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Fayette County, Alabama

~ Ebel Methodist Church ~

The existence of the "Methodist Episcopal Church known as Ebel" is established by a deed in which James B. MORTON (shown below) conveyed one-half acre of land to said church in May 1877.  The property — located in the northeast quarter of Section 9, Township 14S, Range 12W — lay west of what is now County Road 87 a few miles south of Winfield (see map below).

It is reasonable to assume that the members of Ebel Methodist Church lived in the James B. MORTON neighborhood.  The 1880 U.S. census, taken just three years after the church's formation, finds Mr. MORTON near a cluster of families that arrived in Fayette County in the mid-1870s (see census transcription below).  This group of families was headed by Jesse BYNUM and wife Senilia; Lewis J. BALLARD and wife Martha; and William R. BALLARD and wife Julia.  All three families had previously lived close together in Blount Co., AL.  The two BALLARD brothers came to Blount County from Georgia during the 1850s-1860s.  The Jesse BYNUM family was only one of many Blount County BYNUM families, several of whom settled there as early as 1818.

Methodist church history tells us that its early congregants assembled in small groups, called classes, and met weekly for religious training.  The names of members were recorded in a class paper or class book.  James B. MORTON compiled such a register 15 years after he deeded land to the Ebel church.  The title page bears the inscription, "Class Book," and the date, "May 4, 1892."  Other handwritten notes in the ledger say "Mr. J.B. Mortons Book / bougt [sic] March the 17 of 1889" and "Winfield, Alabama."  Conspicuously absent from Mr. MORTON's register is the name of the church.  The list of members, however, points rather strongly to the theory that it was Ebel.

(circa 1907)

Class Book
May the 4, '92
W.L.A. Self  PC          W.P. Blackwell  PE
1.   J.W. Ballard
2.   W.R. Ballard
3.   W.M. Barnett
4.   J.W. Barnett     Tranceferred June...'92
5.   J.R. Morton
6.   W.F. Ballard
7.   W.L. Ballard
8.   W.M. Morton
9.   John Morton
10. T.E. Tuck
11. G.H. Wardsworth
12. Henry Ballard
13. James E. Gardner
14. Frankling Mills
15. William More
W.L.A. Self  PC            W.P. Blackwell  PE
1.   July Ballard
2.   M.J. Ballard
3.   H. Ballard
4.   Margret Morton
5.   Annie Ballard
6.   Tiney Smith
7.   A.A. Ballard
8.   D.E. Ballard
9.   S.E. Wheeler
10. C.E. Ballard
11. S.E. White
12. Sirenia Bynum
13. Nancy Wadsworth
14. Dicy Tuck
15. Nancy Akins
16. S.M. Barnett      Tranceferred June...'92
17. Lettie Barnett    Tranceferred May...'92
18. Lorie Barnett
19. Fransis Sillivan   Draft June....'92
20. An. Louis
[ See images of actual pages here ]

Clearly, a majority of the class members in 1892 were associated with either James B. MORTON or his neighbors at about the time Ebel Methodist Church was formed in 1877.  In fact, a recently discovered document links William R. BALLARD (#2 above) with the Ebell (sic) church at Winfield in September 1888 — just 6 months before Mr. MORTON "bougt" his ledger.  J.N. RAINY was listed as the PE (Presiding Elder) at Ebel in 1888.  That position was held by W.P. BLACKWELL in the 1892 class book, while W.L.A. SELF served as the PC (Preacher in Charge).  Surprisingly, none of these church officials lived in the MORTON neighborhood.

Thumbnail sketches of some of the other class members appear below:

Class Members

James B. MORTON was born 29 Jan 1833 in AL; died 17 Dec 1915.  He married Margaret Ann HAM (HAMM), 31 Mar 1859.  Their children were Indiana "Annie" Isabell (F-5), Hassie Viola, Sarah Florentine "Tinie" (F-6), Robert Mattison Jefferson, John Ulysses (M-9?) and William Douglas MORTON.  James and Margaret MORTON were buried at Ballard School House Cemetery, less than a mile north of the Ebel church (photograph above contributed my Karen Melton Manasco, 8/10/2012) [2]

