Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Trippin'

Summer Trippin' is pretty much a random trip down memory lane. The week started off with a vacation in Destin, Florida with my wife and son, along with a friend and her two children. It was the July 4th weekend, so there were party revelers from everywhere, making their way to the beach to celebrate America's birthday. More on that later.

From Destin, Florida, it is a two hour trip to Dadeville, Alabama. And Dadeville, if you go back to 1835, is the ancestoral home of the Pearsons on my mother's side of the family. Dadeville was first home to James Madison Pearson in or around 1835. My great great great grandfather's arrival in Tallapoosa County coincided with the removal of the Creek Indians by General Andrew Jackson during the period 1830 -1835. The Creeks were removed to Oklahoma near Ft. Arbuckle, which later figures in the life and times of Jesse Chisolm, a famous Wichita figure in the 1860's.

James Madison Pearson had come from Georgia to find new lands and opportunities in Alabama. He brought with him his wife Sarah Brown. They settled quickly into the life style in Tallapoosa County. James bought land at a prodigious rate. Often, he lent money to other land owners and secured payment with a mortgage on the property. By this means, he became one of the largest land owners in Tallapoosa County. The land records are recorded and can be viewed in the Registrar of Deeds in the basement of the County Courthouse in Dadeville.

James and his wife Sarah had a lot of children. One of them was Benjamin Rush Pearson, who was my great great grandfather. He tried his luck at many things before going to medical school and becoming a doctor. He married Sallie Ferrel Coleman and from that union, my grandfather James Madison Pearson was born. Dr. Pearson lived long enough in Dadeville for my grandfather to be born, but then he resettled in Montgomery, the capitol.

Most of this trip was spent in and around Dadeville. And most of my time was spent hunting for the General Charles Lafayette Pearson cemetery.The cemetery is there, nestled in the woods on one of the many properties that James Madison Pearson, the elder, acquired during his lifetime. Finding it is a story on its own, but more on that later too.

Technically, the cemetery is called the General Charles Lafayette Pearson cemetery. Charles was the youngest son of James the elder, and brother to Benjamin Rush Pearson and others. Charles stuck it out in Tallapoosa County, and by all accounts did exceedingly well. He studied law, but did not practice. He went to France and studied the ways of war, from which he got his title General. He came back to Tallapoosa and succeeded as a businessman and as the father of nine children.

What do you want to hear now?


  1. I want to hear about getting lost while searching for a cemetery!

  2. Also was General a nick name or an official title? You say he studied war in France... Did you feel any connection with the region? And what happened to great great great great great grandpa's dough?

  3. Please contract me at or 334-663-6967. I am trying to find this cemetery, and we have much to discuss.