Sasser descendants were numerous in Covington and Crenshaw

Published 12:56 am Saturday, June 24, 2017

Today’s column will be a continuation of the story of Henry Harrison Sasser’s descendants. His first two children were covered last week, so the remaining ones will now be presented in this writing.

There are no known children for the oldest son, Jesse Richard Sasser. He is believed to have been married to Dought Andrews/Anders. It is thought that he was buried with a family member, possibly a son, in the Sasser Family Graveyard or “Hilltop Cemetery” as it has been called. Since it is very overgrown currently, the only evidence of there being a graveyard is the two headstones that have been found, which are lying on the ground. One is for Jesse Richard Sasser, and the dates engraved are 1856-1908. This small site is located a few hundred yards east of Ala. Hwy. 43 near the Old Union Church and Cemetery. No other records have been found for Jesse Richard Sasser as an adult.

The fourth son, John M. Sasser, was married to Amanda A. Jones. They were the parents of the following eight children: Bulah B., b. 1888, d. 1892; Lilly Atris “Autie,” b. 1891, d. 1954, m. 1908 Walter Allen Morgan (1886-1969); Lillie O., b. 1897, d. 1914, m. 1913 Lewis Kennedy; Iowa W., b. 1898, d. 1947, m. 1916 Bessie Veasey; Carley, b. 1899, d. 1937, m. Burie Ellis Graham (1898-1967); Walter A., b. 1882, d. 1900, single; Mae K., b. 1902, d. 1923, single; and Ray Q., b. 1906, d. 1938. The family appears to have resided in the southern part of Crenshaw County.

John M.’s oldest daughter to reach adulthood, Lilly Atris Sasser, was married to Walter Allen Morgan, son of Elijah Harper Morgan and Laura McDaniel. They lived in the Bullock community and Brantley area of Crenshaw County. They were buried in the Brantley Town Cemetery. They were the parents of eight children: Shuna M., b. 1909, d. 1960, single; Minnie May, b. 1913, d. 2006, m. Zollie Taylor; Stafford R., b. 1916, d. 2003; Bennie Merle, b. 1918, d. 2016, m. William Mixon Rayborn; Dennis M., b. ca 1919; Frances, b. ca 1921; and Mary H., b. ca 1926.

John M.’s next son, Iowa W. Sasser, was married in 1916 in Covington County to Bessie Veasey. He was at one time farming with his father and brother, Roy Sasser. He was buried in the Weed Baptist Church Cemetery. He and Bessie had two children: W.O., b. ca 1920, m. Voncille Bryan; and Teletha.

John M.’s daughter, Carley Sasser, was married in 1923 to Burie Willis Graham, son of James P. and Effie Graham. Although reared in Crenshaw, Burie W. was working in a sawmill in Bibb County, Ga., when he registered for the World War I draft. After serving in the military, he returned home and married. He and Carley had two children: Lamar, b. ca 1924; and Catherine, b. ca 1927. Carley died in 1937 and was buried in the Weed Baptist Church Cemetery.

John M.’s son, James Thomas “Tom” Sasser, was married in 1888 in Crenshaw County to Mary Ella “Aunt Nen” Bailey. In 1900, they were residing in the Host/Bullock community of Crenshaw County, and his widowed mother, Sarillah Sasser, was living with him. They were the parents of 11 children: Ludie Lee, b. 1890, d. 1977, m. John W. Kilcrease; Hollie J., b. 1892, d. 1938, m. (1) Nettie Pearl Morgan, daughter of Elijah Harper Morgan and Laura McDaniel (1895-1915) (2) 1916 Carrie Veasey (1890-1972); J.D., b. 1894, d. 1901; P.V., b. 1894, d. 1902; Dempsey Howe, b. 1897, d. 1953, m. 1922 Grace Williams; Lokie Cornelia, b. 1901, d. 1967, m. (1) Preston Sylvania Thomasson (2) ca 1945 Archie Faircloth; Lake “Shaver,” b. 1903, d. 1982, m. Annie Merle Fuller; Chapel, b. 1904 or 1906, d. 1994, m. 1933 Annie Bell Caples; and Lottie, b. 1909, d. 1979, m. (1) Jim Messick (2) Felix Johnson (3) C. Carnley.

John M.’s son, Jack or John H. Sasser, was married circa 1893 in Crenshaw County to Laura Ann Burk, daughter of Thomas N. Burk and Emily Ann Linton. There is some confusion on this son as some researchers claim he was first married to Malissa Nelson, daughter of Elizabeth (Smith) Carpenter and Ancil Nelson Jr. Some also believe he was the son of Harmon Sasser, brother of Henry Harrison Sasser. He worked in the timber industry and farmed. Although, his identify is still unsolved, he and Laura Ann had the following children who, with the exception of the first one, were all born in Lakewood, Fla.: Margaret “Maggie,” b. 1894, m. ca 1919 Jesse Teal; Thomas, b. 1898; Burlie, b. ca 1902; Jesse Arthur, b. ca 1906, m. Lena Albritton; Golden, b. ca 1907; John Bursie, b. 1912, d. 1956, m. Clessie Rayburn; and Teresa “Tessie,” b. ca 1913.

John M.’s son, Henry Harrison Sasser Jr., was married circa 1881 to Rhoda “Rody” Anders/Andrews. At one time, he was working as a section man on a railroad. He and his children were residing in the household of a daughter and son-in-law. After 1910, he returned to Crenshaw County and was farming on Hickory Nut Ridge. Tragically, he was murdered while working in his field. He was the father of the following children: General Lee, b. 1883, d. 1963, m. Ola B. Kidd; Jesse Burie, b. 1888, d. 1965, m. 1911 Velma Clifton Kidd; Hezel Kie, b. 1896 d. 1968, m. Lula Bell Hendricks; Nepsey Serilla, b. ca 1890, m. William Livings; Melvin Lake, b. 1891, d. 1935, m. 1925 Ella Hendricks; Vernice or Bernice, b.1904, d. 1966, m. William Dalton Nowling; Ella Iola, b. 1906, d. 1979, m. (1) Frank Jones (2) Payton Smith Talley; and Infant Sasser.

John M.’s son, J.L. Sasser, was married to Malissa E. Nelson, daughter of Ancil Nelson and Elizabeth Smith Carpenter; therefore, they would have been first cousins. It appears they parted company fairly early in the marriage, probably around 1900. In the 1910 federal census, Malissa is listed as widowed and has her children and her mother in her household. One family story is that J.L. left the family and married again along with having another set of children. No researchers have been able to resolve this mystery as of this date. The children attributed to J.L. and Malissa Sasser are: Gus, b. 1894, d. 1928, m. Flora Turman; Eliza Lavada, b. 1898, d. 1987, m. Henry Dewey Bush; Thomas Elton, b. 1900, d. 1981, m. Easter Esther Bedsole; and Horace Elma, b. 1908, d. 1978, m. Pearlie Bedsole. Some question whether Horace is J.L. Sasser’s son.

The primary source for this story once again was the family records of Scott Smith, who has done extensive research on his Smith genealogy. His collection includes the Sasser data due to Henry Harrison Sasser marrying Sarillah Teresa Smith. Appreciation is expressed to him for sharing his files for this column.

Anyone who might find an error in the above or who has additional information on any of the Sasser lines in Covington and Crenshaw Counties is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:




The Covington Historical Society will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. The program will be the history of the local Catholic Church. Guests and prospective members are cordially invited.