Alabama Pioneers Honored

BIOGRAPHY: Henry W. Hodges born ca. 1780

Click to see how to honor your ancestor as a Notable Alabama Pioneer



(b. ca. 1780)

Madison, Morgan and Lawrence County, Alabama

Elder Henry W. Hodges came to Alabama about 1818 or 1819 and settled on Town Creek, near the bridge on the Tuscumbia and Courtland road. This was near the Carmel Church, of which he was a member, and perhaps a constituent member. The Morgan Baptist Association reports: “One of the oldest churches in Morgan County, Hopewell was organized on the first Saturday in December 1824.

It is mentioned in Hosea Holcombe’s 1840 A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists of Alabama. The presbytery was composed of Elders John Birdwell, Stephen Penn, Walden, and Featherstone. Charter members were Barkley Ballard, Polly Ballard, William Johnson, Sarah McDowell, Martha Rodgers, James Simmons, Stacy Simmons, Elizabeth Simmons, Polly Simmons, Solomon Simmons, Mary Simmons, Nicholas Gillentine Sr., Jane Gillentine, Richard L. Gillentine Jr., Martha Gillentine. Annie Gillentine, Gideon Spalden, and Nancy Spalden.” The first deacon was Nicholas Gilentine and the first clerk was William Johnson. The first recorded pastor was Henry W. Hodges in 1827.

The church was located on land deeded to the church by William Johnson, “near the well of Brother Simmons” about two and one-half miles east of Danville, eight-tenths of a mile south of what is now Highway 36, between Hartselle and Danville. The church was received into the Muscle Shoals Association in July 1825.”

Elder Hodges afterward became a member of Mallard’s Creek Church. In 1840, he was a delegate from Mallard’s Creek Church. He left Alabama about 1840 or 1841, for Georgia. How long he lived we are not able to say. He was then about sixty years old. In 1822, at the third session of the association, he preached the introductory sermon. Doubtless, he was at the organization of the association, as he was one of the presbytery that constituted Birdwell’s Springs Church, now Enon, in June 1819. He is listed on the earliest Township and Range Public Land Survey in Huntsville, Alabama. In the 1830 census of Lawrence County, Alabama, he has a wife, son, and 20 slaves. Henry is in the 1840 Lawrence County, Alabama census with wife, son and 15 slaves.

He was the moderator in 1830 and in 1837. He seems to have been an active minister in his day and was pastor of several churches, among which may be mentioned Spring Hill and Mallard’s Creek. He had a wife and one child. Previous to leaving Alabama, he failed in business, having traded largely and being unable to breast the financial crash of eighteen thirty-six and seven.



  1. History of the Muscle Shoals Baptist Association from 1820 to 1890 – By Josephus Shackleford, Mathew Lyon – 1891
  2. Hosea Holcombe 1840 A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists of Alabama

Start researching your family with the easy guide WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources. Download to your computer immediately and begin your search for your ancestry.


Leave a Reply