Two Melton family descendants become physician and state senator

Published 5:26 pm Friday, May 21, 2021

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Thomas Albert “Tom” Melton was a physician in Andalusia during the 1950s and 1960s. He had moved to Andalusia from Atmore, Ala., by 1955. He descends from ancestors who migrated from Virginia through the Carolinas and eventually settling in South Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Dr. Melton’s ancestral lineage according to family trees on is as follows. William Melton was born in 1781 in Virginia and married Judith Enloe. Their son, Hampton P. Melton, was born in 1807 and died in 1880. He was married in 1853 to Sarah Matilda Eaton (1813-1880), and they had a son named William Riley Melton, born 1830 at Black Mountain, N.C. He was first married to Sarah Malinda “Linn” Bartlett (1837-1874), with whom he had nine children. After Linn’s death, he was married in 1875 to Charlet Albatine Knapp (1849-1926), and they had six additional children. William Riley Melton rendered service in the Confederate army as a private in Company E, 29th N.C. Infantry. He enlisted in 1863 in Haywood, N.C.

Henry Thomas Melton was a son of William R.’s first marriage. He was born in 1867 in North Carolina and died there in 1934. He was married to Mary Allen, and they became the parents of Robert Melton, b. 1882 in North Carolina, who was the ancestor to bring the family to Alabama. In 1905, Robert married Carrie E. Walton, born 1883 in Georgia. Census records show the couple was in Baldwin County, Ala., by 1910, and by 1920 they were in Pineville, Escambia County, Fla. By 1930 they were back in Alabama at Canoe in Escambia County. They then moved on to Atmore by 1935 and remained there until Robert’s death in 1952. Carrie was in Brewton when she died in 1955.

Robert and Carrie Melton were the parents of the following children: Infant, b.&d. 1906; Robert Lee, b. 1908, d. 1969; James Arthur “Bubba,” b. 1909, d. 1979; twin to Bubba, b.&d. 1909; Edgar Herman, b. 1911, d. 1987; Thomas Albert, b. 1913, d. 1967, m. (1) Lola Mae Culver (2) Mary Majors; George A., b. 1916, d. 1947; Leroy Eugene, b. 1919, d. 1974; and Leon Howard, b. 1920, d. 1936.

The fifth son, Thomas “Tom” Albert Melton, was born in the Suggsville community of Clarke County, Ala., according to ancestry records. He grew up as the family moved to different locations in Escambia County, Ala., and Escambia County, Fla. He was about 22 years old when the family settled in Atmore, Ala. He was first married to Lola Mae Culver (1916-2003) and had two daughters according to ancestry, but they were divorced in 1951. Then in 1955, he was married to Mary Majors, and they were the parents of two daughters: Mary Anne, b. 1956, m. George Dickinson, son of Henry and Camilla Dickinson of Andalusia; and Melissa. Mary Anne and George have one daughter. Mary Anne died in 1979 in Perdido Beach, Baldwin County, Ala., and is buried in her father’s plot in the Andalusia Memorial Cemetery, and George currently resides in Atmore.

Although this writer was unable to find a connection, there were Melton descendants who resided in Evergreen in the neighboring County of Conecuh. William Dudley “Billy” Melton, a resident of Evergreen, is an attorney who was elected to serve a term in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1967 to 1971. He was representing the 34th District, Conecuh, Monroe and Wilcox Counties, but he did not seek re-election. However, in 1973, he was nominated by the State Democratic Executive Committee for the vacancy in the State Senate from the 19th District. He won the seat by defeating three other nominees and ably served the people of that district. Billy continues to offer his legal services to the Evergreen area.

William Dudley Melton’s ancestral line is as follows.  From it is difficult to discern the earliest ancestor, because two different men are listed in different family trees. They are William Allen Melton, b. 1818, d. 1864, m. Lucinda F. Cleveland (1821-1910) and Joseph Melton, b. circa 1819 in South Carolina who married Nancy Jane Ptomey, who was born circa 1824 in Virginia. One of these couples appears to be the ancestors who migrated to Alabama. Their son, William Joseph Melton, was born in 1846 in Pine Apple, Wilcox County, Ala. He died there in 1900 and was buried in the Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery. He married Clara Adele Seale (1847-1931), daughter of Ranson Seale and Eleanor Murphy, natives of Virginia.

William Joseph Melton rendered service in the Confederate Army as a private in Company K, 23th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He and Clara Melton were the parents of the following nine children: Frank Hillary, b. 1867, d. 1930; Henry Edward, b. 1868, d. 1920; Joseph Russell, b. 1870, d. 1935; William A., b. 1875, d. 1915; Lillie Mae, b. 1876, d. 1936, m. ? McWilliams; Corsie Amelia, b. 1878, d. 1957, m. ? Hill; Leila A., b. 1880, d. 1955, m. ? Swink; Thomas Plowden Sr., b. 1882, d. 1950, m. 1906 Cora Lynn Fleming; Marie C., b. 1884, d. 1969.

The third oldest son, Joseph Russell Melton, was married in 1893 in Pine Apple to Carrie Hawthorne Crum (1874-1942). They were the parents of the following eight children: Minnie Sadie, b. 1897, d. 1918; William Joseph, b. 1899, d. 1933, m. Grace Parchman Stanfill (1900-1978); Mae, b. 1902, d. 1983; James Ellis, b. 1907, d. 1953; Carrie Hawthorne, b. 1909, d. 1996; Corrie Marie, b. 1909; Elizabetha, b. 1913; and Joseph Russell Jr., b. 1915, d. 2001.

William and Clara Melton’s youngest son, Thomas Plowden Melton Sr., was married in 1906 to Cora Lynn Fleming (1883-1960). He completed some college work and was drafted for service in WW I. His records listed him as having a medium build, and being tall with black hair and grey eyes. In 1920, Thomas and Cora were living in the household of his mother, Clara Melton, in Pine Apple. They were still there in 1930, and he was doing general farm work.  His mother died the next year in 1931 and was buried beside her husband in Pine Apple. The family continued to reside in the area until Thomas’s death in 1950 and Cora’s in 1960.

Thomas P. and Cora Melton were the parents of the following children: Frank Fleming, b. 1907, d. 1951; Clara Amelia, b. 1909, d. 2001; Thomas Plowden Jr., b. 1911, d. 1984, m. Evlynne Brantley (1911-1999); Gilliard S., b. 1914; and William H., b. 1921.

The oldest son, Frank Fleming Melton, appears to have lived in Evergreen in 1935 and Enterprise in 1940. He completed at least two years of college and became a highway patrolman. He and his wife were the parents of two children: Marilyn, b. 1935; and Thomas, b. 1938.

The second son, Thomas Plowden Melton Jr., and wife, Evlynne, were the parents of William Dudley “Billy” Melton, who was mentioned earlier.  Billy was born in 1943 and has practiced law in Evergreen after earning his law degree. He married Nancy Miller in 1967 in Brewton, Ala. Billy’s parents are buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Brewton.

There are many Melton descendants who continue to reside in South Alabama and who appreciate their family heritage.

The sources for this writing included Ancestry. Com and a news article of William “Billy” Melton being nominated for Alabama Senate seat, dated March 15, 1973.

Anyone who finds 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: