|Birth: ||Nov. 23, 1845|
|Death: ||Feb. 8, 1929|
Longview (Shelby County)
Sarah "Sallie" Elizabeth Varnon was born on November 23, 1845, the first-born child of Talmon and Mary Jane (Carmichael) Varnon. According to the 1850 and 1860 federal census records, the earliest in which she was named, she was born in Alabama. Other census records indicate she was born in Georgia.
Since her parents were living in Broom Town Valley, Chattooga County, Georgia, at the time they gave the information for the 1850 census, indicating Sarah's father, Talmon, was born in Alabama and her mother, Mary Jane, was born in Georgia, speculation is that after her parents marriage they lived in Alabama where her father was probably working. Further, that shortly after Sarah's birth, the family moved to Georgia, her mother's home state. They were in Georgia for both the 1850 federal census and the 1860 federal census.
By 1870, the family had moved to Shelby County, Alabama and were living in the general area of the town of Columbiana.
Oral history passed down gives a glimpse into Sarah's youth. Sarah was very petite with reddish hair and a vivacious personality. Her granddaughter, Helen McGiboney Crim, related one story that had been told to her. It seems Sarah loved to dance and her father, a shoemaker, made an especially lovely pair of dancing shoes for a special occasion Sarah would attend. He gave them to her, impressing that he had taken much time and care and the shoes were especially fine. He, perhaps knowing his daughter all too well, stressed that she should be careful with, and take good care of, the shoes. Sarah was thrilled with the shoes and, from all accounts, had a wonderful evening. The next morning when asked about it, she produced the shoes with the soles completely "danced through" and sheepishly requested another identical pair from her long-suffering father.
On June 13, 1872, Sarah married John Alexander McGiboney. They would have five children: William Robert, Thomas Eugene, Minnie Bell, and twins, Edgar Talmon and John Elmer.
Another story was related by Helen McGiboney Crim, this one involving Sarah as a grandmother teaching her grandchildren some important lessons. The incident revolved around snuff! It seems that, as a child, Sarah had a nurse/nanny who thought it amusing to give her snuff at times her parents were not there. The little girl learned to like it and craved the powdered tobacco to the point that she became "addicted" to it. She later admitted that she would manipulate situations and people so she could get snuff. She not only hated the habit but feel ashamed and guilty that it made her compromise her values. Later, as an adult, she impressed upon her children and grandchildren the "evils" of the product and absolutely forbade them to have or use snuff. According to Sarah's granddaughter, Helen, on one particular day, Sarah again told her (and Helen's cousin Thelma McGiboney) that they were NEVER to use snuff.
Helen and Thelma, youngsters of perhaps ten years of age, decided to play a trick on "Granny." They mixed cocoa with sugar and put it in a tin to resemble snuff. Then, they pretended to "hide" behind the house -- and, with much giggling, proceeded to "dip" their concoction, timing it for when they knew Granny would probably be watching from inside. As they expected, Granny Sarah came rushing out, appearing flustered and extremely upset. But, NOT as expected, and despite their protestations of innocence and that "it was just a joke," Granny Sarah was having none of it. Their usually loving and gentle grandmother gave them a stern lecture and a spanking! She later told them she knew all along they did not have snuff but wanted, not only to impress upon them there were not to even think about using snuff, but also to teach them about the value of absolute honesty.
Sarah's husband, John, predeceased her by almost two years. She received a pension based on his service as a Confederate soldier. Toward the end of her life, Sarah stayed at the home of her only daughter, Minnie Bell, and Minnie's husband, Robert David Crim. She died there on February 8, 1929.
Obituary for Sarah Elizabeth Varnon McGiboney appeared in the Shelby Co. Reporter, Feb. 14, 1919:
"MRS. SALLIE McGIBONEY BURIED SUNDAY AFTERNOON
Mrs. Sallie McGiboney, widow of the late J. A. McGiboney, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Minnie Crim, at Longview, Friday afternoon, after a short illness. She was 84 years old.
Funeral services were held in the Columbiana Methodist Church Sunday morning, the service being conducted by Rev. O. R. Burns and Rev. T. K. Roberts. Interment in the Columbiana cemetery followed.
Mrs. McGiboney had lived practically all her long life in Shelby county. She was a life-long and devoted member of the Methodist church. Her connection with the Columbiana Methodist church had been for the most part continuous for fifty years.
Surviving Mrs. McGiboney are one daughter, Mrs. Crim, and three sons, Tom, Elmer, and Edwin [sic - should be Edgar] McGiboney."
[Biographical information and family links added by Patricia Crim Dietlein.]
Talmon Varnon (1818 - 1891)
John Alexander McGiboney (1845 - 1927)*
Thomas Eugene McGiboney (1874 - 1952)*
Minnie Bell McGiboney Crim (1880 - 1966)*
Edgar Talmon McGiboney (1884 - 1976)*
Maintained by: Patricia Crim Dietlein
Originally Created by: Richard Finch
Record added: Aug 26, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41197456