Brewer ancestors were early settlers of Covington County

Published 1:39 am Saturday, August 22, 2009

Representatives of the Brewer family were residents of Covington County before 1830, which would make them some of the earlier settlers in the area. Henry Brewer moved to the Montezuma village during the late 1820s as he and his household were enumerated in the 1930 census. He had two females and another male in the dwelling.

In 1831, Henry was one of the local citizens who favored Eli N. Briggs to replace Vining Howard as Sheriff of Covington County. He became a leader in the community, and in 1841, Henry was serving in the Alabama Militia in the 60th Regiment (Covington County), 11th Brigade, 5th Division, which was commanded by Captain George W. Kierce. The medical board later discharged him.

When the 1850 census was taken, two families bearing the Brewer name were enumerated. Henry Brewer and family were listed as House Number 493, and Telitha Brewer and children were listed as Number 364.

Henry Brewer was 45 years of age and a native of Georgia, and his wife, Mary E. was 34 and born in South Carolina. The family had moved along with most of the residents of Montezuma to the new village to be named Andalusia. They had the following children in their household: Sarah S., 11; Ghatsey, 8; Nancy, 6; William H., 4; Jackson, 2; and Serina, one month.

Telitha Brewer was 45 years of age and was a native of Kentucky. She had the following children in her household who were all born in Alabama: Jane, 19; Rody, 17; Mathew, 15; and Martha 12. She does not appear in the 1860 census under the Brewer name, so she had probably remarried by that date.

Henry Brewer represented the Andalusia Baptist Church at the Bethlehem Association meetings in 1832 and 1857. In 1853, Henry acquired 75 acres of government land in the Montezuma Township. During the next few years before the War Between the States, Henry was one of the community leaders who served as a prosecutor for the county’s circuit courts. In 1864, at the age of 59 years, Henry served as a private in Company A, Covington County Reserves (First Class).

In the 1860 census for the county, Henry’s family had increased by at least two additional children, James A., 9; and Martha J., 6. The oldest two daughters, Sarah S. and Ghatsey had probably married and were in their own homes. The family was prospering and owned three slaves at the time. That year, there was a John F. Brewer, 74 years old, in the household of Ellafair Larkins and Nancy M. He was listed as a teacher of C.S.

Another Brewer ancestor who migrated to Covington County during the 1870s was Martin or Mastin Pickett Brewer. It is not known if or how he might have been related to the above Brewer family members. Martin was in Dale County in 1870 before his move here. He was born circa 1842 in Georgia. He was married in 1868 in Alabama to Rebecca (English) Mitchell. She had been married in 1858 to Alex Mitchell who was believed to have not returned from the war or died soon afterwards. Rebecca was born in 1842 in Covington County as the daughter of James and Milla English. She died in 1913 in Florala and was buried there in the Greenwood Cemetery.

Martin and Elizabeth Brewer reared the following four children: Daniel, b. 1869, m. Ellen Helms; Jesse Travis, b. 1870, d. 1906, m. Frances Louise Adams; Iranna or Irene, b. 1874, d. 1958, m. (1) Hulin Adams, Sr. (2) James Lafayette “Jim” George; and Allie E., b. 1875, m. ? Horn (2) 1898 Henry E. Whittle.

In 1880, they were residing in Covington County, and Rebecca’s father lived with them. They had all four of their young children with them as well.

In 1890, Martin P. Brewer homesteaded 161 acres of land in the Antioch Township. In 1891, he was issued a patent for 161.5 acres in the county just south of Rose Hill. That meant he had resided there at least for the past five years.

Martin and Rebecca were not found in the1900 census for this county, but another Brewer family was enumerated from the Westover Precinct. Samuel Brewer, 46 years of age and a native of North Carolina, was born in 1853. His wife, Mattie or Mavie, a native of Alabama was 30 years old. They had the following three children with them: Pearl, 7; Lillie, 4; and Annie, 1. No additional information was located on this family.

In 1910, Martin and Rebecca were advanced in age and living alone. He was listed as being a carpenter.

Their older son, Daniel Brewer, and his wife, Ellen, had the following four children: Henry, Ella, Susie and Charley.

The second son, Jesse Brewer, and his wife, Frances (Adams), reared the following children: Infant, b.&d. 1906; Benjamin Franklin “Otis:” James David; Jean Young, b. 1900; and Icie Ethel, b. 1907, m. Jessie “J.W.” Wooten.

The older daughter, Iranna Brewer, and her husband, Hulin Adams, reared the following children: Amanda Ann “Mandy;” Nancy Ruby, b. 1897, d. 1948, m. William Jefferson McCart; Joel Shafter, b. 1899, d. 1983, m. Sallie Irene McCart; Calvin Hollis, b. 1901, d. 1981, m. Willie Lou McKinney; and Edlow Wright, b. 1903, d. 1994, m. Violet Lee Fell. Iranna and her second husband, James Lafayette “Jim” George, had one daughter, Iranna Elizabeth, b. 1909, m. (1) Jay Van Mercy (2) Milton Vetter.

The younger daughter, Allie E. Brewer, and her first husband, Mr. Horn, had one daughter, Ida, b. 1849. Allie and her second husband, Henry E. Whittle, had the following four children: Martha, b. 1900; Willie, b. 1904; Edna, b. 1907; and Ruby, b. 1911. This family was residing in the Watkins Precinct in 1910, and they owned their own farm.

There are a number of Brewer relatives living in the area at the present. Some of them are most likely to be descendants of the above Martin and Rebecca Brewer.

Sources for this Brewer history include Frances Wheeler’s Some of My Covington County, Alabama, Relatives, census records, and Wyley Ward’s Early History of Covington County, Alabama, 1821-1871 and his Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who might have a correction to any of the above or additional information on Brewers of this area is requested to write Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; call 334-222-6467; or e-mail: