New Stories

AUTHOR SUNDAY: First White Settlers in River Bend + Child of Hopkins Pratt, Sanford, and Cruise family.

A(The photograph is of Ella Elizabeth Splawn, 2 brothers & her mother, who were pioneers in River Bend, Sarah “Sallie” Ann Cruise )

W. P. Wallace wrote a series of articles in The Centreville Press about Bibb County, Alabama’s history. This is a transcription of one of his articles published on September 7, 1899. It includes information about Absalom Pratt, the youngest son of Hon. Hopkins Pratt, a pioneer of Alabama.)


of Bibb County


W. P. Wallace

Mr. T. B. Sanford, a most substantial citizen of Tabernacle neighborhood made the Press a pleasant visit this week. He is a successful farmer and a good citizen.

Absalom (2nd Absalom named after his uncle Absalom Pratt the youngest son of Hon. Hopkins Pratt) was a nice young gentleman, when the Civil War broke out he volunteered in the 20th Alabama regiment, making a good soldier until the fatal ball from an enemy’s gun pierced his breast, after which he only exclaimed “Lord have mercy.”

During the war, and while at home on furlough, he married Miss Sarah A. Cruise, who was the daughter of that highly esteemed citizen of our county, Mr. E. P. Cruise, deceased.

Absalom left no heirs at his death. He was wrapped in his soldier’s blanket and buried in a pit on the battlefield near New Hope Church in Georgia, and God only knows today his resting place. We have been informed that W. F. Lowery of River Bend was with him in this battle and had his body interred as described and also had a wooden slab with his initials carved upon it erected.

The Centreville Press September 7, 1899

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION from Donna R. Causey (Donna Rae Causey) – After her first husband’s tragic death, Sarah “Sallie” Ann Cruise married Harrison Harris Splawn, Sr. and they had three children, but he died July 22, 1873. She was twice widowed in the span of only a few years.

Splawn & Pratt family in Alabama – L to R Front Aunt Neph Johnson, Aunt Mary Jane Harpole, Grandmother Cruise (lived 99 1/2 years), Aunt Sally Splawn; Back: Uncle Dove Cruise, Aunt Anna Pratt, Ollie Cruise Weaver, Uncle Willis Cruise. (Names – by Ella Katherine Morgan “Ellorine)


Harrison and Sarah’s only daughter Ella Elizabeth Splawn married Allen Braswell Pratt and she died at the young age of 36, leaving five daughters and one son for her husband to raise alone. Her last words to her husband were, “Please keep the children together.” Ella’s mother, and grandmother went to live with her husband, Allen Braswell Pratt and the children, five girls and a one son to help raise them. My grandmother, Ellarea Pratt was one of the girls they help raise. Ella Rae (Ellrea) was my grandmother.

The Centreville Press September 7, 1899

Tapestry of Love: Three Books In One– author Donna R Causey

Tapestry of Love by Donna R Causey was inspired by the Cottingham ancestors of Donna who settled in Bibb County, Alabama.

“At the age of sixteen, Mary and her husband, whom she barely knows, are forced to escape the only home they’ve ever known and settle in the primitive 17th-century world of America where they shape their family’s destiny for generations.

Inspired by actual people and historical events of colonial America, “The Kingdom of Accawmacke” is revealed and secrets about America’s history are discovered in this well-researched series. The story begins in 17th-century England during the reign of Charles I and continues a family’s journey to the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland.”


The exhilarating action & subplots keep the reader in constant anticipation. It is almost impossible to put the book down until completion,

Dr. Don P. Brandon, Retired Professor, Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana

This is the first book I have read that puts a personal touch on some seemingly real people in factual events.


Love books with strong women…this has one. Love early American history about ordinary people…even though they were not ‘ordinary’…it took courage to populate our country. This book is well-researched and well-written.

Julia Smith

A picture of love and history rolled into one. A step back in time that pulls you in and makes you a part of the family and their world.

Ken Flessas

Each book’s writing gets stronger, the characters become real, and the struggles and sorrows that laid the foundation for this country.


Not only is the story entertaining, but it also opens the eastern shore of the early Virginia Colony to the reader as a picture book….I know this story will touch many people’s hearts.

B. Thomas


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