Crabtree, Ellis, Hawkins, Hicks, Phillips, and other families of Sulphur Springs, Alabama
Prepared by Lila Emma Jane Hicks
Fort Worth, Texas 1968
Richard and Cornell Phillips (brothers) came from Wales, England at the later part of the 17th century. Cornell settled in North Carolina then moved to Wayne Co. Kentucky, reared four boys and four girls. Two of the girls married Gatewoods. Richard and Pleasant Dallas were two of the boys. P.D. married a Beeson(Nancy Beeson Phillips buried at a private in Fort Payne, Ala near Beeson’s gap), Richard Phillips married a Chambers settled 5 miles south of Jacksborough, near a big spring in Camel(Campbell?) Co., Tenn. They reared 7 boys and 7 girls. Boys Cornell, Jim, Giddeon, Abner Gilliam, Richard and Pleasant Dallas. Girls Polly— 6 names not known. Richard settled at Jasper, Tenn. Jim went to Missouri, Gideon settled on Tenn. River, Abner settled in DeKalb Co. 4 miles north of Valley Head. P.D. went west, Abner Phillips married Martha Ellis. Martha Ellis was born 1808. They reared eleven children. Richard died in prison at Camp Chase, Ohio, during the civil war… starved to death. Ellis spent 4 years in war… 11 months in this prison. After the war, he married Sarah Warren. Jim married Nancy Hill. Pleasant Dallas (Dock) married Sarah Hawkins. They reared 8 children. Sarah died and he married her sister Hannah
Hawkins. Hannah Phillips married Charles Hicks, Nancy married Enoch York and Prude died. Pleasant Dallas and Sarah’s children names were Richard Lee Phillips, was born on Tuesday 15th of August 1871, in DeKalb Co. Ala. Hannah Jane-Phillips was born in Thursday 18th day of Sept. 1873 in Dade County, Georgia. Martha Elizabeth Phillips was born on Thursday 2nd day of Sept. 1875, in DeKalb Co. Ala. Bebhanub Abner Phillips was Born on Thursday 8th day of August. 1878 in Dekalb Co. Alabama. Dallas Whitfield Phillips was born on Saturday 18th of December, 1880, DeKalb County. Sarah Louise Josephine Phillips was born on Thursday 18th day of July 1883 , in Dekalb Co., Ala. Nancy Stella May Phillips was born on Friday 19th of March, DeKalb Co., Ala. 1885. George Harmon Franklin Phillips born on Wednesday 12th day of Sept. 1888, DeKalb Co. Ala. Pleasant Dallas
Phillips born Thursday 8th September and 1846 DeDalb Co. Ala, died Jan 23, 1932, Saran Matilda Phillips born Saturday March 8, 1852, DeKalb Co., Ala. Died June 10, 1890. Hannah Hawkins Phillips died Aug. 8, 1937. Ellis Phillips had 6 children, Roxie, Ellis Robert, Lula, Mary and George.
Lula’s notes which seems to be some duplication. Polly Phillips married Jim Ellis. Bill, Dock, Alfred, three of their boys, John Dean’s wife and Missie Gifford were two of the girls.
William Ellis lived near head of Tenn. River, raised a large family… Allie married a Long…two of them married Uncle Billie Morgan…Patsy married Abner Phillips…Jim Ellis Married
Polly Phillips… Richard Phillips married a Chambers… Jerry Chambers grandfather Abner Phillips…cousin has visited at our old home. (Lula Phillips-uncle Kell) P.D. Phillips married
a Beeson. Abner and P.E. were cousins. P.D. was Cornell’s son. Abner was Richard’s son.
The above information was prepared on several scraps of paper by Lula Phillips Cooper, the daughter of Ellis Phillips. She died Dec. 1957.
Hawkins… Sarah Hawkins Phillips… Jane Hannah… Alexander Hannah came from Luxemburg, Germany, Jane Hannah married Benjamin Hawkins probably a Cherokee Indian. His brothers were Press, Ralieh, Alex. Their children were Harmon, Alexander, Johnny, Frank, Hannah, Nancy, Sarah Matilda, Mandy (Mar) Aunt Ham. It is reported Harmon was a preacher near Little Rock, Ark. Frank lived in Chattanooga, Nancy married a Lofty, Mary married John Gates, Mandy married Tol Beene.
