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Carter Cemetery on Sims Bridge Road is one of area firsts

A visit to the historic Carter Cemetery in the Cold Water community north of Andalusia prompted this writing. Needless to say, there is considerable genealogy and history of a community found within even these small, early cemeteries. The Carter Cemetery is one of the very earliest in the county, and it was the burying place for a number of years for several pioneer families of the area, especially members of the Bracewell, Carter, Johns and Jones families. It appears that the latest burial was that of Jessica Michelle Scroggins, infant daughter of Tommy Scroggins who was born and died in 1983.

This cemetery is located off a lane leading from the unpaved Sims Bridge Road that runs north of the Dunn’s Bridge Road, which ends at the Conecuh River. This cemetery is currently surrounded by private property owned by Thomas Morrison, Sr. It is about one half acre in size and is well maintained by Morrison. Morrison and families who have relatives buried there. It is mowed regularly and kept free of any weeds or shrubs, and it is outlined by a beautiful stand of trees.

Of particular note is a marker, which has been placed in the last few years, for Robert William Carter, who was reported to have died in 1824 and to have been buried in this cemetery. It appears that he would have been the first to be buried there and the source for the Carter name given to the cemetery. The marker was most likely placed by his descendants in honor of his service for the Americans during the Revolutionary War.

Robert William Carter was the son of Thomas and Rachel (Pike) Carter of South Carolina. He was born in 1757 in Edgefield County and grew up in that area. He enlisted in the militia of that state for his Revolutionary War service. Of particular interest is the fact that he fought in the Battle at Eutaw Springs under General Nathaniel Greene along with another veteran of this war, Jeremiah Dixon, who was also buried in Covington County somewhere near the Teel Creek Cemetery, which is located near the Conecuh River Baptist Church and Cemetery. Jeremiah was most likely a member of the North Carolina Militia under the Marquis de Malmedy. These two veterans are numbered among the small number of six to be buried in Covington County.

After his discharge from the Continental Army, William moved to Georgia where he was married to Jane Thomas in Warren County. They reared a large family before Jane’s death in 1818 in Hancock County. This left William as a widower with several young children in his charge. Within the next two or three years, he and several of his grown sons determined to seek a new home about the time of the “land draw” for acreage in Covington County, Alabama. On Dec. 13, 1823, he purchased land in Section 34, Township 5, Range 16, which was about a mile or two from the present day Heath near the headwaters of Five Runs Creek. Over the years, several of his sons bought land in the same general area.

Thus, William Carter and his children were some of the first settlers in Covington County, which was established in 1821. These men took an active role in local politics with one son, Michael Carter, being appointed Sheriff of Covington County in 1823, a role he served for about a year. Around this time in 1824, William died and was buried in the new cemetery.

William and Jane Carter had the following children: Michael, b. 1787; William, b. 1789; John “Jack,” b. 1791; Hiram, b. 1793; Asa, b. 1797; John Simpson, b. 1799; Lee, b. 1803; Patience, b. 1805; Enoch, b. 1807; and Jane and Ann whose birthdates are not known. One of the sons appears to have also worn the name of Moses who was the father of a well-known resident, Jonathan Carter (1815-1898).

A census was made of the cemetery in 1996 by Lisa R. Franklin and Joan (Hallford) Hidle, who then typed and posted it on Lisa Franklin’s website, Tracking Your Roots. It appears that a few markers have been placed at graves since then, and these are included in the listing below. At present, the identified graves include the following:

Biggs: Thomas (1883-1963) and wife, Rebecca (b. 1895); William “Bill;” David Harmon (b.&d. 1898) son of George and Caroline Biggs.

Bracewell: Zinoman (father) and wife, Barbara (mother), Dallas (brother) and Carlie (Sister).

Carter: William (1757-1824); Jonathan (1815-1898) and wife, Pollie (d. 1897 at 75 years; J.W. (1871-1904); Daniel (1861-1900); Enoch (1871-1932) and wife, Frances (1865-1936).

Floyd: H.F. (1864-1930).

Johns: Jonathan (1814-1904) and wife, Eliza (1809-1905); E.N. “Newt”(1847-1938) and wife, Sarah (1847-1925) and daughters, Augusta (Illegible) and Martha (1875-1880); Infant (b.&d. 1911) son of H. and V. Johns; T. Dewey (1899-1901) and William Morgan (1886-1888), sons of W.C. and S.M. Johns.

Jones: John W. (1818-1903) and wife, E.G. (1823-1905); James M. and wife, Jane (1841-1910), and daughter, Charlotte (1868-1869); Earnest Wilton (b.&d. 1930); Emmock (1870-1929); Augusta Clark (1882-1959); Betty Sue, (1933-1935); Alison (b.&d. 1912), daughter of E. and O.A. Jones; John W. (1868-1903), son of Wright and Mary, and wife, Sarah (1879-1905); Nancy A. (1838-1897), wife of Jonathan W. Jones, and daughters, Nancy C.S. (1873-1898) and Martha M. (1866-1897).

Mitchell: Martha An (1857-1921), wife of A.M.

Scroggins: Jessie Michelle (b.&d. 1983). Daughter of Tommy Scroggins.

Shehane: William F. (1874-1943) and wife, Eugenia (1885-1965); Robert Daniel (1877-1940) and wife, Mattie (Carter) (1876-1915).

Slawson: David Kendrick, infant of D.E. and M.B. (b.&d. 1923).

Williamson: Allen (d.1891 at ca 80 years of age) and wife, Vicie (d. 1909 at 85 years of age; and Mildred Kathlen (1921-1922), daughter of M.J. and Della.

There are about 51 graves that have identifiable markers, but there are many there that are marked with only a buried concrete block or piece of stone as well as a number that are not marked in any way. Among the markers are two, James M. Jones and E.N. Jones, signifying the men’s service during the War Between the States. The descendants of Allen Williamson are making plans to erect a marker in the future to show his Confederate service.

This writer would be very interested in hearing from anyone that might add identifications of any of the unnamed markers or others as well as any history related to the cemetery. Please contact him at one of the addresses listed below.

Sources for today’s column include a visit to the cemetery with area residents, the cemetery census at trackingyourroots.com, an article by Rex Everage in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama and interviews with area residents.

Anyone who might have any correction to the above facts or additional information on this Cemetery or the families interred there is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.

HISTORICAL MEETING: The Covington Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. on Thurs., April 29, in the Dixon Memorial Room at the Andalusia Public Library. The program will be a presentation on the Life of Julia Tutwiler by Society President Sue Wilson.