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Findings on Wilson Harper Letter of January, 1860, Henry County, Alabama

Findings on Wilson Harper Letter of January, 1860, Henry County, Alabama

Posted: 19 Feb 2002 11:03PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 12 Apr 2002 2:52PM GMT
Surnames: Harper, Pullin, Ellis, Sellers, Guy, Adams, Stapleton, Grimsley, Atwell, Burleson, Robinson, Hartley, McKissack, O'Neal, McGriff, Aycock, Spurlock, Stapleton, Oakley, Page, Shadrick, McDaniel, Glover, Grimsley, Rawls, Elliott, Paramore, Selman, and more!
The Wilson Harper Letter
Henry County, Alabama
Written in January 1860
This Study Made February 2002 by J. Steven Elliott

From the office of J. Steven Elliott, a Henry County Historian:

My first knowledge of the Wilson Harper letter came from the Henry County GenWeb Page on the Internet where Nancy Atwood noted she had the 1860 letter from Henry County’s native son, Wilson Harper. In a follow-up e-mail post writes:

“I found this letter in documents from my grandparents. I'm not sure about which grandparents, but suspect it comes from the Effie Lorene Selman and Fred Robinson side of my family. Effie and Fred lived in Leon County, Texas. Family names include: Burleson, Robinson, Selman, Copeland.
I do not recognize the name Wilson Harper, or any other names in this letter. I'm guessing that the "brother" to whom this letter is written may have migrated to Texas. I do not know how this letter came to be in my family.
If you recognize any of the people mentioned in this letter, please send me as much information as possible. I'd really like to know which town or city this family lived in and also would like to learn Susannah’s last name.
Please note that I have scanned this letter in black and white to make it a small enough file to go on the internet. The original letter is a golden color and clearly read. Someone taped it together before it was in my possession. It's possible that I have other material that goes with this letter. I have several boxes of tintype photos, land deeds, tax receipts and other materials. I've not seen these names on any of those documents. I have some of the photos on this website.
Nancy Atwood
Feb. 11, 2002
Arlington, TX”
On the page where the letter was actually posted, Nancy added:
“I'm guessing that [the letter is] written to James Harper by his brother, Wilson. One theory is that James came to Texas in 1860 or so and then died in the [War Between the States] a couple of years later. Death: 17 NOV 1862 in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas [2nd Militia]: Confederate States of America, 22nd Texas Infantry, Company F, according to the info that I sent to you earlier today.” This author agrees with these astute observations by Ms. Atwood.

The letter is as follows:

Henry County, Alabama January the [__A__] 1860

My Dear Brother
I seat my self with great pleasure
to write you a few lines informing you
that I am well at this time an
the rest of the Family Friends an
Nabors are all enjoying good helth
and I truely hope this will find
you all enjoying the same and
Brother we receved a letter from
you the 11 of this month and Father answered
it next day and your letter
was red with grate pleasure
[_____B______] all the connection and in
[_____C_______________________]
satisfied to hear you had got to
your unkles and Friends you did not write
anything about Mr. Guy
though we have heard from
him and Brother ther has ben
a grate many changes hear
since you left Sister Susan
has a fine Daughter she has
named it Nancy Jane and
ther has ben some wedings hear:
James Addams married to
Nancy Aycock and John W.
Williams married to Luezar
Aycock and Briant Pullin
married to Mary ellece he lives
turn to the other sid

Page 2:
Mr Pullen lives in the uper part
of this county and Berry Spurlock
is married to Elizabeth Cellers
and Thomas L. Stapleton is
married to Miss Page and ther
has been severl other wedings about
hear and ther had ben a grate many
partys about hear and the Methodist
has neat it all lost this Methodist
in the party room and Dear Brother
Unkle William and his son Thaddeus
has ben to see us this winter
and he left all his Family
and connection well in Bourber
and he was sorrow that may
[____________D________] he should
never see your face agane and
Brother the last I heard from
Aunt Mary Ann they wer all well and
Brother B. H. is going to leave Father in
about a week as he is twenty-one
years of age the day he is twenty-one
he weighed 136 lbs. and my weighed
is 124 and brother your age is in record
in our Bible and perhaps you would
like to know what it was your age
will be 2th next March you was borned
March the 24th 1836 though I hope you
have not forgot your self. Dear
Brother I heard that you was gone to
Kansas and I am glad you failed
to go ther wher you had no friend
nor connection

Page 3:
and Brother you must write to me
as often as you can and I will
answer your letters with great
pleasure and when you write
to me send Sister Nancy a
small lock of your hair in the
letter for she says she fears it
will be the last of sister susanah
hair that Brother B H gave to me
[__E__] my Dear Brother little did I
think that when you was hunting
them shose that it would be such
a long time before I should see your
[___F____] face again if ever
I have heard your voice many times
which I never shall hear
agane unleast Provedence Smiles
on us I want you to remember
me while you are in a foreign
land unknown to me I am
glad you have one loving mate
to cheer you while in a
foreign land Brother you must
write to me as soon as thist
comes to hand and write
often as you can and I will do
the same for I have no other way
to show the warm affection I
feal for you both so nothing more
I remain yours untill Death
Wilson Harper

Page 4:
To Sister Susannah
My dear Sister
I enclose a few lines in Brother's
letter to let you know that
I have a grate regard for you
I love you more than tounge or
pen can express Dear Sister your
voice has once cheered my heart
which I now can not hear and
I have seen the time that
I imagined that I heard your voice
once yoiu sung to us that night
Joseph Kemp was hear it appears
to me overnight When I was come
[____________G__________] that
I could hear you singing as I
was alone. Dear sister your Fathers
Family is all well at your Fathers
is wher I saw the last of your red
rosey cheeks sister I am glad
that you have one to kiss your red
rosey cheeks away in a foreign
land Pleas Sister write to me as
often as you can I hope you are
satisfied with your country ther
don't pass a day without my
thinking of you so nothing
more at this time only I am
your most affectionate Brother
remaining so until Death.
Wilson Harper

Findings from the Harper Wilson Letter by J. Steven Elliott:

It is evident that Wilson Harper was an educated man to have written this letter with as few spelling errors as he did and in such great penmanship for the day. It is a complete run-on sentence with “ands” serving as the end of one sentence and the beginning of the next. There was a terrible lack of schools in the Deep South in antebellum times for there did not exist any type of public education. The wealthy planters were elected to the statehouse and they were not going to tax themselves to teach the "white trash" under their own "station" in life. Many of these statesmen thought more of their chattel property, the African slave, than they did the poor whites of the South. The poor whites supported slavery, for without it, they would be on the bottom of the caste system of the antebellum South. This is true in the modern South and you find the most rabidly racist white people, by and large, among the poor whites known as slurs such as "trailer trash" or still as "white trash." But due to the strides made by the African American culture since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, there has grown a strong middle class of African-Americans as well as an upper class of African-American lawyers, doctors, statesmen, engineers, and other professionals taught in the mainstream traditionally and historically white universities, such as the University of Alabama.

Some things that I will comment about the letter is this:
1) Having the lock of hair of a family member or loved one that had gone off to a "foreign land" was a common practice during this period. Please excuse the references to my own family, yet they are good examples of a custom that was wide spread. My great-great grandfather, Davis Andrew Jackson Elliott who lived in the area near "Mr. Pullin", that being Mr. Benjamin Pullin the father of Bryant M. D. Pullin that married Mary E. Ellis [ellece in the letter] on November 24, 1859 according to Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868. Grandpa D. A. J. "Jack" Elliott had a sister, Francis Jane Elliott who married Harrison Shadrick in 1859 in Henry County as well. In the early days of the War of Yankee Aggression (1861-1865), Harrison Shadrick volunteered for the 39th Alabama Infantry to turn back and invading army from the North. He was wounded on September 19, 1862 in the Battle of Iuka, Mississippi. He died from these wounds on October 6, 1862 in Iuka in a makeshift Yankee Prison/Hospital. A trip to Iuka in the 1990s led me to his burial ground; a mass grave with 264 Southern patriots from all across Dixie at the edge of what was in 1862 a slave cemetery and now a very large African American Cemetery. The Yankee dead we buried in shallow graves and move later to the Shiloh National Cemetery and Park. There, the women of nearby Corinth, Mississippi came to the battlefield after the hostilities of the battle ended begging General U. S. Grant for the bodies of the fallen Southern soldiers to give them "Christian burials" in Corinth. Grant would have nothing of it and thousands of Confederates are in mass graves that dot the Shiloh Military Park off the beaten trail of the main attractions, the United States in its creation of the National Parks of the battles of the War of Secession still hiding the atrocities of the Yankee warrior and trying to make Southerners forget how the previous generations had been treated and that Dixie was host to this very brutal blood letting and the 10 years of Radical Republican Reconstruction [better said as "further destruction"] of the Southland. Frances Jane Elliott was yet a bride when her husband Harrison Shadrick was killed. But in a green bottle, she had a lock of his jet-black hair. When she was old and terribly poor as were many of those who survived the War, all she had in her truck as keep sakes was that lock of hair, two letters from the battlefields of Mississippi Harrison had written back to Henry County, and the deed to the 40 acres that they had dreamed of building a life on. In that mass grave in Iuka, among the bones of the Confederates, is very possibly a small jar that contained a lock of her hair and of their small son's that had been mailed to Shadrick in Mississippi.

2) The ending of the letter "until Death" was a popular ending salutation for letters I have transposed from antebellum Dixie like this one and many that came from the Confederate soldier writing home to Alabama and other Southern States.

3) The only place name that I read as a misspelling of the neighboring county to the north of Henry, "Barbour County." In the letter, Wilson Harper spells it as “Bourber.”

4) In the United States Census of 1850, we find Wilson Harper as an 11-year-old lad in the home of Benjamin and Elizabeth Harper, Household #164 in the Census:

HARPER, Benjamin age 45 male born in Georgia Farmer
HARPER, Elizabeth age 38 female born in North Carolina
HARPER, Sarah Jane age 18 female born in Alabama
HARPER, James age 15 male born in Alabama
HARPER, Hale age 13 male born in Alabama
HARPER, Wilson age 11 male born in Alabama
HARPER, Malinda age 9 female born in Alabama
HARPER, Eliza age 7 female born in Alabama
HARPER, Washington age 5 male born in Alabama
HARPER, Joseph age 3 male born in Alabama
HARPER, William age 2 male born in Alabama

5) In the letter, Wilson Harper uses the last page to write to his sister-in-law in a most affectionate manner. From Mrs. Helon Cutler’s book, Henry County Records—Marriages 1821-1901, 1994 we find the following:
HARPER, James married O’NEAL, Susannah on March 21, 1859, Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page 307.

From this notation in the marriage record, we see that Wilson Harper was writing to his brother, James Harper and his wife, Susannah O’Neal who married in March of 1859 and must have moved very soon to Texas where the Wilson Harper letter is now in the County of Leon in a “foreign land.”

The O’Neals were an early family in the area near present day Haleburg, Henry County, Alabama near the crossing of the Yatta Abba (Abbie) Creek and the Columbia to Franklin Road or otherwise known as the Old River Road. This area was known in early times as the “Thomas Robinson Community.” Issac O’Neal lived here on lands that were later the lands of the McDaniel Family. In the Thomas Robinson Community as early as 1824 we learn from the writings of the history of Early County, Georgia, across the Chattahoochee River from the Community, there was an attorney-at-law and a doctor. In 1817, Rev. Joseph Hartley, a Methodist circuit-riding preacher, held the first religious services of the Protestant faith at this point on the Old River Road. Some historians hold fast that a Methodist Church was established in this area possibly called the Abba Church. In 1823, the first “Camp Meeting” in Southeast Alabama was held where Brother Hartley had held services six years earlier. This Camp Meeting was a spin off of the “Great Awakening” that began in the American Colonies in the late 18th Century. At the Camp Meeting, families would travel from many miles around and camp for a week to two weeks of revival style, hell fire and damnation preaching by the best Christian orators of the times. The aisles were covered with sawdust to keep down dust, and “hitting the sawdust trail” was a popular phrase for those who made a spiritual decision during the revival meeting. The 1823 Camp Meeting was attended by hundreds of people from Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Elder Ada “Ella” Glover, of Haleburg, the wife of John Elbert Elliott, II, said, “more souls were born after a camp meeting than were saved “at” that camp meeting.” Perhaps the camping in the woods, the spirited social activities that surrounded the grand collection of people on the frontier caused married couples to have some time alone from children and other distractions of the frontier, yeoman farmer, “piney woods” home front. The reason that we get early documentation from Georgia across the Chattahoochee River, then the third swiftest river in the world, can be attributed to the facts found in Historical Atlas of Alabama, Volume I, by W. Craig Remington and Thomas J. Kallsen, University of Alabama Press, 1997, pages 163-164. Here they place the “McKissack Ferry” on the southern bank of the mouth of the Yatta Abba (Abbie) Creek into the Chattahoochee River. The ferry crossed into the County of Early in Georgia and on the same north latitude of Blakely, Georgia, the county seat of Early County, give or take a degree or two. The McKissack Family of Archibald McKissack were neighbors to the O’Neal family. The McKissacks were settlers here as soon as 1818. Others in the area during this time were Churchbell Penuel, the Pullin family further in the “piney woods”, the Blackshear family in 1823, the Matthew T. Allen family, the family of William Brown, Sands Stanley, Thomas S. Kettler, Bartlett Smith, Wiley Alford, the Purcell family, and the families of Don, Abner Hill, Matthew Perryman, and others.
In earlier research from The History of Henry County, 1961, by Mrs. Marvin (Clyde Stovall) Scott, this was found in the Columbia area eight miles south of the Thomas Robinson Community: “After William Oakley’s first wife, Margaret Moses, died, Oakley married a woman of Columbia fame, whose maiden name was Dora Ann Paramore. The bridge that crossed the Ommussee Creek on the south of today’s Columbia on the Old River Road has been called “Jackson’s Trace” in reference to the unproven fact that Gen. Andrew Jackson supposedly crossed this area in route to his fight with the Seminoles in Florida. The local’s of Columbia up until the mid-twentieth century called the iron bridge that crosses the creek and the road leading up to it as “Lizard’s Lope.” In the beginning of this bridge over the Ommussee Creek, from the site of Old Columbia, southward, nearer to the Ommussee Creek and the present town on the bluff was owned by Dora Ann Paramore. Paramore charged a toll to cross her wooden bridge, sat on her porch to collect the said toll of the day, and no one crossed her. Dora Ann must have been a “man’s lady” with possible good looks and a cordial way with the suitors. She was married five (5) times. Her first husband was Loftin Neuthecut. Second came planter Issac O’Neal from the prosperous Thomas Robinson Community east of Haleburg where the Old River Road crossed the Yatta Abba. The third husband was Benjamin Hogan and number four was Calvin Hawkins. Her fifth and last husband, that we have records on, was William McGriff, one of the three McGriff brothers who came to the Columbia area in 1822. One of these brothers was known as “Devil Dick” McGriff and moved to Texas. The two other McGriff brothers were Richard McGriff who became a wealthy innkeeper and gentleman planter in Columbia as well as brother Thomas McGriff who died in the service of his country fighting in the Confederate States Army, being a single man. Richard McGriff married into the affluent King family of the Columbia and Camp Springs area in 1834 with his November 20th marriage to Sarah King. Richard and Sarah’s daughter, Nancy McGriff married Nathaniel Oakley, a Columbia carpenter who also died in the fight against the invading Northern Army in Dixie during the War of Yankee Aggression (1862-1865). By the beginning of the 20th Century, the Oakley’s “owned” Columbia.

6) According to the United States Census of 1850, those living in the area of the Harper’s at that time were as follows with all farming until otherwise stated:
Lewis and Mary J. Atwell (#154); L. B. and Mahala Casey (#155); Washington and Netty Williams (#156); John and Martha Silcox (#157); William and Sarah Silcox (#158); David and Martha Page (#159); James and Jane Skinner (#161); James C. and Lucinda Daniel (#162); William P. and Elizabeth Johnson (#163); Benjamin and Elizabeth Harper (#164); John L. Hayes and Daniel Saunders (#165); F. B. and Susan Wakefield (#166); A. J. and Elizabeth Binson (#167); Willis A. and Ann Tharp (#168); J. W. and Nancy Bass (# 169); Joseph and Elizabeth Irvin, married March 5, 1829 in Henry County, Book 1821-1868, page 12, and living with them, James W. Trupwell (# 170); White and Sarah G. Pynes, White Pynes married Sarah G. Lewis, August 26, 1836, Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page 27. (#171); Sidney A. and Sarah Smith (#172); James and Wyneyfred Pynes (#173) J. H. and Elizabeth Cochran (#174); William and Sarah Barnard [William was a Ginsmith] (#175);

This gives the “community” in which the Harper family was living in at the time of the Census in 1850. The census was begun in Wright’s Beat, old Beat 18, in the present Edwin Community of Henry County in the northwest corner. William Barnard kept the cotton gins in the area operating as a “ginsmith.” The word “gin” in cotton gin came from the original name of the contraption, a “cotton engine.”

7) Marriages mentioned in the Wilson Harper letter:

a) Henry James L. Adams married Nancy C. Aycock on December 21, 1859, Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page 336.

b) John W. Williams married Louisy (?) Aycock, March 27, 1859, Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page 332. This is from the Helon Cutler Book of Henry County Marriages and apparently Luezar as Wilson Harper spelled it and Louisy as Mrs. Cutlor spelled it was Louiser (lou-e-zer). The Aycocks were not in Henry County in 1850, but are there by 1859 for sure!

Bryant M.D. Pullin married Mary E. Ellis November 2, 1859, Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page, 330. It is not clear if this is Bryant Pullin, M.D. or not. So there is a possibility that we had a Dr. and Mrs. Pullin marriage. Wilson Harper spells Ellis as Ellece. B. H. Harper’s marriage to Mary Ellis was his 2nd marriage. Jackie Hines, an Ellis Family researcher quotes in a February 11, 2002 post, “I am NOT a descendant of the Pullin line but I do descend from a sibling of Mary E. Ellis that married #2, Bryant M.D. Pullin. If anyone of this line
desires Ellis information, I can be of help to them.” This should perhaps rule out any further research of Bryant being a M. D. but that those were indeed his initials. In the mid-19th Century, there were multiple names and initials that had been given to people since the earliest of the century. My great-great grandfather was D. A. J. Elliott or Davis Andrew Jackson “Jack” Elliott.



c) Richmond G. Spurlock married Elizabeth J. Sellers on November 17, 1859, Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page 328. Wilson Harper refers to this as “Berry Spurlock married Elizabeth Cellers.” The “G” in Spurock’s name could be an old Henry County name: Granberry giving the nickname of “Berry”. This is stretching the limits of historic opinion!

d) Thomas L. Stapleton married Harriett Page on January 7, 1860, Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page 337. This had just happened when Wilson Harper wrote his letter to brother James Harper in Texas in January 1860.


