Hagler descendants settled throughout Southeast Alabama

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

Today’s column will continue coverage of the Hagler family, which lived primarily in Barbour, Covington and Dale Counties. Last week’s narrative ended with a presentation of the children of J. Peter Hagler, the ancestor who led the migration of his family and other family friends to Southeast Alabama circa 1836.

J. Peter’s oldest son, John Hagler (1797-1885), and his first wife, Barbera Qaisberry (1802-1861), began their married life in Mecklenburg County, N.C., where their first three children were born. After settling in Barbour County, Ala., John became a large landowner and operated a house mill. They reared the following children: Milton, b. 1821; Jackson, b. 1823, d. 1884, m. 1844 Melinda Helms; Phereby, b. 1825, d. 1849, m. Hiram Helms; Patterson, b. ca 1829, d. 1917, m. Nancy Thomas (ca 1827-1915); Elizabeth, b. 1830, d. 1911, m. (1)? Shepard (2) ? Phillips; Leonard, b. ca 1835, m. Mary Bush; Mary Ann “Anna,” b. 1839, d. ca 1865, m. (1) 1858 Abram Thomas (2) Denmon Helms; Martha, b. 1849, m. Moses Thomas; and Adam J., b. 1852. Most of the Hagler family members in Covington County are descendants of John Hagler.

John was known for owning lots of land. He is remembered for his saying, “I don’t want to own all the land in the world; just that which borders mine.”  He is remembered for operating the large mill, which farmers used for grinding many loads of wheat. His descendants recalled the tales of the trips by wagon and mules to Eufaula for purchasing barrels of salt, a valuable commodity in that day.

After Barbera died in 1861, John Hagler was married to a younger lady, Delphia Barefield. They had one child together, M. Kessiah “Kissy,” b. 1865, who married James “Jim” Childree. This couple had seven children: Frank, Howard, Gypsy, Annabell, Dewey, Hettie and Dolly.

The son, Jackson Hagler, was married to Melinda Helms (1824-1885), daughter of John W. and Rebecca (Ross) Helms. The Hagler and Helms families resided near each other in the general area of Union County, N.C. Some of them began to migrate to Southeast Alabama during the 1830s. Jackson chose and owned about a section of land in Northern Dale County, near Roberts Crossroads. He and his family lived about one mile southwest of his father’s home near Roberts Cross Roads. At his and Melinda’s deaths, they were buried in the Beersheba Cemetery, located near Morgan Church.

Jackson and Melinda Hagler reared the following children: John J., single; Mary J., m. Joshaway Anderson; James Henry, m. (1) Susanna Herring (2) Mrs. Gussie Smith; William T. “Bill,” m. Alvertina Lee Joarler Snell; Martha A.E., m. Joseph “Sonny” Payne; Sarah A., m. A.J. Roberson; Ellen; Aaron A., m. Molly Payne; and Susanna, m. Joseph Payne Shirah.

Jackson’s son, James Henry Hagler, was married first to Susanna Herring, daughter of Stephen and Mary Herring. They had the following children: James Thomas, b. 1868; Wilburn J., b. 1871; George Porter, b. 1872, d. 1916, m. 1901 Annie Elizabeth Sessions; John W., b. 1873; Levi D., b. 1874; Lavonia, b. 1877; Joseph N., b. 1881; Andrew Jackson, b. 1883; Lynn L., b. 1885; Coleman, b. 1889; and twin, Cora, b. 1889. James Henry’s obituary stated he left 75 grandchildren and 121 great grandchildren.

The third son, George Porter Hagler, was married to Annie Elizabeth Sessions, daughter of George W. and Martha Ann Elizabeth (Mathis) Sessions. They had the following children: Infant, b. 1902; Ervin Emmett, b. 1903, m. (1) Veva Webster Reeder (2) Carrie V. Roberts; Infant, b. 1904; Dale, b. 1906, and twin, Otis Pickney, b. 1906; Espy, b. 1908; Henry Vester, b. 1909; Infant, b. 1921.

George Porter’s oldest son, Ervin Emmett Hagler, worked mostly as a sharecropper or laborer. He and his first wife, Veva, had the following children: Arthur Porter, b. 1926, m. Grace Faulk; Edna Gennette, b. 1928; Veva Luvenia, b. 1930; James Emmett, b. 1932; and Marion Comer, b. 1935. Veva died in 1936, and Ervin was soon remarried to Carrie V. Roberts, daughter of Milton Edward and Christine (Kelley) Roberts. They then had the following children: Lawrence Curtis, b. 1938; Annie Elizabeth, b. 1939; Collie Webster, b. 1941; Fred Lee, b. 1942; Ruby Louise, b. 1944; Gloria Christine, b. 1945; Ervin Douglas, b. 1947; Infant daughter, b. 1949; and George Roberts, b. 1950.

