Tom Sasser descendants lived in Covington and Crenshaw

Published 2:01 am Saturday, July 1, 2017


















Today’s story will be a continuation of the coverage of the Henry Harrison Sasser family. His third son, James Thomas “Tom” Sasser, and family were briefly introduced in last week’s column. By error, he was identified as a son of John M. Sasser, who was actually his older brother instead of his father. Also, his next three brothers, Jack or John H., Henry Harrison Jr. and J.I. Sasser, were incorrectly listed in the same manner as sons of John M. Sasser. Today, there will be a more thorough coverage of the son, James Thomas Sasser, and his many descendants.

James Thomas “Tom” Sasser was born in 1859, only a couple of years before the War for Southern Independence, to Henry Harrison Sasser and Sarillah Teresa Smith. Tom was born in Covington County, and lived out his life in the northeast section and in the southwest area of Crenshaw in the Host/Bullock communities. In 1888, he was married at home by Bill Sutley to Mary Ella Robbins/Bailey. According to the records of South Alabama Roots and Branches and New England’s Founders, Mary Ella was born out of wedlock. records identify her as the daughter of Joseph Conythan Bailey and Sallie Adams, but this is not documented. She was born in 1871 and died in 1960. Mary Ella became known affectionately as “Nen” or “Aunt Nen.” They were both buried in the Weed Baptist Church Cemetery.

In 1900, James Thomas “Tom” and Nen Sasser were residing in the Host/Bullock community of Crenshaw County, and his widowed mother, Sarillah Smith Sasser, was living with them along with their first four young children. They eventually became 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 (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 Chapman, b. 1904 or 1906, d. 1994, m. 1933 Annie Bell Caples; Lottie, b. 1909, d. 1979, m. (1) Jim Messick (2) Felix Johnson (3) C. Carnley; Infant Sasser, b.&d. 1908; and Lonie/Lonnie B., b. 1912, d. 2001, m. (1) 1928 Luther Harold Messick (1910-1940) (2) 1947 Jim Lanier (1919-1989).

The oldest daughter, Ludie Lee or Lou Sasser, was married to John W. Kilcrease (1885-1970). They lived in the Bullock Community of Crenshaw County where John farmed on the land he owned. They later resided in the Pine Level Community of Coffee County. At their deaths, they were buried there in the Pine Level Cemetery.

John and Ludie Kilcrease reared the following children: Lillie M., b. 1910, m. ? Boothe; Ollie or Ola Joe, b. 1912, d. 1985, probably single; Evie Lee, b. 1914, d. 2006, m. Jackson S. Smith (1904-1959); Lora/Laura K., b. 1917, d. 1991, m. ? Broadus; Willie Pearl, b. 1920, d. 2007, single; John G., b. 1923, d. 1968, probably single; Ivan Archie, b. 1925, d. 2001, m. Floye E. ? (1927-1965); Ruth, b. 1928, d. 1910, m. 1947 W.P. Senn (1924-1986); and Holland M., b. 1932, d. 2010, m. ?.

The oldest son, Hollie J. Sasser, was married in Crenshaw County in 1910 to Nettie Pearl Morgan (1895-1915), daughter of Elijah Harper Morgan and Laura McDaniel. After Nettie’s death, he married Carrie Veasey in 1916. Sadly, Hollie was murdered by his brother-in-law, Barney Veasey. It has been reported that they had an altercation over the illicit production and distribution of liquor. Their community was known for “moon-shining,” so a number of residents were engaged in such activity. Hollie was buried in the Weed Baptist Church Cemetery, and his grave has a large impressive monument. He did not have any surviving children by either wife.

Tom Sasser’s sons, J.D. and P.V. Sasser, died young. The next son, Dempsey Howe Sasser, was married in 1922 to Grace Williams (1909-1973). In 1930, they were residing at Bullock/Host, Crenshaw County, where Dempsey was farming. Sometime after 1935, during the height of the Depression, the family “pulled up stakes” and moved to California where they settled at Redlands, San Bernardine County. He rented land and farmed for a time before he found jobs in industry. As they came of age, his sons worked in sales and skilled trades, so the family fared well in their new home.

