on the staff of Mississippi governor Fielding L. Wright, and two other certificates document the appointment of Blackledge to the advisory committee of the agricultural and industrial board of Jones County. One 1940 certificate documents the appointment of John W. Blackledge as a member of the draft board of DeSoto County, and President Jimmy Carter awarded John I. Blackledge an undated certificate in recognition of his service in the United States armed forces. Other certificates and awards were presented to John Blackledge from the National States' Rights Committee and the Masonic Lodge of Mississippi. There is a 1982 membership certificate of Randye Blackledge in the Society of the Centennial Belles of Laurel, Mississippi.
The correspondence consists of a 1980 letter from G. E. Rothrock, a Scottish Rite mason of Memphis, Tennessee, who wrote the family of John I. Blackledge in Laurel expressing condolences upon his death.
All of the photographs are black-and-white in format except for a 1986 color photograph of an unidentified woman. There is a photograph of Governor Paul B. Johnson, Jr., standing beside a portrait of his father, Governor Paul B. Johnson, Sr. There is an undated, annotated photograph of Governor Fielding L. Wright with several hundred of his colonels and members of his family on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol. An undated photograph depicts Governor Ross Barnett with several hundred of his colonels on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol.
The miscellaneous papers include a 1941 document signed by Mississippi governor Paul B. Johnson, Sr., ordering the state of Illinois to apprehend and deliver two fugitives to John W. Blackledge. There are two 1942 war-ration books for John W. Blackledge and Myrande L. Blackledge. One small, undated notebook is partially filled with notes on crops and building supplies, and another undated notebook records problems with unspecified buildings.