Hassell and descendants settled in Pea Ridge community

Published 3:07 am Saturday, March 2, 2019

In last week’s column, John Independence Hassell, was introduced along with the feature of his ancestors and relatives. Today, John’s own family will be reviewed.

John Independence Hassell was born on July 4, 1850 (hence the middle name), as the youngest son of William Hassell (1809-1870) and Mary “Polly” Mock (1809-after 1880). Both parents were natives of South Carolina, but they had migrated to South Alabama circa 1830. Therefore, it appears that all of their children would have been born in Conecuh County, Ala., with John being the youngest.

John Independence Hassell was married in 1869 in Conecuh County to Milley Jane Godwin (1850-1920), daughter of James A. Godwin (1821-ca1875) and Priscilla Wall (1829-1857). Therefore, Milley would have been a mere child of around nine years of age when her mother died.

John and Milley made their home in Conecuh County and soon began their family. They were residing in the Brooklyn community in 1910 and 1920, but records indicate John died in Andalusia, Covington County, in 1926. At their deaths, they were buried in the Smith Cemetery in the Mobley Creek community.

John Independence and Milley Hassell were the parents of the following children: Priscilla Jane, b. 1869, b. 1875; Little Berry Jackson, b. 1871, d. 1948, m. Mary Ida Gibson; Benjamin D., b. 1872; Mary Frances, b. 1874, d. 1938, m. William Moses Ward; George Anderson, b. 1876, d. 1964, m. Alice Mock; James Andrew, b. 1879, d. 1961, m. Mittie Ward; Lucy Elizabeth “Lizzie,” b. 1881, d. 1950, m. Josiah John “Joe” Uptagrafft; Margaret Caroline “Carrie,” b. 1885, d. 1963, m. Frank Nathaniel Potts; John Allen, b. 1887, d. 1904 (or 1963); Allen Bingham, b. 1887, d. 1967; Lillian “Lily” Evaline, b. 1889, d. 1947, m. Julian N. Padgett; and William Elias, b. 1895, d. 1984, m. Ada Belle Hardin. (In some lists of children, Allen Bingham is not identified.)

The oldest son, Little Berry Jackson Hassell, not to be confused with his uncle, Little Berry Jackson Hassell who married Elizabeth Padgett, was married in 1900 to Mary Ida Gibson (1876-1940), daughter of Seaburn and Sarah Gibson of Escambia County, Ala. They were the parents of the following children: Fred L., b. 1899, d. 1983, m. Annie Mildred Johnson (1904-1995); Bertha, b. 1902, m. ? Gafford; Bertie T., b. 1902, d. 1928, m. Albert Walker Martin (1891-1982); James A., b. 1905; John A., b. 1909, d. 1983, m. Barbara ?; Lester Jackson, b. 1911, d. 1979, m. (1) Gwendolyn Compton (1915-2005 (2) Mary Myrtice Clark (b. 1913); and Estelle, b. 1911, d. 1964, m. Bertie C. Ward (1901-1980).

The oldest daughter to reach adulthood, Mary Frances Hassell, was married to William Moses Ward (1880-1967), son of Jesse Ward and Lourrena Loften. They resided in the Fairfield communities and reared the following children: Lucille, b. 1904, d. 1983, m. ? Odom; Preston J., b. 1812, d. 1987, m. Claudie Leonard; Marvin, b. 1914; and Willie Lewis, b. 1919.

The next son, George Ander Hassell, was married to Alice Mock, daughter of George A. Mock and Sarah Bagley. They resided in the Pea Ridge community where George farmed to support the family. They were the parents of the following children: Mae Belle, b. 1906, d. 1993, m. William R. Allen; Walter Lee, b. 1914, d. 1967, m. Mildred Jones; and George Willard, b. 1917, d. 1975, m. Margarie Spivey.

The next son, James Andrew Hassell, was married to Mittie A. Ward, daughter of John Ward and Frances A. Lunsford. They also resided in the Pea Ridge community near the county line where John also was a farmer. They were the parents of the following children: Infant son, b.& d. 1909; Lucy Felma, b. 1911, d. 2015, m. Roy W. Schrimshire; Mary Myrtice, m. O. Haley Walker; Infant son, b.&d. 1915; Alma Mildred, b. 1920, m. Hubert Hart; Andrew Ceil, b. 1922, d. 1927; Mittie Lee, b. 1924, d. 1940; and Lillian Janet, b. 1929, m. 1948 Rayder Wyatt Feagin.

