A LIST OF LAMAR COUNTIES “OLDER PEOPLE” OF 1889
Taken from The Vernon Courier, 1889 issues - Lamar County Alabama
Vernon Courier, March 29, 1889 - pg 4
Rev. G. L. MOUCHETTE of Vails Beat is sixty-four years old and has lived on the place where he now lives fifty-four years. In all this time he has never been farther than 63 miles from home. He has never been on a railroad car although they run by his house every day. He has been serving on the petit jury this week.
Vernon Courier, April 5, 1889 - pg 4
Esq. J. H. VAIL of Vails Beat is another of the oldest citizens in that part of the county and possesses one of the quickest and best stored minds in the county. He is now seventy-five years of age and has held the office of Justice of the peace for thirty consecutive years and bids fair to finish this term and several more. He has resided near his present residence for nearly fifty-three years. And by reason of his intelligence and knowledge of men and affairs has had much to do in shaping the drift of public opinion in all things of public interest, and while his long life has given him a store of the most interesting reminiscences he by no means lives in the past, but is keenly alive to the topic of the day and we doubt if any county in the state can produce so fine a specimen of manhood who has seen three quarters of a century
Vernon Courier, April 12, 1889 - pg 4
A FEW OF OUR OLD PEOPLE
The following list of old folks who live in a comparatively small territory would indicate that people live to very great ages in Lamar County. No doubt all of our readers hope that it will still continue to be the case with all our people. The argument that people do not live to ages they formerly did was splendidly illustrated by the Irishman who said "All old people seem to have been born a long time ago."
JOHN T. THOMAS
The very youngest old man in the county is “Uncle “JOHNNY THOMAS, who lives five miles north of Vernon. “Uncle” JOHNNY comes to town about every two weeks, and always on horseback. When in town he never fails to drop in a few minutes in every house in the place to see how we are getting along, and to swap a few jokes. He is now in his 84th year, is the father of ten children, only one of which is dead, five of them live in this county. He has long been the leading member in the Primitive Baptist Church.
ELISHA B. ALSUP
Perhaps few communities can boast of as old a couple as ELISHA B. ALSUP, who is eighty-four, and his wife who is seventy-seven. They live in the extreme south west corner of Moscow beat, on the head waters of Cut Bank. They were among the first settlers of the country, and have raised a large family, mostly boys, who with the exception of two have been living in the West for some years. These two old people have bright and happy dispositions, and do not seem to realize that hey have lived beyond the usual time allotted to men. Their many friends hope to see them reach a hundred together.
In the same neighborhood lives another very old couple, WM. M. MERCHANT, who is seventy-six years old and his wife, LYDIA who is seventy-nine years old. Mr. MERCHANT was born in Bedford County, Tenn. and his wife in North Carolina. They came to this county when young, and have lived here near fifty years. They reared a family of eight children, two of whom reside in this county. They now live with their son, FELIX W. MERCHANT.
ELIAS MORELAND, ESQ.
In the same section lives ELIAS MORELAND, who is said to be considerable over the age of eighty years. He has filled the office of Justice of the Peace several times, have been twice married and has reared a large family. He is a prominent member of the Missionary Baptist Church.
MRS. CELIA ALDRIDGE
Mrs. Celia Aldridge, widow of Rev. ASHLEY ALDRIDGE, has also lived considerably over the alloted age. She is somewhere between eighty-seven and eighty-nine years of age, the record having been destroyed. But she says she was born in the "new hundred", her brother being born in the "old hundred", he being about two years the oldest. She has for forty years been a familiar figure at the Methodist church near her home. It is easy to see that her steps are not so fast and steady as they once were, but the same merry twinkle is in her eye and everyone knows her as "Aunt Celia."
OTHER OLD PEOPLE
In the same section of the county reside WILLIAM and ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE and JOHN W. GUYTON, who are all over seventy. �UNCLE� JOHNNIE GUYTON and ISAAC RASBERRY being the only survivors of a company of troops that went from this county to the Seminole war in 1836.
MRS. ELIZA MOZELY
MRS. ELIZA MOZELY, who lives in the south portion of the county is now in her seventy-sixth year. She came to his county from South Carolina in 1845. She has three children living in this county.
Vernon Courier, April 19, 1889 - pg 4
OUR OLD PEOPLE
Eighty years is easily said but to fully comprehend the meaning requires long and serious thought. One half of the world’s population never see forty and when sixty is reached not one fifth are living and at eighty but a small percent of the population are alive. At no time in the world’s history does eighty years crowd so many rich and various reminiscences together. The railroad steamboats, telegraphy, and the deadly machines of war have made their advent and turned the affairs of life in less than eighty years. If the theory that the world’s progress and decay comes and goes in cycles of years the past eighty has been one of progress. It is said that the track of a railroad much like those of today has been unearthed in the ruins of a city of antiquity and the question of how long would it take war and famine to sweep our boasted progress from the earth might be answered with less than eighty years. Among those in our midst who have seen this era of progress are:
MR. O. P. STRICKLAND
And his wife Mrs. POLLY STRICKLAND who saw the anniversary of their golden wedding fifteen years ago. They were born in the state of North Carolina in 1803 and were married in their twentieth year and have been in this county fifty seven years coming here in 1832. They are now in their 86th year and their friends hope to see them live to see the anniversary of their diamond wedding. They are well known about Vernon having resided with their son W. R. STRICKLAND.
WILLIAM R. BRADLEY
Another couple who have also seen the anniversary of their golden wedding are W. R. BRADLEY and wife Mrs. ELLEN S. BRADLEY the former being in his 85th and the latter in her 76 year. They were born in Columbia County, Virginia and came to this county in the fall of 1849 being on their way to the great west but stopped to rest a while and have remained to this day. They were married in 1829 reared a family of eleven; six of whom are living. One being our efficient Circuit clerk and the other being Mr. W. S. METCALFE the mother of our popular Sheriff.
Another very young man who has seen 84 winters is WM. BROWN, of Brown Beat, who is perhaps known to one third of the county as “Uncle William” has lived at the same spot on Beaver Creek where he stopped following an Indian trial in 1820. He came to this county from Tennessee, but was born in South Carolina. Of a family of ten, seven are living most of whom are in this county. His wife died in the summer of 1876. He is remarkable active and his mind does not seem impaired by age, and many rich things does he tell of the long ago. He rode down to town a few days since to be present at a trial in which he was interested. To see him on horseback you would say that time has dealt lightly with him.
In the same Beat and two miles south lives JAMES STANFORD another old pioneer who also came from Tennessee about the same time. He has seen over the allotted time for man. A large family of children and grand children surround him and cheer him in the eve of life.
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