Vardaman History Project - The Morgans of Reid

The John Morgan Family of the Reid Area

Extracted from The Cherry Hill - Poplar Springs - Reid Community
in Calhoun County, Mississippi
  by Monette Morgan Young.


John Morgan (June 19, 1810 - November 26, 1882)
Adaline Todd Morgan (June 2, 1822 - July 3, 1898)

Almost all of the Morgan families with ties to the Reid area are descended from John and Adaline Morgan.

The surname Morgan has several different origins but it is ultimately Celtic and is a popular family name in Wales. At the time of the British Census of 1881, the frequency of the surname Morgan was highest in Brecknockshire, over 16 times the national average.

John Morgan was born in 1810 on Neill's Creek in Cumberland county (now Harnett county), North Carolina. His father (also named John Morgan) had been born in April 1785 in Virginia. His grandfather, Matthew Morgan, had bought land on Neill's Creek in 1790. His grandmother was Patsy Reese. There is a family tradition among the Morgan descendents who still live in North Carolina that the Morgan's had come down to North Carolina from Pennsylvania after the Revolutionary War.

John Morgan (I) married Catharine Bullard on October 26, 1803. They had eight children before he died at the age of 35 in 1820. These children were Reese Morgan (born 1804), Sarah Morgan (born 1806), Mark Morgan (born 1808), John Morgan (born 1810), Acrel Morgan (born 1812), Reuben Morgan (born 1814), Randall Morgan (born 1817), and Elizabeth Morgan (born 1820). John Morgan (II) was ten when his father died and left very little to provide for the large number of children.

LinkIn 1824 John was fourteen. A Stewart family had left the Neill's Creek area two weeks earlier to head south and west and John decided to run away from home. He casually picked up the family rifle and said he was going hunting and he never returned. Robert Morgan, a United States Senator from North Carolina and the great-grandson of John's brother Reuben, said that the family always thought that "the Indians got him". Many years would go by before they found out what had really happened.

In John Morgan's later life, he was very remorseful about leaving his widowed mother and brothers and sisters. He realized that his small contributions, even at age 14, had been a help and that his leaving deprived the family of it and also caused them grief.

We have been told that John walked all day every day and far into the nights to catch up with the wagon train. The wagons traveled slowly with stops for cooking and washing clothes and fording streams and John caught up with them after a month. He went on with them to Pickens County, Alabama. Once there, he took a job with Stephen Bennett, Jr., as a ferry boat "operator" and also worked on the Bennett farm.

John Morgan Affadavit.In 1836 he enlisted at Mobile as a volunteer to fight in the Seminole Indian War. At the time of his enlistment he was described as being five feet eight inches tall with a fair complexion, light blue eyes, and black hair. On February 27, 1836, he joined Chisolm's Alabama Military Volunteers, Captain Joseph Martin's Company, Colonel Cobb's Regiment. His three-month enlistment was up on May 27, 1836, and he received an honorable discharge at Mobile. After John's death, Adaline applied for a widow's pension based on this service.

On December 28, 1837, he married Adaline Todd, daughter of James Todd and the niece of the ferry boat owner that John had worked for. Adaline Todd's mother was Charlotte Bennett Todd, Stephen Bennett's sister. The ceremony was witnessed by her cousins W. Hardin and Eveline Hardin Poteete.

In 1841 John and his young family moved to the Rocky Ford community (now Etta) in Lafayette county, Mississippi. At that time he and Adaline had two children, Catharine (named for his mother) [she would later marry John Haire at Rocky Mount], and Stephen Bennett Morgan (named for his wife's grandfather and uncle.)

John Morgan owned 160 acres of land there and farmed. Records indicate that he got part of the 120-acre land grant that he was entitled to for his Indian War service there. In 1855, John Morgan and his family moved east to Calhoun county. He had been persuaded to make that move by John Hardin who was married to Adaline's Aunt Gilly Bennett Hardin. John Hardin had cleared land in Skuna bottom and was making good crops there. John Morgan bought Skuna bottom land and built a house across the road from and a little northeast of David Wilson Hardin's house (later the James place.)

John and his young sons worked hard to clear enough bottom land to grow the crops needed to sustain the family. John became sick and he blamed the ill-health which would plague him the rest of his life on Skuna bottom. To escape Skuna bottom, he moved his family up into the hills, just a few miles away, and built a log house of unusually large logs. However there were at least two weddings in his family before they moved. Catherine, the oldest child, married John Haire and Stephen Bennett Morgan married Gilly Ann Hardin, the daughter of Steve Hardin and a granddaughter of John Hardin.

