Butler County, Alabama Genealogy Trails



A Bloody and Lawless Affair
A murderous affray occurred at Greenville, Butler Co., Ala recently in which Felix Gufford had his throat cut and quickly died; J. Williams and John Caldwell were terribly mutilated with knives and were killed; and William Williams, Frank Gufford and Henry Caldwell were seriously, if not fatally wounded.  It seems to have been a general melee among an infuriate crowd, who were bent upon mutual vengeance for some unstated cause.
(Texas State Gazette, Austin, TX., Sept 16, 1854 )
UNKNOWN-5 Children
On 6th inst. a negro tenant living in a house of Mr. Jake Rhodes’ place about eight miles east of Greenville went off leaving five children, the oldest 11 years of age, fastened up in the house.  While absent the house took fire, and before any one could get there the children had all burned to death.  Cause of fire unknown. 
  Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, December 19, 1889 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney 
Greenville, Dec 17 - E. J. Armstrong, tax collector of this county, was robbed and murdered at Panther Creek this morning.  His body was riddled with bullets.
     No particulars can be learned. The town is ablaze with excitement, and a pose of thirty determined men, armed to the teeth, have set out. The dogs at the Bolling Mills have been put on the trail.
     Armstrong was out in the performance of his duty and had probably $500 or $700 collected.  He was a general favorite and was held in high regard by all.
(Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, Dec 22, 1892 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
Miss Mary George Ashford Is Dead - Remains Will Be Taken Today to Greenville, Ala Her Old Home
Miss Mary George Ashford died at 12:40 o'clock last night at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Davis, Jr. No 1526 Third Avenue, after having been in ill health a long time.  She was a first cousin of Mrs. Davis, and had resided with them for the past two years, although her original home was at Greenville, Ala.
      Miss Ashford's health began to fail some time ago, and Mr. and Mrs. Davis accompanied her to the west, in the hope that the trip would be beneficial. The trip failed to materially benefit her, however, and afterward she went to Baltimore, where she was in John Hopkins Institute.  Even the train specialists there failed to give her any relief, however, and when she returned to Columbus from Baltimore her relatives and friends were afraid that her case was beyond human aid.  Death was due to nervous troubles. (Columbus Daily Enquirer, Columbus, GA., May 3, 1907)
JUMPED TO HIS DEATH - S. S. Bishop jumped from a wagon with which a team was running away near Greenville, and struck the hard earth so forcibly that his skull was fractured and death resulted Source: Marion County News, Marion County AL, October 28, 1897 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney  
Died in this city on Wednesday morning, last, the 7th, inst. Mr. Jessie E. Brundage, in the eighty-second year of his age.  The deceased came to Greenville from near Leon, Crenshaw county something more than a year ago, to make his home with that of his son, Mr. Henry Brundage.  He had been in very feeble health ever since he came to Greenville, and for several months was suffering from dropsy which was the immediate cause of his death.  Mr. Brundage was a devoted Mason, and knowing that he would not live long he wrote to the lodge of which he was a member and had them to request the Lodge in Greenville to bury him with Masonic Honors when he died, and in obedience to that request Eureka Lodge took charge of the remains and the beautiful ceremony of that ancient order was gone through with at the grave.  (The Greenville Advocate, Greenville, Ala., Sept. 14, 1898)
Mrs. P. J. Cheatham Dead
Mrs. P. J. Cheatham died at her home about eight miles north of Greenville on 2 o'clock Wednesday morning after an illness of ten days.
   Deceased was about 35 years of age and was loved by the entire community. Her death will be a sad loss to many besides those related by ties of blood as her willing and accomoodting disposition made her loved by all. She is survived by her husband and four young children.
   Burial was made at Fort Dale cemetery Thursday morning at 9:30, Rev. H. G. Sedinger of the Christian church conducting the service. (The Living Truth, Greenville, Ala., Aug 21, 1908)
Died, April 17th, at his residence, near Greenville, Butler county, ala. Mr. James Craig, in the 81st year of his age.  Mr. Craig was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina, March 5th, 1780.  In 1817 he settled in Autauga county, Alabama.  In 1819 he removed to his late residence, where he spent the remainder of his life. (Charleston Mercury, Charleston, SC., May 15, 1860 )
A young man named Crowley living several miles from Greenville, accidentally shot himself several days ago.  
Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, December 19, 1889 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney  
In Memorium
Died, at her residence in Georgiania, Ala., of consumption, Mrs. Francis A. Glenn, who was born July 12th, 1850; married to Maj. A. N. Glenn, Dec. 14th, 1865; joined the Baptist church in Georgiana, in 1872, and died in the hope of Heaven, Feb. 3rd, 1884.  Sister Glenn was an earnest and faithful Christian, an affectionate and devoted wife, and a tender and indulgent mother.  By her meek and gentle manners she strove to impress all around her with the responsibilities of this life and the infinite importance of preparation for the life to come.  Sister Glenn was a patient sufferer for some months before the end came.  In her death the church has lost a faithful member, the community a sincere friend and neighbor, and the loss to her devoted husband and four children can never be repaired until they all meet in the blessed mansion above, where parting will be no more.,  May God, in His infinite mercy, bless them and fill in their hearts that aching void made by her death. J. E. B. (The Greenville Advocate, Greenville, Ala, Feb. 13, 1884 – vm)
W. E. Grace died at Greenville Tuesday. Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, February 23, 1893- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

