Ominous Sky in Grayson County, Virginia

Ominous Sky in Grayson County, Virginia (Photo credit: Dancing Arethusa)

Stuart was my great grandfather and I believe he was also the grandson of James Monroe Cornett and Mary Ann Cornett. He was born on September 22, 1881 in Grayson County, Virginia and died on February 3, 1966 in Smythe County, Virginia at the age of 84. His immediate family includes his wife, Gincy Malinda Caroline Long and their 14 children. The children’s names are Della Pauline Cornett, Grover Cornett, Mary Frances Cornett, Anna Mae Cornett, Lucia Rose Cornett, Pearl Mildred Cornett, Elbert Wayne Cornett, Charles Estel Cornett, Lillie Edna Cornett, Carl Wesley Cornett, Ora Lee Cornett, James Donald Cornett, Billy Cornett, and Claude Scott Cornett. 


Stuart didn’t like his middle name of Monroe, so he changed it to “Marvin” (although his grandfather was named James Monroe Cornett). Stuart and his wife, Gincy Malinda Caroline Long were both born in the Flat Ridge area of Grayson County, VA and were married on April 5, 1905, by Johnson Stamper. At their wedding party they said they wanted 14 children like great-grandparents David Cornett and Feby Sutherland and great-great grandparents, William and Mary Hatfield Cornett— Stuart and Gincy did indeed have 14 children- 7 sons and 7 daughters! 

They began housekeeping in a little house just over the hill from his fathers farm. They had several children when they purchased a neighboring farm from Lucinda Nelson and her son, Jasper. This is where all the other children were born. About 1938, they built a new home just “hammering distance” away and this home and farm are now owned by their son, Carl Wesley. (Curtis Cornett bought the farm in 1993). 

Stuart was a hard working, honest man who was an affectionate but strict father. He had cancer of the shoulder bone and had his left arm removed in 1960, the doctors were amazed by his speedy recovery. He managed to do almost everything for himself and did not consider himself handicapped. His special fork had a “knife” tine on the edge and he seldom asked for any help at the table. He loaned money to his children when they needed it and charged the local ones 1% interest. His children living out of state had to pay 2% because he couldn’t “see” what they were doing with the money! He and “Lindy” promised all their children $100 or a horse if they did not drink or smoke before they turned the age of 21. That was a lot of money back then and doubly hard when six sons went into service. (Some of the children claimed their prize.) 

Malinda was a good neighbor and mother who remembered each child’s favorite foods and made sure they were on the table during their visits. With 14 children, that was remarkable! She lost the sight of one eye after cataract surgery but she still quilted, embroidered, and crocheted. The family attended Bald Rock Methodist Church. Stuart, Malinda and their oldest daughter, Pauline Wright, are buried in Central Cemetery in Flat Ridge, Grayson County, Virginia.


Note:The information above was given to me by my father, Billy Cornett.
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