Thagards remembered for Thagard Drug Company

Published 12:32 am Saturday, July 13, 2013

Two weeks earlier, the Thagard Drug Company, operated by Oliver Lester Thagard, Sr. was described, and it was mentioned that the family associated with the pharmacy would be featured. Today’s writing will feature the Thagard family, which contributed significantly to the growth of Andalusia. The earliest Thagard ancestor found by this writer was George Washington Thagard, Sr. who was born in 1750 in the Country of England. He came to the American colonies circa 1766 when he was 16 years of age. He came to serve as a soldier in the American Revolutionary War for the British government. At the end of the war when his outfit was leaving to return to England, he had contracted the dreaded disease of small pox. This meat he had to be left behind, and that occurred in Wilmington, N.C. George Washington Thagard apparently adjusted to his new country, and within a few years he was married in Cumberland, N.C., to Mary Jessop (1772-1830). After a full life, George died in Bladen, N.C., at the age of 85 years. Among his and Mary’s children was a son, George Washington, Jr., who was born in 1799 in Cedar Creek, Cumberland, N.C. He was about 19 years old when he was married circa 1818 to Mary Bryan(t) (1802-1863). They soon moved south as a young couple. They were accompanied by a young slave girl who claimed the name of Mattie Thagard. It is reported that Mattie lived to be 114 and died at Dozier in Crenshaw County. George Washington Thagard III was born to George Washington Jr. and Mary (Bryan/t) in 1820. In 1843 he was married to Isabel Malissa Davis, which whom he had 11 children. When he was 44 years old, George III enlisted at Greenville to serve in the Confederate Army in Captain Jackson’s Company, 3rd Battalion, Alabama Reserves. Records show he had dark hair, a light complexion and stood five feet, 11 inches tall. As a resident of Butler County (Crenshaw after 1866), he was excused from regular military service since he was a county surveyor. In this role he probably helped determine the boundaries of the new county. About that time, which was during the trying period of “Reconstruction,” he was elected to serve as first Probate Judge of Crenshaw County. He county seat during that period was located at Rutledge and later moved to Luverne. George Washington Thagard III and Isabella Melissa (Davis) reared the following children: Narcissa Elizabeth, b. 1845, d. 1850; Mary Ellen “Mollie,” b. 1847, d. 1870; William Yancy, b. 1849, d. 1910, m. Mattie L. ?; Ratliff Key, b. 1851, d. 1907, m. Hannah Priscilla Pittman; Simeon Deming, b. 1853, d. 1855; Hazard Perry, b. 1856, d. 1896; Jane Elliot “Ella,” b. 1857, d. 1932; George Price, b. 1872, d. 1889; John Robert, b. 1865, d. 1871; Beulah Melissa, b. 1866, d. 1938; and Isaac Joseph, b. 1871. The son George Price Thagard was born in Crenshaw County in 1862 during the War Between the States. He was later married to Eldora Theodocia “Dosia” Cosby (1866-1959). They lived out their lives in Crenshaw County primarily in the Fuller’s Crossroads community. Among their children was a son whom they named Oliver Lester Thagard. Oliver Lester Thagard was born in Crenshaw County in 1885. He was first married to Delilah Thagard (b. ca 1888, d. 1910) who died at the very young age of 22 years. They had one daughter, Kathleen W. who was married in 1954. Oliver Lester was then married in 1916 to Mattie Snead (1891-1952), a native of Barbour County, Ala. When the 1900 federal census was enumerated, Oliver Lester was residing in Orion, Pike County, in the household of Daniel and Eldora T. Boutwell. Eldora is obviously his mother who had married Daniel Boutwell following George Price Thagard’s death. The Boutwell’s had the following children at the time: William C., 7; Claude, 6; Mollie C., ca 4; and Hobson D., 1. They also had Eldora’s three Thagard children: Oliver L. Jr., 14; Viola A, 12; and Joseph H., 11. By 1910, Oliver Lester Thagard, Sr. was married to Delilah and residing in Andalusia at 311 South Three Notch Street. He was 24 and she, 22, and they had two children at that time: Oliver Lester Jr., 3; and George, 1. (They had a third son, Roy, who was born at a later date.) Delilah died soon afterwards at that age. By 1940, Oliver Lester Sr. (55 years old) was married to Mattie (Snead), 49, and they had one son, Roy, living with them. Oliver Lester Sr. began his career as a pharmacist for the T.M. Campbell Drug Store, which he later purchased and named it Thagard Drug Company. He later made Aubrey Mallette a partner, and the business became the Thagard-Mallet Drug Company. It eventually became Mallete Drug Company and is still being operated as such by Bobby Scott and his daughter, Octavia “Tavia” Scott Tillman. In September 1918 at age 32, Oliver Lester Sr. registered for the military draft. His records reveal he was of medium height and build, had brown eyes and balding hair. He and his wife, Mattie (Snead), had three boys: Oliver Lester Jr., b. 1916, m. (1) Clara Mae Merrill (1917-2008) m. (2) ?; George Snead, b. 1919, d. 2004, m. Lucille “Lucy” Case; and Roy. Oliver Lester Sr. remained an active citizen of Andalusia until his death in 1972. The son, Roy, became a pediatrician and practiced for a few years in Andalusia. The son, George Snead Thagard, served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He was married to Lucile “Lucy” Case, and they had a daughter, Melissa, m. Thomas P. Anderson of Garner, N.C. Melissa and Thomas has a daughter, Donna Lee Thagard. Upon graduation from college, George Snead worked 42 years as a mechanical engineer with General Electric Company. He began work in Schenectady, N.Y. and retired with distinction in 1983 from the Atlanta office. He died at the age of 85 years in 2004 of Fuqua, Varina, N.C. The son, Oliver Lester Thagard, Jr., and wife, Clara (Merrill), daughter of Eli Reid Merrill (1879-1958) and Zoa Ann (Hogg) (1878-1920) had the following three children: Lynn, m. Dale Zorn; Oliver Lester III; and George. Lester and Clara were divorced, and he was later married in 1968 in Madison, Ala. Oliver Lester Jr. worked in the Thagard Drug Company with his father before he moved from Andalusia. Clara was a librarian in the Andalusia City Schools for many years. The family resided in a home located on Albritton Road in Andalusia. Sources for this writing included and area citizens. Anyone who might have corrections to any of the above information or additional information on the Thagard family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or Email: