BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
(May 3, 1799- June 3, 1878)
Vermont, Georgia, Macon, Montgomery, Elmore and Coosa Counties
(Excerpt from History of Coosa County: by the Rev. George Evans Brewer, 1887)
Ebenezer Pond, a native of Vermont, 1799, May 3rd. He first came to Richmond, Va., then to Columbia, S. C., and then with M, L. Bulger came early to Alabama from Georgia after a short stay in Macon, and lived about Montgomery from about 1823 or ’24 to 1835, when he came to Wetumpka.
He had a brother, Isaac Pond, who preceded him to Wetumpka, and was a man of prominence in the place for a good while. Ebenezer Pond was married to Caroline Cleveland by Judge B. Bibb near the Haggerty neighborhood, in the upper part of Montgomery County. (He) Was postmaster at Wetumpka. Upon the resignation of Dawson as judge of the County Court, he was appointed to fill the vacancy December 8th, 1837, and continued in the office until 1848. Upon being made judge he moved to Rockford, and made that his home until his death on June 3rd, 1878, when he was nearing his ninetieth year.
His first wife (Caroline Cleveland) was a daughter of Larkin Cleveland, by whom he had three sons, Larkin, Joseph, and Henry (commonly known as Dick), and two daughters, Frances who married Isom Lee, and was postmistress at Rockford for a number of years, and Cynthia, who married a Mr. McClain (James Fleming McLane) of Talladega. The boys made good Confederate soldiers, except Larkin who died before the war. After the war Joseph went west. Henry has continued to live at Rockford. He became a Republican, and has been a leading man in the party in the county.
Judge Pond was remarkable in more respects than one. He was considerably over six feet tall, a large, well-rounded frame, but not fat. He continued erect, and with good action through life. He had a fine grey eye that never failed so as to need glasses, and could read without difficulty to the last. He was a Methodist, and an ardent Mason. He drew people to him by his social nature.
He loved fun, and was a practical joker. Neither man or boy knew when the Judge would have a laugh on him. Some of his pranks were not enjoyed by the victims, but it was impossible to stay out of humor with him. A boy standing near, listening to the Judge tell a story, was likely to have a mouthful of amber spit on his bare toes. But he would soon be appeased by the Judge.
There was usually a crowd sitting about the stores, and the Judge was generally one of them. If the day was cold the group would be around the fire. If he saw one ride up looking cold, he would put the handle end of the iron poker in the fire, get it hot, and set it up just before the cold man came in. As usual when one comes to a fire cold, the first thing is to punch up the fire. The unwary rider would get the hot poker, but it was dropped before the fire was punched, and a hand rubbing would be the next performance. Sometimes he would heat an iron ball, and with protected hands throw it near some person, with the request to please throw it back. The accommodating party would pick it up to toss back, but would immediately regret his accommodation. If others paid him back in his own coin he would take it pleasantly. Once after the war the Judge was on a visit to Montgomery. Walking up the street nicely dressed, and with a shining pair of boots on, George McDonald, whose feet had been practiced on by the Judge, was standing on the sidewalk, and just as the Judge came near, he spit on his boots. The Judge turned and asked what he meant. George replied, “Just paying back old scores.” He then told the Judge who he was, for from boyhood he had outgrown the Judge’s memory, and they had a good laugh over it while George was having his boots put in good order again.
He generally had something to say to every passing boy. One morning Tom McDonald was late, and hurrying on to school with a bird in his hand, just taken from his trap. As he passed the Judge, he asked, “Tom, what kind of bird is that?” Tom answered as he walked on, “A Joree.” On coming to the school house he did not notice that the school was in session, and turned the bird loose in the schoolroom. It, of course, flew about excitedly, and the children became almost equally excited, and studies were neglected for the time. The teacher, John Hannon, gave Tom a flogging for interrupting the school. In going back from school, as he passed where the Judge and others were, the Judge called out, “Tom, what did you do with your Joree?” Tom quickly responded, “Swapped it off for a thrasher.”
Late in life he married a second time, a widow (Violet on Aug. 28, 1856) Horton, who had been the wife of John Horton, the Rockford merchant and owner of a mill and farm on Swamp Creek. There were no children by this marriage.
It would not be fair to leave out of the history of Coosa a negro belonging to Judge Pond, known as “Uncle Frank.” He was given to Mrs. Pond by her father, Larkin Cleveland, and was one of the negroes bought from Redmouth, the Indian. He was a good negro, and in giving him to his daughter Mr. Cleveland requested that Frank should never be sold out of the family. He was a prominent figure about Rockford until his death, which occurred after the war. He was intelligent, and spoke both the Indian and English language, and was therefore used in the early days of the county very much as an interpreter. It was interesting to talk to him about the Indians and their habits, which he retained to some extent, and his talk was much sought after by the whites. But he did not seem spoiled by the notice given him. He was popular with the boys because of the bows and arrows, and blow-guns, of Indian fashion, that he made for them. The blow-guns were made of large canes, about six feet long, well seasoned, with the pith of the joints burned out smoothly. The arrows were of strips of cane, heated while green so as to be twisted and made tough. The end was sharpened, and the other end was muffled with cat-tail or some other feathery substance, that filled the barrel of the gun so as to catch the air blown into it, the propelling force which drove the arrow to the mark. These arrows were very hard after cooling, and the points would penetrate almost like metal points. Birds, squirrels, and other game could be killed with them, when used by an expert.
History of Coosa County: by the Rev. George Evans Brewer, 1887)