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 Albina Tabitha “Mary” <I>Whitlow</I> Powell

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Albina Tabitha “Mary” Whitlow Powell

  • Birth 9 Jul 1847 Cedar Grove, Walker County, Georgia, USA
  • Death 4 Dec 1890 Nashville, Berrien County, Georgia, USA
  • Burial Nashville, Berrien County, Georgia, USA
  • Plot T.W. Powell plot
  • Memorial ID 100791420


Albina "Allie" Tabitha Whitlow was born 1847 in Cedar Grove, Walker Co., GA to parents Miles Washington and Emaline (Gholston) Whitlow. Her mother died during childbirth. Her father remarried to Elizabeth A. Woods in 1851, Chattooga Co., GA. Four children were born to this union, three of them died of "the bloody flux" in a month's time between Jan-Feb 1863; the only survivor, was Miles Marcellus Whitlow. Allie had one brother and three sisters from the union of her father and her mother, Emily Gholston Whitlow.

Allie grew to womanhood in the pastoral climes of McLemore's Cove, Walker County, surrounded by friends and neighbors of the Cove and Old Antioch Baptist Church. Allie was active there as the children's Sunday School teacher, as well, as a teacher at Peavine Academy. The 1870 census shows her profession as "teacher."

In the Spring of 1870, she met a handsome preacher and book agent named Thomas Wm Powell when he was given charge at Peavine Baptist Church & Academy where Allie taught.

This is one of the first letters she wrote to him:

"Livingston, Floyd Co., GA Sunday Morning, Sept. 18, 1870

Mr. Powell,

Before this note reaches it's destination, the writer shall have made her exit from the Cove, although contrary to which she expected when she last saw you. My Brother- in -law is going to Ark. and wants me to stay with my sister until he returns. As you wished to have my address when we were speaking & before I will leave here, it will be Livingston, Floyd Co., Ga. at first, as I will stay there for some time before I go to Ala. I will like to be in the Cove next Sunday but I cannot. I did wish so to hear Bro. Young's last sermon.

I will just have to make a request. I wish you to fill the vacancy in my lot of pictures with the likeness of the one who has made that vacancy.


The comely couple courted for some eighteen months before Rev. Powell asked for the hand of Miles Whitlow's daughter in marriage. One letter of Rev. Powell described Mr. Whitlow's "tears of joy" that were shed upon the betrothal. They were united in marriage at Old Antioch Church on Saturday, the 21st of October, 1871. Allie's cousin, and Thomas' best friend from his Civil War days, Jesse Mercer Shaw, was the Best Man.

In early 1872, a group of Walker County men went to Texas to scout out land and the potential for emigration to that state. Thomas Powell was a member of this scouting party. In one letter from this time period, Allie lamented that she missed her best friend who was "in the far off West."

About this time, many families from the Walker County region, unwilling to suffer the indignities of "Reconstruction" moved West. Local newspapers were replete with land being sold at bargain prices by families joining wagon trains bound for the western country. The most popular destinations seemed to be Arkansas and Texas.

In Oct 1872, two of Allie's siblings made the long move to Texas, her brother John G. Whitlow & wife, Mary Ann Hall moved to Weatherford, Parker Co., TX and sister Martha Whitlow w/ husband, Wm Holden Garrett, (both referred to as "Billy & Matt" in a letter of 1872) moved to Kennedale, Tarrant Co., TX.

Allie & Thomas Powell were apparently expected to emigrate to Texas as well, when Thomas settled a land claim in his family's homestead in Alabama. Unfortunately, the matter was not settled to the Powell's benefit &, thus, their means to move to Texas was diminished. However, through the efforts of friends, John G. Norton and Rev. E.B. Carroll, Thomas was able to regain his old charge at Stockton Baptist Church in Clinch Co., GA.

The Powells moved there and established themselves on a farm on Mud Creek, about a month before their first child, John Whitlow Evans Powell, was born in Dec 1872. In 1880, Thomas and Allie sold out to John Stephens and moved to Nashville, Berrien Co., GA where they bought two land lots in Dist. 1157. Thomas preached a circuit of several churches in the Smyrna Baptist Association area. He gained local renown for his energetic exhortations at tent revivals and brush arbor meetings.

