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1816 A Tierce Comes to Tuscaloosa
© Copyright, 1997 by Memnon Tierce, II

 all rights reserved


A history of the Tierce family in the United States of America from 1764 to 2005
by
Memnon Tierce, Frances Wilson Tierce & Memnon Tierce, II



Cover Picture

Eugene Benjamin Tierce Veturia Scales Tierce Children, left to right:
Collier, Memnon, Victor, Festus & Octavia
This was taken in 1901 on the front steps of their home just south of North River (Lake Tuscaloosa) on Highway 69 North (Crabbe Road) .




Inscription:
SHEEP’S BELL BROUGHT TO
AMERICA IN 1655 FROM ENGLAND
BY ANCESTORS OF MEMNON TIERCE1816 A Tierce Comes to Tuscaloosa
© Copyright, 1997
by Memnon Tierce, II

 all rights reserved

607 28th Avenue
Tuscaloosa • Alabama • 35401  

 E-Mail • Mem@Tierce.biz
July 18, 1997, revised March 5, 2006

No part of this book may be copied or reproduced in any form or by any means including photocopying, or any electronic or mechanical means without express written permission from Mem Tierce, II,
607 28th Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Al, 35401.
Printed in the U. S. A.


Copies may be obtained from Mem Tierce, II or the internet: http://www.Tierce.us


Table of Contents
  Page
Introduction
1
1816:  A Tierce Comes to Tuscaloosa
 4
Direct Descendants of Jonathan Andrew Tierce To Kit Tierce Adams
 6
Descendants of Jonathan Andrew Tierce
 Part II  Pages 1-49
Kinship of Jonathan Andrew Tierce                 
 Part III
History
Huguenots
 47
Information on Individuals
49
Memnon & Frances Tierce’s “Letter”
82
My Memories, Memnon Tierce, II
90
Roads named Tierce  
19
Stories:
         Laura Joan Tierce’s Stories
          Macedonia Church and Cemeter
          Mem Tierce Land
           Mims Tierce Lodge
          One Pinehurst & Pinehurst Drive
          Tierce School
           Tierce (meaning)
Introduction
     My father, Memnon Tierce, started this work in the early 1950's with the assistance of my mother, Mary Frances Wilson Tierce.  Together they traveled this country visiting Tierces, relatives, courthouses, cemeteries and government agencies.  Throughout his life my father gathered many stories from and about his ancestors which he called Tierce Tales.  In addition, he knew Elliott Catlett Tierce, the immigrant Jonathan Andrew Tierce’s grandson. This contact allowed him to discover information about our family’s coming to the New World and it’s history before that.  Much of this information is contained in Memnon Tierce’s 1967 eight-page letter which is reprinted in its entirety in this book.  He also left me files, notes, letters, and journals of information in rough draft form.     In addition, I have discovered a good many details through the use of on-line genealogical services and social security, marriage and death certificate databases.  Most of my contribution to this effort has been in the form of countless hours spent organizing all the information Mother and Dad gathered through their extensive research.  My rewards are the wonderful memories of a great man and woman and our family.
     This work includes many other families that are my or my children’s ancestors who are related through marriage.  The surnames researched include, but are not limited to, the following:
Barringer
Blazek
Collins
Doss
Ely          
Ogletree
Ridgeway
Scales
Stewart
Tierce
Wilson


All the Tierces we have found are descendants of  Jonathan Andrew Tierce with the exception of the Gustave Tierce family and his three sons, Gustave Tierce, Jr., Edward Agenor Tierce and Leonce Tierce.  They live in the New Jersey and New York areas.  Gustave Tierce came from France in the late 1800's.  Of course, we may be kin if we trace back several hundred years!  
     Glenn R. Conrad mentions in his book, The First Families of Louisiana (page 108), that Jean Charles Tierce arrived in Louisiana in 1720, but we have found none of his descendants.  His name was also shown in: The Ship Log of La Loire, August 11, 1720, List of officials and engages for the Ste. Reince Conession embarked on the Loire bound for Louisiana from Lorient, France as transcribed by Dr. Glen Conrad of USL: ENGAGEES  TIERCE, Jean-Charles, Baker (note by MT, II - I think this meant he was a baker).
     According to research done by Memnon Tierce, many Tierces left France during the period of 1560 to 1630 due to religious persecution.  We were Huguenots, a  name given to French Protestants who were persecuted  by the Catholic rulers of France (see Huguenots, page 49).  Many of our ancestors moved to Holland and onto Ireland.  Present research indicates that as many as 200 Tierces live in France today.       
      If you are interested in contributing any information, particularly tales or stories about the Tierces for the website edition, please contact me by email at Mem@Tierce.biz.              Mem Tierce, II, February 11, 2006

The Jonathan Andrew Tierce Family

     by Mem and Frances Wilson Tierce
This letter contains only a portion of the information we have regarding our ancestors.  It will take a book to hold all this information.

Our ancestors in the sixteenth century and before were
French.  The French rulers were Catholic and any other religion was prohibited by law, punishable by imprisonment or death.  See your Colliers Vol. I of 1921, “St. Bartholomew’s Massacre”, which began August 24, 1472.

