Chalk Hill#039;s Noah Stokes once rode for Pony Express

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2004

An enjoyable and informative reunion of several first cousins, all descendants of Noah Stanton and Amelia Caroline (Bledsoe) Stokes, was held on Thursday, January 22, at the Cedar Grove Church of Christ on Brooklyn Road. The occasion was to welcome Peggy (Stokes) and her husband, Sonny Bullard, of Clanton on their visit to Andalusia to explore her Stokes heritage in Covington County. Hosting the Bullards' visit were the living children of John Stanton Stokes and James Austin Stokes.

Earlier in the day, this writer accompanied the Bullards on a tour of several family sites: Noah Stokes's house located at the corner of Adellum Drive (Old Brooklyn Road) and Blake Pruitt Road in the Chalk Hill community, the nearby Adellum Baptist Church and Cemetery where Noah and his family were members and many are buried, and Cedar Grove Church of Christ Cemetery where many of Noah's relatives are buried. They later visited Stokes Bait Shop and a house behind Rite Aid Pharmacies where Noah Stokes had resided at one time.

Noah Stanton Stokes was the son of Absalom Lafayette Stokes and his second wife, Elizabeth (Jay) Stokes. Absalom and his first wife, Nancy Allene (Adkinson) Stokes, had their four children in Charleston, South Carolina. During the 1820s the family moved to Walton County, Florida, and located near the Alabama State line. Years later and after Nancy's death, Absalom was married to Elizabeth, and they had a family of five children including Noah. Noah was born in 1860 in Santa Rosa County, Florida, and was named Stanton for his maternal grandmother, Sarah (Stanton) Jay.

Noah was only a few years old when the family moved to Andalusia. As a teenager, he rode for the Pony Express mail delivery system transporting mail between Andalusia and Florala. As he matured he engaged in farming and the booming timber business. In 1888, he homesteaded 160 acres of land in the Libertyville Township. Later, he became a butcher and operated the meat market in a grocery store owned and operated by his nephew, Absalom Stokes, which was located on South Cotton Street. During the early 1900s, Noah moved to Birmingham where he owned and operated a grocery store. At least two of his sons, Glady and Samuel, had settled in Birmingham and reared their families there.

During the early 1930s, Noah returned to Andalusia and lived at a residence on River Falls Street.After Amelia's death, he lived at the old homeplace on Brooklyn Road with his son, James Austin and family. During his last year of life, he went to live with his son, John Stanton, and family at their residence near the southwest corner of Dunson Street and Snowden Drive.

Some of the grandchildren recalled that he enjoyed keeping a fruit orchard. One remembered his growing cultivated blackberries on the terrace rows. Another related an incident when he had a large, specimen peach, which he dared anyone to pick. He wanted to see just how large it would grow. A grandson, George, used some ingenuous thinking and borrowed Noah's three-legged milking stool to reach the peach and steal several bites without pulling the peach from the limb. Grandfather Noah was so impressed with the boy's engineering mind that he would not allow him to be punished for the clever pmisdeed.

The grandchildren remembered Noah as a very gentle, loving grandfather. He loved his family and was patient with the children and their wishes.

Noah and his wife, Amelia Caroline, reared the following 14 children: Ivy Audrie, b. 1884, d. 1938, m. (1) Charley Storey (2) W.D. Jay; Elizabeth "Lizzie" Georgia, b. 1885,d 1990, m. Nathaniel C. Cornett; Flora Mabel, b. 1886, d. 1944, m. N.B. Wynne; Valdosta "Vallie," b. 1888, d. 1980, m. James F. Bunch; Annie Myrtle, b. 1889, m. John A. Odom; Homer Dewitt, b. 1890, d. 1891; Ruby Clyde, b. 1893, d. 1954, m. Cary Etheridge; John "Johnnie" Stanton, b. 1896, d. 1991, m. Frances Evelyn Holland; James "Jamie" Austin, b. 1897, d. 1971, m. Cola Huggins; Lottie "Charlotte" Mims, b. 1899, d. 1993, m. (1) Isaac Watson (2) Hugh M. Marks; Eunice Inez, b.&d. 1902; Glady Raymond, b. 1904, d. 1969, m. Eula Brooks; Samuel Sanford, b. 1906, d. 1964, m. Bardee Claudia Walker; and Rexford, b. 1908, d. 1986, m. Ollie Mae Mott.

Considerable genealogical data has been recorded on the next gereration, so it will be featured in next week's column along with photos of Noah and his children as adults.

Peggy Amelia Bullard and her cousins were the primary sources for the family's history included in this writing. They hope to plan a family reunion in the near future and continue collecting and recording the family's history.

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


The Covington Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, at the Andalusia Public Library.