A copy of the following stories, with graphics, charts and photos is available in a 100+ page paperback from the Hightower News/Dr. Paul Hightower 1701 S. 34th St.,Terre Haute, in 47803, for $30



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A copy of the following stories, with graphics, charts and photos is available in a 100+ page paperback from the Hightower News/Dr. Paul Hightower 1701 S. 34th St.,Terre Haute, IN 47803, for $30.



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The Hightower News-A Compilation

Edited by Paul Hightower


Civil War Stories

Andrew Hightower, born in 1811, heard that Union Soldiers were coming to get his guns and horses. He took the horses into the Butler County woods and said "if they get my guns, they will get 'em red hot!" He loaded his black powder weapons, but the soldiers never came.

Andrew lived the early part of his life in Butler County, Kentucky. He was reared by a man named Alph Taylor, who had a number of slaves. Fielding's fatherin-law, James Mahan, purchased two slaves to help farm his land. But when his wife saw them, she made him take them back because she didn't think slavery was right.

Descendents of the two Arkansas brothers who left Warren County, Joshua and William, ended up on opposite sides of the war. William's family joined the Confederacy and fought at Shiloh while Joshua's family went north into Missouri and joined a volunteer Union regiment.



The Kentucky/Arkansas Hightower Connection

Possessed with but few things of this world, believing he could better his condition and be of more benefit to his family caused him to break his endearments with many friends and his Kentucky home and cast his destinies in the almost untrodden wilds of the territory of Arkansas. In November, 1830, Joshua and William Hightower, with their families and Mrs. Elizabeth Wren,(their sister), with her seven children left Warren County, Ky., in wagons for Izard County, Ark. Mr. Wren remained until he could dispose of his tobacco crop. The progress of this little emigrant train was necessarily slow. There were few settlements, and public roads were unknown west of the Mississippi River. By perserverence and energy they reached Rocky Bayou on the 24th of December and camped that Christmas eve night on the farm now owned by R. L. Landers. On this place Mrs. Wren waited for Mr. Wren who came by water to Chickasas Bluff, now Memphis, and walked through the lonely swamps and cane brakes alone, camping out nights with no protection save his pocket knife.He reached his family early in 1831 and made a crop on that place.

James Wren organized a Baptist Church, the first in Izard County, on the west bank of Rocky Bayou with 8 members. Another group of Hightowers, descendants of James WiIson Hightower(born 1816 in Warren County) migrated to Cushman, Arkansas and today about a dozen Hightower families live there. Some of these Hightower migrants moved on into Texas and the Southwest.


The Story of My Parents
by Bertha Turner Hightower
June 27, 1958

Henry Jackson Turner was my father. He was a hard working honest man. He taught us children to do good in all things. Ile worked at a saw mill most of his married life. He didn't make much money, but always bought clothes and food for his family. My father and mother were very devoted to each other. My mother, Harriet Young Turner, was a very fine and sweet woman. She didn't go to church much, but she read her Bible and taught me to read it.She taught me to be honest, truthful and descent. She always taught her children good things. She never talked about her neighbor or anyone else. She was a hard working womanwho taught all of us children to work. While my father worked at the saw mill the children raised large gardens and sold lots of vegetables. She loved her children very much and worked awfully hard to raise them.



Dudley Hightower, Bowling Green, KY

I was born and grew up at a community called Benleo, Kentucky. My parents were Henry Lester and Bertha Turner Hightower. There has never been a kinder man than my daddy. He had to be made of steel to endure what he did and raise us during the depression. started to school at five years of age at the Mortar Branch School which was about 2 miles from where we lived on my grandfathers farm. My dad worked at a sawmill, made railroad ties, farmed, trapped and did anything to make a dollar. We kids started work when we were 8-10 years old doing anything we could to help make a living like picking berries, cutting wood, or digging Gin Seng or May Apple Root. When I was 10, my dad was boarding away from home and working at a sawmill. He came home at the end of the week and brought me a dollar watch. He couldn't afford it, but he did. Was I thrilled!

Louise had pneumonia one night and the doctor came to see her. My daddy rode back to Bowling Green and got some medicine and walked back home ( 17 miles) in the dark. The doctor said tomorrow would be too late. Again, my dad did what had to be done--never complaining.

John Hightower 1653

by Hazel Hightower

I yet cannot verify our Hightower immigrant ancestor, but am of the firm conviction we are of English descent.

Friendship, of the earliest passenger ships on record, embarking from England, took nine to ten weeks to complete the Trans-Atlantic crossing and the passengers on board were under obligation to the Governors of American Plantations.

Year 1653, the Friendship, with William Perse, as commander, arrived with one of its passengers by the name of John Hitower (Hightower). According to the passenger ship search and attestation report, he had come to Virginia on land transactions.

In view of the foregoing statement, Hightower descendants, now into the many thousands, would be pleased to claim him as our ancestor. Who knows? In spite of the ever on-going diligent research of hundreds of avid genealogical researchers, proof has not surfaced.

The best we can do is speculate and continue the search. This John Hightower could have been the father of a son Joshua, then residing in England. Perhaps a young man, maybe one with high aspirations to come to America, and his father, John, was instrumental in seeing his son, Joshua, realize his dream.

At any rate, it is a known fact, one Joshua Hightower had been in Richmond County, Virginia, owned property there, indicating residence prior to 1698. A suit was filed against his estate in 1698 and it is recorded in Richmond County, Virginia. Since the suit was filed against his estate is a clear indication this Joshua Hightower was deceased, and that he had been a resident of Richmond County, VA. According to Clayton Torrence's Virginia Will and Administration, 1632- 1800, this Joshua Hightower was not recorded as having a will, therefore, he died intestate.

Since no records had been kept by the State of Virginia, prior to 1700, as to marriages, births and deaths, researchers are at a loss to determine who the Joshua Hightower was that was residing in Richmond, County, Virginia in 1698, with a suit filed March, 1698, Ob2, p. 389 where in an action was brought against Joshua Hightower by Giles and James Webb, executors of John Webb, deceased.

The foregoing statement is clear indication there is a Joshua Hightower, very much alive, residing in Richmond County, VA. It seems logical to use this data to link John and the two Joshuas.


John Hightower, believed to have not resided in America, but having bought land in Richmond County, VA, in the early 1650's_whether he was our immigrant ancestor is yet to be proven. My researched opinion is that he, indeed, was our immigrant ancestor and the Joshua Hightower named in the suit filed in March, 1698, by Webb brothers was the Hightower I claim to be the husband of Eleanor Charnold and the father of six children, two of which he named his will, probated in 1726, in Richmond County, VA. Numerous court cases are of record in Richmond County 1698-1726 naming this Joshua Hightower.

After the revolution, the great migration of Virginians carried the Hightowers to various regions south and west. By 1800 there were about 30 families of their descendants. For many years I have collected Hightower records from all available sources, in an effort to trace all lines down to recent times, for publications as a general genealogy of the Hightower family. It is strongly indicated that all Hightowers of the county are descended from that early family of Richmond County, VA.

The earliest Hightower family of whom we have records lived in Richmond County, VA. before the year 1700. There, in 1698, the estate of Joshua Hightower was administered, suggesting residence of Hightowers there sometime before that date.

In 1726, a Joshua Hightower died in Richmond County, leaving a wife, Eleanor and six children. His eldest son, Charnel, married Sarah Glascock in January 1727/8, and reared a large family. From 1720-1750 three Hightower families lived in Richmond County, close neighbors and closely related_the families of Charnel, John and Joshua. We do not yet know just how these three men were related, John and Joshua could have been brothers, Charnel, the son of Joshua who died in 1726, a cousin.

About 1750 these three families moved to Amelia County, to the part that in 1789 was cut off and made Nottoway County. they settled in the southeast corner of the county, near the present city of Blackstone, where Nottoway, Brunswick and Lunenburg Counties meet. Though some lived in each county, they still were near one another. They continued in that region, close together, until the period of the Revolutionary War.

Fortunately, for the genealogical record, the names, birth dates and names of the parents of the children born in Richmond County, VA between 1700 and 1750 were recorded in the North Farnham Parish Register, a copy of which is to be found at Warshaw, Virginia.

Joshua and Eleanor Hightower lived on what is today called the Northern Neck of Virginia it is that portion of land bordered by the Rappahannoch River on the West and the Potomac River on the East where, in 1608, Captain John Smith first visited. It was the southern tip of this portion of Virginia where the ship, Friendship, via Chesapeake Bay landed in 1653.

