Friday, November 21, 2008

The Old Wren Road

Looking eastward toward the Tombigbee River lowlands and the Van Buren and Aberdeen Road, the old Wren Road, is a single-lane paved rural road in Itawamba County. Large trees cover the old antebellum road, creating an effect of a deep shaded arbor. Located just south of the old river port town of Van Buren, the road is named for the Robert S. Wren family. This family settled a large farm here along this old road during 1840.

Robert S. Wren was born around 1797 in Virginia and about 1830 he married his wife Sarah (born 1803 in Maryland) in Alabama. Their eldest son, Randolph was born around 1831 in Alabama and died after his 19th birthday in Itawamba County. Robert S. Wren’s name appears on the Richmond Masonic Lodge roster for the year 1840. During 1842 a second son was born – William H. He was the couple’s only child to reach adulthood.

During the 1860 Federal census, living with the Robert S. Wren family were Isaac Eddington (probably their farm manager) and the Van Buren Methodist Church pastor, James Hampton (with his wife and two children). Robert S. Wren and his wife probably died during the early 1860’s (no dates are inscribed on their gravestones) and were buried in the old Keyes graveyard.

On February 16, 1868, William H. Wren married Mary Elizabeth Wright and after his parent’s death, took over the operation of the Wren farm. William and Mary Wright Wren were the parents of eight children: Ella, Martha Emma, Annie Lee, Robert Jackson, Thomas, William, Alfred and Edward.

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