Ale Ellis sister to Martha Ellis Phillips Aunt of Pleasant Dallas Phillips married Alford Long, who was captain in the battle of Chickamauga, where he died. Aunt Ale got the message by an Indian. He was badly hurt and she rode from Valley Head to Chickamauga to see him, which was unheard of in those days for a woman to travel that distance alone. The men couldn’t travel with her as the Yankees were in control and would take them as prisoners. They had race horses and at that time she still had one. Later they were all taken by the Yankees. She told about playing with Jefferson Davis…and they called him Jeffy-Jingle Heels. Jefferson Davis’s mother and their mother were sisters. Girls were not important in 1800 but we have verified she and great-grand-mother Phillips were sisters… Ellis being their maiden name. She lived to be 100 years old. Died about 1897. The Long Springs being on their property.(another reference by Ms. Cooper states that the Ellis children were second cousins to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. This of course is incorrect. However, it is believed that the maiden name of their mother Hannah Ellis was Davis. A connection to the Davis family has not been documented).
George Washington Hicks:
Born: Nov. 5, 1860 (Dade County, Georgia, to Isaac Hicks and Sarah Clarissa McGauley Hicks)
Died: July 16, 1954: Age 93 years, 8 months, 11 days.
Alsey Crabtree Hicks:
Born: March 31, 1861 (DeKalb County, Alabama, to Warren Crabtree and Sarah Ann Stuart Crabtree)
Died: August 24, 1943: Age 82 years, 4 months, 24 days.
Married: September 12, 1877.
George Washington Hick’s father, Isaac Hicks, was killed in the Second Battle of Manassas, in the State of Virginia, when George was two years old and his brother, Joseph, was unborn. A committee of his fellow officers notified his widow of his death, and advised her: “ He fell mortally wounded gallantly leading his men in battle.” He was a Lieutenant in a
The State of Virginia sent George a scroll, when he was two years old, (which his mother saved for him) notifying him that a Fifty Million Dollar estate had been confiscated by the State of Virginia, belonging to the heirs, of which Isaac was one, as the Statute of Limitations had run on it. In this scroll, which was large and bulky, they traced the antecedents of Isaac Hicks back to England, giving their names and places of origin. It seemed that a brother and two sisters had left England and came to Virginia during Colonial days, and that Issac was the descendant of one of these sisters.
There was a trunk containing the scroll, Isaac’s letters to his wife, and copies of the “Chattanooga Times”, published during Civil War days which George’s mother had saved for him. This trunk was left behind when George’s family came to Texas, in March, 1910. Alsey left all of her furniture with Mae Hicks, at her son’s home in St. Elmo, a suburb of
Chattanooga, Tenn. Their house was burned down and everything they had was lost. I thought for years that the trunk, and its contents, was burned, but Mae said several years later that Alsey left the trunk in a neighbor of hers basement by the name of Bessie Bradford, in St. Elmo, but recently she said again it was burned. I was not mature enough to
know the historical value of the trunk’s contents, but I did beg Alsey to have it shipped to Texas, which she refused to do. I took a few of the letters out of the trunk and brought them to Texas, but the scroll was too large to fit into my suitcase.
Back in 1920, Grandma(Clarissa) gave me Isaac’s old (Seth Thomas) clock, which a cousin, Herschel Hawkins, crated and shipped home for me.
Sarah Calrissa McCauly (I don’t really know whether her last name was spelled: “Mc or Mac”. I think her father was a Scotch. She had a Scotch accent, coupled with a soft Southern burr. She was born at Morgansville, Georgia: her mother’s name was Martin. ( I am sorry I don’t know their first names). The Martins, several generations removed, came from Ireland. Both parents and both sets of grandparents had died by the time Clarissa was twelve years old, and an uncle name Martin raised her. He owned quite a large farm at Morgansville, Georgia during Civil War days and had hundreds of ‘Nigger” slaves. (Shame on him). They said he was a blue Presbyterian and would allow no work (not even cooking) to be done on his premises on Sunday. Clarissa’s father left her $30,000 in trust, but her guardian, through mismanagement lost it. However, she did get some
money; I don’t know whether it was through the Martins or her father. She bought the farm where she raised her second family, and got some kind of income during the time she was raising her family.
Joseph (Joe) Hicks married Saphronia Ellis and they had one child, Purlie, who married Whitfield Phillips, Mae’s brother, Joe was a school teacher, and Alsey said he was a good man. He left two farms which his widow and her husband appropriated to their own use. His wife was in love with a young man named John Humble, and married him as soon as
possible after Joe’s death.
Alsey Hicks’ father, Warren Crabtree, was a native of Tennessee; all Alsey knew about his place of origin, was that he was born and raised in Sequatchie Valley, Tennessee: that his mother was a Jackson and that the Jacksons were a higher class family than the Crabtrees. She said the Jacksons were an aristocratic family and I think big land owners.
