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Florence Times Obituaries


Transcribed by Pat M. Mahan.


The Florence Times was a weekly newspaper which began publication on 4 July 1890. It is now known as the TimesDaily.


18 July 1890.

     At Allan Wood, near Florence, 13th of July, 1890, Mrs. Martha Rowell.
She was born in Hertford county, North Carolina Feb. 25th 1811 and removed to Lauderdale county, Ala., when a child with her father Christopher Cheatham. In 1832 she married Dr. Neal Rowell, who was a prominent physician in this community, but who for many years before his death devoted himself to his farming interests in this county, yet kept up his intellectual pursuits, and was a man of rare information, and of that stern and unbending integrity of character that knew no swerving from the path of rectitude.
     Mrs. Rowell, though frail and delicate and an invalid for forty years, yet lived to see her husband pass away, at the age of ninety, in December, 1886. She also saw her youngest daughter, in young and promising womanhood, pass away, and last, the main comfort of her old age, her oldest daughter, (Mrs. E. B. Thompson) on whom she had depended as a child on its mother, was taken from her. Through all the vicissitudes of life she bore the same exalted character. For more than fifty years a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, her faith in God was beautiful in its simplicity and unwavering strength. To a remarkable degree she adorned the profession of Godliness, and it is safe to say that no one was ever thrown in her company for a single day without being made aware of her trust in her Savior, and having some kind word of Christian counsel. Her hand, was ever open to every good cause, whether within her own denomination or not. The poor and suffering, and especially the servants and colored people with whom she was surrounded, can never forget her kind attentions.
     The beautiful home where in the days now gone, she dispensed such generous hospitality, is now left tenantless, but her sweet influence will live on, and besides her son, daughters and grandchildren, who have left the ancestral home, many will ever cherish in fond remembrance her gentle virtues and look forward with the fond hope of meeting her pure spirit in the great beyond where sorrow and sighing are known no more.


The Oldest Man in Lauderdale Dead
     David Hutchings was born in Morganton, S. C., about 1783 and was over one hundred years of age, and up to March 1st of this year was a remarkable active, industrious old man. He came to North Alabama in 1817 as foreman for his master, Col. John Hutchings, and General Jackson, and they settled a farm on the south side of the Tennessee river, near Melton’s Bluff, opposite the mouth of Elk river. Whilst here General Jackson took Dave to wait upon him as campman down in the Indian Nation to hold a treaty. He went also with General Coffee to run the treaty line from the mouth of Cane creek south, Melton Bluff being so sickly, Col. Hutchings died and many of the negroes. General Jackson moved in 1819 (the year of the first Florence Land sale) into this county, and turned them over to General Coffee as administrator for Hutchings. Dave continued as foreman until 1833 when his young master, Col. Andrew J. Hutchings, took charge and made him gardner and carriage driver. Col. Hutchings died in 1842. He had offered Dave his freedom. He went as foreman again until the war broke out, during which he was faithful and true to his owner, as he had ever been, and the family was much attached to him. He had done the weaving of the negroes’ clothes all these years and his devotion to the memory of Katie, his wife, who was born in 1792 and died in 1842, was remarkable. He never married again, but went every day to her grave and prayed. He died a Christian.


A Sad Death
     Mr. Virginius R. Nelson, son of William J. Nelson, Esq., died at the home of his father on Seminary street on Saturday morning last, of consumption, after a lingering illness of a year, in the 18thyear of his age. His body was taken to Stanton, Va., his former home, for interment. Mr. Nelson made many friends while a resident of Florence and they will hear of his untimely death with sincere regret. His family have the sympathy of the entire community in their sad bereavement.


25 July 1890 
Another of Lauderdale’s Oldest and Best Citizens Gone.
     This well-known citizen of Lauderdale County died at his home six miles north of Florence on Saturday, the 19th inst. Mr. Powers was born in North Carolina in 1810, and when a small boy came to Lauderdale. At his home where he died he had lived forty-five years. He was once before the war, tax assessor, and for half a century was a prominent and influential man in the county. Although not a highly educated man himself, he succeded [sic] in educating his children, to adorn the homes and educational institutions of our town and country.
     One of the ambitions of his life was to see all his children educated and another was to remain free from debt.
     It is thought that his death came from a severe attack of la grippe, which he had last spring and from which he never recovered. 
     Mr. Powers had a large number of relatives and friends who mourn his death.

