BENJAMIN HILDRETH (born 15 Mar 1802 -died 26 Nov 1868) (son of BENJAMIN
and Mary(?) HILDRETH) married Jemima Anna DOWLING (born 1 Mar 1807 - died 8
Feb 1891) (daughter of John and Nancy Boutwell DOWLING) in 1823 most likely in
Darlington District of South Carolina.
BENJAMIN HILDRETH is believed to have been born in Charleston, SC.Records
indicate that a BENJAMIN was christened at Independent Congregational Circular
Church, Charleston, SC on 10 April 1803 child of BENJAMIN HILDRETH, sail maker.
BENJAMIN and Jemima HILDRETH’s first three children (William, Harriet and Susan)
were born in South Carolina.The 1830 Alabama Census has BENJAMIN HILDRETH in
Dale Co. and the 1850, 1860 Alabama Census has BENJAMIN HILDRETH in Coffee
Co.BENJAMIN and Jemima HILDRETH’s fourth child, Travis Zacheus (born 30 Dec
1830) was their first child to be born in Alabama, being born near Ozark in Dale County.
The family came to SouthEast Alabama in the late 1820's from Darlington District or
Charleston, SC to Dale Co, Alabama. BENJAMIN was a Methodist Circuit Rider. The
HILDRETH family brought Jemima’s mother Nancy Boutwell DOWLING to SouthEast
Alabama, also. Nancy DOWLING died 30 Mar 1849 at Haw Ridge, Dale Co., and is
buried in Zion Methodist Cemetery, Dale Co., Alabama. The HILDRETH and Dowling
families were pioneer Methodist families in SouthEast Alabama with BENJAMIN
HILDRETH, two of his children, Robert Henry Jackson and Travis Zacheus and Jemima
Dowling HILDRETH's brothers Dempsey and Zaccheus Dowling all being Methodist
Church circuit riders.
In the 1830s an area of South East Alabama had just been opened. This area was just
below the Cherokee/Creek line and was in the Creek Indian district. There were Creek
Indians rebelling against being gathered up into stockades to be sent west to Oklahoma
(1838-9, "Trail of Tears"). The Creeks hated settlers who had taken land, and as a last
expression Creeks would destroy, loot and burn the homes and destroy crops. Eventually
a militia group would be formed to handle the situation. A BENJAMIN HILDRETH was
listed on roll of soldiers for 1836/37 Creek Indian War as a member of Arch Justice's
Company of Wellborn's Alabama Volunteers. A battle was fought in Barbour Co., at
Hobdy's Bridge, not a war as such, but was to quell local rebellions associated with the
Creeks. Militia probably did not participate in the big stuff, like Andrew Jackson's
Alabama battles with the Creeks (such as at Horse Shoe Bend, etc.)
Alabama Land records indicate that BENJAMIN purchased 39.83 acres in Section 33,
T6-N, R23-E Dale Co. (NW of Ozark between Ebenezer Church and Marley Mill) on 20
September 1839 and 1 July 1841 bought 39.87 acres of Section 4, T5-N, R23-E Dale Co.
and 10 December 1841 bought two pieces of a total 80.5 acres of Section 36, T6-N,
R22-E, Coffee Co.
The BENJAMIN HILDRETH family moved to Butler County, Alabama after the 1860
Alabama Census, where he died in 1868 and is buried in Pioneer Cemetery, Greenville,
Alabama. Jemima died at Enterprise, Coffee Co. and is buried at City(Carmichael)
Cemetery, Enterprise, Coffee Co., Alabama.
Eulogy of Jemima Dowling HILDRETH- available in flat file @ Pea River
Historical Society, AL - given by Reverend Angus DOWLING - Grand Nephew of deceased -
Jemima HILDRETH was born in Darlington District, S.C. March 1, 1807. She
was the daughter of John DOWLING, who was a noted class leader for many
years in that section. She was a sister of Rev. Zaccheus DOWLING, long a
member of the AL Conference. Her mother was noted for sweet and steady piety.
Under such parental example and teaching, her character was formed, which
became the legacy of her whole pure life. At an early age she professed saving
grace and joined the Methodist Church.
In the sixteenth year of her life she married Benjamin HILDRETH, whose early
training was like hers. He became a local Methodist preacher.
Early in 1830 they moved to AL and settled in Dale County near Ozark. He
was an earnest and successful worker in planting Methodism in southeast AL. He
died and was buried in Greenville, AL, about the close of the war.
After the death of her husband, she made her home with her youger son,
Reverend Jackson HILDRETH. Early last year he moved to Coffee county, AL.
At this new home she closed her earthly pilgrimage, at 7 o'clock, Sunday
morning, February 8, 1891, aged 83 years, 11 months and 7 days. Up to within a
few days of her death she was remarkably well preserved in body and mind.
Religion was her chief concern and formed the staple of her daily conversation.
She never neglected secret prayer, and never allowed family prayer to be omitted.
She was fully ready for death and heaven.
She was the mother of thirteen children, nine of whom still live. Two sons,
Reverends Travis HILDRETH and Jackson HILDRETH, are local preachers. Up
to the time of her death seventy grandchildren and 100 greatgrandchildren had
been born. Most of these, of proper age, are members of the church. One
grandson is a preacher in Texas. Her name and influence go down to the last
generations. This will constitute her monument of earth and her rejoicing through
the endless ages of eternity.
In her last moments she received the ministrations of her preacher sons and
others of her children and grandchildren.