ANOTHER OLD VETERAN DEAD - After an illness of some weeks, ISAAC GRANT, an old citizen of this county died at his home five miles north of Greenville Wednesday.  He was about 80 years of age.  He entered the Confederate Army in 1861 becoming a member of Co C, 33rd Alabama Regiment.  He made a good soldier and was a member of Jas. K. Dunklin Camp U. C. V. of this city at death.  Mr. Grant reared a large family, all of whom are grown.  He leaves besides his widow a great many relatives to grieve over his departure.  They have the satisfaction of having him with them for many years, and know that God in his infinite mercy permitted him to pass his three score and ten years with them.
    Mr. Grant was laid to rest in the family lot in Fort Dale Cemetery Thursday.  A great many neighbors and friends followed the bier to its final resting place. - (Source: Unnamed and undated newspaper clipping - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney - Note: Find-a-Grave has his tombstone in Fort Dale Cemetery, Butler County - death date Nov. 29, 1922)

The story of a horrible murder comes from Greenville.  Mrs. Graves, a well-to-do widow residing eight miles from that place, while alone at home was murdered and house robbed. Her body was found by her son on his return home from Greenville.  She was shot and her throat cut.  The house had been robbed of everything valuable. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, October 13, 1892 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney  

INGRAHAM, Son of Mrs. T. D.
TERRIBLE TRAGEDY - A gentleman from Butler County who was in the city yesterday gave a Dispatch reporter the details of a sad occurrence which took place in the lower part of that county one day last week.  Mrs. T. D. INGRAHAM visited her sister, Mrs. Dr. SMITH, who lives some distance below Greenville, taking her little three year old child with her.  During the visit, Mrs. Ingraham's child was left in a room of Mrs. Smith's residence, with the children of the latter, while the children were alone, a little son of Mrs. Smith, got up on a chair and reached a pistol, belonging to his father which was lying on the mantle, he proceeded to show his little cousin how it was managed the little cousin looking intently down the barrel. In handling the pistol it was unfortunately discharged, the ball striking the child of Mrs. Ingraham, near one of its eyes, and went crashing through its brain, causing instant death. After the ball had passed through the child's head it struck another child in the room, but inflicted no serious injury. This is one of the saddest events which has ever occurred in Butler County - [Montgomery Dispatch]. Source: Marion Herald, Marion County AL, April 19, 1887 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney 
TERRIBLE ACCIDENT - Greenville, Dec. 14 – The terrible accident occurred here this evening.  Comer J. Jernigan, a young man, 19 years of age, is one of a party employed hauling timber to Greenville for shipment.  While sitting on his timber cart, near the depot, something broke or came unfastened and he was hurled in midair, and thrown at least fifty feet to the ground.
    When your representative reached the spot, a throng of at least 200 persons had congregated around the young fellow.  The crowd was quickly dispersed by the police officers, however who stood guard until a litter could be procured, and removed the boy to Mr. John Newton’s
    Everything possible will be done for him, but from all indications there is no hope for him and he may not survive the night.
Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, December 19, 1889 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