M-1 ~ J.W. BALLARD (1845-1906).  James W. BALLARD was the oldest son of Lewis J. BALLARD, who was deceased by 1880.  James and his wife Martha (F-2) settled in Fayette County in the mid-1870s with the rest of the BALLARD and BYNUM clans.  They moved in the mid-1890s to Henderson Co., TX, where they lived their remaining years.  James W. BALLARD died 17 Aug 1906 and was buried in the Cottonwood Cemetery in Henderson County (see photo of headstone). [1]

M-2 ~ W.R. BALLARD (1826-1906).  William R. BALLARD and wife Julia (F-1) headed one of the large BALLARD families that moved to Fayette County from Blount Co., AL, in the mid-1870s.  William was ordained as an "elder ... by the Congregational Methodist Church" in 1888, at which time his certificate of order was received by the Presiding Elder "at Ebell" (sic).  The BALLARDs were last recorded in Fayette County on the 1900 U.S. census; they then moved to Mississippi with their son John and his family.  W.R. BALLARD died 6 Jan 1906 and was buried at Salem Methodist Cemetery in Choctaw Co., MS. [1]

M-3 ~ W.M. BARNETTPossibly William M. BARNETT (b. ca 1859), son of John W. BARNETT (M-4?).

M-4 ~ J.W. BARNETTProbably John W. BARNETT (b. 1836), who was recorded near other known class members on the 1900 U.S. census.  He had previously lived in Blount Co., AL, so it appears that he followed the migration path blazed earlier by the BYNUMs and BALLARDs.

M-6 ~ W.F. BALLARD (1859-1950).  William Fletcher "Fletch" BALLARD was the oldest son of William R. BALLARD (M-2).  He married "Annie" MORTON (F-5), 3 Dec 1879.  Their children were Audie, married Brian BOWLING; Jim, married Sultie OWENS; Lela, married Tom McCARTHY; Ulus Morris, died young; Docia F., married Eli SULLIVAN (Note: Ulus Morris and Docia were twins); Lock, married Gertrude McCALEB; Claude F., married Maudie TRIMM; Robert Lee, married Autie TRIMM; and Delia, married George "Gussie" SULLIVAN.  Fletch and Annie BALLARD were buried at Ballard School House Cemetery. [2]

M-7 ~ W.L. BALLARD (1873-1941).  William L. BALLARD was the son of James W. BALLARD (M-1).  He and his wife, Eula GRAHAM, moved to Henderson Co., TX, in the mid-1890s.  W.L. BALLARD died 23 Aug 1941 and was buried in the Moorehead-Melton Cemetery in Henderson County (see photo of headstone). [1]

M-9 ~ John MORTONProbably John Ulysses MORTON (1868-1951), who was the son of James B. MORTON.  He married Lela MOORE, 18 Dec 1890.  They had seven children: Felton, married Jessy HARRIS; Belton (b. 1891); Lillie (1896-1975), married Edd STEPP; Hassie (b. 1898), married Homer ROGERS; Oma Lee (1901-1988), married Ralph ROHATSCH; James Walter "Pete" (1903-1992), married Lorene MEDLINGER; and Eva Mae (1909-1996), married Jack HURST.  John U. MORTON died in Quanah, Hardeman Co., TX. [2]

M-10 ~ T.E. TUCK.  Thomas Eli TUCK (1866-1954) was the brother of Richard Lewis TUCK (see F-14).  He married Mary E. SILLIVAN, 18 Jun 1884 in Fayette County.  They moved west in the mid-1890s, probably stopping in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) and Henderson Co., TX, before settling in Falls Co., TX, by the 1900 U.S. census.  The couple divorced in the 1910s.  Thomas was buried beside his second wife Alpha at RoseHill Cemetery in Grayson Co., TX (see photo of headstone). [3

M-11 ~ G.H. WARDSWORTH (1852-1939).  General Harrison WADSWORTH was the son of William WADSWORTH and Temperance MARTIN.  He married Nancy L. BYNUM (F-13), 2 Oct 1874 in Blount Co., AL.  After his wife's death in 1904, he remarried and returned to Blount County. [1]

M-12 ~ Henry BALLARD (1872-1953).  Henry BALLARD was the son of William R. BALLARD (M-2).  He married Elizabeth WHITE, daughter of S.E. WHITE (F-11), 10 Dec 1891 in Fayette County.  The couple moved after 1900 to Coryell Co., TX, where they lived their remaining years.  Henry BALLARD died in 1953 and was entombed at Pearl Cemetery in Coryell County (see photo of headstone). [1]

M-13 ~ James E. GARDNER (b. ca 1812).  His marker at Ballard School House Cemetery notes that he served in the 13th U.S. infantry during the Mexican War.

