Beginnings: Floy(e)

Lorena Floy Beard was the first child of the Reverend Jabez Eliot Beard and Mary Eunice Jessup. She was born in Macksburg, Madison County, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 22, 1892. Her father was an itinerant Baptist minister, and whether he was a minister in one of the churches in Macksburg or in one of the surrounding country churches is not known. Ploy's sister Hallie Jean was born in 1894 in Macksburg as well, so there must have been some stability. However, it is also possible that the babies were delivered in the home of the maternal grandparents who lived in Macksbusrg.

About three months after Hallie's birth, Mary Eunice died of consumption. Floy was not yet two years old. She and Hallie were raised by their maternal grandparents, Martin and Delvina Moon Jessup. Jabez' father, William Ennis Beard, died during the Civil War and his mother had remarried by 1865 and did not live locally. Within two years, Jabez himself had remarried and started a second family. There is no record that Jabez ever tried to incorporate his first two daughters into his second family.

A friend writing a tribute in 1976 noted that "Floye lost her parents when very young." As one who often wrote comments on documents, it is interesting that Floye did not correct this obvious error.

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