JAMES WESLEY ALFORD

AAFA #0725

1935–2005

 

 

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Atlanta, GA—Tuesday, 29 November 2005


            James Wesley Alford, 70, of Atlanta died Wednesday, November 23, 2005 after a long illness. He was a graduate of Murphy High School and a veteran of the United States Army serving during the Korean War. He was a member of American Legion Post #1. He spent his life in the printing industry and served as president of the Atlanta Printing Industry Atlanta in the 1970s.

            Mr. Alford was preceded in death by his parents, Evelyn Burch and Lawrence C. Alford and his son, Daniel Wesley Alford. He is survived by his son, Larry Alford; daughter-in-law, Becky Alford; and three grandchildren, Jerry, Lisa and Cody Alford. A memorial service will be held at A.S. Turner & Sons, Wednesday, November 30th at 7 p.m....

AAFA NOTES: SSDI records show that James W. Alford (SS# issued in GA) was born 21 March 1935, last residence Lilburn, Gwinnett Co., GA.

            His lineage: James Wesley 1935 GA1, Lawrence Caesar 1910 FL2, Lodwick Herrin 1885 AL3, Lodwick Herrin 1855 AL4, Julius Caesar 1799 GA5, Lodwick 1775 NC6, Julius 1750 NC7, Lodwick 1710 VA8, James 1687 VA9, John 1645 VA.

 

            James Alford’s first wife, Nancy Armistead Alford, wrote a short history of her husband’s family.

 

THE FAMILY OF JAMES WESLEY ALFORD

OF ATLANTA, GA

 

By Nancy Armistead Alford

March 1, 2006

 

 

JAMES WESLEY ALFORD, 1935–2005

 

            James Wesley Alford was born March 21, 1935, in Atlanta, GA. He was the first child of Lawrence Caesar Alford, who was born December 15, 1910 in Palatka, Putnam Co., FL, and Evelyn Burch, who was born in 1911. They were married in Atlanta sometime in 1934.

            Lawrence and Evelyn’s second child, Jane Irene Alford, was born May 26, 1936, also in Atlanta. Lawrence and Evelyn Alford divorced when the children were 3 to 4 years old. Evelyn had custody of the children.

            She married (2) Thomas P. Carithers, and they moved to the Savannah, GA, area and then to Jacksonville, FL The children were with Evelyn and Thomas until about 1948, when they were 12 and 13. At that time the family returned to the Atlanta area, and Evelyn called Lawrence and gave custody of James and Jane to him.

            Lawrence had remarried during their absence. He married (2) Mary Brock. He and Mary never had any children.

            When he was about 16, James moved in with his grandmother, Sallie Irene Alford Sebile/Sibel and his uncle Richard Herrin Alford. They were living at 32 Second Ave., Atlanta, Dekalb Co., GA. This is where they lived for thirty years and is where James was living when I met him in 1951.

            James was always a worker. I met him when he was working at Evergreen Pharmacy as a soda jerk. Evergreen Pharmacy was on Boulevard Drive in Atlanta. He was in the 10th grade at Murphy High School and was on a school worker program. He left school at 1:00 p.m. and went to his father’s printing shop, working until 5:00 p.m. Then he went to Evergreen Pharmacy and worked until 10:00 p.m. He also worked at another print shop around the corner from his father’s shop.

            James graduated from Murphy High School in June 1953. He worked at a rubber stamp company in Atlanta until about March 1954, when he joined the United States Army. He was in boot camp in Fort Jackson, SC, and from there he was stationed at Fort Lenoardwood, MO.

            He came home on leave in September 1954, before being stationed at Fort Lewis, WA. We were married in Greenwood, SC, on September 26, 1954. I was a senior at Decatur High School in Decatur, GA. James left for Fort Lewis while I stayed in Decatur and finished high school. I graduated in June 1955 and left the next day to join him at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, driving there with his grandmother Irene.

            James was in the service during the Korean conflict (War), but he was fortunate to be able to stay at Fort Lewis for the rest of his enlistment. In June 1958 we returned to the Atlanta area, where our children were born: Daniel Wesley Alford in May 1960 and Lawrence Richard Alford in July 1962.

