William Riley Mize Family

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William M. Mize photo Freeman Mize photo Silas Mize photo Mary Mize photo Mary Mize photo

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William Riley Mize

Story of William Riley Mize of eastern Pulaski County, Kentucky..This branch of the Mize family is currently being researched for better information and photograph. Please excuse the unfinished nature of information... If you have additional information or photos to contribute, please contact me through email..Thank you for your patience, this has been a long time in preparation and it is getting better every day!!!

The following information was extracted from the internet and it is a great narrative!"

"In compiling this genealogy of William Riley Mize and Hannah’s children, I often think of the changes that took place during their lifetime. Both were born in 1801, and a glance in retrospect of the 100 years to 1900 is astonishing. We are now in the year 1990 with all of our high technology, etc. William Riley and Hannah lived in an era when each and everyone largely engaged in cultivating the soil and raising stock. They lived on the fat of the land, were very independent, and lived very much within themselves. None the less they were happy and contented, perhaps because they lacked the conveniences and luxuries of today. These conveniences and luxuries seem to us indispensable, but just think of moving by wagon train to another state. One son, Freeman Mize, went to Madison County, Montana before 1880, and their ancestors moved from North Carolina and Virginia with even more problems than the year 1880 would bring. As I have studied the census in these various states, you can easily see that other Pulaski County, Kentucky families traveled with them. Several prominent names that appear all around William Riley Mize near Short Creek appear with the Mize sons and daughters in these other states. Life consisted of various needs, and these needs developed many talents. A blacksmith was needed to shoe the horses, repair the old- fashioned plows, not tractors, or 1990 do alls! Plowing was done by oxen, mules, or horses. Horses were the way to travel. A carpenter was needed to build and repair the barns and houses. The shoemaker would make and mend the shoes worn by all family members. One son, Milton Green Mize, is known to have the made the older tombstones that are now in the Short Creek Cemetery. William Riley Mize raised his own hogs and cured his own bacon. They had beef and mutton, poultry and eggs, butter and cheese, milk and honey, and fruit and vegetables. They never thought of buying any of these, but sold or traded the surplus for sugar, coffee, tea, etc. it was years later before canning was accomplished. He distilled his own brand of stamped Kentucky whiskey and sold as much as possible, with all the tobacco and corn he raised to maintain a living. Hannah, as well as her daughters and granddaughters were all taught to sew, spin, and knit, and some were taught weaving. They spun and wove linen goods for summer, and woolen flannels and jeans for winter wear. Beautiful bed quilts were made by family members as well as repairing the old ones. Hosiery was knitted, and there were fulling mills that “fulled” and dyed the woolen goods. A black jean was made that was worn by men and boys. All garments were cut out and completed by hand sewing. They raised their geese and made their own featherbed and pillows. In the matter of dress, ladies have forgotten the smothering sunbonnets and sagging hoopskirts they waddled around in. WILLIAM RILEY MIZE, sometimes known as Riley, was born on the 1st day of March, 1801. In the 1850 census he is shown as born in Virginia, the 1860, and 1870 census show Kentucky. This is a big stumbling block to all researchers. Being born in 1801, places William Riley Mize in the very beginning of the formative years of American history. His forefathers had strolled the frontier path, bringing with them the remains of older culture, and the ownership of land meant the difference between the old life of uncertainty and of course the lack of money. In 1822, he paid taxes on 50 acres of land near Buck Creek, in Pulaski County, Kentucky. The document stats this 50 acres was surveyed for him. Family memories tell that “Daddy Mize”, as his children and grandchildren called him, bought this land for ten or twenty-five cents an acre. Due to the fact that he later obtained several more acres of land, the price could be some where in between. One of the stories that survived through the generations is that he built a house of poles with tree limbs and corn shucks for the roof, until he could build another home. In later years he built the first brick home in the Short Creek neighborhood. On the 21st day of December 1823, he purchased the banns of matrimony from the Pulaski County Court House, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. These bonds were for a marriage to be solemnized between him and Miss Hannah Evans. HANNAH EVANS MIZE was born the 25th day of April, 1802. The 1850 census also shows she was born in Virginia, with the 1860, and 1870 showing Kentucky. An Elizabeth Evans married Johnson Hize on the 21st day of March, 1836, in Pulaski County, Ky. On these marriage bonds, Alex Evans is listed as the father of Elizabeth, and Elizabeth Mize signed this particular marriage bonds but kin was not shown. Was Alex a relative of Hannah’s, and was Elizabeth Mize the mother of William Riley and Johnson Mize?

