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 Hightowers
of Cedartown, GA

I was headed south this past fall, it was raining like a Florida hurricane and the leaves were changing color as I passed through the Smokey Mountains. But as I drove farther south, in the direction of Atlanta, there was barely a hint of autumn. When I turned off the interstate in the direction of Rome, GA, I was headed for Morgan Valley in the northwest Georgia foothills.

I love these Genealogical treks into the deep south because I can always find real pork barbecue-not the kind Yankees make, the kind that drips with southern flavor-you just can'tget that sort of thing north of the Mason-Dixon line. Leaving Rome, old highway 27 winds its way over to Cedartown, GA, a place where Elias Dorsey Hightower made his home in 1846.

Elias bought a wooden grist mill here in Polk County that had been built a decade earlier by a Mr. John Wilson. The mill was constructed near a waterfall on the banks of a small stream which flowed into Euharlee Creek. The area would come to be known as Hightower Falls. According to a story in the Northwest Georgia News by Gordon D. Sargent, the first mill was built while Cherokee Indians still inhabited the area.

Hightower converted the old grist mill into a cotton gin, and nearby built a three-story mill out of native stone. The stone walls of the mill remain today. The mill was used to grind corn and wheat; on the second floor was a carding machine for making wool from sheep raised on the Hightower farm.
Sargent records in his article: "About ten years after construction of the mill, its operations were rudely interrupted by the conflagration known as the U.S. Civil War. Thomas Hightower, the son of Elias Dorsey Hightower (see Letters of Thomas Hightower, Hightower News, vol. 8), served in the 21st Georgia Volunteers, and on the 7th of December, Lucelia, his wife, had recently moved from Polk County to a spot east of Atlanta know as Powelton, to be with family for the birth of the couple's first-born. As the U.S. Civil War swept toward his falls, Elias Dorsey Hightower had cause for concern. General Sherman had ordered his troops to destroy all factories in Georgia, but he had specifically exempted 'small flouring mills, manifestly for local use.' His troops, however, often failed to follow these orders, and many a mill was burned to the ground as a result. Elias's mill and operations were soon to be put to the test.

Hightower had already endured much of the tortures of war. Two of his four eldest sons had enlisted at the start of the war. One had died of wounds at the Battle of White Sulfur Springs, Virginia (now West Virginia) early in 1863. Elias undoubtedly was greatly concerned for the safety of his son Tom too.

Sherman was marching to the sea down through the Dalton-Atlanta corridor, and in November of 1864, he razed much of Cedartown. In mid-November, Lee McCormack, a school teacher who lived with the Hightowers, brought the frightening news when he visited Tom Hightower in New Market, Virginia. On November 28th, Tom passed the news to his wife in Powelton: "They burned every occupied Court House, all the storehouses, grocers, blacksmith shops and every house that there was no person living in. Burnt old Bill Peek's dwelling and all of his out-buildings. They take and kill everything as they go, killed all the stock, ducks, chickens, etc ." Thomas Hightower, however, was helpless to come to the aid of his family at Hightower Falls. As more detailed accounts filtered in, he must have grown more worried with each passing day. According to Hightower's greatgrandson, Charles N. Carter, Union troops did visit the mill, and helped themselves to corn meal, baked corn bread, and even "killed one of Grandpa's pigs," to make supper. The hogs had been driven up into the hills beyond the falls for protection, but one old sow apparently had wandered back down just as the Yankees arrived, and met its fate shortly thereafter. Possibly mellowed from a full meal and a good night's sleep, the troops spared the home and mill from the torch, and moved on.

Following the war, rebuilding must have been slow and tedious as the lives of Polk County residents slowly returned to a semblance of normality. "Judge" Elias Hightower (as he had become known), served in the Georgia General Assembly in 1873 and 1874. In Cedartown, he was a partner in the law firm of W.M. Phillips & Company.


