Monday, October 1, 2012

REMEMBERING OUR KILGORE RELATIVES BURIED IN CEMETERIES AWAY FROM OUR NAUVOO ROOTS


Many of the descendants of Virge and Sarah Kilgore are buried in three cemeteries near the communities of Nauvoo and Poplar Springs in Winston and Walker counties in Northwest Alabama.  Previously, I featured each of these cemeteries in a blog trilogy, displaying photographs of the gravestones of those buried at Old Bethel, Bennett, and New Oak Grove.  This post is very similar, but features other cemeteries outside the three already mentioned.   

There are four specific areas of Alabama where some of Papa and Granny Kilgore’s descendants are buried that do not involve the Nauvoo perimeter.  Those locations are Jasper, Clanton, Sheffield, and Albertville.  Our relatives who are buried in those locations lived and worked there, or in some cases, moved there to live out their retirement years.

Jasper is the closest location to the Kilgore farm in Nauvoo.  The city of Jasper, though small in comparison to the metropolitan area of Birmingham, always was a major city for local commerce.  It is only approximately 18 miles away from the Kilgore old home place.  The relatives who lived and worked in and around Jasper were, for the most part, from the Dolly Kilgore Gordon Sherer family.

Aunt Dolly and Uncle Jack were very active at New Prospect Baptist Church in Jasper.  Jack was a top-notch carpenter and he had much to do with the building of the present sanctuary of New Prospect.  Uncle Jack was Dolly’s second husband.  Her first husband, Johnny Gordon, died in l929 at the very young age of 25. There were two children born from that marriage, James Gordon and Jacqueline Gordon.  All these precious family members are buried in two separate cemeteries on Alabama Highway 5, just north of Jasper. These cemeteries are located on either side of New Prospect Baptist Church.  the older cemetery was church established and eventually owned by the city of Jasper and the other  cemetery is privately owned.  

Aunt Dolly and Uncle Jack are buried in the cemetery established by New Prospect Baptist Church.  New Prospect Cemetery has its annual decoration day on the second Sunday in May.  Uncle Jack and Aunt Dolly loved their church and loved serving their Lord there. My sister, Rebecca Kilgore Smith, is serving the very same church today as Music Director.  I know Aunt Dolly and Uncle Jack would be proud.

 I can recall, as a teenager, one visit in Aunt Dolly and Uncle Jack’s home when Uncle Jack and Aunt Dolly talked about how important it was to tithe.  They lived out their faith through service and by giving the Lord his tithe.  That really made an impression on me.  Aunt Dolly played the piano and played it quite well.  When my family visited in their home, she always sent me to the piano that was located in the parlor to hear me play. Mother recently found a cassette tape recording of Aunt Dolly playing the piano during one visit.   Aunt Dolly was a terrific cook, and I also recall some wonderful meals around her table. These are great memories.  How fitting that these two are buried in the cemetery founded by the church where they invested their lives.  I honor these two Godly people now as I show photograph of their gravestones.

                                                      
 


The other cemetery adjacent to New Prospect Baptist Church is called Walker Memory Gardens.  This cemetery does not allow upright grave markers.  Instead, the markers are flush with the ground.  There are many inscriptions in bronze on slabs of large granite.  We have many cousins and/or their spouses buried in this cemetery.  They are descendants of Dolly Kilgore Gordon Sherer.

I would like to list them now, mentioning their relationship to Dolly and honoring them by displaying their gravestones.

First, there is Johnny Gordon, Dolly Kilgore’s first husband and the father of James and Jacqueline Gordon.  He was born in September 1903 and died in May 1929.  Dolly was 20 years old when her first husband, Johnny, died.  Dolly's daughter, Jacqueline was 2 years old and her son, James was  6 months old when their father died.




There is Dolly’s son, James Gordon, Sr., who was born in November 1928 and died February 1999.  James’ wife, Mildred, is buried next to him.  Mildred died in January of 2012.



There is Dolly’s grandson, Johnny James Gordon, who was the oldest son of James and Mildred Gordon.  Johnny died in 2001 at the age of 51 years old.




There is Dolly’s oldest child, Jacqueline Gordon Cordes/Gentry, who was born in May 1927 and died in February 2007.   “Jackie” is buried next to her daughter, Patti Cordes Lawson, Dolly's granddaughter who died at the age of 42 years.  Next to Patti is her father and Jackie's first husband, Ruben Cordes.  Ruben died in 1974.



















