A story about me being related to all farm Managers and families-by Bob Tuten

In 2006 when Mike Dahlman was writing “The History of Daniel Island” he learned that I had lived there in the 1930’s. Our communications resulted in Mike giving space of a chapter in his book to include my inputs, (Chapter 8; “A year On Daniel Island C. 1938”). He asked me for any photos that I might have. I only had one; The photo of 2 Destroyer class ships moored at the Charleston Navy Yard across the river from our house (Pg. 101).

As recent as last year, 2020 I was given another photo by my only niece. She came across the photo while sorting through some old stuff handed down from my mother to my niece’s father Rick Tuten, the oldest of my 2 younger brothers and on to her mother. It is of very poor quality but it is about 85 years old. I am related to all in the photo. I am sitting in front. Standing is James Stanley. To the right of him is Annie Mae Stanley. They are brother and sister. The boy facing backwards is Billy Mixon and to the right in Margaret Stanley. These two are nephew and niece of James and Annie Mae. The mother and grandmother is Beatrice Benton Stanley.

Bob Tuten , sitting front left.

To show how I was related to all the farm managers and families, I must begin with the common connection which is the Benton families and the Stanley families. There were 4 sisters and 1 brother in the Benton family. In the Stanley family there were 1 sister and 6 brothers. The Benton’s were Mamie Benton Knight ( Daniel Knight), Beatrice Benton Stanley ( Elias Stanley), Finette Benton Stanley (Henry Stanley), Georgiana Benton Stanley (Dempsey Stanley). Only the first 3 Benton sisters are involved here. My mother was the youngest of 3 sisters, Katie Knight Mcteer (Harry Mcteer), Annie Knight Lyons (Lyons), and my mother Edna Knight Stanley (Robert Lee Tuten). My grandmother, Mamie died when my mother was 3 months old. She was adopted and raised by her aunt Finette and Henry Stanley.

I have a photo taken in 1912 of my mother when she was in the third grade along with about sixty other students. The name of the school was “First Consolidated Public School of Hampton County. The location was Early Branch, a community located at the southern tip of Hampton County. In this community there were many families who were farmers. These included Stanleys, Mcteers, and Tutens. My dad old home place and the home places of several other Tutens was about 20 miles up county from there. The Bentons lived a few miles across the river in the adjacent county of Colleton. In a church yard there is a cemetery plot of Benton graves, including my grandmother. I discovered her grave when I attended that church during my high school days after moving from Daniel Island.

When my mother was in grammar school, one of her classmate was Harold Stanley, the oldest child of Elias and Beatrice Stanley. There were also several Mcteers but I cannot connect any to my uncle Harry Mcteer.

My Uncle Harry Mcteer (Katie) was superintendent of farms on Daniel Island back in the 1920’s until 1935. His resignation opened a position for farm manager. Elias Stanley, living at Mitchell Farm as manager was promoted to superintendent of farms and he moved to the Mitchell complex which consisted of the house, known as “Front”, a wharf, post office and general store. Harold Stanley, (Verna Clifton, my dad’s niece) was farm manager of Bard Farm. (The next oldest brother Horace Stanley was manager of Acme Farm). Harold and Verna had a daughter Margaret who was entering first grade. They moved to Mitchell Farm because it was just a few hundred feet from the school house. This is when we moved to the island in 1935 and to Bard Farm. I know that Harold and Verna were living on the island in 1929 because Margaret was born that year. She told me that several years ago.

To sum up; Beatrice Stanley was my mothers aunt. Elias Stanley was my mothers uncle by virtue of her adopted father Henry Stanley (Finette), brother of Elias. All of their children were my mother’s first cousins. In 1936 when my uncle Pete Tuten (Nella) replaced a Mr Deer as manager of Scott Farm I was then related to all farm families.