Business undoubtedly picked up at Hightower Falls following the war. Aside from the cotton gin and wool carding operation, Hightower also had a tannery, a sorghum mill, honey bee hives and he had a plantation to manage.
When the Hightowers came to the Polk County area in 1846, they lived in a house at the end of what is known today as Hightower Falls Road, near the mill. In 1857, A. H. Wood built a new home for Elias further down the road from the mill. The old homestead where the Hightowers raised their eleven children stands unchanged today, except for the removal of the front porch."
Elias Dorsey Hightower died in 1892 and the Cedartown Standard had this to say about him: "...Reporting the death of one of Polk's oldest and best citizens, Judge Hightower. He ably represented this county in the state legislature in 1872-73. He was a devoted member of the Methodist Church for 50 years and often spoke of his approaching end saying he was ready to go. For over fourscore years he has walked an upright, blameless life and at the age of 83 he bid farewell to life and went to his reward."
In Cedartown today, only a local lumber store retains the Hightower name and only the native Georgia stone walls of the mill remain to remind us of a page of Hightower history almost lost in time.

First Families of Georgia
by Joseph Henry Hightower Moore
Towaliga Farm, GA

William Hightower, b. Bute Co., NC, 1778, d. Fayette Co., GA, 1851, m. GA, c. 1798, ?Sarah? Fann, dau. of Jesse Fann, Sr., and wife Wilmouth. She was b. in Bute/Warren Co., NC, c.1778, d. Fayette Co., GA, 1840-1850. Sarah Fann (first name not proven) is currently traced in descent from William and Sarah Stone of North Farnham Parish, Richmond Co., VA, whose dau. Mary Stone married John Fann. A probable son, name unknown, married Judith, who as Judith Fann appears in the North Farnham Parish Register as the mother of two children including Willoughby Fann who moved to Chatham Co., NC, where he died in 1785. Jesse Fann, Sr., named a son Willoughby and appears to be a brother of Willoughby Fann of North Carolina. It is likely that Jesse Fann and wife Wilmouth lived in a Virginia county whose records are destroyed, and from there went to Bute and Chatham Counties, NC. Between 1790 and 1793 they moved to llancock Co., GA, then to Greene Co., and by 1801 were in Clarke Co. Jesse Fann, Sr., died about 1815 and Wilmouth Fann died after 1823. By descent from William and Sarah Stone of Richmond Co., VA, William Hightower and his wife Miss Fann would have been third cousins.

William Hightower came to Georgia about 1797 and very soon married and settled in Clarke Co. The lands of himself and several children, as well as his Fann in-laws, were near the Jackson Co. Iine on Bear Creek and McNutts Creek of Oconee River, and near the main road from Athens to Jefferson. William Hightower was a captain in the Clarke County Militia in 1821. As a resident of McElroy's District, Clarke Co., he drew lands in Monroe and Houston Counties in the 1821 Georgia Land Lottery, but did not settle either tract.

In 1826 the family moved to Fayette Co., where William Hightower settled in Land Lot 108, 5th District, and in 1832 paid tax on adjacent Land Lot 118 (or 108), 5th District. In old age he lived in the household of his son Isaac Hightower on the main road between present Inman and Woolsey (present State Highway 92), Fayette Co., and died there. He was buried, by family tradition, in the Bishop Family Graveyard near his original Fayette Co. homestead. William Hightower left no document naming all his children. The following list is derived from records of his descendants who were personally acquainted with several of his children, and from other sources.

1. Raleigh Hightower.

2. Isaac Hightower.

3. Lucinda Hightower, b. c. 1801, d. DeKalb Co. by 1840, m. Clarke Co., 25 Mar. 1819, Stokely Evans, who d. DeKalb Co. also by 1840. They lived in Clarke and Fayette Counties before going to DeKalb after 1830.

4. Jonathan Hightower, b. 1802-04, m. Clarke Co., 5 Oct.1824, Mariah Wiggins.

5. Jesse Hightower, b.1806, d. Hunt Co., TX, after 1867, m. (1) Clarke Co. 28 Aug.1823, Mary Cagel, b.1806, d. after 1860, (2) Hunt Co., TX, 23 Aug. 1867, Mrs. Mary Ann Darling. Ple settled in Fayette Co. where he was 1st lieutenant of militia 1831- 1833,and captain of militia 18331834. He then moved to upper Henry Co. where he was captain of militia in 1838, and commissioned Justice of the Peace in 1839. He was a farmer in Henry Co. in 1850, but by 1860, had become a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church and had moved to Randolph Co., AL, where lived several families of his liightower cousins, children of Thomas and Elizabeth (Pollard) [Hightower formerly of Clarke Co., GA. Jesse Hightower afterwards went to Hunt Co., TX, where he is presumed to have died before 1870.

