By Carolyn Mills
Since 1939 descendents of Samuel Henry Caperton and Sarah Frances Ball have held an annual reunion in the town of Noxapater with the exception of 2005 when it was canceled because of Hurricane Katrina. The reunion has always been held on the Sunday before Labor Day and held in the town of Noxapater, formerly in the pasture of Mollie Caperton Estes, now the Mollie Estes/J.W. Young Park with only a few exceptions, a few times in the home of Emily Caperton Gunn, and once at the home of Elene Johnson and Orlan Edwards.
The reunion was organized by Rose Gunn Taylor and Madie Caperton, daughters of Emily Gunn and Eugene Caperton respectively who were double first cousins.
Only 30 descendents of three branches of the family signed the register in 2012, with the Lora Caperton Johnson branch , the H. D. Caperton branch, and the William Marion Caperton branch represented, Harry and Ruth Carter (Lora Johnson), Pauline Boswell (William Marion’s son Winston P. Caperton) and the rest of those present were descended from H. D. Caperton.
The oldest person present was Pauline Caperton Boswell, 96 years young. The youngest person present was Brayden Lane Gilbert, seventeen month old son of Elena Mills and Chris Gilbert of Meridian. Pauline was presented a bouquet of flowers by Frank Marion Caperton and Brayden will receive a $50 saving bond by Frank and JoAnn Caperton when they receive his social security number.
Sidney and Melanie Hilliard set up the air conditioned building in the park and handled all the arrangements.
Frank Caperton welcomed the group and presided.
A memorial service for relatives who had passed from this life since the last reunion was held. A candle was lighted by JoAnn Caperton for Addarene Morris Dunn who was laid to rest in Burnside Baptist Cemetery beside her late husband James Dunn. A candle was lighted by Ruth Carter in memory of Tom Johnson, son of the late William and Annette Johnson.
A third candle should have been lighted for the great-grandson of Peggy Caperton Stokes who was buried in Calhoun, GA where he grew up , the son of Andrew Miller and wife. He was only seventeen and died from cystic fibrosis.
George Larry Caperton of Brandon gave the blessing before the delicious pot-luck lunch was enjoyed by the following and those already named. James P. Stokes, Logan Hilliard, Sharon Kaye Stokes, Laura and JameFiles, Elizabeth Wyatt, Carolyn Mills, David and Martha Mills, Wanda Caperton, Michael and Teresa Ingram, Drew Gordon , Kayla Hall, Julie Mills, Billy Catt, Carol Clark, Diana Richardson, Lena Bruce, Hanna McKinior.