Mattie was the daughter of Joseph Colley and Susannah A. (Newbill) Colley and was born in the Southern District of Pittsylvania County (near Danville), Virginia in 1849. The Colley family moved from Pittsylvania County, to Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina in 1855. In 1880, Mattie moved in with her brother-in-law, Watts Seagraves, after the death of her sister, Obedience, to help him cope with his household and children. It was during this time that she met M.C. Whitman, who she married on 15 JUL 1881. In order to better their circumstance, sometime in 1883, the newly married couple moved back to Danville, VA. M.C. was a barber and opened a barber shop located at 104 No. Union St., in Danville. At first, Mattie helped around her husbands barber shop but, took more of an equal roll as time went on. In 1884, Mattie became the first WOMAN licensed as a barber, in the state of Virginia, and was one of the first women barbers in the U.S. Two years later, in 1886, she gave birth to the couples' first child, Edgar Alonzo Whitman, who was later to become a barber, himself. In 1888, she gave birth to the couples' only daughter, Sissie Rebecker Whitman. Sadly, Sissie only lived to see her thirteenth month, when she died of malnutrition. Five years later, in 1895, Mattie gave birth to another son, Sammie David Whitman, who also lived but a short time and died from pneumonia, at the age of seventeen months. After the loss of two of her children, Mattie became very melancholy, a state of mind that she never fully recovered from. Mattie became more and more withdrawn, until she, herself, died of pneumonia in March, 1893.
Gravesite Details Cemetery record indicates grave site as unmarked and lists it (mistakenly) as M.C. Whitman, her husband. But, M.C. did'nt die, until years later, indicated in historic records. Interment was 3 days after her death date, known by her family Bible
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