Hightower Family

Submitted by Joseph Henry Hightower Moore (All Rights Reserved)

Introductory Remarks


The Hightower family is of English origin and is stated to have settled in 1653 in the Northern Neck of Virginia, on or near the Rappahannock River in what was then Lancaster County, now Richmond County. The first definite records presently known of the family are found in the Richmond County Court Order Book for 1698, and in the Register of North Farnham Parish in the early 1700’s. The Hightowers were communicants of North Farnham Church (Anglican) and evidently remained Anglicans until the time of the Revolutionary War, after which they became Methodist Episcopalians on the formation of that demonation in 1784.


Two branches of the Hightower family have been associated with Fayette County, Georgia, over the years. The first, constituting what may accurately be called the Fayette County Hightowers, came here in 1826, four years after Fayette County was first opened to settlement, and is the line treated in this work. The second, coming to the county some fifty or sixty years later, after the War Between the States, was established here by John Gardner Hightower (1845-1934) and his wife Blandana Kendall, from Upson County, Georgia, belonging to the family branch known as the Upson County Hightowers. The Fayette County Hightowers and the Upson County Hightowers are related by the descent of both branches from Joshua and Eleanor Hightower of Richmond county, Virginia. Members of both family lines lived in the Inman area and are buried in Liberty Chapel Cemetery. (For an account of the John G. Hightower family, see Carolyn C. Cary, editor, The History of Fayette County, The Fayette County Historical Society, Inc., 1977, pp. 182-183 and 240.)


The head of the Hightower family in Fayette County (and of the Fayette, Henry and Clayton County brances) was William Hightower (c. 1778-1851). Much confusion about him has existed over the past sixty years. Several persons searching Georgia Hightower records in the mid 20th Century confused this William with several other men of the same name. At least one descendant joined the Daughters of the American Revolution by mistaking this William of Clarke and Fayette Counties for William Hightower of Wilkes and Elbert Counties, GA., whose wife was named Amelia. As it was known that William Hightower of Clarke and Fayette Counties had married a Miss Fann, the name “Amelia Fann”: came into creation. In reality, William Hightower of Wilkes and Elbert Counties (born c. 1745 in Brunswick Co., VA., died c. 1830 in Autaugua Co., Ala., a son of Austin Hightower, Sr., and grandson of Joshua and Eleanor Hightower of Richmond Co., VA.), was indeed a Revolutionary soldier; he was a cousin of William of Fayette County. Amelia Hightower of Wilkes and Elbert Counties was neither a Fann, nor was she the wife of William of Fayette. No one had then found William Hightower in the Fayette County Census of 1850; had they done so it would have been seen that he was born in or about 1778, and thus he could not have fought in the Revolutionary War, which began in 1775, some three years before his birth. William of Fayette was also confused with William P. Hightower (c. 1800-c.1856) of Campbell County, Ga., who was in reality his nephew, a son of Charnel Hightower III and wife Winnifred Corder of Caswell County, North Carolina. Winnifred (Corder) Hightower came to Campbell County, Ga., about 1838, as a widow with two grown sons (William P. and Jonathan) and their families.


The writer began to collect Hightower history in 1959, having the good fortune beginning in 1965 to exchange information with his cousin (three times over), the late Sallie Hightower Hawkins (Mrs. E. Clay Hawkins, 1897-1988) of Macon, Ga., whose own Hightower searches began in 1930, and whose work must be considered the foundation of all that has ultimately come to be known about the Fayette County Hightowers. Mrs. Hawkins was the daughter of John Wesley and Mary Leila (Burch) Hightower of Fayette County and Macon, and a grand-daughter of Jefferson Bellah and Sarah Griffin (Henderson) Hightower, he of Inman, Senoia, Griffin and Macon (see later). Mrs. Hawkins and her parents’ famlies were well known to many members of Inman Methodist Church. She had corresponded in the 1950’s with the primary Hightower family historian of the mid 20th Centruey, the late Walter A. Walker of Atlanta, but they were never able to establish with reasonable certainty the father of William Hightower of Fayette County, nor the names of all his children, although Mr. Walker suspected that this Williiam might be found among the children of Charnal II and Frances Hightower of Caswell County, North Carolina.


It was not until late in 1988 that the writer was able, through his own studies, to arrive at what he considers the correct line of the Fayette County Hightowers, and thereby to confidently place William of Fayette as a son of Charnal II and Frances Hightower, bearing out Mr. Walker’s suspicion of some thirty or forty years earlier. In accomplishing this result, the writer acknowledges the most valuable assistance of Mr. Billy E. Hightower of New Braunfels, Texas, a descendant of Henry R. and Temperence (Ray) Hightower of Clarke, Newton and Campbell Counties, Ga. Mr. Hightower placed the writer in touch with Mrs. Hazel Hightower Smith, formerly of Wascom, Texas, and now of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and a descenant of the Austin Hightower line of Virginia, North Carolina and Texas. The extensive Hightower collections of Mrs. Smith, and of persons with whom she placed the writer in touch, including especially Mr. Gary D. Duke of Freeman, Missouri, Mr. Carl Martin Stewart of Carthage, Texas, and Mr. Thomas E. Barton of Sherman, Texas, enabled him to make an exhaustive study of the Virginia and North Carolina Hightowers, with the result of arriving at the lineage given here. In this process several other Hightower lines were also solved, including those of the last-named three gentlemen, all of whom descend from the Charnel and Sarah (Glascock) Hightower line in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.


The writer regrets to state that he is responsible for erroneous Hightower information which was published in The History of Fayette County, Georgia, 1977, and again in The History of Clayton County, Georgia, 1983. A more correct account of the early Hightower family history was published in First Famlies of Henry County, Georgia, in 1993. The writer hopes that the present account will serve to correct past errors and that it may provide the basis for further research.


William Hightower


William Hightower came to Fayette County in 1826 from Clarke County, Georgia. He was born in Bute County (originally Granville, now Vance and Warren Counties), North Carolina, c. 1778, a son of Charnal II (1733-1793) and Frances Hightower (d. 1818), who had moved from Bruswick County, Virginia, to then Bute County, North Carolina, in 1769, and later, about 1780, continued to Caswell County, N.C. (See Hightower Addenda 1 for evidence establishing their children, including William.) This Charnal Hightower (Charnal II) was a son of Charnel Hightower I (c. 1695-1762) and Sarah (Glascock) Hightower (1707-post 1765), who were married in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, VA., 16 January 1727/8, and who moved about 1750 from Richmond County to Brunswick County, Va., following a general 1740’s migration of the Hightowers from the Northern Neck southward into the Nottoway River area of southern Virginia. (The marriage of Charnel Hightower I to Sarah Glascock, and the births of their children, are all recorded in the North Farnham Parish Register, Richmond County, Va.) Charnel Hightower I was the oldest son and principal heir of Joshua Hightower (c. 1670-1726) and his wife Eleanor of North Farnham Parish. (See will of Joshua Hightower, Richmond Co., Va., Will Book 5, pp. 14-15. See also Walter A. Walker’s several charts of the Hightower family, Atlanta, Ga., 1935 and afterwards, at the Georgia State Department of Archives and History, Atlanta.)


All documented Hightower lines in the Southern states are traced in descent from Joshua and Eleanor Hightower of Virginia’s Northern Neck, so that the Southern Hightowers, and perhaps all the American Hightowers, bear the distinction of deriving from a single 18th-Century couple. (The only known exception to this broad statement involves a line of Hightowers in Kentucky who descend from a long-ago Indian youth who adopted the Hightower name after he was taken in and cared for by an early Hightower settler in that section of the country.)


William Hightower married in Georgia, c. 1798, Miss Fann (born c. 1788 in Bute Co., N.C., died 1840-49 in Fayette Co.). They were probably married in Greene or in Franklin/Jackson County, Ga., where her parents then lived and where no marriage records of the time now survive. She was his third cousin, a daughter of Jesse, Sr. (c. 1735-c. 1815), and Wilmouth Fann (d. post 1823), originally of Richmond County, Va., and later of Bute and Caswell Counties, NC., who moved to Georgia between 1790 (when they appear in the 1790 Census for Chatham Co., NC.) and 1793 (when they appear in the Hancock Co., Ga., Tax Digest), and lived successively in Hancock, Green, Franklin/Jackson and Clarke Counties. (Descendants in the Hightower family were named for Jesse and Wilmouth Fann, including their grandson Jesse Hightower and his daughter Emily Wilmouth Hightower Davis of Fayette Co.) Jesse Fann, Sr., was a son of William and Judith Fann, grandson of John and Mary (Stone) Fann, and great-grandson of William and Sarah Stone, all of North Farnham Parish, Richmond Co., Va. William Hightower’s grandmother, Sarah (Glascock) Hightower, was a daugher of Thomas Glascock III and wife Sarah Stone, who was a sister of Mary (Stone) Fann, whereby came the third-cousin kinship between William Hightower and his wife. It is of interest that Mrs. Hightower had a sister, Luncinda Fann (b. in N.C. c. 1768, d. Fayette Co., GA post 1864), who married John Dorman (b. in Delaware c. 1770, d. Fayette Co., c. 1849) of Clarke County, and they, too, became early settlers in Fayette. John and Lucinda [Fann] Dorman were parents of the several Dorman Methodist ministers in early Fayette County. (Reference Doyle Fenn, Manvel, Tex., Fenns in America, a work in progress; Lawrence A. Classco, The Glas(s)cock-Glassco Saga, privately publsihed, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1974, and The Glas(s)cocks of England and America, privately published, 1984; and John W. Lynch, The Dorman-Marshbourne Letters, Down South Publishing Company, Senoia, GA, 1995. Relative to the Glascocks, it may be noted that Sarah [Glascock] Hightower was a great-grand-daughter of Thomas Glascock I, who in 1652 patented Indian Banks Plantation on the Rappahannock River in Richmond County, Va., and she was an aunt of Col. William Glascock [1730-1793] who settled in Augusta, Ga., before the Revolutionary War, and in 1779 served as president of Georgia’s Executive Council. He was the father of Gen. Thomas Glascock, Sr. [1756-1810], Revolutionary officer and U. S. Congressman, and the grandfather of Gen. Thomas Glascock, Jr. [1790-1841], attorney and U. S. Congressman for whom Glascock County, Ga., was named.)


William Hightower came to Georgia about 1797, when he was some eighteen or nineteen years of age, and settled with or near the family of uncle and aunt, Joshua and Polly Hightower, in the area of original Wilkes County that became Greene County, then Oglethorpe County, and in 1801 became Clarke County. This Joshua Hightower (1739-1841), a veteran of Braddock’s Campaign in the French and Indian War in 1755, and later of the Revolutionary War, during which he served in the Bruswick County Militia, came from Brunswick County, VA., to Wilkes County, Ga., in 1789 or 1790. He later died in extreme old age in Marengo County, Ala., to which place several of his children had moved from Clarke County in 1819 and 1820. Several others of his children moved at the same time to Randolph County, Ala. A daughter was the wife of Joshua Elder (1761-1850), who settled in Fayette County by 1827 and subsequently lived and died in Coweta County, Ga. They had sons including Sterling and Howell Elder and left descendants in Coweta and Fayette Counties. Sterling Elder was an early Clerk of the Fayette County Superior Court. (Other Elders, including a different Joshua, from a collateral family branch, settled in the vacinity of County Line Methodist Episcopal Church in present Spalding County and married again into the Hightowers. See later for the marriages of Frances Harp Hightower to John James Elder, and John Tarpley Mitchell to Ida Ann Elder.)


After his marriage William Hightower lived among his Fann inlaws in the part of original Franklin/Jackson County that became Clarke County in 1801. Their lands were located above the city of Athens in north Clarke County near the present Jackson County line and on the waters of Bear Creek and McNutts Creek of Oconee River (reference Clarks Co. deed records, 1801-1834). The 1805 Georgia Land Lottery Eligibility List shows William Hightower of Clarke County as eligible for two draws, both of which were blanks. The 1810 Tax Digest for Clarke County lists William Hightower of Easley’s District with 100 acres of land and two slaves. Two legal suits against William Hightower in Clarke County in 1819 and 1820 suggest that he was in financial reverses at that time, although he was a captain in the Clarke County militia in 1821. (Reference Clarke Co., GA., Inferior Court Minutes, and Sundry Militia Rolls Card Index, Ga. Dept. of Archives and History, Atlanta.) William Hightower, listed as then being of McElroy’s District of Clarke County, drew two lots of 202-1/2 acres each in the 1821 Georgia Land Lottery, one tract in Monroe County and the other in Houston County, but he sold both properties. (Georgia land lottery records in the office of the Surveyor General, Ga. Dept. of Archives & History, Atlanta). The only deed records found on William Hightower in Clarke County were when he purchased 79 acres on Bear Creek from his son-in-law Stokely Evans in 1822, and sold the same land to his son Raleigh Hightower in 1824 (Clarke Co. Deeds, Book M. PP. 385 & 428 respectively, dated 8 Aug. 1822 and 17 Aug. 1824.) On moving to Fayette County in 1826, William settled on fifty acres of land in the southwest corner of Land Lot 108, 5th District, east of Fayetteville and on the east side of present County Line Road. In the Fayette County Tax Digest for 1832 William Hightower is listed with 202-1/2 acres in the 5th District.


William’s wife was present with him in the Fayette County Censuses for 1830 and 1840, but is not found after 1840. Following her death, William, who was then approaching old age, disposed of his land and lived the last years of his life in the household of his son Isaac Hightower on present Highway 92 between Inman and Woolsey, where Isaac had established a 904-acre plantation in 1834. William is listed in the Isaac Hightower household in the 1850 Fayette County Census, showing that he was age 72 and born in North Carolina. He died in 1851 and according to the late Henry Milton Tarpley (1870-1940), he was buried in what Mr. Tarpley called the Bishop Cemetery. (William’s death is placed in 1851 because he is listed as alive in the 1850 Census and it was in 1851 that his son Isaac sold out in Fayette County and moved to the west. Family tradition is consistent that William Hightower died and was buried in Fayette County.) The Bishop Graveyard of his supposed interement is not to be confused with another Bishop Graveyard located in southwest Fayette County in the Brooks area. Despite diligent efforts, the writer has been unable to locate or otherwise identify the Bishop Cemetery to which Mr. Tarpley referred. It may lie in a part of old Fayette County that became Clayton County, and it may now be lost or destroyed, or it may now be known by another name. Too, there were several distinct errors in Mr. Tarpley’s recollections and he may have been mistaken about the Bishop Cemetery. The writer considers it possible that William Hightower and his family may have been buried in Prospect M. E. Church Cemetery, which was only some 1-1/2 to 2 miles from his farm by present roads. His son Carroll Hightower is known to have been buried in Prospect Cemetery in 1850. It is presumed that persons buried with William Hightower would include his wife, nee Fann (died 1840-1849), their son John N. Hightower (died 1834) and his wife Elizabeth Hunter Hightower (died by 1844). A child of John and Elizabeth may be buried with them since Fayette County Guardians’ Bonds for 1845 refer to the “orphans” of John Hightower, while only one child has been identified as still living in 1850. (Too, the bond could have been in error, referring to orphans when only one orphan existed.)


