Archive for the ‘Alabama’ Category

Descendants of John Barrett and William Winburn (XXVI)   Leave a comment


Andrew Jackson Barrett

Gus Barrett

Perino Barrett

Martha Ann Barrett Corneliason

Missouri Barrett Parks



Ellis R. Barrett

Descendants 16D

Descendants 17A

John R. “Jack” Barrett, Sr., was a son of John Barrett (born circa 1776) and his second wife, one Ms. Stanton.

I descend from John Barrett and his first wife, Milly Rebecca Chastain Barrett through their son, Elisha Chastain Barrett (1806-1886).

My best guess is that the John Barrett who was the father of Ed Barrett, great-grandson of one of the Reuben Barretts and grandson of John Barrett (born circa 1766), was a son of William M. Barrett, Sr., one of John Barrett’s children via his second wife, Ms. Stanton.



Courtesy of cousin James Parino Barrett, of Texas, I offer this information:

“Perino Barrett” was actually Isaac Parino Barrett, born July 15, 1865.  Isaac Barrett, his older brother, died July 23, 1862.  Isaac Parino Barrett moved to Mason County, Texas, and died in Fort Worth.  According to, he died on February 4, 1936.


JUNE 22, 2018


Papa   Leave a comment

Above:  The John Dodson Taylor, Sr., Home Circa 1908, When It Was New

Photograph Courtesy of Sharon Foster Jones, on June 14, 2012


This, of course, is not a poem; it is obviously prose.  It does, however, shed light on John Dodson Taylor, Sr. (December 23, 1860-July 2, 1936).  The source is his son, John Dodson Taylor, Jr. (January 19, 1905-September 27, 1976), my grandfather, from pages 20 and 21 of Leaves in the Wind, a small volume (28 pages) he published.  I find no date in it, but the photograph of my grandfather dates to 1940.  And he died in 1976, having spent years in a nursing home.  I estimate that he published the slim volume in 1960s.




No little boy ever enjoyed his family more than I did mine.  To me my family was tops–every member of it–and that is as it should be.

Papa was the head of the family, in more ways than one.  To him right was right, and there was no alternative.  I had to learn the hard way that when he said “Scat,” he wasn’t kidding.  He ruled the family with an iron hand; and for me, he threw in the razor “strop.”  I learned to shave with a safety razor because I did not care to have any further association with that particular instrument.

Papa was Presbyterianism at this best; however, he wasn’t narrow-minded about it.  He saw the need for other denominations and endorsed them.  In his own mind, nevertheless, he was convinced that when the inevitable time arrives for the Angel Gabriel to give his long-awaited

toot on the tooter,


when the roll is called up yonder,

the Presbyterians will constitute the majority party.  He was very religious and was a number-one student of the Bible, which he read constantly.  On Sunday afternoon, he frequently deviated from his regular Testament, and just for the fun of it, would pour over the pages of his Greek New Testament.

He made us children realize that Sunday was really Sunday.  It was an extra special day which began with a special breakfast.  As long as I can remember, Sunday breakfast consisted of salt mackerel–some fried, some boiled–hot grits, butter, biscuits, and coffee.  Then we had to polish ours shoes and get ready for Sunday School.  I have many things to thank him for, but one especially is a love for Sunday School.  In the years since he has gone, that love for and loyalty to Sunday School has helped me over many rough spots.  Of course, our family always stayed for church.  After dinner, we had to read and memorize portions of the Bible and then rest until about four o’clock when the up-train brought us the papers.  Then, if we had been good and had caused no trouble, we were allowed to read the “funny papers.”  The training that he and Mama put us through seemed rough and unreasonable at the time, but it has paid off in later years.

Papa was, to a large extent, self-educated.  I do know that he went to college at Oxford, Ala.; that there he met Mama, and that it did not take them long to middle-aisle, after which they came back to Summerville.  They started keeping house, I am told, in two rooms of what is now called the old Taylor home.  I was born in this house, and it is still my home.

In contemporary terminology, Papa would have been called a tycoon.  Not many people living today know at all that he did for Summerville and Chattooga County.  He was one of the guiding spirits in the bringing of the railroad to this county.  He pioneered the raising of peaches as a money crop; he organized, built, and for many years operated the cotton mill in Summerville; and to keep from wasting such a resource as the cotton seeds, he established the oil mill.

He brought electricity to town, as well as motivating the installation of city water.  He built and for many years operated the private school then known as Taylor Institute.  He organized the old Chattooga County Bank, which ceased to operate after his death.

Another family business, which long served the county populace, was Taylor Mercantile, a department store and grocery store.  The upstairs was a rental space for a funeral home.  Still another project was the marble quarry located on  some of his land.  For numerous years a good grade of marble was sold in surrounding areas.

All of these activities were carried on while he maintained a most active law practice.  No wonder he was admired by so many!  At the same time, he had his “enemies,” as does any man who, with so strong a personality, accomplishes so much and is so sure of his abilities.  Papa’s wide variety of achievements were based on his deep concern for the welfare of his fellow-citizens.  He was indeed one of whom could be said,

the elements (were) so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, “This was a man!”




John Dodson Taylor, Jr., on the lap of his mother, Harriet “Hattie” Stoddard, Circa 1908, with his sisters, Sarah Faye and Helen, on the left, and his grandmother, Arcissa Dodson Taylor, wearing black on the right; I do not know who is standing to Arcissa’s right


That Day I Spent on Choccolocco   1 comment

Above:  Choccolocco Mountain, Jacksonville, Alabama

Image Source = United States Fish and Wildlife Service



A Useful Website:


As backward oft my mind is carried,

To scenes of pleasure long ago,

The place of all where most I’ve tarried–

That day I spent on Choccolocco.


