WILLIAM JASPER LEVERETT (My great-grandfather)
Robert M. Leverette 2 Feb. 2006

As told by Mary Malissa Autry Leverette
"William Jasper Leverett was just a drunk and no good!" He worked as a bridge construction carpenter but many days he was so drunk that he could not go to work, so he sent his oldest sons to fill in for him just to keep his employment. (Could this have been the time Jasper was bed ridden due to a stroke; see below.) He stayed drunk all the time and he was drunk when he fail off a bridge and came down with double pneumonia and died several weeks later. After he died, Granny Leverett took her children and moved out of the area because she didn't want her children to become known as "those drunk's kids." Grandma never met William Jasper so this is all that she knew about the man. This could have come from Henry Calvin (my grandfather) who was only ten years old when his father died and who could have heard people talking (see below); everyone knows how impressionable young kids are!

As told by Ms Faula Belle Leverett Norton (One of William Jasper's nieces and in her mid-nineties at the time I interviewed her)
Some of the people around here (Dawson, Georgia) thought Uncle Jasper was a drunkard but he wasn't. Uncle Jasper had a stroke, about two years before he died, which affected his equilibrium and his speech, thus giving him the appearance of being drunk all the time. Due to this unsteadiness, he fail off of a bridge he was working on and came down with pneumonia and died several weeks later. "Yes, Aunt Nancy did move from the area because of those sorry, low-life, gossips who were constantly implying that Uncle Jasper was a drunk." It was Ms Faula Belle who told me where William Jasper was buried. Ms Faula Belle was in Dawson Georgia's high society and before I could ask her any questions,she made me have tea in little China cups and "biscuits" (cookies) with her, served on a silver and gold tea service. When I was leaving she complimented me on how nice I was and a "credit" to the Leverett family! Ms Faula Belle owned the James Hamilton Leverett Family Bible with family records in it along with a photo of all the "Leverett boys" taken just after the Civil War.

As told by Mrs. John (Hattie) Leverett (Wife of one of William Jasper's nephew and in her late-eighties at the time I interviewed her)
Ms Hattie's tale of William Jasper was almost identical to Ms Faula Belle's with the exception that she thought Uncle Jasper had two strokes about six months apart and it was the second stroke that was the worst, did the most damage, since he had not fully recovered from the first one. Ms Hattie also said that her husband John was a very strict fundamentalist and would not allow any earthly comforts in their home, not even a rocking chair! John couldn't abide drunkiness! Since Uncle Jasper was his favorite uncle, Ms Hattie said, that was an indisputable testimony that Uncle Jasper was not, nor ever was, a drunk! As far as she was concerned, that was the end of the drunk gossip! It was Ms Hattie who told me about "Cousin" Faula Belle still living and that she would be able to give me more details.

As told by Aunt Hilda Leverette Parcel All of William Jasper's sons were tee-tollers due to their father's drinking.

As told by Robert Euston Leverette My father, Henry Calvin, was a tee-toller because of his father's drunkenness. Though according to him, his Uncles James and Jack and Cousins Jim and Jimmy were alcoholics. (Aunt Hilda's and dad's story of Jasper's drinking could have sprung from grandma's tale of William Jasper. Another mystery!)