6. Sarah Hightower, b. by 1810, m. Fayette Co., 29 Mar. 1827, Jonathan Mitchell, son of Hinchey Mitchell of Henry County. (See Mitchell).

7. John N. Hightower, b.l807-10, d. Fayette Co.1832, m. Fayette Co., 24 Dec. 1829, Elizabeth Hunter, who died by 1840 leaving an orphan son, Millard [lightower, who lived with his older first cousins, William G. and Jane (Hightower) Edwards, and is presumed to have moved with them to Ashley Co., AR, after 1850.

8. James C. Hightower, b. 27 Nov. 1813, d. Inman, Fayette Co., 29 Apr. 1891, m. c. 1834, Manervia Ann Armstrong,b.9 June 1813,d.30Mar.1889. He owned lands on the north side of Inman eventually totalling to some 732 acres and his home there, built between 1847 and 1849, remains in the possession of his McLucas descendants. He was a founding trustee of Liberty Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church near his home and was a lay reader, or exhorter, whereby he occasionally preached at Liberty Chapel and other churches in Fayette and surrounding counties. He was a charter member and officer of the Pine Grove Masonic Lodge in Bear Creek Station (Hampton), Henry Co., in 1853. He was the ancestor of the llightower family of Jonesboro, Clayton Co. (See Joseph Henry llightower Moore, "Hightower (Clayton County Branch," in Ancestors Unlimited, Inc., The History of Clayton County, Georgia, 1983, pages 285- 291.)

9. George Carroll Hightower,b.1818, d. Fayette Co., Sept., 1850, m. Fayette Co., 3 Jan.1834, Sarah Eliza Grimn, b. 12 May 1820, d. 7 Aug. 1889. Raleigh [lightower, the founder of the main line of Henry Co. Hightowers, was b. in Clarke Co. in 1799 and d. in Henry Co. in 1856.
The House name is found in Virginia and in some of the same NC counties through which the Hightowers migrated. Raleigh Hightower owned land on Bear Creek and McNutts Creek of Oconee River in Clarke Co. He sold out in Clarke in 1825 and no doubt came to Henry Co. by 1826 when his father and brothers went to Fayette. (Raleigh had drawn Land Lot 98, 9th District, Fayette Co., in the 1821 Land Lottery, and Land Lot 117, 9th District, Henry Co. (later Newton], but did not settle either tract. ) His first Henry Co. land purchases were not recorded, but it is known that his home was near Concord Methodist Episcopal Church which was organized in 1829 and of which he was a strong member and perhaps a trustee. The Henry County Agricultural Census for 1850 shows him with 302 acres of land which was undoubtedly his homeplace tract.
The first deed in which he appears is a sale of Land Lot 123, 12th Dist., on present Stagecoach Rd. just beyond Concord Church, north of present Stockbridge, in 1838. In 1851 he bought a total of 607 acres. This property was in two parcels, one belong present Stockbridge on present Rock Quarry Rd., and the other some distance northwest of Stockbridge. It is doubtful that he lived on either tract,but is most likely that his homeplace remained just above Concord Church. [lelefta comfortable estate when he died and with his wife was buried in a nowunmarked grave in the old Hightower lot at Concord Church Cem. Raleigh Hightower and wife Elizabeth House had the following issue, born in Clarke and Henry Counties:

1. Dr. Richard House Hightower, physician, b.4 Mar. 1820, d.3 July 1897, m. Henry Co.,18 Feb.1849, Mary Ann Chapman. He was an early doctor in Henry Co. and about 1861, moved to Jonesboro, his home until the end of the Confederate War, in which he servcd, when he returned to Henry Co. and settled in Stockbriclge. He was sheriff of Henry Co. in 1860,1866.

2. James Cook 15 Nov. 1842 Co., 1 July 1865, Sarah A. Patillo were living in Fayette (now Clayton) Co. in 1851, when he was a farmer. He worked as town marshal and railroad superintendent for the Macon and Western Railroad. After service in the Confederate army he moved back to Henry Co. and lived near Stockbridge.

3. William Hightower, married twice (names presently unknown) and lived in DeKalb Co. or in Atlanta. He presently has descendants in Atlanta.