Despite the long distances separating her from family, Allie tried to keep up with relations as these letters indicate. This letter written 1881 from cousin Sally Shaw:

"Cassandra, Ga.
March the 18th, 1881

My Dear Cousin Allie:

What can be the cause of the long silence? Oh! Allie, you are not aware of our great loss & trouble. Yes, our dearest & best friend was called away the 27th of January. You must know it had to be our Dear Mother. Oh! I never knew any thing of trouble before. She died of pneumonia & was sick 14 days. Father has had quite a severe attack since, was taken with the same kind of fever in a week from the time Mother was buried. I hadn't any hopes of his recovery for several days. He is able to stir around some in good weather. You can imagine what a hard time I had but do not know unless you had experienced it. I was the principle nurse for them. If you have ever heard the experience of a nurse, they will tell you that it is a good deal worse on them to give one up than any one else. I hadn't any idea of ever getting along so well as I have amidst all the trouble & as Father began to mend. I had a terrible swelling on my thumb. Haven't done any work of any amount yet. They are what can keep you awake & give sufficient pain. Allie, it would be so great a treat to see you. Mother had so desired to see you. I have heard her say so often how I would like to see Allie. Alas! That can never be on this troublesome earth. But, Ah! We can hope to meet where trouble will never let come. What a meeting! Can we think of it without shedding tears? Allie, how are you getting along? I dreamed the other night of seeing you and Cousin Will and was so rejoiced. Have been quite uneasy ever since. There has been so much sickness within the last few days. Captain Withers of Lafayette died of pneumonia, sick 8 days. One of Dirt Town's most prominent men died in two days of typhoid and pneumonia. We have had the worst winter we have had in years. Uncle Whitlow's health isn't very good. Aunt Lizzie is real stout of her age & afflictions. I guess you are eating fryed chicken & vegetables by this time. I have onions & peas up, a few potatoes, and 21 little chicks. I would have had 50. Did not prove to be good setters. Have 7 turkey hens, some are laying. Will keep me busy to keep up with them. Tell Cousin Will I will think him a real bad fellow if he doesn't put you & the children in the back of some kind of buggy & bring you up here. Did you get the quilt square? Haven't heard from you in so long. You must write if you only send a post occassionally. Write soon. My love to all.

I remain as ever,
Your true cousin,


Partial letter written about 1885, of Albina Whitlow Powell to Mr & Mrs. Miles W. Whitlow, of Walker Co., GA:

"I have not heard a word in nearly two years. I have written several times for John and Nancy's address, but can not get it. I feel as if you had all forgotten me. I did hear sometimes through Sallie Shaw, but she has quit writing. Mr. Powell says I had better go home this summer and see you all but I can not leave him and he can't go. I will send the children's pictures. You can tell a little about how they look. They are all Powells except for the oldest who does not favor him much. I would have sent mine and the baby's, but took the sick-heaves and could not go. The children often beg to see grand Pa's picture & want to show it to everyone that comes by. Ma, can't you come down and see my goslings? I have 15. Pa, can't you fix your affairs so you and Ma can come? I am sure I never shall see you any more if you don't come. You will find this a very pleasing country. Write us a compassionate letter that we may hear once more from the home front. How I would long to cross over those old mountains once more. You must excuse this letter, I can not hold my hands still long enough to write, my fingers are so drawn.

Albina Powell"

Rev. Powell was elected by the citizens of Berrien Co. to serve as Judge, Court of Ordinary in 1885, a position he held until his untimely death, of tuberculosis in August 1887. Allie, while nursing her sick husband, also contracted this dread disease and succumbed in Dec 1890, leaving her six children completely orphaned. Mrs. Mary Blitch was named guardian of the children. The youngest were raised by the eldest daughter, Mrs. John A. (Mattie) Wilkes. Allie's estate was settled by her eldest son, John Whitlow Evans Powell.


