< Datha Mayhue Cook Ely Genealogy
Jefferson Davis Cook

Datha Mayhue Cook Ely (1920-1991)

My Family | Mom | Eleanor Syers | William Scott Martin | Dad | Lew Wade Ray | Emma Melvina Cook | Contact Me
Other Research | Walter Dudley | Harry Mann

Aunt Datha was a wonderful woman, spunky. When I began my family tree research on this family, she told me that she knew all the dirt on everyone, so no one would dare tell any "dirt" on her! She had a great sense of humor and it was always fun to be around Aunt Datha. Datha moved to Detroit, Michigan about 1938, after her sister, Emma, and brother-in-law, Lew Ray, had relocated there. I'm not sure what year she returned to Granite City, Illinois.

She meet and married Paul Ely, who was actually from Cincinnati, Ohio. They had 2 children: Paul (Pumpkin) and Melva (Sissy). Paul Ely Jr. died in an auto accident about 1961. My dad and Paul were best friends and another family member told me that Paul was responsible for my parents meeting. Paul and my mother's brother were friends, and since Dad was always around Paul, it was how he meet my mother.

Datha's daughter Melva was always known as Sissy to me. Only recently did I ever learn her real name! I remember many summer days at Aunt Datha's club house on the Illinois River with my Grandma Emma, Emma's husband, Harry Mann, Aunt Dorothy, Carl - Aunt Datha's longtime friend, Sissy and her 2 daughters - Joyce and Sherry. Aunt Datha spent many summer weekends at her clubhouse about 30 minutes from her home in Granite City, Illinois. This would have been in the 1960's.

Aunt Datha's granddaughter Joyce passed away as a teenager. She was experiencing headaches and when she went to the doctor she was admitted to hospital and died shortly after that. Joyce Houghton was just a teenager. It seemed like we were all together for the 4th of July in 1975 and by the end of the summer she was gone.

Datha lived for many years in an apartment in Granite City, IL. She loved to fish and I can remember her telling me that her doctor would not allow her to travel to the mountains to go fishing, but she was going anyway. She was going to be in a travel trailer with air conditioning and nothing was going to stop her. Like many women of her age, she worked in the mills during World War II and smoked. It took a tole on her lungs and in the end that is what took her.

Aunt Datha owned a boat, but I never remember seeing that boat move from the dock. I was on the Illinois River near Grafton, IL. It seems like her son-in-law may have run it up on a sand bar and it was never really the same after that. One bright summer day at the clubhouse, I was picking up shells along the river with my Aunt Dot. Grandmother saw the handfuls of shells and told me that I had snail shells. As soon as she said snail, I screamed and threw those shells everywhere. I thought she meant the snails were still in the shells and I wasn't going to hold any slimmy creatures!

Over time, I had lost track of Sis. She told me once that Aunt Datha kept all those letters that I wrote to her. Recently I caught up with her daughter Sherry and husband, Doug. It was a wonderful vist. When Aunt Datha passed, there was a number of old movies that had been taken at her summer hide away and they include movies of my grandma and me, along with many other relatives. How I would love to see those today.

Datha and Paul Ely Sr. marriage and divorce dates are unknown. Datha Mayhue Cook was born 13 Oct 1920 and died 14 May 1991.

I'd love to know where the name Mayhue came from. It was also her mother's middle name.


Seven in County Lose Driving Privileges

The Edwarsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois)12 Sep 1959, Saturday, page 1

... Suspended were the licenses of ... and Paul J Ely, 3917 Central Lane, of Granite City

Fatal Auto Crash Near Granite City

Mt. Vernon Register-News, Mt Vernon, IL, Friday Feb. 5, 1960, page 2

Granite City, Ill. Two cars collided head-on early today on rain slick Highway 162 just north of Granite City, killing one youth and seriously injuring three other persons.

Dead was Paul J. Ely, 19, of Madison, driver of the south bound car.

Taken to St Elizabeth's Hospital in Grnite City were James L. Creek, 22, of Madison, apassenger in Elys' car; Gene Lundak, 29, of Collinsville, driver o the northbough car and William Long, 23, of Collinsville.

Long, a passenger in Lundak's car, was reported in critical condition with two broken legs and other injuries. M/

Illinois State Police said Lundak told them Ely's car skidded into the wrong lane of the highway abuot one-half mile north of Collinsville.

Granite City Accident Kills 1, Injures 3

The Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois, 5 Feb 1960, Friday, page 1

A Granite City man was killed and three others from Madison County were seriously injured in a head on collison of two cars at 12:110 a.m. Friday on Route 162, on half mile from Granite City.

Paul J. Ely, 19 of 3917 Central Lane, one of hte drivers, was dead upon arrival at St Elizabeth's Hospital in Granite City. James Liston Creek, 910 Grand Ave. Madison, a passenger in the dead man's automobile; Eugene Lundak, 29, of 209 Biedler, Collinsville, the other driver and William Long, 28, of 317 Reed, also of Collinsville, a passenger in Lundak's car, are all int eh same hospital.

According to Granite city police, Lundak was driving north and Ely south on 162. Ely apparently lost control of his vehicle after rounding a curve at high speed and the car skidded on wet pavement into the path of the Collinsville man's auto, police said.

Illinois State Police also investigated the accident.

Tavern is Sued for $32,000 After Accident

The Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) 1 March 1960 Tuesday, page 1

Two occupants of an automovile involved in a two car collision Feb. 5 in Granite City seek $32,000 in a suit filed in Circuit Court here Monday naming the "Pontoon Tavern".

the plaintiffs are Bill L. Long and Eugene R. Lundak> The defendant is Mary Hogg Boner. They allege she served intoxication beverages to two persons in the other car, Paul Ely and Jimmy Creek.

The suit contends that Ely became intoxicated and drove his car south on State route 162, near 21st Street when it collided with Lundak's.

Long and Lundak each seek $15,000 for injuries allegedly sustained in the accident. Lundak requests an additional $2000 for his auto, which he says was demolished.