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James Adkins Morgan (1839-1891) and
Ann Elizabeth Caver (1839-1894)

2. JAMES ADKINS MORGAN, son of John Benton1 and Mary Ann (Nicholson) Morgan, was born in South Carolina, probably Pickens County, 29 May 1839 and died in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 26 Nov 1891[1]. He married in Choccolocco, Calhoun County, Alabama, 30 Aug 1865, ANN ELIZABETH CAVER, who was born in Georgia 9 February 1839, and died in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 16 February 1894[2], daughter of Joel Caver and Sarah Curry.

The first record we find for James Adkins Morgan is in the 1850 census, when he is enumerated with his family in De Kalb County, Alabama as James W. age eleven[3]. We do not know what the W stands for, as in all other records found he is James A. or James Adkins, but it was common in that era for men to have three or four given names in addition to the surname. The next record found is on 19 February 1857, after James turned 18, when James A Morgan paid 4.75 on a note in the account of the estate of David Larkin in Jackson County[4]. Later that same year the Commissioners' Court appointed James A. Morgan as overseer of the road from the top of the mountain to the round knob at the head of Maner's Cove. He was issued a Land Patent March 1, 1858 for 79.85 acres in N1/2 NW part, section 4, township 3-S, range 5-E Huntsville Meridian in Jackson County. He is not found on the DeKalb County 1860 census with his family, but he was 21 at the time[5].

LANGSTON. Interior village and post office in the southern part of Jackson County, on the south side of the Tennessee River, about 10 miles south of Scottsboro. Population: 1870—"Coffee Town," 640; 1900— Langston Precinct, 672, village proper, 270; 1910 — Langston Precinct, 619, village proper, 314. It was originally named Coffee Town. The Davis, Morgan, Wilborn and Kirby families were among the earliest settlers. (History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 2, Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen, p. 848, online at Google Books)

James Morgan sold fifteen acres in town lots to people trying to establish the town of Langston, in 1869[6]. This is most likely the reason that his parents, John Benton and Mary Ann Morgan moved there from DeKalb County; they are located in Langston by the 1870 census. The two counties are divided by Sand Mountain, DeKalb County located on the southeastern side, Jackson on the northwestern side on the banks of the Tennessee River. Sand Mountain is not really a mountain, but a sandy plateau ranging from 1100 to 1600 feet above sea level, extending about fifty miles.

As early as 1856 there was a Methodist Church in the area, then know as Coffeetown Valley, served by circuit riders. After the war the Coffee family moved to Texas, and when Langston was established, Coffeetown did not survive. "Coffeetown and Langston were near the great Indian passage across the Tennessee River, at the Shoals just above Pine Island. The Indian Village of Coosada was a small settlement of Creeks and Cherokees, established about 1784, and situated on the south bank of Tennessee River near Larkin's Landing. Many Indians would pass from Coffeetown up Gosset Gap to Sand Mountain to Fort Payne [in DeKalb County].[7]"

James Adkins enlisted as a private in Co. C, 3rd Confederate Cavalry on May 14, 1862. He joined for duty and enrolled May 15, 1862, at Shell Mound, Alabama, by R.B. Lankford. He served until the end of the war, appearing on a muster roll of officers and men paroled in accordance with the terms of a military convention entered into on the 26th day of April 1865 between General Joseph E. Johnston, Commanding Confederate Army, and Major General W.T. Sherman Commanding United States Army in North Carolina. The roll was dated at Hillsboro North Carolina April 28, 1865. He was paroled May 3, 1865.

James married Anne E. Caver of Calhoun County, Alabama in 1865. They had seven children in the first twelve years of marriage. In 1870 they were living in Jackson County, the household composed of James A. Morgan 30, Ann 30, Thomas W. 4, Sarah 2, Joseph [Joel] F. 2 months; George Caver, Ann's brother, 20; Augustus Piles, black, 7.[8] In 1880, still in Langston, the household was composed of James 41, Ann 41, Thomas 13, Wallace 6, Mary O. 4, Lela 1; Mary Wallace 12, and Ann Wallace 4, nieces; George Caver 30, brother.[9] Three children, Sarah, Joel and Virgil, died very young.

