Jeter family settled mostly in the Pigeon Creek Community

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Jeter family arrived in Covington County during the late 1800s. The earliest ancestor in this family to be located by this writer was John Crosby Jeter who was born in 1795 in South Carolina and died in 1845 in Tuskegee of Macon County, Alabama. The name reverend was listed before his name, so he was obviously a minister of the gospel of some religious faith. His wife was Elizabeth Tomlinson who was born in 1800 in North Carolina and died in 1863 in West Virginia.

Some genealogy websites displayed a photograph of a Picturesque Jeter Cemetery, which is located in Santuc of Union County, South Carolina. One would assume some of the above John C. Jeter’s ancestors and relatives would have been buried there. Two stately brick columns frame the gate to the cemetery, which has the Jeter name designed within it.

One of John C. and Elizabeth’s sons, Franklin B. Jeter, also served as a minister. Franklin was born in 1825 while the family was still residing in the State of Georgia. He was married in 1858 in Macon County, Alabama, after his family had moved to the area. Some records indicate that his wife, Martha Elizabeth Lassiter, was born in 1835 in Rose Hill in Covington County. If so, it is not known how she came about being in Macon County for their marriage.

Franklin Jeter moved his family after several years from Macon County to Monroe County where they were residing in 1870. County records indicate he had moved on to Covington County before 1881. In 1900, Franklin’s family was enumerated in the census of that year as residents of the Westover precinct and as being 75 years old. His wife, Martha Elizabeth, was 64, and they had a granddaughter, Lydia Colvin, 4 years old, living in their household. He died in 1902 while living in Red Level and was buried in the Vera Cruz United Methodist Church Cemetery beside his wife who had died two years previously. Their young daughter, Aura Doner Jeter, who died at age 11 is buried there as well as a granddaughter, Hettie C. Jeter, daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Sarah Jane (Partin) Jeter.

A headstone in the Vera Cruz Cemetery indicates that Franklin’s mother, Elizabeth (Pearson) Jeter, died in 1881 at the age of 81 and that she was buried there. This raises a question as to whether this Elizabeth (Pearson) or the earlier named Elizabeth (Tomlinson) was the mother of Franklin. Hopefully, further research will clarify this.

Franklin was obviously respected wherever he lived. On April 11, 1881, a post office named Vera Cruz was established with Franklin being the first postmaster. He was succeeded by his son-in-law, Irvin Cicero Colvin, on April 14, 1897. The post office was discontinued on April 30, 1908. During those years it was operated out of a log cabin, which was later occupied by a son of Irvin Colvin.

Franklin homesteaded 78.53 acres of land in 1886 in the Pigeon Creek Township. His son-in-law, Richard Henry or Henry Richard Josey, homesteaded 159.80 acres in the Patsaliga River Township in 1889. During the next year, 1890, three other Jeters whose relationships to Franklin have not been determined homesteaded acreage in the same general area: Andrew K. Jeter, 160.14 in the Patsaliga River Township; Lorenzo Jeter and Mary F. Jeter, 161.63 acres each in the same area, the Antioch Township.

Franklin and Elizabeth reared the following children: Pinkney A. or Dow Pinkney, b. 1859, d. 1907 in Newton, Mississippi; Anne, b. 1860; Ella Virginia, b. 1860, d. 1899, m Irvin Ciscero Colvin (1855-1949); Benjamin Franklin, b. 1866, d. 1942 in Okaloosa, Florida, m. Sarah Jane Partin; Martha Orah, b. 1869, d. 1948, Howard County, Texas, m. 1887 Richard Henry Josey (1866-1929); Ida Lanora, b. 1874, d. 1952 Cass County, Texas, m. Charles Forrest Parker (1869-1910); Aura Doner, b. 1878, d. 1889 Wilcox County; and Ben, b. 1880. (There is some question as to there being another son named Ben.)

The second daughter, Ella Virginia Jeter, was married to Irvin Cicero Colvin. Cicero homesteaded 157 acres of land in the Pigeon Creek Township in 1890. They had the following children before Ella Virginia’s death in 1899: Theodore Fletcher, b. 1886, d. 1971, m. Sadie Beasley; daughter, m. A.G. Palmer; Charles Henry, b. 1888, d. 1948, m. GeRomie Clementine Gardner; Jesse James, b. 1890, d. 1968, m. Nancy Martha Jane Josey; William Hosea “Hosie,” b. 1893, d. 1975, m. Mary Frances Harrelson; Hosie’s twin brother, b.&d. 1893; Liddia “Liddy,” b. 1895, d. 1942, m. Frank Newman; and triplets, b.&d. 1899. Cicero later married Frances Elizabeth Rebecca Jane Spears (1884-1963) and reared another large set of children.

The second son, Benjamin Franklin Jeter, was married to Sarah Jane Partin, daughter of Isaiah and Charlotte F. Partin. They reared the following children: Living child; Hettie, b. 1894, d. 1896; Laura, b. 1895; Clara M., b. 1896; Martha Alma “Ama,” b. 1898, d. 1973; Lena C., b. 1901; Carlie Belle, b. 1902, d. 1924; Hilary H., b. 1904, d. 1975; Perry F., b. 1906; and Carrie L., b. 1909.

The next daughter, Martha Orah Jeter, was married to Richard Henry Josey, son of James Salter and Civil E. (DuBose) Josey. They lived in the Pigeon community for a few years and then moved to Texas and later to Oklahoma. They reared the following children: Lena Cleo, b. 1888; Frank James, b. 1890, d. 1958; Corinne Jeter, b. 1892, d. 1975, m. 1909 Jeptha C. Landrum; Emmett Henry, b. 1896, d. 1949; and Eula Orah, b. 1902, d. 1982, m. Charles Edward Stephens.

The last daughter to reach adulthood, Ida Lanora Jeter, was married to Charles Forrest Parker, son of Elisha and Thomas Henrietta (Searcy) Parker. They moved to Cass County, Texas, and reared the following children: Clara J., b. 1897; Cora Ina, b. 1899, d. 1940; Charles Homer, b. 1901, d. 1922; Hiram Forrest, b. 1902, d. 1995; Winnie, b. 1904, d. 1905; Vera Lenora, b. 1905; Inez, b. 1909, d. 1910; and Charlie Mae, b. 1911, d. 1997.

Although they have not been related to the above families, the following Jeter family was enumerated in Covington County in 1900: Lorenzo F., 38, and wife, Malissa M., 31, with the following children: Willie W., 12; Columbus, 10; Bessie M., 8: Virgie L., 4; and Ida, 2. The writer would appreciate learning if the two families are related.

Sources for this review include, census records, and Wyley Ward’s Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who might have any corrections to the above genealogy or additional information on Jeter families is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or email: