Joseph Baxter Lovelace, my Grampa

This post was inspired by a Post from Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, on 23 March 2019 (

My grandfather, Joseph Baxter Lovelace, was a subsistence farmer in rural Rutherford County, North Carolina. He died 27 June 1949, about 10 months before I was born. My dad Walter and my aunt Inez have told me so much about him, including his prowess as a horse trader and his love for his mules. I have many photos of him with his family and with his mules. Inez has always told me he would be so proud of me. I have his miniature grandfather clock in my home office. But I was never able to meet him, and I would dearly love to sit with him over a cup of coffee and talk with him about his early life; his marriages less than a year apart to two sisters, one of whom was my grandmother Arrie; Arrie’s death from a cerebral hemorrhage at the dinner table; and any number of other topics. Grampa Joe was out plowing his fields behind his beloved mule one afternoon and decided to take a break to sit under a tree and have a glass of cold water. He asked my aunt Georgie to get him a glass from the well, and when she returned, he had succumbed to what his death certificate called “heat stroke.” I would love to see him, to tell him of my life, to fill him in on what I have found about his ancestry, and to listen to him tell stories of his life. Rest in peace, Grampa. Even though we never met, I miss you.

Below: Joseph Baxter and Arrie Wright Lovelace and family. My dad Walter sits in his mother’s lap.

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2 Responses to Joseph Baxter Lovelace, my Grampa

  1. Louis Lovelace says:

    Through conversations with my brother, George, I can add some detail to cousin Greg’s account of the day our Grampa died. George was about three weeks short of his sixth birthday when Grampa was out plowing and it was one of those many times George had talked his way from our home in Morganton to the farm in Sunshine. George had been taking Grampa a jar of water about every hour while he was plowing that day. When he made his last trip with the water jar Grampa told him not to bring any more because he did not feel good and was going to quit before long. About the time George returned to the house a loud noise was heard from Grampa, and George, our aunt Georgie, and our uncle Flay ran to the field and found Grandpa unconscious. George was sent back to the house for the ammonia bottle, but Grampa never regained consciousness. The others, including our aunt Inez heard the commotion from the field across the creek where they were working and came running, but the passing of our Grampa was complete and the Lovelace farm in Sunshine would soon be no more. I was two years old at the time and cherish the tales of how Grampa loved his grandchildren and would get down in the floor and crawl around with me. Until my retirement I had a picture of Grampa and Gramma Cleo on the wall of my office just to remind me of who I am and the fine country stock I came from.

  2. greg says:

    In response to Cousin Lou’s post:
    Thanks, Lou, for the added information. Stories like these are the priceless “meat” on the bare bones of the dates and places which we genealogists collect. It helps us know how our ancestors actually lived. For those not familiar with the family, The Gramma Cleo that Lou mentioned was Cleo Campbell Lovelace, who Grampa Joe married after my grandmother Arrie Wright Lovelace died. She was the only grandma I know on my dad’s side of the family, and I remember her fondly and recall visits to see her and my aunt Inez, the only child Cleo had with Grampa. Cleo was always so nice, and it was so much fun to visit her and Inez. Some of my dearest memories.

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