Six sons were born to the first Hightower couple, Joshua and Eleanor: John, Charnel, Joshua Jr, Austin, Joseph and Thomas. The birth of Thomas, Sr., the youngest on 20 March 1712, was the first Hightower birth of record.



Thomas Hightower, Jr

by Paul High tower, with Ed Hightower, Hazel Hightower, Hugh High tower, Preston Michael Jones & Tony Rockefeller.

If you are one of the Hightowers whose roots lead you to Warren County, Kentucky, then your Hightower ancestor is almost certainly, Thomas Hightower, Jr. Thomas, according to the North Farnham Parish Register of Richmond County, Virginia, was born 5 February, 1736_listing as his parents, Thomas and Kindness Prentess Hightower. His brother was the Reverand John Hightower, featured in last year's High tower News.

In 1758, North Carolina Land Grant # 1540 survey shows a 400 acre grant in Anson County, NC. to Thomas Hightower and his wife, Kindness and they are residing on this grant situated on the south side of the Pee Dee River, in Anson County. Thomas, Sr. resided on the land until his death abt. 1762. In December 1760, Thomas llightower, Jr. sold 150 acres of the 400 acre tract to John Morris. A deed, dated 21 November, 1763 was signed by Thomas Hightower, Jr.

fle remained single for five years after his fathers death in 1762 and then married Susannah (Herrington?) in Anson County prior to 1767 and moved to Rutherford County, often referred to as District 96, North Carolina on the Broad River. Two children were born: John B. in 1774 and Henry in 1777.

Thomas, by 1780, was living with Susannah on the Tygar River, Spartanburg County, SC. After the fall of Charleston, South Carolina, 12 May 1780, Thomas Hightower, Jr. joined the Revolution.
While Thomas was away from home on the campaign, "Bloody" Bill Cunningham, a tory, stormed the Hightower home demanding to know the whereabouts of Thomas. Susanna refused to divulge the information and Bill Cunningham ordered her execution (about 1780).

Thomas, serving with Col. Roebuck of Spartanburg fought at the battle of Kings Mountain 7 October, 1780. The battle was the turning point of the Revolutionary War in the south. The Regiment along with Lt. Col. Ilenry White fought at the Battle of Mudlick where 150 American Patriots successfully attacked the British garrison at Ft. Williams on 2 March, 1781.

After the war, Thomas came came home to his homestead on the Tyger River in Spartanburg, SC and married a Cherokee Indian named Jane (abt. 1786). She was some 20 years of age and Thomas was about 50.

Thomas and Jane's first three children were likely born in Spartanburg: Maryan (1787), John (1790) and Elizabeth (1794).

About 1798, Thomas sold his land on the Tyger River and moved his young family to Warren County, KY. His children by Susanna, Henry and John moved to Tatnal County, GA in 1800 and to Lowdnes Co., GA in 1829.

Thomas and Jane's last three children were born: Joshua (abt. 1797), William Robert (abt. 1805) and Charity (abt. 1807) in Warren County.

Thomas received two separate land grants totaling approximately two
hundred acres of land. The tracts were thought to be adjacent, but while doing
research in the Kentucky Library this past year, l became concerned by the fact that
as I tried to run the titles of ownership to bordering farms, things did not make sense. One tract was 130 acres of land in Jackson's bottoms near Gasper River, but the other mentioned the Big
Beaver Dam Creek_which could not be found anywhere near the Gasper River
community. Connie Mills, the librarian, found an 1820 map that showed a creek on the upper Green River called BigBeaver Dam. That was it, one land grant tract
on Gasper River and the other on Green River, located in Rhoda, Ky, near Brownsville,
Edmonson County.

Thomas died about 1908 and it is likely that his grave is one of the dozens of unmarked graves in the nearby Beaver Dam Baptist Church. The Church was founded in 1802, about four years after Thomas and Jane Hightower immigrated there from South Carolina. After Thomas Hightower's death, Jane never remarried. She moved in 1831 with two sons and a daughter to Izard County, Arkansas where she died between 1840 and 1850(see related story, High tower News 1989).



