Elmer Ellis Mize
PhD, Professor and Historian
of Maryville, Blount Co., TN
In the summer of 2003, I drove east from my Las Cruces, NM, home to see if I could find my gggg-grandpa, Isham Gwin, and his son and daughter-in-law, John and Jane (Walker) Gwin. I had just found John's and Jane's 1812 marriage certificate at the Blount County Courthouse Archives in Maryville, TN, and now I was at the local library to see what I could find out about Jane's family. I asked at the desk in the genealogy room, and the kind lady ushered me into a room and introduced me to another librarian. "I'm looking for your vertical file on the Walker family," I told her, and before she could respond, a booming voice behind me asked, "WHAT Walker family?"
The older gentleman had overheard my original request and had followed us into the vertical file room. He took an interest as I explained my quest, and taking over for the obliging librarian, he pulled the file and directed me to a table where I could sort out the file's contents. A few dozen photocopies later, I looked him up again at his own table.
He was preparing his Sunday School lesson for the next day, but he set it aside for the next thirty minutes as we chatted about my family. He was related to the same Walkers as I, and it didn't take long to discover that we were 5th cousins once removed. This was my introduction to Dr. Elmer E. Mize. I never saw or corresponded with him again, though I intended to do both. A few short months later I received in the mail the first copy of my new subscription to the Smoky Mountain Genealogical Society Journal/Newsletter and recognized his picture on the cover, realizing moments later that my intention would not be fulfilled this side of heaven.
Birth: 1 Apr 1836 NC
Mother: Martha S Alderdice
The following obituary is copied verbatim from Mark D. Bennet's
excellent Findagrave.com memorial for Cousin Elmer, #99046962.
Elmer Mize , Maryville historian and tireless volunteer for the library and genealogical community, was found dead in bed at his home Thursday morning. He was 77.
A Blount County native, he lived in the only personal residence still standing on Washington Street in Maryville, the home where he was born and lived his entire life. He died in the same room in which he was born.
Community leaders expressed sorrow at the loss of Mize .
"Elmer was one of the city's natural resources," said Maryville Mayor Joe Swann. "His understanding and depth of history within the community was unparalleled among anyone alive today.
"His unselfish efforts in helping countless people research matters of history and genealogy has helped make our community a better place. We really will miss Elmer.
Maryville City Manager Gary Hensley added, "He has been the long-time city historian and he worked hard in that capacity on strictly a volunteer basis. We have not only lost a great resource as city historian, but also a good friend. We're all mourning his loss."
Mize was also a long-time volunteer at the Blount County Public Library.
Kathy Pagles, director of the library, said, "Elmer Mize was a treasure to the historical and genealogical community of Blount County, providing a legacy of understanding how important local history is and how important it is to preserve that history for the community.
"Since 1983, he maintained a continuity through all the changes, growth and development of the Blount County Public Library, helping young people with research papers for classes, helping raise funds for the library foundation, helping to physically move all the books from the McGhee Street location to the new building on Cusick Street, willing to be on 24-hour-per-day call at any time to people from all over the community, serving as a resource person for the library and for the community."
Lorene Smith, a member of the Blount County Genealogical and Historical Society and former employee of Blount County Public Library, said: "Elmer was a living encyclopedia of knowledge about Maryville and this area. He will be greatly missed."
Mize graduated from Maryville City Schools and received a B.A. in history and political science at Maryville College.
His 32-year teaching career included a year at Lanier in Blount County and the remainder in Knox County. He taught in grades six through 12, covering classes in English, history and math.
In 1995, he was appointed city of Maryville historian by the mayor and city council.
Hundreds of business and community leaders followed his walking tour of Maryville's history in their Leadership Blount class. He was also an engaging speaker on the local civic club circuit, and usually brought an early property deed or other artifact to illustrate a story.
He was a founding member and life member of the Blount County Genealogical and Historical Society and served as editor of The Blount Journal, a publication of that group, for 17 years.
He was the man who unveiled the portrait of Gov. William Blount when the U.S. recruiting office was renamed the William Blount Recruiting Office in 1987.
He dedicated the John Craig Spring Monument and presented it to then Maryville mayor the late Stanley B. Shields on July 4, 1987.
Mize was a member of the Maryville Bicentennial Commission in 1995, which built the Bicentennial Monument in the Greenbelt Park.
