Contributed by klstacy_home
Description: Reminiscences of Morgan County - No. 10Date: December 12 1889
Newspaper published in: Hartselle, AL
Source: Madison County, AL Library
Page/Column: Page 2, Column 2
Wiley Speaks was one of the oldest and best men in Crowdabout. He lived near Cedar Plains. Was an industrious, frugal man, and honest as industrious. One of the leading men of the Methodist church, and eccentric withal. He was a bosom friend of a good man who came to the brink of the grave and sent for his old brother Speaks and exacted a pledge from him that he would continue the kindness he had shown him for his wife, ‘till she was converted. That he would visit her and plead with and pray for her. After many years Mr. Speaks seeing no visible evidence of yielding to the claims of religion he went and informed the widow of his conviction that she was determined not to be religious. And told her he had come to pray for her once more and if she did not change her life then, he should send up a petition to her husband to release him from his vow, and give her up as lost. He did then and there offer up an earnest prayer for her, telling the Lord all about her husband’s piety, the pledge he had exacted of him for the salvation of his widow, how long he had been performing that vow, and how incorrigible she remained, and if she did not at once repent, he wanted to be released from such a hopeless task. When he arose from his knees the widow in tears begged him not to quit praying for her, if he did she was gone. She changed he life, and the faithful old man continued his prayers for her.
Mr. Speaks has a saying that amounted to a by word. It was “I’ll be shot.” At one time he and his wife was at a prayer meeting. The old gentleman was cold in religion. But the leader called on Uncle Wiley to lead in prayer. Instead of doing so, he said, “Betsy lead the prayer, I am so cold I’ll be shot if I can pray a bit.” However he was a true good man. His wife was a pure good woman. They raised an excellent family of children. His oldest son lived many years in Courtland, an excellent man, and good citizen. Asbury Speake married “gentleman Jim Sandlin’s daughter, an amiable woman, and lives near the home of his parents. They have a nice family of sons and daughters. One of the girls is the excellent wife of Mr. Burwell Hardwick who is a thrifty farmer and successful business man near Cedar Plains. Another daughter married John King an excellent citizen.
Mr. Tom Dutton lived near Basham’s Gap at the home of his father who was a pioneer of the country. Tom was a good economist and a successful man. He was a peculiar and eccentric man. Never was a member of the church, but once every year he would get happy and shout at church. Many of your readers will call to mind how, often they have heard his sudden, shrill voice of rapture just as the preacher was earnest in the presentation of a live sermon. How he would go to the pulpit, then along the pews and shake hands and call on all to help him praise the Lord. The old man has long ago crossed the river, and met under the “shade of the trees” his sainted wife who went before him. She was a Miss Mowry. One of their sons, John, lived near the old home. His wife was a Miss Hunter, a woman of many virtues and great purity. She had a tragic death. One evening while churning some milk she was hit by a bolt of lightning and suddenly killed.
Mrs. Pettus lived and died near Esq. W. R. Sherrills. She was a sister of Col. Albert Jones of Huntsville who fell at the first battle of Manassas leading the gallant 4th Ala. She had a nice family. She and most of the children have gone over with the majority.
A. G. COPELAND,