Some of our Protestant ancestors fled into Holland.  At least two Tierce generations married Dutch wives.  Their offspring moved on North to Ireland where the Tierce men married Irish and Scotch-Irish wives.  The above was told to me by grandsons of our forefather, the immigrant, Jonathan Andrew Tierce.  He and his brother, Peter, sailed from Ireland about 1765 and landed in Connecticut where Jonathan Andrew Tierce married Catharine Ely (pronounced Ealy).  Her people came over about 1655 from England and were given considerable land by the King.

The above excerpt is from a letter printed in 1964 by Memnon Tierce and wife, Frances Wilson Tierce.  The complete eight page letter is printed on pages 86 to 94.  


1816 :  A Tierce Comes to Tuscaloosa
     The history and chronology of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the Tierce family run parallel to one another.  It began in 1816, when some of Jonathan Andrew Tierce’s family ventured into Alabama looking for land and ways to expand their fortunes. The town of Tuscaloosa was settled in 1816 on the site of a former village of the Creek Indian tribe.  This frontier land was a vast wilderness, but held great  opportunities for the settlers.  The village had been known by the Indians as Black Warrior’s Town (Tuska-loosa).  Colonel John Coffee and his scout, Davy Crockett, burned the Indian Village during the Creek War in 1813.  The U.S. then claimed nearly all the Indian land and shortly thereafter settlers started moving in.  The area became known as the village at the Falls of the Black Warrior.
      Jonathan Andrew Tierce’s brother-in-law, William H. Ely, was the Land Agent to the Connecticut Deaf and Dumb Asylum. The Asylum was to receive a land grant, and it was his job to find  the best land.  He scouted the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham areas in 1816.  On this scouting trip he was accompanied by some of the Tierces.  Ely and his grandnephew, William Cathar Tierce, stayed in Alabama.  In 1819 Congress granted the asylum 36,000 acres of land and Ely chose 2,880 acres in and around Tuscaloosa.  In about 1820 William H. Ely was quoted as saying, “The population now may be from 6 to 800 souls, not one of whom, except a few to whom I have sold land since I came here, have any title to the land they live on.”  Our great-great-great-granduncle, William Ely, sold the remainder of the land grant on January 17, 1821.  Having fulfilled his duty to the Asylum, he returned to his home in Hartford, Connecticut where he died in 1847.
      Alabama became a territory in 1817 and on December 12, 1819 became a state. In  1817 Thomas Luke Scales (Mem Tierce, II’s 3rd great-grandfather) found the “Alabama Stone” near his home west of Tuscaloosa in Coker, Alabama.  The 200 lb. stone had an inscription on it: HISPAN EN IND REX 1232, which translates to “King of Spain and the Indies.” This stone is considered one of the earliest pieces of evidence of the white man’s exploration in America.
     Roads, traces and river crossings were very important to a growing citizenry.  Most of the existing roads at this time were improved Indian trails.  Traces began as footpaths worn through wild areas by both humans and animals.  In 1818 it took a settler about two months to bring his family from North Carolina or Virginia to Alabama.  The state legislature granted John Byler the right to build a 12' wide toll road to North Alabama.  He could charge a man on a horse 12 ½ cents and 1 cent for each head of cattle. The Byler Road became U.S. Highway 43.  The same rights were granted to Thomas D. Crabb to build the Crabb Road. This is the road that ran north through Tierce property and is now Highway 69 North.  Byler Road was parallel to the Crabb Road, but a few miles west. These roads connected to the Natchez Trace and are probably how Benjamin Tucker Tierce brought his family to this frontier.  Crossing the rivers was always a problem, however the Tierces were fortunate to settle in an area of North River that had many fords.
     The Indian Wars calmed down, and by 1828 the Creek and Cherokee Indians had been forced to “sell” all their land in Alabama and move to Oklahoma. Tuscaloosa was rapidly becoming an important frontier municipality.  It became the capital of Alabama in 1826.  The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa was opened in 1831.     Benjamin Tucker Tierce must have heard many wonderful stories about Tuscaloosa from his uncle, William Ely, and his nephew, William Cathar Tierce. By 1833 Benjamin had sold the 700 plus acres he had acquired in South Carolina.  Earlier he had moved his blacksmith shop and stables from the county land.  He, his wife, and most of his eight children moved to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama in 1831. He and the relatives received 23 Federal Land Grants in the early 1800's, see: http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/ .  On March 27, 1833, he bought land in the West ½ of Northeast 1/4, Section 35, Township 19 South, Range 10 West from Jacob Clements, for six hundred dollars (see records in Land Deeds, Tuscaloosa, Co., Al.)   This became the site of the Tierce Mill, a water mill that powered a saw and gristmill.  The mill was on what became Tierce Creek, a tributary of North River.  This water mill was owned by Benjamin’s heirs until it was flooded by the city reservoir built in the 1960's. The dam of the water mill still stands about 65 feet below the surface of Lake Tuscaloosa.  In the 1960's his heirs still owned about two miles of land running along Hwy. 69 and about 2 miles running east to west.
     Most of the sons and daughters of Benjamin Tucker Tierce spent their lives in Tuscaloosa.  These people form the roots of many of our present day families.  The Deal, Davis, Fondern, Chism, Utley, Doss and Shirley families are descendants of Benjamin Tucker Tierce.  One of Benjamin’s sons moved to California and started a prominent family on the west coast.  Other family members moved west to Texas and Oregon and many of our relatives live there today.


Memnon Tierce (1892-1976)
by Mem Tierce, II
     My father was born on September 26, 1892 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. He was the second child born to Eugene Benjamin Tierce and Veturia Scales.  His father was 27 and his mother was 23. He had a fairly normal life until he was 14 when his mother died.  About one year later his father remarried. Mem grew up in the North River Area of Tuscaloosa (Lake Tuscaloosa) where his ancestors had settled in the 1830's.  Many of his relatives lived nearby and he would help out at the Tierce Mill or help his father on some construction site (road building) and the farm. Gene, his father, had built a large “L” shaped home for his growing family.  Macedonia Methodist Church (see story) was only about ½ mile away and played an active part in his social life.  Later, Gene also owned a house near Stafford Academy in the City of Tuscaloosa so his children could get a better education.  He also built a home at 1718 20th Avenue in Northport where he lived for a short time.
     Two of my dad’s favorite childhood stories were about his brothers. In one story Dad told of talking one of his brothers into sticking his tongue to a metal hammer which had been left outside on a freezing night. Of course, his brother’s tongue froze to the hammer. Frightened, he jerked away, leaving some of his skin stuck to the hammer.  In the other story, his father offered a dime and a nickel to Mem and one of his brothers. Since Mem was slightly smaller, his father, Gene, offered the choice to Mem first.  Dad said, “No, he’d choose second,” knowing his brother would choose the larger coin. Dad always told these two stories and laughed heartily.
     Apparently, he survived the consequences of his practical jokes.  The next major event in Mem’s life was “the feud” (detailed in the section about Eugene Benjamin Tierce).  When Mem was of college age, he attended the University of Alabama.  He studied “read law” under Judge Rubin Wright, but never finished.  Around 1914 he married a young girl named Willie Koster.  They had one daughter, Veturia, named after his mother.  They lived on what is now known as The Patton Place.  This land was on the northwest side of his father’s land in the North River or Lake Tuscaloosa area.  Several years ago it was sub-divided into Lake Hills North.  Dr. Patton and his family used the old Tierce home as their summer house.  Mem and Willie were not married long.  Willie was 100 years old when she died in 1992 and is buried in Northport, Alabama.
     During the First World War, Mem was in the timber and cotton brokerage business. He had an office on Greensboro Avenue in the First National Bank (currently AmSouth) building. The government felt he was needed more in this business than as a soldier in the war.  Around 1918, when the war ended, the cotton business slowed up and he soon closed this office.  On 11-10-1919 he incorporated Tierce-Chastine Lumber Co., Inc. along with Wm. K. Tierce and D. M. Chastine.  The paid-in capital was $6,000.00.
     On Aug. 30, 1918 Mem’s father died in an accident (see Eugene Benjamin Tierce).  Mem was named executor of the estate.  The estate records are still on file at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse.  The inventory is meticulously written in my father’s handwriting.
     In 1926 Mem married Jennie “Jen” Pauline Crocker after knowing her only a few days.  He soon found that the marriage was not working and asked her for a divorce.  To quote Mem: “She must have decided I was a good catch for she answered, ‘No, no.  Mem, you know how I love you’.  After several requests I decided to have nightmares and talk in my sleep. I started muttering about cutting Jen up and throwing her in the river.  Well, after several nightmares, she decided it would be best to divorce me.”  
     By 1932, Mem was living in a house in Northport.  On March 21 a very strong tornado hit.  He watched the storm bearing down on his home.  Waiting until almost the last minute, he jumped into the basement. As soon as he thought the worst had passed, he poked his head back out to find very little of the house was left standing.  Many people were killed and his brother Festus lost a leg.
This house was again destroyed by fire on May 13, 2001.

AS TOLD BY FRANK FITTS SR., PRESIDENT,
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, 1937
“But nothing - absolutely nothing - grieved us as much as the loss of 38 fine mothers, fathers and children who died in the terrible tornado of March 21, 1932.
The heavy, breezy day awoke with a roar at 4 p.m. when the storm arrived from the southwest.  Going to ground in the west end, it caused awful damage and death.  It was on the ground for 20 miles, next exploding the Tuscaloosa Country Club, then jumping the river and literally destroying Northport along Bridge Street and Main Street. The tornado demolished 350 homes and buildings, left 3,000 people homeless and made all of us storm-conscious from that day forward.”