8) The location of Wilson Harper’s home when he wrote the letter from Henry County has some indications in the context of the letter itself. Wilson Harper wires that both the Pullins and the Ellis families lived in the Haleburg, Henry County, area. Further on Wilson Harper says that Mr. Pullin lives in the “upper part of the county,” which meant they his location must be in the old lower half of old Henry County that was carved off as George S. HOUSTON, County, Alabama in 1903, the state’s youngest county. A look at old land records is in order. In the book, Old Sparta and Elba Land Records & Military Records 1822-1860, by Maryilyn Hahn Davis, 1983 shows these land purchases:
a) James Pynes, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 29 on November 2, 1836.
b) John Handley, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 28 on January 13, 1837.
c) William Silcox, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 28 on February 16, 1853.
d) Jesse Skinner, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 28, on March 5, 1853.
e) John Adams, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 28, on July 25, 1854.
f) Benjamin Harper, Sr., a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 28, on August 17, 1855. Township 2, Range 28 could have been where the Harper Family was in the United States Census of Henry County, Alabama in 1850, however, the neighbors are not matching. Township 2, Range 28 is located near the present town of Ashford, Houston County, Alabama that in the 1850s was a very sparsely populated area largely in virgin Yellow Southern Long Leaf Pine timber, thus the name for the interior of Henry County away from the Chattahoochee River known as the “piney woods.” This land was on the edge of the frontier. Henry County was first settled in an inverted “L” shape with the territory north of Abbeville from old Franklin across the Chattahoochee River from Fort Gaines, Georgia (established 1816) across the upper tier of the county to the old communities of Lawrenceville, County Line, and Edwin, and then south about one to two miles into the interior along the Chattahoochee River where there thrived a plantation culture and including the Thomas Robinson Community mentioned earlier. Columbia was the center of this planter culture with the Columbia Institute, a college with Ivy League professors, the planter religion of the Episcopal Church. An antebellum saying among Southern gentry was, “There are many ways for a man to reach heaven, but a gentleman will surely chose the Episcopalian way.” Columbia was also a booming river port for the cotton plantations as well as the yeomen farmers in the interior or piney woods. Also, the names of Pynes, Adams, and Sellers in the weddings, and others point to the Ashford area where these old families still reside and are in the history of the area since early times. See Hub of the Wiregrass, by Fred S. Watson, 1972.
g) Mary Register, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 28, on August 27, 1855. The Register family also had roots in the New Hope Community of Florida near Vernon.
h) Joshua Bryan, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2,
i) Range 28, on September 19, 1855. This is an old aristocratic name from the Columbia area just about 15 miles to the northeast. The Bryan Home on Main Street Columbia is a historic landmark and is the home of “Good Hope Farms” with Dr. Hope Christian in the lineage of the family at Columbia.
j) Garrett B. Sellevent, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 28 on November 19, 1855.
k) Matthew Grimsley, a resident of Henry County, purchased land in Township 2, Range 29, on September 16, 1855. This is one township to the east in the Open Pond/Woodville/Gordon area of old Henry. Gordon was also a port city that never overcame the popularity nor planter power of Columbia to its north. Matthew Grimsley was born March 6, 1800 in Robeson County, North Carolina, Matthew Grimsley took a much younger wife in Ethel (Ethyl) Sabrina Rawls who was born in the year 1812 (one source states 1814 as the date of birth and yet another places the date of birth in 1815 in Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia). Some sources indicate Matthew Grimsley may have been born in Dobbs County, North Carolina. The Rawls family had adopted Ethel Sabrina and her bloodline surname was Winslow. Matthew had moved as a single man from North Carolina and married Sabrina at either Eufaula or Clayton in Barbour County, Sabrina’s place of birth. Though much younger than Matthew, Sabrina would not live to an old age and died April 27, 1857 at age 45. Matthew would out live his first wife, Sabrina Rawls, by nearly 30 more years dying September 10, 1886 in Jackson County, Florida in the community of Grand Ridge. Both are resting in peace at the Gunn’s Church graveyard in Alabama’s youngest county of Houston (cut away from Henry—the “Mother County”—in1903), in the southeastern corner of the state along the Chattahoochee River. Henry County is known as “the Mother County for all or portions of nine counties were craved from the once vast county as it was created at the origination of the State of Alabama in 1819 in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama. No longer is the place of burial of the Grimsleys’ known as Gunn’s Church, but as Friendship United Methodist Church. This church is located on Houston County Road Four (4). Also in this olden cemetery are off spring of Matthew and Sabrina Grimsley. When Matthew was widowed in 1857, he remarried to Madlina Summers. Matthew Grimsley left his extended family behind in Robeson County, North Carolina and settled in Early County, Georgia in 1821. He proceeded his father, Lewis Grimsley’s arrival to Early county by four years. By 1830, according to Joseph “Chuck” Grimsley, Matthew and his family were in Henry County, Alabama though the United States Census of that year does not enumerate the family. The Grimsley’s could have easily moved into Henry County after the Census had been completed. Matthew was a farmer like his father before him and owned land on White Oak Creek in 1836 and lived in Clayton. This property would later be in the Alexander family of Barbour County. The second war with the Creek and Seminole Indians occurred in 1836. Matthew Grimsley joined the Indian Fighters of the area in defense of hearth and home. He was mustered in at Irwinton, Barbour County, Alabama into Keener’s Company, Wellborn’s Regiment of Alabama Mounted Volunteers. Irwinton was the first name given to Eufaula by the pioneer settlers of Henry County. General William Irwin had land holdings that reached from his large plantation home in today’s Shorterville, Henry County, Alabama along Alabama Highway 10, just south of McRae’s Mill Creek on the highest point in the area. Matthew was discharged from the Volunteer Alabama Mounted Volunteers at Camp Holloway, Eufaula (Irwinton), Alabama on August 21, 1836 at the end of the Creek Indian War. After this date, all of the Native Americans, the “Ancient Ones”, were shackled and driven by foot to reservations in Oklahoma, in the infamous “Trail of Tears.” In a patent numbered 7184, Matthew Grimsley acquired land in Barbour County, Alabama in the sum of 80 acres located in Township 11 North and Range 26 East. This land was purchased at the land office in Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama dated October 10, 1840. It was not unusual for settlers in this period to be “squatters” on land as they moved into the frontier of the Alabama frontier and to actually purchase the land several years later to get a clear deed and title to property they had worked out and claimed from the wilderness. The earliest settlers in Henry County wrote in an 1873 Abbeville newspaper that the land was overgrown and the creeks and streams “the densest of canebrakes.” Surely Matthew fought back this flora as he cleared land for his farming purposes. Also on October 10, 1840, Matthew received the patent for land in Henry/Barbour County in Township 9 North Range 29 East in the amount of 40.075 acres registered in the Montgomery Land Office. This land is patent number 7469. Again in patent #7456, Matthew received another 0.074 acres in the same township and range listed in this paragraph also dated on the 10th day of October 1840. On October 26, 1844, it is recorded in Book Number 505 in the Sparta Land Office in Conecuh County, Alabama, the Matthew Grimsley, a resident of Henry County purchased land in Township 8 North, Range 28 East. Today this land is located just south of “the nook” a peninsula type of land in the north east corner of the county. Streams running into the Chattahoochee River in this township and range are Thomas Mill Creek, Liberty Creek (that is named for the long established Liberty Methodist Church nearby), Hartridge Creek and McRae Mill Creek. This land that Matthew acquired in 1844 was south of the land on White Oak Creek. Also found in this area is the old Indian Boundary Line established in 1814 by the Treaty of Fort Jackson after General Andrew Jackson’s victory over the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend near present day Dadeville, Alabama. In the United States Census of Henry County in 1850, we find household #879:
a. GRIMSLEY, Matthew 50 Male born in North Carolina
GRIMSLEY, Sabrina 38 Female born in North Carolina
GRIMSLEY, Nancy A. 18 Female born in Alabama
GRIMSLEY, James 17 Male born in Georgia
GRIMSLEY, John P. 14 Male born in Alabama
GRIMSLEY, Felix 11 Male born in Alabama
GRIMSLEY, Harmon 11 Male born in Alabama
GRIMSLEY, Mary 8 Female born in Alabama
GRIMSLEY, Joseph 7 Male born in Alabama
GRIMSLEY, Elizabeth 3 Female born in Alabama
ELLIS, Berry 22 Male born in Alabama
Berry Ellis could be a brother to Mary Ellis (Ellece) that Wilson Harper mentions in his letter as marring Bryant Pullin “in the upper part of the county.” It will be in this section, the upper part that Matthew Grimsley’s descendants will settle and become very affluent and influential by the end of the 19th Century. Matthew Grimsley was an upper middle class yeoman farmer with a total of eight slaves on his plantation in 1850 and nine on the farm in 1855. The Slave Census of 1850 describes the African American slaves on the Grimsley Place:
1 Female Age 35 Black 1 Female Age 9 Mulatto
1 Female Age 20 Black 1 Male Age 22 Black
1 Female Age 3 Black 1 Male Age 19 Mulatto
1 Male Age 21 Black 1 Female Age 3 Mulatto
According to land grant #10349 in the Sparta Land Office in Sparta, Conecuh County, Alabama, Matthew Grimsley received land in Township eight north and Range 29 east. This land was issued to Matthew on December 1, 1851 and is in the northeast portion of today’s Henry County. This was in Section Five of the Township and Range described. In 1996, the Old River Road, then County Road 93 intersected County Road 97 or the Will Powell Road on this land. Also running into this section was the Old Liberty Church Road. This is according to a Henry County Plat Book created in 1996 by the Abbeville and Headland Chambers of Commerce. Matthew Grimsley received land in southeast Henry County, now in Houston County, by military warrant #5484 at the Elba Land Office, land warrant was for Matthew’s service in the Creek Indian War of 1836. Book Number 342 on September 16, 1855. This land was described, to wit: All of Section 24, Township 2 North, and Range 29 East. Joseph W. Bass located the land for Grimsley. This portion of Henry County was sparsely populated until after the War Between the States except for the lands that lay in an area along the west bank of the Chattahoochee River and about two miles inward. All lands further into the interior were referred to as the “piney woods.” It is in this general area of Houston County that you find Gunn’s Church Cemetery and the final resting place of Matthew Grimsley and his first wife, Ethel Sabrina Rawls. Records in the Henry County Courthouse in Abbeville, Alabama state that Elizabeth F. Grimsley married J. W. Granger on January 10, 1879. This is very possibly the descendant of Matthew Grimsley for his land in Houston County was in the area known as Grangerburg. In the Dykes Cemetery in Jackson County, Florida, there is found the grave of Madeline Grimsley with no dates of birth or death. This very well could be the second wife of Matthew Grimsley. Also in the cemetery is the grave of Fletcher L. Grimsley, born July 20, 1876 and died August 8, 1958. This could have been one of Matthew and Madeline Summers Grimsley’s children. Fletcher’s wife, Stella Grimsley, maiden name unknown, was born February 6, 1883 and died December 11, 1939. One child of Fletcher and Stella is buried in the Dykes Cemetery, Allie Grimsley born June 18, 1906 and deceased August 30, 1926. The Grimsley Family Bible, a viable document in the search for ancestors, was left to Jeremiah, son of Richard Grimsley and grandson of Joseph Grimsley. From it we learn that the Matthew Grimsley Family lived at Clayton in Barbour County, Alabama. From there the family moved to the south end of pre-Houston County, Henry County to live at the Chattahoochee River Town of Gordon. Gordon was first called Open Pond, then Woodville and finally Gordon, being named for General Alexander C. Gordon of Franklin and Abbeville in Henry County and the father of popular and beloved Probate Judge Dan C. Gordon. The Bible also lists the children of Matthew and Sabrina Grimsley:
1) James Grimsley was the second child of the Grimsley couple according to United States Census Records, being born March 30, 1835 in Alabama and died May 24, 1895. James Grimsley married Sarah Caroline Grimsley, the daughter of Richard B. Grimsley and wife, Harriett Hawkins of Early (later Clay) County, Georgia. James and Caroline were married March 5, 1859. The couple had three sons:
The Children of James Grimsley and Sarah Caroline (Grimsley) Grimsley are:
a) J. B. Grimsley was May 2, 1860 and died on February 12, 1930 in Halesburg, Henry County, Alabama and buried in the cemetery of that place. J. B. Grimsley married Anelone Hubbard. The spelling of her first name is different in other sources. This spelling appears in the James Grimsley Family Bible, in the possession of Carrie Grimsley, Lower Smith’s Ferry Road, Halesburg, Alabama in 1961. Miss Carrie Grimsley was the granddaughter of the couple.
b) Thomas Grimsley was born December 10, 1862 and died a single man on December 9, 1894, and became the first person to be buried in the Halesburg Cemetery on Main Street of that village. Ada Brown, wife of Oscar Winston Zorn, recalled that Thomas was buried wearing his black hat and spectacles. The grave is located near the front of the Halesburg United Methodist Church that the Grimsley Family was a driving force in its existence.
c) Robert Brenton Grimsley was born February 12, 1866 and died June 3, 1931. “Squire” R. B. “Bob” Grimsley, as he was known by the citizens and environs of Halesburg sent a written letter to Mrs. Rebecca Autry, wife of the late Jonathan Hales, whom the village of “HALESBURGH” was named, to ask for the hand of Miss Caroline Elizabeth “Carrie” Hales in marriage in 1889. He received an affirmative nod from Mrs. Hales and the couple married in that year, 1889. The first home of residence of Bob and Carrie Hales Grimsley still stands on Main Street in Halesburg today. In 1885, the village of Halesburgh had received a post office with Alexander Napier as the first postmaster. In 1889, Bob Grimsley became the postmaster and soon moved into the Hales home with his mother-in-law, Mrs. Jonathan Hales. Hales had moved to this site on the Lower Smith’s Ferry Road circa 1870 from Barbour County. He had met and married Rebecca Autry in Goat Rock, Georgia north of Columbus, Georgia in his route to the western frontier of Alabama and Mississippi in 1845. A letter of recommendation for Jonathan Hales is a part of the Grimsley family’s possessions. Hales served his country, the Confederate States of America, in Kolb’s Light Artillery. Other Barbour County settlers to follow Hales were Council Stephenson, Matt Griffin, and Capt. Dennis Harrison Zorn. R. B. “Bob” Grimsley was the enumerator of the 1900 and 1910 United States Census of Henry County in the 18th Precinct, which had Halesburg as its center. When the town was incorporated in 1911, Squire R. B. Grimsley ran against Ashley Henry Bascom Davis for the highest office of the new town and was successful in becoming the first mayor of Halesburg. He was also the Justice of the peace for the area. He operated a patent drug store on Main Street in Haleburg from the 1890s until his death. The corner upon which his storehouse stood was destroyed by fire in May 1905. All that was saved from the Grimsley Drug Store was the soda fount and its marble counter!
The children of Robert Brenton Grimsley and his wife Caroline Elizabeth Hales were:
.

