Bozeman family influential in community

Published 12:52 am Saturday, August 30, 2014

Today’s column will be a look at some of the later generations of the Bozeman family reviewed in last week’s column. It shows many of the well-known area citizens and the various families into which they were married.

Previously many of the descendants of Philemon and Susannah Bozeman were outlined. Philemon was the ancestor in this lineage who brought the family to South Alabama. His children and those of his brother, John Lewis Jr., who also moved his family here, were identified. Then some of the descendants in particular of Philemon’s son, Lewis, and wife, Dempsey Rodgers, were followed.

The children of Lewis’s oldest son, James Harmon Bozeman, and his second wife, Adeline Elizabeth Cauley, were listed in last week’s writing, so many of their grandchildren will be presented today.

James Harmon’s oldest daughter, Martha “Mattie” Caroline (1852-1928), was married to William Alexander Campbell (1850-1929). They reared the following children: Infant, b.&d. 1873; Jenkins W., b. 1875, d. 1930s; James Rorah, b. 1876, d. 1930s; Josephine Olivia, b. 1879, d. ca 1960, m. Benjamin Mather Hall; Libbie, m. Ben M. Hall; Effie Leita, b. 1882, d. 1955, m. Virgil Lofton Smyly; Mattie Inez, b. 1883, d. 1885; Lessie Wee, b. 1886, d. 1960, m. Bob Clarke; John Grider, b. 1889, d. 1927, m. Ethel ?; Bessie Lee, b. 1890, d. after 1960, m. (1) J.H. Register (2) Burie B. Merrill; Daniel Finley, b.&d. 1893; and Agnes Bozeman, b. 1894, m. Jessie Lee Blair.

James Harmon Bozeman’s oldest son, James Daniel “Jim” Bozeman, was married to Mary Ann Elizabeth “Betty” Wells (1861-1917), daughter of Levi Tyler and Elizabeth Arrie “Lizzie” (Lowman) Wells. They reared the following children: Wesley Oresta, b. 1879, d. 1969, m. Arrie Rebekah Clark (1885-1971); Frederick Alphonso, b. 1880, d. 1952, m. Lizzie Aplin; Ella Gula, b. 1882, d. 1884; Una Vay, b. 1885, d. 1964, m. Benjamin H. Weant; Annie Clyde, b. 1888, d. 1962, m. William N. Rushton; Jessie Irene, b. 1891, d. 1974, m. Morrell Simeon Dozier; Robert Gaston, b. 1896, d. 1974, m. Susan Horn Dickey; and Willma M. b. 1901, m. Julian Cross.

James Harmon Bozeman’s second son, Thomas Compton Bozeman, became a medical doctor and served his community of Gantt. He was married to Hattie Cole, and they reared the following children: Cleo, m. J.L. Gunter; Herbert, m. Estie ?; Lillie Mae, m. Brooks Broom; and Lamont, m. Ida Mae Brogden.

Thomas Harmon’s next daughter, Anna J. “Annie” Bozeman, was married to Joseph Jones Moore. They reared the following 10 children: Nina, m. Ebb Greer; Pearl Bethea, m. (1) Michael Emanuel Wells (1870-1909) (2) ? Clark; Maude, m. ? Walters; G.C., m. Ella Mae ?; Comer, m. Willie Holland; Irby J., m. Lovie Clark; Norrie, m. Eugene Merrill; Dempsey, m. Fannie Bozeman; Robert, m. Velma Hicks; and Tolbert, m. Evelyn ?.

Thomas Harmon’s next son, William Simpson “Willie” Bozeman, and his wife, Sallie, had the following eight children: Ruby Estelle, , b. ca 1896, m. Roston Pollard Lowman; Hubert, b. ca 1899, m. Alberta ?; Benson, b. ca 1901, m. Nina Merle ?; Evelyn, b. ca 1914; Joe Harmon, b. ca 1920; Howard, b. ca 1923; Sarah, b. ca 1925; and Jeannie, b. ca 1930.

Thomas Harmon’s next daughter, Melissa Evaline (or Evastine) Bozeman, was married to Andrew Sidney Rawls (1867-1938), son of Russell Jefferson and Frances (Dunn) Rawls. Russell Jefferson was the ancestor who brought the Rawls family to Covington County. He was successful in timber harvesting and also in farming. His son, Andrew Sidney Rawls followed in his father’s footsteps and worked in timber and then became a very successful farmer as well. He accumulated as much as 1000 acres before the depression. He was a strong leader in the Rawls community and was instrumental in the establishing of Rawls School. He was a strong advocate for education.

Andrew Sidney and Melissa Evastine (Bozeman) Rawls reared the following seven children: Eula, m. Teg Robbins; Clyde, m. Baylor Goodwin; Houston, m. Claire Stephens; Annie; Rawden, m. Lillie Mae Jordan; Gretchen, m. Robert Morgan; and Emmett, m. Mary White.

James Harmon’s sister, Mahala Bozeman, was married to Seth Sims. They had two sons, Yancey and Daniel.

James Harmon’s grandson, Wesley Oresta Bozeman, was born near Searight in 1879 as the oldest son of James Daniel and Mary Elizabeth (Wells) Bozeman. After being graduated from Dozier High School, Oresta completed higher education at Highland Home College, University of Alabama and Troy University. He returned home to teach at his alma mater, Dozier High School. In 1909 he became Superintendent of Education for Covington County, an office he held for four years. He then partnered with J. Frank Davis to purchase and operate the local Royal Crown Bottling Company in Andalusia.

Oresta was married to Arrie Rebekah Clark (1885-1971), a former student of his. They reared the following six children: Jacquelyn Louise, b. 1909, d. 1995, m. Robert Winter Barrow Sr. (1908-1944); Mary Elizabeth, b. 1911, d. 2005, m. Archie Edward Everage (1912-1998); Wesley Oresta Jr., b. 1915, d. 2001, m. Willie Mae Davis (1917-2002); James David Sr., b. 1917, m. Mary Frances Russell; Earl Lomax “Max,” b. 1920, d. 1990, m. Betty Carolyn Brown (1922-2000); and Edward Clarke, b. 1922, m. Martha Whaley Wood.

One of James Harmon’s granddaughters, Pearl Bethea Moore, daughter of Anna J. “Annie” (Bozeman) and Joseph Jones Moore, was married to Michael Emanuel Wells. They reared the following children: Rodney Barnard, 1899; Marie, b. 1900, d. 1980, m. William Aubrey Mallette; Robert Darrell, b. 1902, d. 1910; Grover Ashton, b. 1905, d. 1976, m. Orene Connell; and Joseph Michael, b. 1909, d. 964, m. Victoria ?.

Another of James Harmon’s granddaughters, sister of Pearl Bethea, was Norrie Moore who married Eugene Merrill. They reared the following children: Lorene, Katherine, Mildred, Byron, Helen Ruth, and Conrad.

There are many more descendants of this Bozeman family who continue to reside in the area. Various family members have thoroughly researched this family, so there is much genealogical data available. Appreciation is expressed to one of these descendants, Benny Bozeman Barrow of Andalusia for sharing his family records.

Anyone who might find an error in the above information is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, Ala.; 334-804-1442; or Email:




The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, September 4, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Anyone interested in Confederate heritage is invited to attend. Any man or boy, age 12 and above, who had an ancestor who served in the Confederate States of American is eligible to become a member. Assistance is offered to anyone seeking membership.