            During these years, I heard all of the Alford stories, especially during the trip with James’s grandmother on the trip to Tacoma. The rest of this is as I remember from James and other family members. Oh, how I have wished many times I had ask more questions and written down facts while I was living this, but as is so often the case we don’t really get interested in more than what we are living until we are much older. I always thought that if I could just get the chance to go to Montgomery AL, I would just be able to go into some library or office building there and find the whole Alford history. I wanted to do this for our sons.

            James and I divorced in 1975. James remarried in 1977 or 1978, a woman named Bobbie. In 1978 they moved to Houston, TX. Our son Daniel followed his father there in about 1981. James and Bobbie divorced in 1982 or 1983.

            Our son Daniel Wesley Alford died August 11, 2001, in Houston, TX.

            James was in very bad health and unable to take care of himself. In June of 2004 our son Lawrence went to Houston and moved his father back to GA so he would be able to take care of him. He and his wife did an excellent job of caring for James during his last year. His health was so bad that he had to go into a nursing home in 2005. He had kidney failure and was on dialysis, he was a diabetic, had gall bladder cancer and had the gall bladder removed. He died of a massive heart attack on November 23, 2005.

 

LAWRENCE CAESAR ALFORD, 1910–1983

LODWICK HERRIN ALFORD JR., 1885–1947

 

            Lawrence Caesar Alford, father of James, was the second child of Lodwick Herrin Alford Jr. and Sallie Irene Easterlin. Sallie Irene was the daughter of Fenton F. Easterlin and Sallie Gibbons, who were married in Gainesville, FL, August 31, 1879.

            The first child of Lodwick and Sallie was Richard Herrin Alford, born March 4, 1908, in Palatka, FL. Lawrence was born December 15, 1910, also in Palatka.

            Lodwick and Irene divorced when the children were 8 or 9 years of age. Lodwick married (2) Elizabeth Genevier (Ginny) Harris on September 10, 1916. Ginny was a friend of the family. They all remained friends through the years.

            Lodwick lived in an area of Florida where a lake was built that flooded the whole area. One of the stories told was Lodwick owned the first taxi cab company in the United States [maybe in Florida, but not in the U.S.]. One of his drivers hit a child and the child died. This was before the days of insurance so he had no coverage or funds to take care of this. The family of the child had a judgment against him that he paid off shortly before he died.

            Later he owned a little country store in the area of the lake, which he owned until he died. Everything he ever owned after the cab company was put in Ginny’s name. It was said he allowed people in the community buy on credit, as times were very hard. At this time all the roads in Florida were still dirt.

            I believe he was living in Midway, Gadsden Co., FL, when he died on November 11, 1947. He was taken to J.B. Adams Funeral Home in Quincy, Gadsden Co. (This funeral home is no longer in business.) His body was taken from the funeral home in Quincy to Montgomery, AL, and he was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery, where his father, Lodwick Herrin Alford, was buried.

            Sallie Irene Easterlin Alford Sebile/Sibel, her sons Lawrence and Richard, and her grandson James all went to Florida to help Ginny with Lodwick’s funeral, which took place in Montgomery, AL.

            Ginny was born November 3, 1890 and died January 31, 1955. She and Lodwick had no children. When Ginny died, Sallie Irene, Lawrence, and Richard, went to Florida, this time accompanied by James’s sister Jane, to handle the funeral arrangements. (James couldn’t be there because he was in the service.) They made sure that Ginny was buried next to Lodwick in Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery, AL. By this time I was a part of this family and stayed at their home in Atlanta to take care of things for Sallie Ireene and Richard while they were away. James grandmother Sallie Irene had promised Ginny she would do this for her and she did. James was in the service at this time and could not attend.

            When Lodwick Herrin Jr. and Sallie Irene first met, he was an engineer with the railroad. (Lodwick’s death certificate says he was an engineer for ACL, Atlantic Coast Line railroad.) He had stopovers in High Springs, Alachua Co., FL. There Sallie Irene’s mother, also named Sallie, had converted her home into a boarding house. Her husband, Fenton Easterlin, had died when Sallie Irene was about 9 years old, so widow Sallie was earning a living by running the boarding house. When he was in town, Lodwick Herrin Jr. stayed at there, meeting his future wife. Sallie Irene’s mother thought she was much too young, but they got married anyway.

