SOME TABOR HISTORY
BERTIE MATTHEWS BOOLES
George Mason Tabor
Born: October 26, 1833
George Tabor came to Union Parish, Louisiana as a boy. Elijah was his father, so the whole family lived in a fine house that Elijah built at Shiloh. In 1852, George married Mary Edmunds, with Brother Jessie Tubb performing the ceremony. George and Mary were deeded 40 acres of Shiloh on the Farmerville-Vienna road. This road later became the Farmerville-Bernice road. This house was put together by pegs and mortises and stood until the 1960’s.
George went away to war, leaving Mary and the children to wait out the war at home. He was killed in the battle at Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1863. The five children were Euphemia, Susan, Mary Washington (Mollie), John Burl and James Elijah. Taking care of a home, farm, and her children while her husband was away fighting was a hard, lonely job for Mary. Descendants tell of her dream of seeing George in a coffin. Three days later she received word that her husband had died in a battle at Holly Springs, Mississippi. Now Mary was a widow. Her last child, Molly, was born after George left. Little Susan was soon to die. Euphemia died of yellow fever just before she was married. Shortly after the war was over, Mr. Dan Lee came to the south. At one time he was asked to leave the church and Mary in turn, left with him of her own accord. Three children were born to Dan and Mary Lee, James, Tom and a daughter, Ellen.
Stories go that at one time Dan Lee was put in a local jail for suspected murder. Mary baked him a cake, concealing a file and he was said to have sawed his way out and disappeared. Later, Mary was sewing for some Dutch people in Farmerville and she learned from them that Dan’s effects were left in his hotel room in Monroe. Only his hat and shoes were found there. Some tell that friends of the man he supposedly murdered had found him and dumped him into the river. Anyway, Mary never saw him again. In 1872, she had him declared legally dead. Legend goes that once on a rainy night she was sitting on her front porch at night and saw an apparition of Dan appear in her yard. He wrote in the sand, but before Mary could get up and go to read it, he had disappeared, and the rain had washed away the words. Once, as told by granddaughter, Laura, Mary said she had another experience, unexplained. She was walking to John Burl’s house, carrying a small lantern in her hand. She saw a curtain held in front of her, a curtain that looked like a hide.
Mary didn’t marry again and resented any insinuation that Dan was still alive. As she grew older, she gained a reputation of a medicine woman and went about doctoring the sick. She was a tiny woman, utterly fearless riding horseback everywhere she went. Known as Mammy Lee or Aunt Mary, she was beloved by all. Nearby lived her sons James (Jim) Lee, John Burl Tabor, and daughter Ellen Shaw. Mary lived with John Burl’s family several years. She died January 22, 1926 and is buried at Shiloh as was her first husband, George Mason Tabor.