4. Mary A. Hightower, b. 1826, m. in Henry Co., 8 Nov. 1846, Isham H. Hightower, her first cousin, son of Jesse H. Hightowerand his (1) wife Mary Cagel. They lived in Henry Co. in 1850. Soon thereafter they moved to Hunt Co., TX, where Isham Hightower was first a farmer, but soon became a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

5. Sarah Hightower, b. 1829, never married.

6. Paschal H. Hightower, b. 1830, d. Hilton Head Island, SC, 20 Feb.1865, Confederate soldier. He m.7 Nov. 1854, Margaret P. Crockett, b. 8 July 1835, d. 25 Jan. 1915, dau. of James Walkup Crockett and wife Malissa Mcacndon of Henry Co. and a descendant of the noted Pickens family of South Carolina. (See Crockett.) She later m. (2) Mr. Fraser.

7. Winfred Hightower, b.l832, m. Henry Co., 25 Sept.1853, Jesse Newt George.

8. Elizabeth T. Hightower, b.l833, m. Henry Co. 18 Sept. 1853, James M. Patillo.

9. Caroline Hightower, b.l839, m. Henry Co.,13 Dec. 1855, Johnson C. Turner.

10. Dr. Raleigh Hightower, physician, b. 1840, d.l912. Dr. Hightower was a minor when his father died, whereby he was adopted by his older brother Dr. Richard House Hightower, 4 Oct. 1856. He m. (1) 7 Dec. 1865, Catherine Watts Elliott,b.5 July 1840, d.23 Apr.1891, dau. Of Hiram C. Elliott and wife Mary Ann Atkinson of Henry Co. (see Elliott). Dr. Raleigh Hightower m. (2) 2 Feb.1893, Mary Orlenza (Crumbley) Morris, widow of John Morris and dau. of William H. Crumbley and wife Fannie A. Walker (see Crumbley). He served as a captain in the Confederatearmy, Co. E (later Co. D, 30th Ga. Regt. (See A. P. Adamson, Brief History of the Thirtieth Georgia Regiment, Rex, 1912, page 72.) His home was at WhiteHouse near Stockbridge. Dr. Raleigh Hightower b.1840 and d. 9-8-1912, and Catherine Elliott Hightower b. 7-5-1840, d. 4-23-1891.

11. John Nelson Hightower, b.l844. With his brother Dr. Raleigh Hightower, he was adopted, 4 Oct.1856, by his older brother Dr. Richard House Hightower. He was a Confederate soldier and m. in Henry Co., 13 July 1865, Sarah Green Chapman.

12. Martha Hightower, b. l 845. It was said she never married, but in Henry Co. on 15 Dec. 1859, a Miss M. J. Hightower was married to R. T. Carroll. Whether this was Martha or one of her nieces is not known by this compiler.

Joseph has contributed Hightower family histories in the First Families of Henry County, GA, published in 1993 and A History of Clayton County, GA, published in 1983. Both lines of Hightowers come from William Hightower (1778-1851).



Thomas Jefferson Hightower

As a progressive businessman and a thoroughly conscientious and upright citizen, this gentleman has always enjoyed the confidence and esteem of the community. Thomas was born in Parrotsville, East Tennessee, on 29 October, 1829. His grandfather, Thomas Hightower, was a native of South Carolina, and a gallant soldier in the American Revolution. His father, Allan Hightower, was also a native of South Carolina and a very successful planter and stock-raiser of that state. The maiden name of Mr. Hightower's mother was Louisa Jefferson. She was a native of Virginia and a member of the distinguished family to which the illustrious Thomas Jefferson belonged.

The boyhood and early youth of Mr. Hightower were spent in his native village in Tennessee, and from the institutions of that neighborhood he derived a common school education. At the age of eighteen he began to shift for himself and settled in Dahlonega for the purpose of digging gold. He failed, however, to gratify his ambition in this direction and decided to abandon the enterprise, because of ill luck. He clerked for a year in a grocery store at Dahlonega, and then located in Forsyth County, a few miles distant, where he found work as a clerk for four years. After this he clerked in a grocery store in Rome, GA for two years. He was then overtaken by the gold fever a second time and set out for the mountains of California going by the way of the Isthmus of Panama and taking a two month's trip. After a rugged experience of two years in the west, he returned to Georgia in 1854. He was then united in marriage to Miss Eliza E. Henderson, a loveable and gentle lady. In 1854 the year of his marriage, Mr. Hightower opened a general store in Cherokee County which he operated until the spring of 1862. He then sold out his business for the purpose of accepting an appointment under the Confederate government in the quartermaster's department. He remained there until the close of the war.