We don't know exactly when, but John Morgan had finally contacted his family back in North Carolina. One letter that he received from them that has survived the years and is in the Morgan family records. It was written by his brother Reuben who is replying to one from John dated August 1860. His mother Catharine was still alive and she sent her love.

John and Adaline Morgan saw four of their sons go off to fight in the Civil War and saw all return home. Wesley was with General Forrest in some of his raids; Bennett was captured in the siege of Vicksburg, exchanged, and then captured again later, and was desperately sick when the war ended and had to be helped to walk home--his four year-span was a real ordeal; James Todd fought at Shiloh and was seriously wounded at Chattanooga, he was captured and kept prisoner for a time on a boat locked in the ice on the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois; and Reuben, only 16, helped guard the Corinth rail terminal while supplies came through.


Children of John and Adaline Todd Morgan


CATHARINE MORGAN, born about 1839 in Pickens county, Alabama, was the first child. She was married to John Haire on December 21, 1856, and they lived in the Rocky Mount community. Catharine died at a relatively early age and John Haire remarried and moved to Water Valley. Catharine and some of her children are buried in unmarked graves at Rocky Mount.

Stephen Bennett Morgan STEPHEN BENNETT MORGAN, (June 7, 1840 - September 28, 1930) was born in Pickens county, Alabama, and was the second child. He was married to Gilly Ann Hardin on December 23, 1859, while the John Morgan family was still living in Skuna bottom.

Uncle Bennett's children that I know of included John, George, Jim, Estelle, Carrie, Delilah Frances, and Laurinda Catharine.

John married Martha Swindle (my grandmother's sister) and George married Cordie White. George and Cordie were the parents of Clarence, Vernon, Gladys, and Georgia.

Jim, who died as a very young man, was married to Mittie Phillips. She would later marry W. J. Murff.

Estelle married Lacy Kirkpatrick and Carrie married Gonnie Morphis. Carrie and Gonnie Morphis had a business in Calhoun City.

Delilah Frances married James Andrew Jackson Ellard. They were the parents of Lillian (married Howard Murff), Lydia, Eunice (married Tom Alexander), Cecil, Effie (married Sim Clark), Vivian (married Hartwell Landreth), Connie (married Clayton Murphree), Vida (married Boyd Parker), and Jimmie.

Laurinda Catharine married Dr. Enochs.

JAMES TODD MORGAN, the third child, was born October 11, 1841, in Rocky Ford (Lafayette county), Mississippi. Uncle Jimmie was grandfather of the Reverend Jesse Lee Morgan and of Veda Morgan Tankersley. There were many more descendants, too numerous to mention. Uncle Jimmie died on May 24, 1925, and he and Aunt Lizzie and some of their children are buried at Oak Springs.

JOHN WESLEY MORGAN, the fourth child, was born in April 1846 in Rocky Ford. He married Nancy Landreth on February 6, 1876, and, sometime in the 1890s, he moved his family to Texas. At time of the move, Uncle Wesley and Aunt Nancy had sons in the their young teen years who grew up in Texas. Their daughter Martha was also a teenager; but a young man of the area, Will Hannaford, was in love with her and they married and stayed in Mississippi.

REUBEN REESE MORGAN, the fifth child, was born October 25, 1847, in Rocky Ford. He married Dove Christian Swindle on February 6, 1876.

When the Civil War was at its worst, and the South was fighting for its survival, old men and young boys were called on to volunteer and he went. He was in the army of General Hood, a Texan, and was in the Foragemaster Corps. His outfit helped to guard Corinth, Mississippi, while supplies were gotten through on the railroad.

He died on December 30, 1942, and his obituary in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal stated that he had been the last surviving Confederate veteran in Calhoun County.

Children of Reuben Reese and Dove Morgan

BESSIE MORGAN, born October 6, 1891. Died November 24, 1939. Aunt Bessie married H. Nathan Pettit, a widower with children. Then he and Aunt Bessie had five children. She died while she was still a relatively young woman. Nathan and Bessie Pettit's children included Jeanette (Davidson), Raymond, Pauline (Washington), Otis, and Leon.

MARY ETTA MORGAN, born December 23, 1879, married Moses A. Brown (July 16, 1872 - December 17, 1957).