The Life and Times of
Jim Hightower-Cherokee Indian

by Paul Hightower
After hundreds of hours of family history research, the nature of our ancestor Jim Hightower begins to emerge from a number of small clues gleaned by dozens of family history researchers. Jim Hightower, father of James Wilson and John Andrew Hightower and husband to Elizabeth Hughes Hightower has eluded researchers for many years, but today we believe his history is becoming more clear.

After his wife was killed by a Tory during the American Revolution, Thomas Hightower, Jr., married a Cherokee Indian in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Thomas and his twenty year old Indian bride, Jane, moved to Warren County, Kentucky about 1798. Along with Thomas, Jane and their children, there came a Cherokee Indian named Jim. Perhaps he was the younger brother of Jane, or a friend or acquaintance of the Thomas Hightowers. The area around Spartanburg, SC was home to numerous Cherokee Indians and many had inter-married with the white settlers. The Cherokee had lived in these lands for over a thousand years before Columbus came.

But they had adapted to the White man's ways living in peace and harmony. The Cherokee signed a peace treaty with representatives of President George Washington just after 1800. The treaty promised the Cherokee that they could live on the land "As long as the rivers flowed and the grass grew." This, of course, was another in a series of broken promises made to the Cherokee and other Indian tribes of the southeastern United States.

Aunt Mary Hightower's Story written in 1980 spoke of the father of James Wilson Hightower thus: "His father was full blooded Indian and he married this woman, I guess it was in Kentucky...Bowling Green I suppose, and the Cherokee Indian (Jim) cut cedar logs and laced them together and was taking them to market. I think they were using them for ship building. He had laced the logs together with hickory bark. And they never saw him or herd of him again. They said many things could have happened. These logs, the hickory bark could have broken and the logs could have drowned him on the Mississippi. Or he could have been hijacked and killed...nobody ever knew. I know about this great- grandfather who was the full blooded indian because I heard my father tell of him many times."

Another story handed down through family folklore claimed that Jim was a part of the Trail of Tears the forced migration of Cherokee Indians from the southern states to Oklahoma during the winter of 1837. Over four thousand Indians died along the way after the U.S. Government failed to provide food, clothing and supplies that were promised the Cherokee. However, the date of the migration was a number of years after Jim Hightower disappeared.

The river trip theory has been handed down by more than one member of the family and would seem to have the most credence.

Both Jim and his two sons, Andrew and James Wilson were riverboat men when flatboats and later steamers were the only mass-transportation modes available to pioneers on the frontier. The flat boars were loaded with pork, lard, cattle, oats and cornmeal. The boats were made of large yellow poplar trees, reinforced with Red Oak up to 100 feet long and as much as 20 feet wide. There were long oars used to propel the boat and pull it out of eddies and to steer. It would take a little over a month for Jim to make it from the waters of the Gasper River all the way down to New Orleans. Indeed Joshua Hightower made the trip a number of times_walking back to Logan County, Kentucky each time. When the boats arrived in New Orleans they sold the produce to merchants and sold the wood boats to furniture manufacturing companies.


Austin Hightower

Austin Hightower, the son of Joshua and Eleanor Hightower was mentioned in Joshua's Will, recorded in WB 5, Page 14, Richmond County, Virginia, and proven 3 August 1726. In Item 5 of this handwritten Will, Joshua mentioned "my other four children~_research has shown that one of those four was indeed, Austin Hightower, Sr.(see chart page 2) And in the records of Richmond County, Virginia, the earliest reference to this man is found in Brunswick County. A land transaction dated 25 July 1746_a 400acre land grant to Austin Hightower south of Cedar Creek in Brunswick County, Virginia. It is believed that this was where Austin took his young bride in the early 1740's. Many of the records of this County were destroyed by fire and we have not been able to come up with births, marriages, etc. during those years. However, we do have the following:

1. 2 October 1746, Hugh and Elizabeth Williams to Austin Hightower 168 acres;

2. 1748 Polling List for House of Burgess election;

3.7 March 1750 Austin and wife Jane to James Tarpley, 200 acres. (This is the first evidence that Austin is married.)

4. 26 June 1759 Austin and wife Jane to Andrew Lester - 168 acres. (This is the last record found that lists Jane as Austin's wife. It is believed she died shoffly after this transaction.)

Taken from the Bible Records of Oldham Hightower, it has been established that he was born 17 September 1744, probably in Brunswick County, Virginia, and through court records it has been established that Oldham was the firstborn of Austin and Jane Hightower.