Berrien County Pioneer, Sparks, GA, x19 Dec 1890:

"Mrs. Powell, consort of the late Judge Powell, living about one mile southwest of Nashville, departed this life about four o'clock Sunday afternoon. She was a victim of consumption. She leaves several children and a host of friends to mourn her death. Elder W.H. Bryant, of Sparks, officiated at the burial, in Nashville Cemetery, Monday afternoon."


Letter from sister, Nancy Whitlow Williamson of Cedar Bluff, AL:

"Cedar Bluff, Ala.
Sat., Septem. 3rd, 1887

My dear Sister Bina,

Oh! Sister, our hearts are struck with grief to learn that Bro. Powell is no longer of this world. Although we long knew the gravity of his affliction, a person is never ready for such sad news. I prayed for so long that God would spare him, if only for your sake. But, alas! He knows best. Bro. Powell truly was the angel sent by God to live amongst us. Oh, Bina, why are we cursed with sickness and death? There has been aplenty of it in our country & too back in the Cove. Why must this be? We can only hope to gather where no tear is shed. I can still hear Bro. Powell's sweet voice ringing out. I dreamt of you and he coming up the road laughing and waving not a night before your letter & now I weep to think he is no more. We must take solace in knowing that he rests in the midst of the heavenly saints. How many times Bro. Powell has preached that & now we must cling to it as truth. I know it is not your nature, Bina, but you must now take concern with your health for the sake of your children. Take your ease if you can, after this long trial. I know nursing Bro. Powell and your baby was about all you can bear. We were making a start to Walker when your black letter of the 25th ult. reached our hand. And so we had the mean task of delivering the news to relations there. We went down to Mercer's and he and Glenn drove on to Burning Bush to tell Bro. Russell as you requested. Cousin Mercer will tell all at Waterville Sunday next. You asked what accommodations could be fashioned in Walker if you sold out. Glenn & Mercer & Tobe all said they would come down to move you up if you desire. You only need let them know. I know you have connections there, Bina, but you still have good friends and family amongst us in these mountains. Ma says you are welcome to move up to her old place if it suits you. Bina, the fresh mountain air might revive your spirits. You must be wilting in the heat. This country will be a cool respite for you. Come and let us comfort you, Sister. Tobe will slaughter in a few weeks so the smoke house will be chock full. Suge's kitchen garden has growed the largest tomatos I ever seen. Oh, do come, Bina, if only for a visit. The boys can take care of your affairs there. Ma can not wait to see the red hair on that baby girl. Write and tell us when you will arrive & Glen & I will come up. We send our love and deep sympathy. Do not put this letter down without writing your true Sister back.

I sign myself,
Your devoted sister,

(Written by Nancy Whitlow Williamson of Cherokee Co., AL.)


Letter from Mary Ann (Hall) Whitlow, 1st wife of John Gholston Whitlow to Rev. Thomas Wm & Allie (Whitlow) Powell, Clinch Co., GA (Allie was sister of J.G. Whitlow):

"December the 15th, 1872
[Parker County, Texas]

Dear Brother & Sister,

As today is racing by, I thought I will answer your most welcome letter. You must excuse me & John for not writing to you sooner. You know, Biney, it is nice that people write and it is good to hear from all of our people but it has got to be a task, you know, to keep in touch with everyone. Well, Matt & Billy live in a half a mile of us. They have a new baby. John calls their baby Toby. It is a mighty good child. Biney, I wish you and Mr. Powell would come & see us. We have bought land and have a nice farm. John is going to build next summer. We have tolerable good houses for Texas. Billy & Matt seem mighty well pleased with this western country. I feel we are settled for life. We are doing well & you know we ought to let well enough alone. I doubt I know when I will go back home on a visit. Oh! Biney, I expect things have changed a great deal since I left. Biney, it seems like it would be more than I could bare to go back home & not meet my Dear Sister but I have one bright hope laid up & that is to meet in Heaven, where parting is no more. We have good society here with preaching every Sabbath. We have good schools here, too. Texas is good country. I think I would not leave here to be no where else to live. I have good health, that makes me so well pleased. I reckon you know where a person has health, Biney, they expect to be satisfied. You would not know me now. I am fleshy & red cheeked as a girl. Nobody but me and John, only a young man we have living with us. His name is Lotspeak. He had a brother living in the Cove. William & Sue is all well. Sue has a fine girl. She called it after me! She claims two hundred dollars off of me for the name sake. Sally Mean married a widower man with seven children. Biney, today is mighty cold & sleeting, so you will have to over look my badly composed & written letter. I wish, Biney, you and Mr. Powell would come and take Christmas with us. I will slay the fatted calf! Billy was here this morning, says he would love to hear you laugh! I would also! Love and respect to you & Mr. Powell. Let us hear from you soon & often.