Warren used to go to Sequatchie to visit his family, which Alsey didn’t seem to know anything about. He only had some cousins left, so far as I know, when I first remember him. Riley Crabtree was on of them; he was Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee when I was a little girl, I think; he owned a beautiful (show place) home and was rated a millionaire.
When W. C. Hicks was a young man he worked for the Knoll Construction Company. They built highways and streets all over the South. Their lawyers names was Crabtree: two brothers at Memphis, Tennessee, who were Warren’s cousins. Young Knoll had married an older woman, who was said to have been a gold digger; she was unsuitable for him but wouldn’t give him a divorce. The Crabtree lawyers got the divorce by means of publication in some unknown newspaper. (It was said on Sand Mountain) that you couldn’t beat a Crabtree in a law suit. They were supposed to be full of tricks.
Warren Crabtree’s family consisted of the following named:
William(died when he was a young boy of pneumonia.)
(note: written in is Claude’s grandfather is Warren Crabtree, his grandmother is Sarah Ann Stewart, and his mother is Ann)
The above named were Warren’s family by his first wife, Sarah Ann Stuart, who died in childbirth before Alsey’s family was born. Ben, the youngest, was a small boy, but his sister Ann was there to fight his battles with a step-mother, and from what I’ve heard, she did. Alsey said Ann used to visit her (She didn’t marry until she was 29 years old) and after a
short visit, she would say: “Ail, I have got to go home, to keep that old woman from running over the boys,” She was quite a character. She told me that she always saw to it, when a peddler went through the country, that she got first choice of the best silk dress he had.
The old woman referred to as Warren’s second wife: she was a widow with two girls: Mary and Adeline Harris. John Crabtree married Adeline and they had two sons: Bill and Jess. Jess was a handsome brunette and had a very winning personality. He died young of Pneumonia. Warren and his second wife had two children: Oscar and Diona. Oscar had a winning personality and eventually became a Baptist Preacher. They are all deceased except the cousins.
One of the Crabtrees married a Phillips- Wallace Crabtree(Alsey’s brother) married Hattie Phillips (Mae’s sister), and they had one child: Audrey Mae Crabtree: John had two boys, as above stated.
George never had any children, although he was married twice. The last time to Annie Thomas, his half first cousin, although the relationship was never acknowledged.
Ben married Bertie Blansett, who died young; they had one child: Eunice Crabtree. Ben never remarried, but became a wanderer. He was a mischievous scalawag, but likeable, and carried over some of the mischievous spirit of his childhood. He told a story about he and his brother Wallace playing a joke on Warren, when they were young boys. It
seemed that their father ,Warren, was in the habit of getting up at 4:00 a.m., and making them get up, too. They resented this, and decided to teach him a lesson. They got up one morning before he did, and raked live coal out on the hearth and covered them over with ashes. Warren was in the habit of sitting in front of the fire, barefooted. When he felt the fire on his feet, he knew what had happened, and started after the boys gecticulating and scolding, but of course, he out ran him. Ben also told a story about the time they wanted him to build a school house on Sand Mountain, which he did, and then taught school in it until they could get a regular teacher. He was very versatile and could have made his mark in the world because he had the intelligence and education to do so. Warren sent Ben and Oscar and Diona away to school, and they were fairly well educated, whether they used their education or not. Ben also told a little story, which is rather risqué but tends to show the type of mischievous spirit he had. He said a girl named Ada, in his class at school, was always calling attention to his mistakes, and it caused him to be embarrassed so much, that he decided he would set a trap for her; that the next time he got up to the blackboard to diagram a sentence, he purposely left the conjunction “but” out; that Ada’s hand went up, and the teacher asked: “What is it, Ada” then Ada said “Ben left his but out:” then he ran his hand slowly down his pant’s leg, and every one laughed; and Ada never corrected his mistakes any more.
