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

Posts tagged “John H Hurst

A picture is worth a thousand…

or whatever you wish to charge, just as soon as you say what bank you want that check written on. This photo is priceless. This is a photo of my great-great-grandparents on my father’s side.

Aunt Gene, Daddy’s Aunt Imogene Slaton, was telling us about the family before she died at almost one hundred years of age. She stated that her grandfather, Riley Vandiver, had built all the children a bedroom suite. She stated that it was not just a bed, but a complete suite of furniture. That is him with the white mustache. He undoubtedly was quite a skilled cabinet-maker.

She stated that  her grandmother Clemmie’s mother, Mary Anna Yocum Allen, was so small that they had to cut the legs off a straightback chair so she could sit comfortably with her feet on the floor. There is a straightback chair on the porch in the photo. The chair was in the family for years, but no one knows what went with it. When I envision my g-g-g-grandmammy Yocum, I see her as a Mammy Yocum figure. I am afraid she would find that unflattering, but I always admired Mammy Yocum’s spunk.

Also pictured are Riley and Clemmie’s daughter, Mary Vandiver. I wonder where daughter Walker Vandiver was; daughter Lou Ella was likely home with her family. Left to right in the photo are pictured: Tye Glass, Lila Glass, Mary Vandiver, Riley Vandiver, Clemmie Vandiver, and the children are Tye and Lila’s sons Earl and Raymond Glass. Tye and Lila also had two daughters but Mattie O Glass died young. Daughter Dessie M Glass is not in the photo. Earl Petty Glass was born in 1902, Raymond M Glass was born 1904, Dessie Mae Glass was born 1905. The daughter that died very young was Mattie O Glass. She was born 1897 and died in 1910. Some researchers give the child who died as Clyde H Glass born 1901 and died 3 March 1901. The child who died is also noted as Robert Tyree Glass, Jr.

Lila’s father John H Hurst also died a violent death. In 1902, Mr. Glass was working for L & N Railroad. This tragedy was in a  news article that listed Tye Glass’  father-in-law,  John Hurst, being killed when hit by a train on 7 Jan 1902. Both worked for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad line at the Decatur station.

After Lila was killed at gunpoint in 1910, Tye and Mary Vandiver later married. They had one son, Carter Woodrow Glass and one daughter, Helen Glass but who was called Billie by her family and friends. Tye Glass worked for the railyard, first in Tuscumbia in Colbert County, Alabama; then in Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama; then in Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee. Riley and Clemmie moved to the Memphis area with Tye and Mary Glass and there they died.

Riley and Clemmie Vandiver and some family

ca 1909


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