Kemper County MS GenWeb

Part of the USGenWeb

Dale, Hugh

of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee

submitted by Nancy Bell

According to family legend, Hugh Dale was born in Belfast, Ireland around 1799. He arrived in America in 1818. He joined an uncle, John Dale, in Washington Co, AL. This information, written by Mrs. Clara Sansom Mabry, granddaughter of Hugh Dale, appears to be correct, although John C. Dale may have actually been Hugh's brother. Hugh Dale and John C. Dale lived in Old St. Stephens, an early settlement in Washington Co, AL.

"The town of St. Stephens developed around the Spanish fort. Franklin, Rodney, and Carrollton were three small towns settled near the fort in 1807 by Americans who did not wish to live in what was then a Spanish town. These three towns were eventually incorporated into the town of St. Stephens. In its prosperous days, St. Stephens boasted a theater, several taverns, hotels and other places of entertainment" (Matte, pp. 49-50, "History of Washington County").

John C. Dale owned The St. Stephens Hotel (probably lot 139 on High Street), a tavern, and a plantation in Washington Co, AL. He purchased 158.12 1/2 acres of federal land in Washington County on September 1, 1804 (Patent No. 453, Northwest Quarter of Section 31 in township 9 of Range 3 West). He later purchased 161.32 1/2 acres of federal land at the Land Office in St. Stephens on April 10, 1818 ("NW Quarter Section No. 28 in Township No. 11 of Range No. 10 in the district of lands offered for sale at St. Stephens", Certificate 2802).

According to Jacqueline Anderson Matte, "people had bought this land by putting down only one-fourth of the cost as required by the Land Law of 1800, promising to pay the balance to the federal government over three years. The smallest amount one person could buy was 160 acres. But when the bottom dropped out of the cotton market, few could meet their payments. Many of them packed up their families and moved further west to Mississippi or Texas.

By 1820 Alabamians owed the federal government $11 million, more than half of the national land debt. By 1820 and 1821 Congress passed new laws to deal with this problem. Those already in debt were aided by the Relief Act of 1821 which permitted them to keep part of their land and return the rest to the government or buy it all on the installment plan at reduced rates."

On May 13, 1822, John C. Dale applied for a "Certificate of Further Credit, Under the Act of the 2d of March, 1821". This certificate is located with John C. Dale's estate papers at the Washington County courthouse in Chatom (Relinquishment No. 588).

John C. Dale was married to Sarah Dupree. She was either the daughter of David Dupree and Sarah Chaney or the widow of David Dupree. In January 1820, John and Sarah Dupree Dale sold land inherited by Sarah Dupree from the will of David Dupree.

Information in John C. Dale's estate papers indicates Hugh Dale worked for him, "learning the business of running a plantation". It appears that John C. Dale eventually lost his hotel, and possibly other property. He is found in an 1821 tax record in Mobile, AL, Captain Tutle's Beat. John C. Dale died in 1823 in Wilcox Co, AL. His obituary was printed in the Mobile Commercial Register on October 2, 1823 and reads: "In Washington County, Col. John C. Dale, a native of Ireland".

It appears that John C. Dale had a significant amount of debt at the time of his death. Hugh Dale was the administrator of his estate. In the estate papers located at the Washington County courthouse, there are many receipts of payment made by Hugh Dale to various individuals to satisfy John Dale's debts. There is no mention of John Dale's wife, Sarah, or any children. One of the items in the Washington Co, AL estate papers referred to Hugh Dale as the brother of John C. Dale.

According to the estate papers, Hugh Dale was reimbursed money owed to him by John Dale for "services as a laborer from the first of December1820 to the last of February 1821" at $15.00 per month. He was also reimbursed for two months in 1821 and from 1822 through February 1823. In addition, Hugh Dale was reimbursed for $48.00 for a loan to John Dale made in June 1822 and for a horse sold by John Dale. Hugh Dale traveled to Mobile, Jackson, Camden, and Claiborne on business of the estate. There may be other estate papers located in Wilcox County.

On 14 Oct 18 (26?), Hugh Dale sold John C. Dale's property located in Township 9, Range 3 West to John Worsham for the sum of twenty five dollars. This was probably done to satisfy a debt. This deed is located with John Dale's estate papers.

After their marriage, Hugh and Catherine Dale moved to Marengo Co, AL. According to Mrs. Clara Sansom Mabry, they settled in Bluff Port, which was located in Section 26, Township 19 North, Range 1 West. "The name originated from the high bluffs on the Tombigbee on which were built warehouses for river freight" ("The Names of Sumter County, Alabama" by Virginia O. Foscue, 1978).

The Dales are listed in the 1830 census with 1 male under 5, 1 male 30-40, 1 female under 5, 1 female 20-30, and 2 slaves. In 1832, they either moved to Sumter County or the county lines changed, and their property became part of Sumter County. According to "Goodspeed's History of Tennessee, 1887", their son, John Clanton Dale, was the first white child born in Sumter County (1832).

In 1837, Hugh Dale purchased a total of 545 acres of federal land in Sumter County (Section 1, Range 2W, Township 19N and Section 36, Range 2W, Township 20N). According to Mrs. Clara Sansom Mabry, a story is told as to how he acquired his first land. He was urged by a wealthy friend to attend a land sale. As Hugh had no money, he was alarmed to hear the land bid in his name. His friend bid the land for him and let him pay it as he could, without being bound by notes of security. Hugh Dale's home ("The Old Dale Plantation") was standing and in good condition in 1883 when Mrs. Mabry visited it.

In the 1840 census of Sumter Co, AL, the family included 1 male under 5, 1 male 5-10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 15-20, 1 male 20-30, 1 male 30-40, 2 females under 5, 1 female 5-10, 2 females 10-15, 1 female 30-40, and 31 slaves. The 1841 poll list for Sumter County indicates Hugh Dale lived in Livingston.

According to information written by Mrs. Clara Sansom Mabry, Hugh Dale's brother (John) and family planned to leave Belfast, Ireland about 1845, to join Hugh in America. The brother was detained so he put three daughters on a ship and he, his wife, and one daughter took the next ship. The brother, his wife, and daughter died with ship fever and were buried at sea. The three surviving daughters were met by Hugh Dale and taken back to Sumter County. Matilda, lived with her uncle Hugh. One daugher lived with a Mr. Gillespie, and another lived with Martha Hand Cusack (Catherine Dale's sister). There is conflicting information concerning the names of the other two daughters, but the names Sarah, Mary, Eliza, and Elizabeth were mentioned.

Matilda married Lewis Pinknum Haupt (or Hauk), and had two children, Erin Anna, who married William H. Wells and Lela Dale, who married Stepe Smith. One of the other daughters married John Brandon and had four children: Mary (married Dr. P.N.Wells), John, William (married Viola Knox), and Charles (married Blanch Pigford). The other sister married John White, who died, and married a second time to Wilse Lawer. She did not have children.

The 1850 Sumter Co, AL census lists Hugh Dale and family as living in Payneville. Hugh is listed as being 49 years of age, born in Ireland. Catherine is 46 years old, born in North Carolina. The children's names and ages are: Matilda (17), John (18), Martha (16), Adam (12), Elizabeth (9), Catherine (8), Bolivar (5). Payneville is now an abandoned town that was located in Section 13, Township 19N, Range 4 West.

According to Mrs. Clara Sansom Mabry, Hugh Dale took his son Adam, who was about 14 years old, to meet a boat at Demopolis. It was late in the evening and Adam was last seen on the gangplank. It was assumed that he fell off and drowned. His mother never quit grieving for him as long as she lived.

Mrs. Mabry also stated, "Hugh Dale was a life long planter, a member of the Presbyterian Church, a man of fine education and character". He was a man of great energy and thrift. He was a stockholder in the Mobile and Ohio Railroad in its early days. He was elevated to a high rank in the Masonic Order. In 1854, he moved his family to Kemper County, MS and is listed in the Land Roll as having 320 taxable acres in Sections 2 and 3, Range 18, Township 11. He is included in the 1860 census for Kemper County. His home was known as "The Dale Plantation" and was located near Scooba.

Hugh Dale died on February 15, 1867 in Kemper County, MS. He is said to be buried near Scooba, MS in an old churchyard cemetery on property he donated for a church, a community school, and a community burial ground. His grave is enclosed with a wrought iron fence with the name "Dale" in the arch of the gate. His death notice was published in the "Mobile Times", February 23, 1867 and reads, "Died near Scooba, Kemper County, Mississippi Friday morning the 15th inst. At about 20 minutes after 12, Hugh Dale, Esq. In his 67th year."

Mrs. Mabry stated that, "after her husband's death, Catherine Clanton Dale divided her time with her children, Martha Sansom, Bolivar E. Dale, and John C. Dale. She was converted early in life and joined the Methodist church, to which she remained faithful to the day of her death. For several years before her death, she was an invalid, resulting from a fall, injuring her hip; but she remained cheerful and happy. She loved to smoke her pipe (as all old ladies in that day), sing the old Hymns and read her Bible. Her favorite passage of Scripture was the 23rd Psalm. She died in a calm and peaceful sleep on Sept. 25, 1889 (age 84 years), at the home of her son John Clanton Dale, near Kerrville, Tenn. and was laid to rest there." She is buried in Bethel Cemetery (by the Methodist Church), on property owned by her son. Kerrville is now extinct but was located in Shelby Co, TN, north of Memphis.