EMMA ADALINE MORGAN, born November 6, 1877, died November 20, 1951, married James (Jim) Murphree, one of my Mother's younger uncles. He was a widower with teenaged children when they married. He was the father of Clayton Murphree and of Odis Murphree and of Julia Murphree Bray, wife of Robert Bray. He and Aunt Emma were the parents of Virgie and of Mamie and Elon who were near my age. I loved Aunt Emma and I so enjoyed playing with Mamie and Elon and often went to spend the night with them in the house that John Morgan had built. Mamie married Dennis Alexander. Elon died in 1974 or 1975.

Note: Monette Morgan Young's funeral service on February 21, 2000, was conducted by Rev. Robert Alexander, her cousin Mamie's son.

After Dove Morgan who was almost 90 died on September 16, 1939, Granddaddy and Aunt Emma, who was then a widow, moved to Vardaman to be near his son and her brother Albert Hosea Morgan. Granddaddy died there at 95.

ALBERT HOSEA MORGAN, born November 13, 1881, died March 19, 1956, married Eula Barbara Murphree (February 2, 1885 - March 6, 1981). Their children were Monette (July 5, 1915 - February 19, 2000) and James Albert (1 Sep 1926 - 5 Sep 1926). Monette married Thomas W. Young and their children were Barbara Frances, James Morgan, and Diana.

FRED MORGAN, born September 7, 1885, died February 13, 1916, married Maud Vance.

ALSIE MORGAN, born May 17, 1889, died in 1963, married Connie McBroom (1889 -1952).

EVA MORGAN, born September 4, 1884, died May 4, 1910, married Robert Wash James (April 17, 1880 - May 24, 1965). Their children included William Ruble James who married Nannie Winter. Ruble Reece James (married Barbara Alice Suggs) was Eva Morgan James' grandson.


WILLIAM H. (BILLY) MORGAN, the sixth child, was born about 1849 in Rocky Ford. He died on December 23, 1859, when he was only about ten, and is buried in an unmarked grave near his sister Catharine Haire at Rocky Mount.

MARTHA MORGAN, the seventh child, was the last of John and Adaline's children to be born in Rocky Ford. She married John Hardin on September 26, 1875. They and their children moved to Texas and we know almost nothing of them.

ANDREW JACKSON MORGAN, the eighth child, was the first to be born in the Poplar Springs area. He was born on April 18, 1855, and was too young to be in the war. Andrew Jackson Morgan married Martha Frances Murphree, my grandfather Murphree's cousin.

CHARLOTTE FRANCES MORGAN, the ninth child, was born in April 1856. She married Ransom (Rance) Murphree, my grandfather Jeff Murphree's brother. Fanny and Rance were the parents of Modess (married Bryan Shoemake), Bradford, Lois Murphree McKibben, Cora (married Edd Johnson), and others.

GILLY MORGAN, born in 1859, was the tenth child. She married Hugh Langston in the Macedonia community. Aunt Gilly Langston was willed all of John and Adaline's household goods and when great-grandmother died, she came and got the things that were left.

Mark C. MorganMARK C. MORGAN, born January 30, 1864, was the eleventh child. He married Fannie Murff and he and Fannie made their home with John and Adaline. John Morgan's will gave Mark the home and land to take care of John and Adaline in their old days and it stipulated that Adaline must have a home there during her lifetime. Mark and Fanny had three children, Oscar, Ora, and Clara. Mark died of typhoid fever when he was 28 and Fanny was heir to the old home. Fanny went back to her parents after Mark died and Uncle Bennett Morgan and his family came to live with Adaline. Some years later the Uncle Bennett family came down with typhoid fever and Adaline went to stay at her son Reuben's home so she might escape it. She had already developed a heart condition and she died sitting in a chair in Reuben's house on July 3, 1898.

Aunt Fanny would later marry Isaiah D. Stacy, a widower with a number of teenage sons and daughters. His home was a big white two-story one. It was in the same location where Dudley Davis' house is now. Aunt Fanny and Isaiah Stacy had one son, Isaiah D. (I.D.) Stacy, Jr. His half-sisters Clara and Ora lived with him.

TWIN DAUGHTERS. John and Adaline had twin daughters who were born prematurely and died.

All of John and Adaline's boys had "Texas Fever" except for Stephen Bennett Morgan. He never wanted to go, but several of the others moved there permanently and others visited there but came back to Mississippi.



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