2) Nancy A. Grimsley is identified as the first child of Matthew and Sabrina (Rawls) Grimsley being born circa 1835.
3) John Pelham Grimsley was born, according to his enumeration in the 1850 United States Census of Henry County, Alabama, in 1836 in Alabama.
4) Felix A. Grimsley, who born April 29, 1839 at or near Clayton by one source and at Gordon located south of Columbia by another. Felix Grimsley died September 27, 1917 and is buried in the Grimsley Family lot in the antebellum Columbia City Cemetery located in Columbia, Alabama, the second courthouse of Henry County. The original courthouse was at “Richmond” located along Alabama Highway 134 west of Headland near Wiggins Church Cemetery. When Dale County was created from Henry County, Richmond fell inside the Dale County territory. The Henry County Commission was charged to find another courthouse. They chose the settlement near the A. M. Attaway’s Trading Post and the Emmussee Indian village along the Chattahoochee River and the mouth of the Ommussee Creek. The Commissioners declared the name of the new county seat would bear the patriot All-American name: COLUMBIA. Felix A. Grimsley married November 12, 1868 at Gordon (then in Henry County), Alabama to Dora McGriff. Those present for the nuptials were J. E. Bryan (an old Columbia family name), Nate Pace, and E. F. Grimsley. This marriage is recorded in Henry County Marriage Book 1868-1871, page 14, in the Probate Judge’s vault in Abbeville, Henry County, Alabama. Dora McGriff Grimsley was born March 27, 1846 in the Columbia area and lived until August 25, 1912. She was then buried in the Grimsley Family plot in the Columbia City Cemetery.
The Children of Felix A. Grimsley and Dora
McGriff are:
d) Virgil Horton Grimsley who was born July 19, 1870 at Gordon, Alabama. He died on February 18, 1909 and was buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Tipton County, Tennessee.
e) John Clifford Grimsley was born in Gordon, Alabama on February 20, 1872 and died in Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama on January 14, 1959 in West Alabama. His earthly remains were interred in the Grimsley Family Plot in Columbia.
f) Alva McGriff Grimsley was born at Corsby, Alabama in West Alabama on September 7, 1874. Alva died at Fayette, Fayette County, Alabama February 23, 1948 and was buried in the Grimsley family plot in Columbia.
g) Everett Miller Grimsley was born November 10, 1876 in Houston County, Alabama and died at Ashford, a town in that county, on February 3, 1964 and was subsequently buried in the Ashford City Cemetery.
h) Matthew Roscoe Grimsley was born in old Henry County in a section now located in Houston County, created in 1903 and named for the first Democratic Governor of Alabama after the end of Radical Republican Reconstruction (“Further Destruction”) of the South in 1874, Governor George S. Houston. Matthew R. Grimsley entered this life on November 6, 1880 and departed on September 27, 1982. Matthew Roscoe Grimsley is buried in the Grimsley Family plot in Gunn’s Churchyard.
i) Roslin Grimsley died very young and her place of death is not known.
j) Virgil Horton Grimsley was born near Gordon, Henry County, Alabama on July 19, 1870. Virgil was a doctor taking a course in diseases of children at Vanderbilt University when he died February 18, 1909 at Nashville, Tennessee. Virgil was buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Tipton County, Tennessee. He had been married at Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church, Tipton County, Tennessee on August 5, 1896 to Maybelle Mayes. She was born in Covington, Tipton County, Tennessee on May 1, 1875 and died in Memphis, Tennessee on July 6, 1959 and was buried at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Tipton County, Tennessee. The children of Virgil Horton Grimsley and wife, Maybelle Mayes are:
A) Vergil Mayes Grimsley born October 23, 1897 at Covington, Tipton County, Tennessee. Virgil married Carrie Elizabeth Campbell in Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky on September 25, 1930. Carrie Elizabeth (Campbell) Grimsley was born February 16, 1899 in the Oakwood Community of Clinton, Kentucky. The children of Vergil Mayes Grimsley and his wife, Carrie Elizabeth Campbell were:
I. Ann Mayes Grimsley was born February 6, 1936 at Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee and married in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia to Peter Miles Taulbee on August 26, 1956. P. M. Taulbee was born May 20, 1935 at Fort Banks, Winthrop County, Massachusetts. This couples children were:
aa) Ann Laura Taulbee was born November 9, 1958 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.
bb) William Preston Taulbee was born on June 30, 1961 at McDill Air Force Base, Hillsbrough County, Florida.
cc) David Miles Taulbee
Born April 18, 1965
Savannah, Chatham
County, Georgia.
B) William Ashley Grimsley born February 28, 1902 at Covington, Tipton County, Tennessee.
C) Dora Lucile Grimsley, named for her grandmother Dora McGriff Grimsley, was born May 7, 1904 at Covington, Tipton County, Tennessee. Kathleen Grimsley born February 27, 1899 at Covington, Tipton County, Tennessee and departed this life on July 21, 1899 and was buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery at Covington, Tipton County, Tennessee.
5) Harmon Augustus Grimsley was born December 30, 1840 in Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia. He departed this life in Phelps, Walker County, Texas and is buried near Huntsville in that state. As a young lad, Harmon A. Grimsley went to live with an uncle. After the creation of the Confederate States of America on February 9, 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama, he joined his new nation’s army as a sergeant and colonel in a Regiment of the Georgia Infantry. With the war over, H. A. Grimsley moved to the State of Texas where he changed his name to W. D. Winslow, which was the surname of his mother’s biological family. In Texas, Grimsley/Winslow married, raised a family, and died in their care on September 30, 1927.
6) Mary Grimsley was born in 1842 in Alabama and was buried in the Gunn’s Churchyard in Houston County, Alabama after her death on September 3, 1935. (The 1850 United States Census of Henry County, Alabama indicates that Mary was born in 1847.)
7) Joseph D. Grimsley was born September 22, 1844 and died on October 5, 1857 and was laid to rest in the Gunn’s Churchyard in today’s Houston County, Alabama.
8) Elizabeth Bettie Grimsley was born October 28, 1848 in Alabama and died February 22, 1886. She was buried in the Grimsley Family lot in the Gunn’s Churchyard in Houston County, Alabama.
9) Louis P. “Doc” Grimsley was born February 28, 1851 and died September 27, 1917 and buried in Columbia City Cemetery.
10) Mose [Mosley (?)] Grimsley was born circa 1854 and was only three years old when his mother, Ethel Sabrina Rawls, wife of Matthew Grimsley died. Mose Grimsley was buried in the Mount Pleasant Churchyard on U. S. Highway 90 between Quincy and Chattahoochee, Florida. After the death of his first wife, Ethel Sabrina Rawls, Matthew Grimsley took for himself a second wife. The Widow Madlina Summers became Matthew Grimsley’s wife on September 23, 1858 in a marriage outside of the County of Henry because no record of their marriage is registered in the Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868 in the Probate vault in the county courthouse. Mrs. Summers had two children from her previous marriage. Matthew and Madlina (Summers) Grimsley continued Matthew’s migration south by moving to Grand Ridge, Jackson County, Florida. Children of this couple were:
11) Myrtle K. Grimsley born August 8, 1861.
12) Isabelle Grimsley born November 24, 1862.
13) Alice C. Grimsley was born June 27, 1867.
14) Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Grimsley was born between 1857 and 1872. Frank Grimsley died as a young child.
15) Annie May Grimsley was born March 3, 1872.
16) Fletcher Grimsley, the last child sired by Matthew Grimsley was born July 20, 1876 and was only 10 years old when his father passed away and Matthew Grimsley was laid to rest beside his first wife, Ethel Sabrina Rawls at Gunn’s churchyard near the area where the Harper’s lived.
l) By Military Warrant # 17036, William Robinson received Section 31, Township 3, Range 29 on October 25, 1856. This was northwest of the Harper lands.
m) By Military Warrant # 25373, Jeremiah Kimbrel received Section 13, Township 2, Range 28 on August 25, 1852.
n) By Military Warrant # 24373, Thomas Glass received Section 19, Township 2, Range 28, on August 25, 1852.
o) By Military Warrant # 56876, John Adams received Section 25, Township 2, Range 28, on December 18, 1852.
p) By Military Warrant # 18070, Thomas Hewett received Section 33, Township 2, Range 28, on January 13, 1852.
q) By Military Warrant # 26569, David Temples received Section 25, Township 2, Range 28, on January 29, 1853.
r) By Military Warrant # 1573, David Adams received Section 30, Township 2, Range 28 on January 29, 1853. Benjamin H. Harper located this land. This gives us the full name of Wilson Harper’s father, Benjamin H. Harper, Sr.. Also, it gives us the name of the brother Wilson Harper referred to as “B. H.” in his 1860 letter. This must have been the two brothers,' James Harper in the “foreign land” and Wilson Harper in Henry County, younger brother “Hale” that is in the 1850 United States Census of Henry County. Placing all of these together, the father of James, Wilson, and Hale (B.H.) Harper was indeed, Benjamin Hale Harper, Sr. and “B. H.” was Benjamin Hale Harper, Jr. B. H. Harper married Sarah Ann Cain on September 4, 1861 according to Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page 413. It should be noted hear that in this same Marriage Book, that there is a record that Benjamin Harper married Jane Stanley on July 16, 1829, which would have been a most acceptable date for Benjamin Hale Harper, Sr., and the head of the Harper family. The Stanley family at that period of time were living in the Thomas Robinson Community of Henry County as described earlier herein at the present location of Haleburg, Henry County, Alabama. It is very possible that this wife of B. H. Harper, Sr. was the daughter of the earliest known settler of those parts, one Sands Standley (Stanley) according to Mrs. Marvin (Clyde Stovall) Scott in The History of Henry County, page 71.
s) By Military Record # 28468, Timothy T. Smith received Section 35, Township 2, Range 28, on February 26, 1853.