Children of Hugh Dale and Catherine Clanton were:

1. Sarah A. Dale was born about 1830, probably in Marengo Co, AL. She married Dewitt Clinton (D.C.) Greenwood on 22 Nov 1849 in Sumter Co, AL. Dewitt Greenwood was the son of Thomas and Lydia Greenwood. He was the editor and publisher of a newspaper, "The Weekly Independent" in Aberdeen, MS during the early 1850's. Sarah Dale Greenwood died on 5 April 1894 in Monroe Co, MS. Their children were: Edward E., Thomas D., Kate, Beulah, Sallie, Dewitt, Calpurnia

2. John Clanton Dale was born in 1832 in Sumter Co, AL. He graduated from La Grange College in Alabama in 1851 and married Elizabeth (Bettie) Mayes in 1852 in Franklin Co, AL. She was the daughter of Drury Mayes and Martha Ann McGreggor. John C. Dale was a farmer who owned a sawmill and 960 acres of land in Shelby Co, TN. He died on 3 Oct 1903, in Kerrville, Shelby Co, TN and is buried in Bethel Cemetery.

Their chidden were: William Hugh (m. Amelia Tharpe), Emma (m. Daniel McIntyre Stewart), Julia, Drury Mayes (m. Lizzie Dale), Kate, Thomas J. (m. Jessie Rogers), Sally Greenwood (m. Robert M. Walker), and Nelly.

3. Martha Hand ("Matt") was born on 16 Jul 1834 in Sumter Co, AL. She married William Carter Sansom on 14 Jan 1857 in Scooba, Kemper Co, MS. He was the son of John L. Sansom and Sarah Ann Carter. Martha Sansom died on 7 Sep 1910 in Okolona, Chickasaw Co, MS and is buried in Old Union Cemetery, Monroe Co, MS. There is no marker, but she is next to her husband.

Children of William Carter Sansom and Martha Hand Dale were: Sara Catherine (died in childhood), John Dale (m. Lucy Roberta Haughton), William Carter, Jr. (died in childhood), Clara (m. W.G. Mabry), Mary (m. Gilbert Ivy), James Lamar (m. Elzie Word), Daisey Dean (m. Ervin Jay Henson), Martha Beatrice (m. W.C. Stone, Sr.), and Sallie Estelle (m. Elbert Tomlinson).

4. Adam was born about 1838 and died when 14 years old.

5. William died in infancy (unproven). He is not in the 1850 census.

6. Mary was born about 1840 in Sumter County (unproven). She is not listed in the1850 census.

7. Elizabeth was born in 1841 and supposedly died at boarding school in Macon, MS after 1850. In the 1850 census, she is listed as being 9 years old.

8. Catherine ("Kate") was born about 1842 in Sumter Co, AL. According to Mrs. Mabry, "Kate Dale made the presentation address and presented the Flag to the 1st Company formed at Scooba, Miss., in 1861. W.S. Patton was Captain of this Company. This was the Confederate unit William Carter Sansom and Bolivar Dale were in.

There was a steamboat that went from Demopolis, Ala. to Columbus, Miss., named for Kate Dale. Her father, Hugh Dale, presented this boat a very fine piano. She was quite a talented musician.

Kate Dale was married to Prof. Oscar Hadley. Prof. Hadley taught in the public school in Okolona, MS in 1875-76. Mrs. Hadley taught music. They then moved to Alexandria, La., where Prof. Hadley died. Mrs. Kate Dale Hadley died on Jan. 12, 1912, in Bergman, Arkansas, and was buried there. They had one child, Alice Bennett Hadley, who married Walter So-Relle in Alexandria, LA."

9. Bolivar Edmund was born about 1845 in Sumter Co, AL. He was said to have married Mary Bartee of Columbus, MS in 1868. According to Mrs. Mabry, Bolivar left school in LaGrange, AL at age 16 to join the Confederacy under Capt. Steel and Capt. Giler in November 1864. When his father, Hugh Dale, was notified, he immediately sent a young slave and furnished each with a horse. Bolivar was too young to go into battle and he and the slave were detailed to hold the army horses.

In a letter dated 11 Nov 1864 from William Carter Sansom to his wife Martha during the Civil War, William states, "Bolivar is well, he is on the Col's staff, and has a very easy time. He has sent Henry home". Henry must have been the slave who was sent by Hugh Dale.

According to Mrs. Mabry, Bolivar and Mary Dale's children were: Mary Matilda "Mattie" (m. William Haley in Livingston, AL), Julia (m. Mr. Hawkins and lived in Epes, AL), Kate, Hugh, Neil, Bolivar, Jr., Frank, Willie, Robert, and a set of twin girls who died in infancy.

