Carrie "Granny" Wells

(March 18, 1895-August 1985)



Carrie Burton was born March 18, 1895, in Mississippi. Grover Cleveland was President, and it was his birthday also. Carrie was just fifteen when she married nineteen year old farmer, Bennie H. Wells. Their first thee children, Louise, Marville and Elijah were born in Mississippi, son, Luther and daughters, Dorothy and Leathe were born in Tensas Parish, Louisiana. Bennie died in 1958.

Carrie ran the family farm which was off of Highway 61 North.


Vicksburg Sunday Post. Vicksburg. Miss.. Sunday. August 11, 1985

Written by Steve Swogetinsky, Sports Editor

Remembering The Good Times With Grandma Wells

A lot of things have been said and written about Grandma Wells over the years. It would take several columns, twice this length, to attempt to cover her many acts of mercy and love.

This is not an attempt to do so.

I want to tell you about my friend, Mrs. Carrie Wells, that we laid to rest Saturday morning. She lived 90 years and it was my privilege to know her for the last seven.

But as we drove out to the cemetery—and on the way home—couldn’t think of her dead from a heart attack on Thursday. I just remembered the good times we had, talking about sports, politics and anything else that came along.

I got to know Grandma Wells soon after coming to work at the Vicksburg Evening Post. Curt Nix was the sports editor then, a close friend with Granny Wells. He introduced me to the lady who became my friend, my counselor and my grandmother. This office doesn’t get many calls that end with the speaker saying, “I love y’all and come to see me." That’s how she always said goodbye.

I loved her, too.

At age 22, I had been out of college for about six months, and she told me quickly how to do this job.

“You call it like you see it. Be fair and don’t care what anyone else says.”

That was the best journalism lesson I ever had.

Granny was a Warren Central fan. She pushed for the consolidation of Redwood, Culkin, Jett and Oak Ridge to build Warren Central High School. And then she got behind the movement to raise money to start the Big Blue Band.

Grandma Wells loved the children, and devoted her life to helping them.

She attended most of the football games, home and away. During the first two seasons that I was sports editor, she traveled with my wife Denise, and me to some of the away games. We covered many a mile going to games, from Greenville to McComb.

Needless to say, many a tale has come from those trips, and here are a few:

One Friday night, we were going over to Clinton for a game. A bad rain storm occurred, and the game was postponed until the following night.

Well, it had stopped raining on Friday, and St. Aloysius was scheduled to play St. Joseph a few miles down the road.

“We came over here to see a ballgame," Granny said.

So we sloshed our way over to see the Flashes play.

This story continued the following night when we went back to Clinton.

It was a Saturday night, and my circumstances were a lot different because of a midnight deadline. I parked at a service station on Old Vicksburg Road ln Clinton so we could get out quickly and gave my wife and Granny instructions to head for the car about five minutes before the game was over.

No problem...right?


After getting quotes, I headed to the car. But there was no Denise and Granny. The clock was ticking, and it was 10:10.

After waiting for five minutes, I headed back down to the stadium. Still no Denise and Granny.

Coach Lum Wright and O.W. Mendrop, the assistant superintendent of Warren County schools, hadn’t seen them. It was 10:25.

In desperation, I went up to the parking lot by Clinton High School and there they were. It was 10:30.

Before I could get, “Where have y’all been?” out, Granny Wells put me in my place. “Don’t you say one word or I’ll whop you right here.”

What can you say but ‘yes ma’am,’ and try to get an 84-year-old lady across a football field, down the street and into the car as quick as possible to make a dash back to Vicksburg.

That’s not the only time Grandma Wells put me in my place.

We were going to the All-Star football game one Saturday night and as usual, we were running short of time.

Denise was supposed to fill the car with gas and get back to the paper as quickly as possible to pick me up. We were going to pick Granny up in Redwood and head to Jackson.

Denise was a little late, and I was all up in the air. But Granny told me to hush and it would all work out. And It did.

When Warren Central played Greenwood in 1980, it was the first time the Vikings had played a Big 8 school in a regular season game in years.

Not only was it the season opener, but it was a time before the state playoffs when some people felt Warren Central didn’t play a tough enough schedule. Head Coach Lum Wright wanted to win this ball game.

We got to the stadium about 15 minutes before kickoff, and Granny went to the locker room, with me trying to head her back to the stands. She had to go by and see if one of her grandsons had money for a Coke.

Her appearance in the locker room knocked Coach Wright out of his pre-game trance, and he looked at me like “what in the hell are you doing?”

But Warren Central won that game, and we laughed about that impromptu locker room visit many a time.

Granny was a talker, but there was one better. One night she rode with Austin Bishop to Louisville for a ballgame. Austin, now the sports editor of the Meridian Star, was a writer for us at the time. When they got back, Granny said, “I’ve found someone who can talk more then I can.”

I told Austin he had outdone the official talking champion of Warren County.

I blame marriage for the extra 40 pounds I carry around these days, but some of that came from Granny Wells’ table.

When you went out there for dinner, you had better be ready to eat. I usually went for the fried corn, peas and butterbeans.

And became the subject of ridicule when I didn’t touch the spinach or greens. “You’re just an old city boy,” was her usual remark.

We didn’t have many serious disagreements, but one did come up a couple of years back when she thought I favored Vicksburg over Warren Central. I didn’t feel that I had, but I knew better then to argue.

The next Friday night, Warren Central was playing Pearl for the District Six championship. It was cold and had been raining, so I looked to see if she was in her regular reserved seat on the 50-yard line. She was there and was waving for me to come see her. She had a thermos of hot chocolate and a couple of sandwiches for me. There was no more discussion on the Vicksburg game. It was over, and she was my friend.

My friend won’t be in her regular 50-yard line seat this fall. She‘ll have a better seat.

I’ll miss her phone calls, especially during football season.

But I’ll always feel warm when I remember the good times.

Goodbye Granny. We love you, too.

Carrie Wells and tractors, maybe on the Mississippi River Ferry at Vicksburg.

Carrie Wells

Back: Bennie H. and Carrie Burton Wells
Front: Louise, Elijah, and Marville

L to R: “Sambo" Cockrell, Marie Walker, Wallace Walker, Mrs. Cockrell, Charles (on bike), Carrie and Leather














At left: L. to R. :Louise Wells Walker with child seat for daughter Marie Walker. Louise is shopping with her mother, Carrie. Carrie is shown at right with her refrigerator and her canned jars.








Carrie at home and at the Miss-Lou Fair where she competed with her canning.

Carrie and Louise Wells Walker













At left: Cliff Burrough and Luther Wells. At right: Luther Wells

Left to right: Charles Wells Jr. , ?, Carrie Wells, Marie Walker, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Bennie and Carrie Wells Family
Back Row: Charles, Luther, Elijah
Front: Leathe, Carrie, Louise, Dorothy

Holiday Inn, Maybe 1975