This makes up the basic community of the Harper Family in the mid-1850s. A search of the 1860 United States Census of Henry County could divulge more and clearer information on the Harpers.

9) Harper Post Office is listed in the Historical Atlas of Alabama, Volume 1, by W. C. Remington and T. J. Kallsen, 1997, University of Alabama Press, pages 166-169, as being southwest of Ashford. This location is east of Cowarts Creek in today’s Houston County. To the east on the same road was the Grafton Post Office. No dates are given for either, but they are all the general area of Township 2, Range 28. The Posey Post Office was to the southwest and Terry’s Crossroads was not far to the west as well.

10) There was the mention of the Adams marriage in the Wilson Harper letter. According to Fred S. Watson, in The Hub of the Wiregrass, 1972, page 39, he writes that Bob Adams was the first mayor in Ashford, while others say the first mayor was J. M. Watson. Two of the original mayor’s sons, C. O. Adams and R. C. Adams were later elected as mayor of Ashford. Also in Ashford politics was O. W. Sellers, an early mayor, and another of the surnames in the Wilson Harper letter.

11) Kansas was mentioned in the Wilson Harper letter as a place that James and Susannah O’Neal Harper might be moving but according to Wilson Harper they had “failed” in so doing. Kansas in 1860 was yet a hotbed of the slave issue and was at one time called “Bloody Kansas” because of the civil war that broke out in that territory on between the “slavers” and non-slaveholders.

12) In the land records of the Elba and Sparta Land Office, there is a notation that Charles H. Guy, a resident of Covington County, purchased land in Township 5, Range 28 on May 14, 1854. This is the ONLY mention of a Guy purchasing land in Henry County at these offices. A ”Mr. Guy” is mentioned in Wilson Harper’s letter.

This concludes my attempt of finding as many facts about the Wilson Harper letter as possible, though I am sure there are angles I have missed.

Respectfully submitted to the Historical Research Community,
J. Steven Elliott
Haleburg, Henry County, Alabama Historian
February 19, 2002

Re: Findings on Wilson Harper Letter of January, 1860, Henry County, Alabama

Bob Williams (View posts)
Posted: 16 Mar 2002 3:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
I am related to Wilson through his younger brother Alex (born 1852). Here is some more information on Wilson Harper

Born: November 8, 1841
Died: November 16, 1921
Buried: Harper Family Cemetery, Houston County Alabama

Military service:
Enlisted March 18, 1862, Jackson County Florida in the 6th Florida Infantry, Company D, CSA. He was wounded in the leg and captured on Missonary Ridge November 25, 1863. Released on oath from Ft. Delaware Prison on June 10, 1865. He was 5' - 5", hazel eyes, dark skin and hair (source: Biographical Rosters of Florida's confederate and Union Soldiers 1861-1865, Volume II by David W. Hartman and David Coles)

In a correspondence I have from the Ft. Delaware Society there is a copy of a card that says he was captured in Louisville on March 3, 1864 and it also noted on that card "Div 16 Detail". I don't know if that means he was on a work detail, escaped and was recaptured or what since that date conflicts with the date in the Florida roster book.

aside from the 1850 census I show him in the:

1860 census, Woodville Beat, Henry County, Alabama

1880 census, Gordon, Henry County, Alabama

married Mary Elizabeth Unk
Children:
Rachel, Mary, Rosa, Victoria, Benjamin & Albert
(Rachel was born 7 1/2 months after he enlisted, the others were born 1866 and later)

From the same Florida roster book there is also:

Washington Harper. Born 1845, Henry County, Alabama. Enlisted July 1, 1863 in Knoxville with the 6th Florida Infantry, Company D, CSA. He was captured at Cassville, Georgia on May 19, 1864 and released on oath from Rock Island prison on June 20, 1865. He was 5' - 10.5", light skin, brown hair and grey eyes. (it would appear that when he turned 18 he went and joined the fight alongside his older brother Wilson)

He is also listed in the same household in the 1860 census but I don't see him in the 1880 census nor do I have information regarding marriage, etc.

Other Henry County residents in the 6th Florida Infantry, Company D were;

William Bruner
John A. Cohran
Willis A Conner
Thomas B. Koonce
Lewis W. Pynes
Calton Erasmus Sellers (another member of my family)
Solomon S Starling
John W. Thompson

There may be more but these are the only ones that the book specifically stated were from Henry County

Calton Erasmus Sellers and Wilson Harper were released from Ft. Delaware prison on the same day, June 10, 1865.

Bob Williams
Tampa, Florida

More information gleaned from the letter by Wilson Harper, 1860.

Posted: 17 Mar 2002 3:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 12 Apr 2002 2:52PM GMT
Surnames: Harper, Gordon, Irwin, Rodgers, Hughes, Pynes, Wood, Soloman, Leland, Pace, Hare, Collins, Starling, Koonce, Cawthon, Conner, Harrison,Granger, Bruner, Cochran, Posey, Grimsley
Bob,
Thank you so much for your reply! With all of the information that was amassed by the Wilson Harper Letter to his brother James Harper, I felt more information would be brought forward from historians like you and the additional facts you have so graciously sent!

Since there was a Post Office for “Harper, Alabama” that matches land descriptions in my original post of land owned by the Harper family, I will take a ride to Houston County to the Cemetery of the Harper Family since I am presently in Henry County until just after Easter.