Jackson’s son, William T. “Bill” Hagler, and wife, Alvertina, moved from Dale County to reside in the Union Church community just north of Slocomb in Geneva County. This couple gave land for the Union Baptist Church and the Union School. They actually lived next door to the church building and reared their children there. At their deaths, they were both buried in the adjacent cemetery.

Bill and Alvertina reared the following 11 children: James Irving, m. Mary Elizabeth Harris, daughter of James W. and Mary Jane (Dowling) Harris; Emma, m. Joe Simmons; Mary Francis, m. Henry Nichols; Mittie, m. Dan Y. Dowling; Annie Lee “Dolly,” m. Joe White; Alice Ellener, m. Edd Sorrels; Lummie, m. Rufus Clark; Mary Anna, m. Ausia Woodham; Pearl, m. John Martin; Thomas Glenn, m. (1) ? Myers (2) ? Nichols; and Lena, m. H. Smitson Pippin.

Bill’s oldest son, James Irving Hagler, and wife, Mary Elizabeth Harris, daughter of James W. and Mary Jane (Dowling) Harris, reared the following children: Adolph; James Alphus, m. Era Dell Hayes; Blanche, m. Joseph Lee Smith; Edna, m. James D. Palmer; Lumon; Cary; Ethlyn, m. Carl Stoup; Mildred, m. Abbie Pitt Dean; and William Wesley, m. Verna Raines.

James Irving Hagler’s son, James Alphus Hagler, and his wife, Era Dell Hayes, reared the following children: Sarah Jacqueline, m. Max Allen Kelly; James Harold, m. Anna Jean Myers; Gwendolyn Grace, m. Clarence Fenton Seeliger; and Tommie Joe, m. Shannon Hawthorne.

John Hagler’s oldest daughter, Phereby/Feriby Hagler, was married to Hiram Helms, a brother to Melinda Helms, daughter of John W. Helms III and Holley Chane/Chaney. Phereby died in 1849 after their following four children were born: Melton/Milton Augustus, b. 1843, d. 1926, m. Nancy Jane Brooks; Sarah A.E., b. 1845, d. 1881 m. 1880 Joseph W. Holloway; Martha M., b. 1846; and Telitha Jane, b. 1849, d. 1918, m. 1865 Rev. James Washington Brooks

After Phereby’s death, Hiram and his children lived with his parents. He was remarried in 1852 in Barbour County to Charity Thomas, daughter of John and Anna Thomas. They had the following two children; Lucy Ellen, b. 1853, m. John Columbus Joiner; and Mary Amanda “Lovina,” b. ca 1855, m. Hiram Bradley. Hiram Helms was then married the third time to Mrs. Mary Ann (King) Holloway (1830-1915), daughter of Thomas M. and Mary King. They had the following five children: Rebecca D., b. 1857; John W. “Coleman,” b. 1859, d. 1927, m. Louisiana Ressie Patrick; William, b. 1861; Zilphia C., b. 1862, m. Joseph W. Holloway, widower of her older sister, Sarah A.E. Hagler; and Julia, b. ca 1863, d. 1949, m. Jefferson Davis Bryan Sr. Mary Ann Helms was left a widow in 1864 when Hiram was killed during the War for Southern Independence. Mary Ann also had a son, Vinson Holloway, b. 1853, by her first husband.
Hiram Helms and his son, Melton Helms, enlisted for Confederate service at Elba, Ala., and served in Company A, 33rd Alabama Infantry Regiment. Their company was known as the “Coffee County Blues.”
John Hagler’s son, Patterson Hagler, built a cabin just south of the Barbour/Dale County line. He and his wife, Nancy Thomas, reared five children: Frances; Lydia Melissa; Milton Buchanan “Buck,” b. ca 1858; Nancy Catherine; and E.J., b. 1860.
There is much more genealogy on this family that has been compiled. Much of it is presented in the The Heritage of Dale County, Alabama, which was the primary source for this writing. Several family stories in this publication cite a book, Trail of Haglers, 2nd Edition, by Travis Jackson Hagler.
Anyone who might find an error in the above records is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.