Your Sister,

Mary A. Whitlow

John will write before long."

NOTE TO READER: Mary A. Whitlow was nee' Mary Ann Hall, dau. of Rev. Carswell Hall of TN and Walker Co., GA. The Cove is McLemore's Cove, Walker Co., GA. Biney is Albina Tabitha Whitlow Powell, sister of John Gholston Whitlow. She is FAG # 100791420. She is variously referred to as: Biney, Allie and Mary in correspondence among friends and family. Mr. Powell is her husband, Rev. Thomas Wm Powell (FAG # 96147953). Billy & Matt are William H. & Martha (Whitlow) Garrett, who moved to Kennedale, Tarrant Co. TX about the same time as John & Mary Ann Whitlow. Martha (Matt) is John Gholston Whitlow's sister. William & Sue are William A. & Susan (Mann) Williamson. Wm is the brother of Sanford Glenn Williamson, of Cherokee Co., AL, who mar. Nancy Jane Whitlow, sister of John G. Whitlow & Martha Whitlow Garrett.


The following letter describes conditions in McLemore's Cove, where Allie Whitlow Powell lived during the War years. "Mr. Whitlow" referred to in the letter is Allie's father, Miles Washington Whitlow. The letter was written by Allie's cousins, Mary and Julia Davis, of Walker Co., GA to Susan Davis of Dahlonega, Ga. Mary Davis started the letter:

"July 13th, 1864

Dear Aunt,

We are getting along as well as we could under existing circumstances. Have plenty of Yankees in this Cove yet and we have got rid of some of our Tory neighbors. The Yankees took some of them to Chattanooga to give an account of their behavior and it is said they are after the others but it is most too good to be true. They paid us a visit last week and took a few bushels of corn and we had a good quarrel and I told them good about their behavior. They were riding Mr. Patton's horses, two of them. Oh! How I wanted to kill some of them. Times are pretty hot in this quarter. It is reported that they had a little fight about ten miles below here yesterday and we whipped them pretty badly and captured a good many prisoners and I wish it had been the last of them.

[Julia Davis completed the letter below.]

Mary commenced writing but I will finish. I received two letters from you a few days ago. One was wrote last Fall. You said something about the money you owed me. I have no use for money so don't trouble yourself about it. I can't use what I have. We have troublesome times here. The Yankees is still gathering men and carrying them to Chattanooga. Some come back while others go North. Mr. Beard just got back. They kept him two weeks. They carried Lem McWhorter by here with five mules and one horse and several other men I did not know. What few men there is in here live in perfect dread. Mr. Whitlow slips in every once in a while. Sophronia thinks John had better not come in here until after this fight is over. They commenced fighting at Shudsie's Shop and run them some way to Crawfish Spring, others to Worthen's Gap. I look for hot times in here again. I am much obliged to you for your invitation but I think we had better stay in here as long as we can. We have some Yankee friends we can buy parched coffee at 40 cents a pound, bacon at 12 1/2 cents a pound but we can't keep a horse that is able to work. If Johnson don't whip this fight, we are ruined in this country. Miz Howell is keeping school for us. Miz Johnson has a good school in Lafayette and Sophronia wants John to bring Georgia Anne home to go to school when he comes. They have taken some of the men that has taken a non-combatment oath and made them take the oath of allegiance. We are all getting along very well and I think John had better not come in here until after he sees a little further for he can't do us any good. You must excuse this writing but I have not time to finish as Mr. Whitlow is agoing out. Write often. Give my love to all and accept a large portion for yourself.