     In 1934 the University of Alabama’s football team was 10-0 and was invited to California to play Stanford in the Rose Bowl. A special train ran for the Alabama fans.  Mem rode the train and this was always one of his special memories.  Alabama won the National Championship 29-13.  Bear Bryant was one of the star players.
Dad married my mother in 1936.  Naturally, there’s a story about how they met (see Frances Wilson Tierce).  Memnon Tierce was quoted as saying, "I had three wives: one to live with (Willie, the cutest in town), one to play with (Jen), and one to die with (Frances)”.  By this time Mem was very successful.  A copy of his 1939 Tax Assessment for Tuscaloosa County showed “1320 acres in the North River Area (Lake Tuscaloosa) including 5 tenant houses, barns and out bldg...in Northport, Al.; several lots and three 3 room houses; his home, a 5-room house and garage. The personal assessment listed: 1 sewing machine, 1 piano, 1 watch or clock, two wagons or buggies, 40 cattle, 1 gun, 1 radio, 1 mechanical and electrical refrigerator.  A total of $215.64 tax due.” His mailing address was Box 183, Tuscaloosa, Al, and his occupation was listed as Farmer.
     My father was about 6 feet tall and weighed 170 to 180 pounds. He always had lots of thick hair that had turned silver in early middle age. Most ladies thought he was very good looking and one of his  cousins said, “Memnon was just about the most handsome man I have ever seen.”      He was a great storyteller and recited many, many sayings handed down through his family. He was about the most versatile man I ever knew. He could get up early in the morning, go to the farm to help the cattle in birth, stop by and collect rent on the way home, and then go the Country Club and dance and charm the ladies at night. He worked regularly at the farm until he was in his 80's.  My father had always been a strong man, mentally and physically.  When he was about 80, he suddenly developed a heart problem and had a pacemaker installed.  The doctors said he could continue his life and work as before if he would “just slow up a little.”
      My father died soon after my mother’s death in 1976.  They are buried side by side on some of the family lots (103,4,5, 6,7-PL) in the Evergreen Cemetery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  The lots are marked with a large Tierce Memorial.  These lots are on the north side of the cemetery, bordering 10th Street, only a few steps from the Tierce Mausoleum. Someone, his or her identity is unknown to the immediate family, has placed red flowers on these graves regularly since my parents’ deaths.

Mary Frances Wilson Tierce (1915-1976)
                    by Mem Tierce, II

 Frances Wilson Tierce portrait at  VA Hospital
The Veterans Administration dedicated a room in her memory at the Tuscaloosa VA Hospita

     My mother was born in 1915 and raised in Hackleburg, Alabama.  She was the oldest of three children of a well-to-do doctor and banker.  She was considered the “darling” of the small town.  
     Memnon Tierce was traveling through Hackleburg and stopped to visit an old friend, Aggie Collins Wilson.  He often recounted this story.  “I stopped at the drug store for a soda and to inquire about Aggie.  I asked this cute girl in the store did she know Aggie.  The girl, in a very coy way, said, “Yes, but who wants to know and why?!”  This was the first meeting between Frances and Mem.  Her mother was the Aggie Mem had inquired about!  Soon they ran away and were married.  They were married in 1936 and I  was born about a year later.  Mother was 21 years old and Dad was 44.  She was my fathers’ third wife and he was 23 years older than Mother.  When talking about his marriage to Mother, my father often said, “soon after the wedding, I went to the farm and told old Charlie Wilson I had just married a young woman.  Of course, I was very proud and had my chest stuck way out.  I said the age difference was not too bad since I was still in the prime of my life.  Charlie Wilson replied, “yes, sir, Boss. But where you going to be when she’s in the prime of her life?’”
      Despite my arrival, Mother completed her education at the University of Alabama and earned a degree in Education.  She taught school off and on throughout her life, but she reserved most of her energy for charity work.
     Frances volunteered hundreds of hours to the United Fund and the Salvation Army.  Born before assertiveness was considered a virtue, she developed it into an art and was expert at pressuring people into giving!  She occupied various leadership positions in the American Legion Auxiliary, and often traveled across the country on their behalf. The Veterans Hospital also received a good bit of her attention.
In addition, she was active in the Tuscaloosa Garden Club.  Frances was generous with the use of her home on Pinehurst Drive. Many a club meeting and charity- related gathering were held there.
     Frances’s father, Dr. J. L. Wilson, left the Bank of Hackleburg and his other property to her, her sister and brother.  Later, Frances ended up as the sole owner of the bank and placed me on the Board of Directors and Loan Committee at the age of 18.  Dad liked to joke that his wife owned one bank, but he owned two - both banks of North River, a small river that ran through some of his land.  Through her banking connection Mother became active in the League of Business and Professional Women and the American Bankers Association
     Politics did not escape her notice.  She ran for Tuscaloosa County Tax Assessor, but did not do very well.  However, she  participated in numerous campaigns as a supporter and organizer.  Mother was also one of the three founding members of the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society.  
     Somehow Frances found time to play the piano and sing.  She often entertained for family gatherings. There wasn’t much that she wasn’t involved in; in fact, the only thing I remember her saying that she couldn’t do was ride a bicycle.
     Mother had cirrhosis of the liver.  She drank very little, but had contracted hepatitis as a child.  Mother died when she was only 61.



A dear friend honored Mother by creating and naming a species of day lily Frances Tierce

(FRANCES TIERCE Day Lily was registered in 1981 by H. Smith.  A nocturnal bloomer, scape height was listed at 30".  7" flowers described as a rose self with a yellow throat.  It was registered as a mid-late season bloomer with dormant foliage habit.  It is a diploid variety.  Parentage is listed as (GALA SEASON x CHERRY BLOSSOM).     
The rocks are from the bottom of North River before the lake was formed.


Roads in Tuscaloosa named after our Family
Tierce Patton Road
Old Tierce Road
Tierce Creek Road
Mem Tierce Road
Buster Tierce Road
Memnon Tierce Road


The location of these roads can be found at http://www.emapsplus.com/ALTuscaloosa/maps/

And of course there’s Tierce Creek, where Benjamin Tucker Tierce built his water mill.