After the war he engaged in the grocery business in Atlanta, the firm being that of Ford, Hightower & Co. Their place of business was on Mitchell Street. Mr. Hightower served as a member of the state senate during the sessions of 1850-1860. He prefers the uneventful life of a busy merchant to the more conspicuous role of a public servant. Mr. Hightower is a Blue Lodge Mason and a consistent member of the First Baptist Church.

I was returning home from an academic conference in Myrtle Beach, SC in winter- if you could call what they have on the beach in Carolina-winter. Shortsleeve sunny with a warm ocean breeze, I almost forgot it was late February as I was driving inland but the snow covered Appalachians in the distance, reminded me. I wondered why a number of our Hightower ancestors would abandon a warm, beautiful place like South Carolina to go west. Some went west and pioneered Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and other southern states all the way to Texas. In this issue we will explore those ancestors, The Carolina Hightowers.1812, with 63 members and representing in the Green River Association. The first house of worship was a log building. By 1846 another building was in use-a brick building. The present building was built in 1866."

Reverand John Hightower

From Baptist Church Records of South-Central Kentucky and the UpperCumberland of Tennessee 1799-1899 published in 1985 we learn more of this pioneer preacher: "In 1798 County. He also organized Bethlehem Baptist Church located north of Scottsville in Allen county near Difficult Creek. 'I remember,' said an aged citizen, 'to have been present at a meeting where Hightower preached a long sermon and Logan followed him with an exhortation of twenty minutes during which about twenty sinners fell as dead men.'

John Hightower helped organize Buck Creek Church in Spartanburg in 1779. After the reconstruction period that followed the Revolutionary War in 1792, John Hightower and Thomas Burgess also organized Boiling Springs Baptist church. The church was a crude log structure with a chimney at one end, it was replaced by a frame building in 1842 (see photo).

He and wife Cristina left District 96 sometime after 1793 bound for South Central Kentucky. We believe he spent one or two years in the Knoxville area perhaps with Abijah Hightower, relation unknown. He was in Logan County, Kentucky by 1795. J.H. Spence records in A History of Kentucky Baptists, published in 1886: "At the beginning of the year 1795, the gloom was still deepening over religious circles in the Ohio Valley. Religion was now at a lower ebb in Kentucky than at the darkest period of the Indian Wars. Reverend Hightower was a man of tireless zeal in the cause of his Master. John Hightower, Joseph Logan and Alexander Devin were instruments in raising up most of the early churches in that region. In the year 1795, he and a number of others formed a settlement on the Middle Fork of Drakes Creek, in what is now Allen County. Here he spent the remainder of his days.

During the great Revival his great zeal so carried him away that his feet were severely frost bitten. From this circumstance he was unable to walk for about a year. But as soon as he was able to sit in a chair, he made appointments for preaching at his house, and continued preaching with much fervor sitting in a chair, till he was able to walk again. He continued to preach with zeal and faithfulness till the Lord took him to himself about the year 1826." Reverand Hightower was regarded a strong doctrinal preacher for his day, although he held some loose notions about keeping the Sabbath according to more fundamentalist believers. Spence says that he did not wholly discard the obligation to keep the day holy, but he held it very lightly, and broke the Sabbath himself for very trivial causes. "The effect of his teaching was such, that many, otherwise pious and devout Christians, has no conscientious scrupples about fishing, hunting or attending to any pressing business, on Sunday. It appears that most of the Baptists from South Carolina, at that period, held similar views to those of Mr. Hightower. The effects on the people were very pernicious, and even to the present day, the results of this teaching are manifest in some portions of Southern Kentucky." There are no records available to show how many members there were in the constitution of Old Union Church. The records from 1795 to the late 1830's are missing. According to the History of the Baptists by Benedict and printed in 1813:

 

Hightowers of South Carolina

by Ted Hightower

The family from whom, the current Hightower families in Barnwell, Bamberg, and the Orangeburg Counties, S.C. descend arrived here in the 1780's. They settled in an area that at the time of the 1790 census was Orangeburg District, South Part. Later it was a part of Barnwell District and is now Bamberg County. The local is several miles south of Denmark, east of US Highway 321 on the waters of Lemon Swamp; a tributary of the Little Salkehatchie River. The earliest Hightower records here were recorded in Orangeburg. They were destroyed in February, 1865 by the invading army of William T. Sherman during his march through the Carolinas near the end of the War Between the States. (I reckin these records must have put up a powerful defense since they suffered near one hundred percent casualties.) The earliest records that survived were recorded in Barnwell. The citizens of Barnwell removed their records before Sherman's arrival and hid them in a swamp until his army was gone.


