Feagins were leaders in Rose Hill area development

Published 2:31 am Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Feagin family of Covington County was introduced in last week’s column, but there is much more to be said about this influential family. For instance, there was a community named Feagin, which was located about two miles from present day Mobley Creek. There were actually two post offices that bore the Feagin name. The first one was established on Feb. 26, 1886, with J.B. Ezell as the postmaster. The second one was reestablished on Dec. 22, 1899, with Frank Feagin as the postmaster.

The second Feagin Post Office was operated from Frank Feagin’s general store where many of the local residents traded. Frank has been described as “An enterprising farmer, naval stores operator, general merchant and philanthropist. On one occasion he ordered two camellia shrubs from China or Japan for his wife, and they were reported to be the first to be planted in the entire area. After his death during the early 1900s, his widow, Nannie Feagin, maintained the home and some of the other business interests. Frank and Nannie were first cousins, and they did not have any children.

The Feagin Cemetery, which appears to have been named for Samuel Feagin, was located only a few miles from Frank Feagin’s store. Today, it lies on the south side of Brooklyn Highway and a short distance from the original Brooklyn Road. It has been reclaimed and is in reasonably good condition, and it is still used occasionally for burying descendants of this family and close friends. (This cemetery is not to be confused with the Feagin Cemetery located in the Rose Hill Community.)

Another pioneer who settled in the area was George Feagin who was most likely a close relative, possibly a nephew, to Aaron Feagin who was discussed in last week’s column. He came to Conecuh County about the same time as Aaron, and he set up a general store near the fork of Bottle and Ard Creeks, a site that was about six miles north of Brooklyn. George appears to have been born in 1780 in North Carolina. He is probably the George Feagin who received in 1795 four bounty land grants of 1000 acres each in Washington County, Ga. He was considered to possess considerable wealth and to have rendered outstanding service to the State.

George Feagin was the son of Richardson Feagin, who was born in 1738 in Tyrrell County, N.C., and died in 1818 in Fayette, Moore County, N.C. His mother was Martha Dowd (1760-1808). Richardson was the son of an earlier George Feagin and wife, Elizabeth Richardson. This George was born in Virginia and died in North Carolina.

George was married to the Widow Campbell, and they reared the following five children:

Thomas T., b. 1808, d. 1856, m. Sarah Priny (1812-1856); Aaron, b. 1811, d. 1863, m. Sarah Ann Merrill; Richardson, b. 1815, d. 1851, m. Mary Ann ?; Martha, b. 1816, d. 1872, m. Archibald Turbeville (1806-1867); and Andrew Jackson, b. 1816, d. 1881, m. Winnifred “Winney” Taylor (1818-1905).

Richard Feagin is credited with having built the oldest and longest-standing house in the Rose Hill community. He arrived in the area during the 1820s and constructed the house out of logs circa 1830. Several different families resided in the house through the years. One of note was Mrs. Mollie Colvin who resided in it in 1850. It was renovated in later years for another family, but it has long been remembered as the Colvin House.

The oldest son, Thomas T. Feagin, was born in Jones County, Ga., and was married to Sarah Priny. He died in 1856 in Covington County and left Sarah a fairly young widow with a large family of children. They had the following 11 born to them: Sarahan, b. 1835; Martha, b. 1837; Emily, b. 1839, d. 1870; Aaron, b. 1841, d. 1899; George “The Younger,” b. 1845; Luannah, b. 1846; Mary Ann, b. 1847, d. 1877; Susannah, b. 1847; Margarett, b. 1849; Samuel, b. 1851; and W.E., b. 1856.

The second son, Aaron Feagin, was married in 1838 to Sarah Ann Merrill, daughter of William Merrill. They had the following children while residing in Covington County: Susanna Matilda, b. 1841; William George, b. 1846; Mary E., b. 1850; Aaron Pierce, b. 1853; James C., b. 1855; and Martha F., b. 1857. Aaron operated a general store in the northern section of the county, Beat Five, where an election was held on March 1, 1851. During 1857, Aaron moved his family along with his brother, Andrew J. Feagin, and family to Polk County, Tex., where they became founding settlers. Aaron and Sarah Ann then had three more children: Uriah Gonzales, b. 1859; Sara Elizabeth, b. 1862; and Henry Jackson, b. 1862. While serving in the Confederate Army, Aaron became ill with fever and died in 1867. His youngest daughter died soon afterwards of the same. They were buried in the Feagin Cemetery there in Polk County.

The third son, Richardson Feagin, was married to Mary Ann, and they resided in Covington County at least until his death in 1851. He represented the Goodhope Primitive Baptist Church at the Conecuh River Association meetings. The family was enumerated in the 1850 Census as follows. Richardson, 36; Mary Ann, 30; Margarett, 12; Andrew, 11; Emily, 9; Prudence; 7; George, 5; Thomas, 3; and Martha, 1.

The only daughter, Martha, was married in Mississippi in 1836 to Archibald Turbeville who was a Methodist minister. They apparently followed her brothers to Texas as she died there in Shelby County in 1872. They reared the following children: Emily B., b. 1837, d. 1880; Sarah Ann, b. 1839, d. 1905; Marie Nancy, b. 1941, d. 1870; Martha Caroline, b. 1844, d. 1850; Mary Mollie, b. 1846, d. 1886; Talatha Teedie, b. 1848, d. 1910; Tempie Holly, b. 1851, d. 1941; Frances, b. 1854, d. 1930; James Monroe, b. 1855, d. 1928; and Alla Faye, b. 1856.

The youngest son, Andrew Jackson Feagin, was married to Winnifred “Winney” Taylor, daughter of Windal William and Rebecca Frances (Arnett) Taylor, of the Rose Hill Community. On Dec. 26, 1855, Andrew J. was appointed the first postmaster of the new Rose Hill Post Office, a post he held for about a year and a half. He also rendered service in the Confederate Army as a private in the 36th Alabama Infantry Regiment. It appears this couple did not have any children. They were both buried in the Feagin Cemetery in Rose Hill, which was probably named for Andrew.

Andrew J. Feagin and Thomas T. Feagin maintained accounts at the James B. Parker general store in Cauleyville during the 1830s through the 1850s, or until they moved to Texas. Cauleyville was a small community located along the historic Three Notch Trail, which became known as the Rose Hill-Burnout Road. The store was located near the site of the current Bill Butler place and was frequented by most of the early settlers in the area. On Dec. 5, 1839, the Cauleyville Post Office was established in Parker’s store, and he became the first Post Master. Members of the Feagin family became prominent in the growth of this area of the county.

There is much more genealogy available on this memorable Feagin family, but this review is concluded with today’s column.

The sources for this writing include the following: Family records; Ancestry.com: Gus and Ruby Bryan’s Covington County History, 1821-1976; and Wyley D. 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 the above or additional information on the Feagin family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.