Huston Cobb’s brother Ernest Cobb married Helen Stanley who was the great, great, granddaughter of former slave Lila Vinson King; Helen was the daughter of O. C. Stanley and Elsie King. Helen Stanley had a brother Henry Stanley; Henry married Helen Garrett and they had a son that is Doctor Wayne Stanley.
The white Stanley Family came into the area during the 1818 federal sales of Indian lands taken by government in September 1816 by the Turkey Town Treaty. By the time of the 1820 Census of Lawrence County, Alabama, Syrus Stanley is the listed as having five black slaves; his family consists of one white male over 21 years of age, three white males under 21 years of age, one female over 21 years of age, four females under 21 years of age, and five black slaves.
In the 1830 Census of Lawrence County, Alabama, Henry Stanley is listed as one white male between 50 and 60, one white male between 20 and 30, one white male between 10 and 15, two white males under 5, one white female between 20 and 30, and one white female under five. Also in 1830, Nathaniel Stanley was listed between 40 and 50, one white male between 20 and 30, one white male between15 to 20, one white male between 10 to 15, two white males between 5 to 10, and one white male under 5. Also three white females were listed in Nathaniel family with one between 40 to 50, one between 20 to 30, and one 10 to 15.
The white Stanley Family was owners of black slaves; according to the 1850 slave census of Lawrence County, Andrew Stanley had six slaves, Joseph Stanley had 55 slaves, and Edward Stanley had 34 slaves. By the 1860 census, Andrew Stanley owned 11 black slaves and J. H. and E. R. Stanley owned 42 slaves. Many of the black folks who were descendants of the white Stanley slaves took Stanley as their last name.
According to the 1850 census, Joseph H. Stanley was from North Carolina and was 38 years old. His wife was Mariah L. who was age 30 and from Virginia; Joseph H., Jr., age 10, born in Alabama; Thomas E., age 5, born in Alabama. Also living with the family was Hannah Kemper, age 17, born in Alabama, and John Green was age 70 from North Carolina; John was probably the father of Mariah.
Edward R. Stanley is listed in 1850 as being age 26 and born in Alabama; Mary J., age 26, born in Virginia; Mary J., Jr., age 4, born in Alabama; and, Margaret Hill, age 70, born in Virginia. Margaret Hill was probably the grandmother to either Edward or Margaret; Edward and Joseph were probably brothers.
Obviously, the Stanley Family along with several other wealthy white slave owners came from North Carolina and Virginia to the Tennessee Valley after the lands were taken from the Cherokee and Chickasaw Indian people in September 1816. These white families bought the fertile lands near the Tennessee River for their cotton farming activities; through the blood, sweat, and tears of their black slaves, the early white Appalachian settlers passed their wealth and power to their white descendants.
Today, Doctor Wayne Stanley is known as one of the best medical doctors in the northwest Alabama area. Dr. Stanley’s Grandmother Elsie King was a descendant of black slaves and white slave owners; she was half white and half black. She was thought to be the daughter of one of the white King Family slave owners; the Kings owned some 220 black slaves.
On the other hand, the descendants of the slaves had to struggle for survival nearly 100 years after the end of the Civil War before the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s put black folks on a more level status with the white families. Even after the Civil War, black women were many times subjected to the advances of wealthy and powerful white men who had children by their black house maids; such was the case with the black King Family females.
Dr. Wayne Stanley is one of the descendants of the former slaves of the white Stanley Family and the white King Family. His grandmother Elsie King Stanley was the mulatto daughter of Lou Bell (Momma Bell) King and granddaughter of Lila Vinson King. Today, Dr. Wayne Stanley has a beautiful hilltop mansion with a big metal gate at the entrance of his drive just south of Second Street. His huge spacious home sits on a hill with a magnificent view of the former land that his ancestors worked as slaves.
During our tour of his ancestral land in northeastern Colbert County, Huston Cobb, Jr. guided us to the Jarman Plantation House that had several black slaves. Huston’s brother Leo Cobb married Nazarene Jarman who is a descendant of the former slave Lila Vinson King. Nazarene was born on Jarman Lane and was one of 12 siblings; she was a descendant of the white King Family and the white Jarman Family slaves. Two of Nazarene’s aunts married descendants of the mixed blood black and white Spangler and Mullins Family.
The Jarman Plantation was owned by Amos Jarman who was born on November 13, 1789, and he died on December 14, 1861; his wife was Mary who was born in1790. The original plantation house is still standing just one mile north of Second Street in Colbert County, Alabama. The home is a beautiful brick house that is on the flat plain between the River Road and Second Street.
According to the 1860 Census of Lawrence County, Alabama, Amos Jarmon was 70 years old and a planter from North Carolina. In his household at the time, Mary was listed as 70 years old from North Carolina; George W. was a 32 year old teacher born in Alabama; and Neppie was a 30 year old female from Tennessee. In the 1850 census, Amos and Mary were listed as 60 years old; living in the house with them was James C. Vincent, age 32 from Virginia, and William H. Jarman, age 26 from Alabama, and D.F. who was a 23 year old male. According to the 1850 Census of Lawrence County, Alabama, Amos Jarman owned 50 black slaves.
Amos Jarman’s household was listed next to Samuel O. Eggleston from Virginia who was 53 in 1850 and owned 48 black slaves. Houston’s great grandfather was Shirley Eggleston who was probably a descendant of the Samuel O. Eggleston’s slaves. The black man Shirley Eggleston had a brother named Houston Eggleston; Houston may have been the namesake of Houston Cobb, Sr. and Huston Cobb, Jr.
The Amos Jarman place was a landmark in Huston Cobb’s lifetime and was located in the area that he called home; many of Huston’s black neighbors were probably descendants of the Jarman slaves. According to Huston, the Jarman family eventually moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and began making Jarman Shoes. Jarman Shoes eventually merged with another company and the Jarman Shoe line is no longer available.
Jarman Lane is south of Second Street and the Jarmon Plantation Home; the lane is a blacktopped county highway that ends to the west on the County Line Road. Jarman Lane is where some of the slave descendants of Amos Jarman live today. Probably many of the black folks in the area of present-day northeastern Colbert County, Alabama, are descendants of the Jarman Plantation slaves.
This story will also be CONTINUED; stay in touch with my blog on the black, Indian, and plantation history in our area as it unfolds in my new book and on my blogs. Mr. Houston Cobb, Jr.’s story will be included in my new book which will be called “Black Folk Tales of Appalachia: Slavery to Survival.”