10. Male who died in infancy (unproven).


"Articles of Agreement By and Between the Heirs of Nancy Clanton", Sumter County, Alabama Deed Book F (1840-1842), pp. 68-69, at the Sumter County courthouse in Livingston, AL (photocopy in possession of Nancy S. Bell).

Betty Couch Wiltshire, Marriages and Deaths from Mississippi Newspapers Volume 1: 1837-1863 (Bowie, Maryland, Heritage Books, Inc., 1987), p. 207.

Clara Sansom Mabry, unpublished family history of the Sansom family, photocopy in possession of Nancy S. Bell.

"Dale" surname index at the Alabama State archives, Montgomery, Alabama.

"D-Goodspeed, History of Tennessee, 1887, Shelby County, Tennessee" located at ( www.rootsweb.com/`tnshelby/)

Dewitt Clinton Greenwood family group sheet (undocumented); ancestral file number AFN: MW7F-GF, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Edward L. Clanton loose estate papers at the Washington County, Alabama courthouse in Chatom, Alabama, photocopied by Nancy S. Bell.

Goodspeed Brothers, Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Volume I, Part 2 (Chicago, Illinois, 1891), pp. 838-839. (Dale and Greenwood families)

Gwendolyn Lynette Hester, Sumter County, Alabama Wills: 1829-1872 and Mortality Schedules: 1850-1880,Willbook l - 1828-1851 (Dallas, Texas, Southern Roots, 1998), p.15.

Jacqueline Anderson Matte, The History of Washington County, First County in 
Alabama (Chatom , Alabama, Washington County Historical Society, 1982), pp. 412, 415.

Jacqueline Anderson Matte, Doris Brown, and Barbara Waddell, Old St. Stephens Historical Records Survey (St. Stephens, Alabama, St. Stephens Historical Commission, 1999), pp. 48, 49, 51, 55, 126.

Jean Strickland and Patricia N. Edwards, Residents of the Southeastern Mississippi Territory, Book Five: Washington and Baldwin Counties, Alabama: Wills, Deeds, and Superior Court Minutes (Moss Point, Mississippi, Ben Strickland, 1996), p. 30.

John C. Dale loose estate papers at the Washington County, Alabama courthouse in Chatom, Alabama, photocopied by Nancy S. Bell.

John C. Dale obituary, Mobile, Alabama, Mobile Commercial Register, October 2, 1823, p. 3, col. 3 (on microfilm at the Mobile Public Library, Mobile, Alabama).

Kathleen Paul Jones and Pauline Jones Gandrud, Marengo County (Alabama): Marriage Records; Wills and Estates; Deeds; Revolutionary War Pensions; Tombstone Inscriptions; Family Records, Alabama Records, v. 186 (Blewett Company, Columbus, Mississippi, 1980), p. 6.

Kathleen Paul Jones and Pauline Jones Gandrud, Sumter County (Alabama): Formation of County and Records; Newspaper Extracts 1866-1870; Miscellaneous Notes, Alabama Records, v. 44 (Blewett Company, Columbus, Mississippi, 1980), p. 24.

Kathleen Paul Jones and Pauline Jones Gandrud, Alabama Records (Sumter County), v. 164 (Blewett Company, Columbus, Mississippi, 1980), pp. 26, 86.

Land records for Hugh Dale, Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records website, (www.glorecords.blm.gov/search.asp )

Marilyn Davis Barefield, Records of Wilcox County, Alabama (Easley, South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1988), pp. 89, 91.

Nelle Morris Jenkins, Sumter County, Alabama Records (publisher unknown, 1961), pp. 22, 30.

Virginia O. Foscue, The Place Names of Sumter County, Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Alabama, University of Alabama Press, 1978), pp. 1, 22, 23, 51.

"Washington County, Alabama Records in Early MS Territory", microfilm #1993358, pp. 360-361, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. (Guardianship papers of Edward Clanton's children).

Washington County Marriage Record Book "A" 1826-1837 located at the Washington County courthouse in Chatom, Alabama.

1830 United States Census, Southern District, Marengo County, Alabama, p. 338, ID# AL558459276, on microfilm at the Mobile Public Library, Mobile, Alabama.

1840 United States Census, no township listed, Sumter County, Alabama, p. 135, ID# AL54a659919, on microfilm at the Mobile Public Library, Mobile, Alabama.

1850 United States Census, Payneville Township, Sumter County, Alabama, p. 
297, ID# ALS5a422675, on microfilm at the Mobile Public Library, Mobile, 

1854 Land Roll of Kemper County, Mississippi, p. 67

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