Dempsey and Grace Sasser reared the following children: James A., b. 1924, d. 1972; Ivery Fred “Ivey,” b. 1925, d. 1975; Aubrey Lawrence, b. 1927, d. 1980, m. 1945 Etta Jo Stroud (1928-1992); and Mary E., b. ca 1929.

The next daughter, Lokie Cornelia Sasser, was married first in 1920 in Crenshaw County to Preston “Pres” Sylvania Thomasson, son of Jefferson Sylvanus Thomasson and Rebekah “Becky” Butler. Sadly, their marriage began with the loss of their first two children. Sometime in their marriage problems arose, which they were unable to resolve. After their separation, Lokie moved back to Burnout with her children and worked on her brother’s farm. In 1945, Lokie was married to Archie Faircloth, and they made their home in Panama City, Fla. Pres is buried in the Veasey Chapel Cemetery, and Lokie, in the Weed Cemetery.

Lokie and her first husband, Pres Thomasson, had the following seven children: Female infant, b.&d. 1921; James Jefferson, b.&d. 1922; Gracie D., b. 1924, d. 2012, m. 1941 Holland Lee Davis (ca 1919-1989); Maudie Ina, b. 1926, d. 1957, m. (1) 1944 George Barney Chambley (2) 1955 J.W. VanArsdall; David Bernard, b. 1929, d. 1988, m. 1955 Mrs. Aubrey Jean (Terry) Johnson; Daniel Tyler, b. 1931, m. Doris Gertrude Seifert in German; and Male Infant, b.&d. 1933.

The next son, Lake or Shaver Sasser, was married to Annie Merle Fuller (1908-1955). They appear to have made their home in Andalusia and had the following children: Minnie Rae, b. 1924, d. 1995, m. Alfred Clifton Dillard (1923-2005); some records show an Infant, b.&d. 1924; Lake Jr., b. ca 1926, m. Sue Roscoe; Jeanette, m. ? Hicks; and Virgil Samuel, b. 1928, d. 1955, probably single.

The next son, Chapel Chapman Sasser, was married in Crenshaw County in 1933 to Annie Bell Caples (1916-1993), daughter of Mack Alvin Caples and Arvie L. Duncan. They made their home in Dozier where they reared the following 13 children: Mary Sue, b. 1934, d. 2017, m. Preston Southhard Jr.; Mack/Max Wyndall/Windol, b. 1935, m. Betty Sue Williamson 1943-1993; Pierce Lawrence Darnace, b. 1940, d. 1997, m. Ann Kilcrease; John Wilson, b. 1943, d. 1988, m. Helen Sue Hudson; Sara Alice, b. 1936, d. 2008, m. Harvey McChargue; Ruby Pearl, b. 1939,m. Ezell Mansfield; Audrey Lou, b. 1946, m. (1) Russell Gulley (2) Buddy MacDonald (3) Wendell W. Flowers; H.J., b. 1947; Henry Earl, b. 1950, m. 1973 Myrinez Walker; Winston and Stinston, twins, b. 1954; Joyce; and Floyce.

The next daughter, Lonie/Lonnie Bush Sasser, was first married in 1928 to Luther Harold Messick who met with untimely death at 35 years of age. He was found dead in the ruins of his burned house. His wife and children had spent the night at Harold’s parents. They had the following four children: Luther Hillary, b. 1933, d. 2010, m. Jo Ann Adcock; Edna, b. 1934, m. (1) Hillary Dean (2) Virgil Boutwell; Bobbie Nell, b. 1934, d. 1993, m. (1) Warnell Nelson (2) 1953 David Clinton Armstrong; and Cassie Murl, m. ?. In 1947, Lonie was married second to Jim Lanier (1919-1989), son of Harvey Mitchell Harper “Hopkin” Lanier and Martha Ellen Cornell. Lonie and Jim may have had a son named Jimmy Lanier.

Of course, there are many descendants in the succeeding generations. Appreciation is expressed to those who have research this family.

The sources for this family story were the personal records of Gracie D. (Thomasson) Davis, Myrinez Sasser, and Dr. Scott Smith, all who did research on this Sasser line.

Anyone who may discover an error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs., July 6, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Compatriot Hank Roberts will be presenting the program. Guests and prospective members are most welcome.