The Census Records where you found the address to be Woodville and Gordon is the same place. Gordon, as it is known today, was a small port of call on the Chattahoochee River along the Old River Road about a mile inward from the Chattahoochee River from antebellum days until today. As it is now known as "Gordon” first in honor of, then in memory of General Alexander Curry Gordon, one of Henry County's first settlers. The young Alexander C. Gordon was kidnapped with his half-brother, Irwin Rodgers/Rogers, by Indians who were on their way to join the Seminoles in Florida in 1821. The boys were fishing at Phillips Creek south of old Franklin, Alabama directly across from Fort Gaines, Georgia, when the group of up to 50 Indians took them. Just ages ten and five, the two lads were taken to “Wolf Bay” on the Choctowhatchee River in today’s Dale County, Alabama. Later the “tearful prisoners” were carried 200 miles into the North Florida wilderness. They boys fed themselves from gophers (turtles) and briar roots before being traded off to a friendlier tribe of Indians. For two years the boys helped the Indian women raise maize, goobers (an African name for peanuts), potatoes and spent much of their time killing birds and small game with bow and arrows. Alexander was known as “Nocasehargo” or “crazy bear.” Word of the boys came to Franklin through a trader and the lads were purchased back from the Indians by their uncle, James Hughes who went down the Chattahoochee River on a pole boat to ransomed the boys for fifty dollars in silver. General Gordon was given the title of General by Alabama Governor John Gayle as his rank in the Alabama Militia during the 1836 Creek Indian Wars. Gen. Gordon also served Henry County in the Alabama Statehouse in the Lower House of Representatives in 1836 with his good friend General William Irwin of the present Shorterville area serving as the Senator from Henry. (This information is from general historic knowledge of the area and the book, Henry the Mother County, by Dr. Hoyt Warren in 1976.

The first post office at this river port was Open Pond with James Pynes serving as postmaster on February 11, 1846. After several years William Wood was appointed to succeed Pynes on November 7, 1850. James Pynes also served in the House of Representatives in the 1840s. It is possible that the Lewis W. Pynes in the 6th Florida Regiment was of this family. William Wood was the postmaster of Open Pond for eight years and it was at this time that the "unofficial" name became Woodville. Richard A. Solomon, Nat Pace and Green B. Hare along with Albert Collins served as postmasters until the War for Southern Independence in 1861 through 1865 during which time the mails were discontinued. When the post office reopened in 1866, with Walter W. Leland in charge, it was named Gordon after Gen. A. C. Gordon who passed away in 1873. This information is gleaned from the book, Henry—The Mother County, by Dr. Hoyt Warren in 1976. Fred S. Watson in his 1972 history of Houston County, The Hub of the Wiregrass states that the town was at one time called "Big Pond" which I have not been able to document along with several other "facts" of Mr. Watson included in his writing such as the fact that the Gordon post office was named after Henry County Probate Judge Dan Gordon, a much loved and respected man in the county. Judge Dan Gordon was only 23 years old when the office opened as "Gordon" and had yet to enter politics.

I am descended from Solomon S. Starling, Sr., the father of the Solomon that served in the 6th Florida. Solomon S. Starling, Jr. was a brother to my ancestor, Charity Starling who married John Gamble in the old Franklin/Shorterville area of Henry County on October 29, 1837. (From The History of Henry County, by Mrs. Marvin Scott, 1961 and Henry County Records—Marriages, by Mrs. Helon Cutlor, 1994.

Thomas Koonce was from the family of Jefferson Koonce, Sr. and Catherine Wood, the daughter of William H. and Elizabeth (Cureton) Wood, the postmaster of Woodville, Alabama before it was renamed Gordon in 1866. John F. Koonce and Susan S. Cawthon who married in the Columbia, Henry County, Alabama area on August 9, 1829 were among the earliest settlers in Henry County. Jefferson Koonce, Jr. married Laura Harrison of Monticello, Florida, which is possibly where Thomas Koonce joined the Confederate Army. (Ibid, Scott.)

Willis S. Conner was from the Camp Springs Community eight miles north of Columbia on the Old Columbia to Abbeville Road. The Connors lived on what is known today as the Thompson Dairy Road. (From a Connor family researcher.)

William Bruner is of the Bruner family that settled the turpentine, naval store, and timber “boomtown” of Ashford along the Alabama Midland Railroad in the late 19th century. William and Mary E. Bruner built a large home in Ashford on Broadway in 1886 or 87. John W. Thompson married Elizabeth C. Bruner on September 2, 1866. (Ibid, Watson)

John A. Cochran married Edy C. Posey on May 7, 1875. I have a record that shows that Calton Erasmus Sellers married Melissa Dardin on November 5, 1866, Henry County Marriage Book 1821-1868, page 555. Is this your ancestors? (Ibid, Cutlor)

Also, Dr. J. W. Granger of Monticello moved into Henry County, 20 miles southeast of Dothan, Alabama, all now in Houston County, in 1865 immediately after the hostilities ended. From his settlement has come the community of "Granger" or "Grangerburg". Is there any record of Dr. J. W. Granger in the 6th Florida Infantry? (Ibid, Watson)

Or perhaps in another Florida regiment? Dr. Granger married Elizabeth F. Grimsley on January 20, 1879, Henry County Marriage Book 1877-1881, page 236. She was a descendant of the pioneer settler in Alabama and Early County, Georgia of Matthew Grimsley. The Grimsley's can be found buried at the old Gunn's Church Graveyard. Matthew Grimsley was born in 1800 and died at Grand Ridge in Jackson County, Florida and buried by his wife, Sabrina Rawals in the Gunn's Churchhouse Cemetery near Grangerburg. His descendants are also buried at Haleburg, Henry County, Alabama where they were affluent merchants, land owners, gentleman farmers, and one descendant was George H. Grimsley, educator, Vice-President and President of Wallace Community College in Dothan, Mayor of Haleburg, and a member of the Alabama House of Legislators where in Good Friday 1984 he as taken ill on the floor of the Statehouse in Montgomery and died of an aneurysm on Easter Sunday. (History files of Steve Elliott)

Ashford, Grangerburg, Gunn's Church, and Open Pond/Woodville/Gordon are all in the southeastern corner of Alabama in Henry County until 1903, when the lower half of the county became Houston County after Governor George S. Houston, the first Democratic Governor of Alabama after the driving out of the Radical Republicans in elections across Dixie in 1874 and 1876.

I would be interested to know if Dr. J. W. Granger or any of the Grimsleys served the Confederacy in Florida. It is good to know that our Sellers and Starling ancestors fought together for the freedom of the Southland.

Sincerely your compatriot,
Steve Elliott

Re: 6th Florida Infantry, Company D (CSA)

Bob Williams (View posts)
Posted: 19 Mar 2002 1:13AM GMT
Classification: Query
Steve,
I did not see the name Grimsley or Granger in the Company D or Company I roster. I was in Tallahassee, Fl on a business trip and only had a couple of hours of free time. I went to the State of Florida Archives library where I found the books (about 2,000 pages of Florida USA and CSA rosters with biographical sketches). I just copied the pages associated with the 6th Florida Infantry Company D & I (CSA) and the 1st Florida Calvary, Company A (USA).

Here are some of the biographical sketches of Henry County natives it provided;

Source: Biographical Rosters of Florida's Confederate and Union Soldiers 1861 - 1865, Volume II. David W Hartman & David Coles. Broadfoot Publishing Company. Wilmington, North Carolina.1995.

SIXTH FLORIDA INFANTRY, COMPANY D (Jackson county Volunteers)

BAXTER, JOHN J. (b. 6/5/32 Houston Co. Al; d. 7/12/1901 buried in Friendship Cemetery, malone, jackson Co.) enlisted 5/2/62 at the Apalachicola Arsenal. He was captured 9/8/62 in kentucky and ezchanged 9/16/62 then furloughed 10/1/62. he returned soon after and was paroled at Greensboro NC 5/1/65.

BRUNER, WILLIAM (b. 1844) lived in Henry County, Al and enlisted 3/17/62 in Jackson Co. He was wounded at Chickamauga 9/19/63 and briefly hospitalized. He was paroled at Greensboro NC 5/1/65.

CAWTHON, STEPHEN S. (b. 1834) enlisted 3/18/62 in Jackson Co. and transferred to Company H, 6th Florida Infantry 6/30/62. He was dropped after substituting H. Clark 7/1/62. He reenlisted 1/16/64 in Company I, 5th florida Calvary in Henry Co. Al and was paroled at Quincy 5/23/65.

COHRAN, JOHN A. lived in Henry Co. Al and enlisted 5/2/62 at the Apalachicola Arenal. he was furloughed 7/24/62 and never returned. He was dropped as a deserter in late 1863.

CONNER, EDWARD J. (b 1840) enlisted 3/18/62 in Jackson co. He was left behind and captured 10/12/62 in Versailles, Ky then exchanged in late 1862 and furloughed. He was 5' - 6", blue eyes, light hair & skin. he appears on a reciept roll dated mid 1864.

CONNER, WILLIS A. ( b. 1832) lived in Henry Co. Al and enlisted 3/18/62 in Jackson Co. He was left behind and captured 10/12/62 in versailles Ky then exchanged in late 1862 and furloughed. he was 5' - 6", blue eyes, dark hair, light skin. He was killed at Chickamauga 9/19/63.

HARPER, WASHINGTON (b. 1845) lived in Henry Co. Al. and enlisted 7/1/63 in Knoxville. He was captured at Cassville, Ga 5/19/64 and released on oath 6/20/65 at Rock Island prison. He was 5' - 10.5", light skin, brown hair, grey eyes.

HARPER, WILSON (b. 8142) lived in Henry Co. Al. and enlisted 3/18/62 in jackson Co. He was wounded in the leg and captured at Missionary Ridge 11/25/63. he was released on oath 6/10/65 from Fort Delaware Prison and was 5' - 5", hazel eyes, dark skin and hair.

HOLTON, WILLIAM H. (b. 1828; m. Jane F.) enlisted 3/18/62 in Jackson Co. He was appointed 3rd Cpl 5/16/62 then 2nd Cpl in late 1862. He was appointed Asst. Surgeon 11/3/62 but died of disease 2/20/63 at Strawberry Plains, Tn.