She was buried at Carmichael's Chapel,[now Enterprise City Cemetery] Coffee
County, [AL] where she awaits the trump of God in the resurrection morn.
Children and known grandchildren of BENJAMIN and Jemima HILDRETH:
1.) William C. HILDRETH (born 1824 South Carolina) married Milly,
i. Mary A.
2.) Harriet Calloway HILDRETH (born 17 Jan 1825 Charleston, South Carolina - died 21
Feb 1883 Brandon, Hill Co., Texas) married Henry BENJAMIN GRIMES (born 10 June
1820 Goldsboro, North Carolina - died 25 March 1859 Haw Ridge),
ii. Francis Catherine,
iii. BENJAMIN William,
iv. John Thomas,
v. Amon Travis,
vii. James Buchannan,
viii. Henry Edwin.
Henry BENJAMIN Grimes buried in a cemetery on Ft. Rucker, Dale Co.
Harriet HILDRETH GRIMES buried in Old Brandon Cemetery, Brandon, Hill Co., TX.
3.) Susan HILDRETH (born 1827 South Carolina)
4.) Travis Zacheus HILDRETH (born 30 Dec 1830 Dale Co. - died 30 Sept 1900 Coffee
married (1) Quincy Ann EDGE (?)
& (2) Elizabeth Samantha HAYES (born 24 Mar 1837 - died 21May 1913).
Known children of Travis Zacheus:
i. Franklin Pierce,
ii. Nancy Jane,
iii. Missouri Frances,
iv. Sarah Elizabeth,
v. George Travis,
vi. Marvin Bascom,
vii. Mattie Emma,
ix. Henry Walter.
Travis Zacheus and Elizabeth Samantha HILDRETH are buried at Old Tabernacle
Cemetery, Coffee Co.
Alabama Land records indicate that Travis Z. bought 40.25 acres Coffee Co., Section 36,
T6-N, R22-E 1 December 1851 and 40.09 acres Section 1, T5-N, R22-E on 1 September
5.) Sarah HILDRETH (born 1833 Dale Co.) married M.J. BAILEY,
6.) James Marion HILDRETH (born June 1836 Dale/Coffee Co. - died 15 May 1908 Paul,
Conecuh Co.) married Amanda Louisa FOLSOM about 1857,
i. John Daniel,
v. Robert B.,
viii. a deceased infant.
Alabama Land records indicate that James M. bought 240.34 acres Coffee Co., Section
28, T6-N, R22-E on 1 September 1858.
7.) Martha M. HILDRETH (born 1838 Dale Co.), and twin sister
8.) Mary E. HILDRETH (born 1838 Dale Co.),
9.) Frances HILDRETH (born 6 May 1840 Dale Co. - died 1 July 1913) married Elbert
iii. Jasper C.,
iv. Reece C.
Elbert CURENTON is buried at Level Plaines Baptist Cemetery, Dale Co.
Frances HILDRETH CURENTON buried at Piney Grove Cemetery, Samson, Coffee Co.
10.) John B. HILDRETH (born 1844 Dale Co. - died 14 Oct 1863 Civil War), member of
Co. K, 33rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry, buried at Old Tabernacle Cemetery, Coffee Co.,
11.) Robert Henry Jackson HILDRETH (born 30 Apr 1846 Dale/Coffee Co. - died 12
Nov 1907 Coffee Co.) married ~
(1) Julia Spikes HAMNER (born 17 Oct 1845 - died 5 Aug 1892) on 24 Dec 1868,
Known children of Robert Henry Jackson and Julia S. HILDRETH are;
i. Anna Lena,
ii. Olive Victoria,
iii. Edward Homer,
iv. Buhler Elizabeth,
v. Ida Roberta,
vii. Robert Bunion,
viii. Albert Lonnie,
ix. Vinnie Leah,
Robert Henry Jackson HILDRETH married (2) Anna Ruth CARMICHAEL (born 6 Jan
1872 - died 1 Feb 1947) on 4 July1893.
Known children of Robert Henry Jackson and Annie Ruth HILDRETH are:
i. BENJAMIN Malcom,
ii. Bascom Horace,
iii. Mary Ethel,
iv. Lillie Mae.
Robert Henry Jackson HILDRETH, Julia Spikes Hamner HILDRETH and Annie Ruth
Carmichael HILDRETH are buried at City(Carmichael) Cemetery, Enterprise. Alabama
Land records indicate that RHJ bought 120.54 acres of Coffee Co., Section 21, T4-N,
R22-E 1 December 1891.
12.) 'Sophia' Saphronia Jane HILDRETH (born 3 Aug 1848 Haw Ridge, Dale Co. - died
22 May 1928 Pensacola, Florida) married John Wesley LANG on 19 Nov 1868, Butler
i. Katherine Mabel,
ii. Lillian Geneva,
iii. Minnie Celeste,
iv. Ginnie Ellen,
v. Beulah Flora,
vi. Idahlia Gertrude,
vii. Alonzo Hayne,
viii. BENJAMIN Chester,
ix. Willie Beatrice,
x. Dixie Bell,
xi. Sophia Jane,
xii. John Wesley Jr.,
xiii. Clara Leola,
xiv. Oliver Francis.
13.) Infant that died at birth.Order in above order of births, not known.
14.) Azariah Witkowski (born 27 Apr 1855 - died 10 Jun 1870). Unsure as to who this is,
as part of the HILDRETH family, but listed on tombstone of BENJAMIN HILDRETH.
Is also listed in the 1860 Alabama, Coffee Co. Census as Azariah W. HILDRETH.