My Fortner Family
For years my husband and I have tried to research my father's family. We've driven to Waverly TN, we've gone to the archives in Nashville. We've visited a second cousin who still lives in the area. Lets start at the top: my grandfathers name is Robert Mack Fortner. He was born and raised on the Little Richland Creek near Waverly TN. Records in Waverly show he was married twice, First to a Patricia Crowley with whom he had three kids. A boy William, and two girls, Molly and Lucy. This marriage apparently caused some problems in the Fortner family because a fight insued that broke fellowship between Robert and his family. Eventually, he and the former Miss Crowley divorced. She retained custody of the kids. In 1910 Robert married Ola Leah Brake. My Uncles James, Wilbert, Robert and Aunt Jean were all born in Waverly. At some point during this time, Roberts uncle, brother to his mother Molly Mosley Fortner, his name being George Mosley married my grandmother's younger sister Rosa. Their decendents still live on the highway that leads into Waverly.
During Robert's time in the Waverly area he worked for a Mr Anderson, who owned the land where the Lorretta Lynn Ranch is now. Mr Anderson like Robert and told him if he would stay and work for him a year without getting mad and leaving he'd give him part of the land. Unfortunately he left before the year was up.
About 1933 Robert and Ola moved the family to Jackson Tn. It was in Jackson their last child, my father, was born in 1934. By then, Robert had bought a place at thruway, off the highway to Humboldt on the Jackson side. He got a job at the State of Tennessee Highway Department, working there until he died of throat cancer at the age of 55, in 1948 or 1949. It happened about the time my father graduated from high school in 1934.
Ola continued to live in Jackson for many years. In the mid 1960s, all the children, now grown and successful in their own ways moved Ola to Memphis, where at that time all the kids lived. They all chipped in for her living expenses, and she remained in Memphis until shortly after James Cleveland Fortner's death cir 1986. At that time my aunt Jean Fortner Meadows tool her to live with her family in DeLand FL.
Wilbert Anderson Fortner because a well respected masonry contractor in Memphis. He married Bessie Gouch, and had Ronald Galen, Donald Lynn. Timothy, and adopted a daughter, Tina.
James, the oldest, was a truck driver working out if Belles TN. He married Birdie and had two daughters whom he called Pat and Pete. Birdie passed away 10-15 years before James did.
Robert Wiley married Eloise and had two children, Robert Jr and Bonnie. Robert passed away about 1997.
Martha Jean married Arthur B Meadows, and had three children. Gary, Teresa and Mike. They moved to Orange City FL in 1960 to manage Orange City Campgrounds for Wilbert. Art also supported the family as a Hvac repairman. He later died of cancer. Jean died in 2006,
Harold Edward married Shirley Annette Jewell in 1955. They had both attended Fort Wayne Bible College and after they we'd, moved to the Memphis area. They had four kids, Greta, Lisa, David and Andrea. All are still alive in 2014.