While William Hightower was always a farmer, the Fayete County Census of 1840 shows him “engaged in commerce,” the nature of which is not now known. He farmed only a small scale and may well have had a skilled trade to supplement his income. Surviving records indicate that, unlike earlier generations of his family, including his father and grandfather, Wiliiam’s literary education extended little beyond the ability to read his Bible. His father died when William was some fourteen years of age and his youth was spent on what was then the western edge of North Carolina settlement, where he had the duty of helping to support (with the aid of his older brothers and their father’s slave George) his widowed mother and family. In this situation, little emphasis was placed on formal education. William’s father Charnal Hightower II had been a man of some affairs in Brunswick County, Va., and in Bute County, NC., but he apparently suffered reverses in the general economic depression which struck the states during and after the Revolutionary War. Charnal’s material circumstances appear to have been reduced by the time he moved to Caswell County about 1780, for while he appears frequently in the records of Bute County, his name is rarely found in Caswell County records. At the time of his death in 1793, he owned several hundred acres of land on County Line Creek in Caswell County and one slave. William’s grandfather Charnal Hightower I, on his death in Bruswick County, Va., in 1762, had left a prosperous estate of land and slaves and several household items suggesting a somewhat genteel Colonial Virginia lifestyle. (Ref. Bruswick Co., Va., Wills and Estate Inventories, Book 5, pp. 297-300. It appears that in the next generation, or extending from about 1775 to about 1830, this branch of the Hightower family suffered a downward turn from their former prosperous condition.)


William Hightower grew up near the back-country frontier in late-18th Century North Carolina; he again lived in the back-country when he came to present Clarke County, Georgia, about 1797, and his move to Fayette County, Georgia, in 1826, yet again took him to the then-edge of civilization. While these moves were certainly an effort to find economic benefit in the form of new land, it seems evident that William preferred a pioneer life to that of a well-settled place. A love of nature and the outdoors, including hunting, fishing and woodsmanship, has always been characteristic of his male descendants and there can be little doubt that William himself was drawn to an active outdoors life. Texas, in the early years of its statehood, held a fascination for several of William’s sons and grandsons who went there, and even for others who remained in Georgia. Indeed, Texas and the American West exerted a pull on the family that continued to be felt into the generation of William’s great-grandsons and beyond, accounting for family bookshelves lined with the works of authors such as Clarence E. Mulford and Zane Gray. (A curious tale that has recently surfaced among descendants of the Harris Thornton family in Texas fancifully asserts that William Hightower was a half-breed Cherokee Indian and son of a “Billy Hightower” who was a full-blood Cherokee who lived to the ripe old age of 103 years. This story is not born out by any records or known facts, nor by any tradition in any other lines of descent from William Hightower, nor by the known physical characteristics of William’s children and grandchildren. [While the Hightowers of those generations often had black hair and dark-brown eyes, sometimes called black eyes, they had fair complexions. These characteristics are typical of many persons of English or Scottish extraction. The Hightowers’ facial features suggested an English or Scottish extraction. The Hightowers’ facial features suggested an English heritage. A surviving tintype and crayon protrait of William’s son James Calhoun Hightower bears this out; nothing in James’es appearance hints at an Indian heritage.])


It has been difficult to establish the names of all William Hightower’s children since he left no document naming them. The following children, all reared in the Methodist Episcopal faith, are based on the best available recollections, records and evidence. (Four of the children, Jesse, Sarah [Sally], John and James, are proven by Clarke County Probate Court Loose records as published in Joel Dixon Wells editor, The Armchair Researcher, Vol. 4, No. 4, Winter 1983, p. 204. See also letters in Hightower Addenda 2 at the end of this account naming most of William’s children.)


1. Raleigh Hightower (c. 1799-1853), m. in Clarke Co., 29 Apr. 1819, Elizabeth (Betsy) House (c. 1802-post 1870), daughter of Richard House of Clarke Co. Raleigh settled near present Stockbridge, Henry Co., GA., in 1826. He was a prosperous farmer, owning always some 300 acres of land, and at times a much larger acreage, and he listed 13 slaves in the 1850 Census. He was a strong supporter of old Concord Methodist Episcopal Church near his home. He left a large number of descendants in Henry Co. and other places. It is noteworthy that all six of his sons served in the Confederate army and three of them (Richard House, Raleigh II and James Cook Hightower) held the rank of captain. Children: (1) Dr. Richard House Hightower (1820-1897), m. Mary Ann Chapman. (2) James Cook Hightower (1824-1895), m. first, Lucinda E. Johnson, second, Sarah A. Patillo. (3) William O. Hightower, married twice and lived in DeKalb or Fulton Co. (Atlanta). (4) Mary A. Hightower (b. c. 1826), m. Isahm H. Hightower, her first cousin, son of Jesse H. Hightower. (5) Sarah Hightower (b. c. 1829), never married. (6) Paschal H. Hightower (1830-1865), m. Margaret P. Crockett, died CSA. (7) Winfred Hightower (b.c. 1832), m. Jesse Newton George. (8) Elizabeth T. Hightower (b.c. 1833), m. James M. Patillo. (9) Caroline Hightower (b.c. 1839), m. Johnson C. Turner. (10) Dr. Raleigh Hightower II (1840-1912), m. first, Catherine Watts Elliott, second, Mary Orlenza (Crumbley) Morris. (11) John Nelson Hightower (b.c. 1844), m. Sarah Green Chapman. (12) Martha J. Hightower (c. 1845-c. 1860), m. Richmond (or Richard) T. Carroll and died within a year or two of her marriage. (More complete accounts of the Raleigh Hightower family appear in Joseph Henry Hightower Moore, “Hightower, Henry Co., Branch” in The History of Clayton County, Georgia, 1983; same author, “Hightower, Early Generations” in First Families of Henry County, Georgia, 1993; and in Vessie Thrasher Rainer, Henry County, Georgia, The Mother of Counties, 1971.)


2. Isaac Hightower (c. 1800-post 1851), m. in Clarke Co., 3 Oct. 1822, Elizabeth (Eliza) Luke) (c. 1802-post 1850). Isaac remained in Clarke Co. several years after his father and siblings moved to Fayette and Henry. He sold out in Clarke in 1834 and moved to Fayette, where he built up a large plantataion between Inman and Woolsey, extending from present Hwy. 92 back across Flint River to the east. This property of some 904 acres was located in Land Lots 13, 15, and 16 of the 5th Dist., and in Land Lots 234, 235 and 246 of the 4th Dist., these last parcels being the homeplace tract which in 1851 became the Ambrose W. Gray plantation. In 1848 there were some 18 slaves on the Isaac Hightower place. Isaac does not appear in the early membership rolls for Liberty Chapel M. E. Church, but his wife Eliza Hightower was on the church roll. Isaac sold his lands in Fayette County after his father William’s death in 1851, and moved with his son Simeon C. Hightower to Texas. By 1854, Isaac was evidently deceased in Texas and Simeon and his family had returned to Ga. Isaac and Eliza (Luke) Hightower had two children: (1) Simeon C. Hightower (18 Sep. 1824-30 Oct. 1857), married first, 28 Dec. 1842, Frances K. Ogletree of Fayette Co., and second, 24 Aug. 1848, Susan A. Crawford of Henry Co. The Ogletrees were associated with County Line M. E. Church in present Spalding Co.: the Crawfords and their kin were Baptists. Sim Hightower lived first in Fayette Co., and in 1851 he moved with his father to Texas, where he remained until 1854, when he returned to Georgia, Henry County, and became a prosperous merchant and farmer at Bear Creek Station (Hampton). He was a member of Pine Frove Masonic Lodge No. 177 there, the meeting room for which was in the second floor of a brick business house which he built in partnership with Caswell M. Black, being the general mercantile firm of Hightower & Black. Sim Hightower died in the prime of his life and in the midst of a successful business career, having, aside from his substantial brick store house which is believed to be still standing at the northwest corner of James and Back Streets in Hampton, a farm of 300 acres and 16 slaves. He was buried at Mt. Pleasant M. E. Church Cemetery just west of Hampton, where his grave is marked by a box monument bearing the Masonic emblem. The stone erroneously gives his name as Simeon B. Hightower, instead of Simeon C., and Miss Emily Griffin, writing a brief history of Hampton for the Henry County Centennial Celebration in 1921, and referring to him as an early Hampton merchant, gave his name as “Jim Hightower” instead of Sim Hightower. (See Emily Griffin, “Hampton And Her History,” in Wiley A. Clements, editor, History of Henry County, McDonough, 1921.) His widow Susan Crawford Hightower (1835-1885)subsequently married (in 1858) Dr. W. Bartley Couch of Spalding Co. and Senoia, Coweta Co. It is the writer’s opinion that Susan (Crawford) Hightower Couch should be accepted as a qualifying ancestor for membership in the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans on the strength that she bore arms against the Yankee army during the 1864 invasion of Georgia. When a detachment of Union cavalry rode up to her home just north of Mt. Zion Methodist Campground in Spalding County, she determined to protect her home, her children and her servants in the temporary absence of her husband, Dr. Couch. She took up a shot-gun and went out on the front porch of her house to meet the enemy. The gun was loaded and she held it aimed at the commanding officer of the company. He ordered her to put the weapon down, saying that she would be shot if she made any resistance to the soldiers. “You may kill me,” she said, “but I will kill the first man of you who moved to dismount his horse.” Realizing that she meant her words, the officer, after a tense pause, turned and ordered his men to ride on. (This account was told and documented in the annals of the Couch family of Coweta County. It may be noted incidentally that Susan [Crawford] Hightower Couch was a step-daughter of James Whitsell Edwards of Henry County, whose brother William G. Edwards married Simeon Hightower’s sister Jane, which see below. Susan’s sister Martha Jane Crawford was married to William and James Edwards’ brother Thomas J. Edwards of Henry Co. The mother of these two Crawford girls was Hannah [Henderson] Crawford Edwards, who was a daughter of Richard and Isabel Henderson of Henry County and an aunt of Andrew J. Henderson of old Liberty Chapel, whose family account appears elsewhere in this work. For Edwards and Henderson history see Moore, First Families of Henry County, Georgia, 1993.) (2) Jane H. Hightower (b.c. 1828), m. 28 Dec. 1843, William G. Edwards of Fayette Co., son of Littleberry B. and Sarah (Whitsell) Edwards, formerly of Oglethorpe Co., Ga., where Littlebury Edwards died, after which his widow and children moved to Henry Co. William and Jane (Hightower) Edwards lived in Fayette County and moved to Ashley Co., Ark., in the early 1850s. Her young cousin Millard Hightower, orphan son of John N. and Elizabeth (Hunter) Hightower, lived with them in Fayette County and is presumed to have gone with them to Arkansas.

3. Lucinda Hightower (b.c. 1801, evidently d. by 1840), m. in Clarke Co., 15 Mar. 1819, Stokely Evans, son of John Evans of Clarke Co. They lived in Clarke Co. in 1820, Fayette Co. in 1830, and after 1830 in DeKalb Co., where they both evidently died by 1840. There were several Evans children, names unknown by the writer. Stokely Evans was a brother of Turner evans, whose little daughter was said to be the first person to die in the town of McDonough after its founding in 1823. (See Mrs. R. H. Hankinson, “A Brief History of Henry County,” in Wiley A. Clements, editor, “History of Henry County,” McDonough, 1921.) Others of this Evans family lived in Coweta Co. and perhaps in Gwinnett Co. (A descendant of the Coweta County branch is historian David Evans, author of Sherman’s Horsemen, Union Cavalry Operations In The Atlanta Campaign, Indiana University Press, 1996.)


4. Jonathan Hightower (b. 1802-4), m. in Clarke Co., 5 Oct. 1824, Mariah Wiggins. With his brother Isaac, Jonathan Hightower remained in Clarke Co. several years after their parents and siblings moved to Fayette. Jonathan and Mariah were in Clarke Co. in the 1830 Census with two small children and one young female slave, but are not found thereafter. Nothing is known of this family after 1830. They evidently did not come to Fayette Co. and may have moved to another state.


5. Jesse H. Hightower (1806-post 1867), m. first, Clarke Co., 28 Aug. 1823, Mary Cagel (or Cagle), second, Hunt Co., Tex., 23 Aug. 1867, Mrs. Mary Ann Darling. Jesse settled in Fayette Co., where he was 1st lt. of militia, 1831-1833, and capt. of militia 1833-1834. He moved to Henry Co., near his brother Raleigh near Stockbridge, where he was capt. of militia, 1838, and commissioned Justice of the Peace in 1839. He was a farmer in Henry Co. in the 1840 and 1850 Censuses, but by 1860 he had moved to Randolph Co., Ala., and had become a Methodist minister. (Several families of his Hightower cousins, previously of Clarke Co., GA., lived in Randolph Co. at that time, including Sheriff William Hightower of Randolph.) After the Confederate War Jesse moved west to Hunt Co., Texas, where he died after 1867. Children: (1) Isham H. Hightower (b.c. 1826), m. 8 Nov. 1846, his (Isham’s) first cousin Mary A. Hightower (dau. of Raleigh) of Henry Co., and after 1850 moved to Hunt Co., Texas, where he was a Methodist preacher. He is probably the I. H. Hightower who served in the Confederate army in Co. A, 32nd Texas Cavalry. (2) William Hightower (b.c. 1827, d. CSA). (3) Emily Wilmouth Hightower (b.c. 1830), m. first, in Henry Co., 24 Aug. 1850, John Wesley Davis, and second, in Fayette Co., his brother George McDonald Davis. Emily Hightower Davis lived in Fayette Co., she being the only one of Jesse Hightower’s children to remain and rear a family in Ga. She left many descendants in Fayette Co. (See “Davis” in History of Fayette County, 1977, p. 233.) (4) Augustus Hightower (d. CSA). (5) M. A. Hightower (dau. b.c. 1836). (6) E. K. Hightower (dau. b.c. 1841). (7) J. A. M. Hightower (dau., b.c. 1853). (8) James C. Hightower (b.c. 1845, d. CSA). (9) Jesse S. Hightower (b.c. 1847, d.CSA). Emily Hightower Davis’es son, Dr. George Augustus Davis (b. 1858), later of DeLand, Fla, wrote in 1931 to Sallie Hightower Hawkins that of the above children, Billy, Augustus, Jesse and Jimmie were all killed or died in the Confederate War.


