George W. Buttrum and Fannie Mae Carnes. This photo was undoubtedly made in the 1960s, because that is when I knew her and this is how I remember her.

A great sense of humor   

Fannie Mae Carnes Buttrum was, in my experience, a kind and gentle little woman with a great sense of humor, not unlike her daughter, Rosa Lee. By my recollection, she was only about five-foot tall or less, and when I saw her sometime in the 1960s, she was overweight, but not real fat. She was living in an Airstream trailer at her youngest daughter’s house, and she fed me and my brother and sister cookies she had baked herself. They were very good.

Thiddo Smith, her grandson-in-law, once told a story about seeing her in the upstairs window of her daughter Annie’s house in “Hallville” in Pleasant Valley mentioned elsewhere. The house was owned by Jim and Annie Hall (Papa Hall’s older brother and Fannie Mae’s daughter), and has since been torn down.

“You better stay up there, old woman, because that’s as close to heaven as you are going to get,” he said. She laughed out loud.

According to Gladys Hall, her granddaughter, Grandma Buttrum would get to laughing so hard she would fart and pee on herself, a goal eagerly sought by Gladys and others as children, who delighted in teasing her.

Fannie Mae was the daughter of "Lissee" Carnes and "Lizzie" Bagwell, and the granddaughter of Andrew Jackson Carnes and Susan Silvey, and Joel Bagwell and Caroline Nowlin.

As a young man, her husband George W. was known to drink, and he was said to have been a stern father. How stern? “He got you in the field before daylight and you stayed until after dark,” said their daughter still living, one of their youngest children. “You went whether you wanted to or not.” Of course, farming required work by the entire family.

About 1946, George and Fannie Mae divorced and he married a woman named Evelyn Fowler, a teenager. Their children included George Edward Jr., Jerry, Larry, Danny, and a girl who died as an infant. Danny, who was borderline retarded, and his wife, Janice, raped and brutally killed a woman in Dalton, Georgia in 1980. For details on this sensational crime, see the section on “The terrible, tragic tale of Danny and Janice Buttrum." I think Evelyn died fairly young.

George and Fannie Mae remarried in 1968, two years before they died.

George was born 3 June 1891 (according to Gladys Hall, 1890 according to the 1900 census) in Alabama or Georgia, and died 1 December 1970 in Floyd County, Georgia, at the age of 79 or 80. He was the son of James Buttrum and Annie Pruitt. Fannie Mae was born 15 December 1897 in Georgia, and died 22 October 1970, probably in Bartow County, at the age of 72. She was the daughter of Elias G. Carnes of Kingston, and Harriet Elizabeth Bagwell, of Rome. George W. and Fannie Mae Carnes married on 15 October 1911.

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