In 1996 he served as chairman of the 125th Anniversary Committee of the Maryville First Baptist Church and received the Maryville Rotary International Service Above Self Award in 1996.
In August 1998, Mize was appointed to the Blount County Library Foundation which built the new library.
The first person to receive an Honorary Life Membership in the Blount County Friends of the Library, Mize was a life member of the Historic Sam Houston School House Association and served as a director.
He was honored by proclamations of the governor, county executive and former Maryville Mayor Steve West as Senior Citizen of the Year in 2001 with May 14, 2001, as Elmer Mize Appreciation Day.
He was appointed to the Preserving Our Culture Task Force of Nine Counties One Vision in 2001.
For four years Mize served as president of the Blount County Retired Teachers Association, seven years as treasurer of Retired Teachers and two years as president of the American Association of Retired Persons.
He has 11 ancestral lines of ancestry in Tennessee for over 200 years.
Publications of Mize include the "1830 Census, Blount County, Tennessee" and "Blount County, Tennessee, Marriages 1911 to 1930."
Mize was the son of the late Beecher Elmer and Vola Farmer Mize . His father and grandfather operated in G.N. Mize and Son Lumber Co. They built the family home in 1917 and 1918.
He was also preceded in death by sisters, Barbara Mize , Martha Mize Boruff and Joyce Mize Walls.
Mize is survived by one brother and sister-in-law, Bobby and Elizabeth Mize of Maryville; several nieces and nephews; and several great-nieces and nephews.
Elmer Ellis Mize , age 77 of Maryville, passed away Thursday, November 6, 2003, at his home. He was a member of Maryville First Baptist Church and was a retired Knoxville City school teacher. He was preceded in death by his parents, Beecher and Vola Farmer Mize ; sisters, Martha Sue Mize Boruff, Joyce Mize Walls and Barbara Ann Mize; nieces, Susie Goff and Nettie Heald.
Survivors include: brother and sister-in-law, Bobby L. and Elizabeth Mize; nephews, Brad, Bart, Bret and Blake Mize, Kevin, Craig and Tim Binkley and Paul Walls; nieces, Sherry Braden, Peggy Sheeley and Edna Lee; several great nieces and nephews; special aunt, Thelma Farmer.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday at Maryville First Baptist Church with Rev. Charles Ballard and Dr. Bob Chambers officiating. The interment will follow in Grandview Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Monday at Maryville First Baptist Church.
Pall Bearers will be the City of Maryville and Blount County Officers, active and honorary. Memorials may be made to the Blount County Library Foundation, 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville, TN 37804 or to Maryville First Baptist Church, 202 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37801.
McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home in charge 982-6812 www.mccammonammonsclick.com
HELEN JOYCE WALLS, 80, of Knoxville, died Wednesday, July 18, 2001, in Knoxville. Mrs. Walls was born Oct. 10, 1920, at the family home in Maryville, the daughter of Beecher E. and Edna Morton Mize.
She was the widow of Meredith W. Walls. She is survived by her daughters, Sherry Braden of Knoxville and Edna Lee and her husband, Bob, of Madison, Ala.; her son, Paul N. Walls and his wife, Sharon, of Mount Juliet; and her brothers, Elmer Mize and Bob Mize and his wife, Elizabeth, all of Maryville.
Mrs. Walls is also survived by her grandchildren, Michelle Smith, Tiffany Morris, Wayne Braden, Joe Braden, Brandy Braden Wright, Virgil Braden Jr., Judy Braden Snyder, Robert H. Lee Jr., Ryan C. Lee, Ashley Walls, Shannon Walls, Cassie Percifull, Danny Walls, Eddie Walls and Melinda Walls Hackworth; her son-in-law, Carl Goff; and nine great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and her parents, she was preceded in death by an infant son, Meredith Beecher Walls; two other daughters, Joyce Nettie Heald and Joylyn Sue Goff; two sisters, Barbara Mize and Martha Boruff; and a son-in-law, Virgil W. Braden. The funeral will be held at 8 tonight, July 19, in the chapel of Berry Funeral Home, 3704 Chapman Highway, Knoxville, with the Rev. Garvan W. Walls II officiating. A graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, July 20, at Oliver Springs Cemetery with the grandsons serving as pallbearers. The family requests that any memorials be in the form of donations to the National Hospice Organization, 1901 N. Moore St., Suite 901, Arlington, VA 22209; or to the American Cancer Society, 871 Weisgarber Road, Knoxville, TN 37909. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 tonight at the funeral home.
