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AAFA #0017

1898 MS – 1996 MS






McComb, Pike Co., MS—Monday, 9 December 1996


            Claude A. Alford Sr., 98, of Magnolia [Pike Co.], died there Dec. 8, 1996, at Beacham Memorial Hospital.

            Visitation is 4–9 tonight at Capps Funeral Home of Tylertown and from 1 p.m. Tuesday at Progress Baptist Church until services there at 2 p.m.... Burial will be in Progress Cemetery.

            Mr. Alford was born Jan. 6, 1898, in old Pike County. He was the son of J. Dock Alford and Luminda Fortenberry Alford.

            He was a retired merchant and farmer and served as post master at Progress for many years. He was a member of Progress Baptist Church. He was the oldest living member of the Alford American Family Association. He was a Mason for more than 70 years and was a member of Friends of the Progress Library and Silver Seniors of Silver Springs.

            He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Inez Allen Alford; and nine brothers and sisters.

            He is survived by two sons, C.A. Alford Jr. and Hollis Alford, both of Progress; two daughters, Florene Alford Brumfield of Baton Rouge, La., and Kathleen Alford Easley of Progress; 14 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

            Mr. Alford’s grandsons will serve as pallbearers.


In another article:



McComb, Pike Co., MS—Thursday, 12 December 1996


Claude A. Alford Sr. did more than live a long time

Editor, Enterprise-Journal


            Please permit me to say a word about a great Pike Countian who recently passed from the earth. I refer to Mr. Claude A. Alford Sr.

            His longevity in itself deserves recognition, living to be almost 99. But he did more than live a long life; he lived well. He was a man of industry, social involvement, and religious persuasion.

            He demonstrated perfectly how to grow old gracefully. He was always cheerful, uncomplaining and concerned about others. Right up through his fatal illness, he called people needing encouragement from his bed in the hospital. For the last several years, he spent much time contacting and checking on people suffering the blows of life.

            One of his most beloved chores was making dusting brooms from sage grass. These he gave to all he knew, and I suppose the streets of downtown McComb would not hold the brooms he gave away. His big heart made a way to many other hearts.

            Few will be conscious—though the loss is very real—of the death of the last member of the J. Dock Alford family. This family of 10 has left a constructive shadow over Pike County that will influence this area from now on. Some were school teachers; some were prosperous farmer-businessmen. One was editor of the old “Progressive Farmer” for several years. From their little community of Progress, they have reached around the world with their lives.

            Lives like this one take a long time, if ever, to evaluate. But may we never let their deaths take our eyes off the great legacy they have left us. They deserve more than our tears.



Jimmy Hodges


Photo from Progress Cemetery, Pike Co., MS—

Permission granted by the photographer, Wayne Ellzey


AAFA NOTES: SSDI records confirm the birth and death dates of Claude A. Alford (SS# issued in MS).

            We included the obituaries of his son Claude Allen Alford; parents, Jeptha Josephus “Dock” Alford and Olevia Luminda Fortenberry Alford; and siblings Effie Modena Alford Ball Smith, Luther Alvin Alford, and Yarborough S. Alford in Mississippi Obituaries; of his daughter Florene Inez Alford Peterson Brumfield in Louisiana Obituaries; and of his brother Delis Collier Alford Sr. in Maryland Obituaries.

            Gil Alford wrote the following about Claude:


            AAFA’s oldest living member, Claude Alford #17, died in December. He was so proud of being an Alford and being a member of AAFA. His obituary is the first one I’ve seen that identifies him as a member of the Alford American Family Association. Some of us in AAFA sent him cards when we heard he was in hospital, and his daughter Kathleen said he was so proud of the cards that he had her put them out where everyone could see them.

            You’ll remember Mr. Claude for his short presence at the meetings in Jackson, MS and St. Francisville, LA. He has been mentioned frequently in the quarterly.

            It was he who, having been born in 1898, planned to live into the year 2000 so he could say he was the only Alford to have lived in three centuries. It was he who made corn brooms by hand and brought them to the meeting in Louisiana to give out to those interested in having one. He died one month short of age 99.

            Claude was one of the few members whose home I have visited. He still lived in the same house in which he was born. We’ve gone “cemeterying” together. I’ll miss him.


            His lineage: Claude Anding 1898 MS1, Jeptha Joseph 1854 MS2, Ira Payne 1822 MS3, Edwin Barksdale 1792 NC4, Jacob 1761 NC5, Julius 1717 VA6, James 1687 VA7, John 1645 VA8.