F-1 ~ July BALLARD (1837-1927).  Julia BALLARD was the wife of William R. BALLARD (M-2).  After William's death, Julia lived with her married (and widowed) daughters, Hariett Ballard GRIFFITH and Laura Ballard DICKERSON, in Coffee Co., AL.  Julia BALLARD died 25 Apr 1927 and was buried at New Brockton, AL. [4]

F-2 ~ M.J. BALLARD (1843-1916).  Martha J. COWAN married James W. BALLARD (M-1), 10 Dec 1864 in Blount Co., AL.  She died 29 Mar 1916 and was buried at Cottonwood Cemetery in Henderson Co., TX (see photo of headstone). [1]

F-3 ~ H. BALLARD (b. 1859).  Hariett E. BALLARD was the oldest daughter of William R. BALLARD (M-2).  She married a Mr. GRIFFITH but was widowed before the 1920 U.S. census.  At that time, Harriet was living in Coffee Co. AL. [1]

F-4 ~ Margret MORTON (1836-1906).  Margaret Ann HAM (HAMM) was the wife of James B. MORTON. [2]

F-5 ~ Annie BALLARD (1860-1936).  Indiana "Annie" Isabell MORTON was the daughter of James B. MORTON and the wife of William Fletcher BALLARD (M-6). [2]

F-6 ~ Tiney SMITH (1861-1951).  Sarah Florentine "Tinie" MORTON was the daughter of James B. MORTON and the wife of William Wiley SMITH (married 5 Nov 1886). [2]

F-7 ~ A.A. BALLARDPossibly Isey A. BALLARD (b. 1870), who was the daughter of James W. BALLARD (M-1). [1]

F-8 ~ D.E. BALLARD (b. 1875).  Della E. BALLARD was the daughter of James W. BALLARD (M-1).  She married H. Murray WHEELER in Fayette County a few months after the "class book" was compiled.  They moved to Henderson Co., TX, in the mid-1890s. [1]

F-9 ~ S.E. WHEELER (1868-1953).  Sarah E. BALLARD was the daughter of James W. BALLARD (M-1) and the wife of Roscoe S. WHEELER.  They moved to Henderson Co., TX, in the mid-1890s.  Sarah Ballard WHEELER died 25 Dec 1953 and was buried at Moorehead-Melton Cemetery in Henderson County (see photo of headstone). [1]

F-10 ~ C.E. BALLARD (b.1871).  Clara Eugenia WHITE was the daughter of Eugenious White and Sabrina White (F-11).  She married Andrew J. BALLARD (son of Lewis J. BALLARD) in 1889.  Andrew and Clara moved to Henderson Co., TX, in about 1894. [1

F-11 ~ S.E. WHITE (b. 1850).  Sabrina WHITE was the wife of Eugenious WHITE and a "next-door" neighbor to James W. BALLARD (M-1) in 1880.  The WHITEs' daughter Elizabeth married Henry BALLARD (M-12) in 1891. [1]

F-12 ~ Sirenia BYNUM (1825-1902).  Her given name has been the subject of much discussion among her descendants.  Most of the "handed-down" records have her name as Senilia.  Various other records list her as Sinar, Sina, Sineney, Sweennie or Serena.  Senilia (nee CORNELIUS) married Jesse BYNUM in 1848 in Blount Co., AL, and was widowed before the 1880 census.  It is interesting to find that she attended a Methodist denomination church ... this is new information.  Several of her offspring — including Wiley BYNUM, James A. BYNUM and Andrew L. BYNUM — attended Shady Grove Nazarine Church (about 6 miles to the southwest) during this period.  Senilia was buried at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Marion County, about 6 miles north of Winfield, AL (see photo of headstone). [1]