The next daughter, Lucy Elizabeth “Lizzie” Hassell, was married to Josiah John “Joe” Uptagrafft (1874-1951). They were the parents of the following children: John Allen, b.&d. 1906; Greely Anderson, b. 1906, d. 1957, m. Tamsy Ellafair Wills (1906-1991); Emmit Lee, b. 1907, d. 1987, m. Lula Belle Stone; William Byron, b. 1908, d. 1977, m. Lola Lee Simmons (1904-1959); Johnnie Washington, b. 1911, d. 1990, m. Maggie Mae Stone (1916-1997); Lawrence, b. 1917, d. 1972, m. Grace Elizabeth Hoomes (1915-1999); and Lucy M., b. 1920, d. 2001, m. Irby Ellis (1913-1989).

The next daughter, Margarett Caroline “Carrie” Hassell, was married to Frank Nathaniel Potts, son of James Jasper Potts (b.1858) and Matilda Jane Cassidy (1858-1931). Frank Nathaniel was the grandson of Confederate Veteran James L. Potts. James L. died while rendering service in Company I, 29th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Carrie and Frank Potts were the parents of the following children: Della, b. 1905; James, b. 1907; Beatrice, b. 1908, d. 1977, m. Vernon Austin Rabren (1904-1989); Gladys, b. 1909; Cecil Nathaniel, b. 1910, d. 1983, m. Gertrude F. ? (1917-1965); and Frank W., b. 1913, d. 1999, m. Annie Lois ? (1918-1986).

The youngest daughter, Lillis “Lila” Evaline Hassell, was married to Julian N. Padgett (1883-1960), son of William Padgett (1846-1898) and Mary Hart (1872-1943). Julian and Lillis resided in the Hart community where He farmed for a number of years. They later lived in Andalusia on Riley Street where he was in sales and may have operated a store. They later moved to Brewton, Ala., where Julian died in 1960. This couple did not have any children. 

The youngest son and child, William “Wille” Elias was born in 1895 and died in 1984. He was married to Ada Belle Hardin (1889-1987). They were the parents of one child, Lavon Hassell.

John Independence Hassell’s oldest brother to reach adulthood, Francis Marion Hassell, was married to Mary Jane Padgett, daughter of Wiley Padgett and Caroline Barrow. His family resided in the western edge of Covington County and were the parents of the following children: John William, b. 1869, d. 1954, m. (1) Ann Maria Feagin (1863-1900) (2) Martha Jane Feagin (1885-1967); Margaret Julia Ann, b. 1874, d. 1950, m. Cornelius Granville Thomasson (1871-1923); James Alexander, b. 1878, d. 1949, m. Sina E. Ward.

The son, John William Hassell, and his first wife, Ann Maria, were the parents of the following children: Marjorie A., b. 1893, m. John Riley Bass (1890-1997; Marion B., b. 1894; and John T., b. 1897. Following Ann’s death in 1900, John’s second wife, Martha Jane, helped him rear his children.

The daughter, Margaret Julia Ann Hassell, and her husband Cornelius Granville Thomasson, son of Cornelius Starr Thomasson and Susannah Henley, were the parents of the following 13 children: Frank Cornelius, b. 1892, d. 1951, m. Annie Ward; John Leonard, b. 1893, d. 1967, m. (1) Ola Jones (2) Gladys Pope; Preston James, b. 1897, d. 1980, m. Ester Lee Martin; Walter Allen, b. 1906, d. 1969, m. Willie Mae Pierce; Charlie Clauson, b. 1909, d. 1980, m. Sally Magdalene Coon; Alex Andera, b. 1912, m. Mary Alice Plant; Bliss Granville, b. 1910, m. Marjorie Clary; Willie Berry, b. 1898, d. 1957, single; Alton Wiley, b. 1905, d. 1983, m. Hilda Justice; Fannie Mae, b. 1895, m. Tom Ficklin; Tera Janie, b. 1900, d. 1981, m. Roy Alton Ginn; Dovie Lee, b. 1902, m. Reubin Oliver “Ollie” Padgett; and Mamie Ann, b. 1903, m. Oliver Barton.

Currently there are many descendants of this Hassell family line who reside particularly in the Pea Ridge and surrounding communities.

Sources for today’s story include Ancestry.com, Wyley D. Ward’s The Folks from Pea Ridge in Covington and Conecuh Counties, Alabama and the records of Hassell descendants.

Anyone who might 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: cthomasson@centurytel.net.


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests and prospective members, any male descended from a Confederate Veteran, are encouraged to attend.