Lake Tuscaloosa Land    
     When Memnon Tierce and his first wife were married in 1914, they lived on what is now known as The Patton Place.  Several years ago it was subdivided into Lake Hills North.  This land was on the northwest side of his father’s land.  My father told a story of hearing a rumor about a pot of gold coins being buried on the land.  One night the barking of his dog woke him, but he turned over and went back to sleep.  The next morning he found the outline of a small pot between the roots of a large oak tree in the front yard.
     Memnon Tierce had acquired more than 1,200 acres of land in and around Section 23, Township 19 Range 10 by the mid 1930's.  This land was adjacent to part of the Tierce homestead acquired in the 1833's, but generally was separated by North River.  Five houses and several barns and outbuildings were on the land.  One large, nice home was located on what is now lot 60 & 61 of the Tierce Farm subdivision.  This was the childhood home of Judge Mayfield who served on the Alabama Supreme Court.  I can just barely remember the long front porch of the house sitting on a hill overlooking the surrounding acreage.
     A log cabin was on what is now lot 46 & 53 of the Tierce Farm subdivision.  I remember it because my father stored dynamite in it for clearing land and I was warned to always keep away.  Two cemeteries were also on the land.  My father claimed he held seances at the Baker Cemetery (on Lot 26 lot Stonehedge Cliffs).  Sarah C. Baker (1823-1840), the wife of George H. Baker, is buried there. On any full moon a group of people could circle the grave holding hands and repeat three times, “Sarah, what are you doing down there?” and she would always reply saying nothing at all.  This still worked in the 1980's when one took a lady-friend out to the lake!
     One frame dwelling around 1820 was in use until the late 1980's when I moved it over to Terrapin Point.  Memnon (Trip) Tierce, III and his mother, Betsy Bridges Tierce, restored it and use it as a lake cabin.  The living room is a typical square room with the ceiling nearly as tall as the room is wide. The boards are all wide-cut heart pine.  Tierce’s mill probably cut the lumber.  Another dwelling there was built in the early 1900's and burned in the 1980's.  It was on what is now Lot 26 of Stonehedge V.  Even though Mem Tierce, Sr. referred to this land collectively as a farm it was more like a ranch with several hundred head of cattle, and little or no farming other than grain for the ranch operation.  However, during the 1930's he farmed the land with cotton and I remember him speaking of farm tenants living in the houses mentioned above and telling of finding arrowheads when the field along the river was plowed.

Mims Tierce Lodge
                    By Mem Tierce, II
     In the late 1940's “Jitney Jungle” was the first supermarket in Tuscaloosa.  R. F. “Speedy” Holifield was the owner and a friend of Memnon Tierce.  My father owned about 1,200 acres of land with three lakes about 10 miles north of Tuscaloosa.  Speedy leased the hunting and fishing rights for company and family activities.  This lease specified that a large club house was to be built there, too.  My father built a virtually indestructible block building with a main room about thirty feet wide by forty feet long. A massive fireplace stood near one end and wide windows overlooked the lakes at the other.  However, the most popular spot to sit became on the 4X4 board fence circling the place.
     Stanley, Speedy’s son, was in high-school and started using the place for parties for his college and high school friends.  When the lease expired in the early 1950's, we started using it for ourselves or  lending or renting it.  Memnon held many political fish-fries and other functions for his elected friends there.
     By the late 1950's Tierce’s Lodge had become the area’s favorite place for fraternity and sorority parties (other than formal functions).  When Lake Tuscaloosa was built in the late 1960's, it became even more popular.  I rarely meet a 1950 to 1980 alumni of the University of Alabama who did not know of Tierce’s Lodge.  In the late 1970's, Karl Seigel and a group of his friends started leasing the Lodge and having public rock concerts.  They held the area’s first wet t-shirt contests.  Most of the contestants ended up without any t-shirt.  In the early 1980's I stopped renting the Lodge and grounds due to the bad publicity and sold it soon afterwards.
     My father always called the building the big cabin.  Somehow people took to calling it Mims Tierce, Mims being a corruption of Mem due to Mims being a more common name.  When I began managing it, I began calling it Tierce Lodge in a vain attempt to correct the mistake.  Even now when I’m introduced to people that attended the University of Alabama in the ‘50's, 60's or 70's, many of them say, “during college I had a lot of fun at Mims Tierce,” and as recently as the 80's people have called and asked to rent Mims Tierce.