The 1790 census records Joshua Hightower as a head of household, in the Orangeburg District, South Part. He had established his family before their arrival. Living with him were two free white males older than sixteen, one free white male under the age of sixteen, three free white females, and one slave. To date, no actual records have been found regarding this Joshua. Land plats have been found showing the property of Joshua Hightower as a neighbor. He doesn't show up in the 1800 census of Orangeburg District, thus presuming him dead by this time; though not substantiated.
The 1800 and 1810 census records are confusing regarding the Hightower family in this area. The 1800 census records three Hightower families; two with the first name of Thomas in Barnwell District and one with the first name of William in Orangeburg District(A Hightower mill is depicted in the map on this page in the Edgefield District. The map is from a survey in 1817 and shows a mill site with the identification: W. Hightower mill. It is believed that one Thomas and William are the sons of Joshua. The remaining Thomas is unknown at this time. parts of the district, and very possibly could have been counted twice. The 1810 census records four Hightower families; two with the first name of William, and one with the first name of Thomas in Barnwell District and a John in Colleton County. It is believed that William and Thomas in Barnwell District and John in Colleton County are the sons of Joshua. The remaining William is unknown at this time.

The Hightower families living in this area who are traceable were established here by 1820. The 1820 census records William and Thomas Hightower in Barnwell District and John Hightower in Colleton County. It is believed that these three men are the sons of Joshua based on association and records.


Thomas moved and settled in the northwestern portion of the District in an area called the Lower Three Runs. This area is now located on the Savannah River Site. There are a will, census and land records that establish him and his descendants. Thomas died in January, 1830
Few records have been found regarding John even though he had a large family. He is absent in the 1830 census and is presumed dead by this time. He married, Mary, a daughter of John and Sarah Guess. Little else is currently known about John and his descendants except that his son, Jesse, moved to Florida by 1850 and remained there.

William remained on or near the original Hightower land. He and his descendants left the most complete and continuous Hightower records in the area. It is believed that most Hightower descendants living in this area today descend from Thomas and William. William (born between 1770 and 1780, died in December 1836) married Catherine Zorn (b. about 1766, d.15 January 1851) a daughter of Henry Zorn, one of his neighbors. By 1800 he had purchased and recorded some of the first land in the newly formed Barnwell District.


To them, six known children were born: Mary (b. about 1810, m. James C. Tant), Susan (b. ?, d. Oct.1842, m. Francis Hadwin), Nancy (b. ?, d. before Jan.1851, m. ? Cummins), Henry, (b. ?, d. about Dec. 1836), and Levionah, (b. 1825, d. ?). Research has revealed some knowledge of William and his family.

He was educated. This is based on the fact that his well- composed signature is recorded on various legal documents, and the estate papers of one David Lightsey named William as the teacher of his children. William's estate papers indicate he accumulated considerable wealth during his life. His land holding was about 1000 acres. An estate sale netted the family over $9000.00 in cash. The inventory of his estate reveals many interesting insights into the personal property of people of William's time. It includes a listing of his livestock, farm implements, home furnishings, supplies necessary for the sustenance of both his family and livestock, and personal items as his mirror and Bible. It also included 10 slaves that research has revealed to be primarily one family. Correspondence and conversations with a descendent of this slave family have revealed that William apparently held different ideas from most other slave owners of his day. He allowed the head of his slave family to retain his African name in a time that others were "Christianizing" their slaves and requiring them to take Christian names According totheir oral history, slaves owned by the family were married at Ghents Branch Baptist Church near Denmark. Additionally, research has revealed that this Hightower family had divested themselves of all slave holdings by the 1850's. Another tribute given to William and his family was that after gaining their freedom, their former slaves honored them by taking the name Hightower as their own even though they had not been family property for years.

The land acquired by William during his life and the proceeds from the sale of his estate essentially supported his entire family, including his widow; his daughters, their husbands and children; and his grand children and their families, until the late 1850's many years after Catherine's death.

 



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