Mr. Whitlow was Miles Washington Whitlow, father of Albina Tabitha Whitlow Powell. One of the men who was taken to Chattanooga and never heard from was Avery Camp, Allie Powell's Uncle.

Julia and Mary Davis were daughters of MAJ John Davis who escorted the Cherokee tribes from Georgia to Oklahoma on the "Trail of Tears" in 1836. The 1864 Davis letter was likely written in the house described below.

From a 1921 newspaper article in the Walker County Messenger:

"Liberty - Seventy four years ago Miles Whitlow burned the lime and made the brick and built the house for Major John Davis now owned by Doom Cornelison. The house and chimney were pulled down last week and in the old brick are plain pig and cat tracks made while the bricks were green."


Chattanooga Times, x 20 May 1933, p.3:


Miles M. Whitlow, 77, prominent farmer and pioneer resident died yesterday morning at his home in Kensington, Ga. He is survived by his widow, seven daughters, Mrs. C.F. Kaylor of Chattanooga; Mrs. Effie Davis, Mrs. H.B. Hankerson, and Miss Ethel Whitlow of Oklahoma City, Okla., Mrs. J.C. Wyatt of Cedartown, Ga., Mrs. C.K. Brooks of Chattanooga, and Mrs. Fay Evitt of Kensington, Ga.; two sons, J.R. Whitlow of Kensington, Ga., and M. Frank Whitlow of Wickenburg, Ariz.; twenty-three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held from the Antioch Church at 2 o'clock afternoon, Sunday. Active pallbearers will be the grandsons: Jack Wyatt, Harold Wyatt, Whitlow Wyatt, Franklin Whitlow, Murl Morgan and Herman Shaw. Internment will be at Antioch Cemetery."

Note: Miles M. Whitlow sold his Walker Co., GA land about 1907 or so and moved to Wickenburg, Arizona Territory but moved back to Walker Co. a few years later.

His grandson Whitlow Wyatt pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers and famously struck out Joe DiMaggio twice in the 1941 World Series.

Miles M. Whitlow's dau. Ethel Whitlow married late in life to Gilbert Van Camp, heir to the Van Camp canning fortune (Van Camp Beans and Chicken of the Sea brand.) They were only married a short time. She died of a heart attack at their summer home in California about a year after the wedding.

Nashville Herald,
x 5 Aug 1904: "Mr. & Mrs. John Whitlow of Texas are the guests of Mr. & Mrs. Jno. W.E. Powell."

Note: John Gholston Whitlow was the Uncle and namesake of John Whitlow Evans Powell. He was the brother of J.W.E. Powell's mother, Allie Whitlow Powell.

x 9 Sept 1904: "Mr. & Mrs. J.W.E. Powell accompanied Miss Nid Powell to Macon on Sunday. Miss Powell goes to enter Stanley Business College."

Mollie Enid Powell's scholarship was funded by her Uncle John Gholston Whitlow of Weatherford, TX, per J.G. Whitlow's estate papers, 1914, Parker County, TX. Uncle J.G. Whitlow visited the Powells in August and likely coordinated Mollie's scholarship during this trip.

Letter from Allie Whitlow to Thomas Powell. Note that Allie was staying with her sister-in-law in Floyd Co., Ga. then with her sister, Nancy Whitlow Williamson, in Cherokee Co., AL:

Direct to:
Cedar Bluff
Cherokee Co., Ala.

Floyd Co., Ga.
Sept. 27th, 1870

Mr. Powell,

My absent friend, I am all alone this evening and thinking of home and all of its dear familiar scenes. I will try to answer your most welcome letter, welcome because of its length, and the good advice which it contained. I love to receive such letters, love to have good friends to write me good letters. And you need never be afraid of wearying me with reading your letters, for I assure you that I never tire of reading letters written by those who I take to be my friend and should be ever ready and anxious to reply, could I but feel assured that the receivers were as much interested in mine as I am in theirs. But I know that this cannot be with us, as my writing talent is greatly inferior to yours. But, however, I will do my best.