Laura Joan Tierce’s Memories

     I never had any doubt who I was or where I belonged.  My family, my father’s side that is, influenced and directed my life from the start.  First, they selected a bride for my father.  Perhaps screened and approved are better words, and this is my mother’s  recollection, not mine.  Then they saw to my raising.  We were Tierces.  This was important.  This meant something.  Mama and Daddy read to me but my grandparents told me stories: stories about their families and how I was 6th generation.  I had expectation to meet and a mark to make.
     They started their tutelage early. Some of my earliest memories are of attending singings with my grandparents.  In the rural South much of the social activity centers around the small country churches.  The only available musical entertainment was often a singing unless a family was musically inclined and could entertain themselves. At Macedonia Methodist Church this tradition had continued despite the encroachment of modern conveniences. Macedony, as we pronounced it, was tucked in a curve of Crabbe Road in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.  It was a simple wooden church, white clapboards with a gabled roof.  The cemetery, graveyard to my grandfather, served as its side yard.  The graves were tucked up close to the north side of the church.  There was a red dirt lot in front in which cars would scattered.   For a big event cars would be pulled over in the bushes on the side of the road for several hundred yards in both directions from the church.  Of course, there was no air conditioning but I wasn’t old enough to be bothered by heat.  But the worshipers were supplied stiff paper fans often illustrated with a scene from The Last Supper. Besides, the church was shaded by large white oaks and hickories.  People who work the land value shade trees.
     The sanctuary was simple.  It’s good it was a Methodist Church, because if it was supposed to be fancy, it wouldn’t have been.  Center aisle; wooden pews, the yellowish color of oak; hardwood floor; six over six windows opened to catch the breeze.  One step up to the area where two lecterns, a cross, and a flag stood.  On the left was a counting board with last week’s offering and attendance.  Macedonia was atop a hill and the sounds of the singings must have carried far thought the woods. I can’t recall any specific songs, but there is a special tinny old microphone sound and a harmony that I seem to hear everytime I pass that church even though the building I remember has been modernized and remodeled away.
     Although gospel music still has a special place in my heart, my church attendance is infrequent at best, and my most vivid memories of Macedony have nothing to do with worship. My grandparents’ intentions were good, but the mind of a child will fixate on more exciting things. And mine did. Between the graveyard and the church was a small shady open space that lead into the thicker trees down the hill.  During each visit my grandmother would have to led me down this shady path.  I would always walk on the graveyard side so I could see the three tallest markers in the graveyard, those of my great-great-grandfather, my great-grandfather, and my great-grandmother.  I was proud of the stone towers with my name etched upon them.  
     Anyway, we would follow the path further down the hill.  The amplified voices faded and the mocking birds’ songs swelled.  We approached a wooden house set into the side of the hill.  It was built of vertical boards which stopped about 6 feet above the floor.  A screened gap of about a foot was left then the roof started.  The door was a swinging gate which was flush with neither the threshold nor the top of the doorway.      It was very cool, shady and not smelly.  It was the church’s outhouse.
     Now, you have to realize that this was a time with very limited access to horror movies and of virtually no TV. So for a child of about five, this place was pretty exciting in a horrible sort of way. I knew that somewhere underneath was a pit of human waste slowly decomposing with the benefit of the occasional handful of lime.   Knowing it’s there and seeing it are two very different things.  Now I realize that both darkness and ventilation are essential to good outhouse design. The alternative is the modern day Port-o-let, a contraption lacking both.
     We would enter the cool darkness of the outhouse.  In the soft filtered light I saw generations of cob webs in the corners and between the rafters.  And, best of all, I saw the bench-like shelf built into the uphill side.   There were three holes.  It was just like Goldilocks!  There was a very small one, a medium size and a great big one!  At last, a toilet that I would not, could not, fall in!      The bench seat was constructed of wide boards worn smooth by generations of fannies.  This was the world’s best outhouse.  I anticipated visiting it every time we went to Macedonia.

     My grandfather, Mem Tierce, Sr., always told my brother and me stories. They were from the days that “there wasn’t a stock law. Hogs were wallowing in the streets of Tuscaloosa.” One of the ones I remember best was about Dock Bigham. He  told us ole Dock Bigham was the last man hung  in Tuscaloosa County. Doc had shot his uncle who was the sheriff. They hung him right in front of the old courthouse. His neck stretched a foot. There was a long story about a feud between our family and Doc’s that we already knew. It was this was thrilling climax that Granddaddy enjoyed retelling. He also regularly told us that when he was little, he and his father had found a body in North River. They believed it was some Yankee or somebody who was passing through the North River area and got waylaid (ambushed).  “His head was cut off and gone and ZOOP his belly was opened up.” Granddaddy always told the zoop part with a hand motion that pantomimed a knife cutting from navel to sternum. Now, as an adult, I wonder what exactly was his motive for telling children such stories. We were really quite young when we first heard them. Perhaps he wanted us to know how wild times had been. Perhaps he wanted to pass down family history. Yet, the stories he told most are not exactly the ones that contain the most essential history. I can recall the criminal Doc Bigham’s name without effort, while I need a moment to recall my great-grandmother’s name. But, who could forget the image of a body sagging from a neck stretched a foot in front of  the courthouse right on Greensboro Avenue where hogs were wallowing?  Many of my ancestors had the misfortune of  being well mannered, upstanding members of the community and poor story material. They are not the rogues, rascals, and renegades of my grandfather’s favorite tales.
     Granddaddy used to take Trip and me on rides through the country in his car. My grandmother, Mary Frances Wilson Tierce, would not allow him to have a truck as his primary vehicle, because nice people did not drive trucks. He would have been better off with a truck. As soon as he acquired a car, the stock tires were removed,  and mud grips were installed. He had the back seat removed and a hole poked from that area into the turtle shell (his name for the trunk). This back seat area functioned as a tool box, storage shed, place to lose things, pony carrier, and major source of rattles. The car horn was modified to a high-pitched beep to serve as a modern day tip of the hat to anyone familiar that he passed. Since he wasn’t constricted by roads, the car was usually festooned by splashes of rich red Alabama clay. The hours spent riding in this car warped our perceptions of automobiles. To this day, the disregard that Trip and I share for staying on  roads, obeying directional signs, and keeping neat automobiles continues to confound our companions.
     It seems that with Granddaddy we always headed north, either up Crabbe Road (Hwy. 69), Watermelon Road, or Byler Road (Hwy. 43). Granddaddy would blow the horn when we’d pass Bolton’s Store. We’d curve further north and pass Macedonia Methodist Church with its graveyard tucked on its north side. We could see the tall spires of our great-grandparents’ grave markers from the road. Usually we would turn left here by Aunt Octavia’s house and enter his farmland. Sometimes he would take us further up the road, past the area where the Tierce mill had been, to a red dirt road that led past a fire tower. Down this road lived the Cunningham family, cross dressers, confidants of famous gospel singers and politicians. We would pass the house and look hard for suspicious looking females. Trip and I don’t remember ever seeing anyone, but Daddy had actually met Dee. Dee Cunningham tended to wear women’s clothing. It was said that he began the habit to avoid revenuers during Prohibition. Daddy said Dee called at Pinehurst several times in a dress. He remembers him playing the piano in the parlor. Granddaddy must have wanted to expose us to as much as he could. Somewhere else along this route he would point out the home of a man who had developed another habit. This man liked to eat hair. He would snatch the hair off his own head and eat it. Granddaddy would make a sweeping gesture with both hands starting at the top of his head and ending at his mouth to describe this activity. I’m not sure how the car was controlled during this part. Trip and I never became hair eaters nor cross-dressers. I guess Granddaddy inoculated us from these bad habits.
     Granddaddy loved graveyards. He paid for marble markers for all the unmarked graves at Macedonia, and he carefully maintained the two graveyards on his farm land. These were regular stops on our rides. Once, he took us to another grave. Off Rice Mine Road he led us way out in the woods. Now that I think about it, I wonder how he found it. In the middle of the forest, there was a rectangular pile of stone, a cairn of sorts. Here, he told us, was the grave of his “pure blooded Cherokee squaw grandmother.” He never mentioned her without saying “pure blooded Cherokee squaw.” “She said she had spent enough of her life with folks, and she meant to spend death without them!”, he said explaining her choice of burial locations.
     Granddaddy’s family lived out by North River and in Northport and Tuscaloosa at various times. They must have been living in town when he and some friends wanted to go swimming on a Sunday. Raised right, he knew that Sundays were for rest and religion only. One Sunday Granddaddy and his brother went to church, but their minds did not. It must have been a day that was perfect for swimming, because Granddaddy and his brother lied about their intentions. “We couldn’t go swimming on a Sunday, but we could take a bath. So, we said we were going to the creek out in Flatwoods to take a bath.”
     “We set off walking; Flatwoods is a long piece from town. We had been walking a good while when we encountered an old man hunting with several squirrels hanging from his belt. Eager to get to Big Creek, I spoke to him, “Hello sir. How much further is it to Big Creek?”
     “Been out here since sunrise,” the old man replied.
     In a louder voice I asked again, “Bout how far is Big Creek?”
     The old hunter shook the dead squirrels dangling at his side and answered, “Get ‘em every shot!”
     Giving up on getting information from this codger, I said, “You must be a fool.”
     The old man nodded and muttered wisely, “Yes, yes. The woods are full of ‘em.”
     Granddaddy always ended the story here. I never knew how the swimming was or if their lie was discovered.  But I always knew exactly what he meant when we would see someone unusual, and he would mutter “Yes, yes. The woods are full of ‘em.”

     As told and remembered by Joni Tierce




One Pinehurst Drive, Tuscaloosa, Al
                     by Mem Tierce, II

      The house I grew up in is a wonderful old home on Pinehurst Drive. The front of the house is on Pinehurst Drive, the rear on 17th Avenue and the side on University Avenue.  It is located midway between downtown Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama. The outside design is Prairie School made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright with the inside totally different.  It is patterned after the old Southern Greek Revival Mansions.
     The house has more than 6,000 sq. ft. on the two main floors not including the basement, the 3rd floor or the front porch which is over 100 feet long. The porch floor is terrazzo marble and is raised about 10 feet above the yard.  This was a great place for parties, everything from skating to dances.  The north end of the porch ends in the portico.  Having been built in 1915 when cars were smaller than they were in the 1950's, my father had to widen the opening.
     The main entrance is by double doors to the entrance hall which is lined with Corinthian columns. The three tiered steps to the 2nd floor are at the rear of the entrance hall. Under the wide mid-landing is the entrance to the sunken library and there is a bathroom underneath the steps on the bottom floor.  The landing over the library was reinforced with steel I-beams to cover the long span.
     Double mahogany pocket doors on each side of the entrance hall open into the main living room on your right and the sitting room on your left. This room is adjacent to the sun porch and also joins the playroom through double doors. When all the double doors were open, the result was a very large area, perfect for entertaining.  The dining room can be entered via the hallway or through the music room.  Next are the butlers’ pantry, kitchen, elevator and the servants’ stairs.
     The second floor consists of five bedrooms, three baths and a small sitting room.  All the baths have very large tubs and the master bath has a shower with dual controls.  One set was like a normal shower, the other was for shower heads that came from the side so one could shower without wetting their hair.  The master bedroom has an intercom to the butlers’ pantry. This room is large enough to be furnished with two full size beds.  The whole house has a central vacuum system.  Remember, this house was built in 1915!  The third floor has one large room with a bath and two small rooms on one end.  It was rumored this was a ballroom, but it had been used as an apartment in the past.  The basement is fairly small and contains the central vacuum system, the furnace, the laundry room and the cooling system for the refrigerator.
     All the walls and ceilings of the main floor are plaster covered with molding and wall sconces.  Each room’s pattern varies in depth and intricacy. The home was designed by D. O. Wildin, an renowned architect of the time.  He designed several buildings at the University and downtown.    


