‘Carpenter’ Wilson’s Walker County connection
by Ruth Baker
Jan 08, 2011 | 3330 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ruth Baker
Ruth Baker
William Wallace “Carpent-er” Wilson was born in December 1832 in Gwinette County, Ga.

In 1850, he was living in Atlanta and going to school to become an architect. In the early 1850s, he was living in Pike County, Ga., where he met and married Sarah Melissa Myrick on Feb. 1, 1853. She was the daughter of Richard and Nancy D. Myrick.

William Wallace was a close friend to Captain Benjamin Long of Carrollton, Ga. In about 1855, William traveled with Captain Long to Walker County.

William built the first home for the Long family, who settled first in the Hunter’s Chapel community.

The house that William built was called “The First White House.” It was the first painted house in Walker County.

William Wallace was best known as “Carpenter” throughout the South.

The Wilsons were living in Georgia when daughter Alice Sarah Wilson was born on Aug. 29, 1857. Augusta Georgia Wilson was born April 15, 1859.

In 1860 they were living in Pike County, where Wilson owned land. Shortly after 1860, the couple’s third daughter, Savanah Wilson was born in 1861, in Atlanta.

Shortly after her birth, “The War Between The States” broke out.

Their son Robert Lee Wilson was born Oct. 17, 1865.

On March 12, 1862, Wilson joined the 37th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company F, in Pike County. He served under Captain Dunn’s Company, Alabama Volunteeers. On July 4, 1865, he was captured at Vicksburg, Miss., and paroled on July 10, 1863.

In 1865, he signed the amnesty agreement that he would not bear arms against the United States of America or give any information, or do any military duty whatever, until regularly exchanged as a prisoner of war. The parole documents stated that he was 5 feet 5 inches tall. His hair was brown, eyes were blue.

On Sept. 30, 1863, after William left for the war, Sarah Wilson sold their land in Pike County. She and the children returned to Georgia.

While he was in Atlanta, he had bought and invested a lot of money in tobacco crops and stored it in and around Atlanta. When Sherman marched on Atlanta, the warehouse was set on fire and his crop of tobacco burned.

Carpenter and his family were back in Atlanta in 1870, where he was helping to restore Atlanta after the fire. Shortly thereafter he was back in Walker County.

He built many of the Greek Revival homes in Jasper and one in Cordova. These were built for the Long family members. Records have it that he built the second Walker County Courthouse and the first school in Jasper. He and his friend, Johnny Banks, built the Long Building, which is now called the Burton Building.

He and his children applied for land in Range 6 West Township 14 and owned seversl hundred acres of land. The seventh generation still lives on the property.

On Sept. 26, 1878, “Carpenter” Wilson applied for permission to build a sawmill, gristmill and dam across Blackwater. Seven of his peers were summoned to meet at the spot and look over the site and see if it was environmentally safe.

They had to be disinterested householders and free holders of Walker County. Sheriff J.B. Lollar appointed: R.H. Smith, H. Baird, W.B. O’Rear, John M. Felkins, E.Q. Akins, J.C. Akins and William Banks.

They had to see that the 10 feet dam would not cause an overflow on the neighbors land, outhouses, gardens or orchards and that the health of the neighbors would not be endangered. The cost of the application writ, sheriff’s returns and inquest being recorded was $25. The application and permit was approved for the building of the dam, sawmill and gristmill.

Several buildings which Carpenter built are still standing. There is a house on Green Avenue in Cordova that he built for Captain Long.

Also, in Jasper, at 701 19th Street, there is another house still standing that is now a doctor’s office. The Burton Building is still standing and it was built circa 1900.

Some of the houses in Jasper have burned or are not standing for other reasons. The house in Cordova and the house in Jasper are identical. Also, he built a house in Carrollton, Ga., identical to those. He also built other houses in Carroll County, Ga.

William Wallace Wilson, better known as Carpenter, was postmaster of Bartonville, Beat 14, Walker County, Ala., from 1875 to 1900, until he retired.

At that time, the post office was moved to Freibus (Union Chapel) and operated by his daughter-in-law Martha Jane Robinson Wilson, wife of Robert Lee Wilson.

Carpenter and Sara Melsissa Wilson daughter, Alice Sarah Wilson married William Jasper Lovell, son of Jefferson Lovell and Jane Wilson Lovell. They were married on Dec. 24, 1882, at the home of the bride’s parents by Minister of Gospel Leroy Williams.

William Wallace “Carpenter” Wilson, was born Dec. 1832 and died Nov. 3, 1903 in Jasper, Ala., his wife Sarah Melissa Myrick Wilson was born in 1834 in Pike County, Ga., and died 1900 in Walker County, Ala.

William and his wife Sarah are buried at Union Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery, Union Chapel community, Jasper, Ala., William and Sarah Wilson’s daughter Savanah Wilson died at a young age sometime between 1870 and 1880. It is not known at the time of this article where her burial place is located.

William Jasper Lovell was born Oct. 5, 1860 in Van Wert, Polk County, Ga., and died Feb. 26, 1889 in Jasper, Walker County, Ala. His wife Sarah Wilson Lovell was born August 29, 1857 in Atlanta, Ga., and died June 11, 1905. Augusta Georgia Wilson was born April 15, 1859 in Atlanta, Ga., and died June 25, 1939. They are all buried at Union Chapel Methodist Church in the Union Chapel community, of Jasper, Alabama.

Robert Lee Wilson was born October 17, 1865 in China Grove, Pike County and died on April 26, 1937, in Jasper, Ala. His wife Martha Jane Robinson Wilson was born on Oct. 23, 1865 in Georgia and died June 11, 1936 in Jasper, Ala. They are both buried at oak Hill Cemetery in Jasper, Walker County, Ala.

In closing of this brief history on William Wallace Wilson better known as Carpenter Wilson, he and his wife Sarah Melissa Myrick Wilson were very instrumental in settling the Union Chapel community. As a true statement to his name all anyone has to do is drive around and look at the beautiful old homes and buildings that are still standing the test of time.

This article was submitted by June Kelly Fowler who is the Great Great Granddaughter of Carpenter Wilson. This is a follow up story of one of the names found in the article of the September 2010 issue of Walking Back in Time on page 7, Long Building Torn Down.