F-13 ~ Nancy WADSWORTH (1848-1904).  Nancy L. BYNUM was the oldest daughter of Jesse and "Sirenia" BYNUM (F-12) and the wife of General Harrison WADSWORTH (M-11).  She died in Marion Co., AL, and was buried beside her mother at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery (see photo of headstone). [1]

F-14 ~ Dicy TUCK (1851-1925).  Dicey BYNUM was another daughter of Jesse and "Sirenia" BYNUM (F-12).  She married Richard Lewis TUCK, 1887 in Fayette County.  The TUCKs moved about 1894 to Henderson Co., TX, where they lived their remaining years.  Dicey Bynum TUCK died 23 Dec 1925 (headstone incorrectly shows 1926) and was buried in the Cottonwood Cemetery in Henderson County (see photo of headstone). [3]

F-16 ~ S.M. BARNETTProbably Sarah M. BARNETT (b. 1837), who was the wife of John W. BARNETT (M-4?).

[1]  Don Bynum ~ great-great-grandson of Jesse and "Sirenia" Bynum
[2]  Karen Melton Manasco ~ great-great-granddaughter of James B. Morton
[3]  Pat Tuck Bizzell ~ granddaughter of Richard Lewis Tuck
[4]  Ann Cherry ~ great-great-great-granddaughter of William R. and Julia Ballard

1880 U.S. census

This is the order the 1880 census taker listed the group of people in this area.  Some of the family interrelationships have been included.

hold #
Name Relationship
78 Josepher CHAFFIN family His wife, Piety BALLARD (deceased), was d/o Lewis J. BALLARD
79 James B. MORTON family His daughter, Indiania MORTON, was w/o W.F. BALLARD
80 William F. BALLARD family S/o W.R. BALLARD; his wife, Indiania MORTON, was d/o J.B. MORTON
81 George W. BALLARD family S/o Lewis J. BALLARD; his wife, Celia A. BYNUM, was d/o Jesse BYNUM
82 Wiley BYNUM family S/o Jesse BYNUM; his wife, Margaret BALLARD, was d/o Lewis J. BALLARD
83 W.R. BALLARD family
84 G.H. WADSWORTH His wife, Nancy BYNUM, was d/o Jesse BYNUM
85 Sineney BYNUM Widow of Jesse BYNUM; with children: Dicey, Louisa, James A., Andrew L.
86 AKINS family No known relationship
87 SHARP family No known relationship
88 Fletcher A. BALLARD family S/o Lewis J. BALLARD
89 Abner REEVES No known relationship
90 William SILIVAN No known relationship
91 Elijah WINN family Any relation to the Wynns who buy the W.R. BALLARD place?
92 Jefferson HARBIN No known relationship
93 Willis BALLARD S/o Lewis J. BALLARD; his wife, Sarah A. BYNUM, was d/o Jesse BYNUM
94 Martha BALLARD family Widow of Lewis J. BALLARD; with two youngest children: Andrew J., Frances
95 Eugenious WHITE family His daughter Elizabeth married Henry BALLARD, s/o W.R. BALLARD
96 James W. BALLARD family Oldest s/o Lewis J. BALLARD
97 John STEWART family Thomas BALLARD, s/o Lewis J. BALLARD, was living with this family
108 John LAWRENCE family His wife, Adalene BALLARD, was d/o Lewis J. BALLARD
109 James GARDENER family No known relationship
121 R. Lewis TUCK family He later married (2) Dicey BYNUM, d/o Jesse BYNUM

(Generously contributed by Don Bynum ~ see complete map of T14S-R12W here)

A map of the T14S-R12W area of Fayette County appears below.  Section 9, the location of Ebel Methodist Church, sits between the marked locations of the two BALLARD farms and the 1884 Wiley BYNUM farm.  The clustering of the BYNUM/BALLARD families on the 1880 census (this was before Wiley acquired his farm and before William R. BALLARD sold his farm) is shown above.
Fayette Co., AL

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This page last updated ~Tuesday, 14-Aug-2012 18:53:48 MDT .