By Joyce W. Sanders
On March 1, 1970, Miss Cora Oden retired after working with the Attala County Library for 30 years. Her plans were to write a book which would record some of her experiences there. This dream was never realized and on July 2, 1974, Attala County lost a valuable citizen and the library lost its most ardent fan.
Let's take a look at her ancestors, whose heritage produced this "woman in a million". On the paternal side my knowledge begins with John Oden and wife, Martha Bussie. Their son, Thomas Oden, was born around 1800 in Alabama, and he was married to Lucinda Gillcrease in Alabama. Their children were Alexander, Mary J., Susan and Eliza. The first three having been born in Greene County, Ala., and Eliza in Mississippi around 1839.
Alexander Glister Oden was born September 22, 1822, and died February 3, 1887, in Leake County, Mississippi. His first wife, Eliza Ware, and Miss Cora's grandmother, was born in Alabama in 1835. She died in Leake County, Mississippi, in March, 1868.
Their children were: Thomas Benton, William Alexander, Hezikiah H., John Franklin, George Tillery and Mary Catherine (Mollie). Eliza Ware's parents were Samuel H. Ware born 1806 in South Carolina and wife, Mary McHenny, born 1810 in Ireland.
This couple was married in Alabama and moved to Kemper County, Mississippi, around 1845. After the death of Eliza, Alexander G. Oden married on March 25, 1869, in Leake County to Lucinda J. Yates; She was born December 30, 1846, and died August, 1871, and is buried in Zion Hill Cemetery, Coosa, Leake County.
They had one daughter, Martha Eliza (Mattie). Alexander's third wife was Delia and they were the parents of Lucinda Naoma and Andrew Joshua. Alexander Glister Oden was a Primitive Baptist preacher. Other of his descendants still in Attala today are John Oden, Mrs. Mary Crosby, Mrs. Irsil Skeen and Mrs. Cadda Blanton.
Thomas Benton Oden was born December 22, 1854, in Kemper County. His first wife was Needie Ward of Leake County. After her death he married Martha Ann (Mattie) Rimmer on September 22, 1897. Mattie was born September 1, 1858, in Madison County, Miss.
Cora Oden was born in Carthage, Mississippi, on February 27, 1900, where her father worked as a clerk. She was their only child. Thomas Benton died April 1, 1917, and Mattie on June 22, 1936. Both, along with Miss Cora, are buried in the oldest part of the Kosciusko Cemetery.
Now for the maternal side of the Family Tree. James Wales of Louisiana and his first wife, Harriett, lived in Madison County. Their
|only daughter was Mary Jane, born in September, 1837, and attended Sharon College in Madison County.
She was married to Stephen Peyton Rimmer in 1852 on the old Wales Place 12 miles northeast of Canton, near old Stump Bridge Cemetery which is in Attala County. It was winter time when the wedding took place for snow was on the ground; cotton bagging was laid on the snow so supper could be served outside. Mary Jane Rimmer died April 25, 1920.
Richard Rimmer was born in 1793 in North Carolina. He was the father of Stephen P. Rimmer, who was born in that state on May 31, 1825, and who died in Attala County on February 12, 1912. He and Mary Jane were the parents of 10 children. Second child was James Wilson Rimmer who married Cora Shanks. Fifth child was Mattie who married Thomas Benton Oden; they were Miss Cora's parents. The youngest child was Henry Womack Rimmer born October, 1874, died 1939 and married to Draper Guess born 1891 and died 1958. Two of their children still live in Kosciusko: James Rimmer and Ruth Rimmer McAdams.
This is the heritage left Miss Cora. The heritage she left cannot be enumerated but will live forever in the hearts and lives of those persons she came in contact with.
Miss Cora is gone, but not forgotten.