Submitted May 2004
by Lewis C. Gibbs Jr.


            A. L. Garner was born in Madison County Alabama in 1802. His father was Sturdy Garner who was born in Orange County North Carolina on May 9, l762 and died March 4, 1845 in Madison County Alabama. He was solider in the Revolutionary war.
            Sturdy Garner is shown in the 1809 census in what was then the Mississippi Territory, before Alabama was a state. His wife was Sarah Smith who was born in 1770 and died in 1846. To this union was born.
            1. Samuel Garner, born in 1789. He married Rachel Pugh and she died in 1840.
            2. Sarah Garner who married Thomas Chennualt.
            3. Argy L. Garner who married Sharah M. Burton.
            4. Daniel H. Garner, born 1806 and married Cathrine Drinkwater.
            5. Milton C. Garner, who was probably was the father of Robert Milton
                Garner who lived in Colbert County for many years and married Miss
                Atkisson on Valentine Day in 1862. There were five sons and three
                daughters born to this union. Robert Milton bought his first land in
                Colbert County from Argy Lender Garner. It was located three miles
                south of Tuscumbia Alabama and is still in the Garner family today.
            6. Sturdy F. Garner
            7. William L. Garner
            8. Elizabeth Garner who married Lawrence Nobles.1
           There were four other sons in this family who died young. There is one or more of these buried in the big stone crept in the Barton Cemetery. ( I think that Argue L. Garner and his wife are buried just north of this crept.) We do not know when Argue came to Colbert County but the first land he owned was south west of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Some of this land is still owned by the Garner family. The number of acres is unknown at this time by me.2   He later acquired twelve hundred and fifty acres north east of what is now Barton, Alabama valued at ten dollars per acre and in another place nine hundred sixty acres valued at ten dollars per acres. He also acquired one hundred, sixty acres of mountain land valued at ten cents per acre.3
            In 1859 Mr. Garner married Sarah M. Burton. He was fifty-seven and she was thirty-six years old. Although she died in 1861 from child birth, the baby lived and her name was Betty Sally Garner.
            On the fourth day of March, 1864 he made his will. His wishes were that his estate be kept together for the good of his slaves. The profit was to go to the children of Sturdy F. Garner and Daniel H. Garner in the amount of one hundred dollars a year per child. The remainder was to go to the children of Alexander Malone, Goodloe W. Malone and John S. Malone to be divided equally. This was in case his daughter Betty Sally died. This was to be in effect for fifty years. However we know that when the war ended the slaves were freed so this would change this arrangement.
            In the last days of the war when the carpet baggers came through they found Mr. Garner apparently in good financial condition because of the land and slaves he owned. They demanded to know where his gold was hidden and his answer was that he did not have any. Because he would not tell them they took him to the river bluff and hung him from a tree, not enough to kill him but enough to make him think they were going to kill him. He never did tell them. All he would say was that it was hid where the wild hog jumped off the bluff. They choked him so long that he had a mental problem for the rest of his life. A black man was hired to care for him the remainder of his life. The manís name was Dick Garner probably one of his former slaves. Dick Garner reported that his mind would go and come for the rest of his life. It was thought that two or three thousand dollars was the amount of gold hidden.4
            Mr. A. L. Garner died and his will was probated in 1867. The court appointed Mr. Willie J. Carlous, William Inman, J. Petree and Samuel Greenhill to appraise his real and personal property. Their decision was that his property value was $27,211.75.5
In his will he did not want his daughter, Betty Sally, raised by any of his relatives. He wanted a dependable woman hired to take care of her until she reached legal age. For this service the woman was to be paid a salary and be taken care of the rest of her life. We have no record of what became of Betty Sally.
            Mr. John D. Inman was made administrator of the estate. The first block of land was sold to the Bayless family. This was section 2, township 4 and range 13. The Bayless family owned a block of land south of this land in section 22 and 23, township 4 and range 13, however some of it was rough and hilly and not very fertile.6
In 1875 Mr. J. E. Gibbs bought the mountain land from Mr. John D. Inman, the administrator for the sum of thirty-five dollars for one hundred, sixty acres. Mr. Gibbs was in the steam gin business so he bought it for the wood on it to fire the boilers at the gin.
            In 1870 Mr. Robert Garner bought the back and east part of this estate consisting of a part of section 36 and the east half of section 35, township 3 and range 13. Mr. Robert Garner was a nephew of Argy L. Garner.
            In 1878 A. Judson Gilbert bought the west half of section 35, township 3 and range 13 for the sum of nine hundred, sixty dollars.7
            A Mrs. Catherine Inman bought eighty acres, Mr. Tom Williamís eighty acres, Tom King's forty acres and Richard Garner's forty acres. The last two were probably slaves of the Garner family.8
            When Mr. Arthur C. Barton willed section 3 township 4 and range 13 to his nieces and nephews , the children of James S. Barton, he states in the deed that one acre of this land had been sold to A. L. Garner for burial ground. There were cut stone corner and gate post put there and a cedar tree planted. There is still one grave marker that is readable dated 1817. The cemetery was first known as the Garner Cemetery but I believe it was changed after the community of Barton was established. Because of this grave marker we know that the cemetery dates back to 1817.
           This is the end of a story of the owner of a large estate in townships 3 and 4, range 13 of Colbert County, Alabama.

1.  A Roster of Revolutionary Soldiers ( back )
2,  Deed Books Colbert County ( back )
3.  Will Book Colbert County ( back )
4.  A. L. Kimbrough (as told to Louise Throne) ( back )
5.  Will Books Colbert County ( back )
6.  Deed Books Colbert County ( back )
7.  Deed Book G Colbert County ( back )
8.  Deed Book Colbert County ( back )

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