Mallette ancestors settled near Rose Hill

Published 11:59 pm Friday, March 27, 2009

The Mallette family has been a reputable one in Andalusia and Covington County for the last 150 or so years. The earliest member located by this writer was John W. Mallett who purchased several tracts of land from the government between 1853 and 1854. In 1853, he acquired 540 acres in the Gantt Township. Also that year, he purchased 360 acres and two 40-acres tracts in the Buck Creek Township. In 1854, he added 40 acres in Gantt and 240 acres and another 40-acre tract in the Buck Creek community.

Most likely a relative of John W., Albert G. Mallett, purchased 100 acres of land in the Gantt Township in 1857. In 1858, an act was passed in the Alabama Legislature to incorporate the Covington Canal Company with A.G. Mallett and John Dixon as incorporators. They were to build a canal that would have been 10 miles long, but it was never built due to the effects of the war and other economic conditions.

In 1860, A.G. Mallett with a count of 229 votes lost to Dewitt Clinton Davis with 337 votes to be Covington County’s delegate to a state convention. The meeting was being called for the purpose of deciding the course of action that the state must adopt.

It is puzzling that no Mallett households were enumerated in the 1850 and 1860 federal census for Covington County. Since the two men above had purchased so much land during the 1850s, it is strange that they were not present in 1860. Also, A.G. Mallett would appear to have been here during part of 1860 since he was competing for the delegate position mentioned above.

During the 1870 census of this county, one small Mallett family was enumerated. Allice Mallett was residing in the household of William Green and Telatha (Bryan) Williams. Allice was 24 years of age, and she had two children with her, John Darling, b. ca 1863, 7 years old, d. 1948; and Albert, b. 1868, 1 year old, d. 1948. Telatha Williams’ mother, Elizabeth Bryan, was also living in this household, which was located between Rose Hill and the Burnout community.

In the 1900 census for the county, there were three households headed by Mallettes as the name is spelled from that time into the future. John D. Mallette was 37 years of age, and his wife was apparently deceased. He lived in the Williams Precinct and next door to his brother, William Albert. Living in John D.’s household were the following: Susie or Lessie, 7; Alice (mother), 54; Lawrence T. (brother), 26; Lavonia (sister-in-law), 17; and John G. Phillips (servant), 28. (There is an Elzie Dora, wife of J.D. Mallette buried in the Feagin Cemetery near Rose Hill. Her headstone has an interesting carving of a set of praying hands, but they are pointed downward rather than the usual upward position. Does anyone have information on the significance of this feature?)

There was also a household headed by Cellas Mallette who was 24 years old. His wife, Ettie L, was 22, and they had two daughters at the time, Laura E., 2; and Clara M., 9 months.

The above Albert appears to be William Albert Mallette who was married in 1891 to Flora Luvinnia Rowell, daughter of Henry Hardy Sion Rowell. Flora was born in 1872 in the Rose Hill community. When the 1900 census was recorded, Albert Mallette, was 32 years old with his wife, Flora, at 28 years of age. They were residing in the Williams Precinct and had the following three children with them: Bessie, 7; Olie, 5; and Elmore, 2. The children’s names were difficult to read in the census records, and they are slightly different from the list of children below.

William Albert and Flora reared the following children: Bessie Louvinnia, b. 1892, m. Levie Cleveland Sermon; Estie Matilda, b. 1895, m. 1921 John Morgan Nelson; Allie Ree, b. 1897, d. 1898; Elmer Lee, b. 1898, m. Antionette Izettie Campbell (1896-after 1986); William Aubrey, b. 1900, m. Marie Wells (1900-1980); Mattie Fay, b. 1903, m. James Oliver Steele; Alice Mignon, b. 1905, m. Olin Novelles Andrews; Ollie Joe, b. 1907, m. Arthr Cahell Angle; Shelton Rowell, b. 1909, single; Lucile, b. 1910, single; and Flora Fran, b. 1914, single.

The oldest daughter, Flora Luvinnia, was married to Levie Cleveland Sermon, son of Rufus Tildon and Adeline Cornelia (Handley) Sermon. They reared the following children: Flora Christine, b. 1911; Vivian Adeline, b. 1913; L.C. Sermon, b. 1918; Rufus Mallette, b. 1919; and Joseph Wiley, b. 1921.

The second daughter, Estie Matilda Mallette, was married in 1921 to John Morgan Nelson, son of Hiram and Rocella (Chancey) Nelson. Estie and John Morgan had at least one son, Harry, b. 1922.

The oldest son, Elmer Lee Mallette, was married to Antionette Izettie Campbell, daughter of Norman Angus and Susannah Melinda (Merrill) Campbell. Elmer Lee supported his family from his farming. They reared the following three daughters: Elna Ree, b. 1921; Hazel Claire, b. 1923; and Mary Boling, b. 1925.

The second son, William Aubrey Mallette, became a pharmacist and worked in Andalusia. He actually began as a student and worked on weekends at the Frost Drug Company in Dozier for 25 cents. He moved to Andalusia in 1923 and worked at Cash Drug Store. He later became associated with the Campbell’s Drug Store when the reputable L.O. Thagard purchased the store.

From his work experience Aubrey Mallette developed a strong desire to become a registered pharmacist. He entered the B.O. Shiflette School of Pharmacy in Birmingham and was awarded his degree around 1940. He returned to Andalusia in 1841 and became a partner in the Thagard Drug Company. In the late 1950s, he and L.O. Thagard, Jr. purchased the business, and it became known as Thagard-Mallette Drug Company. In 1966, Aubrey Mallette purchased the store and changed the name to Mallette Drug Company. In 1972, the store was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Scott. In was later moved from the historic Pelham Building on the corner of Pear Street and South Cotton Street to its current location in front of the Andalusia Regional Hospital.

William Aubrey Mallette was married to Marie Wells, daughter of Michael Emanuel and Pearl Bethea (Moore) Wells. They reared the following two daughters: Flora Marie, b. 1928, m. William Roland; and Michaelyn, b. 1935, m. Glenn Zorn. Flora and Michaelyn became school teachers—Flora at Straughn High School and Michaelyn at Florala High School.

Another sister, Alice Mignon Mallette, was married to Olin Novelles Andrews. They reared the following two children: Olin Novelles Jr., b. 1936; and Martha Ann, b. 1939.

At present, there are no listings for Mallettes in the Covington County telephone directory, but there are some descendants through daughters who wear other names.

Sources for this family story include Mallette family records, census records, Wyley Ward’s county histories, and a story in the Andalusia Star-News on July 14, 1976.

Anyone who might have any corrections to the above or additional information on this family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; call 334-222-6467; or e-mail:


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6 p.m. on Thurs., April 2, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library.