Mancill wrote his memoirs during his 80s

Published 2:29 am Saturday, November 25, 2017

Today’s story will be a review of one of the descendants of the Mancill family featured in the last two columns. Fortunately, he wrote his autobiography during his later years entitled Memoirs of Elliott Devocious Mancill. Edward Green Mancill Sr. was his great, great grandfather.

Elliott D. Mancill was the son of son of Edmond “Ed” Mancill (1854-1941) and Rosetta Elvira Dillard (1849-1957). His father was born in Red Level, and his mother was born in Eufaula. Rosetta was the daughter of Movada Meredith Dillard (1824-1850) and Mahalia Welch (b. 1831).

Edmond “Ed” Mancill was born in 1889 in Red Level or possibly Herbert, Ala. He was the son of John Jackson Mancill (1823-1859) and Annie Lyles/Liles (1826-1899). John Jackson Mancill was the son of Edward Green Mancill Jr. and     John Jackson Mancill is the one whose family established the Mancill Cemetery II near Red Level.

Edmond was a farmer on which he reared his large family, and he was well respected in his community of Herbert in Conecuh County. Although he had little formal education, he taught himself regularly and was an informed individual. He was a deacon in the Sepulga Baptist Church where he served faithfully for a number of years. He was a Godly man and taught his children Biblical ways. Even when books may have been rare, he purchased a set of Bible story books with pictures to help educate them in Biblical principles.

On a specific occasion, his daughter, Minnie Lee (Mancill) Shaver, approached him with the news that she had attended a church service where the visiting preacher was of the “Restoration Movement.” She pleaded with her daddy to study the Bible with her to verify what she had learned. After careful study, they agreed that the teaching of restoring the New Testament church was according to the scriptures. Upon understand this teaching, he was baptized for the remission of his sins and was added to the Lord’s church. His family all followed him in this teaching and became members of the local non-denominational church, commonly known as the church of Christ.

Edmond “Ed” and Rosetta Elvira Mancill were the parents of the following children: Annie Lee, b. 1876, d. 1968, m. John Parker (1872-1968); Minnie Lee, b. 1877, d. 1973, m. William Roland “Bill” Shaver; John Elliott, b. 1878, d. 1971; Alcus or Alan Gillis, b. 1881, d. 1979, m. Dixie or Mary ?; Florence, b. 1882, d. 1944, m. Henry Deer; Herbert, b. 1883, d. 1887; Honie Ernest, b. 1884, d. 1939, m. Willie E. ?; Donie, b. 1885, d. 1886; Essie Mae, b. 1887, d. 1973, m. William E. Thomas; and Elliott Devocious, b. 1889, d. 1988, m. Cora Lee Wilson (1893-1971).

The youngest son, Elliott Devocious Mancill, is the subject being featured in this narrative. The reason for this is that Elliott wrote during his later years his memoirs presenting in-depth descriptions of his life. He was born in 1889 when his family resided in the Herbert community of Conecuh County. He grew up as the tenth and youngest child in the family. He wrote that he had a “rich Christian rearing with parents being right examples.”

Since his father was a farmer, Elliott learned to perform the usual chores required for operating the farm. He became skilled at hoeing cotton and peanuts along with helping gather the crops such as picking cotton, well over 200 pounds per day. He relied on this experience at times during his young adulthood.

Elliott attending the nearby public schools and gained as much formal education as possible. He completed all the grade levels available and was able to attend some high school instruction. When there was no more available, he took a job in 1908 which was running Mr. Hudson’s general store in Herbert. His boss trusted him with all aspects of operating the store: ordering supplies, properly displaying them, conducting sales, cleaning the store, keeping the accounts and managing the money. He thoroughly enjoyed this experience and learned much from it even though he regretted not being able to be more help to his dad on the farm.

He operated the store for two years, but all that time he kept thinking that he wanted to further his education. He had learned of the small Christian College at Highland Home, Ala. One of the instructors visited his community and later assisted him in making application and being admitted. He appreciated and made the most of this opportunity. An unexpected benefit was meeting the young lady he would wed a few years later.

Elliot secured his first teaching job in the Herbert School located near his home in Conecuh County. In his memoirs he gave detailed accounts of this year along with the next several teaching experiences in various schools throughout Conecuh and Crenshaw Counties. He attained his First Grade Certificate from the state in 1910 and earn higher certificates in the years ahead.

In 1914 he was married to Cora Lee Wilson (1893-1971) in Blackshear, Baldwin County, Ala., the home of his wife’s parents, John Travis Wilson (1866-1916) and Annie Missouri Flowers. He continued teaching for a very modest salary, which presented economic challenges to the young couple. The onset of World War I in 1917 saw him working in shipbuilding in Mobile. During that time, he became a minister of the gospel for the church of Christ. He became a member at the age of 12 years and remained faithful while preaching most of the time for 75 years. Following his work in the shipyard, he farmed for a number of years and did carpentry work.

Elliott D. and Cora Lee Mancill were the parents of the following children: Infant son, b.&d. 1915; John Elliott Sr., b. 1917, d. 2010, m. 1939 Clarissa Woodruff Paltzer (1915-2004); Annie Lee, b. 1918, d. 1987, m. Edward P. Horan (b. 1926); Floyd Edmond, b. 1921, d. 2003; Emma Laura, b. 1922, d. 1988, m. Frank Anthony Matuk (1919-1993); Louis Clifford, b. 1924, d. 2002, m. Myrtle Marie Elder (1917-1996); Willie Hubert, b. 1928, d. 2016; and four other sons and one other daughter. The name of one son may have been Glenn Allen and the daughter may have been Angie L., but the five were listed as private in various family trees.

During the 1960s, Elliot secured title to his Grandfather John Jackson Mancill’s place in Red Level. It appears that he moved there after his wife’s death in 1971. He found the old log cabin still standing, but in a deteriorated state. He eventually took it down and reclaimed the area, which included the Mancill Cemetery II where his grandparents and other relatives were buried. He had another cabin in which he lived his later years and where he wrote his memoirs. At his death in 1988, he was buried beside his wife in the Pine Creek Cemetery on Dauphin Island in Mobile.

Although some data were collected from, the primary source for this narrative was Elliott Devocious Mancill’s Memoirs, which was written during the later years of his life. It was stated that he recalled all the facts from memory as he had not made notes nor written a diary.

Anyone who might find any 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:


Historical Meeting:

The Covington Historical Society will meet at a new time for their annual covered-dish dinner meeting. It is scheduled for Monday, November 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests and prospective members are urged to attend this special meeting. In addition to the dinner, a power point of Old Andalusia will be show for the program.