In 1880, J.V Gross & Jerusha Gross, sold to James A. Morgan for the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars a tract or parcel of land known and described as N.E. qr. of S.E. qr. of SE qr. of section two; also a part of the west half of the South E. qr. of N.W. qr. of Section one all in Township six, Range five East containing 93 & 3/4 acres more or less.[10]

On January 14, 1881, James A. Morgan and Ann Morgan sold to C.W. Adkins a parcel of land to wit: one acre lot known as the sixth lot in plat of land laid out for a village also one acre and a half beginning at the north east corner of the above plat of land at a stake running north seventy yards to a stake, west one hundred and five yards to a third stake, South seventy yards to a stake east one hundred yards and five yards to the first named stake bounded east by the lands of Frank Raines, North and west by the lands of James A. Morgan, South by the plat of land laid off for a village lying in section (1) Township (6) Range (5) and a part of the south east quarter of the Northwest quarter containing two acres and a half.[11]

On January 14, 1881, Jas A. Morgan and Ann Morgan his wife sold to Silas Smith for the sum of 18.50, eighteen dollars and fifty cents, a lot of land known as the second lot in plot of land laid off for a village, bounded north by the lands of Frank Raines, east by Wilson Davis south by church lot west by Jas Morgan in Section (1) Township (6) Range (5) and a part of the SE 1/4 of NW 1/4.[12]

On the 15th day of May 1882, James A. Morgan and wife sold to M.M. Grantham and son, for the sum of sixty five dollars, lots numbered and known as lots seven and eight each being five rods and six inches wide by twenty nine rods in length and each of said lots containing one acre and situated at or near Langston, Jackson County, Alabama.[13]

When James Adkins Morgan died in 1891, he left a wife and four children. Ann Morgan died a little more than two years after James, leaving Mattie, age 18, Wallace, age 20, and youngest daughter Lela, 15 to be cared for by extended family. They probably lived with their brother Thomas Warren Morgan and his wife, Lou Ella Holdridge. Mary Ophelia "Mattie" married Lou Ella's brother, Horace Benton Holdridge, in April 1894. Four years later, her sister Lela Morgan married William Howard Holdridge, thus creating many double cousins who lived in Comanche County, Texas in the 1900's.

Children of James Adkins Morgan and Ann Elizabeth Caver:

  1. Thomas Warren Morgan, b. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama 19 Jul 1866; d. in Comanche County, Texas, 14 December 1913; m. in Langston County, Alabama, 1 July 1888, Lou Ella Holdridge
  2. Sarah F. Morgan, b. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 15 Aug 1868; d. in Langston County, Alabama, 13 September 1870
  3. Joel Franklin Morgan, b. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 16 May 1870; d. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama 30 July 1870
  4. Virgil L. Morgan, b. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 2 Nov 1871; d. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 24 April 1872
  5. Wallace Morgan, b. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 25 Jun 1873; d. in Comanche County, Texas, 8 June 1926; m. in Langston County, Alabama, 8 December 1891, Nancy Katherine "Kittie" King
  6. Mary Ophelia3 Morgan
  7. Lela Earl Morgan, b. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 23 Sep 1878; d. in Galena Park, Harris County, Texas, 6 Sept 1937; m. in Langston, Jackson County, Alabama, 14 December 1898, William Howard Holdridge

  1. James A. and Ann E. Morgan Family Record, four loose bible pages that were found in the Horace Benton and Mary Ophelia (Morgan) Holdridge family bible; in August 2000 the bible and loose pages were in the possession of Gene Holdridge, great grandson of James A. Morgan.
  2. James A. and Ann E. Morgan Family Record
  3. John Morgan household, 1850 U.S. Census, unknown repository address, civil division 25, page 342b, line 30, dwelling 224, family 224, genealogylibrary.com image online
  4. Jackson County Probate Minutes, Book B: 418-419, Jackson County Court House, Scottsboro, Alabama.
  5. John B. Morgan household, 1860 U.S. Census, MyFamily.com, Inc., Provo, Utah, Division 2, Lebanon, page 121, dwelling 211, family 216, Ancestry.com image 125
  6. John Robert Kennamer Sr., History of Jackson County, Alabama (Scottsboro, Alabama: Jackson County Historical Association, 1993), p. 174. I was not been able to locate these deeds in a search at DeKalb and Jackson County courthouses in 2008.
  7. John Robert Kennamer Sr., History of Jackson County, Alabama, p. 176
  8. James A. Morgan household, 1870 U.S. census, Jackson County, Alabama (MyFamily.com, Inc., Provo, Utah), township 5, range 5 east, Dodsonville, page 7/233, Ancestry.com image 462
  9. James Morgan household, 1880 U.S. census, Jackson County, Alabama (MyFamily.com, Inc., Provo, Utah), population schedule, beat 12, enumeration district 125, supervisor's district 1, sheet 21, dwelling 189, family 201, Ancestry.com image online
  10. Jackson County Deeds, Book 10: 582-583, County Probate Office, Scottsboro, Alabama
  11. Jackson County Deed, Book 10: 581, County Probate Office, Scottsboro, Alabama
  12. Jackson County Deed, Book 11: 57-58, County Probate Office, Scottsboro, Alabama
  13. Jackson County Deed, Book 11: 477-478, County Probate Office, Scottsboro, Alabama