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W. Henry Fluker
W. Henry Fluker
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WILLIAM HENRY FLUKER
October 30, 1869 - December 3, 1942
Fluker Siblings: (L to R) Mary, Henning, William, and Louise
Fluker Siblings: (L to R) Mary, Henning, William, and Louise
Felix Henning Fluker
By Ruth Emerson Harris
 
Although “Little Henning” did not live long enough for his descendants to know him, our records offer interesting family history about the ways that “birth and death” happened and were dealt with during those times, together with other surrounding facts.
 
Felix Henning Fluker was the fourth child of Ruth Emerson Hayes Smith and William Henry Fluker. Information about the short life of Henning comes from his Grandmother Jane Septima Smith’s diaries.
 
Sep’s 1903 diary states on Tuesday April 21st in her typical diary shorthand writes:
(temperature 55 degrees) Joe with Rob – Tyler Addie - Alice and Pallie planted corn on hilside (hillside) up branch A.M.  John up branch after dinner – Pallie Addie and Alice in garden planted peas – tomatoes – beans – cucumbers cabbage & collards set out 4 rows with cabbage plants.
Sophia and Belknap to Augusta. Annie and Mrs S. (Sherman) to Ruths AM.  Ruth & Henry & children came after suppertime   Ruth came to stay
Al   tobac .20 meat 1.45 soda .05 bushel meal
Alice  shoes 2.00”

Thus we have the family culture described about a month before Henning was born and his mother Ruth coming to stay for the birth at her mother Sep’s home.
 
On Monday May 25, 1903 she notes the temperature ranges as 65º to 93º, and writes:
            “Joe with Rob – Tyler & Addie in new ground –
            Ruth gave birth to a male child about 9 PM Dr Culbertson
 Jess with Ellen went for Dr-
            Yan carried Dudly to C G Woodalls
            Pallie   coffee .15”
 
Monday June 22, 1903, quoted in part:
            “Henry home after dinner with William & Louise & Annie Fluker – Ruth went home with Henry – Annie and William had Ellen (horse) and buggy to go   Ed came in wagon for trunk and baskets

Sep’s diary notes that Ruth was at The Mill for almost a month before Henning’s birth and stayed another month to recuperate.
 
Henning was named for two of his great grandfathers. Felix Shank was the father of Jane Septima Shank Smith, Ruth’s mother. Felix Shank was a farmer and Baptist Minister.  Henning Daniel Murden was the father of Emily Reid Murden Fluker, Henry’s mother. Murden was a gunsmith and manufactured muskets for the Confederacy.
 
On Sat May 7, 1904, Sep notes the temp 61º and after a description of the farming situations of the day, she writes the following:
            “Annie and I to Ruths, found baby very sick”
 
Sunday May 8th, temp 58º, after references of the comings and goings of family members on Sunday, she writes
            “Joe with me to see Ruths baby found it very sick – Annie went up to spend the night”
 
Monday, May 9, 1904, temp 58:
            “Cousin Eva with me to Ruths found baby worse – had Drs Harrison – Dr Wills & Culbertson with it
            Felix Hennings died ½ after 11 at night of dysentery”
 
Tuesday, May 10, 1904, temp 52:
            “John – Nic – Tyler – Bill  Yan – Wes & Caroline cleaned up cemetery
            Little Henning was buried about 4 o’clock    Rev T.N. Nash conducted the burial service   large crowd at the funeral”
 
Henning’s grave stone has May 10, 1903 as his birthday and May 9, 1904 as the day of his death. Stones were often placed years later with whatever information that was available at the moment.  Little did they know that they simply needed to go to the attic and find Sep’s diary for an accurate recording.  Smith Family Association records show that a foot marker was placed on Henning’s grave in 2005 with the corrected date.

Edited by Roberta Johnson Roper
Felix Henning Fluker death photo
Felix Henning Fluker death photo