IRWIN, ALLEN (b. 1838 Henry Co., Al.) enlisted 4/21/62 in the Mt Vernon Arsenal. He was left sick in Barbourville Ky 8/25/62. he died of disease 10/5/62 in Knoxville and was buried in local Bethel Cemetery. He was 6', light skin, blue eyes, red hair, occupation:farmer.

KOONCE, THOMAS B. (b. 1833 Henry Co. Al; m. Elizabeth E.) enlisted 3/18/62 in Jackson Co. He was mortally wounded and left at Harrodsburg, Ky 10/14/62. He was captured and died 11/17/62 in a local hospital. He was buried in local Spring Hill Cemetery in an unmarked grave.

MCCLENDON, ANDREW J. ( b. 1831) enlisted 3/18/62 in Jackson Co. and was paroled at Greensboro NC 5/1/65.

PERRY JOHN J. (b. 1827) enlisted 3/18/62 in Jackson Co. and was promoted Asst. Surgeon 4/20/62. He was wounded at Resaca 5/14/64 and hospitalized in Richmond in June 1864.

PYNES, LEWIS W. (b. 1846 Henry Co. Al) enlisted 3/18/62 in Jackson Co. and was discharged for disability in August 1862. He reenlisted 8/16/62 in captain richard smith's Florida calvary company at Marianna and was discharged 11/8/62. He was 5'-6", light skin & hair, grey eyes, occupation: farmer.

SELLERS, CALTON E. lived in Henry Co. Al and enlisted 5/2/62 at the Apalachiocola Arsenal. He was left sick in Lexington Ky 9/6/62 and exchanged near Vickburg in November 1862. He was captured at Missionary Ridge 11/25/63 and released on oath 6/10/65 at Fort Delaware prison. he was 5'-9", black eyes, ruddy skin, dark hair.

STARLING, SOLOMON S. (b. 8/12/34 Henry Co, Al.) lived in henry Co. al and enlisted 3/17/62 in jackson co. He was wounded at chickamauga 9/19/63 and hospitalized. he was captured 4/12/65 in Salisbury , NC and released on oath at camp Chase prison. He was 5'-11.5", grey eyes, dark skin & hair. After the war he applied for a Florida pension.

THOMPSON, JOHN W. lived in Henry Co, Al. and enlisted 5/9/62 at the Appalachicola Arsenal. he was captured 8/31/64 near Jonesboro Ga and sent to camp douglas prison. he applied to take the oath in January 1865 stating that he was a conscript and deserted. he was released on oath 5/12/65 and was 5'-10', fair skin, light hair, blue eyes.

That is everyone in Company D who either had Henry county on the listing or where someone e-mailed me and they had a relative in Company D that was from Henry County.

Bob Williams
Tampa, Florida

More on Grangers, hardships of the South, and descandants of Matthew Grimsley at Grangerburg

Posted: 19 Mar 2002 6:06PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 12 Apr 2002 2:52PM GMT
Surnames: Harper, Granger, Shadrick, Elliott, Jones, Grimsley, Pelham, Houston, Grant, Harding, Nixon
Bob,

I sought out the assistance of the Confederate Specialist for the Wiregrass and beyond, Mr. Homer T. Jones. Here is the information he gave me on Dr. J. W. Granger, founder of "Granger, Alabama". However, when a post office was to be established, there was already a Granger, Alabama, thus the name was given of "Grangerburg." Below is the information of Mr. Jones also with additional information that I was able to find upon the jest of his rresponse.

John W. Granger was born November 17, 1834 and died Dec 16, 1900. Granger was a 2d Lt, Co E, of the 37th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Granger was captured and paroled at the end of the Siege of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, a day after the defeat of General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Granger spent some time at the Dog River Factory
in Mobile and resigned April 4, 1964, as 1st Lieutenant. J. W. Granger had enrolled at Open Pond/Woodville/Gordon on March 29, 1862, at the age of 27. John W. Granger was the son of John Granger. Granger, the younger, m. (1st) Mary M. (????) who died in 1878 (2nd) Elizabeth F. Grimsley and (3rd) Mary B. Grimsley (1842-1935), both daughters of Matthew Grimsley that once lived at Grand Ridge in Jackson County, Florida and is buried in the Friendship Methodist Church Cemetery.

Matthew Grimsley also had prominent descendants in Halesburg, Henry County, who were merchants, educators, and gentleman farmers. An outstanding descendant of Matthew Grimsley was George H. Grimsley, Vice-President and President of Wallace College in Dothan, has a building on that campus named in his memory as well as Alabama Highway 95 from Abbeville to Columbia, Alabama. G.H. Grimsley was a former Mayor of Halesburg and his father, Robert Brenton Grimsley was the first mayor in 1911 upon incorporation, a Justice of the Peace, and referred to as "Squire Grimsley" by the environs of Halesburg and surrounding communities.

George H. Grimsley was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives. On Good Friday 1984, he was taken seriously ill on the floor of the Statehouse. Grimsley died on Easter Sunday morning that year and was buried in Haleburg. His wife Mildred Pelham, was an educator and instructor at Wallace College.

The Friendship United Methodist Church Cemetery where Dr. J. W. Granger and Matthew Grimsley is buried is on Houston County Road 4 south of Ashford, Houston County, Alabama. It was originally called “Gunn’s Churchhouse and Cemetery.” These men were citizens of Henry County before the lower half of the county was formed in 1903, making George S. Houston County the youngest county in the state. Alabama Governor George S. Houston was the first Democratic governor elected after the Second American Revolution (1861-1865) and the 10-year domination of the devastated South, treated as a "conquered providence" by the Radical Republican Yankees of the North with martial law in Dixie until circa 1874.

These Democrats in the 1870s called themselves the "Bourbon" Democrats. Bourbon is French for "redeemer". As the Democrats took control, they saw themselves redeeming the Southland from the Radical Republicans in Congress. So intense was the chasm between the Yankee North and the old Confederacy, that when a bill was placed on the floor of Congress circa 1920 to have the United States return the captured Confederate battle flags of the Southern Companies to whom they originally belonged, it caused such a rift with the Yankee statesmen denying the return of these battle symbols nearly 55 years after the end of the war, that fist fights almost broke out in Congress and the bill was soundly defeated by Congressmen from the North. This is proof that Southerners are not alone in not letting "bygones be bygones." The flags were finally returned and many are on display at the Alabama Archives and History.

The Battle flag of the 37th Alabama Infantry, which Dr. John W. Granger fought under, is preserved in the special collections library at Auburn University, Lee County, Alabama. My Elliott family lost Harrison Shadrick, husband of Frances Jane Elliott, under this battle flag from wounds suffered on September 19, 1862 at the Battle of Iuka. He died in Iuka on October 6, 1862 in a Yankee makeshift prison hospital.

On a trip to Iuka, Mississippi in the 1990s to find the grave of my gguncle Harrison Shadrick, I was directed to a large African American cemetery that in 1862 was an African slave burial ground. At the edge of the cemetery was a lot approximately 6' x 25' with cement coping around it and a historical maker that stated there were 264 men of the Confederacy buried there in a mass grave. To me it was 264 Southern Patriots. Those of the North killed at Iuka, were buried in shallow graves and later removed and buried in individual graves with headstones in the Shiloh National Cemetery and Military Park.

It is worth repeating here, that after the very massive carnage of the Battle of Shiloh, the women of nearby Corinth, Mississippi came to the battlefield and on bended knee, begged General U. S. Grant for the bodies of the Southern dead to be given to them for a Christian burial in the Corinth, Mississippi Cemetery. Gen. Grant, after hearing their plea, flatly refused the request. When one visits the Battle Field at Shiloh, the many mass graves of Southern Patriots are on long solitary paths cloaked by the forest that one must find and then find no marking or explanation of the mass grave. It is asif the United States operated National Park keeps these mass graves hidden in the shroud of the forest. This is yet another humiliation of the Southern men who were fighting for the freedom of all Southerners in the mid 19th century. It was under President U. S. Grant that the worst days of the "reconstruction", as it is mistakenly called, that we had one of the first openly corrupt presidential administrations. It has occurred, since history does repeat itsself, every 50 years we have a corrupt administration and in each case it has been a Republican administration since President Grant, then under President Warren G. Harding, and lastly under President Richard Millhouse Nixon. The next should happen in 2224.

Deo Vindice,
Steve Elliott





More on Grangers, hardships of the South, and descandants of Matthew Grimsley at Grangerburg

Posted: 19 Mar 2002 6:06PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 12 Apr 2002 2:52PM GMT
Surnames: Harper, Granger, Shadrick, Elliott, Jones, Grimsley, Pelham, Houston, Grant, Harding, Nixon
Bob,

I sought out the assistance of the Confederate Specialist for the Wiregrass and beyond, Mr. Homer T. Jones. Here is the information he gave me on Dr. J. W. Granger, founder of "Granger, Alabama". However, when a post office was to be established, there was already a Granger, Alabama, thus the name was given of "Grangerburg." Below is the information of Mr. Jones also with additional information that I was able to find upon the jest of his rresponse.

John W. Granger was born November 17, 1834 and died Dec 16, 1900. Granger was a 2d Lt, Co E, of the 37th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Granger was captured and paroled at the end of the Siege of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, a day after the defeat of General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Granger spent some time at the Dog River Factory
in Mobile and resigned April 4, 1964, as 1st Lieutenant. J. W. Granger had enrolled at Open Pond/Woodville/Gordon on March 29, 1862, at the age of 27. John W. Granger was the son of John Granger. Granger, the younger, m. (1st) Mary M. (????) who died in 1878 (2nd) Elizabeth F. Grimsley and (3rd) Mary B. Grimsley (1842-1935), both daughters of Matthew Grimsley that once lived at Grand Ridge in Jackson County, Florida and is buried in the Friendship Methodist Church Cemetery.

