Texas couple visits area first time in years

From Press Reports

MABEN — On Feb. 15, Robert “Bob” Bothwell and his wife, Sue, came to
Maben and Starkville for the first time since 1972.

The Bothwells now live in Fort Worth, Texas, and he has many
relatives in the area.

They have two children: a daughter, Brooke, who is an architect, and
a son, Robert, who like his father is into family research.

The younger Bothwell had been emailing with Terry Harpole in Maben
for the last few years concerning the connection of the Harpole and
Johnson families.

The elder Bothwell is the son of the late Inez Johnson of the Center
Grove community west of Starkville, who attended Self Creek High
School and was on the school basketball team.

Bothwell’s mother, Inez was the daughter of the late Harry Johnson
and Eva Lou Neeley Johnson, and a sister of the late Dot Johnson, who
was longtime logger, farmer and sawmill owner, in addition to being
on the Maben police force and an Oktibbeha County sheriff’s deputy.

The Bothwells planned and made the trip here after Harpole emailed
them to tell them Bothwell’s second cousin, former Maben Mayor Jim
Harris Johnson, had died.

Bothwell was born in 1944 in Oakland, Calif., and at the time his
mother was pregnant with him, his father went off to war.

His mother, who stayed on in Oakland, was an elementary school teacher.

Bothwell had two brothers, Max, who is a world-renowned biologist in
Canada, and Jim, who works with the federal government.

The last time Bothwell and his wife had been to Mississippi was in
1972, and they did not see many of the family members.

The Bothwells arrived in Maben early Feb. 15 and visited Center Grove
Cemetery. They were able to see the monuments of his great-
grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Johnson, and of all his family members.

The Bothwells’ two children, Robert and Brooke, have been to
different colleges, and they say it is just a miracle they are both
living in the same area: Fort Worth.

Before leaving Maben and heading to Shreveport, La., and then onto
Fort Worth, they went to Dew’s Place and tried their catfish buffet,
which they said was some of the best they ever ate.

Perhaps, one day, they might be able to come back for a family
gathering.