Chapter 28 Harold Brown Memoir – Appendix for History Buffs

January 20, 2019

1632 Jasper County History

Jasper County history is recorded as far back as 1632, when traders listed the Seven Islands Crossing on the Ocmulgee River as the place they first traded with the Creek Indians. After the Indians, the first settler was a deer hunter named Newby, who lived in a cabin near the present community of Hillsboro, as early as 1790.

In 1790, George Washington met in upstate New York with the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi.

Jasper County was split out of Baldwin County by an act of the Legislature in 1807 and originally named Randolph by the General Assembly. Monticello was laid out and made the county seat in December, 1808. Monticello was named after President Thomas Jefferson’s estate in Virginia. In December, 1812, the name of the county was changed to Jasper. This was to honor Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero who risked his life to save his country’s flag from the British. He was killed in the attempt during the seige of Savannah.

John G. Walker married Elizabeth A. Chapman in Jasper County, Georgia, on December 7, 1817. On January 28, 1819, John G. Walker had purchased 163 acres in Dallas County, Alabama, at Section 5, Township 15, Range 9. He paid $326.15 for the purchase.

This property was located near the community of Whites’ Bluff near the Alabama River. On November 29, 1821, he purchased land in Autauga County, Alabama. He settled there and started raising a family. This property located in the Milton Community is still in the Walker family. (Raymond Walker’s farm.)

Dallas County was created by the Alabama Territorial legislature on February 9, 1818 from Montgomery County, a portion of the Creek cession of August 9, 1814. It was named for U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander J. Dallas of Pennsylvania. The County is located in the Black Belt region of the west-central portion of Alabama and is traversed by the Alabama River and bordered by Perry, Chilton, Autauga, Lowndes, Wilcox, and Marengo counties.

Originally, the county seat was at Cahaba, which also served as the state capital for a brief period. In 1865, the county seat was transferred to Selma. Other towns and communities include Marion Junction, Sardis, Orville, and Minter.

(Source: Alabama Department of Archives & History)

1820 Cornelius Walker

John G. Walker’s first son, Rufus Walker, was born in 1820.

Private Rufus Walker, Company H, hailed from Milton, Alabama. Between 1860 to May 4, 1865 he was a POW having been surrendered by Lt. General Richard Taylor to Major E.R.S. Canby. He was paroled in Selma in June 1865.

James C. Walker was the second son born about 1821, followed by Diede, Cornelius M.C. (This is my Great Grand Father), an unknown son, William A., Jasper Newton, and Martha.

Rufus married Eliza Jane Allen on February 27, 1838, and their first son, William S., was one year old. They resided on property owned by their father John G. Walker.

John moved from his home about the same time that this matter was the subject of everyone’s conversations. It can only be assumed that this was the reason for his departure and move further west. We do know, however, that John G. Walker left his land to Rufus, James C. and Diede, who all had families by then. Cornelius M.C. (My Great Grandfather) also stayed behind and settled for the time being in the same area.

In 1850, John G. Walker, 53 years old, and his wife, Elizabeth A., were residing in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Records reflect that John G. was still solemizing marriages as a minister of the gospel. However, records of the Baptist church do not list him. (It is suspected that after the Baptist split, John G. was associated with what is now known as the Primitive Baptists.)

In John G. Walker’s household was William A., Jasper Newton and Martha.1 Although it is not yet verified, John G. Walker must have died between 1857 and 1860, probably in Lauderdale or Kemper County, Mississippi.

1797 John G Walker

It is reported that my Great Great Grandfather, John G. Walker, was birthed around 1797.

The Louisiana Purchase was made by President Thomas Jefferson in 1805 and it is believed that John G. Walker’s family was living in Greene County, Georgia about that time.

The region between the Oconee and Ocmulgce Rivers was opened for settlement after the Creek cession was made. The indian leaders of the Creek, Chickasaw, and Cherokee tribes signed a treaty in 1773 that involved about two million acres of Georgia land.

The Creek Nation was at war against the settlers and there was no peace on the Georgia frontier until the War of 1812 was finished. The indian raids were considered minor but the residents were always on alert.

The Creeks were gone by 1827. Greene County was named after Nathanael Greene. He was a General in the American Revolutionary War. George Washington could not have claimed victory for the young United States without his valued contributions.

I believe that some of the Greene family members also settled in the Nolensville, Tennessee area using their Revolutionary War land grants. John G. Walker’s family was in the middle of this fight for survival in this new settlement that would be Jasper County, Georgia.

General Sherman’s Army passed through Jasper County during the latter part of the Civil War. The Jasper Volunteers and the Glover Guards were major groups that county furnished for the Confederate States.

Elizabeth A. Chapman (could have gone by the name Mary) and John G. Walker were married in Jasper County, Georgia, December 7, 1817. He could have been 20 years old and she could have been 28. Elizabeth Chapman was born in South Carolina, 1789.

Memories, we all have them. The trick is to find the key that unlock what we have stored in our memory bank. I am trying to remember not to forget.

The exact date of my Great Grandfather’s birth is not know but it is generally accepted as 1797. The location was Georgia “the region of the Oconee” in Jasper County. His family settled in Greene County, Georgia in 1805, the same year President Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase. John G. Walker and his family would have had to have been Indian fighters to survive as pioneers in their new territory. Great Grand Paw John G. Walker could have been about 8 years old when they moved.

1857

John G.Walker’s daughter, Martha, married J.F. Blanks in 1857, in Mississippi,19 and they moved shortly thereafter to Hamburg, Arkansas, in Ashley County. John G.’s widow, Elizabeth A. resided with them in 1860. William A. and Jasper N. also came to Hamburg with their mother and sister. Jasper N., however, left the family and traveled with the David Lightsey family to Walker County, Texas. In 1860 Jasper married Martha Lightsey in Hamburg, Arkansas. Jasper’s descendants are still in Walker County, Texas.

In Autauga County, Alabama, Rufus, James C., Diede Walker Hunt, and Cornelius M.C. were all raising families and working cotton farms.

In 1850, Rufus Walker owned 21 slaves, and James C. owned 2 slaves. It is assumed by the ages of the slaves that all were of one family and probably came to Alabama from Georgia originally with father John G. Walker. (John G. owned 2 slaves in 1830.) It is interesting to note that by 1860, Rufus Walker had disposed of his slaves and no longer concentrated on cotton farming. He instead was raising hogs.

Rufus and James C. owned adjoining farms which also joined with sister Diede Hunt’s farm. Cornelius M.C. was farming 80 acres near Autagaville.

Rufus Walker sold his farm in November 1849, to Powhatton Kelly and moved further north, about the line between Chilton and Autauga Counties. The farm that Rufus sold in 1849 now joins the old Bob Walker place. (Now Raymond Walker’s farm). The large pond now known as “Kelly’s Pond” was known back then as “Walker’s Pond.”

As the Civil War approached, it was quite obvious that the Walkers of Autauga, Alabama, and Hamburg, Arkansas, and Walker County, Texas, were all States’ Rights advocates, and cast their fates and fortunes with the Confederacy.

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