McCurley ancestors settled in Horn Hill community

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2003

The earliest known McCurley descendants to settle in Covington County were Isaac Elmore McCurley and his relatives. Isaac, born in 1853 in an area of Pike County that would become Crenshaw County in 1866, is believed to be a son of Elijah Joseph McCurley, a native of South Carolina. It is not known when the McCurleys arrived in Alabama, but they were in South Alabama by the early 1850s.

Isaac Elmore was first married to Evis Jones who was born circa 1852. They had a daughter before Evis's death-Mary Jane, b. 1877, m. (1) ? Swift (2) 1905 Charles Marion Baine.

In 1883, Isaac E. was married a second time to Caroline Costella Laseter. The two of them had the following children: William Cleveland, b. 1886, d. 1967, m. 1909 Rachael Emmie Hughes; Ida, b. 1888, d. 1929, m. 1913 Gafford D. Peters; John Clayborn, b. 1890, d. 1977, m. (1) 1909 Alice Neese (2) 1928 Nancy Salome Jackson; Ephram Frederick, b. 1892, d. 1917, m. Lena Ellis; Isaac David "Bud," b. 1894, d. 1972, m. 1922 Martha Andrews Day; Walter Lee, b. 1896, d. 1984, m. 1919 Gladys Lee Cotton; and Blannie, b. 1900, d. 1928, single.

Isaac E. acquired 159.56 acres of land in 1894 in Crenshaw County. In 1898, he sold 150 acres to T.R. Brantley of that county. His family was enumerated in the 1900 census of Coffee County. In 1910 and 1920, when the censuses were taken, the family was residing in Covington County in the Watkins Precinct. In 1917, Isaac purchased 40 acres of land in the Horn Hill Township of Covington from J.S. Grider. He added 40 acres to that in the same community in 1919 when he bought it from John McNeil. Isaac died in 1927 and was buried in the Beulah Cemetery, located south of Opp.

The only known child of the oldest daughter, Mary Jane, and her second husband, Charles Marion Baine, was a son named Willie.

The oldest son, William Cleveland, and his wife, Emmie Hughes, daughter of William and Sarah (Coleman) Hughes, reared the following children: Willie Ester, b. 1912, m. 1932 James Ellie Owens; Effie Costella "Stella," b. 1914, m. James H. Rogers, Sr.; Annie Louise "Ann," b. 1916, m. John H. Owens; Braxton Bragg, b. 1919, d. 1997, m. Jonnie Phillips; Ruby Elizabeth, b. 1921, d. 1994, m. Perry Chapdelaine; and Robert Percy, b. 1925, d. 1976, m. Flo Jones.

William Cleveland was a farmer who lived in the George Precinct when the 1920 census was taken and the Beulah community when the 1930 census was recorded.

In later years, he moved his family to Mobile. He was a small man in stature, but he was industrious in working to support his family.

The daughter, Ida, and her husband, Gafford Peters, were only married for four years. There is no record of them having any children.

The next son, John Clayborn, was enumerated in the 1920 census for Geneva County. He was a farmer, and he and his wife had two children. John was married in 1909 to Alice Neese, daughter of Fate and Menurse Neese. They had the following children: Lillie Mae, b. 1912, d. 1984, m. May Jefferson Hall; James Woodrow, b. 1917, m. 1939 Selma Russell; Eunivae, b. 1920, m. 1944 Sherman L. Adams; Ethel, b. 1921, d. 1997, m. John Dee Powell; and Frances Jeanette, b. 1925, m. (1) Harry Ropach (2) Clark E. Rotroff.

John C. and his second wife, Nancy Salome, daughter of Jowel and Ellen (Morrow) Jackson, were married in 1928. They had the following children: Bea Jewel, b. 1929, m. 1948 William A. Robbins; Wynell, b. 1931, m. Buster Jowers, Jr.; Ouida, b. 1939, m. Bobby Johnson; and Sheldon Fred, b. 1942, m. Mary Ann Chance.

The next son, Ephram Frederick, was married in 1913 in Brewton to Lena Ellis, daughter of George Ellis. They were only married four years before his death during World War I where he served as a private. He was stationed at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia. The couple had one son, George Odis, who was born in 1915, was married to Norma May, and died in 1992.

The next son, Isaac David, worked as a farmer and also operated a gristmill. He was married in 1922 to Martha Andrews Day. They had the following two children: Florine, b. ca 1923, m. Dana Dugger; and William Winfred, b. 1924, m. Carolyn Riebling, daughter of John and Haze (Moody) Riebling.

The son, Walter Lee, was a farmer and logger. In 1917, he purchased two tracts of land in the Horn Hill community. He servd in World War I in France. In 1923, he added an additional 40 acres to this. He was married in 1919 to Gladys Lee Cotton, daughter of Shem and Bertie (Farmer) Cotton. They reared the following children: Russie Lee, b. 1920, d. 1975, m. 1939 Mozelle G. Glisson, daughter of Fletcher Glisson; Lois Vernon, b.1921, m. Minnie Lou Jackson; Beatrice, b. 1924, m. Leron J. Grimes; Aileen/Alene, b. 1926, m. Thomas Jefferson "Tillis" Catoe; Inez, b. 1928, m. Willie Ray Jackson; Charles Clifford, b. 1931, d. 1991, m. Marie Farris; Dorothy Nell, b. 1933, m. Hiram Wallace Turner; and Annie Merle, b. 1935, m. (1) Howard Andrews (2) James Henderson.

The youngest son, Richard Warren, was married first in 1922 to Ida McClung. In 1935 he was married to Elzona Jackson. He lived on the old McCurley's homeplace where the gristmill was located.

The primary source for today's column was the genealogy records of Taylor Whisonant. His wife, Shirley, is a granddaughter of Walter Lee McCurley, and they reside on the original Isaac Elmore McCurley homeplace.

Anyone who might have corrections to any of the above or additional information to share is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 21361 Rabren Road, Andalusia, AL 36420 or Email:

Historical Meeting:

The Covington Historical Society will hold its annual dinner meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, in the Dixon Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Everyone is encouraged to come and bring a covered dish.