            Sallie Irene married (2) Peter (Pete) Sebile/Sibel. They were married for 20 years. He died in a nursing home as she could no longer care for him at home. This was prior to 1946, I believe. James remembered him well. The entire family including Pete would go to Florida to visit Lodwick and Ginny and stay with them also. There were very few lodging places at that time. I know that by 1948 Richard Herrin Alford and his mother were living at 32 Second Ave. in Atlanta.

            Lawrence was a printer and owned his own printing company that for many years was in the basement of the Henry Grady Hotel in Atlanta on Peachtree Street. He was an active member of the Atlanta Elks Club.

            His wife Mary owned a gift shop in Atlanta. The first shop was in the Ansley Park shopping center and the second shop was in Northlake 11 behind Northlake shopping center in Dekalb Co., GA. She closed the shop after Lawrence died. Mary never learned to drive as she had become legally blind. It was necessary for him to drive her to work each day. Lawrence enjoyed playing golf and playing cards and loved all of his grandchildren, but he did not get to see them as much as he would have liked. Lawrence and Mary never had children, and Mary never accepted Lawrence’s children James and Jane very well.

            Richard Herrin Alford was a radio operator for the Atlanta police department. He was considered necessary personnel and not subject to the draft in World War II. However, he volunteered. His wife Katie told him if he did she would leave him. He did and she divorced him. He served in the United States Army in the communication radio service. He was severely wounded and his family told that he would not make it. After many months he did recover but was disabled for the rest of his life. He retired with the rank of Captain. Richard died of a heart attack August 21, 1968.

           

             After I started my research on the Alford’s I found that Richard had a great deal of information. He and Lawrence knew their grandfather Lodwick Herrin Alford well, and they remembered many stories of Julius Caesar Alford, their great-grandfather. Sadly Mary Brock Alford gave away or destroyed all of that information after Lawrence died. She really did not like most of the Alfords very well. She told me this—that is how I know the written information existed.

            I will continue to work on our line of the Alfords, knowing that someday my son Lawrence or some of his children will be thrilled at the legacy I have left them.

            If you have any information that would help I would be thankful. Has there been any research done on Lodwick Herrin Alford Jr.’s siblings—Mattie B. Alford, Cora C. Alford, William A. Alford and Albert A. Alford? I think there must be some cousins out there someplace!

 

 

FURTHER RESEARCH:

 

            On Lodwick Herrin Alford Jr.’s 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card [Ancestry.com], he is age 33, living in Montgomery, AL. He is a machinist working for A.C.L. Shops [probably Atlantic Coast Line RR] in Montgomery. His birth date is 1 Jan 1885 [sic], and he names Elizabeth Alford of his address at 41 S. Holt as his nearest relative. He is medium height with blue eyes and brown hair.

 

1900 census

Troy (District 122), Pike Co., AL, dwelling #33

 

Lod H. Alford         head      44   Feb 1856      AL AL AL         engineer widowed

Mattie B.                  dau        20   Dec 1879      AL AL AL

Lodwick H.              son         17   Jan 1883       AL AL AL

Cora C.                     dau        13   Jul 1886        AL AL AL

William A.                son           9   Oct 1890      AL AL AL        

Albert A.                  son           7   Aug 1892     AL AL AL

Margarett G.            sister      50   Jun 1850       AL AL AL         single (# children blank)

             Boswell

 

1880 census

Porters (District 139), Montgomery Co., AL, dwelling #102

 

Lod H. Alford         head      24   AL GA AL  farmer

Sallie                        wife       24   AL GA AL

Mattie                       dau     6/12   AL AL AL                              b. Dec

 

1860 census

District 2, Montgomery Co., AL, dwelling #704

 

J.C. Alford              61      GA            farmer (real estate $25,000, personal $50,000)

Martha                     40      MS

James S.                  15      AL

Sarah                       15      AL

Celia                          8      AL

Ledwick                    5      AL

Bell                            3      AL

Marcellus Boswell   19      AL

Fredonia                  17      AL

Laura                       15      AL

Augustus                 13      AL

Wm Smith               45      AL             overseer