6. Sarah (Sally) Hightower (c. 1809-post 1880), m. in Fayette Co., 29 Mar. 1827, Jonathan Mitchell (c. 1799-post 1880), son of Hinchey Mitchell (1775-1863) of Henry Co. (See Mary Jean Childress Voegtlin, “Hinchey Mitchell” in Moore, First Families of Henry County, Georgia, 1993, p. 466.) Jonathan and Sarah (Hightower) Mitchell had fourteen children, all of Fayette: (1) Henry Matthews Mitchell (1828-25 Jun. 1911), m. first, 10 Dec. 1853, Mary Ann Holt, dau. of Elisha and Matheny Holt of Fayette; second, 23 Dec. 1866, Julia Ann (Hightower) Mitchell, his first cousin (dau. of James C. and Manervia Ann Hightower) and widow of his (Henry Matthews Mitchell’s) first cousin Henry M. Mitchell (1832-1865), who was a son of Danville and Frances Mitchell of Fayette. Henry Matthews Mitchell served in the Fayette Planters, Co. C, 53rd Ga. Regt., CSA. (See later under Julia Ann Hightower.) (2) Mary A. Mitchell (b.c. 1829-d. 9 May 1852), m. 17 Dec. 1845, Jacob M. (Jake) Banks (killed in a railway wreck at Austell, Ga., 1893). He served in the Confederate army in the Fayette Planters, Co., C, 53rd Ga. Regt. (3) Thomas Jefferson Mitchell (16 Dec. 1830-6 Jan. 1913), m. 29 Dec. 1853, Effa Ann McLucas, dau. of Archibald and Mary (McDougald) McLucas of Fayette. Thomas J. Mitchell served in the Fayette Planters, Co. C., 53rd Ga. Regt., CSA. (4) Raleigh Mitchell (c. 1832-1862), served in the Huie Guards, Co. G, 44th Ga. Regt., and d. of wounds received in the Battle of Ellison’s Mill, Va. on 26 Jun. 1862. (5) John Mitchell (b. 1834, d. CSA), m. 9 Dec. 1856, Susan Vessel. By 1870 their orphaned children were living with his parents. (6) Martha M. Mitchell (b. 1836), m. 12 Jan. 1862, James P. Murphy. (7) Jane Mitchell (b. 1838). (8) George Carroll Mitchell (1840-1861), named for his uncle George Carroll Hightower, served in the Fayette Rifle Grays, Co. I, 10th Ga. Regt., and is presumed to have died of illness. He was last present for his company roll on 30 Jun. 1861. (9) Sarah Mitchell (b. 1842) m. Robert Tarpley. (10) Nancy Missouri Mitchell (1843-1940), m. 15 Apr. 1860, Joseph Newton Banks, Jr. (b. 1839). He served in the Huie Guards, Co. G, 44th Ga. Regt., CSA. (11) Jonathan Mitchell, Jr., (b. 1844, d. CSA) (12) James R. Mitchell (1846-26 Jun. 1862), said to have m. Ella Bedsole (no record found). He served in the Confederate army in the Huie Guards, Co. G, 44th Ga. Regt., CSA, and was killed in the Battle of Ellison’s Mill, VA. His brother Raleigh Mitchell died from wounds in the same battle. (13) Charlotte Mitchell (b. 1847), m. William Murphy. (14) Lurana Mitchell (b. 1850). D. W. Stubbs, Lovejoy, Ga., wrote to Sallie Hightower Hawkins, 20 Dec. 1931: “Aunt Sallie and Jonathan Mitchell raised seven boys and seven girls, and married off. Six boys went to war and two came back.” In fact, all seven sons went to war. Henry Matthews Mitchell and Thomas Jefferson Mitchell were the two who came back. Raleigh, John, George Carroll, Jonathan and James all died in the war. (Contributing to this Mitchell account is the research of descendant Nancy Mitchell Morris now of Griffin, Ga.)


7. John N. Hightower (b. 1807-10, d. 1834). His full name was probably John Nelson Hightower as he had two nephews given that name, one born in 1835 and the other in 1844, the first a son of James C. Hightower of Fayette Co. and the second a son of Raleigh Hightower of Henry Co. John N. Hightower married in Fayette Co., 14 Dec. 1829, Elizabeth Hunter (d.c. 1844), who was likely a daughter of Jesse Hunter who owned land next to William Hightower on present County Line Road. John N. and Elizabeth Hightower witnessed the earliest known deed pertaining to Liberty Chapel M. E. Church in 1832, and he made an affidavit to the deed in May 1834, but he was deceased by 16 Sep. 1834 when his brother Jesse Hightower applied for letters of administration on his estate (Fayette Co., Minutes of the Ordinary Court, 1823-1837, p. 108). That John and Elizabeth Hightower had children is proven by Fayette Co. Probate Records, Guardians Bonds, page 236, bond dated 6 Jan. 1845, recorded 9 Jan. 1845, in which Isaac Hightower and William G. Edwards gave $100 bond on condition that Isaac Hightower be appointed Guardian of the orphans of John Hightower, dec’d. The orphans, born between 1830 and 1834, were not named in the record, but obviously included Millard Hightower (b.c. 1833), who was in the William G. and Jane (Hightower) Edwards household in the 1850 Fayette Census, age 17. (Jane Edwards was the daughter of Isaac Hightower and niece of John N. Hightower.) Millard Hightower is presumed to have gone to Ashley Co., Ark., with the Edwards a few years later. Other orphans of John N. and Elizabeth Hightower, if any survived, have not been identified


8. James Calhoun Hightower (see below)


9. George Carroll Hightower (1818-Sep. 1850), m. in Fayette Co., 3 Jan. 1834, Sarah Eliza Griffin (12 May 1820-7 Aug. 1889). George Carroll Hightower was evidently named for the George Carroll who was living in Caswell Co., NC., in 1790, and who is presumed to have been a friend of his father’s during the latter’s youth. Dr. J. A. S. Chambers wrote to Sallie Hightower Hawkins in 1931 that Carroll Hightower, as he was known, was said to be buried at old Prospect M. E. Church near North’s Mill on Flint River. This old cemetery is located some distance off the north side of present North Bridge Road just over the line in Clayton Co., and is now on Southern Golf Court in River’s Edge Subdivision. In 1931 a large poplar tree was said to be growing from Carroll Hightower’s grave in Prospect Cemetery and it appears that this same tree is still growing there today (1997). Sarah Eliza (Griffin) Hightower is buried in the Hightower lot at Liberty Chapel Cemetery. They had one child: (1) Almeda S. Hightower, first name sometimes given as Almedia (18 May 1840-June 1916), m. 29 May 1855, Joseph Seymore (Saymer) Lee, (28 Nov. 1839-31 Apr. 1863), who died in Confederate service. The Lees and their children lived at Harp’s Crossing in Fayette Co., where descendants were still living in 1977. That Carroll Hightower had the characteristic high spirits of virtually all the Hightower men is revealed by a prank played with his cousin Sanford Dorman at the Fayette County Court House during a court case of the late 1820s. (As a lark, Sanford Dorman, Carroll Hightower and several other boys tied a goat to the judge’s stand in the court room just prior to the opening of court. See History of Fayette County, 1977, page 131. See also same volume, pages 625-626, for an account of the Lee family.)


At times it had been supposed that William Hightower had sons named Henry and Aaron, but the writer is unable to find any persuasive evidence that these men belonged to William’s immediate family. The Henry Hightower (b. N. C. d. 1798, d. Bibb Co., Ga., by 1860) who lived in Fayette Co. in 1830, in Henry Co. in 1838 and 1840, and in Bibb Co. in 1850, and who married Lucy Green in Clarke Co., 18 Apr. 1819, is accepted by descendants as a son of Jonathan and Sarah Hightower of Walton and DeKalb Cos., and thus as a nephew of William. The Henry R. Hightower (1798-1857, d. Campbell Co., Ga.), who married Temperance Ray in Clarke Co., 13 Jan. 1820, and lived in Newton Co., GA., 1830, and afterwards in Campbell Co., Ga., is not presently placed by this compiler, although he, too, may have been a nephew of William. Aaron Hightower (b. Ga., d. 1800, d. Ala. post 1860), who married Dianah Britt in Clarke County, 17 Jan. 1819, and was in Fayette Co. in 1830, was likely a nephew of William. Aaron Hightower subsequently lived in Randolph and Cleburne Cos., Ala., and the village of Hightower in Cleburne Co. was named for him.)


James Calhoun Hightower


According to his grandson John Wesley Hightower of Macon, Ga., James C. Hightower’s full name was James Calhoun Hightower. Nothing has been found to contradict this statement, although it would be more logical had his middle name been Charnel or Charnal, since his uncle, his grandfather, his great-grandfather and various cousins all bore that name, and no connection with Calhouns is known to exist on either his father’s or mother’s side of his family. The noted Southern statesman John C. Calhoun had just entered the U. S. Congress from South Carolina and was unknown to fame when James C. Hightower was born in Clarke County, Ga., 27 Nov. 1813, so whatever the source of his middle name, it remains unaccounted for. (It is speculative whether his Bible might have contained this and other infomration on the family. Sallie Hightower Hawkins stated to the writer on 17 August 1965: “I never did find anyone that knew about Grandfather [James C.] Hightower’s Bible. It seems that after his wife’s death he must have lived with Aunt Charlotte [McLucas] at Inman. However, Aunt Mag Burch, daughter of Charlotte, didn’t know about it.” Other branches of his descendants have no knowledge of an old family Bible, although in the 1930’s it was presumed by some persons to have existed.)


James lived his earliest years in rural Clarke county and when he was thirteen years of age his father William Hightower moved the family to Fayette County and James grew up and was married here, in 1834, to Manervia Ann Armstrong (9 Jun. 1813-30 Mar. 1889). There is confusion about the place of her birth. The 1850 and 1870 Censuses of Fayette County state that she was born in North Carolina, while the 1860 and 1880 Census states that both her parents were born in Georgia, and her son J. O. Hightower of Jonesboro stated in the Clayton County 1880 Census that both his parents were natives of Georgia. This is probably correct, but it would certainly seem possible that one or both of Manervia’s parents had originally come from North Carolina. She may have been born about the time of, or in the process off, such a move from North Carolina to Georgia and this might account for later confusion about the state in which she was born.


The names of Manervia Hightower’s parents are not yet proven, but research in progress suggests that she was a daughter of Samuel Armstrong (b.c. 1790) who moved from Hall County, Ga., to Henry County in 1822, settling just east of the present community of Pomona on present Baptist Camp Road in Spalding County. He was listed in the 1830 Henry County Census with his wife, one young son and four daughters, the eldest of whom would appear to have been Manervia. About 1833 or 1834, Samuel Sarmstrong moved several miles west into Fayette County, where he was a captain of county militia in 1834. (See the Fayette County Tax Digest for 1834, “Capt. Armstrong’s District,” in which Samuel is the only Armstrong listed. Indeed, he is the only Armstrong listed in Fayette County in the early decades of its settlement.) In 1836 Samuel Armstrong was a private in Co. 1, the Fayette Blues, 53rd Georgia Regiment, in the Creek Indian Campaingn. Samuel Armstrong and his family, except for his possible daughter Manervia, appear to have left Fayette County after 1836, although Armstrongs later buried in Prospect Church Cemetery may have been related to them. In their more ancient history, the Armstrongs were a rough-and-tumble clan of Border Scots who claimed legendary descent from Siward the Arm Strong, said to be the first Earl of Northumberland and builder of the Minster of York, England, and a character prominent in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Various groups of Armstrongs settled in the Carolinas and Georgia during the Colonial period of American history.


James C. Hightower was a trustee of Liberty Chapel M. E. Church by 1849 and, despite his very limited literary education, by which he was able to read, but did not write, he was a well-known exhorter or lay preacher among the early Methodist churches in this section of the state. Fayette County historian Lester C. Dickson, quoting from a history of Liberty Chapel prepared and read by Mrs. Will Harp for the church homecoming in June, 1930, state in an issue of the Fayetteville News of that time:

There were many local preachers and “exhorters”, as they were called, who went in pairs and had regular appointments on Sundays. Some of these older ones were Uncle Jimmie Hightower, Moze Harp, and Ephriam Sweat. Nobody prayed louder or shut his eyes tighter than Uncle Jimmie Hightower.


In his religion, James Hightower possessed an almost Calvinist zeal, even though the Methodist demonination, with its roots in Anglicanism, was not a Calvinist sect. The conversion experience and evangelism were greatly ephasized in the Methodism of his day. James was evidently among those narrow religionists who believed that all writings aside from the Bible were profane. Descendants recalled him as a man of serious and stern mein. He permitted his children to be addressed only by their proper names, hence his son James was to be called James, and Jefferson was Jefferson, yet oddly, James C. himself was known throughout his home community as “Uncle Jimmy” Hightower, and his father in his day was known as “Uncle Billy” Hightower. James was a strick father and disciplinarian with his sons and brought them up to an unbending standard of conduct which sometimes caused difficulty in father-son relationships as his method was continued into several subsequent generations. It became characteristic during these generations that the Hightower men were severe with their sons while generously indulging their daughters. “Parental difficulties, or offsping difficulties, may have been what brought young William Hightower to Georgia in the first place, back when he was some eighteen years of age, about 1797.) In any case, the wisdom of the day was that a severe upbringing taught a son to be a hard worker and good provider, while an indulged daughter was thought likely to marry a man who would provide as comfortably for her and her children as her father had done.


James Hightower was a charter member and original officer (Junior Deacon) of the Pine Grove Masonic Lodge Number 177 when it was organized at Bear Creek Station (Hampton) in 1853. In 1854, and for some years after, the meeting room for this lodge was in the second floor of the brick business house of Hightower & Black in Bear Creek, the Hightower of that partnership being James’es nephew Simeon C. Hightower, who himself became a member of the Pine Grove Lodge when he returned from Texas in 1854. (From 1846 to 1887, Bear Creek Station/Hampton was the nearest railroad point and shipping center for lower Fayette County, hence many Fayette Countians regularly traded there and were well known there.)