In the first place, I had not the least idea that you would for a moment think of my absence when you have so many more interesting acquaintances in the Cove. But, I cannot say you have a great many better friends and if our natures are altogether congenial, then you praise friendship very highly. I think I am likely to find some good friends in this county but none that will make me forget about my friends of Walker. I have employed myself well since I have been here. The young people have a nice time at their little singings, which they hold twice a week at some neighbor's house in the settlement. I think it is for the benefit not for the pleasure, as they have scarcely any singing at church, and they do most of their visiting at night through a plan which I do not tolerate nor practice. Though, I did accompany them last night and employed myself very well, for I was accompanied by a very intelligent and interesting gentleman, and that you know accounts for it.

I have just been taking a ride on the river in a canoe, which would have been fine sport if I had only been with some of my friends. But during all those employments, I do not forget the hands in which our lives are intruded and God forgive that I ever shall always be glad to be reminded of that in your letters. I like good advice and especially from friends in whom I have great confidence. I regret very much that I did not get the letter you wrote last week. But I think I will get it by next mail as I made arrangements for them to send my letters here.

I cannot tell you when I will be back to the Cove again, as I still have to remain until my Brother-in-law returns. I think now that I will not stay more than two months, which will seem like six, for I already felt homesick. But they all tell me that I had just as well begin to wean myself from home if I ever expect to marry, for no one will want a wife always crying for her Pa.

And just here I want to know what you mean by saying: "Especially, when fraught with the hopes of seeing the Widowers" and the other word I could not understand. Now, if you are under the impression that my stay from home will be more unbearable because of the absence of Mr. Hall, I will inform you, once and for all, that you are harboring mistaken ideas. I do not know that this is what you meant, but I could not apply what you wrote to any thing else.

I must acknowledge, that I think the people of Cane Creek are flattering me when they say that mine is the prettiest picture in your album. I am inclined to not think so. As I refused you a perusal of my papers before, I still do so until we meet again, if we are permitted that pleasure. But, you will find them of no great importune when you have had a perusal. Though, I am anxious to know the contents of those old documents of which you spoke, as you say, are struggling for a disclosure. I hope they will succeed in getting it by the time you write again, or are you going to play a game of retaliation with me? Please write again.

I was not surprised to hear of the weddings, as I had been expecting them and from what I have heard, I expect the suppositions, as to yourself, are true. If it is, I sincerely hope that you will be blest with the good fortune to get an agreeable companion, one that is capable of making you happy. You spoke of Miss Tennie Mark's marriage: tell me, what has become of Jake? Is he dead? Scared to death? Or has he just quit the world and took up a sapling? Or has he been back to see Miss Sallie?

Well, I believe I am about to comply with your request as to taking a large sheet and filling it chock full, though I did not expect it when I commenced. I have, like yourself, chosen twilight to do my writing and it is getting so dark I can not see to keep my pen straight or, that is, I can not right straight lines and it is a very good excuse for stopping, as I am about to get out of soap anyway.

I, like yourself, shall long remember the night of the second Sunday spent in Broomtown Valley and I earnestly hope that you are satisfied that there is no picture of mine on that side of the mountain, with the exception of the one in your possession. And I also trust that you do not think I misunderstood you, if you did not tell me that you were going to be there. But, I do not think you told me so. And I assure you, I was not expecting Mr. Hall. By the way, who is he going to see now? It is too dark to write now even if I had the room. I will close by asking you to remember me in your prayers, as I have cast myself all ready to depend upon my own resources.

I sign myself your friend,






  • Created by: Epictetus
  • Added: 16 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100791420
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Albina Tabitha “Mary” Whitlow Powell (9 Jul 1847–4 Dec 1890), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100791420, citing Old City Cemetery, Nashville, Berrien County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Epictetus (contributor 47920451) .