Spencer Stamper and Sarah Sims Stamper
By Milton M. Stamper
Note: For a more complete genealogy/lineage, please read “The Stampers of Newton County, Mississippi” by Milton Stamper.
All Stampers in Newton County share a common descendancy from Spencer Stamper and Sarah Sims Stamper.
Spencer Stamper, son of Joel L. Stamper and Mary Brooks, was born in Virginia some time before the year 1796. As a young man, he traveled to Georgia, in the company of other family members, where he married, about the year 1819 in Putnam County, to Sarah Sims. Tax records from Morgan County indicate that he owned property there in 1817 along with brothers Martin W. and Irby Stamper. Spencer and Sarah later moved to Pike County, Georgia, where most of their 11 children were born.
Spencer Stamper was a prominent citizen in Pike County, Georgia, where he served both as a minister and county official. As a minister, he was pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church from 1829-1836 and of Zebulon Baptist Church from 1837-1841. He also donated 2 acres toward the building of Harmony Baptist Church in 1833. As a county official he served Pike County as Judge of the Inferior Court, a powerful position that placed him in charge of all county finances, schools, roads, bridges, as well as probate hearings and civil and criminal trials.
His will, as written on 8 August 1844 and probated on 5 March 1849, Pike County, Georgia, appointed his wife Sarah as executrix and his son Joel Stamper as executor, with each of his 11 children (as shown later) named in the will with the provision that my children that is small be first educated out of my estate.
In 1858 Sarah sold all of her property in Pike County, Georgia, and moved to Newton County, Mississippi, where she settled in the Pinckney community with a number of her children. Sarah Sims Stamper, a daughter of George Sims and Frances Griffin, was born 29 October 1797, Georgia and died 15 November 1877, Newton County, Mississippi. She is buried in Decatur Cemetery.
Four of the sons of Spencer and Sarah Sims Stamper would enlist in the 8th Mississippi Infantry (Pinckney Guards), CSA, at the beginning of the Civil War. These were Joel Clifton Stamper (survived); George D. Stamper (wounded at the Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and later died), Martin Woodson Stamper (wounded, captured, but survived), and Spencer T. Stamper (died as a prisoner of war).
The early Stamper family members characteristically had dark hair and complexions. They were also staunch Baptists and united with Pinckney Baptist Church shortly after their arrival in Newton County. Most family members, however, transferred their membership to Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church when it was formed ca. 1883. Along with the Stampers, leading families in this church included the surnames of Loper, Willis, Everett, Harris, Hollingsworth, Meador, Moulds, Webb, Russell, Vaughn, Wall, Gardner, Payne, Carr, Wilson, Golden, Red/d, Edwards, and Leach.
Spencer and Sarah Sims Stamper were the parents of eleven children:
- Frances Sarah Stamper, born 1820 died January 1893, Causeyville, Lauderdale County, Mississippi; married William Green Ellis and had a large family.
- Mary M. Stamper, born 1822; married William B. Willis. In 1850, Mary and William, an overseer, were living near her mother in Pike County, Georgia, with three children: John S. Willis, age 5, Julianna Willis, age 4, and Amanda R. Willis, age 1. We have been unable to find any additional information on this family.
- Joel Clifton Stamper, born March 6, 1823 died 20 November 1906, Newton County, Mississippi, and buried in New Hope-Fellowship Cemetery; married Martha Emily Beville (See later)
- James Harding L. Stamper, born 1826
- George D. Stamper, born February 28, 1828; married Amanda C. Kennedy. A member of the 8th Mississippi Infantry (Pinckney Guards), CSA, George died of flux at Bridgeport, Alabama, on June 20, 1863.
- Louiza J. Stamper, born 1830; married Moses Perkins
- Irby Wiley Stamper, born 1834
- Susan Caroline Stamper, born 14 June 1835 died October 27, 1897, Newton County, Mississippi, and buried in New Hope-Fellowship Cemetery; married William Booker Russell
- Martin Woodson Stamper, born September 27, 1838 died July 19, 1918, at his home at Stampers Mill; married three times. (See later)
- Thomas Harrison Stamper, born December 3, 1839 died October 22, 1899, Newton County, Mississippi, and buried in Crossroads Baptist Church Cemetery; married Sarah Elizabeth Russell.
