Thursday, June 23, 2011


Elmira Gilbert Kendrick, the woman who purchased the K-Springs property at the 1873 tax sale (in my June 19 Blog) was the widow of Isham H. Kendrick, son of the first Kendrick to this area. Isham had joined the Civil War in 1862, but was discharged less that three months later because of a “chronic hepatic disease.”

This is part of the tale about his wife and the K-Springs property at Chelsea, Alabama as taken from my local history, EARLY SETTLERS OF THE K-SPRINGS/CHELSEA AREA:

“On December 29, 1866, in the bitter cold of winter, a tiny baby girl was born to Elmira Kendrick, widow of Isham H. Kendrick. Three years later, in the winter of 1869-70, Elmira was so deeply in debt that in order to pay creditors and make a crop in the spring, she mortgaged her land and “all the crop corn and cotton to be raised in the year 1870.

"She was to keep possession of the land until November 1, 1870 when the debt was to be paid in full with interest.  If in default, creditors (Duran and Nelson) were to take into possession the land and sell it to the highest bidder to pay the debt...." (Statements by descendants indicate where this land might have been.)

"It appears that Elmira, her children and daughter-in-law Carrie (Carrie Ann Davis Kendrick), worked together through the summer of 1870 to raise enough corn and cotton to pay off creditors and hold onto her land.  Furthermore, only a short time later, Elmira began to acquire additional land.  According to later deeds -- and to family members at K-Springs -- she owned a 'right smart of land' in this area.  (Statements by descendants attested to this fact)

"In 1873, at a public tax sale, Elmira bought for $8.75, the south half of the southwest quarter of Section 4, Township 20, Range One West, on which the old K-Springs Church of God building is located....

"(The late) Luther Kendrick... passed on to his children the information that he was but a boy, fifteen years of age, when he became head of the house (remember, his father had died in 1866) and built a cabin for the family on the K-Springs property...."

Around 1980, when I was compiling the book, some of the now-deceased children of Luther Kendrick described the cabin to me as follows:

Flora Kendrick Nivens: ""It was one room originally, I think, with additional rooms added later.  There was a kitchen built separately, just a little piece from the house with a walk going out to it."

Clifton Kendrick:  "It had a big room and a back room and two side rooms and a long kitchen out back with a fireplace.  My mother had a loom there (the kitchen) and I helped her make cloth.  ...There was not a lot of furniture in the house and that in one room.  My mother had rope cords in the bed for springs.

"The cabin was located about one quarter mile back in the woods behind where the old K-Springs Church of God building and (former) parsonage now stand on the south side of County Highway 39...."

Next installment:  A discovery near the cabin.


by Shelba Shelton Nivens
(email for permission to quote or copy

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