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Monday Musings: Interesting photographs from Clayton, Alabama ca. 1915

While browsing the Alabama State Archives, I frequently run across some really interesting old photographs of Alabamians with absolutely no information about them. I always thought it was a shame that some family tried to save the photo for posterity by giving it to the Archives, but it is sad that we do not know the names.


Since we have so many readers around the world, I decided to publish a few of the really old ones on the website from time to time and perhaps someone will be able to identify the people in them or at least we can all enjoy looking at them. They provide an interesting glimpse of Alabama’s past.

If you have information, please share it in the Reply section below and be sure to identify the photograph (i.e. File #, File #) in your response. You can also click on the link at the top to reach the actual Archives photograph and provide any information you have directly to them.

Two photographs of Caleb Stevens and family on the Williams plantation in Clayton, Alabama Q1754 ca 1940 – Caleb’s father was a slave of the Honorable John N. Williams of Clayton.

Alabama Writers Project at Alabama State Archives

Caleb_Stevens_and_family_on_the_Williams_plantation_in_Clayton_Alabama

 

Caleb_Stevens_and_family_on_the_Williams_plantation_in_Clayton_Alabama (1)

The three interesting photographs from Clayton, Alabama below are from Anna T Jeanes Foundation – Negro Rural School Fund, Inc. at Alabama State Archives taken around 1915 in Clayton, Alabama

UPDATE –  THE THREE PICTURES BELOW HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED BY JAMES MORGAN III – as pictures from the  Jones Chapel A.M.E. Church in Clayton – James Morgan III ancestor pasted there in 1930-32.

African American teachers standing on the steps of a wooden church building in Clayton, Alabama File Q42751

African_American_teachers_standing_on_the_steps_of_a_wooden_church_building_in_Clayton_Alabama

Elderly African American man giving lessons in a church in Clayton, Alabama. File Q42753Elderly_African_American_man_showing_teachers_how_to_cane_a_chair_in_a_wooden_church_building_in_Clayton_Alabama

Elderly African American man weaving a basket outside a church building in Clayton, Alabama in 1915. He had learned his trade in slavery days and was employed to give the teachers  lessons in basket making, bottoming chairs and such work File Q42752

Elderly_African_American_man_weaving_a_basket_outside_a_wooden_church_building_in_Clayton_Alabama

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources


By (author): Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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20 comments

  1. Rose Ream

    Wonderful pictures!!!

  2. I recall large baskets similar to the one that gentleman is weaving on my grandparents’ farm in Barbour County. They were still in use in the 1950s for gathering and transporting feed corn, as I recall. Great post!

  3. Thanks for posting these great photos! An entire side of my family comes from Clayton in Barbour County, the Smiths, the Thomas’, the Camerons and the Bushs’. Sadly, I only have a family history of the Bushs’. Keep these coming!

  4. Judy Sims

    Looks like he is making a nice large basket.

  5. B Monique Jeter

    Caleb’s father and Caleb Stevens were the ONLY Honorable men! There is and was NOTHING “honorable” about John N Williams of Clayton and man who owned other MEN!! Absolutely nothing honorable about that!! Y’all got it twisted! Unbelievable!!

  6. Donna Funderburg

    Making a cotton basket. My papa made these.

  7. Kevin Rooks

    At the Decatur library they have an alabama room I’ve spent hours in there

  8. Susan Rahn DuBose

    The Alabama Archives is ALWAYS glad to get info about photos!

  9. Amiee Register

    My family is from Clayton, still have some there…miss y’all…

  10. Dot Smith

    I used to help my grandfather make these!!!

  11. I was raised in Clayton. I used to live on Indian lake road. I was wondering if anyone could help me find out history about the place. I’ve heard there was a plantation on the property. Where I lived at my daddy put a trail or where the master house sat. But when looking up about it,I find nothing on it

  12. Barbara Gillespie

    Lots of people made their own baskets. My Uncle & aunt made chairs & reed oak baskets in 1945.

  13. Barbara Brookshire

    He’s making a cotton basket.

  14. Mary Newton

    Amazing the lost info in families. I find in my family search it is due to lack of labeling the photos. They are past down and younger generations loose knowledge of the past and just give or toss old photos as they don’t know who they are.

  15. The name of the church in that picture is Jones Chapel A.M.E. Church in Clayton. My ancestor Rev. W.J. Hightower was Pastor there from 1930-1932.

  16. Barbara Gillespie

    Oak baskets were made for gathering cotton or to hold vegatables in root cellar. My Uncle in Chandler Springs made baskets & chairs to sell also.

  17. I am very excited to see a picture of a man weaving a basket. My great grandfather weaved baskets. This was passed down to my grandfather. I suspect that my great grandfather learned it from his mother or father. I don’t know their names though. All I know is that the family believes that the Pruitts came from Alabama. I would love to know if the basket weaving were specific to a certain area in Alabama.

  18. Olivia Baker

    I believe two of the people in the photo of teachers are my grandmother and grandfather. Both were teachers in this area of Alabama during the early part of 1900s. The picture is not clear but two people look like early pictures we have of them.

  19. Sherry Oglesby

    i loved my prince ella bedell .i saw no color

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