In 1755, records of the North Carolina Historical Commission-Records of the Moravians, p. 536_ shows: Austin Hightower, 640 acres; Marks Creek Fork of New Hope, above John Penes' land, Orange County, North Carolina. We think that Austin was in the process of migrating from Brunswick County, Virginia to Orange County, North Carolina. What is not clear at this time is the fact that we do know that his wife, Jane, was still living, since she entered into the transaction 26 June 1759. Another transaction dated 26 June 1762, 700 acres of land in Orange County~ North Carolina on Phill's Creek, waters of Morgan's Creek, granted to Austin Hightower. (Oldham Hightower was a chain carrier on the survey of this land for Austin.)

Other mentions of Austin Hightower,Sr. and family in Orange County, North Carolina:

1. 1765 Austin Hightower appointed Constable.

2. 1778 Ordered to work on a road building project, Austin Hightower, Sr., George Hightower, Austin Hightower, Jr., William Hightower, John Hightower. Mr. Hightower, overseer.

It has been ascertained that Austin Hightower, Jr., William Hightower and John Hightower were the sons of Austin Hightower, Sr. The George Hightower mentioned in the 1778 reference was a nephew of Austin, (a son of John Hightower of Amelia County, VA, late_he having died in 1764.)

It is believed that Austin Hightower, Sr. moved from Brunswick County, Virginia some time around 1760/62 and established his homestead on the 700-acre tract of land in Orange County, North Carolina. Also, it is believed that he re-married about this time, a lady by the name of Martha. Since we have established from Austin's Will, the name of his surviving widow as being Martha, and also listed three more children, namely:

1) Sterling, who was named as one of the executors of his will and therefore this boy had to be of age to participate, therefore we set his birthdate around the year 1761/62 and it is believed he was born in North Carolina; 2) Henry, born cat 1763 and a daughter, Amelia, 10 June 1765, the latter two also being born in North Carolina, and probably there at the homestead on Phill's Creek, waters of Morgan's Creek, Orange County, (these lands are now in both Orange and Chatham Counties, North Carolina).

Proof that Austin's wife at this time was named Martha is found in Vol.5, P.499 of the Orange County Records of North Carolina wherein Austin Hightower and Martha in 1783_188 acres, a grant. Also, Orange County, N.C. Deeds, Bk. 2, p. 374,'Austin Hightower and wife Martha of Orange Co. to Pamfret Herndon of same for 500 Ibs. a specie of land granted to Austin Hightower by John, Earl of Granville by deed 28 June1762 (this being part of that 700-acre tract by deed, shown as 26 June 1762 on which son, Oldham Hightower was a chain carrier.)

Austin Hightower died at his homestead, Orange County, North Carolina in the summer of 1784. His Will, made 6 February 1782 was proven in the August Session of Chatham County, North Carolina. He named his surviving widow, Martha, as an executor, and Sterling, next to his youngest son, as an executor and named in the following order the following children: l) William, 2) John, 3) Austin, 4) Sterling, 5) llenry and 6)Amelia. It is pointed out that his son, the oldest, was not named in this will-namely: Oldham Hightower. We can not determine the reason for this, except that at that time Oldham was married and migrating_about the time of his father's death, he was living in Washington County, Tennessee. Even though the son, Henry Hightower, was named in his father's will made 6 February 1782, he was dead at the time of his father's death. It is believed that all other children named in the will, survived him.


Will of Austin:

I Austin Hightower of Orange County and State of North Carolina being in perfect health and sound in mind and memory do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following to-wit, I recommend my soul to Almighty God who gave it and my body to the Earth to be buried in a Christian manner at the discretion of my Executor in certain expectation of a glorious Resurrection at the Last Day_and as to my worldly sustenance as hath pleaded Almighty God to bestow on me I give and bequeath in the following manner In premise_my will is that myjust debts be first paid. I lend to my beloved wife Martha my Negro man named Roger during her natural life or widowhood and at her decease or intermarriage his value to be divided among my children agreeable to their distributive shares as in the succeeding. Whereas I have heretofore given to my son William a Negro girl named Sook eight years old also a horse bridle and saddle and to my son John one hundred acres of deeded land and an entry adjoining the same and to my son Austin one cow and calf and to my son Sterling one saddle and bridle.





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