Obituary published 18 Jul 2001 in the Seymour Herald, Seymour, TN:
Walls, Helen Joyce Mize, age 80, resident of Knoxville, formerly of Port St. John, FL, passed away July 18, 2001. Mrs. Walls was born October 10, 1920, at her family home in Maryville, TN. Preceded in death by her husband, Meredith W. Walls; parents, Beecher E. and Edna Morton Mize; infant son, Meredith Beecher Walls, daughters: Joyce Nettie Heald and Joylyn Sue Goff; sisters, Barbara Mize and Martha Boruff and son-in-law Virgil W. Braden. Survived by daughters: Sherry Braden, Knoxville, TN., Edna Lee (Bob), Madison, AL.; son, Paul N. Walls (Sharon), Mt. Juliet, TN.; brothers, Elmer Mize and Bob Mize (Elizabeth), of Maryville, TN. Grandchildren: Michelle Smith, Tiffany Morris, Wayne Braden, Joe Braden, Brandy Braden Wright, Virgil Braden Jr., Judy Braden Snyder, Robert H. Lee Jr., Ryan C. Lee, Ashley Walls, Shannon Walls, Cassie Percifull, Danny Walls, Eddie Walls, and Melinda Walls Hackworth and son-in-law Carl Goff. Nine great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Funeral service will be conducted 8:00 p.m. Thursday in the chapel of Berry Funeral Home, graveside service and interment 11:00 a.m. Friday, Oliver Springs Cemetery, Oliver Springs, TN. With Rev. Garvin W. Walls II officiating. Grandchildren will serve as Pallbearers. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Hospice Organization, 1901 North Moore Street, Suite 901, Arlington, VA 22209 or the American Cancer Society. Visitation with the family 6:00-8:00 p.m. prior to the service at Berry Funeral Home, 3704 Chapman Hwy. 577-6666. www.berryfuneralhome.com.
William West Mize; Posted by Robert (View posts) Posted: 16 Jun 2000
Earnest: My name is Robert E. Lee Mize the same as my Grandfather's. His father's name was William Wesley Mize, but often went by Wes and West. Here is some information on both people:
William Wesley Mize, bd. 29 Jul 1877, bp. TN, m. 1897, mp. Maryville, TN
Robert E. Lee Mize, bd. 25 Jul 1919, bp. Maryville, TN, m. 1 Feb 1941, dd. 18 Aug 1954, dp. Blanchard Idaho
Please write back with any information that you can share since I am also trying to research the family tree. I do have pictures of both people and have visited the grave sites often.
dd. 29 May 1964, dp. Spokane WA
|Birth:||Jan. 3, 1843|
|Death:||May 4, 1934|
Jonathan Mize (1804 - 1863)
Frances Ann Waters Mize (1850 - 1934)
Eugenia Mize Chance (1871 - 1913)*
Nannie E. Mize (1879 - 1942)*
Otha Decatur Mize (1889 - 1963)*
Shiloh Memorial Cem.
Pigeon Forge, Sevier Co., TN
|Created by: Virgil
DeAnna C. Coole...
Find A Grave Memorial# 45756667
Birth: 3 Dec 1854 Tennessee, USA
Death: 16 Jul 1894 Sevier, Tennessee, USA
Mother: Nancy Chambers
|1.||UNKNOWN NANCY. She married Jonathan MIZE; b. 1804; d. 14 Dec 1863 in Sevier Co., TN; killed at courthouse steps by Conf...|
Child of UNKNOWN NANCY and Jonathan MIZE is:
|2.||Mary A. MIZE (UNKNOWN NANCY1) was born 3 Dec 1854 in Sevier County, Tennessee, and died 16 Jul 1894 in Sevier County, Tennessee. She married James OGLE 31 Oct 1872 in Sevier County, Tennessee, son of Isaac OGLE and Nancy BUTLER. He was born 23 Jan 1851 in Sevier County, Tennessee, and died 23 Jan 1917 in Sevier County, Tennessee.|
Children of Mary A. MIZE and James OGLE are: