The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Hurst

A tragedy, a tragedy…

I say. And so will you when you read about Lila Ann Glass Hurst who was born in Colbert County and died in Morgan County much too soon.

Lila Ann Hurst, must have delighted her parents at the birth of such an adorable child. And as she aged she gained in grace and beauty. That is self-evident in her portrait below.

Lila Ann was the daughter of John H Hurst and Lu Frances Williams Hurst. She was welcomed into this family in the month of December in 1882. She must have been the delight of the family as she was the first girl born to the parents and the first granddaughter for Matilda Clementine “Clemmie” Allen Hurst. Lila Ann Hurst’s grandfather is presumed to have died during or shortly after the War of Northern Aggression.  Her grandmother Clemmie later married Ryland O’Bannon Vandiver.

Lila Ann’s father worked for the railroad in Tuscumbia. There were two stations in Tuscumbia at the time he was known to work for the railroad. The first railway built in the nation was at Tuscumbia; and later he worked for the railroad in Decatur.

Lila Ann married Robert TYREE Glass. He worked for the railroad as well. They must have gotten married right after the 1900 census since she was in her father’s household then. He was referred to as Tye Glass and she as Mrs. Tye Glass.

The 1910 Census was enumerated on 10 May 1910, just one week before Lila was shot at her home. She and her family lived on Seventh Avenue South in Decatur. The census record read Seventh Avenue South, but the address undoubtedly was Sixth Avenue South as that address was noted as being the venue for the funeral. Their home address is given as Sixth, Seventh, and Tenth Avenue South on three difference occasions.  She and Robert TYREE Glass had been married ten years. It was the first marriage for both. They had four children, three of whom were living: Earl Petty Glass, Raymond Glass, and Dessie M. Glass. It is believed that Mattie O Glass was the fourth child; if so, she is buried at LaGrange Cemetery in Colbert County.

Shot?  In her home?  Yes and yes.

There was an article written in the New Decatur Daily in May of 1910 about the shooting death of Lila Hurst Glass. Tyree Glass came home from working at the Railyard where they lived in New Decatur, Alabama on 10th Avenue South, found his wife in an argument with a Mr. E. Jolly and Harry Ballinger. There were guns involved. The argument revolved around the ‘spreading of lies and rumors’ involving Harry Ballinger and/or his family. Shots were fired. Lila was killed. Tyree Glass apparently took the gun out of Lila’s hand at that point. Lila was dead; Tyree Glass and Ballinger were slightly injured. Mr. Jolly made his escape in a buggy.

The day of her funeral, there was a preliminary trial for the murder. The Decatur Daily printed that  “Glass attends funeral. Decatur May 19. Special. The funeral for Mrs. Tye Glass, who was killed here in a tragedy Tuesday night, took place this afternoon from the late residence at 1801 Sixth Avenue South, New Decatur. It was one of the saddest funerals ever witnessed in the Decaturs. Her husband, who had been in jail since the night of the tragedy, was allowed to attend the funeral this afternoon.”

An article published in the New Decatur Advertiser on 19 May 1910 reads as such: The preliminary trial of the alleged murderers of Mrs. Glass who was shot at her home on Tenth Avenue, South, last Tuesday night, was held at the Courthouse Friday morning and continued through the day. The evidence given this morning by Mr. Glass was to the effect that there had been some trouble in the nature of damaging reports issued about Harry Ballinger and to clear the matter, he had come to the house of Mr. Glass where he met Mrs. Glass and E. Jolly, who had also come there for the purpose of clearing up the rumors. During the discussion, which became very warm, Mr. Glass came home from work just in time to participate in a shooting affair which followed the discussion. During the shooting, Mrs. Glass was killed and Glass and Ballinger were both slightly injured, while Jolly made his escape in a buggy. The indications are that there were two pistols used; one was found with Ballinger and the other with Glass. Glass however says that he took his pistol from his wife who had it at the time she fell.  The jury returned a verdict of self-defense.

Another newspaper clipping reads: BALLINGER IS DISCHARGED Says he shot Mrs. Glass to protect himself.  Tye Glass husband of the Decatur woman shot to death was also released. DECATUR May 29. Special.  In a preliminary trial before Justice W. R. Simpson lasting the greater part of the day, Harry Ballinger, who was charged with the murder of Mrs. Tye Glass was discharged.

In the opinion of the Court Mr. Ballinger acted in self-defense, the evidence tended to show Mrs. Glass fired at Mr. Ballinger first, and it was then that Ballinger drew his revolver and fired at Mrs. Glass to protect his own life.

Ballinger did not deny that he killed Mrs. Glass, but set up the plea of self-defense and justifiable homicide. The evidence, in the opinion of the Court, tended to show that Mr. Ballinger received a pistol ball in his right side from Mrs. Glass’s revolver before he fired a shot. Tye Glass, the husband of the murdered woman, was also acquitted of the charges of murder against him.

Lila Ann Hurst Glass


I so wish I could fix this…

grave marker. I wish I could place markers on all the unmarked graves I have found of ancestors and even more recent family members. I wish…

This is the grave marker for my great-great grandparents on my father’s side. Riley and Clemmie Vandiver were loved by family throughout the generations.

Matilda Clementine Allen was born and raised in Franklin County. She was the daughter of John Wesley Allen and Mary Ann Yocum Allen of then Franklin County. Her first marriage was to a Hurst. She was enumerated on the 1860 census in her father’s household. She was next enumerated on the 1870 census as Matilda Hurst with two young sons, John H Hurst and Arthur P Hurst. So, it is presumed that her first husband was killed during the War of Northern Aggression or died shortly afterward. No documentation of the marriage has been found to date. She married a second time to Ryland B Vandiver. Clemmie must have been a very special person to the family because she was the namesake of many descendants.

Riley Vandiver’s name has been listed over the years as Riley, Riland B Vandiver, Ryland B Vandiver. Vandiver has been spelled and misspelled every which way throughout what documentation exists. His name was Ryland O’Bannon Vandiver/Vandever. It got shortened to Riley Bannon Vandiver somehow. He was born in Alabama and was living at Factory, Lauderdale County, Alabama on the 1860 Federal Census record. I have always wondered just where this Factory community was located because I had one other ancestor from another family line that lived there as well.

I learned about Clemmie and Riley Vandiver from my Daddy’s Aunt Gene before she died at age of about 97. She said that Granpa Riley was a very skilled woodworker or cabinet-maker. She stated that he made each child a whole bedroom suite of furniture. She emphasized, suite, not just a bed and chest but a whole suite of bedroom furniture. I asked what happened to the bedroom suites and she said she didn’t know. If only a photo of the furniture remained…sigh.

Riley and Clemmie moved to around Memphis, along with Tyree and Mary Vandiver Glass or vice versa, after the death of Clemmie’s granddaughter which is a tragic story to be told another day. Her granddaughter Lila Ann Hurst was married to Robert Tyree Glass. Tyree Glass worked for the railroad, first in Tuscumbia and then in Decatur. Lila and Tye had four children but only three were living at the time of the murder of Lila 17 May 1910. Their children were Earl Petty Glass, Raymond Glass and Bessie M Glass. I believe that their fourth child was Mattie O Glass who is buried at LaGrange Cemetery in Colbert County but that is not a certainty. Mary and Tye had Carter Woodrow Glass and possibly a daughter or two (I am working on that line right now). Tye died in Louisiana and evidently Mary Vandiver Glass died near Memphis. Riley and Clemmie are buried at Hood Cemetery (I won’t bother you with how many years, no decades, I searched everywhere on God’s green earth for that cemetery) which is in a community named Warren in Fayette County, Tennessee. Their daughter Walker Vandiver is buried at the head of their marker in an unmarked grave. She never married. All that exists of Walker Vandiver is a little piece of paper called an obituary somewhere in a library and her name on census records. I have never seen or heard of a photo of her.

After the death of Lila, Tyree married Clemmie’s daughter, Mary Vandiver. Mary must have been a very good mother to those children of Tye and Lila as one of them reported back to family that Mary was the only grandmother he had ever known.

Three of us visited Hood Cemetery some years ago. The tombstone was crumbling from the bottom at that time. There were bits and pieces of it on the ground. I brought a piece home as a keepsake of Riley and Clemmie. Then in a visit in October 2009 the condition of the tombstone is as you see in the photos below. And that makes me want to cry.