Forgotten Trails: Travis ancestor was ‘sainted hero'

Published 9:10 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2007

By Staff
I left off with the Travis and Stallworth material a couple of weeks ago and want to continue this week and go to the family of Alexander Doniphan Travis.
Alexander D. Travis (25 Aug. 1790-2 Dec. 1952) was born in Edgefield County, S.C. and died in Conecuh County. He married Mary Ann “Polly” Williams (1791-1859), daughter of Marmaduke Williams.
Their children were Robert C. Travis (26 Oct. 1810-29 Sept. 1823) who is buried at the Old Beulah Cemetery south of Evergreen; John Duke Travis (12 Aug. 1811-6 Nov. 1850) who married Mary Ann Stallworth; Martha Ann Travis (6 Nov. 1812-before 1834) who married first, Nicholas Stallworth Jr., and second, Charles T. McConnico; Phillip Goode Travis (3 Aug. 1816) who married Adrianne Calloway; James Monroe Travis (3 Aug. 1816-20 June 1886) who married Mary Ann McCreary; and Alexander S. Travis (6 Aug. 1825-30 Sept. 1825).
He removed to Alabama in 1817 and settled in the present Evergreen area in 1818. He was born and raised a farmer and so set out farming. He soon organized his neighbors and they were converted, hence the establishment of the famous Old Beulah Church. Rev. Alexander Travis not only founded Old Beulah but numerous other churches and schools in the area, including some in very remote areas as far as 35 miles away. He would have to leave his fields and leave early Friday morning on the weekend he had to meet his appointment by walking 35 miles. He carried a saddlebag to keep his Bible and other possessions dry. When streams were swollen, he fastened the saddlebag about his neck and swam across. Through his efforts, according to B.F. Riley in his History of Conecuh County, he had moral values that endeared him as one of our greatest pioneers and considered by most as a sainted hero.
His death in 1852 was a public calamity. He was known and loved nationwide. Elder Travis was buried at the pulpit end of Old Beulah and his grave is marked by a plain, tall marble shaft. His dear wife was buried beside him.
Mrs. Alexander's half brother, Robert C. Paine, founded Belleville community and built a large store, the first mercantile establishment in Conecuh County, in 1818. His goods were hauled by oxcart from Blakely (near Mobile). The community was bustling. A blind preacher came through the area, David Wood, and preached the first sermon ever preached in Conecuh County in a little cabin where now stands the Belleville Baptist Church. That was early 1818.”
Now, on to the children of Alexander and Mary Ann.
Martha Ann's obituary, dated 31 March 1898, in the Conecuh Record, said “died March 16, 1898, Mrs. M.A. McConnico. Sister McConnico was twice married, first to Mr. Nick Stallworth and latterly to Mr. C.T. McConnico. She was the eldest daughter of Elder Alex Travis. She lived at Allenton, Wilcox County, Pineville, Monroe County, and Hammock all of her life.
She had been a patient sufferer for four years and she went to sleep without a struggle. This departed sister was a devout Baptist and lived in the very sunshine of the Son of Righteousness for many years. She was blessed with the closet attention and best of care. She was 85 years old.”
Martha Ann Travis married Nicholas Stallworth Jr. (21 Feb. 1810-15 Jan. 1853) before 1831 in Conecuh County, the son of Nicholas Stallworth and Mary Adams.
In The History of Edgefield County From the Earliest Settlements to 1897, comes these comments: “Prominent among the first generation of young men reared in Conecuh County, Alabama, was Nicholas Stallworth Jr. He was born in Edgefield District, S.C., Feb 21, 1810. When he was only eight years of age he was brought with the remainder of his father's family to Alabama. He was married to Miss Martha Travis, eldest daughter of Rev. Alexander Travis. The result of this union was seven children, among whom were Robert P. Stallworth and Frank M. Stallworth, of Falls County, Texas, Major Nick Stallworth, late of Hilliard's Legion, and Mrs. Barnett, the wife of Honorable Samuel A. Barnett, of Mobile.
Reared at a time and in a community where few schools existed, Mr. Stallworth had to depend almost entirely upon self-training. He lacked none of the virtures of a sterling citizen. Hospitable, liberal, and public spirited, he was quite popular. Without himself seeking the position, he was at one time made circuit clerk of Conecuh County. When, in 1850, the office of judge of probate was made elective, he warmly espoused the candidacy of A.D. Cary. As early as 1838 Mr. Stallworth foresaw the struggle, which reached bloody culmination in 1861. The tendency of existing political issues caused him to predict the dismemberment of the Union, and the probable abolition of slavery. Mr. Stallworth died in 1853, in the prime of manhood. He left descendants, sons, J.A. Stallworth and young Nick Stallworth, who were an honor to their ancestry and to Edgefield.”
Another part of the material that I received, names the children of Martha Travis and Nicholas Stallworth as, Robert P. Stallworth (abt 1831), Mary Stallworth (abt. 1832), Nicholas Stallworth (abt. 1834), Francis Stallworth (abt. 1835), Robert Stallworth (abt. 1837), Martha Stallworth (abt. 1838), Alexander Stallworth (abt. 1842), and Elizabeth Stallworth (abt. 1848).
Next week I will share some of my material on the Stallworth family.

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