Fayette County, Alabama
~ Hopewell Baptist Church and Cemetery ~
When Hopewell Cemetery and Missionary Baptist Church was established,
it fell in Marion County. In 1867, the county line was changed
and the church and cemetery then fell in Fayette County. It is
two miles east of today’s Glen Allen and is located on land Uriah
Taylor entered in 1836 [see map].
He was a son-in-law of Rev. War Soldier, George
TUCKER Sr. The earliest known burial in Hopewell was George
TUCKER Jr., who died December 15, 1840.
On June 9, 1885, Oliver and Sarah MATTHEWS deeded three acres of land
to Hopewell Church. The deed was attested to by J.E. MILLS and
Thomas Franklin TUCKER. J.P. WHITEHEAD, an acting Justice of the
Peace, certified the MATTHEWS’ signatures. It is assumed that
this land was for additional space for the cemetery.
~ Hopewell Baptist Church ~
Hopewell was first represented at the North River Baptist Association
meeting in 1855. Delegates from Hopewell were Thomas HARPER and
G. BERRY. In 1856, the delegates were again Thomas HARPER, G.
BERRY and William BEASLEY. They reported 23 members. Growth
of the church was sporadic at best. In 1868, delegate A.M. KING
reported 63 members.
In 1871, the New River Baptist Association was formed. Hopewell
was a charter member. Delegates William BROWN, J.J. HOGAN and
minister B.V. SHIRLEY reported 60 members.
By 1880, the church membership was reported at 35 members. The
report was given by delegates James E. MILLS, G.S. TUCKER, G.R. TUCKER
and minister A.M. KING. The Church continued their membership in
the New River Association until 1893 when they joined the Harmony Grove
Association. Delegates to the 1894 meeting were: James E. MILLS,
W.F. TUCKER, D. TUCKER, William H. MILLS and Minister Q.D. HANEY.
They reported 35 members.
In the 1900 meeting, Hopewell was represented by delegates James. J.
WHITMAN, G.D. LETSON and Minister R. COLBURN. 46 members were
reported. The 1912 minutes of the association record the Hopewell
delegates as John S. WHITEHEAD, D.S. TUCKER and Minister O.L.
CORBETT. Membership was reported as 23. The last year for
any reports from Hopewell was 1913. The building fell into
disrepair and was last used for a funeral in 1936 according to some
reports. The building burned sometime in the 1940’s.
Many of the names mentioned above are familiar to us. James J.
WHITMAN, for instance, married Mary Alice WHITEHEAD, granddaughter of
Archibald and Nancey. John S. WHITEHEAD was my grandfather and a
grandson of Archibald and Nancey. James E. MILLS was their
son-in-law. William H. MILLS was also their grandson.
Thomas Franklin TUCKER had three daughters that married three sons of
Drew WHITEHEAD. Thomas
HARPER was the father of Jess
HARPER. Jess married Sallie WHITEHEAD, another granddaughter of
Archibald and Nancey. The WHITEHEAD family was truly represented
in the membership at Hopewell.
~ Hopewell Cemetery ~
Hopewell Cemetery history begins
with the people who settled around it. Hopewell must have then
been located on a well-traveled main road. The road going east
from Hopewell, forks. The forks were early wagon roads that lead
to nearby Sipsey River fords. A few of the nearby settlers who
entered land from the U.S. Government were: Wm. A. BEASLEY, Win. M.
BEASLEY, John A. BEASLEY, Wm. R. McDONALD, George BROWN, John H. BROWN,
James P. BROWN, Joshua W. ROBERTS, Peyton BURNETT, David THORNTON,
James B. BEAUCHAMP, Samuel K. BEAUCHAMP, Sherrod NORTHAM, George TUCKER
Sr., Isaac TUCKER, Allen TUCKER, George HUMPHRIES, Thaddeus WALKER,
Elijah J. JOHNSON, John MORRIS, James A. DAVIS, James E. MILLS and
Charles J. WESLEY.
Hopewell was obviously used as the major burying ground for the white
residents, and some blacks, of that area. There are many
unidentified graves in the old part marked only with field stones,
stacked stones, and large slabs of stone erected in the “A” frame
shape. In the 1920’s and later, Hopewell became neglected.
The George TUCKER Sr. Association and others have [restored] this old
cemetery. The annual TUCKER reunion is held there each
year. We thank them for preserving this important part of the
history of the Glen Allen area.
Sources for this article are William S. TUCKER in “Heritage of Fayette
County” and my own research.
This article originally
appeared in The Whitehead Quarterly,
2:4 (1 May 2003), p. 7.
Used here by permission of the author & editor, Larry E. Whitehead.
Mr. Whitehead produces both The
Whitehead Quarterly and The
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2004 | 2 Feb 2007