Alan Dale Sherer, Dolly’s only child by her second husband, Jack Sherer, has a grave marker in Walker Memory Gardens where his first wife, Carol, is buried.  Carol died in July 2003.



Now let us travel from Jasper to Clanton, Alabama where Ruby Kilgore Chadwick lived. Ruby and her husband, Johnny, moved to Clanton after retirement to get away from the big city of Birmingham.  Clanton is located in Chilton County, in the middle of the state.  Ruby and Johnny were active members of Concord Baptist Church, located just off of I-65 just north of Clanton.  Ruby and Johnny are buried in Concord Cemetery next to the church.   The address is 1184 County Road 28, Clanton, Alabama. Uncle Johnny died in 1993 and Aunt Ruby died in 2001.    I honor them now as I display a photograph of their gravestone.



Aunt Ruby and Uncle Johnny were wonderfully precious people who lived a full life raising three brilliant and beautiful girls and one older intelligent son, Dr. William Raymond Chadwick who we called “Billy” or “Bill.”  Billy was a chiropractor whose practice was in Clanton, Alabama.  He raised his family there, and Billy’s two daughters, Leah and Rachel, still live there raising their own families.  Billy died in July 2009 and is buried in Martin Memorial Cemetery.  The cemetery is located on Yellow Leaf Road in Clanton, Alabama.  I honor him now as I display the photograph of his grave marker.




We now direct our attention to the Sand Mountain area of north Alabama, where Virge and Sarah Kilgore’s daughter, Ruth Kilgore Spain and her husband, Ted, lived, retired, and died.  Ruth and Ted have some children and grandchildren who still live in the area.  Ruth and Ted Spain are buried in Marshall Memorial Gardens, 3368 Highway 205 North, Albertville, Alabama 35950.  The special Decoration Day for the cemetery is the fourth Sunday in May. The area also holds a special place in my heart because my sweet wife, Pat Colvin Kilgore, is originally from Albertville.  Her parents are buried in the Memory Hill Cemetery there.  I honor my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Ted now by showing a photograph of their grave marker.



From Albertville we move to the extreme northwest corner of the state, the quad-cities of Florence, Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals, and Sheffield.  Papa Kilgore’s oldest son and his wife, Grady and Nettie, retired in the area because their three children and grandchildren lived in the area.  Grady and Nettie are buried at Colbert Memorial Gardens, 502 Montgomery Avenue, Sheffield, Alabama 35660. 
I honor Grady and Nettie now by showing a picture of their grave marker.



Jimmy Kilgore, Grady Kilgore’s middle son, has two loved ones also buried at Colbert Memorial Gardens.  They are his first wife, Wanda, and their son, Donald Trent Kilgore.  Donald was born on September 10, 1979 and died two days later.  Wanda died May 21, 2005.   I honor them as I show a photograph of their grave markers.




Recently I received a phone call from Jimmy Kilgore telling me about the graves of two of our ancestors, which are located in the woods southwest of the Cecil Kilgore property.  In those early days, many people were buried on their home place instead of a cemetery.  Jimmy recalls being taken to these graves by his dad during his younger days.  These are the graves of the grandparents of our grandmother, Sarah Noles Kilgore.  Granny Kilgore’s mother was Martha Jane King before she married Thomas Louis Noles.  Martha’s parents were William M. King and Elizabeth Rushing King.  The graves Jimmy is referring to belong to William and Elizabeth.  (NOTE: Correction made January, 2013 that these graves are not the grandparents of Granny Kilgore.  The graves are of H. W. King and Mary Jane King, uncle and aunt of Granny Kilgore.  Henry Wilson King was Martha Jane King Noles's brother.) At some point I will post something about all this when Jimmy and I take a trip through the woods to find their grave markers. (See blog entitled "Quest for the Hidden Cemetery posted January 9, 2012)

I want to thank some relatives who helped me with the information and photographs for this post.  Those contributors were my sister, Rebecca Kilgore Smith, Billy Chadwick’s daughter, Rachel Chadwick Tilley, Joan Spain Irvin, and Jimmy Kilgore’s second wife, Sandra.  Thank you so much for your help.  

May this record help us to honor those who have preceded us in death.

Johnny Kilgore



1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this, Johnny.

    ReplyDelete