Morgan County ALGenWeb

C.C. Sheats Historical Marker Dedication


May 21, 2011 – 12 noon
McKendree Methodist Church Cemetery
2814 Highway 55, Danville, AL 35619

On May 21, 2011, State Senator Arthur Orr dedicated an Alabama Historic Marker honoring Charles Christopher Sheats, McKendree Cemetery and the Massey Community.

Historical marker is unveiled
Jake Thomas, Senator Arthur Orr, and Doris Summerford Anders Herring, great-niece of C. C. Sheets, unveil the historical marker.

The idea for establishing the Historic Marker came from Jake Thomas, a graduate of Falkville High School, about 3 years ago when he studied Chris Sheats in Mr. Kim Mooney's history class. Jake realized that Mr. Sheats was buried in the McKendree Cemetery and contacted Frances V. Rowe, a Massey resident and retired school teacher. They talked about the maker but didn't take any action to acquire one. Several people over the past year have stopped by Mrs. Rowe's antique shop "Sweet Annie's at Massey Town," which is located next to McKendree Cemetery and asked where the grave of Chris Sheats was located.

After the interest that was being shown in Chris Sheats, Jake and Mrs. Rowe became interested in acquiring a maker once again and now it is a reality thanks to the effort of State Senator Arthur Orr and Director of Alabama Tourism Lee Sentell who acquired the funding to provide the Historic Marker.

The McKendree Cemetery was established in 1840 when the Hewlett family reserved one acre of land to be used for the church then known as McKendree Chapel. The oldest marked grave in the cemetery is 1842.

The Massey Community was settled as early as the 1820s about three miles from where the current location is today. The area was originally called Gibson. It was later named for the W. D. Massey family who moved there in 1886. W. D. Massey is also buried in the McKendree Cemetery.

Charles Christopher Sheats was born April 10, 1839 in what is now Winston County and died May 27, 1904 in Decatur, Alabama. He is buried in McKendree Cemetery with other family members.

Historical marker is unveiled
Brian Jones, regional director, Alabama Department of Tourism; Frances Vest Rowe; Martha Cantrell; Senator Arthur Orr; and Lee Sentell, state director, Alabama Department of Tourism.

Sheats made a name for himself prior to the War Between the States as ardently opposing secession. In 1861 Sheats was elected to the state legislature from Winston County, but refused to attend the session as all representatives had to swear an oath to support the Confederacy. He openly supported the Union and was jailed for treason by the Confederates. He was elected to Alabama's 1865 constitution convention, appointed U. S. Consul to Denmark in 1869 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Upon his return he was then elected to Congress in 1872. Sheats studied law and was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1867. He practiced law in Decatur, Alabama and served as mayor of Decatur in 1868. Charles Christopher Sheats married Mary Dickson Anderson, January 27, 1886, and they resided in Decatur, Alabama until his death in 1904.

Also on hand to sign her book was Martine G. Bates, author of Chris Sheats: The Man Who Refused To Secede Mountain Echoes provided music.

Historical marker, Sheets side Historical marker, Massey side C. C. Sheets grave
Historical marker, C. C. Sheets side Historical marker, Massey side Gravestone of C. C. Sheats

Last Update Wednesday, 10-Aug-2011 17:36:32 EDT

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