Naaman Jonah Morgan was a merchant in Rose Hill

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Earlier columns have featured the Morgan family, and today's will focus on one particular line of this group. Members of this family moved from Chattahoochee County, Ga., to the northeast corner of Covington County in 1865 shortly after the War Between the States. A year later when Crenshaw County was formed, the Morgan farm fell in the southeast corner of it.

Elijah Oliver Morgan, born on Feb. 9, 1829, in Talbert, Ga., was the ancestor to move the family to Alabama. He was the son of James Oliver and Mary (Dathney) Morgan, natives of South Carolina. In 1850, Elijah Oliver was married to Sophia Ann Lanier, daughter of Lewis and Mary Lanier and a native of North Carolina.

Elijah enlisted in the Confederate Army on the very day his daughter, Mary, was born. The 1907 Census of Confederate Veterans recorded that on March 2, 1862, in Chattahoochee County, he enlisted as a private in the Phillips Legion, Company B., and continued until paroled at home, probably at the end of the war.

Elijah and Sophia had the following children: Roxie Ann V. (1852-1947) m. ? Caples; Judge McDaniel (1854-1908); James Oliver L. (1858-1937); Elijah Harper (1861-1941); Mary (1862-1902); Sara Ellen (1866-1893); William T.B. (1868-?); Sophia P. (1870-1876); Georgia Catherine (1872-?); Nathan S. (1875-?); and Naaman Jonah (1877-1964).

Naaman Jonah, the youngest son, lived in Covington County and owned a general merchandising store in Rose Hill and cotton gins in Covington and Crenshaw counties. He was married to Elvira Mariah Wyatt and they had the following children: Winfred Era (1899-1993) m. Willie Philander Harris; Bonceal, (1901-1903); John Lewis, (1903-1956) m. Nancy Pace; Glen Grady (1905-1905); Wyatt Roger (1906-1982) m. Alice Keeney; Leon Elijah (1909-1967) m. Ruby Straughn; Margaret Viola (1911-1911); Jewel Catherine (1913-1989) m. Luther Otis Swint; Wilson Hill (1917-1978) m. Irene Chism Jackson; and Susan Merle (1919-2001) m. J. Lavon Hamilton.

Naaman's oldest daughter, Winfred, and her husband, Willie Harris, were married in 1816 and lived in Andalusia. Willie owned and operated a cotton warehouse located on Montgomery Street. He also sold fertilizer and feed and has been remembered as being very generous and lenient with his customers. They reared the following children: Wyatt Carr, b. 1918, m. Catherine Etheridge; William Morgan (1922-1990) m. Dorothy Wood; Martha Elvira, b. 1926, m. (1) Joseph Gaines (2) Lewis Osborn; Mary Ann, b. 1929, m. James Damascus Rabren; and John Paul, (1931-1979) m. Ellen Turner.

Mary Ann and her husband, James Rabren, son of Monroe and Lillie (Sellers) Rabren, live in Andalusia where James worked with the post office, and Mary Ann worked in the office at the Alatex. She worked for 42 years and was payroll manager at the time of her retirement. James spent 27 years with the military and the national guard from which he retired as a major. He retired early to allow him time to go see his son play football at Auburn University.

James and Mary Ann reared one son, James Harris Rabren, born in 1957 in Andalusia. He is married to an Andalusia girl, Alyson Austin, daughter of W.C.Jr. and Martha (Jeter) Austin. They have three children: Megan Brianna, Meredith Alison, and James Matthew Austin. This family lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Harris is a district sales manager with Illinois Tool Works.

Naaman's sister, Georgia Catherine, and her husband, William Robert Tisdale, were married in 1888 in Crenshaw County. Their children were born in that county, but they later moved to Andalusia where they lived out their lives. He operated a general merchandise store on South Court Square. They reared the following children: Autie Victoria, b. 1889, d. 1977, m. Jerome Ward; Minnie Lee, b. 1891, d. 1893; Lola, b. 1894, d. 1894; Georgia Mae, b. 1895, d. 1896; Luna Ethel, b. 1897, d. 2000; Infant, b. 1900, d. 1900; James Robert, b. 1902, d. 1902; Broughton, b. 1903, d. 2001, m. Lois Teate; Solomon, b. 1907, m. Nannie Cary; Sophia Elvira, b. 1909, d. 2000, single; and Lizza Vera, b. 1912, m. Swenson Edwin Anderson.

Naaman's brother, Nathan Stanton, and his wife, Dora Carrie, had several children. Among these was a daughter, Evelyn, b. 1901, d. 1991, m. Clyde Lee Purvis in Jay, Florida. Among the children of Evelyn and Clyde was a daughter, Gladys Vivian, b. 1928, m. Ronald Elmore Davis, a well-known Baptist minister in the area.

Today, there are many descendants of the Morgan family residing throughout Covington and Crenshaw counties. Appreciation is expressed to one of these, Mary Ann (Harris) Rabren of Andalusia, for sharing her family history for this column.

Anyone who might have a correction or additional information related to this family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at Route 9, Box 97, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email:


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, at the Andalusia Public Library. The program will be "Show and Tell" where those present will share memorabilia of the War Between the States. Guests are welcome.