Some early land grants in Kentucky for William Riley Mize are as follows:

50 Acres - 30th September 1833
Pulaski County, Book 1, Page 326

50 Acres - 30th September 1833
Pulaski County, Book 2, Page 250

18 Acres - 28th March 1842
Pulaski County, Book 10, Page 175

32 Acres - 30th March 1836
Pulaski County, Book 10, Page 176

85 Acres - 12th March 1836
Pulaski County, Book I-2, Page 439

With years of hard work the lands were cleared, good homes were built, and his smaller farms were consolidated into larger landholdings. At the time of his death he owned approximately 1,000 acres of land. William Riley Mize was in all aspects an educated man. His name appears on several handwritten documents for himself and his family.

The portion of Kentucky which became Pulaski County in 1798, lies in the south central part of the State along the Cumberland River, one tier of counties lying between it and the Tennessee line. It is drained by the Cumberland and Rockcastle Rivers, and by South Fork, White Oak, Buck, Pitman, and Fishing Creeks. The streams and springs determined largely the location of each early settlement.

Short Creek, located approximately 11 miles east of Somerset, is in the current Stab, Kentucky area. This area is where William Riley and Hannah lived. A small community, laying claim that the creek is the shortest creek in the world. Nature formed Short Creek countless years ago and nature still holds the key to the mystery of its origin. It comes from under a cliff, takes a quick peek-a-boo at the open sky, and disappears under another cliff, and finally empties into Buck Creek on the other side of, a hill.

This creek, almost as wide as it is long, has served the community for many years as a source of power for water mills where residents could mill their corn and wheat. Old timers tell the story that once Short Creek ran muddy with such force that it drained both directions in Buck Creek and Buck Creek remained clear.

Nobody really knows when the first mill was operated at Short Creek; however, William Riley Mize built a mill at the site in 1868. Over the years the land has changed hands many times and is currently owned by Elwood and Norma Mize Taylor. Norma is a great great granddaughter of William Riley. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have collected over the years, pictures and all information pertaining to Short Creek. Farmers brought their corn and wheat to the mill and were charged a toll amounting to one-eighth of the finished product. Various mills have been constructed, and eventually destroyed by flood waters.

Agriculture very early became the primary industry in Pulaski County; Ky. Somerset became the center for exchanging farm products for the necessities that could not be produced on the farm. Farming was the primary Source of income for William Riley and his family. Tobacco, corn, and wheat were the leading corps. Most of these were hauled by wagon into Somerset. Most of the corn crop was used in the manufacture of whiskey. Flour made from the wheat was another way of life. The county was petitioned to erect water-driven grist mills and with permission to construct these mill dams, wheat and corn were ground into flour and meal. Also, stills were made, not “moonshine operations,” but inspected and revenue stamps placed on each bottle of whiskey. An example showing the Strict retailing, “In the first court of the Quarter session in Pulaski County, KY, on August 27, 1799, a prominent early leader in the county was tried for “retailing (sic) spiretts”, without a license.

Ownership of land was the most important object, but with the land came the Warmest sentimentalities over homesteads. Birthplaces, places of death and burials, struggles, accomplishments, family ties, and sometimes frustrations and disappointments. A family is for sharing life and caring for one another, but separation widened with time and events.

Suffering was borne heavily during the Civil War by the Mize family their neighbors, and friends. Sons and grandsons joined the ranks of volunteers. Kentucky was one of the largest divided states, with brother against brother, and cousin against cousin. Without a doubt the Mize family was no different. Some joined as “Home Guards” staying at home to protect their family and neighbors. After the war, some returned, many didn’t. Widows, orphans, and distraught parents were left to make do as best as they could. The wounds healed very slowly; and even today it has not been forgotten.