James Hightower followed the occupation of farming all his life. At times he acted as a mule trader, in connection with which the following anecdote is told in a letter to the compiler from Sallie Hightower Hawkins, dated in Macon, Ga., 24 July 1965:

Papa [John Wesley Hightower] liked to tell about his father, Jeff, going away from home and leaving him [John Wesley], just a lad, in care of things, telling him not to let anybody have the mules. That day a man came and told him that “Uncle Jimmy” said to let him have the mules. Papa refused to let him have them and said that his father [Jeff] had told him not to let anybody have the mules. He [the man] left and he [Papa] said in a little while he heard a rider coming down the road riding bareback on a mule with his white hair flying and his black eyes shining. He called to Papa and asked why he didn’t let the man have the mules. He [Papa] then gave his grandfather the same answer he had given the man. His grandfather told him, “Young man, catch the mules for the man. They all belong to me and so does Jefferson.” From that day on my papa never did forget that James Calhoun was the boss.


James Hightower’s first farm appears to have been the southwest quarter of Land Lot 210, 4th District, in what was then Fayette County, but is now Clayton. This farm was only some five miles west of present Hampton, which came into existence about 1846 as a railroad stop, although there was no town at Hampton when James lived near there. James paid tax on that tract of land in 1841 and 1843 and sold it in 1847. (Fayette Co. Tax Digests 1841 and 1843, and Fayette Co. Deed Book F, page 93, James C. Hightower to J. M. Couch, 20 Dec. 1847. Dr. James Madison Couch, then of Bear Creek Station and later of Griffin, was a brother of Dr. Bartley Couch who was the second husband of Simeon Hightower’s widow Susan Crawford. A third brother, Dr. Andrew George Couch, also practiced medicine at Bear Creek Station before the Confederate War.) This farm in Land Lot 210 was located on the north side of present Hall Road in present Clayton County and was about a mile south of the original (pre-1832) Liberty Chapel M. E. Church.


It appears that James Hightower moved to his long-time homeplace north of Inman in 1847, even though the purchase deed for that tract was not made until 1849. In that year he purchased 320 acres of land from Thomas Bolling Gay, being all of Land Lot 10, twenty acres of the northeast corner of Land Lot 11, and the south half of Land Lot 23, all in the 5th District (Fayette Co. Deed Book F, page 100, Thomas B. Gay to James C. Hightower, 26 Dec. 1849). It is of interest that James Hightower’s move from his original homestead in Land Lot 210 to his farm above Inman coincided with the move of old Liberty Chapel from its original location in present Clayton County to a site just east of Inman where Liberty Chapel Cemetery is located.


James Hightower’s home at Inman, dating from about 1847, is the oldest portion of the house which for several generations has been known as the Harp place, located just north of old Inman and set back in a shady grove of trees from the northeast corner of the intersection of present Highway 92 and Inman Road. The house was enlarged many years ago by the Harps. Several years before he died, James C. Hightower sold this homeplace to his son James O. Hightower of Jonesboro, the property then consisting of all of Land Lot 10, 5th Dist., except six acres off the northeast corner, and four acres in Land Lot 247, 4th Dist., beginning at a rock corner in front of the J. C. Hightower residence on the Fayetteville-Zebulon Road (Hwy. 92), and described as lying next to the School House Lot (Fayette Co. Deed Book L, p. 509, deed dated 13 Jun. 1889). This property contained some 200 acres and was bounded on the north by lands of Jefferson B. Hightower, on the east by Reuben Gay and Elijah B. Welden, on the south by Daniel McLucas and D. W. Stubbs, and on the west of Bogan Mask and W. B. Lunsford.

The gently-undulating land surrounding the Hightower house on all sides was a productive property, although James appears to have farmed on a modest scale since the Fayette County Agricultural Census for 1850 shows him with just 40 acres under cultivation and 283 acres unimproved, and the 1870 Agricultural Schedule shows him with 65 acres under cultivation and 185 acres unimproved. To his original 320 acres of land at the Inman farm he eventually added additional neighboring tracts until in the mid-1880’s he had accumulated some 732 acres of land located north and east of Inman. This made him a large landowner, although not a large farmer. On 14 May 1886 he deeded a total of 303 acres of this land to his children, giving them some 50 acres each, using this means of distributing property rather than leaving a will. His purpose was to give each child sufficient land to guarantee them a basic livlihood, in addition to whatever land they and their spouses had already acquired on their own. As noted above, James still had 200 acres on his homeplace after making these gifts to his children.


According to his great-great-grandson Harold F. McCart, Jr., of Jacksonville, Fla., relating stories passed down from Jefferson Bellah Hightower to his daughter Charlotte Frances (Hightower) Daniel of Thomaston, Ga., James Hightower donated the right-of-way in front of his house for the Atlanta and Florida Railroad in 1887. This railroad gave life to the community of Inman (designated for railroad purposes as Ackert Station) and when the railroad was completed such a short distance from the front porch of his house, friends observed that James could then take the train and travel as he wished, to which he always replied, “My pony will do me fine.” When in advanced old age and no longer able to ride, James still kept his horse saddled and tied by the shaded front porch so that he could feel he had the means to travel if he wished. (Reference telephone interviews, Harold F. McCart, Jr., with the writer, 31 January 1984 and 20 May 1997.)


James Hightower did not own slaves, although two of his brothers, Raleigh and Isaac, were prosperous slaveowners, and Isaac was considered a wealthy man in land and slaves before he moved to Texas in 1851. Isaac’s son Simeon C. Hightower was also rising to wealth both as a merchant and in the ownership of land and slaves at the time of his early death in 1857. James owned sufficient land, and of good-enough quality, to have acquired slaves over time had he wished to do so. Sallie Hightower Hawkins stated in a letter to the writer, dated Macon, Ga., 2 October 1965:

I remember hearing my father say that his grandfather James Calhoun Hightower was against slavery and never owned any. Now his grandfather [Andrew J.] Henderson did have slaves. There was a Negro woman that was my father’s nurse, cook, and second mother after his mother Sallie Henderson died. Her name was Melissa Porter. My father always spoke kindly of her and had many pleasant memories of her in his childhood. She would have been as old or older than his mother (Sallie Henderson was born 1847), so I know she has long since gone to her reward. Just wanted to mention her name along with other Hightowers. They were her folks too.


Further mention of the Porter name appears in the 1880 Fayette County Census, in which James Porter, age 11, black servant, is listed as a member of the James C. Hightower household. Ten years earlier, in the 1870 Census, Georgia Seagraves, age 12, was listed as a black servant living in the family. The parents of James Porter and Georgia Seagraves undoubtedly lived on the Hightower farm. In slavery days, work on the place was performed by James Hightower and his sons, perhaps with the aid of white hired farm laborers from time to time, and, according to Mrs. Hawkins, with occasional hired slaves belonging to other owners. After the war, and the end of slavery, several families of Negro tenants or sharecroppers lived on the Hightower place.


James Hightower was over age for regular service in the Confederate army and he was exempted from duty in the Home Guard because of a physical disability (double hernia). The so-called “Joe Brown Census” of 14 December 1863, a census taken for state militia and home defense purposes as the Union army began its invasion of Georgia, lists James as age fifty years and four months old, and a native of Clarke County. Two of his sons, John and James, were or had been in the army. (John had died in Richmond, Virginia, from wounds received in the Battle of Ellison’s Mill in 1862, and his brother James brought his body home for burial at Liberty Chapel Cemetery. James fought in Virginia and later served in the Georgia Home Guard.) Jefferson was listed in 1863 as age 16, a farmer and a native of Fayette County. He was just of age for militia duty at the time and he soon joined the First Georgia Reserves and performed guard duty at Andersonville Prison in southwest Georgia in 1864 and 1865.

While James C. Hightower did not go to the war, the war came to him. The following incident that took place probably in the late spring or early summer of 1865 was told to the writer on 24 October 1959 by his grandfather, the late John Osgood Hightower of Jonesboro:


The war was just over and Father [James O. A. Hightower] was home from the army. He and Grandpa {James C. Hightower] came over to Jonesboro from Inman to get provisions for the farm. They were just past Flint River, on their way hom, when they saw some yankee cavalrymen riding towards them, coming over the hill some distance ahead. Father said to Grandpa, “Quick, Pa, let us hide the mules and wagon over here in the woods so the yankees won’t take them.” Grandpa said, “No, there is no point in that, son. The war is over now and the yankees won’t bother us.” Father said, “Well, you can stay here and wait for them if you want to, but I don’t trust them not to bother us or take our provisions or the team and I’m leaving,” and with that he jumped down off the wagon and disappeared into the woods alongside the river. The soldiers rode on up a few minutes later and they stopped Grandpa and asked him the way to Griffin, saying they had taken a wrong turn and were lost. Grandpa told them the way to Griffin, but the commanding officer said, “We’re not going to rely on anything an old rebel tells us; you rebs always tell us wrong. Unhitch your mule, old man, and ride with us. You will show us the way to Griffin.” So Grandpa unhitched his mule, got on the mule bareback and rode painfully (he had an old injury that partly disabled him) all the way to Griffin, nearly twenty miles away, along with the Union soldiers. The yankees released Grandpa at Griffin and then he had to ride all the way back home on his mule and didn’t get home till sometime late in the night, sick and exhaused. Father, in the meantime, having hidden in the woods where he could see and hear all that happened, had to borrow another mule from somebody in the neighborhood and drive the wagon on home. Of course the borrowed mule had to be returned to its owner. Father and Grandpa both had their share of trouble from the yankee soldiers that day, even though the war was over and private citizens were supposed to be safe from interference from them.


Osgood Hightower himself was nearly six years old when the last Union occupation troops left Georgia in 1877, and his childhood memories included seeing Union cavalry riding through Jonesboro and over the Georgia countryside during the “Reconstruction” years following the war. Most of the occupation forces in this area were posted at what local people called the Yankee Barracks, later known as Fort McPherson, just outside Atlanta.


James and Manervia Hightower had the following children, all born in Fayette County and all brought up in old Liberty Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church. (Information on most of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren listed below is from records of the late Sallie Hightower Hawkins, collected by her in 1931 and updated over subsequent years. [Her collections are now in the possession of her nephew, William Richard Hightower, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.] The writer apologizes for any errors or ommissions which the following material may contain.)


1. John Nelson Hightower (19 Nov. 1835-5 Jul. 1862) m. 18 Jul. 1859, Susan Ann Elkin (23 Nov. 1833-6 Jan. 1923). John Hightower was starting out in life as a Fayette County farmer with a young wife and child when the War Between the States began in 1861. He was 3rd sergeant, 4 Mar. 1862, in the Huie Guards, Co. G, 44th Ga. Regt., Army of Northern Virginia, CSA, and was mortally wounded in the Battle of Ellison’s Mill, Va., 26 June 1862. This was the first major battle in which his regiment was engaged after arriving in Virginia. Two of his first cousins, Raleigh and James Mitchell, served in the same company with him, died as a result of the same battle. Just twelve days before John was wounded, his younger brother James had transferred into this company to serve with him. On receiving his wound, John was transported to St. Charles Hospital in Richmond and died there eleven days later. His brother James brought his body home for burial in Liberty Chapel Cemetery. (Ref. Lillian Henderson, Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, Vol. 4, 1960, and Confederate Widow’s Pension Application of Susan A. Hightower of Fayette Co., Microfilm Files, Ga. Dept. of Archives and History, Atlanta.) On 14 May 1886, James C. Hightower gave to Susan A. Hightower, for five dollars and natural love and affection towards her as his daughter-in-law, a tract of 50 acres of land in Land Lot 12, Dist. 4, Fayette Co. (Fayette Deeds, Book L, p. 98). Two children: (1) Mary Claudine Hightower (30 Apr. 1860-23 Mar. 1901), m. 25 Nov. 1877, John Calvin Hill (12 Feb. 1852-17 Apr. 1930), son of William N. and Mary Ann (Kelley) Hill and grandson of pioneer settler Elisha Hill, and had children Maude Hill m. William Augustus Nipper and lived in Griffin, Ga.; Elizabeth Strickland Hill m. Thomas Stokes; Eva Hill d. infancy and William Nelson Hill m. Marie Platt of Augusta, Ga. (2) Etta Strickland Hightower (21 Nov. 1861-22 Apr. 1914), m. Thomas W. Tarpley (1857-1942), and had children: Leila Earle Tarpley, John Nelson Tarpley, Annie Mae Tarpley, Rowena Tarpley, Erma Claude Tarpley, Hugh Tarpley, Jewel Tarpley (dau.) d. infancy, Ottilia Lynn Tarpley, and Walter Tarpley.


2. Julia Ann Hightower (b. 16 Jul. 1838, date and place of death unknown, although she is believed to have died about 1910 and may be bur. in Macon, Ga.), m. first, 19 Dec. 1852, Henry M. Mitchell (19 Dec. 1832-18 Apr. 1865), son of Danville and Frances Mitchell of Fayette Co.; m. second, 23 Dec. 1866, Henry Matthews Mitchell (b. 1828), son of Jonathan and Sarah (Hightower) Mitchell of Fayette Co. Julia Hightower’s husbands were first cousins to one another and her second husband was also her own first cousin. Confusion about her family has been caused by her marriages to two men named Henry M. Mitchell, both of whom served in the Fayette Planters, Co. C, 53rd Ga. Regt., Army of Northern Virginia, CSA, and both buried in Liberty Chapel Cemetery. Her first husband appears in Lillian Henderson’s Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, Vol. V, p. 558, as Henry M. Mitchell, Jr., and her second husband is listed on the same page as Henry M. Mitchell, Sr., he being some four years older than her first husband. Julia’s first Henry Mitchell was said by descendants to have returned home from the army on sick furlough sixty days before General Lee’s surrender, and died at home nine days after the surrender. The second husband, Henry Matthews Mitchell, was a 2nd Corporal in the Fayette Planters. Julia Hightower Mitchell’s grave has not been located, but it is thought that she may have lived her last years with her son L. A. Mitchell in Macon and that an unmarked adult grave in his family lot in Macon’s Riverside Cemetery may be her’s. On 14 May 1886, James C. Hightower deeded to Julia A. Mitchell, for five dollars and natural love and affection toward her as his daughter, 50 acres of land, being 25 acres in the southwest corner of Land Lot 42 and 25 acres in the northwest corner of Land Lot 23, Dist. 5, Fayette Co. (Fayette Deeds, Book L, p. 89). Children born to Julia Hightower and her first husband Henry Mitchell: (1) John Tarpley Mitchell (20 Feb. 1856-17 May 1933), m. first, Ida Ann Elder (25 Jul. 1859-7 Jan. 1905), dau. of the Rev. John Hartwell and Frances (Sowder) Elder, and gr-dau. of Joshua and Annie (Gray) Elder, of County Line M. E. Church, Spalding Co.; second, 11 Jun. 1905, Bessie Jane Griffin (19 Apr. 1881-5 Aug. 1944), dau. of Robert Wadkins and Martha Ann (Barfield) Griffin and gr-dau. of Benjamin Ballard and Sarah Jane (Andrews) Barfield of Sunnyside, Spalding Co. (See Rex E. Curry, “William T. Barfield,” and Doris Curry, “James Andrews,” in Moore, First Families of Henry County, Georgia, 1993, pp. 51 and 30 respectively.) J. T. Mitchell had children by first wife: H. O. Mitchell m. first Sallie Darsey and second Annie Laurie Griffith; Frances Pearl Mitchell m. James Richard Minter; Emmett Marvin Mitchell m. Eith Hall; Lewis R. Mitchell m. Esther Suddeth; Gussie Mitchell d. infancy; Paul Mitchell m. Ruth Brewster; Grady Mitchell m. Norma Lunceford; Ruby Blanche Mitchell m. Roy Patterson; and Opal Mitchell. By his second wife Bessie Griffin, John Tarpley Mitchell had children: Robert Tarpley Mitchell m. Carmen, Roy Eugene Mitchell m. Florence Puckett, Sara Irene Mitchell m. Tom Sockwell, Webb Mitchell, Julia Ann Mitchell m. Gordon Ware Boyd, Martha Elizabeth Mitchell m. Otis Hightower, Bessie Jane Mitchell m. Curtis Mobley, and Nellie Doris Mitchell m. Clint Ashley. (2) Lewis Anthony Mitchell (25 May 1858-7 Jan. 1929), m. first 14 Feb. 1880, Roxie Ann Kerlin (1 Dec. 1862-23 Sep. 1907), dau. of Thomas Samuel Kerlin and his first wife Margaret Ann Little, m. second, Macon, Ga., c. 1910, Ella _?_ (d. July 1927). L. A. Mitchell lived in Fayette Co. and moved to Hampton, Henry Co., c. 1874, to manage a flour mill and sawmill owned by Edward Greene Harris (1844-1920), whose mother was nee Emily Hightower, a member of the prominent early Hightower family of near White PLains, Greene Co., GA., the line being collateral to that of the subject Hightower family. (See Moore, “Edward Greene Harris,” in First Families of Henry County, Georgia, 1993, pp. 322-325.) E. G. Harris moved from Hampton to Macon in 1887 and became one of that city’s wealthiest citizens through the ownership of a large Macon lumber yard and large lumber mills in several south-Georgia counties, and through the development and ownership of street railway lines in Macon and Athens. L. A. Mitchell moved to Macon some time after Mr. Harris and was also involved in the timber industry in Dodge Co., Ga., and had other business interests in Macon, where he became a prominent and wealthy citizen. All children were born to the first marriage and lived in Macon: Horance Napoleon Mitchell m. Agnes Hutson, James Ivey (Jesse) Mitchell m. Mrs. Blanche Reynolds, Margaret (Maggie) Mae Mitchell m. Julious Otto, Ilma Little Mitchell m. Oscar Abney and they moved to Athens, Ga., Lewis Thomas Mitchell m. Lois Lewis, Clifford Mitchell m. May Park Compton, Walter Lewis Mitchell m. Gladys Story. (3) James Osgood Mitchell (26 Au. 1860-13 Sep. 1883), m. Sallie Cox (Fayette Co. marriages show J. A. Mitchell married Lucinda Cox, 20 Nov. 1881), no issue. He was killed at age 22 when, acting as a peace-maker between dissenting persons, one of them shot him, causing his death several days later. (4) Minerva Frances Mitchell, m. 21 Sep. 1879, Harris H. Thornton and moved to Texas. Julia Hightower and her second husband Henry Matthews Mitchell had children: (1) Jefferson Brannon Mitchell (10 Oct. 1867-15 Oct. 1937) m. 19 Dec. 1888, Cora Gertrude Lewis (27 Sep. 1868-19 Feb. 1951) and had: Ethan Edgar Mitchell m. Liela Tarpley, Eva Irene Mitchell, Cleo Nora Mitchell m. William Thomas Edmonson, Jefferson Andrew Mitchell m. Nettie Brown, Lewis Lamar Mitchell d. infancy, Lucy Anne Mitchell, and Cora Odell Mitchell m. Louie Landrum Perry. (2) Hilliard Eugene Mitchell (3 Jan. 1869-16 Sep. 1906) m. Tessora G. Johnson (29 Dec. 1874-10 Feb. 1921). (3) George Richard Mitchell. (4) Mary (Mamie) Odell Mitchell (26 Mar. 1878-16 Aug. 1906) m. 17 Feb. 1901, William F. Rivers (17 Feb. 1867-8 Jul. 1907) and had Lilly Rivers and Wilbur Rivers who d. infancy. (5) Oscar Otis Mitchell (b. 17 Feb. 1867), twin of Mary. (Ref. records of Nancy Mitchell Morris, Griffin, GA, descendant of John Tarpley Mitchell, for assistance with this Mitchell account.)


3. Charlotte S. Hightower (16 Oct. 1840-30 Oct. 1918) m. 23 Dec. 1860, the Hon. Daniel Allen McLucas (17 Feb. 1835-15 Oct. 1900), who is not to be confused with his cousin of the same name, Daniel Allen McLucas (1832-1899) who is also buried in Liberty Chapel Cemetery. The subject Daniel Allen McLucas was a noted Fayette Co. attorney and served two terms in the Georgia legislature, 1878-1881. He served in he Confederate army as 1st lieutenant and captain in the Fayette Planters, Co. C, 53rd Ga. Regt., Army of Northern Virginia. Charlotte Hightower McLucas went to Marion, S.C., during the Confederate War to stay with his parents there while Gen. W. T. Sherman’s army was invading Georgia in 1864. One of their children, Margaret, was born in South Carolina for that reason. On 20 Sep. 1886 James C. Hightower deeded for five dollars and natural love and affection for his daughter Charlotte S. McLucas, 50 acres of land, being 25 acres in the southwest corner of Land Lot 245 and 25 acres in the northeast corner of Land Lot 246, Dist. 4, Fayette Co. (Fayette Deeds, Book L, p. 88). Sallie Hightower Hawkins believed that James C. Hightower lived his last days in the household of Daniel A. and Charlotte Hightower McLucas. This appears feasible in view of his having sold his homeplace to his son James in 1889 (see above). On his death in 1891, Charlotte S. McLucs was named Administrator of the James C. Hightower Estate (Fayette Co. Ordinary Docket A, p. 199). Children: (1) John McLucas (21 Oct. 1857-16 Nov. 1942) m. 24 Dec. 1880, Emma Murphy (26 Jun. 1859-20 Oct. 1929) and had: James McLucas m. Bessie Barber, Mary McLucas m. J. W. Shaw, Loubie McLucas, Roy McLucas m. Louise _?_, Annie Gray McLucas m. Hubert Merch, and Willie Hugh McLucas d. infancy. (2) James McLucas m. Annie Bell Davis and had: Webb McLucas m. Martha _?_, May Belle McLucas m. George Porter, James D. McLucas m. Kattie Riggins, Lewis Oscar McLucas m. Louise Burnett, and Claude McLucas m. Maxie Goggins. (3) Mary (Molly) J. McLucas (20 Mar. 1862-29 Feb. 1887) m. 15 Jul. 1884, J. M. (Matt) Sams (5 Oct. 1860-8 Aug. 1890). She d. soon after their marriage. (4) Margaret McLucas (17 May 1865-Apr. 1940) m. 7 Dec. 1884, William Henry Burch, Jr. (12 Aug. 1860-Aug. 1936) and lived near Flippen, Henry Co., Ga. Children: William Henry Burch III m. Virgie Love and lived in Atlanta, Jewel Burch m. Virdie Green Brannan and lived in McDonough, Paul Burch d. in youth, the Rev. Lovett Burch (Methodist preacher) m. Clara Askew, Daniel Otis Burch m. Clyde Jones of Fayette Co., Fannie Kate Burch m. Hugh Hayward Fanning of Henry Co., John Hightower Burch m. Julia Byrd Morris and lived in Atlanta, Barney Horton Burch m. Thelma Granger and lived in Atlanta. (5) Robert Edward McLucas, m. 25 Nov. 1896, Lunnie Price of Henry Co. and had: Bessie McLucas m. Holmes Hardeman, and Marguerete McLucas m. J. A. Smith. (6) Minerva Frances McLucas (13 Feb. 1873-19 May 1918) m. as his first wife, 1 Jun. 1894, Dr. James Absalom Stinchcomb Chambers (22 Apr. 1859-6 Dec. 1938) and had: Frances Chambers d. infancy, Charlotte Chambers m. John Raymond Minter, Fred Duncan Chambers m. Violet Moss, Lois Chambers m. Russ Moss, Daniel Everett Chambers, James Lewis Chambers, Julia Frances Chambers m. George H. Pace, Sr., Robert Harold Chambers. (8) Jefferson D. McLucas (b. 11 Feb. 1875) m. Erma Roberts (Fayette Co. marriages show Andrew J. McLucas m. 23 Dec. 1896, Erma G. Roberts) and had: Marion McLucas m. William McDuffie, Hubert McLucas, Walter McLucas, Merrell McLucas, Askew McLucas, Sara Ellen McLucas, and Alla Nora McLucas. (9) Daniel Allen McLucas, Jr. (11 Feb. 1875-19 Nov. 1941), twin of Jefferson D. McLucas, m. 27 Dec. 1898, Minnie Russell Welden (17 Dec. 1874-22 Nov. 1954), dau. of Dr. Elijah Burrell and Mary Frances (Harp) Welden and had: Fannie Louise McLucas m. Webb Watson Mask, Sr., Jessie Steven McLucas m. Georgia Britt, Annie Margaret McLucas m. Edgar Berner Tarpley, and Fabye Evelyn McLucas m. Reuben Willis Lasseter. (10) Jewel McLucas m. Effie Matthews and had Bernard McLucas.