A little description of Warren: He was heavy-set, clean shaven, and had the appearance of being easy going and never getting in a hurry. He walked with a cane and complained of having gout in his feet. He liked a joke and would have you tell the same story over and over if it happened to tickle his fancy. He never discussed his financial affairs in front of
people, or made any apologies about what he didn’t have. He had a habit of making outrageous statements, which he didn’t mean, and punctuation them with the gestures of throwing out his arms. He owned a valley farm, which was known as the Big Springs property, parts of which he deeded to certain of his children, among them was his son John. John and his family lived with Warren until John’s sons were grow-up, or at least for several years. Warren also owned a mountain farm. He sold the valley property (or they all did) to Mr. Tom Gifford and his son Jim. John used the proceeds from his part of the farm which his father had given him to buy a mountain farm. I understand, he let somebody swindle him out of his farm, after his wife died. He was like a babe in the woods when thrown on his own, as Warren and Adeline had always done his managing for him. (This paragraph is just for the record in case some of the younger generation of Crabtrees, namely, Willard Crabtree, Bill’s son and John’s grandson, had an unfavorable impression of Warren, through lack of understanding of what he had been worth to them and theirs, which maybe didn’t benefit them directly, but could have had the property been properly managed. It was Warren’s intention to provide a future home for John and his heirs when he deeded him part of the Big Springs property.)
Sarah Ann Stuart Crabtree: Her father’s name was Stuart and her mother’s maiden name was Howell. Her mother was said to be of India origin; probably on her mother’s side of the house, as Howell doesn’t sound like an India name. Her father, Stuart, took a drove of horses across country (Dekalb County, Ala.) and was never heard of again. They thought the Indians killed him. At the time, Sarah and her twin sister Jane were small girls. There was a childless couple named Long, Alcy and William (note: should be Alfred), who wanted the little girls and their mother let the Long couple have them. The Longs had money and were big property owners. They raised the girls as their own children. Captain Long died of a fever during the Civil War(War Between the States). He was a Union soldier as was Warren. Sarah Ann loved the Longs like they were her own parents,
and lived with Alsey Long, whom they called “Mammy”, at the Big Springs place, which Manny owned. When Alsey was a young girl, Manny wanted her mother to let Alsey live with her and reminded her that she took care of her when she was little and now she wouldn’t let her child live with her (Mammy). Alsey and George lived with Mammy until they had several children. Mammy gave Alsey and her sister Ann each a farm and stocked them with livestock and tools; she also bought two different merchandise store for George. Alsey said George credited out too much merchandise and went broke each time.
Sarah Ann had black hair, dark skin and black flashing eyes. Her coloring was doubtless inherited from her Indian ancestry; most of her family were dark and had black hair. She was very well educated for her time and had a good business head.
George and Alsey (as stated before) lived with Mammy, at the Big Springs place until they had several children. They both lived her. George said; “Mammy was the only real parent he had ever known. Mammy tried to provide for those she lived during her lifetime, but under Alabama law, the property reverts to the husband’s heirs upon the death of
the wife. She died at the age of 85, so they said.
I think this little incident is worth mentioning in connection with Sarah Ann: After she was a married woman, her mother came to see her. She, at first, refused to see her mother. Her husband, Warren, who was broadminded, interceded on her mother’s behalf. He said : “Sarah, I don’t think you are behaving properly(or words to that effect) “She is you
mother, and you will probably never see her again”, I think you should go in to see her and nice to her. She did. Sarah Ann was said to have been absolutely fearless and had a high temper; George said Mrs. Crabtree was a good woman; she was his mother-in-law and he like her. During the Civil War, she stood off a group of soldiers who came to steal anything they could get their hands on. She saw them coming and ran to the barn; one time she went around, she threw the door open; the next time she went around she drove her cow into the barn and got in the door to block their entrance. The one in charge said: “Come on, men, let her keep her damn old cow.” She replied: “and a damn good reason for it, Sir” The soldiers stole practically all of the livestock they owned. Alsey was born during the Civil War and got big enough to be a nuisance while it lasted. She said her mother took their last remaining horse to the woods to hide it; that the soldiers came to the house while she was gone as asked her where her mother was: That she pointed out the way her mother had gone, and told them she had gone to hide whatever the horse’s name was; that they followed in her mother’s footsteps and got the horse. She said that she used to swing on the front gate when the soldiers were marching by and sing: “Chase old Jeff Davis around the stump, make his old heart go ‘Flippity, Flump’”. She said she learned the
words from the little ‘Niggers’ on the farm. She said she used to callCaptain Long: “old Marse” if she didn’t stop calling them that, they were going to get killed in battle, and finally broke her of the habit. Alsey was far from being a sissy. She said she used to break the wild colts on her father ‘s farm. George’s half-siter, Lula, said she remembered Alsey when she used to ride wildly over the countryside, carrying a gun. Fossie and I used to go hunting; Flossie carried the gun and did the shooting. I was always a scared sissy and a nervous child, who liked to day-dream and pick wild flowers and run wild in the woods. Flossie rode the horses on the farm bareback, when she was a child, but I wouldn’t let them give me a lesson in horseback riding, as I was afraid of the horses, Flossie’s name was Flossie Folsom, and she was always ashamed of her name, and I don’t blame her. When she went out into the business world, she told her name was “Florence”. She worked in a very exclusive dress-making shop, where they didn’t sew for anyone but millionaires, others couldn’t afford their prices. I was in their salon once. I remember the rooms were lined with tall mirrors and everything had a plushy appearance. They designed and draped dresses on the customers. They would have scorned to
have used patterns.
Alsey and John Humble had a run-in in later years; there was a saw mill on Alsey’s property, and it seemed that John was bossing the job. Ed Hicks was a small boy, and evidently John had employed him as an errand boy. I don’t know what Ed did (no telling) but John gave him a tongue lashing. When Alsey heard about it, she charged into John; she said,
among other things: “John Humble, you are not running over Joe Hicks’ child now. This is my child. She evidently released on him all the stored up resentment she had felt against him and his wife, Saphronia for years on Joe Hicks and the child Burlie’s account. Joe was supposed to have died of pneumonia when Burlie was a small child. She said Joe Hicks was a fine gentleman; that he was a much better man than George. She always blamed the McCauley’s for all of George’s faults., but I don’t know whether it was the McCauley’s or the Irish element on the Martin side, who always kept the fine wines and whiskey in their home; anyway, it was Clarissa’s kin. In later years, Alsey’s granddaughter, Ovie, came in contact with John Humble in a friendly business-way. He told her at the time: That she was like her grandmother; that she had nerve; guess he never forgot the things Alsey said to him. I never heard George mention his brother Joe’s name, or his mother but once, and that was in answer to a direct question. I asked him what could have induced his mother (second marriage) to have married the man she did marry, namely: Moses Henegar. He said his mother was not a deep-sensed woman and that the Gardners talked her into it. It seems that there was a Doctor Gardner and his wife, who purported to have been a friend of Isaac Hicks. In fact, I know there was such a man as I met him once. Flossie and I were in the railway station at Valley Head, Ala. Waiting for a train to take us back home to Chattanooga, when this old doctor came in and said he heard that Isaac Hicks’ granddaughters were in there; that Isaac was a great friend of his, etc., etc. In fact, I don’t remember any more of the conversation, but he wanted to meet us and was very affable.
Please pardon this narrative, if I have not written the sequence of events in their proper order, as I am writing from memory and about things I heard a long time ago, and events do not always come to mind that way.
I inadvertently left out Alsey’s family, which I will now set fourth:
Sarah Clarissa (Married Henry Gifford)
William Gurley (Married Mae Phillips)
Edward Pierce (Married Leola Fuller the first time and Myrtle Walker the second)
Ida Mae (Married twice: William Sweeton, Tracy City, Tenn. And Edward
Dickerson, formerly of Greensville, Ala.)
Flossie Folsom (Married William Canfield, formerly of Fort Payne, Ala.)
Lilla Emma Jane (a feme sole)
Alsey’s sister Ann married Raleigh Hawkins, and they had the following named sons:
John Linz (Deceased)
The Hawkins farm was in the valley (nearest Lookout Mountain). The Post Office was also Valley Head, Ala.
Alsey’s Mother’s (Sarah Ann Stuart Crabtree) sister’s name was Jane, and she married Jack Painter; there were two valleys in that part of Alabama, in the county (DeKalb),
between Lookout Mountain and Sand Mountain; the Painters lived in the same valley as George and Alsey.
Jane Stuart Painter was Sarah Ann’s twin sister. She and her husband, Jack Painter, had three girls and one son: Susan and Margaret (Peggy), who married brothers by the name of Morgan; the Morgans were an old pioneer family; they sold the land, or part of it, to a Mining Company who opened the coal mines on the land and built the little town of
Battelle, Alabama; this town was located between Valley Head, Alabama and Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Chattanooga is only about 40 miles North of Valley Head, and George and Alsey used to do their shopping there and go there to have dental work done.) I suppose the coal mines have long since been exhausted; the third daughter was named Sallie Payne, whose husband, Marshall Payne, seemed rather prosperous, in that he owned real estate and made real estate deals for the country folk, etc. I personally liked him, because he once told me that I surely was a cute little girl, when I was a small girl; that I laughed and talked all at the same time; the son Jackie they say he descended the social ladder and isn’t thought very well of. His parents held their head high and didn’t associate very much with the local folk Jack was a great pillar in the Methodist Church.