No Service Was Held.
     Service was not held at the East Florence Presbyterian church last Sunday, because of a peculiar combination of circumstances. Mr. Preston, the pastor, was called to Virginia to the death bed of his father;  Mr. Nelson, the superintendent of the Sunday school had gone to Virginia with the remains of his son; Mr. R. T. Simpson, Jr., and his sister, Miss Nettie, were at the death-bed of their sister, Miss. Marguerite. Regular services will be held, however, in East Florence next Sunday.


1 August 1890

Maj. Charles B. McKiernan
For the Times.
     Charles B. McKeirnan was born at Nashville, Tenn., March 15th 1815. While he was still an infant his father, Bernard McKiernan, moved from Nashville to reside on his Spring Hill plantation in Colbert county, Ala., where the subject of this sketch was reared to manhood. He was educated at Georgetown, D. C. Returning from college, he was sent by his father to Madison Parish, La. to read law with his brother-in-law, Gen. Hugh Dunlap. After a thorough course of reading with that able lawyer, he entered upon the practice, which he pursued with marked success for several years, when the Mexican war was declared in 1846. He immediately raised a company of which he was elected captain, and which was assigned to duty in the Fifth Regiment of Louisiana volunteers commanded by the noted Bailie Peyton. After that brief campaign, which was so glorious to American Arms, he resumed his law practice at Richmond, La., but continued on it only a few years when large business interests called him into another field of endeavors. In 1850 he moved to Montgomery county, near Clarksville, Tenn., and entered the firm of Jackson, McKiernan & Co. in the manufacture of iron. This firm did a large and very lucrative business, but it collapsed as a result of the outburst of the civil war. For the past twenty five years he has resided at the old family homestead in Colbert county, Ala., where by strict attention to farming he has maintained his family and comfort and dispensed a generous hospitality.
     In 1848 he married Miss Rebecca Baxter, of Clarksville, Tenn., whom he leaves surviving him, also a son, Charles B. McKiernan, Jr., of Colbert county, Ala., a daughter, Mrs. Geo. Donnegan, of Nashville, Tenn., and a sister, Mrs. Wm. M. Jackson of Florence, Ala.
     When he went to the bar, S. S. Prentiss, Sharkey, Joe Holt, Chilton, Bailie Peyton and a host of other legal celebrities were in the heyday of their success and fame. He was thrown into intimate association with them all. The old regime was at the height of its pride and power. Had he written his reminiscences of life in the Southwest fifty years ago, it would be a rarely interesting volume. As it was, in telling of those days and scenes he could hold the unflagging attention of is hearers for hours, so perfect was his command of language, no winning even to fascination were his manner and method of narration. If ready and acute perceptions, a forcible writer, a most impressive public speaker, he must inevitably have risen to high distinction, had he remained for any length of time at the bar. But perhaps he has raised for himself a more valuable, a more enduring monument. He has enshrined himself in the hearts and memories not only of those to whom he was bound by the sacred bonds of kinship, but also of those with whom he was connected by the less intimate ties of friendship. And very man wee his friends; few, if any, were his enemies.
     When a younger man he was quick and violent in resenting what he fancied to be an insult or a wrong, yet so kind and forgiving was he that the sun never went down leaving him in wrath and enmity against any of God’s creatures. Generous to his own hurt, impulsive at times to imprudence, gifted as he was intellectually, he was as free from guile as a little child. Himself untainted by selfishness, deceit, chicanery or falsehood, he could not easily believe them to exist in others. To the writer, it was frequently a beautiful manifestation of this trait – this simple faith in his kind, born of his own purity – to see him cajoled and imposed upon, in minor concerns, himself wholly unconscious of the fraud.
     A good man, a brave man has fallen – one who was faithful and true in every relation of life -- one who leaves behind him in all the wide range of his acquaintance, no one who does not feel that the world is better for his having lived in it.
     He sleeps tenderly guarded by the watchful love of those who were so near and dear to him – those to whom he was so near and dear, he will awake in the Resurrection Morn.