4. James Osgood Andrew (J. O.) Hightower (5 May 1845-7 Jul. 1922) m. in Henry Co., Ga., 2 Nov. 1865, Matilda Ann Harris (4 Nov. 1843-2 Jun. 1931), dau. of Alston Green Harris and wife of Ann Williams Gray of near present Flippen, Henry Co. Matilda Harris was a niece of Ambrose Williams Gray who was a trustee of Liberty Chapel and whose large plantation below present Inman was previously owned by Isaac Hightower. (See Gray family.) Matilda Harris descended from the Harris and allied families of Colonial Isle of Wight Co., Va., and later of Granville Co., N. C., and Greene and Hancock Cos., Ga. Other early Virginia lines from which she descended included the Rucker, Allen, Long, Green, Turner, Tomlin, Lundy, Burchet and allied families. She was a c.1860 graduate of the Griffin (Methodist) Female College, of which her uncle Absalom Gray was a founding trustee. James O. A. Hightower was named for is father’s friend, Methodist Bishop James Osgood Andrew of Oxford, Ga. When Bishop Andrew inherited a young slave girl named Kitty, with the proviso that on reaching the age of 19 she be set free or sent to Liberia, a great slavery controversy arose in the American Methodist church resulting in the division which created the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in May of 1845, the same month and year in which James Hightower was born. (The slave Kitty was by that time a free woman.) Young James Hightower served in the Confederate army, first enlisting on 27 May 1861 in the Fayette Rifle Grays, Co., I, 10th Ga. Regt., Army of Northern Virginia. Thirteen months later he transferred, in an exchange with A. B. Tarpley, to the Huie Guards, Co. G, 44th Ga. Regt., Army of N. Va., in order to serve in the same company with his brother John. When John died from wounds several weeks later, James brought the body home for burial in the Hightower lot in old Liberty Chapel Cemetery. He returned to Virginia and records show he was discharged for being under age in Jan. 1863. His son Osgood stated that he ran away from home to join the army when he had just turned sixteen years old in 1861 and that he was allowed to remain in the army so long as he served as company drummer. According to the story, in the heat of battle James threw down his drum and took up the rifle of a dead soldier and fought in the combat, which eventually led to his discharge for being under age. He returned home and joined the 6th Regt. of Ga. State Troops. Fayette Co. records show that in 1864 he was a 4th lt. in the 26th Dist. Militia. Records in the National Archives list him as a private in Co. E, 2nd Ga. Cavalry. He served during the Georgia Campaign of 1864 and on to the end of the war in 1865. He performed mounted service during that time and the saddle-tree he rode is in the writer’s possession. The rifle he carried in the war was preserved by the family until it was stolen with other items in a burglary at the home of his grandson near Jonesboro in the 1960’s. After the war James settled in Jonesboro and dropped Andrew from his name, becoming known as J. O. Hightower. He opened a mercantile business in partnership with his brother-in-law Absalom G. Harris and soon opened the Jonesboro Livery Stable, whose profits enabled him to gradually buy farm lands in Clayton, Fayette, Henry and other Georgia counties. His name appears in the deed indexes for Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Fulton, Campbell, Clarke, Jackson and no doubt other counties over the state. On 14 May 1886 James C. Hightower deeded to J. O. and J. B. Hightower, for $10 and natural love and affection for them as his sons, 103 acres in Land Lots 42 and 23, Dist. 5, Fayette Co. (Fayette Deeds, Book L. p. 71). J. O. Hightower owned land at Cross Roads in Fayette Co. and on 26 Nov. 1892, for $5, he deeded one acre to J. W. Dixon, D. H. Holt, W. W. Dixon, T. W. Tarpley and H. M. Stubbs, trustees, for the Cross Roads School (Fayette Deeds, Book N, p. 397). James was a cotton-buyer in Jonesboro and invested extensively in the cotton market. He was involved in the south-Georgia timber industry in partnership with his nephew Lewis A. Mitchell. James also bought a ranch near Amarillo, Texas, and placed it under the care of his son Albert, to whom he eventually deeded the property as a gift. He owned many Jonesboro properties including for several years the Jonesboro Hotel. In 1915 he was the principal founder of the Jonesboro Manufacturing Company, later named the Hightower Manufacturing Company until it closed in the mid-1930s, for the manufacture of cotton and silk hosiery. Products from this company were shipped to various parts of the United States and to cities in Canada. At the time of his death, James was president of the company and vice president of the Bank of Jonesboro, which he had helped to organize in 1902 and in which he was a major stockholder. He served some years as mayor pro tem for Jonesboro and was a valued member and benefactor of the Jonesboro Methodist Church. He was a trustee of Middle Georgia College in Jonesboro. Mrs. Hightower was a member of the Jonesboro Ladies Memorial Association, organized soon after the war for the beautification and care of the Patrick R. Cleburne Confederate Soldiers’ Cemetery. The Matilda Hightower Circle of the Womens’ Missionary Society in the Jonesboro Methdist Church was named for her. Children, all born and brought up in Jonesboro: (1) Beulah Hightower (5 Nov. 1866-1930), m. 24 Apr. 1883, Charles W. Cooper (1858-1922) and lived in Commerce, Ga., where her father built a large house in the Queen Anne Victorian style as a gift for her and her family. Children: Dr. John Hightower Cooper, D.D.S. (1884-1953), of St. Petersburg, Fla., unmd.: Noreen Cooper (1887-1969) married Harvey F. Bray (1877-1949) of an old east-Georgia family, and lived in Atlanta, where he was an official with the Coca Cola Co., and in Havana, Cuba, where in 1908 he was general manager of the Coca Cola Co. for the island of Cuba, and later lived in Commerce, Ga.; Charles Key Cooper (1890-1923), m. Margaret S. _?_ (1895-1964), no issue; Lamar Jackson Cooper (1897-1965), unmd.; Henry Linton Cooper (1901-1931), married _?_ and had dau. Lynn Cooper, who was the last known descendant of Beulah Hightower Cooper. (2) Leonora (Nora) Hightower (18 Apr. 1869-22 Oct. 1952), m. first, 8 Apr. 1887, Charles T. Vincent of a prominent Athens, Ga., family, second, 30 Sep. 1896, Dr. James Solon Cousins (21 Jul. 1870-13 Jun. 1957) of Jonesboro, where in 1910 her father built a large Edwardian-style house on South McDonough St. (now known as the Cousins-Kent house) as a gift to her and her family. She had by her first marriage Nettye Bird Vincent (23 Jan. 1888-11 Dec. 1965), who m. 9 Dec. 1908, Joseph Brown Waldrop (1 Dec. 1880-14 Jan. 1957) of Jonesboro, and by her second marriage: William James Cousins (14 Feb. 1898-20 Sep. 1965), m. Doris Daniel (b. 30 Oct. 1899) and lived in Macon, Ga.; Maurine Cousins (7 Jul. 1903-25 Jan. 1991), m. Lon Melson Carnes (1894-1972) of Jonesboro; and Callye Gilbert Cousins, m. William Little of Austell, Ga. (3) John Osgood (Os) Hightower (25 Dec. 1875-16 Aug. 1960) m. 21 Jun. 1899, Aileen Louise Waldrop (20 Mar. 1878-23 Feb. 1962), a sister of Joseph Brown Waldrop, above, both children of James L. Henderson Waldrop and wife Louisa Caroline Juliet Wilson of Jonesboro, and grandchildren of Thomas Davidson Waldrop and wife Mary E. Norton of near Fayetteville. Osgood Hightower was a businessman and farmer of Clayton Co., cashier of the original Bank of Calyton County, president of the Hightower Manufacturing Co., vice president and president of the Bank of Jonesboro (now Sun Trust Bank), served many years as City Clerk of Jonesboro and as a member of the City Council, served as Clayton County Democratic Executive Committeeman for Jonesboro District, and was a trustee of the Jonesboro schools and a member of the Clayton County School Board. He held various offices in the Jonesboro Methodist Church, including Sunday School teacher and Secretary, Church Steward, Church Treasurer and Librarian, and delegate to General Conferences. Aileen Waldrop Hightower was a principal founder and sometime president of the Frankie Lyle Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, and an organizer of The Tara Chapter, Children of the Confederacy. The Aileen Hightower UDC Scholarship Award was named for her. She was a long-time member of the Jonesboro Garden Club and was many years pianist and organist for the Jonesboro Methodist Church and held various offices in the church. Children: Annie Louisa (Annelu) Hightower (29 May 1900-9 Jul. 1961), who taought many years in the Jonesboro High School, unmd.; James Osgood Hightower (16 Feb. 1902-30 Mar. 1989) m. first, 15 Jun. 1929, Mary Kate (Kitty) Thomas (15 Mar. 1903-3 Jul. 1956) of Butts Co., GA., second, 22 Nov. 1958, Mamie Sue (Allen) Dunlap of Atlanta; Dorothy Aileen Hightower (28 Mar. 1903-10 Dec. 1970); Kathryn Idelle Hightower (b. 25 Sep. 1911), m. 8 June 1931, Sheldon Aldine Brown (13 Sep. 1899-12 Aug. 1961) and lived in Atlanta; Josephen Waldrop Hightower (b. 14 Apr. 1913), m. 17 Mar. 1935, James Marion Moore (21 Mar. 1909-7 Jul. 1976) of Henry Co., Ga. They are the writer’s parents. J. M. Moore was a son of Henry Thomas and Ida (Couch) Moore of Hampton, grandson of Henry Madison and Elizabeth (Peebles) Moore, great-grandson of Hiram and Elizabeth (Henderson) Moore and great-great-grandson of John and Margaret (Ross) Moore, all of Henry Co. See Henderson family in this volume. The Moores were double-cousins to Sarah Griffin Henderson, first wife of Jefferson Bellah Hightower, given below.) (4) James Albert Hightower (22 Jun. 1875-4 Jul. 1918), m. Anna Jean Davis and lived at Amarillo, Tex., where he had a ranch given him by his father. No issue. (5) Walter Gray Hightower (7 Aug. 1878-30 Jul. 1906), served in Co. A, 3rd Ga. Regt. in the Spanish-American War, 1898, and afterwards, following a disagreement with his father, he went to Texas and was killed by a man who shot him in the back of the head. At his mother’s insistence, his body was returned home for burial in the Hightower lot in the Jonesboro Cemetery.


5. Jefferson Bellah Hightower (19 Nov. 1847-31 Dec. 1923), undoubtedly named for the Rev. Morgan Bellah, the earliest Methodist circuit preacher who served the Fayette County area, m. first, Sarah Griffin Henderson (16 Apr. 1847-5 Nov. 1883), dau. of Andrew Jimerson Henderson and wife Elizabeth Hill of Fayette Co.; m. second, Theodosia Florence Gatlin (11 Aug. 1860-20 Jun. 1896), a school teacher from Perry, Houston Co., Ga.; and m. third Effie Jane Smith of Macon, Ga. Jefferson Hightower was too young for service in the regular Confederate army, but in 1864 he joined Co. I, First Ga. Reserves, and performed guard duty at Andersonville Prison. After the war he farmed near Inman in Fayette Co. and in 1877 he was an organizing member of the Fayette Co. Agricultural Club. On 14 May 1886 James C. Hightower deeded to J. O. and J. B. Hightower, for $10 and natural love and affection toward them as his sons, 103 acres in Land Lants 42 and 23, Dist. 5, Fayette Co. (Fayette Deeds, Book L, p. 71). About 1890 Jeff Hightower lived for a time in Senoia, Coweta Co., and early in 1892 he went with his cousin Edward McLucas to Macon to secure "a situation with a firm dealing in lumber" (Fayetteville News, 22 Jan. 1892). This was very likely the sawmilling and lumber-yard business in which his cousin Lewis A. Mitchell was involved. Soon thereafter Jefferson Hightower was living in Griffin. Items in the Fayetteville News in 1892 reveal that he owned a grist mill near Inman and descendants recall that he had a sawmill and lumber yard in the area, perhaps in Senoia. On 18 March 1892 he was referred to as Col. J. B. Hightower of Griffin and on 25 March he was named as the Hon. J. B. Hightower of Griffin and was 4th Dist. representative on the Fayette County Democratic Exective Committee. Newspaper items note that by 11 March 1892 he was in the real-estate business in Griffin in partnership with a Mr. Taylor and it appears that he divided his residence between Griffin, where he had a house on Poplar Street, and Fayette Co. during this time. Business, public affairs and court days frequently took him to Fayetteville. Several years later, perhaps after the death of his second wife in 1896, he moved to Macon, where he was in the sawmilling and lumber-yard business, and lived most of the remainder of his life there, until in old age and failing health he went to the Confederate Soldiers' Home in Atlanta and died there. He was said to be buried either in the Confederate Soldiers' section of Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta or in the Marietta National Cemetery, but his grave is presently unlocated. His first two wives are buried at Liberty Chapel Cemetery, Inman, and his third wife is presumed to be buried in Macon. Children born to his first wife Sarah Griffin Henderson: (1) John Wesley Hightower (b. 22 Jan. 1872) m. 5 Dec. 1895, Mary Leila Burch (25 Nov. 1877-12 Mar. 1949), dau. of Richard Jefferson Burch and wife Elvira Frutilla Huling of Harris, Henry and Fayette Cos., Ga. Mr. and Mrs. John Wesley Hightower lived in Macon, but were well known in Fayette Co., where they often visited. Children: Sallie Elvira Hightower (6 Oct. 1897-1 Apr. 1988), historian of the Hightower, Burch, Huling, Henderson and allied families, m. 15 Jan. 1916, Ethridge Clay Hawkins of Jones Co., Ga. They lived in Macon and had James Mitchell Hawkins (1 Feb. 1917-13 Dec. 1976) who m. 16 Jan. 1939, Elma Kimball and had Margaret Anne Hawkins, and Ethridge Clay Hawkins, Jr. (6 Nov. 1918-19 Sep. 1944) who m. 31 May 1937, Helen Barfield, and was killed in action at Florence, Italy, in WWII; Willie Mary Hightower (b. 5 Nov. 1899) m. John Story Pierson of Macon, lived in Charleston, S.C., and had John Story Pierson, Jr., who m. Sara Ezell McLendon, and Martha Jane Pierson who m. Dr. James B. Martin of Newberry, S.C., and lives in Charleston, S.C.; Maude Aurelia Hightower (b. 4 Oct. 1903), d. at age 8 mos.; Richard Alton Hightower (b. 26 Dec. 1904) m. Margaret Ives and lived in Charleston, S.C., and had son William Richard Hightower, now of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; John Wesley Hightower II (b. 31 Aug. 1907) m. Ethel Breelove and lived in Baton Rouge, La.; Annie Lucile Hightower (29 Nov. 1909-23 Sep. 1977) m. 1942, Marcus Robert Kaplan, Sr., lived in Macon and had Marcus Robert Kaplan, Jr., and Clay Kent Kaplan. (2) Vara Albertus Hightower (26 Jul. 1875-26 Nov. 1939) m. 29 Oct. 1891, Richard Ellison Carlisle and lived in Culloden, Monroe Co., Ga. Children: Cecil Carlisle m. Sue Bryant and lived in Birmingham, Ala.; Colemen Carlisle m. Virginia Caracker and lived in Monk's Corner, S.C.; Ballie Mae Carlisle m. Claude Chance and lived in St. Petersburg, Fla.; Lucile Carlisle m. Burner Barnes and lived in Fla.; Annie Ruth Carlisle, unmd., lived in Fla. (3) Annie Elizabeth Hightower (b. 16 Jan. 1877) m. in Griffin, Ga., 13 Oct. 1893, Milton Alexander Crawford and lived in Yatesville, Ga. Children: Jefferson Calhoun Crawford (known as Calhoun Crawford) m. Emmaline Gober and lived in Autaugaville, Ala., where he was a leading citizen; Sarah Crawford, accidentally killed as a child; Robert Holmes Crawford died age 17; Mary Ruth Crawford (b. 29 Oct. 1910), lived Montgomery, Ala. (4) George Henry Hightower (2 May 1879-7 Sep. 1890). (5) James Andrew Hightower m. Willie Story and had: Albert Hightower, Robert Hightower and Ethlyn Hightower. Jefferson Bellah Hightower and his second wife Theodosia Florence Gatlin had children (1) Charles Jefferson Hightower (b. Feb. 1886). (2) Mary Minerva Hightower (b. 5 Dec. 1886), m. Joseph Jackson Wheeles, lived in Thomaston, GA., and had: Emily Florence Wheeles (b. 18 Sep. 1917) m. Merel Lewis. (3) Charlotte Frances Hightower (1891-1978) m. John Thomas Daniel (1881-1953), lived in Thomaston, Ga., and had: William Harrison Daniel (1907-1964) m. Dorothy Franklin; Theo Daniel (son, 1909-1926); Caroline Frances Daniel (b. 1911) m. first Harold Franklin McCart (1908-1966), and second, Galen B. Kilburn, Sr., both of Atlanta, and has children, Harold Franlin McCart, Jr., attorney, of Jacksonville, Fla., m. Patricia Louise Rion and has son Harold Franklin McCart III, and Caroline Daniel McCart, m. Robert Swaney of Jacksonville, Fla.; Charles Frederick Daniel (b. 1913) m. Mary Hale; Sara Daniel (d. 1997) m. William Lolas and lived in Jackson, Michigan; and Katherine (Kate) Daniel m. first Manuel Monsiou and lived in Barnesville, Ga., and m. second William Stapleton and lives in Athens, Ga. (4) Thomas Hightower (b. 4 April 1893), was adopted after his mother's death in 1896 by his older took the name Thomas Hightower Carlisle, m. Jessie Smith of Culloden. Jefferson Bellah Hightower and his third wife Effie Jane Smith had: (1) Julia Hightower m. Hugh Morgan and lived in Macon. (2) Lois Hightower m. (name unknown) and lived in Cleveland, Ohio.


6. Frances Harp Hightower (16 Aug. 1850-6 Aug. 1927), m. 31 Jan. 1867, John James Elder (7 Nov. 1842-22 Aug. 1921), son of Samuel Edmond (1820-1878) and Mary A. (Bates) Elder and grandson of Joshua and Annie (Gray) Elder, all of County Line M. E. Church (Birdie Community), Spalding Co., Ga. (For Elder history see Ernest Elder, Jr., Elder and Hardigree Lines, Dahlonega, Ga., 1984.) J. J. Elder was a large and prosperous farmer of Spalding Co. and a strong member of County Line M. E. Church. On 14 May 1886 James C. Hightower deeded to Fannie H. Elder of Spalding Co., for $5 and natural love and affection towards her as his daughter, 50 acres of land in the southeast quarter of Land Lot 12, Dist. 4, Fayette Co. (Fayette Deeds, Book L, p. 319). Children: (1) Mary Cora Elder (16 Dec. 1867-23 Jun. 1870). (2) William Childres Elder (20 Nov. 1870-16 Oct. 1943) m. Emma S. Frye (15 Aug. 1872-18 Nov. 1949). They had four children who died as infants and are buried in the Elder lot in County Line Church Cemetery; no other issue. (3) James Edmond Elder (7 Oct. 1874-11 Oct. 1947) m. 12 Oct. 1904, Eunice May Edwards (23 Oct. 1875-12 Oct. 1966), dau. of Riley Jackson Edwards and wife Anna Camilla Rebecca Turnipseed and grand-dau. of Thomas J. Edwards and wife Martha Jane Crawford and Levi and Harriett Turnipseed, all of Henry Co. (See earlier for reference to Martha Jane Crawford Edwards and her sister Susan A. Crawford who m. Simeon C. Hightower and Dr. W. Bartley Couch. For Edwards and Turnipseed histories see Moore, First Families of Henry County, Georgia, 1993, pp. 203-207 and 654-657.) James Edmond Elder was a large farmer in the Birdie Community of Spalding Co. and had business interests in Griffin, where the family home is on South Hill St. He was for several years president of the Second National Bank of Griffin and for some years was a member of the bank's board of directors. He and Eunice Edwards Elder had children: John James Elder (1 May 1906-3 Apr. 1907); Annie Ruth Elder (23 Sep. 1907-23 Feb. 1985), a teacher in the Griffin High School, m. Earnest Anderson Nealy (23 May 1907-23 Feb. 1945), who was killed in action in World War II and buried in Belgium, no issue; Edwin Russell Elder (b. 28 Oct. 1910) m. 3 Apr. 1933 Elizabeth Hemphill and lives in Decatur, Ga.; and Warren Eldred Elder (b. 3 Mar. 1915) m. 28 Aug. 1954, Sarah Lucy Norman (b. 15 Jan. 1917) and lives in the family home on South Hill St. in Griffin.


7. Wesley B. Hightower (6 Jul. 1860-6 Jul. 1862), born late in his parents’ lives, he died on the day of his second birthday and just one day before his older brother John Nelson Hightower died in Virginia. The firstborn and last-born children of James and Manervia Hightower, they were buried at old Liberty Chapel Cemetery within a few days of one another.





Charnal Hightower II's will left all his property to his wife Frances (Caswell Co., N.C., Will Book C. page 37, will dated 6 Nov. 1792, proven July Court 1793). Her will (Caswell Co. Will Book H, page 188, dated 3 Apr. 1818, probated July Court 1818) named only two children, sons Joshua and Gregory, and grand-daughter Frances Peterson. While William is not proven as a son of Charnal and Frances Hightower by any known contemporary document, the relationship is established by this compiler, based on the following preponderance of evidence:


1. William Hightower was born in North Carolina when Charnal II and Frances Hightower were living there. William's birth in North Carolina in or c. 1778 is referenced to this entry in the household of his son Isaac in the 1850 Fayette Co. Census, Household 1053, and Fayette Co. Census, 1880, in which William's son James C. Hightower stated that both his parents were born in North Carolina, meaning that William was born to parents who were living in North Carolina in or circa 1778. An examination of all documented Hightower couples and families living in all North Carolina Counties between 1770 and 1790 eliminates all other known Hightower couples (aside from Charnal II and Frances) as possible parents for William.


2. William Hightower named his oldest son Raleigh and thus appears to have belonged to the major family branch in which the name "Raleigh" was characteristically used, suggesting his descent from Charnal I and Sarah (Glascock) Hightower, parents of the first-ever Raleigh Hightower (1737-1801). With only one exception, all documented early Raleigh Hightowers, regardless of when and where found, descended from this couple. The first Raleigh was therefore a proven brother of Charnal Hightower II; William, as a son of Charnal II, would have been a nephew of the first Raleigh, and would reasonably have given his oldest son the name.


3. William Hightower belonged to the generation of the grandchildren of Charnel I and Sarah (Glascock) Hightower, based on three generations of birth and marriage dates, meaning that one of the sons of Charnel and Sarah would have been William's father. A close examination of all known documents pertaining to the sons of Charnell I and Sarah (Glascock) Hightower (all of whom are proven by birth entries in the North Farnham Parish Register in Richmond Co., Va.), being estate and land records in the southern Virginia and upper North Carolina counties to which they moved, eliminates all the sons of Charnel I and Sarah (Glascock) Hightower as possible fathers for William, with the sole exception of their son Charnal Hightower II of Bute and Caswell Counties, N.C.


4. Several family names link William Hightower with Bute County, N.C., where as the son of Charnal II and Frances Hightower, he would have been born. In Bute and contiguous locales were families bearing the names of Paschal, House, Dorman and Fann, all family names with which William Hightower and his children were later intimately associated in Clarke, Fayette and Henry Counties, Georgia. (William himself married Miss Fann in Georgia, and her sister Lucinda Fann married John Dorman. William's son Raleigh Hightower married Elizabeth House in Georgia and one of their sons was named Paschal. A Paschal House is also found in Henry County, Ga., where Raleigh and Elizabeth lived. The presence of these names in Bute Co., N.C., and late in three Georgia counties in which William Hightower's family lived, is significant.)


5. Of the Bute County families linked with William Hightower, none was more closely associated than the Fanns, with whom William appears in various land and court records in Clarke Co., Ga. Jesse, Sr., and Wilmouth Fann of Bute and Chatham Counties, N.C., and later of Clarke Co., Ga., were the parents of William Hightower's wife, whom he married in Georgia. Furthermore, Jesse Fann was a second cousin of Charnal Hightower II, William's believed father, both men being great-grandsons of William and Sarah Stone of North Farnham Parish, Richmond Co., Va. (The grandmothers of Charnal Hightoer II and Jesse Fann were sisters, a fact of which they were certainly aware.) Jesse Fann may have gone from Richmond Co., Va., to Bute County, N.C., because his cousin Charnal Hightoer II was already living there. William Hightower married Jesse Fann's daughter soon after William's move to Georgia c. 1797; the Fanns had gone to Georgia at least four years earlier, by 1793. Since William married Miss Fann almost immediately on his arrival in Georgia, it is more than likely that he knew her in North Carolina before any of them went to Georgia, and he may indeed have gone to Georgia for the very purpose of marrying his childhood sweetheart. As a son of Charnall Hightower II, William Hightower would have married his third cousin when he married Jesse Fann's daughter. (No record of her first name has yet been found, although it is speculated that she may have been named Sarah, in view of the fact that she had a daughter and several grand-daughters named Sarah. This is not conclusive evidence, however, owing to the general popularity of the name "Sarah" in the 19th Century.)


6. Linking William Hightower with Caswell County, N.C., where as a son of Charnall Hightower II he would have lived from c. 1780 to c. 1797, is the fact that appearing in the 1790 tax list for Caswell County was one George Carroll. The compiler has located no other George Carroll in North Carolina during this time. William Hightower later named a son George Carroll Hightower, born in Clarke Co., GA., in 1818. In addition, William had a grand-daughter (Martha J. Hightower, daughter of Raleigh), who married Richmond (or Richard) T. Carroll in Henry Co., Ga., in 1859.


7. Indicating that William Hightower was a son of Charnal II and Frances Hightower, and further linking him with Caswell County, N.C., is the fact that John Puckett Hightower lived in Clarke Co., GA., during the same years William lived there, and John Puckett Hightower is accepted as a son of Charnal II and Frances. John P. would therefore have been William's brother, born some two years before William. (John Puckett Hightower was born in North Carolina 14 Feb. 1776 and died near Social Circle, Walton Co., GA., 8 Oct. 1844. His connection with Charnal II and Frances Hightower of Caswell County, N.C., is based on the fact that one John Puckett witnessed the will of Charnal Hightower II in Caswell County in 1792, and it is accepted belief that John Puckett Hightower was named for this John Puckett. It is speculated that Charnal Hightower's wife Frances may have been a sister of daughter of John Puckett. Also significant is the fact that John Puckett Hightower had a son named Charnell and a daughter named Frances; John P. also had a son named William and William of Fayette had a son named John.


8. That William Hightower was a son of Charnal Hightower II is further suggested by the fact that both William and John Puckett Hightower would have been nephews of Joshua Hightower (1739-1841), who had come to Georgia in 1789 or 1790 as a Revolutionary War veteran, and settled in that part of original Wilkes County that became Greene County, then Oglethorpe County, and finally in 1801, Clarke County. This Joshua Hightower is a proven son of Charnel I and Sarah (Glascock) Hightower, and brother of Charnal Hightower II. Both William Hightower and John Puckett Hightower, on arriving from North Carolina, settled in the vacinity of Joshua Hightower in Clarke County; and furthermore, c. 1809, John Puckett Hightower married Joshua's grand-daughter Sarah Elizabeth Hightower (a grand-daughter through Joshua's son Thomas Hightower who had married Elizabeth Pollard of Wilkes and Clarke Counties, Ga.). Thus John Puckett Hightower married his first cousin once removed, a relationship which his children and grandchildren defined in family records as "second cousins." (Family researchers Thomas E. Barton of Sherman, Tex., and Carl Martin Stewart of Carthage, Tex., are descendants of Joshua and Polly Hightower through their son Thomas who married Elizabeth Pollard. Researcher Gary D. Duke of Freeman, Mo., is a descendant of the same line through his ancestors John Puckett and Sarah Elizabeth [Hightower] Hightower.)


9. Further linking William Hightower with the Georgia families of John Puckett Hightower and their uncle Joshua is the fact that William and his children were involved in migrations out of Clarke County with the families of these men, as revealed by the following facts. William and John P. both left Clarke County near the same time, John moving to Walton County, Ga., about 1824, and William to Fayette in 1826. (Another possible brother, Jonathan Hightower, had gone to Walton County by 1819, and several of his children were subsequently in Fayette Countyfor several years before moving to Macon, Ga. See below.) Their uncle Joshua Hightower and his children and grandchildren had left Clarke Co. in 1819, 1820 and 1821, some going to Randolph Co., Ala., and some to Marengo Co., Ala. Joshua himself, then in old age, accompanied his children and grandchildren who went to Marengo. His daughter's husband, Revolutionary veteran Joshua Elder (1761-1850), lived in Clarke County and moved to Fayette County about 1826, when William Hightower made the same move. After 1850 William's son Jesse, by then known as the Rev. Jesse Hightower, joined his cousins (children of Thomas and Elizabeth [Pollard] Hightower) in Randolph County, Ala., and lived there until after the Confederate War, when he continued with the migration of other relatives to Texas. He settled in Hunt County, Tex., where his son Isham had gone soon after 1850, and children of John Puckett Hightower settled in adjoining Fannin County, Tex. These movements of the families of William Hightower, John Puckett Hightower, their uncle Joshua Hightower and his children and grandchildren, extended from Virginia to North Carolina and Georgia, and finally on to Alabama and Texas, seem to support the close kinships that surely existed among these Hightower families.


This compiler lists all the likely children of Charnal II and Frances Hightower of Bute and Caswell Counties, N.C., as follows. As noted above, only two children (Joshua and Gregory) and one grandchild (Frances Peterson) are proven by record. (Information on some of the children of Jonathan and Joshua, listed below, is from the collected charts of Janet Ricke of Texas City, Tex.)


1. Daughter, married a Mr. Peterson and was the mother of Frances Peterson who was named in her grandmother’s (Frances Hightower’s) 1818 will as a proven grand-daughter.


2. Charnal Hightower III (d.c. 1835), married Winnifred Corder (c. 1778-post 1850) in Caswell County, 17 Jan. 1798. He died in Caswell and is widow moved with her two grown sons to Campbell County, Ga. (now lower Fulton County) by 1838. Children: (1) William P. Hightower (c. 1800-c. 1856), m. Caswell County, N.C., 4 May 1824, Elizabeth Bartlett (c. 1792-post 1870) and moved to Campbell County, Ga, by 1838. They had children including Joseph T. Hightower (m. Elizabeth Rainwater), Julia Ann Hightower (m. Lemuel Black), Son (name unknown), Elizabeth F. Hightower (m. William B. Laird), Son (name unknown), and Daughter (name unknown). (2) Jonathan Hightower (d. by 1838), m. Lucinda (b.c. 1816), who married second, 21 Mar. 1838, David Y. Darnell of Campbell County. Jonathan and Lucinda had two children, Raleigh D. Hightower and Nan cy Jane Hightower (m. William P. Yates of Fulton Co.). William Hightower was living in neighboring Fayette County at the time of this family’s move to Campbell County and some researchers confuse William of Fayette with his cousin William P. Hightower of Campbell.


3. Jonathan Hightower. This is not a proven son of Charnal II and Frances Hightower, but the compiler believes they had a son Jonathan because they had at least three grandsons who bore that name. When a name suddenly proliferates in a family, it is likely that it originated in a single individual of an older generation. In the 19th Century, parents often named a child for a parental sibling who died young. The only Jonathan Hightower of the subject generation who lived in geographic proximity to the subject Hightower family was Jonathan of Walton and DeKalb Counties, Ga., (b. 1770-1780, d. by 1840). It has been logically assumed by researchers that Jonathan of Walton and DeKalb was the Jonathan Hightower, 8-year-old orphan (b.c. 1780), or Orange Co., N.C., who was bound out to John Elliott in 1788, to remain in the care of Elliott until he reached the age of twenty-one, c. 1801. He is logically assumed to be the Jonathan Hightower in the 1800 Census of Chatham County, N.C., age 16-26, with wife age 16-26 and a son under age 10. (Chatham Co., N.C., joins Orange Co. and was formed out of Orange.) Researchers have further assumed that he came to Georgia some time after 1800 and was in Walton County by 1819, in which year his son Henry married Lucy Green in neighboring Clarke County. The compiler is unable to refute this belief and can only note the apparent coincidence that in Walton and DeKalb Counties, Jonathan lived near the families of John Puckett Hightower and William Hightower, and Jonathan’s son Henry Hightower lived some years in Fayette County where William had settled, and then moved to upper Henry County where William’s son Raleigh lived. This Jonathan Hightower may indeed have been an orphaned cousin, and not a brother, of John Puckett and William Hightower, whose movements happened to coincide with his. In any case, his family is presented here because of the possibility, however remote, of his being a son of Charnal II and Frances Hightower. In 1840 his widow Sarah Hightower and their daughter Sarah are found in a Henry County deed when they were evidently living near (or with) their son and brother Henry Hightower, and near William-or-Fayette’s son Raleigh Hightower, all near Stockbridge. (Henry Co. Deed Book J., page 329, Sarah Hightower, Sr., to Sarah Hightower, Jr., three cattle, dated 4 Aug. 1840). Children attributed to Jonathan and Sarah Hightower of Walton and DeKalb Cos.: (1) Henry Hightower (c. 1800-pre 1860), m. Clarke Co., Ga., 18 Apr. 1819, Lucy Green (1799-post 1850). They were in Clarke County in 1820, Fayette County in 1830 and by 1838 had moved to Henry County, near Stockbridge, where they were living in 1840. By 1850 they had moved to Macon, Bibb Co., Ga., where their possible son William had settled earlier. Children: Jonathan Hightower (1820-1903), m. first, Fayette Co., 10 Jul. 1844, Sarah Frances Bennett (1829-1864), daughter of Micajah and Mary (Cotton) Bennett of Fayette, second, Sarah Smith; William Hightower (b.c. 1827), m. Elizabeth (b.c. 1828), and lived in Macon; Mary Hightower (b.c. 1828), m. Bibb Co., Ga., 17 Aug. 1845, Wiley Tyson (b.c. 1825); John Henry Hightower (b.c. 1829), Mary (b.c. 1830), and lived in Bibb Co., Ga.; Gallant Hightower (b.c. 1830), m. Frances; James Hightower (b.c. 1834); Sarah Hightower (b.c. 1836); Isaac Hightower (b.c. 1840), m. Emily. (2) William Hightower (1807-1847), a possible, but not proven son of Jonathan and Sarah, m. Bibb Co., 15 Jan. 1832, Phoebe Dillard. William Hightower was a Macon merchant. He was drowned with his young son Andrew while fishing on the Ocmulgee River at Macon in July 1847. Children: Andrew Hightower (c. 1837-1847); Ann Elizabeth Hightower (b.c. 1839), m. Francis M. S. Kilpatrick; Aurelius T. Hightower (1841-1864), died CSA. (3) Son, name unknown. (4) Son, name unknown. (5) Sarah Hightower (see 1840 Henry County cow deed as referenced above; no other record.)


4. John Puckett Hightower (14 Feb. 1776-8 Oct. 1844), m.c. 1809, Sarah Elizabeth Hightower (6 Feb. 1780-7 Nov. 1862), daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Pollard) Hightower of Wilkes and Clarke Counties, Ga., and grand-daughter of Joshua (1739-1841) and Polly Hightower of Brunswick Co., Va.,; Wilkes/Greene/Oglethorpe/Clarke County, Ga.; and Marengo County, Ala. John Puckett Hightower came to Clarke Co., Ga., by 1809. He moved to neighboring Walton County about 1824, near the village of Social Circle, where he was later killed by a hostile neighbor. His widow and children soon afterward moved to Chickasaw County, Miss., where she died. Several children later continued west to Texas. Children: (1) Minerva Hightower (1812-1889) m. Walton Co., Ga., 22 Feb. 1829, James Duke (b. 1805). (2) Thomas S. Hightower (1814-1889), m. first, 13 Jan. 1835, Kiziah Monroe Armistead (1816-1851), second, Nancy Edwards (b.c. 1820). He moved to Randolph Co., Ala., 1845, and to Chickasaw Co., Miss, 1846. (3) Frances Hightower (1817-1907), m. John P. W. McCullars (1820-1907), and moved to Smith Co., Texas. (4) Charnell Hightower (1823-1857), m. 1850, Alpha Ayers (1828-c. 1895), and lived in Chickasaw Co., Miss. (5) Joshua John Hightower (1825-1899), m. 1853, Lucretia T. Ellis (1835-1891), and moved to Fannin Co., Texas. (6) William G. Hightower (1828-1865), CSA, died in the Battle of Franklin, Tenn., m. 1853, Julia Millsaps (b.c. 1836). (7) Sterling F. Hightower (1835-1878), m. 1856, Warna Gooding, and moved to Fannin Co., Tex. (8) S. C. Hightower (b.c. 1836), wife Javana (b.c. 1830), lived in Chickasaw Co., Miss.


5. William Hightower (c. 1778-1851), the subject of this account.


6. Gregory Hightower (c. 1780-1838), died in Caswell County, N.C., unmarried. He was named in his mother’s 1818 will and is a proven son.


7. Joshua Hightower, (c. 1790-1824), m. Caswell Co., N.C., 15 Apr. 1817, Catherine Wall (c. 1800-1824), of Caswell County. They both died of illness at about the same time. Joshua Hightower was named in his mother’s 1818 will and is a proven son of Charnal II and Frances Hightower. His brother Gregory was Administrator of his estate in 1825 and was later appointed guardian of the minor children: (1) Elizabeth Hightower (b.c. 1817), m. Caswell Co., 13 Jan. 1846, Moses Peterson. (2) Nancy W. Hightower (b.c. 1818), m. Caswell Co., 18 Aug. 1832, Madison M. Frazier (b.c. 1818). (3) Frances Hightower, m. Mr. Johnson. (4) Mary Catherine Hightower (1824-1905), m. Caswell Co., 28 Nov. 1854, William David Wall (c. 1824-1863), and lived in Stokes Co., N.C.


One or two additional children of Charnal II and Frances Hightower are possible, but the above are all the children accounted for by this compiler. A possible grandson was Henry R. Hightower (1798-1857) who married Temperance Ray (b.c. 1800) in Clarke County, 13 Jan. 1820, lived in Newton County in 1830, Campbell County in 1840 and 1850, and died in Campbell County in 1857. He had children: (1) Son (b. 1820-1825). (2) John Dickerson Hightower (1825-1899) m. Campbell County, 13 Sep. 1846, Rosannah Teal, and in 1852 moved to Heard Co., Ga. His biography appears in Dr. Lucian Lamar Knight, Memoirs of Georgia, Vol. 1, 1895. (3) Daughter (b. 1825-1830). (4) Isaac F. Hightower (b.c. 1829). (5) Amanda Hightower (b.c. 1833), m. Campbell County, 12 Dec. 1859, W. H. Ferguson. (6) Hilliard Hightower (b.c. 1835). (7) Nancy D. Hightower (b.c. 1837). (8) Littleberry (Berry) Hightower (1841-1918), m. Campbell County, 25 Mar. 1865, Martha Weddington (1844-1932). They moved to Lockheart, Caldwell Co., Texas, in 1888. A great-grandson is family researcher Billy E. Hightower of New Braunfels, Texas, who very kindly assisted in this compiler’s work on the William Hightower line in 1988. (This compiler once believed that Henry R. Hightower might have been a son of William of Fayette, but adequate evidence to support this was not found.)


Another possible grandson of Charnal II and Frances Hightower may have been Aaron Hightower (c. 1800-post 1860), who married in Clarke County, Ga., 17 Jan. 1819, Dianah Britt (b.c. 1801). They were in Clarke County in 1820 and in Fayette County in 1830 and 1840. They moved to Randolph County, Ala., about 1845, and were there in 1850, and in adjoining Cleburne County, Ala., in 1860. (Cleburne County was formed from Randolph.) The post village of Hightower in Cleburne County was named for Aaron Hightower. Children: (1) Son (b.c. 1820). (2) Son (b. 1820-1825). (3) Son (b. 1825-1830). (4) John T. Hightower (b. 1827), m. Benton Co., Ala., 1847, Anna Reede, and lived at Abernathy, Ala. (5) Elizabeth Hightower (b.c. 1830). (6) H. Hightower (son, b.c. 1831). (7) Mary (or May) Hightower (b.c. 1833). (8) Sanford Hightower (b.c. 1835). (As with Henry R. Hightower above, the compiler once believed that Aaron Hightower may have been a son of William of Fayette, but no adequate evidence is found to support this, beyond the fact that Aaron and his family lived in Clarke and Fayette Counties. There can be little question that he must have been a near relation to Williams’ family, however. His older sons may account for several Hightower marriages in Fayette County involving unidentified Hightower males.)


Hightower Addenda 2

Children of William Hightower

The following letters written or dictated by several of William Hightower’s descendants attempt to name his children. None of the lists is complete. It is noteworthy that the three children who died or moved away from Fayette County before 1850 (Lucinda Hightower Evans, Jonathan Hightower and John N. Hightower), are not named in any of these letters, their departures clearly preceding the earliest memories of the letter-writers, the oldest of them was born in 1851. The compiler has placed notes in brackets to clarify and correct errors made by the writers. The original letters were sent to the compiler by Sallie Hightower Hawkins in 1965. The compiler made typed copies of them and returned the originals to Mrs. Hawkins and they remained among her papers.

Dr. James Absalom Stinchcomb Chambers (1859-1938) to Mrs. Sallie Hightower Hawkins:

Inman, Ga.

Nov. 23rd, 1931

Mrs. Sallie Hawkins

Macon, Georgia

Dear Mrs. Hawkins,

I am truly glad to get your letter and wish I could give you more information on the Hightower family history. I am sure you could obtain some important information from the record in Uncle Jimmy’s Family Bible. I really don’t know who had it, but feel sure John “Mc” [McLucas], as we call him, or Magg Burch has it or can tell you who has it. [The James C. Hightower Family Bible was never located.]

As far as I am able to trace the names of Uncle Jimmy’s brothers and sisters, there was only one sister, Aunt Sallie Mitchell. The brothers are as well as I can find out, Isaac who went to Texas, Raleigh who lived about Stockbridge. Jesse and Carroll. Carroll I am told was buried at Old Prospect, near the old Uncle Ed North home place. I don’t know where the others were buried. Don’t know the names of Uncle Jimmy’s parents nor where they came from. Mr. D. W. Stubbs, Rt. 1, Lovejoy, might give you some information about the family. One of Uncle Jimmy’s brothers, I think was a preacher, but I don’t know whether it was Isaac or Jesse. [Jesse became a Methodist preacher late in his life.] I don’t think it was Raleigh or Carroll. Hope you’ll be able to get the desired information and complete the family history.

Remember me to your Papa and Mama and best wishes for you all.

I am yours sincerely

J. A. S. Chambers

Henry Milton Tarpley (1870-1940) to Sallie Hightower Hawkins:

Lovejoy, Ga.

Nov. 29, 1931

Mrs. Sallie Hawkins

Macon, Ga.

I noticed in today’s Paper that you wanted information in regard to the Hightower family. I will give you what I know of them as it has been handed down to me. J. C. Hightower, Uncle Jimmie as everyone called him, his father was named William, Uncle Billy everyone called him. Uncle Jimmie had two brothers, Jessie and Isaac, and one sister named Sallie, married Jonathan Mitchell. Jessie Hightower never married. [Jesse Hightower married twice and had children by his first marriage.] Isaac Hightower’s wife was named Eliza. I do not know what her maiden name was. [Elizabeth (Eliza) Luke.] He was the father of Mrs. Almeda Lee. [Carroll Hightower, not Isaac, was the father of Almeda Hightower Lee.] Your father will remember her. William Hightower is buried at the Bishop Cemetery about one mile from where I live. Jessie Hightower is buried at Prospect Cemetery about three miles from where I live. [Carroll Hightower was buried in Prospect Cemetery. Jesse Hightower died and was buried in Texas.] I do not know when either of them died, that is the date. For years there has been a large poplar tree growing on his grave. Jesse Hightower’s. [Carroll Hightower’s.] Your father will remember me. We went to school together. Studied the same books, fought at recess & playtime, divided our dinner and apples, and peaches, and slept together. Sometimes I would spend the night with him and he would spend the night with me. I sure would like to see him. Give him my kindest regards and tell him if we never meet in this world I hope we will meet in a better one.


Milton Tarpley

P.S. My wife has just come in the room. She says that Uncle Billie Hightower’s sister married a Dorman that lived in Fayette County, and she was my wife’s great-great-grandmother. [William Hightower married a Fann and her sister Lucinda Fann married John Dorman of Fayette County.] Your mother will remember my wife. Her maiden name was Chambers, Nora Chambers. If you will write to J. S. Lee Kenwood Ga or Mrs. Nancy Banks Fayetteville GA Rt. 2, they can give you as much information in regard to the older Hightowers as anyone I know, also George Dorman Fayetteville, Ga. M. T.

Miss Grace Porter writing for her grandfather George M. Dorman (1857-1937):

Jonesboro, Ga.

Dec. 7, 1931

Mrs. Sallie Hawkins

710 Broad Street

Macon, Ga.

Dear Mrs. Hawkins,

My grandfather, Mr. G. M. Dorman, of Fayetteville, asked me to answer your letter for him.

He said tell you that Mr. William Hightower’s sister did not marry a Dorman, but Mr. William Hightower and Mr. John Dorman married sisters who were Fans [Fann]. That would make Mr. William Hightower and Mr. John Dorman only brothers-in-law and no real relation. If you will write to Mr. J. J. Davis of Fayetteville, GA. or Dr. George Davis of DeLand, Fla. they can probably give you the information you desire, as their mother was a Hightower. I can also refer you to Mr. J. O. [Osgood] Hightower of Jonesboro, Ga. who can probably give you some information.

I wish you success with your family history but am sorry that we can’t give you any information about the Hightower.

Very Truly Yours,

(Miss) Grace Porter

D. W. (Doc) Stubbs (1851-1939) to Sallie Hightower Hawkins:

Lovejoy, Georgia

December 20, 1931

Mrs. Sallie Hawkins

710 Broad St.

Macon, Ga.

Dear Mrs. Hawkins:

I received your letter and will give you the best information of the Hightower family that I can.

The old Hightower family came from North Carolina. I knew J. C. Hightower, Isaac Hightower, Raleigh Hightower, Sim Hightower and Carroll Hightower. I knew Fannie Hightower, she married a Couch, and aunt Sallie Hightower married Jonathan Mitchell. [No Fannie Hightower has ever been found. Susan A. Crawford who married Simeon C. Hightower, after his death, married Dr. W. B. Couch. She was likely called “Susie,” which Mr. Stubbs confused with “Fannie”.] And the father of the Hightowers was Isaac. [The father of the Hightowers was William. Isaac was his son.] He is buried at the Prospect Cemetery. [William Hightower was said by Milton Tarpley to be buried in a Bishop Cemetery. Carroll Hightower was buried in Prospect Cemetery. Isaac Hightower died in Texas, or enroute to Texas, sometime between 1851 and 1854. Could William Hightower had been buried at Prospect M.E. Church?] J. C. Hightower and his wife are buried at the Liberty Chapel.

Aunt Sallie and Uncle Jonathan Mitchell raised seven boys and seven girls, and married off. Six boys went to war and two came back.

J. O. Hightower a brother of J. B. Hightower is buried at Jonesboro. I think from what I heard that J.B., the father of John Wesley Hightower, was buried at the old soldiers home in Fulton County. [J.B. Hightower is said to be buried in the Confederate soldiers’ section of Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, or in the National Cemetery in Marietta. His grave is unlocated.] I don’t know where the young relations are buried at.

It would take a sheet of paper from here to Griffin to write off a list of the Hightower family. But if you will come to see me I can tell you the whole story.

I am eighty years old. John Wesley ought to give you a pretty good history.

As ever,

D. W. Stubbs

[This Hightower history researched and compiled by Joseph Henry Hightower Moore, Towaliga Farm, P. O. Box 145, Hampton, Georgia 30228. Tell. (770-946-3202. 3 June 1997 / 13 November 1997)

 Submitted by  Sara Jane Overstreet

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