Saturday, October 06, 2012

James Madison Pearson, Sr.

My grandfather was named after his grandfather, James Madison Pearson (1817 - 1891).

The Pearsons, their relatives the Whites, and the Brown families all came from Georgia. One county where they took up residence was Madison County, so I wonder if that is where the connection to James Madison came from. There are other possibilities. Pearsons also came from Jasper County, Georgia and the small community of Monticello. Monticello is named after the home of Thomas Jefferson, friend to James Madison. Both Jefferson and Madison were critical in the formation of our country. One was responsible for the Declaration of Independence the other is called Father of the Constitution. So, could it be that there is a remote family connection to one or the other? One cousin thinks so and I remember as a small child, my grandfather weaving tales that connected our families with those of James Madison and Benjamin Rush.

James Madison Pearson, Sr. left Georgia for new land in Alabama. It was land that became available after the War of 1812 and the bloody battles with Creek Indians. James Madison Pearson and his wife Elizabeth Brown, settled in Tallapoosa County in the 1830's. Tallapoosa County is in northeastern Alabama, about half way between Birmingham and Auburn. Once upon a time "Cotton was King". James Madison Pearson and his son Charles Lafayette Pearson, brother to my great grandfather Benjamin Rush Pearson, built up a land holding in Tallapoosa County that grew to 42,000 acres.

James Madison Pearson farmed and practiced law. He married, had 9 children, and lived a long and happy life. He is buried along with his wife Elizabeth Brown and his son Charles Lafayette Pearson in a small family cemetery in Tallapoosa County.

James Madison Pearson, Jr.

I don't have an image of my great great grandfather, but I do have images of my grandfather and his father.

James Madison Pearson, Jr. in Army Uniform
We, the grandchildren affectionately called our grandfather Daddy Matt. With all of us he stressed education as the means to a happy life. It is an ideal he passed down to his children and grandchildren. It was something that was passed down to him by his father, Benjamin Rush Pearson (1849 - 1906), graduate of Virginia Military Institute, and a doctor in Birmingham, Alabama, and his grandfather, James Madison Pearson.

Benjamin Rush Pearson at VMI

Misc. Notes..................................

I came across this scrap of information while googling various topics.

Alexander City, Tallapoosa Co., pop. 1,500. City Superintendent J. M. Pearson 

PATTERSON'S AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL DIRECTORY  1916

Alexander City is just down the road from Dadeville. It has an elementary school named Jim Pearson, but I don't know the significance of the name.

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