22 August 1890

Uncle David Hutchings.
An Authentic History of His Life From a Member of The Family.
From The Nashville American.
     Florence, Ala., Aug. 13.—An artitle [sic] appeared in Sunday’s American, of the 3d, from S. A. C., giving the history of the life of Uncle Dave Hutchings, a centenarian who died near Florence some weeks since, in which he made several misstatements from some erroneous information. The writer examined a deposition from Uncle Dave taken in 1882, and with other letters and documents the following is given as an authentic account of his life. He was familiarly known in Rutherford county, Tenn., (not Bedford county, as stated by S. A. C.) as Uncle Dave, and was the body servant of Bennett Smith, who was the grandfather of the late Mr. C. M. Burtwell and Mrs. E. B. Weakley, of Florence. Bennett Smith married in Lincolnton, N. C., the daughter of Gen. Joseph Dickson, of revolutionary fame. The two families emigrated to Rutherford county, Tenn., about 1803. Col. Andrew Hutchings married Mary Smith, daughter of Bennett Smith and a sister of Mrs. Dr. Bedford, nee Miss Matilda smith, who was the other of Mesdames Burtwell and Weakley, mentioned above, both of whom have reared large families in Florence. Col. Hutchings emigrated to North Alabama about 1817, and Uncle Dave was given to Mrs. Hutchings by her father, Bennett Smith.
     At the death of Col. and Mrs. Hutchings David went to the plantation to Gen. Coffee, near Florence. Latterly Andrew H., the only child of Col. And Mary Hutchings, married Mary Coffee, daughter of Gen. Coffee. Their progeny consisted of two sons, Coffee and Andrew, who lived with their grandmother, Mrs. Coffee. In this way David became a faithful servant in the Coffee family, being with Capt. A. D. Coffee up till the time of his death.
     He always clung with fond affection of the memory of his old master, Bennett Smith, and his family. He was a valued and trusted servant all through his life, and his memory will be fondly cherished by those whom he served in former years. The family records, dating back to Gen. Dickson and Bennett Smith, show that David was born in 1783. Bennett Smith was a very wealthy and prominent lawyer in North Carolina and lived in princely style. His wife, Isabella Dickson, brought with her from North Carolina, in a wagon, the first piano in the state of Tennessee. This old piano is yet a family relic in the old homestead of the late Mrs. Burtwell in Florence. Gen. DIckson was a member of congress from North Carolina from 1799 to 1803, and was also an elector when Jefferson was made president. [See Coffee Servant Cemetery  (Black)]

     Mr. Samuel F. Bell, a brother-in-law of Mr. J. G. W. Leftwich, of Florence, died at Iuka, Saturday and was interred at that place on Sunday. He was a gentleman of most exemplary Christian character, and his death will be greatly lamented by many friends. Messrs. J. W. W. and J. B. Leftwich went to Iuka to attend the funeral.


29 August 1890

     Information was received here Tuesday afternoon of the death of Mr. James Walker, son of Gen. Walker, at Wytheville, Va., of Typhoid fever. At the time of the sad event Mr. A. E. Walker and Dr. J. Frank Walker, of Florence, older brothers of the deceased, were at his bedside.