"RUFUS SANDERS" ASSASSINATED - Francis Bartow Lloyd, Aged 36 years, better known to the reading public as Rufus Sanders, a writer of quaint Alabama dialect miscellany was assassinated at 6 o'clock last Wednesday near Greenville by John A. Gafford.  Lloyd was found lying in the road with two gaping wounds in his body.  Gafford had evidently used a double barreled shotgun and discharged both barrels.  It is said that the deed was the outcome of Lloyd having improper relations with one of Gafford's sisters.  Lloyd leaves a widow and three children.  He was a native of Butler County, and served as a representative in the last legislature from that county. He represented Montgomery County in the General Assembly in 1894.  In the last legislature he vigorously opposed the constitutional convention measure and the measure permitting women practicing law.  He moved to Butler County later and began to publish a serious of humorous letters in the Sunday newspapers.  He was contemplating issuing them in book form.  The deceased had considerably ability as a lecturer, and was known in Texas. Lloyd was a candidate for Secretary of State in the last democratic state convention, and was going to run again the next campaign.   Later advices states that Gafford has voluntarily surrendered to the sheriff.  Source: The Gazette Appeal, Marion County, AL - September 3, 1897 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney 
Greenville: This morning the news got abroad that a gentleman had died on the Louisville & Nashville platform, attached to the waiting room at the depot.  A Herald correspondent investigated it, and found it to be a fact.  Mr. Lowe, a resident of Crenshaw county, had driven in to catch the train due here at 2:55 a.m.  He was a consumptive, and the long ride in the night air from Crenshaw county was too much for him; he grew worse as he reached here and died a few minutes after he reached the depot, not ten minutes after he had alighted from his wagon.  He was on his way to Warrior Station, Ala. (Weekly Age, Birmingham, Ala., May 23, 1888)
BURNED HIS BODY IN BRUSH - An Awful Crime in Butler
Greenville, April 20 - Information was received from Butler Springs tonight, which is in the western portion of this (Butler) county of the brutal murder of Watts Murphy, the youngest son of Augustus Murphy, Watts Murphy is a nephew of Governor Watts of Alabama
    The information says Murphy was murdered last Wednesday by three negro men, and afterwards the murderers placed the boy in a heap of brush and then set fire to the entire heap, which was consumed.
    The young men having been missed from home search began today for the purpose of finding his whereabouts, when one of the murderers confessed, implicating two other negroes, all of whom have been arrested.
    The brush heap, being examined revealed the heart, liver and teeth of the young man, which had by some means failed to burn.  (Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, Apr 25, 1895 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
NEWTON, Mrs. T. J.
Died of pneumonia, near Greenville, Ala., on the 8th day of February, 1884, Mrs. Newton, wife of Mr. T. J. Newton. (The Greenville Advocate, Greenville, Ala, Feb. 13, 1884 – vm)
Died near Panola on the 5th of February, 1884, Mr. S. A. Nutt. (The Greenville Advocate, Greenville, Ala, Feb. 13, 1884 – vm)
Died, in Greenville, February 7, Mrs. Josephine E. Palmer (Birmingham Iron Age, Birmingham, Ala., March 4, 1875 – Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
Mrs. Mary E. Parmer Dead
   Died Monday morning at 3 o'clock at the home of her daughter Mrs. Kate Wright, Mrs. Mary E. Parmer in the 76 year of her age. Funeral services were held at the house, Rev. Mr. Morrow of the Presbyterian church officiating. Deceased had been a member of the Presbyterian church for 55 years.
   Burial was made in the old cemetery Monday evening at 5:30 o'clock. She is survived by a son Mr. J. M. Parmer and a daughter Mrs. Kate Wright, both of this city. Her husband preceded her 45 years ago. (The Living Truth, Greenville, Ala., Aug 21, 1908)
Avery Parker Killed - A special from Greenville says: Avery Parker, well known in the state, was killed by a tree falling on him several miles in the country Saturday.  He had cut the tree and it fell against another, deflecting it so it fell upon him. 
Source: Marion County Republican, Marion County, AL - November 18, 1908 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
At Greenville, Butler Co, Ala. last week, Judge Henderson killed a man named William Rabun.  The quarrel which led to the catastrophe, originated in an attempt of Rabun, in connecxion with his relatives, to prevent the Judge from surveying certain lands in which they were interested.  He persisted; they attacked him with bowie knives, and after giving them fair warning, was obliged to shoot in self-defence.  So the story runs. - Mobile Register Source: (Daily Atlas, Boston, MA), June 9, 1841)
RAY, M. A.
Mr. M. A. Ray, President of the Butler County Farmer's Alliance, died at the house of Tax Assessor W. J. Nicholson at Greenville.  It will be remembered that during a meeting of the State Alliance, near Greenville, Mr. Ray was taken ill.  He was brought to Greenville and carried to Mr. Nicholson's home, where he received every possible attention, but he never rallied from the first attack. Source; Winfield Enterprise, December 1, 1899 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

Oscar Scarey was accidentally killed by this friend Webb Perder, in a friendly tussle over a pistol at Greenville recently.  Source: Marion County Herald, Marion County, AL - June 21, 1888 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
 A gentleman of this city informs us that on the night of the 15th inst. the dwelling house of Mr. Jeremiah Watts, on pine barren flats in Butler county, took fire, and that four of his children, one grandchild and a traveler who had put for the night, perished in the flames!  Two other persons in the house were so dreadfully burnt that their lives were despaired of.  All the furniture and about three thousand dollars in money were also destroyed. Source: Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA,  April 29, 1829 - Submitted by Nancy Piper

Mrs. Agnes E. Womack, mother of Mr. T. A. Womack, of Greenville, died Sunday at the ripe old age of 82. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, June 5, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney  
Shot - We learn from the Alabama Journal of the 12th inst., that on the 20th of January last Wm. G. Womack, of Shaky Bower, Butler Co., Ala. was shot by one of his slaves.  He lingered until the 8th of February, when he died.  The man who shot him, and three accomplices, are in jail to await their trial. It is said that they have confessed their guilt. (Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pa., March 27, 1845)






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