Our Moody Family
Among other things, my Moody line boasts a lot of musical talent. That talent propelled one to the top of the vintage bluegrass ratings charts, that being my uncle, Cylde Leonard Moody. But, we'll get into Clyde's life a little later on. The rest of the clan eeked out a living as either farmers, mill workers, or travelling musicians, as did my grandfather, Thomas Albert Moody.
Our in-depth information is limited to general research and what little the family was able to share. That said, here is Tom's biography, as best we know it to be.
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Thomas Albert Moody, was the son of Columbus Lenoir Moody and Alice Lou Shelton Moody. He was born in Haywood County, September 25th, 1893. The specifics of young Tom's life or that of his immediate family are unknown. Through relatives, we do know that in later years several of Tom's family relocated to McDowell County, taking a job at Marion Manufacturing Company, a cotton mill located in the Town of Marion, NC. Their specific jobs are not known.
History reports that mills throughout the country were in turmoil. Unions were attempting to garner support for the unionization of workers and in some cases their efforts to infiltrate businesses lead to violent, sometimes lethal confrontations. In his book, "The Marion Massacre", published in 2004 through Westland Publishing, author Mike Lawing wrote on page 24, "...The men charged with 'conspiracy to assault, beat, and wound one R.W. Baldwin' were John Wykle, Merritt Ledford, G. A. Bradley, Ernest Bradly, Delmar Lewis, Joe Poole, Wes Fowler, Roy Moody, Earl Ledford, Carl Moody, W. J. Styles..." Mr. Lawing's research revealed that Roy Moody, whom we know is Tom's brother, was found innocent of all charges as was Carl Moody (later referred to in the book as C.L. Moody). We don't know if that Carl Moody is Carl/Carlos Tilson Moody but we do know he is not one of Tom's siblings.
While some of Tom's family took to the fields and mills, my grandfather decided that such a restrictive lifestyle was not for him. His youngest daughter, Mary Moody Ellington, shared with us that he rode the railways, primarily as a stowaway, moving from town to town in search of work as an entertainer. His instrument of choice was the fiddle and, though I never heard him play, Aunt Mary relates that he was pretty good.
Tom married, Callie Magdaline Owl(e) on September 16th, 1913 and together they had 8 children, which my grandmother raised almost singlehandedly. From a recorded statement of her life that was shared with us by my Aunt Mary (Ellington), Callie's frail voice spoke of a life of struggle and lonliness. (You can read more about my grandmother on our Owl Family page.) According to a cousin, Frank Newton, my grandfather had a volatile temper. He related that on one occassion while being watched by my grandmother, Tom, threatened to beat him for some minor, childish indescretion and came after him to follow through with his threat. As she had done so often before, Frank told me that Callie, a tiny woman, had positioned herself between them warning Tom to standdown. He did. Cousin Frank said that Callie would defend her children and grandchildren with the ferocity of a mother bear. But, as hard and lonely as her life was, Callie's convictions to her vows were absolute and they remained married until Tom's death in 1960.
It wasn't until he became too ill with Parkinson's Desease to wander that Tom finally remained home longer than a whisper. Eventually, he could not longer be cared for at home and became hospitalized at Broughton Hospital, Morganton, NC. Although Broughton was a psychiatric facility, it was the only state facility that could adequately care for someone with Tom's condition. He died there on February 12th, 1960.
To view my grandfather's pedigree, click on the link. The children of Tom and Callie can be viewed on the Owl Family page.