SARAH MAY BARBER ALFORD
[We do not have an obituary for Sarah, but her son wrote the following:]
Written by Norman L. Alford, AAFA #1190
16 October 2003
Mrs. Sarah May Barber Alford of Eastland, Texas, age 84, died January 5, 2002. Services were held at Edwards Funeral Home in Eastland, lead by Milton Underwood, and elder at the Daugherty Street Church of Christ where Sarah had been a member since moving to Eastland from Olden in 1981. Burial was in Eastland City Cemetery.
Sarah was born May 23, 1917, the only child of Robert Peyton Barber and Mary Effie Greenwaldt Barber, near Mobeetie in Wheeler County, Texas. Robert P. Barber was born at Rutledge, Crenshaw County, Alabama, on 6 Aug 1879, and Mary Effie near Sharpsburg, Madison County, Mississippi, on 4 Jan 1885. During her childhood and youth, Sarah lived on farms in Wheeler, Comanche, Floyd, Hale, Swisher, Nolan, and Eastland counties with her parents. Sarah’s parents, greatly affected by hardships during the Great Depression, left the Texas High Plains and returned to farming near the Staff Community in Eastland County in 1935, but Sarah lived for a time with her mother’s parents in DeLeon so that she could be near high school. Her parents later rented a room for Sarah in a house within short walking distance of Eastland High School, and she graduated in May 1937.
She married Cecil Alford on April 2, 1941, at her parents’ farm near the Staff Community where the Lake Leon Bridge is now located. Cecil and Sarah May lived on farms near Staff and Lone Cedar, then on the farm at Olden for 28 years. They had cattle and hay crops mostly, and Cecil worked several different jobs over his career, the last being at the Featherlite Plant at Ranger. Sarah moved to Eastland in 1981, after Cecil’s death May 7, 1980.
Sarah worked for 30 years at the hospitals in Ranger and Eastland, and since 1988 as a receptionist and treasured employee at Edwards Funeral Home in Eastland. She loved to study local history and knew many longtime Eastland County residents, since her father’s family had come from Rutledge, Crenshaw County, Alabama, to Eastland County in 1889 to the Round Mountain and Staff area. She assisted in editing the Eastland County History book published in 1989, was a charter member of the committee, and included articles she wrote about her family. She loved to study American history in relation to family genealogy, and do genealogy research. She was proud that through her father there is lineage to John Alden, a coppersmith on The Mayflower, and his wife Priscilla Mullins. Sarah was a member of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution and the Mayflower Society. She made efforts that will be lasting in leaving records of family history, relating to her family and the Cecil Alford family, for her children and grandchildren. At this time in 2003, there are only five names in the lineage to 1620 in Massachusetts: Alford, Barber, Davis, Packard, and Alden.
Cecil Alford, born August 23, 1910, in northeast Taylor County, Texas, was the fifth child of Benjamin Franklin Alford (29 Sep 1882–18 Jan 1968) and Lula Mae McCown Alford (13 Mar 1881–18 Feb 1918). Ben and Lula Mae were married October 6, 1901, Robertson County, Texas, the same day that Lula Mae’s father had gone to Carthage, Panola County, Texas, to marry Mary S. Lewis, his second wife, a “mail order bride.” Ben and Lula Mae began their life together at Bald Prairie. Family stories say that B.F. Alford was born in Lee County, and came to Cole Branch, Robertson County, when he was about nine years old. Lula Mae McCown was born at Bald Prairie, Robertson County, and was the daughter of Robert Lewis McCown and Lucy Catherine Day McCown. Robert Lewis McCown’s father and mother, John Berry McCown and Sarah Caroline Honea McCown, from Leake County, Mississippi, were early pioneers in eastern Robertson County around 1854. J.B. McCown died in 1863 from Civil War wounds. Records state, and the McCown family story says that John Berry McCown, in the Confederate Calvary Madison’s Regiment and Major’s Brigade, was wounded, maybe in Louisiana, but he made it back home by horseback to the farm near Bald Prairie, but died three days later, on July 25, 1863.
Benjamin Franklin Alford was the first child of Thomas Jefferson Alford (Jan 1853–16 Sep 1927, born Cherokee County, AL) and Frances Virginia Smith Alford (19 Mar 1864–14 Dec 1958, born Angelina County, TX). Thomas Jefferson Alford was the second child of Jackson Alford (Jan 1830-about Oct 1900, born St. Clair County, AL) and Mary Jane Perry Alford (c1831-after 1880, born in GA), who came from Turkey Town, Cherokee County, Alabama, to near Caldwell, in Burleson County, Texas, after the Civil War and before the Census in 1870. Jackson Alford had served in Company G, 48th Alabama Volunteer Infantry.
Sarah Alford, in trying to recover the Cecil Alford family history in the late 1980s, first found Jackson Alford listed as applying for a Texas Confederate Veterans Pension in 1899. Not much knowledge had been remembered about the Alford ancestors, except Ben Alford had said, “They came from Alabama,” and the family hadn’t talked much about the ancestors. Most of the knowledge about the Alford family history concerned the years Ben Alford’s children lived at Bald Prairie. Lula Mae Alford died in February 1918, and Ben moved the family to Eastland in Eastland County in 1924, then to the Roy Mill’s farm at Lone Cedar in 1925. Ben left the farm in 1946 and Cecil and Sarah May Alford farmed there until 1953, when they moved to Olden and bought a farm there.
Sarah is survived by sons Norman Alford and his wife Vickie of Round Rock, Texas, and Jerry Alford and his wife Susie of Roscoe, Texas. There are five grandchildren, Jason and Lindsey of Round Rock, Misti and Jerad of Roscoe, and Chris Alford of Wichita, Kansas.
Sarah will always be remembered as a faithful, diligent, loving mother and grandmother, who was always concerned for her family. Rightly so, she is greatly missed.
AAFA NOTES: SSDI records confirm the birth and death dates of Sarah M. Alford (SSDI# issued in TX).
Sarah’s husband died in 1980, before AAFA was established. She was the AAFA member and family genealogist.
Her husband’s lineage: Cecil 1910 TX1, Benjamin Franklin 1882 TX2, Thomas Jefferson 1853 AL3, Jackson 1830 AL4, Baldy 1784 NC5, Isham 1755 NC6, Lodwick 1710 VA7, James 1687 VA8, John 1645 VA9.