William Riley and Hannah moved along with life around them. Three years after the war ended, they were baptized at the Baptist Church of Pleasant Run. Not only did they become members of this church, but gave the land where the church building was erected on. The deed is dated the 14th day of September 1874. The church minutes show that several of their children were deacons and officers of this church. Also, note in the legal description of the deed that his son William is listed. The first meeting to establish the church was held on March 1st, 1862, at the school house District No. 7, near Stab, Kentucky.
"Deed to Church
Indenture of sale

This indenture of bargain sale and conveyance made and entered into this 14th day of September, 1874 between William R. Mize and Hannah Mize, his wife of the County of Pulaski and State of Kentucky of the first part. James Angel, Silas Mize and William M. Mize, the officers of the Baptist Church at Pleasant Run and their successor in office of the County and State aforesaid of the second part witnesseth that for and in consideration of the interest he feels and entertains in the cause of religion and his attachment to the Baptist denomination hath this day bargained and sold unto the party of the second part a certain plot or parcel of land containing 2 acres 35 poles the rail timber excepted the same is situated in the County and State aforesaid at the old sinking valey mill water embracing the Pleasant Run Church and bounded as follows to-wit: Beginning at a rock planted by the Processioners, Wm. M. Mize’s corner his line S 31 degrees 20 poles to a rock N. 59 degrees E. 16 1/2 poles to a spanish oak N. 31 degrees W. 22 1/2 poles to a rock on Inabnit’s line, his line N. 49 degrees W. 17 poles to the beginning, together with all the improvements and appurtenances there unto belonging to have and to hold the above described property unto the said Church by her trustees and their successors in office, so long as she cares to exist a Baptist Church, and if she ever ceases to be a Baptist Church, the aforesaid property is to revert to the donor, the party of the first part and to his heirs assigns and the said party of the first part bind them selves to warrant and forever defend the same against the claim of them selves, heirs, assigns and against the claims or claims of each and every person whomsoever in witness the party of first part hath set their name and affixed their seals the day and date first above written.

William R. Mize (Seal)

Hannah x Mize (Seal)

This deed produced to me at William R. Mize’s in Pulaski County KY on the 14th day of September, 1874 and was acknowledged by William R. Mize to be his act and deed and the contents all.
The statement by the clerk was not copied.

"We whose names are hereunto subscribed being members of different Baptist Churches and living near this place and believing that there ought to be a church at this place. Therefore we agree and covenant together to keep up worship at this place until we become strong enough to become a constitution or make other arrangements."

These names were copied from the original record which was beginning to show its age and was unable to get the complete names of some.

James McCalister
Mary F. McCalister
Sarah McCalister
Silas Mize
Mariah Mize
Elisha Lawson
John Mize
Martha E. Mize
Franklin C. Mize
Coleman P. Eaton
Elizabeth Mize
Elizabeth Rash
Lydia Hawk
Elizabeth Jane Whitaker
Julina Whitaker
Sarah Eaton
Nancy J. Rash
Thadeus J. Eaton
Nancy E. Eaton
Mary N. Rash
?Lon Hawk
Jonathan Langford
Elizabeth Langford
Sampson Hawk

"Motion and second that we choose Bro. Wm. F. Richardson as our minister for one year. Salary to be $50 a year and paid by Subscribers.

Motion and second that we request for official aid from the Sister churches at our next meeting on the first Saturday and Sunday in April next, to consider the propriety of our becoming a Constitution at this place."

April 1912, Brother James Riley Mize was appointed as church clerk and held this post until he resigned October 1942. After this his son Theodore Mize held the job for many years. Our present church secretary and treasures are Elwood and Norma Taylor. (Norma is Theodore Mize's daughter). November 1929, licensed Brother Bert Whitaker to preach and in May 1930 he was ordained. July 3 1940, Jeremiah Smith, Wilson Hails, Gather Randall and Julian Woodall were ordained as deacons. November 16, 1954, Clifford Sears and Louie Taylor were ordained as deacons. The present building was dedicated in 1930, and in 1973, after adding two rooms, carpet, air conditioning and upholstering of the pews a dedication service with Brother Billy Frank Adams preaching the sermon was held. On May 12, 1968, celebrated 100th anniversary with two former pastors being present. Brother U.B. Harp, and Brother J. P. Sears. Roy Fountain Jones from Laurel County was the speaker. Brother Jewell Hail, pastor. June 6, 1982, three deacons were ordained, Gary Sears, Sherman Parkey, and Jim Mize. One other deacon has served for a number of years, but was ordained in Indiana, Brother Lucian Mize.


