CATHERINE/KATHRYN SAWYER HIPP AND HENRIETTA HIPP
by Wanda M. Newberry Gray
20 August 1999
First, let me say that I remember great grandmother Henrietta Hipp and believe the 1880 census in Scott County, Arkansas wherein it says that she was born in Arkansas to be wrong. To the best of my knowledge and on other census records it indicates that she was born in Tennessee, which appears to be more accurate.
Today, I have re-run out the references in the Scott County, Arkansas, again, and feel quite comfortable that Henrietta was the last child born to Holdrick and Margaret Rhames Hipp. I say this realizing that Margaret Rhames would have been around 55 at the time of her birth and because Catherine Sawyer and Houldrich did not take out their marriage application until 1859. Thus, Henrietta was a very small child when her mother died and when her father remarried Catherine Sawyer, but Catherine/Kathryn would have been like a mother to her, as she raised her.
However, there remains yet another possibility, that perhaps Catherine/Kathryn Sawyer could possibly have had a prior marriage and that Henrietta could conceivably be a Henrietta Sawyer. This does not solve the mystery as to why she would have used Henrietta Hipp on her marriage records to William Hutchison. Until more concrete information can be established, my conclusion that her name was Hipp and that Henrietta was the last child born to Holdrich and Margaret Rhames, will remain.
Henrietta was a very homely looking lady who, in her senior years, was attired in plain black dress and a black bonnet. She carried her money, what little she ever had in a small drawstring pouch made from a flour sack, in her petticoats. She did not choose to stay married very long at a time, therefore, spent her life living with relatives and friends for long periods time. It was not unusual for her to visit with a family for a month or more at a time, especially during the canning season.
The following information will help to present a better picture of Henrietta's husbands and families:
1. Henrietta Hipp was born in 1855, to Houloitch Hipp and Margaret Rhames near or on Flour Island in Lauderdale County, Tennessee. I was always informed that her father had a plantation on Flour Island. However, researching the land records may prove this remembrance to be not quite correct.
2. Henrietta Hipp first married William Hutchison on 26 November 1879, in Lauderdale County, Tennessee [Marriage Record Book 1867-1872 page 294]. Two children, both girls, were born of this marriage: Martha Catherine Hutchison, born in Tennessee on 2 February 1875, and Miss Willie A. Hutchison, born in 1878. Both girls were born in Lauderdale County, Tennessee. According to the story my mother told to me, which she understood Henrietta to say, William Hutchison and his dog left to go down the Mississippi River to take furs to market and that was the last they ever saw of William Hutchison. They said his dog returned but he didn't.
It is unknown when Henrietta married Mr. Potts, as no marriage record has been found in Lauderdale County, TN or Scott County, Arkansas. Likely she married him prior to coming to Scott County, as she appears as Henrietta Potts in the 1880 census. However, she did have one child, a daughter by Mr. Potts, that was named Fannie Belle Potts who was born on 27 September 1880.
3. In the 1880 Census in Scott County, Arkansas, HickmanTownship, Subdivision 169 Dwelling #451 Family #457, Henrietta Potts and her two daughters, Martha Hutchison, 5, born in TN and Willie A, Hutchison, age 2, born in TN, were residing with her step-mother, Catherine/Kathryn [Sawyer] Hipp, age 43, a widow, born in MS. In this census, Henrietta Potts was enumerated to be 24 years old and born in TN while her father was born in S. C. and her mother in MS? [this tends to lead one to believe that her mother could be Catherine Sawyer, but I believe this is in error].
This is the first census in which Catherine Sawyer Hipp appears in Scott County, Arkansas, Hickman Township, meaning she traveled to Scott County during the 1870s. According to family tradition she arrived around 1873.. A part of Hickman Township was later used to form Mt. Pleasant Township, in which most of the Hipps and their descendants continued to live.
In the 1880 census for Scott County, Arkansas Catherine Hipp is age 43, a widow, born in MS, son Jacob [Jacob Wesley] is residing with her, age 18, born in S. C.[error?]; and daughter, Genie [Jenny or Virginia Catherine Hipp] age 14, born in S. C.[error?]; and, of course, Henrietta, as aforementioned. In this census, Catherine Hipp only lived two doors from her other daughter, Elmyra H. Hipp, who had married William A. Farnsworth.