Levina "Vine" (England) Walls June 17, 1863 - March 23, 1922
Levina E. (England) Walls was born on June 27, 1863 in Seymour, Missouri, and probably spent the first years of her life in enslavement. Her parents were Daniel and Amanda (Johnson) England. Levina generally went by the name Vina orVine and was sometimes called Vinnie. The US Census indicates that in 1870 and 1880, Vine lived with her parents in Hazelwood Township, Webster County, Missouri, and attended school. In 1881, she gave birth to a son, Charles. The identity of Charles’ father is unknown. In 1884, Vine married James Aaron Walls, originally from Nashville, Tennessee. Vine’s father died before 1900, and her widowed mother joined the Walls’ household when they relocated to Greene County, near Ash Grove. By 1910, they had moved into Ash Grove, to Bentley St., and Vine worked as a washerwoman for private families. Vine had at least eight children. The 1910 census indicates that at least three of her children had died during infancy or childhood by that time. After her husband James died in 1919, Vine continued to live in her house Ash Grove. Her mother Maude England and a boarder lived with her, and her daughter, Elvin Walls, and family lived next door. Vine died on March 23, 1922 at 58 years of age. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as chronic nephritis and states that she was interred in the "Berry Cemetery, Ash Grove" on March 27, 2022 (Russel 2012). Levina's husband and several of her children were interred beside her at what is now the east end of the Berry Cemetery.
Grave Marker: The grave marker for Levina "Vine" Walls is a concrete monument in the shape of a bird bath set into a circular depression in a rectangular concrete base. The monument appears to have been painted white at one point, as white pigment adheres to portions of the surface. The monument also commemorates Levina's husband James Walls; JA-VINE is inscribed on the west side of the marker, as shown below. Excluding the base, the monument is 16 x 21 x 17 inches in size. The base is 20 x 18 x 4 inches in size.
Berry Family, Ash Grove, MO; Ozarks Afro-American Heritage Museum; Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology, and Gerontology, Reynolds College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Missouri State University