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

Posts tagged “War of Northern Aggression

Average and infamous…

ordinary and extraordinary, might describe members of the large Elias James family. Pictured below are Elias James and Cynthia McGary Richardson James and their large family. Elias James fought as part of the valiant 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, CSA in the War of Northern Aggression. He was a relative of the infamous James brothers, Frank and Jessie. The outlaw Jessie James was rumored to be hiding out at Elias James’ place at one time.

Elias James married Cynthia McGary Richardson, (b. 4 Mar 1847, d. 18 May 1915). They settled at Pogo, just West of Pleasant Site, where they resided in a log cabin that had a “beautiful cold water spring” and a “milk house where milk was kept cool in the running water”. This is at the base of the Freedom Hills, overlooking the beautiful valley.

The buildings are now gone but the James cemetery is still there, hidden in the woods above where the cabin once stood. The cabin is the backdrop for the family photograph below

Cynthia was the daughter of John Richardson (b. 14 Jan 1796 GA, d. 12 Jan 1876) and Nancy Hester, (b. Oct 11 1808, d. Jan 26 1853). At least two of Cynthia’s brothers served in the Confederate Army and fought at the Battle of Shiloh. Cynthia’s maternal grandparents were William H. “Buck” Hester and Amy Malone. Amy was the daughter of John Malone and Anne Blackwell of Granville County, North Carolina. “Buck” and Amy Hester came to Franklin County in 1818.

Tell us what you know about them.

Elias James Family



Back Row left to right: Daniel James holding rifle, Joe Gardner James, Nancy Catherine “Kate” James Grissom, Neoma Samantha “Dobe” James George, Marthie Melisey “Mattie” James Culligan, “Lula” James Thomas, Jennie Burton James (Enoch James’s daughter), Lula James (nee Grissom).

Front Row left to right: Modena Alice “Dena” James, Elias holding unidentified grandson, Cynthia Richardson, Cynthia (behind), Nannie, Amos James holding Elmer, Letha James (back), Mollie James (front), Elias “Shug” James, Thomas Enoch “Tom” James holding Floy James, Edna James, John James holding Myrtle James, Lillie James and Bertha James. People in the photograph were identified by Joe Clark James (1896-1985), son of “Ab” Alfred Clark James; son of Elias and Cynthia but not pictured in the photo.


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