JAMES WESLEY ALFORD
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
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
Our son Daniel Wesley Alford died August 11, 2001, in
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
Troy (District 122), Pike Co., AL, dwelling #33
Lod H. Alford head 44 Feb 1856 AL AL AL engineer
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)
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.
District 2, Montgomery Co., AL, dwelling #704
J.C. Alford 61 GA farmer (real estate $25,000,
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