Some of my most precious childhood memories are centered on Uncle Jake. Uncle Jake was a kind-hearted humble individual who didn't gather much attention but was always there when you needed him. My dad hired him quite often to help plow the corn or cotton on our small Caesar, MS farm. As he would come down the road in his old wagon pulled by a mule, we kids would run to catch up with him and jump in the back of the wagon. He never minded when we did this. If a family got sick and couldn't attend to their crops, Uncle Jake would appear with his ole mule and plows, and do whatever plowing needing to be done. No charge!
Uncle Jake was an ordained Baptist Minister. As far as I know he was licensed and ordained at Union Baptist Church at Caesar, many, many, years before I was born. He had a small Church just south of Caesar made up of mostly poor folks who paid his wages with vegetables, chickens, ham, eggs, or what ever else they had to give. He never complained cause he said, "I knows de Lord will take good care of me". And the Lord did just that for Uncle Jake.
Uncle Jake was superintendent and the only teacher at a small one-room grade school next to the Church that he pastored. The kids there only went to school during the winter because they had to help with the farming during the summer months. He served in that capacity free-of-charge until the school was disbanded due to the drop in student enrollment.
He was the kind of person that when a lady approached, he would take off his sweaty old tattered hat, hold it in front of him, and address the lady as "mam". He would do this no matter how old the lady was, even if she was younger than he. Most folks in the Caesar community considered themselves younger than Uncle Jake. No one when he was born, or even where he was born. Not even Uncle Jake himself.
Time finally caught up with Uncle Jake. While I was away in the military service my Mom wrote and told me that uncle Jake had passed on into eternity. All his kinfolk had long before him passed on. His neighbors placed him in a plain wooden casket and laid him to rest in a small cemetery back in the woods close to where he lived south of Caesar.
No, you won't see Uncle Jake's named mentioned in my family tree or any of the family trees of the folks in the Caesar community. You see, Uncle Jake was an honorary name given to a kind old Black man who was a blessing to the Caesar community.