- Spencer T. Stamper, born 1843. Spencer enlisted in the Pinckney Guards, CSA, on May 18, 1861. He was taken a prisoner of war on November 27, 1863 at Ringgold, Georgia, and later died in the Union prison at Rock Island, Illinois on March 7, 1864
The Family of
Joel Clifton Stamper and Martha Emily Beville
Joel Clifton Stamper, son of Spencer Stamper and Sarah Sims, was a farmer who lived in the Pinckney community of Newton County where he was a member of Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church. He married November 16, 1844, Pike County, Georgia, to Martha Emily Beville, daughter of Edward Beville and Mary Weise, born January 7, 1827 in South Carolina-died August 18, 1896 in Newton County. They were the parents of eight children:
- Sarah Jane Stamper, born November 11, 1845, Pike County, Georgia died January 2, 1910, Decatur, Mississippi; married George Washington Red. They were the parents of nine children.
- George Edward Stamper, born March 19, 1847, Pike County, Georgia died August 10, 1871, Newton County, Mississippi. Did not marry.
- Newton Freeman Stamper, born February 2, 1849, Pike County, Georgia died October 1, 1923, Grayson, Caldwell Parish, Louisiana; married (1) Mary Ellen (Ida) Vance, by whom he had five children and (2) Annie Eliza McClendon, by whom he also had five children.
- Rev. Thomas Jefferson (Tom) Stamper, born March 21, 1853, Pike County, Georgia died 1933, Newton County, Mississippi; married Mary Elizabeth (Molly) Spivey. They were the parents of eleven children. Tom was an elder in the Primitive Baptist Church at Fellowship.
- Stephen Alexander (Steve) Stamper, born March 23, 1855, Pike County, Georgia died January 20, 1915, Newton County, Mississippi; married Edna Eulala Huddleston and they had twelve children.
- James Spencer Stamper, born September 24, 1856, Pike County, Georgia died December 14, 1903, Newton County, Mississippi; married Mattie O. (Picky) Willis, daughter of James Madison Willis and Elizabeth Sharp Ponder, and they were the parents of eleven children.
- Mary Stamper, born 1860, Newton County, Mississippi died before 1870.
- Annie Eliza (Sis) Stamper, born May 24, 1865, Newton County, Mississippi died January 26, 1942, Grayson, Caldwell Parish, Louisiana; married Victor K. (Vic) Holladay, son of Owen Francis Marion Holladay and Teresa T. Brooke, and they had five children.
The Family of Martin Woodson Stamper
Shortly after his arrival in Newton County, Martin purchased a mill site at Pinckney. Whether this was the older site established by Joshua Maxwell in 1834 or not is unknown, although it is suspected that Stampers Mill was slightly downstream from the mill that Joshua Maxwell operated previously. Nevertheless, Martin assigned one worker the task of making needed improvements which included the installation of a water turbine grist mill and gin, and likely the enlargement of the pool leading into the turbine. The process took three years. He also built a large two-story house on the hill overlooking the pond.
From the time of its installation until his death in 1918, the pond served as a focal gathering point, not just for the county, but for the surrounding area. People came here to grind mill, but they also came to politic, to socialize, and to swim and fish in one of the largest man-made bodies of water in this part of the state. Stampers Mill, as it came to be known as, served as a favorite meeting place for the Farmers Grange, the Masons, and other organizations, all of which Martin was actively involved in. Martin also served as the Chairman of the Executive Democratic Party and was a member of the county pension board at the time of his death. He was a member if the Board of Supervisors and its President in 1916. Martin ran for and was elected to the Mississippi Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives for the 1878 and 1880 Sessions, where he was known as the Old War Horse.
Although few records are available, a school house is known to have existed, first called Pinckney and later Stamper, at this site from the 1880s until some time before 1914, at which time the school was closed and most of the students send to Stratton.
Undated School Picture, but likely ca. 1905-1910
A post office, known as Stamper, was operated here. Martin W. Stamper served as its only postmaster from January 26, 1889 to February 23, 1906, at which time the post office was relocated to Stratton.
Martin W. Stamper was married three times. His first wife was Cornelia (Celia) Van Buren, born July 15, 1841 died July 26, 1866, Newton County. His second wife was Christinia McMahon, born October 5, 1839 died June 28, 1899, Newton County, Mississippi, and his third wife was Sally E. Edwards, born June 9, 1854 died January 13, 1937.
Martin was, according to census records and his obituary, the father of two children, both born from his marriage to Cornelia Van Buren. These children were
- Mary E. Stamper, born ca. 1862 died after 1930; married Aquilla W. Edwards and had a large family. Her exact date of death is unknown; however, Aquilla died in 1950 and is buried in Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.
- Frances Cornelia Stamper, born 1866 died March 27, 1940; married Frank N. McMullan.