12 September 1890

In Memoriam.
     Whereas, death, the inevitable fate of all humanity, has come and claimed another of earth’s good and great men, in the person of Thos. M. Williams. We are now assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to this beloved brother. Bro. Williams was born June 15th 1838 and died at his home near Lexington, Ala., April 22d, 1890.
     When the dread messenger come it found him richly prepared to obey the summons of his heavenly father. Judging from the statements of his many friends and his daily walk Brother Williams had long been a devoted christian man. He was a member of the M. E. church, south. To inculcate upon all good good [sic] morals and christian rectitude was one of Brother Williams’ noble characteristics, and more especially was this true respecting his own children.
     Brother Williams was a worthy member of the Masonic Fraternity, was initiated Oct. 5th 1867, passed Aug. 1868, and raised March, 1869. He revered the tenets of the fraternity, and loved its members with that fraternal love that should characterize all true masons. He was ever ready and willing to contribute his time and means to the calls of the Fraternity and always delighted when an opportunity presented itself that he might spread the broad mantle of "Masonic charity" over the foibles of a worthy brother, or succor one in distress. The life of Brother Williams is indeed an exemplary one – a life well worthy of emulation.
     And whereas, we recognize with feelings of sadness the inroads of death upon our lodge, and while a cloud of grief broods over us we must consign our brother to the grave, the common lot of all, bowing with meek submission to the stroke of Him who doeth all things well, and feeling assured that our loss is his eternal gain. Let us, who remain to wear the mantle which has fallen from his worthy shoulders, strive to emulate his noble example, both as a pious christian and a true mason, that we may in the end enjoy with him the reward for the finally faithful in that faraway world of peace, purity and bliss where the Grand Master of the Universe will at last call us. So He passed away in perfect peace and holy resignation. How calm his exit, the Aeolian Zephyrs kiss away the lingering dewdrops no more gently.
     Therefore, be it Resolved, 1st, That we inter the body of our brother with Masonic honors, and wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.
     Resolved 2nd, That in the death of our beloved brother, MacCalum Lodge has lost one of its brightest and most devoted members; the country a valuable citizen; society a bright jewel; the family a devoted and affectionate husband and father, and the members of this lodge a true and faithful brother.
     Resolved 3rd, That we extend to his bereaved family our heart felt sympathy over their irreparable loss, and pray that grace be given to sustain and comfort them in this hour of affliction.
     Resolved 5th, That the secretary of the lodge be instructed to furnish the family with a copy of this preamble and resolutions; also, that the same be spread upon the minutes of the lodge.

                                       D. S. WATERS }
                                       N. A. WARREN } Committee
                                       N. J. MOORE }

     Died – Near Woodland, Willie, the little son of Mr. D. and Mrs. Addie Hayes. Little Willie passed from earth to heaven on the morning of August 22, 1890, after a painful illness of several days. Willie was a bright and lovely child of two years and eighteen days. It seems hard to give him up, but we think of him as not dead, but taken from earth and transplanted in the garden of God where he is waiting to welcome those who are left behind. May we all be prepared to meet him in that home beyond the skies. Parents, weep not; your little darling is asleep upon his Savior’s breast. He is at rest. He was loaned to you but a short while, but he is singing with the angels in the sunlight of our Savior’s smiles. Alice Call.


3 October 1890

Under a Shadow – Death of a Florence Man Under Pathetic Circumstances.
     There passed away on Tuesday evening last at Callahan’s livery stables, in East Florence, a man around whose life an impenetrable mystery existed.
     Several months ago Jerry Lawrence came to Florence from West Point, Tenn., and secured a position with Mr. Callahan as his foreman. He was in intelligent, educated man about 30 years of age and in personal appearance was fine looking, and always seemed to take much pride in his dress. On several occasions he had intimated to Mr. Callahan that he had previously gotten himself into trouble, and that for several reason he wish to keep his identity unknown. Mr. Callahan did not encourage his disposition to communicate his trouble to him, and things drifted on until about three weeks ago, when the man was stricken down with typhoid pneumonia. Seeing his dangerous condition Mr. Callahan then urged him to tell his history in order that his friends might be informed of his condition. Believing his end was near, he told Mr. Callahan that his real name was James Lawrence Hanks, and that he had a brother and a mother living, the former in south Mississippi, though he would not disclose their homes. He also said he desired a lot of papers and letters, now at West Point, destroyed, as they contained revelations he was exceedingly anxious to conceal. On several occasions he shed tears and spoke feelingly of his mother and expressed great regret at the sorrow he had brought upon her.
     In his last hours he had every attention that could be given him. He had two physicians attending him and the constant care of a good nurse. But they were of no avail and, telling his attendants he was perfectly resigned to his fate, he peacefully passed away.
     On Tuesday his remains were conveyed to West Point, Tenn., via the L. & N. railroad, under the care of Mr. Terry True, a friend of the deceased who had come here from that place to attend him.


10 October 1890

A Horrible Death.
     On last Friday Engineer Thomas Lloyd, was switching cars on the Belt Line road at the cotton mills, when his engine became unmanageable and began backing toward a trestle about twenty feet high. Lloyd was unable to reverse the engine and it backed off the trestle, killing the engineer instantly and mangling his body in a horrible manner. Following the ending was a carload of sand, which was poured on the wreck, completely covering it. Lloyd’s body was exhumed and Saturday was interred in the Florence cemetery. He was reared in Huntsville and has been a citizen of Florence for a number of years. He leaves a wife an infant son His mother and brothers from Huntsville were present at the funeral, which was conducted by Rev. W. H. Smith. The family have the sympathy of a large number of friends in and around Florence.


     Mr. A. Hitschfelt, the well-known merchant tailor of this place, died Tuesday morning. His funeral took place at his residence on King street Wednesday. He has been a citizen of Florence for a number of years and his family have the sympathy of the people of the city.


17 October 1890
     On Thursday morning, Oct. 9th, Miss Minnie, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. E. S. Gregory of this place, died after a short illness. She has been confined to her bed for several days with a very light attack of fever, but no danger was apprehended. On Wednesday she was thought to be very much improved in condition and was conversing pleasantly with her physician when suddenly she became very ill, and never after that was able to speak. She lived nearly twenty-four hours afterward, and her faithful physician, Dr. Bramlett, never left her, but he was unable to save her.
     Her funeral, conducted by Rev. J. A. Preston, took place Friday at noon from her father’s residence.
     Besides a number of other friends the entire Normal School, of which she as a member, was present at the funeral. Her class-mates remember her as one of the purest hearted girls of the school and her death cast a gloom over the entire body of pupils.
     A large number of friends in Florence sympathize with the family in their deep grief.

     Mr. Owen O’Conner died at the Lauderdale hotel Tuesday morning after a short illness. He has been watchman at the hotel for several months. He has no relatives in this country, but has a sister in California. He has a guardian in Georgia who was telegraphed for by Mr. Oscar Lewis, for whom the old gentleman expressed great fondness. He was worth two or three thousand dollars, which will be taken charge of by his guardian.


24 October 1890

     Mrs. Lula Buford, wife of Mr. W. H. Buford, and sister of Dr. W. M. Brumlett died at the home of her husband in this city on Monday evening last. Her funeral was conducted by Rev. John A. Preston on Tuesday evening, and a large number of sorrowing friends accompanied the remains to their last resting place.

Death of Little Solon.
     A pang of sympathy and sorrow passed through the hearts of the many friends and acquaintances of Mr. And Mrs. Solon Whitten on yesterday when the sad announcement was made that their bright and beautiful little Solon had passed away. White no words of sympathy can sooth their sorrow, still we can all shed a tear over the loss of the little boy who was so bright and gentle that every one loved him.
     Little Solon was a picture of puerile beauty and manliness. His bright little face made an impress upon the minds of all who saw him, and he will long be pleasantly remembered by all those who knew him.
     His funeral will take place this afternoon at 2 o’clock. Services at the cemetery by Rev. A. V. Jones. – Huntsville Mercury, Oct. 26th  


31 October 1890

Died – At the residence of Dr. A. C. Henry, in Greenville, Texas, his little grand-daughter, Ina Belle Henry, and daughter of J. W. Henry of Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday, Oct. 23, 1890, at 5:05 p.m. She was the niece of the Messrs. Henry of Florence.

     Mr. S. Parshall the well-known proprietor of the Parshall house in Tuscumbia, died Tuesday morning at 7:30. He was about 68 years of age, and for more than a year had been troubled with dropsy. He spent much time during the past summer on the mountains south of Tuscumbia and was much improved in condition. On his last trip, however, he caught cold which resulted finally in his death.
     Mr. Parshall was the uncle of Mr. C. F. Jordon of this place and had a large circle of friends in all this section of the country who will be grieved to learn of his death. His funeral took place at 10 o’clock Wednesday.

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