My heart was gayer, spirit lighter,

Than was the gentle zephyr’s blow,

And Lizzie’s face was never brighter,

That day I spent on Choccolocco.


I’ve been in many a place since then;

Seen clearer streams more graceful flow;

But oft I’ve long to live again,

That day I spent on Choccolocco.


To Some Young Ladies, On Hearing Them Sing   1 comment

Your voices last night as they floated along,

‘Cross Choccoloc street, in a soul-stirring song,

Brought up recollections of a past, pleasing still,

Tho’ they opened a void, they’d no power to fill.


‘Twas the memory of childhood, its joys and its home,

E’er the world’s follies taught our young feet to roam;

And a sister’s sweet voice seemed to fall on my ears,

And it carried me back o’er the long dreary years,

And I lived, in my fancy, those scenes o’er again.

It was pleasant, but somehow commingled with pain.

Like–darkly bright April, I would weep for a while,

And as suddenly change my tears for a smile,

When sometimes I’d drown in the memory of yore

The heart-chilling thought, “I can know them no more.”


Censure not, for my weakness, kind Misses, I pray–

If you deem it a weakness to be moved by your lay.

If you could but listen to yourselves for a wee,

You’d deem joy and sorrow all but weakness in me.

Then ecstasy to your hearts you would bring,

Nor blame me for listening unawares to you sing.


Oxford, Alabama

April, 1883

Posted November 21, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Alabama, John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems

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Lines (On Reading the Fate of William Woodson Hendree–The Poet Boy.)   2 comments


William Woodson Hendree (November 6, 1851-July 16, 1872), of Selma, Alabama, was the “Boy Poet of Selma.”  He seems to have made quite an impression on my great-grandfather, among others, but has become less well-known today than in the late 1800s.

Follow this link for an image of his grave:



That cruel fate which blights the flower

When it begins to bloom,

In gifted Hendree’s verdant hour

Has laid him in the tomb.


Come now, vain world, his lifeless mould

Can’t thrill to hear his fame,

His eyes are dim, his warm heart cold;

You now may laud his name.


He was a bard; his harp was strung

Upon the sacred hill;

And brief tho’ were the lays he sung,

He was a poet still.


And he has shared the poet’s lot;

A thorny path he trod;

And all the praises that he got,

Came to him ‘neath the sod.


Think kindly, friends; fools, do not laugh;

Tho’ he shunned fame’s caress,

‘Twas that his thirsty soul might quaff

The bliss of silentness.


That meditation might unfold

The realms of thought sublime;

In solitude to melt and mould

His spirits into rhyme.


Scarce were his heaven-born lays inspired

Than they were hushed forever;

Scarce were his youthful spirits fired

Than quenched in the Lethean river.


Why, cruel death, didst thou not take

One from the grosser throng?

And leave the “Poet Boy” to wake

And bless the world with song?


Of groveling minds and spirits mean

The world would glad be reft;

But, ah!  how oft the rose is ta’en

And thorns alone are left!


Yet still of Heaven we won’t complain;

But own its sovereign will;

The stream that’s dried, might, unto men,

Have born forever ill.


Tho’ dark and high the waves may flow,

God’s purpose freights the tide;

Tho’ cold the wintry winds may blow,

His blessings on them ride.


Adieu to Analytical Geometry   1 comment

Learning Geometry

Farewell thou most detested book

Of multiplied complication,

And not a sigh nor longing look

Shall mark our separation.


Thou art with truths, too mighty filled

For my frail mind to grasp;

Or else thou art the juice distilled

Of foolishness and trash.


Long thou hast been my constant chum,

I’ve nursed thee soon and late,

And thus caressing I have learned

Thy very name to hate.


How often thus is friendship’s flower

With too much nursing chilled!

It grows with association’s shower,

But with its floods ‘t is killed.


Farewell to Class and Teachers   1 comment

Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

Friends, companins, now farewell,

Tho ’tis said with aching heart–

Let our bygone pleasures tell

How I loathe with you to part.


Oft where pleasure wreathed her bowers,

Or where duty called the whiles,

I have spent the winged hours,

Brightened by your genial smiles.


Together oft we’ve climbed the mountains,

That traverse the path of youth;

Together drunk the crystal fountains

Gushing from the rock of truth.


Now the sweetest bliss must end:

Now we part, perhaps forever;

Yet I ask, as friend of friend,

Let not here our friendship sever.


May you onward, upward, speed:

Will, unconquered, know no foil;

And may honor be the meed

That shall compensate your foil.


May you rise to honored fame,

Breathing, living, history’s pages;

Kindling lustre round your name

That shall stream down the ages.


And where’er my lot be cast

Tho’ ‘mongst other friends as true,

Long as friendship wakes my breast,

I will still remember you.


And you, noble band, good-bye–

Teachers, faithful, kind and true,

But it is with moistened eye,

That we bid you now adieu.


And the links in friendship’s chain,

Wrought by your kind deeds and cares,

Strong as iron shall remain,

Rusted not by flight of years.


Heaven favor every aim–

Brighter yet your virtues shine–

Wider may you spread your fame,

Thrice more blessed in your design.

One request resistless flows,

As you oft assemble here,

Breathe sometimes a prayer for those

Who will hold your mem’ry dear.


June 1882

Posted August 7, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Alabama, Education, John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems

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