"Know all men by these presents that I, William R. Mize, of the County of Pulaski and the State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and disposing memory, do make and ordain this, my last will and testament as follows:

I give and bequeath to my son, William M. Mize the plantation on which he now lives known as the sidebottom place (except) the fields cleared by John Mize and a few acres of timberland outside of the field that(I gave to my son, Silas Mize).

I also give to my son William M. Mize the house and lot of land that I bought of Harvey Whitaker, containing ten or twelve acres.

I give to my son Silas Mize, the plantation where my son Green Mize now lives, also that part of the Sidebottom place except from William Mize, beginning at his (Silas Mize) fence opposite a new fence that Cy Whitson put up, and running to said new fence and with said fence, and beyond it on the same line, to the branch and down the branch to Silas Mize line, I also give him Two Hundred Dollars in Cash:

I give to my son, Milton G. Mize, the place where I now live; Beginning on Mary Bullock's corner, thenceforth to corner agreed upon by self and my son Silas, thence with that line to corner on the bluff near the wide ford, and I also give him (said son M.G. Mize) the plantation on which Obediah Phelps now lives, but my wife is to have control of all the lands willed to M.G. Mize, during her life.

I give and bequeath to my son, Freeman Mize, Five Hundred Dollars in cash ($500.00).
I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Sewell, Five Hundred Dollars in cash ($500.00).
I give and bequeath to my daughter, Anna Bradley, Five Hundred Dollars in cash ($500.00).
I give and bequeath to the children of Logan Mize Five Hundred Dollars in cash ($500.00), to be held in trust for them till they come of age. I have reference to the children of his first wife.
I give and bequeath to the three children of my daughter, Amanda Inabnitt, deceased, Three Hundred ($300.00 Dollars in cash to be held by a guardian till they come of age.

Given under my hand, this July 16, 1880

William R. Mize

J.W. Hansford
Robert Inabnitt

Will Probated December 25, 1881"

William Riley Mize is buried in the Short Creek family cemetery, along with his wife & many of his extended family.

Found on line at google books:


"AN ACT for the benefit of Wm. R. Mize, of Pulaski county.

Be it ennacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky :

§ 1. That the sum of seventy-five dollars be and is hereby allowed W. R. Mixe, for keeping one Phoebe Evans, an idiot, of Pulaski county, from the 26th day of March, 1860, until the 26th day of October, 1861; and that the Auditor of Public Accounts is hereby authorized to draw his warrant on the treasury for the aforesaid sum of money, in favor of Wm. R. Mize, out of any moneys not otherwise appropriated. $ 2. This act to take effect from its passage.

Approved January 27, 1863.

Acts passed at the ... session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth

(retrieved from http://books.google.ca/books?pg=RA1-PA416& lpg=RA1-PA415&dq=Mize%20Pulaski%20Kentucky&sig= RHqYYy6SeGYf46sQv-7q-e4uZBI&ei=ljatSuCgFI SasgOBi43tBA&ct=result&id=3FY4AAAAIAAJ&ots=PJbxcJ3CBb&output=text on 21 Jun 2012)

The 1880 Kentucky Census of Burdine Pulaski Co Kentucky:

William R. Mize, age 79 years, born 1801 Kentucky, father's birthplace is Kentucky, mother's birth place is North Carolina; and he is a farmer.

Hannah Mize, age 78 years, for 1802 Kentucky, father's birthplace is Kentucky, mother's birthplace is North Carolina; and she is infirmed.

Two other inhabitants are: Pheba Holton, age 17 and is a servant; Jesse B. Bullock. age 17 and is a servant.