Chambers County Alabama Photos......Mary Elizabeth Webb Meadors ca 1893
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Contributed by Don L. Clark Jul 2005

Mary Elizabeth Webb Meadors ca 1893 & transcribed Letter
aka Mrs. Dr. Willis H. Meadors

Mary Elizabeth Webb Meadors’ Letter

“Open letter to Rock Spring Baptist Church, read before the church during the afternoon program of homecoming day, July 21st, 1957”

June 11th, 1957
Mrs. Elizabeth Webb Meadors
212 N. 60th St., Apt. A
Birmingham 6, Ala.

Rock Spring Baptist Church

Dear Friends:

      I am thankful that the Lord has given me the strength and courage to live and be fairly active and have the use of all my faculties.

      While my mind is active and my memory is good, I am typing this letter to show the influence of the Rock Spring Baptist Church on three generations of the Webb Family. I am eighty-two and one-half years old (the third generation). I am the oldest living member of the Webb family. My grandfather Abner Webb and his wife, Nancy Dedryler (Deadwyler) were neighbors in Elbert County, GA., married and had four children there, two girls and two boys, Margaret, nine, Elizabeth, six, Joseph Claiborne, three and his twin, Marcus, who passed on (as) an infant.

      In 1835, the Webb family moved from Elbert County, Ga., in a covered wagon with oxen to draw them over the Indian Trail from Elberton, Ga., to LaFayette, Ala. and lived in LaFayette a year. He planted cedar seed also on both sides of the lane from the trail to the house and some have grown there one hundred years and a few are there now.

      My grandfather bartered with the Creek Indians for a section of land six miles west of LaFayette, Ala., built a two-story house and dug a well there. He planted Crape Myrtle seed in front of his house and they lived and bloomed over one hundred years and a few are blooming there now.

      Relatives and friends of the Webb family moved from Ga. to Ala. and some settled in Chambers County. Grandfather helped to organize a church northwest of LaFayette, Ala. and built the first Rock Spring Baptist Church on a hill where the Webb family cemetery is used now. Below the hill there was a spring that furnished water for a pool to baptize all young member of the church. It was used for over fifty years and all the Webb relatives were baptized there.

      My father, Joseph Claiborne Webb, and his wife, Annie Ruth Turner had five children, three boys and two girls: Henry, William, John, Margaret and (me) Elizabeth. We were baptized in that pool. A new church was built on the tr___ and my father bought the lumber of the old one and added two rooms to our home.

      In 1882, there was a school building on the north side of the hill from the spring and pool, where my brother William taught all the grades. My sister, Margaret and I walked the three miles to that school with my brother twice a day, five days a week. I learned all the words in McGuffy’s Blue Back Speller and was given a new copy of it as a prize. I learned the multiplication tables to the twelves, which were the foundation of my education. As soon as the new church was built (in 1881), my father, James Claiborne Webb, was made Clerk of the church and remained in that office as long as he could attend the services. I was baptized in 1890, by our beloved Pastor, Dr. W. C. Bledsoe. My sister, Margaret, passed on in 1882 and was laid in the Webb cemetery, where my mother planted a gardenia (cape jasmine from our yard) and it lived for over fifty years, without any special care.

      The Baptist Association met with our church and my parents kept fifteen of the preachers at night. I never saw so many intelligent men together before and some had charge of Rock Spring Church.

      I feel sure that the training I had at Rock Spring Sunday School laid the cornerstone of my religious experience all these years.

      In 1882 my brothers, William and John Webb, took me to school with them and then my mother passed on and I took the examination for a scholarship to Peabody Normal at Nashville, Tenn., where I graduated in 1893 and I taught in Ala. twelve years and in Texas three. Married Dr. W. H. Meadors in 1908 and enjoyed his care and companionship for forty seven years. He passed in 1955. Having no children of our own, we helped feed, clothe and teach our nieces and nephews how to support themselves and their children will have scholarships to Howard College (now Samford University). The boys from Chambers County get scholarships to Howard College also. We cared for our old folks and laid them away as they desired. We have a lot in LaFayette Cemetery where I go and take flowers to Dr. Meadors’ grave and have a space for me to be laid there also.


                                                                                  Mary Elizabeth Webb Meadors

Note - Tombstone epitaphs from LaFayette Cemetery:

Dr. Willis Henderson Meadors, February 21, 1874 – July 19, 1955
*Elizabeth Webb, wife of W. H. Meadors, December 23, 1874 – January 14, 1958

*Mrs. Meadors lived less than six months after this letter was written.

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