BENJAMIN F. NABORS and HARRIET MAGILL NABORS
Benjamin F. Nabors was born 6 November 1824 in Alabama, the son of Benjamin Nabors and Mary “Polly” Sullivan. Benjamin Sr. was born in 1792 in South Carolina and Mary was born ca 1800 also in South Carolina.
Benjamin Nabors migrated through Georgia to Alabama where most of his children were born before finally settling in the northern section of Dade County. He probably came to the area shortly after 1840, as he was not listed on the Dade County 1840 census. However, a Balam Neighbors was on the 1840 census in almost the very same area as Benjamin. Whether or not this Balam was actually Benjamin is uncertain as the ages do not exactly fit. Nothing is known of Balam after the 1840 census and he could not be found on any Dade County deed records.
Benjamin Nabors Sr. purchased land lot 16, 10 district, in two separate transactions. Both transactions started with the owner, Isham Perkins (a Revolutionary War Soldier). However, it appears that Isham must have become ill before the transactions were finalized as it was stated in the deeds that he wanted his son, John B. Perkins, to complete the transactions with Benjamin. It is on this property where the small family cemetery is located that contain the remains of Benjamin F. Nabors, his wife, Harriett, and son Benjamin J. Nabors.
Benjamin Nabors and wife, Mary, had several children with the following list not in birth order:
Margaret born 4 March 1822 in Alabama. Margaret married David Tittle of the huge Tittle clan living in Dade County. Margaret and David removed to Hamilton County Tennessee living not too far from her parents in the Lookout Valley area. Margaret and David were the parents of several children with descendants scattered across the nation.
Margaret and David both died in Hamilton County and are buried in the Tittle-Foster Cemetery on O’Grady Road.
Benjamin F. Nabors… more on him later.
Martha Nabors born ca 1825 in Alabama; married a Wallin in Hamilton County Tennessee. She has descendants living in the area.
Bertha Nabors born ca 1830 in Alabama. No further information.
Barthana or Bartheny Nabors, who had to have been the oldest of the children or certainly one of the older ones, was born ca 1818. She married Warren/Norman Savage, probably in Warren County Tennessee. They were living in Hamilton County near the Georgia line in the Wauhatchie area. This would have put them near her parents. The family was listed on the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses of Hamilton County. Barthana, a widow on the 1880 census of Hamilton County, had several children but nothing more is known of her except she was the only child named in her father’s will other than the son, Benjamin F. Nabors, who was to serve as executor. In Benjamin senior’s will, he stated that his 100 acres in the north section of land lot 16, district 10, and all house hold furniture and animals were left to his wife, “Polly.” At her death all that remained of the estate was to go to his daughter, Barthana Savage, wife of Norman Savage, with the stipulation that it was to be hers free and clear without any claims that her husband, Norman Savage, might make.
It was interesting to note that nothing can be found in either the deeds or probate records regarding Barthana Savage. She did not move but the son, Benjamin F. Nabors, did receive the property that had belonged to his father. How he received it at the death of his mother is uncertain. Almost all of these records were lost in a courthouse fire in November of 1863 during the Civil War. Another “contained” fire that appears to have been in the Ordinary (now Probate) Office took its toll on most of what remained.
Hampton Nabors. Nothing is known of Hampton Nabors except that he married Mary Pettigrew and they were the parents of several children. It appears that Mary was widowed prior to 1870. Some of these children lived near Benjamin F. and Harriett Nabors in north Dade County and are buried in Wildwood Cemetery, Dade County
If there were any other children nothing is known of them at this time
Benjamin Nabors Sr. penned his last Will and Testament 3 September 1860 where it was recorded in Dade County Probate book. The following 17 September 1861, Benjamin F. Nabors supplied a bond in order to serve as executor of his father’s estate. In 1868 he applied to the courts to be dismissed as the estate had finally been settled. There are no records in between 1861 and 1868 that have been found to date.
Mary “Polly” Sullivan, wife of Benjamin Nabors Sr. was listed in the household on the 1860 census. Since she was named in the will of her husband, it appears that she did survive him but must have died sometime prior to 1870. She is not found on any censuses after 1860 nor is she in any records. Her death may have been one reason why the estate was not settled for seven years.
The graves of Benjamin Nabors and his wife, Mary “Polly” Sullivan Nabors have not been found. The land that was owned by the Nabors saw many camps both Confederate and Union plus minor battles during the Civil War. Because of the location of the property during the Civil War, any tombstones that might have been erected for them could have been destroyed. However, Mr. Jack Gill whose father and grandfather were former owners of this property stated that he had always been told that Benjamin Sr. and Mary might have been buried in the Magill Cemetery.
Benjamin F. Nabors married Harriet Magill in Hamilton County TN on 4 July 1869. She was the daughter of Hugh Magill and Rebecca Smith, prominent Hamilton County pioneers and landowners both in Tennessee and Georgia. The Magills are buried in the Magill Cemetery in Wauhatchie just a couple of miles north of the Tennessee-Georgia line.
Harriett, born ca 1840 in Tennessee, was much younger than her husband by approximately fifteen years. She inherited two land lots in Dade County from her father at his death. Harriett died 8 January 1909 in Hamilton County Tennessee.
Harriett Nabors died intestate. The family property, located in both states, was divided by common consent by the three brothers, Frank, Robert and James. Frank received the property where the cemetery is located. One note of interest in this deed conveying the property to Frank by the other two brothers was a clause that stated:
“It being understood that F. B. Nabors agrees to assist in keeping up seven gates on the road leading out through the old Harriet Nabors place to the public road leading from Chattanooga TN to Trenton GA, said roads being fully described in the deeds made to Robt H. and James C. Nabors to their respective interest in that portion of the old Nabors place lying in Georgia, also refer to in deeds made to that portion of said lands in Tennessee.” This deed was dated 23 August 1909 and signed by R. H. Nabors and J.C. Nabors. (Deed book Q, page 461 and 462, Dade County, Clerk of Superior Court Office)
A great grandson, Thomas Hixon, remembered these gates when as a child visiting the old farm with his parents, Bonnie Nabors Hixon and George W. Hixon.
Benjamin and Harriett were the parents of four known children. If there were any others they were born and died in between census years.
The known children were:
1. Franklin B., born 1872, died 14 September 1931. He married Jessie Jones in Dade County on 17 March 1912. He is buried in the Magill Cemetery and it is believed that Jessie later moved to Texas where she died and was buried. They had no children.
2. Robert Henry, born 1874, died in Sacramento, California in 1955. He married Nellie Hixon or Hixson in Dade County on 10 October 1897. When Nellie died on 24 November 1925, she was buried in the Magill Cemetery next to their children who died young. After her death, Robert was back and forth between Hamilton County and California. Robert and Nellie were the parents of twelve children. More on their children.
3. James C., born 1875, died in Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi on 20 August 1956. James was a conductor for the “steam train” for many years. He married Cora Christina Grote in Meridian and they were the parents of at least seven children. He never moved back to the Dade County area.
Benjamin J. was born in 1878 and died on 5 June 1884. His and his father’s graves were the only two graves in the small Nabors Family Cemetery that had tombstones. Several years ago a tombstone was at the grave of Harriett. However, during a bad storm a huge Oak tree fell breaking her tombstone into many pieces. Benjamin and Benjamin J.’s were also broken in half but somehow the pieces survived to be moved when the graves were moved in July 2002 to the Sarah’s Chapel Cemetery.
Benjamin F. Nabors died in 1888. (Submitted by SF)