November 22, 2012

The Doniphans of Midship Plantation

From Our Island Heritage, Vol. 2, 1977, compiled by Sophie Haley and Mickie Smith:

T.A.S. Doniphan, Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Thomas Alexander Slaughter Doniphan (T.A.S. Doniphan) came from Virginia by flatboat to Natchez, Mississippi.  Here he met and married Miss Sarah Cartwright, who was editor of a Natchez paper, "The Free Trader".  The Doniphans sent their children up north to be educated.

(Editor's note:  Tombstone photograph for Sarah Cartwright Doniphan is courtesy of Debbie Belk Ellis at
Sarah C. Doniphan, Natchez Cemetery
In 1859, T.A.S. Doniphan purchased Midship Plantation, located on Sicily Island, from James Denegre of New Orleans.  Midship consisted of around 950 acres.  This along with other smaller tracts brought his holdings to around 1,500 acres.  The Doniphans moved into a log house which was already built on the place.

This house consisted of rooms on either side of an open hallway and had a full front porch.  It was situated on the cut-off road between Martin High School and the Guice Road, and sat beside a small stream. 

Original location of T.A.S. Doniphan log house on cut-off road

This particular spot in later years was known as the Sapp place, as Mrs. Sapp, who was a niece of Mary Glover Doniphan (second wife of T.A.S. Doniphan) inherited it from her.

Mary Glover Doniphan (2nd wife of T.A.S. Doniphan), Old Pine Hill Cemetery
The following children were born to T.A.S. Doniphan and Sarah Trammel Cartwright:
Henry Slaughter, 1838-1888 (m. Amelia Scott)
Joel Thompson, 1840-1840
Julia Alice, 1841-1843
William Cartwright "Willis", 1845-1861
Kate Ashford, 1846-1909 (m. King Gibson Holstein)
Albert Leroy, 1849-1852
T.A.S. Doniphan and Mary Glover had one son, Frank Glover Doniphan.

Dr. Henry S. Doniphan, Old Pine Hill Cemetery
In 1860, Dr. Henry Doniphan, son of T.A.S. Doniphan by his first marriage, bought Midship from his father and he and his wife, Amelia Scott of Natchez, Mississippi settled into another log house on the place which was located on Hooter's Bayou.  Dr. Doniphan was a Civil War veteran and a charter member of the Harrisonburg Masonic Lodge.  

He and his wife lived on in the log house where they reared their children:  Thomas Scott,1860-1934; Henry Slaughter, 1861-1861; Anna (Mrs. H. M. Peniston), 1863-1960; William Slaughter, 1865-1867; Katie (Mrs. Thomas Kempe), 1868-1945; Lucy Amelia, 1870-1871; Frank Cartwright, 1872-1888; Zelia (Mrs. Charles Cornick), 1874-1959; Eugene (married Mamie Denham), 1877-1961; Henry S, 1879-1964. (Editor's Note:  Children's names, DOB/DOD have been updated from Old Pine Hill Cemetery tombstones)

Amelia King Scott Doniphan, Old Pine Hill Cemetery

Amelia King Scott Doniphan
Thomas Scott Doniphan (son)

The house depicted below was built in 1910 by Eugene Doniphan on the part of Midship which he inherited.  The only help he had was letting Dan Sumners help him raise the rafters.  This house is located a few hundred yards from where the log house was which Henry and Amelia occupied until their deaths.

Eugene and Mamie Doniphan reared their four children in this home:  May Usher (Mason), Katie (Rundell), Eugene, Jr.(married Jessie Duke); and Amelia (Ellerbe).  Since the death of his parents, Eugene, Jr. maintained the home as a part time residence, coming on weekends and holidays from his work in Monroe.  (Editor's Note:  Eugene Doniphan, Jr. died in 1989)

Eugene, Sr. and Mamie Denham Doniphan home place, 2011

Eugene, Sr. and Mamie Denham Doniphan home place, 2011
Eugene, Sr. and Mamie Denham Doniphan home place, 2011

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