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A look back at large families

One of the most obvious facts about our society is that the size of families is much smaller than it was in the decade when Hartselle was established. At the turn of the present 21st century, the Census Bureau found that of families with children, the Alabama average was only a rounded two children (1.76). Utah was the state with families with the most children under 18, and it also was a rounded 2 (2.21) 

Feb. 15, 1877—News out of Monroe County, Miss., has it that Dr. W. P. Wren and James Monnegham got into such a violent dispute that both got out the guns they had on their persons. The volleys from the firearms hit their intended targets, both men being mortally wounded. Dr. Wren was known as a quiet, peaceable citizen, never having been in a difficulty before. He was about 35 years old and leaves a wife and four small children. Jim Monnegham leaves a wife and 15 children. 

April 28, 18777—Mrs. Martha Jane Montgomery, age 44, passed away at her home west of Danville today. Mrs. Montgomery was born here in Morgan County Feb. 9, 1834, and was married to R. C. Montgomery in Lawrence County Dec. 27, 1854. She was a consistent Christian, a kind neighbor, an affectionate companion and a devoted mother. She leaves a Christian husband and nine children to mourn her departure. She is at rest. 

April 23, 1878—Died this evening, Mr. John T. Parker, in the 72nd year of his age. Old Uncle Johnnie Parker, as he was commonly called, leaves a wife and nine or 10 living children—four daughters yet single with his widow and not a male left in the family. He was a good citizen and an honest man—always an uncompromising Democrat. Mr. Parker had 52 grandchildren who are left to scatter flowers over his grave. 

Aug 10, 1878—Mrs. Delphia Stover died at her residence two miles west of Danville today. She was born Feb. 15, 1800. She lived a pious life and was a consistent member of the Baptist church for many years. She leaves 12 living children, 96 grandchildren and 117 great grandchildren. She was beloved by all who knew her. 

July 22, 1880—The Hon. E. G. W. Hampton died of pneumonia at the age of 60 today. He was born and raised here in Morgan County, but in his young adulthood he moved to Missouri, where he was serving as a probate judge at the time of his death. Judge Hampton was the oldest of 19 children, only five being left now as a remnant of that large family. 

July 22, 1880—Another death on this date was that of James Porter McGaughey, who departed this life at age 71 years, five months and 11 days. He moved to this area from Tennessee when he was 9 years old. Mr. McGaughey married Miss Celia Oglesby Jan. 18, 1831, and they raised 10 children to mature age. Death had no terror for him. He “knew in whom he had put his trust.” May our last end be like his. 

Nov. 24, 1881—Gilbert M. Wear is the father of 22 children. His last is a boy and answers to the name of William Lowe Wear. Mr. Wear, an unflinching Democrat, thought William Lowe was as well and wanted to honor him in this way. However, Mr. Lowe was a member of the short-lived Greenback Party, being succeeded in Congress by Democrat Joe Wheeler. 

Feb. 16, 1882—Although the Terry family is numerous in Morgan County, Terrys were much more frequently found in neighboring Lawrence County. It is there that their largely attended family reunions have been held One of the most prominent members of the family in the 19th century was Joseph (Joe) Terry who died Sept. 18, 1891, at age 75. Like other Terrys, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Terry raised a large number of children – eight to be exact. These children also raised large families, so the Joe Terrys could point with pride to many grandchildren with which God has blessed them.