Matthew Grimsley also had prominent descendants in Halesburg, Henry County, who were merchants, educators, and gentleman farmers. An outstanding descendant of Matthew Grimsley was George H. Grimsley, Vice-President and President of Wallace College in Dothan, has a building on that campus named in his memory as well as Alabama Highway 95 from Abbeville to Columbia, Alabama. G.H. Grimsley was a former Mayor of Halesburg and his father, Robert Brenton Grimsley was the first mayor in 1911 upon incorporation, a Justice of the Peace, and referred to as "Squire Grimsley" by the environs of Halesburg and surrounding communities.

George H. Grimsley was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives. On Good Friday 1984, he was taken seriously ill on the floor of the Statehouse. Grimsley died on Easter Sunday morning that year and was buried in Haleburg. His wife Mildred Pelham, was an educator and instructor at Wallace College.

The Friendship United Methodist Church Cemetery where Dr. J. W. Granger and Matthew Grimsley is buried is on Houston County Road 4 south of Ashford, Houston County, Alabama. It was originally called “Gunn’s Churchhouse and Cemetery.” These men were citizens of Henry County before the lower half of the county was formed in 1903, making George S. Houston County the youngest county in the state. Alabama Governor George S. Houston was the first Democratic governor elected after the Second American Revolution (1861-1865) and the 10-year domination of the devastated South, treated as a "conquered providence" by the Radical Republican Yankees of the North with martial law in Dixie until circa 1874.

These Democrats in the 1870s called themselves the "Bourbon" Democrats. Bourbon is French for "redeemer". As the Democrats took control, they saw themselves redeeming the Southland from the Radical Republicans in Congress. So intense was the chasm between the Yankee North and the old Confederacy, that when a bill was placed on the floor of Congress circa 1920 to have the United States return the captured Confederate battle flags of the Southern Companies to whom they originally belonged, it caused such a rift with the Yankee statesmen denying the return of these battle symbols nearly 55 years after the end of the war, that fist fights almost broke out in Congress and the bill was soundly defeated by Congressmen from the North. This is proof that Southerners are not alone in not letting "bygones be bygones." The flags were finally returned and many are on display at the Alabama Archives and History.

The Battle flag of the 37th Alabama Infantry, which Dr. John W. Granger fought under, is preserved in the special collections library at Auburn University, Lee County, Alabama. My Elliott family lost Harrison Shadrick, husband of Frances Jane Elliott, under this battle flag from wounds suffered on September 19, 1862 at the Battle of Iuka. He died in Iuka on October 6, 1862 in a Yankee makeshift prison hospital.

On a trip to Iuka, Mississippi in the 1990s to find the grave of my gguncle Harrison Shadrick, I was directed to a large African American cemetery that in 1862 was an African slave burial ground. At the edge of the cemetery was a lot approximately 6' x 25' with cement coping around it and a historical maker that stated there were 264 men of the Confederacy buried there in a mass grave. To me it was 264 Southern Patriots. Those of the North killed at Iuka, were buried in shallow graves and later removed and buried in individual graves with headstones in the Shiloh National Cemetery and Military Park.

It is worth repeating here, that after the very massive carnage of the Battle of Shiloh, the women of nearby Corinth, Mississippi came to the battlefield and on bended knee, begged General U. S. Grant for the bodies of the Southern dead to be given to them for a Christian burial in the Corinth, Mississippi Cemetery. Gen. Grant, after hearing their plea, flatly refused the request. When one visits the Battle Field at Shiloh, the many mass graves of Southern Patriots are on long solitary paths cloaked by the forest that one must find and then find no marking or explanation of the mass grave. It is asif the United States operated National Park keeps these mass graves hidden in the shroud of the forest. This is yet another humiliation of the Southern men who were fighting for the freedom of all Southerners in the mid 19th century. It was under President U. S. Grant that the worst days of the "reconstruction", as it is mistakenly called, that we had one of the first openly corrupt presidential administrations. It has occurred, since history does repeat itsself, every 50 years we have a corrupt administration and in each case it has been a Republican administration since President Grant, then under President Warren G. Harding, and lastly under President Richard Millhouse Nixon. The next should happen in 2224.

Deo Vindice,
Steve Elliott





Re: Findings on Wilson Harper Letter of January, 1860, Henry County, Alabama

Posted: 16 Apr 2002 7:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
Mr. Elliott, In reference to the above letter, it it said by family members that Susannah O'Neal Harper is the daughter of James Henry O'Neal. James Henry O'neal is my gggrandfather. After James Harper's death, Susannah married James A. Jackson.

James Henry O'Neal was on the 1860 Henry County, Chipola Beat 2 census. And he was also in Henry County in 1855 accordining to census. I understand Benjamin Harper and family was in the Wright Beat on the 1860 census. Where are the two beats inlocation to each other?

Our family research group has not found found James Henry O'Neal in 1850 in order to find Susannah in his household. According to Indian War Service Pension, James Henry O'Neal was born 1803 in SC. Inlisted in the Indian Wars May 1836 in Barnwell County, SC and discharged June 1837 in St Augustine County, FL.

Any information you come across about the O'Neals in Henry County would be greatly appreciated.

BJ Moore
Bedias, Texas

Koonce in Henry county Alabama

Posted: 16 Jun 2002 3:40AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 8 Aug 2002 8:28PM GMT
Surnames: Baxter, Evans, Koonce, Mooneyham, Harrison, Tucker, Pynes, Justice, Bowden, McDaniel, Daffin, Thigpen, Martin and many more!!
You wrote this
----Thomas Koonce was from the family of Jefferson Koonce, Sr. and Catherine Wood, the daughter of William H. and Elizabeth (Cureton) Wood, the postmaster of Woodville, Alabama before it was renamed Gordon in 1866. John F. Koonce and Susan S. Cawthon who married in the Columbia, Henry County, Alabama area on August 9, 1829 were among the earliest settlers in Henry County. Jefferson Koonce, Jr. married Laura Harrison of Monticello, Florida, which is possibly where Thomas Koonce joined the Confederate Army. (Ibid, Scott.)--------------------------------------

My research has lead me to this about Thomas Koonce.

Thomas B. Koonce and siblings were living with their grandfather Thomas Battle in the 1850 Henry county Alabama census. (His parents are Michael Koonce and Leah Battle)
Michael was in the 1840 Henry co AL census and died in 1848.

Thomas B. Koonce married Elizabeth E. Bowden (daughter of Arthur J. Bowden and Elizabeth W. Smith) on 5 May 1855 in Henry county Alabama. Thomas B. Koonce had only one known child named Isabelle "Bell" Lula Koonce born abt 1861 in Henry co AL who married James W. Pynes on 24 Dec 1879 in Henry co AL. (James is the son of Benjamin Pynes and Louisa L. Visa Evans.)This is where my Koonce line begins.


I thought that Jefferson S. Koonce was the son of John F. Koonce and Susan Smith Cawthon. He is listed as their child in the 1850 Henry county Al census.

I believe but have no proof that Michael Koonce and John F. Koonce are brothers. John is in the 1830, 1840, 1850, 1855 census records for Henry co Alabama. John in born about 1802 and Michael about 1807 both of North Carolina. Both John and Michael have dealings with William Cawthon father of John's wife Susan. Do you know anything of John F. Koonce before Henry County Alabama???

Please let me know if I have read your info wrong or if you were talking about another Thomas Koonce.

Thanks,
Jen
rcazier@graceba.net


Re: Koonce in Henry county Alabama

Steve Elliott (View posts)
Posted: 16 Jun 2002 5:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Koonce
Jen,

Thank you for the reply to the Koonce Post. You have done some excellent work on the Koonce family! I agree with all you have written and proved.

Please note that I wrote that Thomas Koonce was "of the family" of Jefferson Koonce, that I should have written "was related to" or "a connection of" Jefferson Koonce, Sr. I did not mean to imply parentage and apologize most emphatically and humbly for any misgivings I may have caused to Koonce family researchers. I am in no way related to the esteemed and fondly remembered Koonce family with a street in old Columbia, Alabama named after them. As a historian of the family I research and write of all of the families in the southeastern region of today's Henry County boundaries and Columbia.

Thank you for your correction. I am away from my office presently, but will retrace my steps and post further corrections or defend the facts after I am able to do so.

Again, I sincerely appreciate this being brought to my attention! If I can ever be of any help to you in your work, please let me know. You may have it, since it appears you have Mrs. Helen Cutler's Book of Henry County Records--Census Records, but I can do lookups for you in the Cutler Book of Marriages and in the Columbia Cemetery Survey. There is also a Koonce family cemetery north of Columbia off Alabama Highway 131. Sadly, I learned within the year, that someone has STOLEN all of the tombstones from the Koonce Cemetery!!! (Also, in all of the rural cemeteries in South Henry County, the wrought iron gates from all of the iron fenced in graves in these old cemeteries have been stolen as well! It is believed these were taken to be cut apart and used in wrought iron "artwork" that is ever so popular by fans of primitive art and folk art. I pray the old gates will heat up hot enough to melt and pour off the walls of the scoundrels who took them, desecrating the graves of the ancient departed in Patrick Henry County! That I say with full validity!

Thanks again, let me know if I can help and I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and making the corrections that you feel are needed from your research of primary, documented sources.

Very Henry Countily Yours,
Steve Elliott

Re: Findings on Wilson Harper Letter of January, 1860, Henry County, Alabama

Posted: 23 Jun 2002 6:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 19 Nov 2004 7:36PM GMT
Hi Steve,
Saw your posting on Henry Co. You listed Lewis and Mary Atwell as being in Henry Co. on the 1850 Census. Lewis died in 1859. His widow Mary is listed as head of household on 1860 & 70 census with children. Wondering if you could and would shed some light on this family? Lewis is my gggrandfather.Have not been able to find his grave in Henry Co. Any info would be greatly appriciated. Thanks, Emma
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