Editor: Trudy McGavin Current as of ___
B: Sep 03 1856, D: 1953
Frances Arvazena “Fannie” Jones, born September 3, 1856 in Amity, Arkansas, married William H. Highsmith, born December 30, 1851 in Rome, Georgia on October 19, 1879. Together Fannie and William had five children – Willa Cornelia, Isaac Clingman, Annie, Mattie Lee, and Robert Alexander.
Fannie, along with two siblings, Mary and Granville, attended the University of Arkansas in 1878 – Fannie in the School of Drawing and Painting. The journey to college took days in a horse-drawn wagon.
Fannie and William resided in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. William was a surveyor and farmer and Fannie taught school in Fort Sumner for forty-three years. Many of her students were from the Hispanic community.
By those who knew her, Fannie was regarded as “the sweetest person,” who set an example by practicing her Christian faith by treating everyone in “a most sincere and caring manner.”
Although an extreme distance from Arkansas and the Family’s annual reunion, especially in times before paved roads, much less Interstates, Fannie made the trip many times. Because she was a schoolteacher, Fannie was not employed during the summer months, so her children and grandchildren spent many wonderful times visiting back and forth with her in Fort Sumner and Jones Valley. Many times Fannie would stay with her sister Mary in the Diffie cabin.
William passed away on February 11, 1927 in Moffat, Texas, followed many years later by Fannie in 1953, in Fort Sumner. Both Fannie and William now rest in the Jones Valley Family Cemetery.