Pinehurst Drive, Tuscaloosa, Alabama Historic Summary
          The properties included in the Pinehurst Historic District were originally deeded on July 16, 1824 to the University of Alabama by the United States Government.  The Tuscaloosa and Castle Hill Dairy Farm, incorporated on July  31, 1886, obtained the land from the University.  On February 10, 1887, the corporation became known as the Castle Hill Real Estate and Manufacturing Company with the following list of members: J. H. Fitts, George A. Searcy, W. F. Fitts, W. W. Hill, S. F. Alston and Arthur Fitts.  On August 9, 1905, President J. H. Fitts of the Castle Hill Real Estate and Manufacturing Company sold the property to C. H. Barnwell for $4,000.00.  On October 28, 1905, Mr. Barnwell sold the property for $10,000.00 to the Pinehurst Company for residential development.   Local reaction to the proposed residential development labeled the venture a "Wildcat Scheme" and "Blair's Folly.”  The Pinehurst Company, formed in 1903, had the following officers: Frank Blair, Dean Charles H. Barnwell, Dean Edgar Kay and Joseph Lodge.
          The problem foreseen by the townspeople was a large ravine (McEachin Bottom, forty feet deep at some points), that stretched through the property.  The ravine began at 10th Street and traveled down 17th Avenue to the Black Warrior River.  The ravine flooded during heavy thunderstorms causing the adjacent properties to be rough and inaccessible.  This ravine also impeded travel between the University of Alabama and downtown Tuscaloosa.  From 1840 to 1912 several different solutions were used to bridge the gap.  The first connector was a wooden bridge.  Increased traffic necessitated the use of a streetcar system that circumvented the ravine; this method lasted until 1887.  In this year, the Tuscaloosa Coal, Iron and Land Company, with the Belt Railway, built a trestle over the ravine and a dummy line extended from downtown Tuscaloosa to the University of Alabama.  After 1912, the City of Tuscaloosa joined with others and placed a culvert system in the ravine for drainage, then leveled the southern portion of the ravine with dirt.  University Boulevard (Broad Street) became an uninterrupted pedestrian and vehicle street and Pinehurst properties became suitable for residential subdivision.  The taming of the ravine, an engineering feat, remains as a monument to the innovativeness of Tuscaloosa's urban pioneers.  A portion of the ravine can be seen between Pinehurst and Caplewood Drives covered with wisteria, wild flowers and trees.
          The problem of the ravine is long forgotten.  Today Pinehurst residences retain its attractive atmosphere of architecturally significant homes with beautifully maintained landscaped yards.
          Pinehurst (1908-1935) was Tuscaloosa's first affluent housing development and exhibits a collection of the city's best residential architecture dating from the early 20th century.  Architectural styles include the city's premier examples of Tudor, Spanish, Colonial Revival, Prairie School and English Cottage.  Some of the houses were designed by prominent local architects C. W. Ayers and Harry Harring.  One house was designed by Birmingham architect William Welton.
          Pinehurst (1908-1935) is Tuscaloosa's earliest garden landscaped residential area, predating two other similar neighborhoods in the city.  Pinehurst was designed as an exclusive residential area for the affluent and incorporates many of the features popularized by the garden landscaped residential suburb movement.  Important features of this movement included in Pinehurst are a landscape design that relates to the topography, natural plantings, curvilinear streets (represented here by a cul-de-sac), lack of fences, and barriers to through traffic.
                    Pinehurst, which was developed as an elite residential area, is significant for its associations with some of Tuscaloosa's leading citizens.  Among them are University of Alabama President Richard Foster (1895-1941) of the School of Engineering, Edgar B. Kay (1860-1931), two members of the Art Department, Howard Goodson and Theo Klitzke, and Dr. G. Adams, professor of geology.  
          January 8, 1994 - This information was provided to me by Betsy Hayslip of the Historical Association of Tuscaloosa, Alabama -  Mem Tierce, II.

TIERCE SCHOOL HISTORY
                    by Mrs. Alta Mae Taylor Pearson
     Sometime in the early 1800's a one room building, possibly a log structure, was located in northern Tuscaloosa County in the area known as Reed's Spring.  In the later years of 1800 a new school was built near the site of Reed's Spring and this school was named Tierce School.  It is believed to be named for Mr. William Coplin Tierce, one of the pioneer settlers of this area.  William Coplin Tierce was born in 1811 and died in 1873.  He first married Susannah Shirley and they had three sons and three daughters.
     His second wife was Mahaley Cline and they had three sons and two daughters.  One of these daughters was Amanda Jane Tierce, who was born in 1850 and married Mr. William Fondern.  They had one son, Charles, who married Sarah Reed.  They also had seven daughters.  Clovie, who married Jim South first and then L.  E.  (Bud) Davis;  Sudie, who married a Mr. Sanford; Mattie who married a Mr. Lee; Sally, who married Bob Beard;  Lela, who married Manley Jones; Etta, who married John Bigham; and Ludie Fondern.
     These Tierce descendants, along with other people in the area, became interested in building a new school for their children.  So, after a decision was made to build it is believed Mr. William Coplin Tierce donated the land on which to build the school.  Area residents contributed material and labor until it was completed.
     After the building was erected the people then supported the upkeep of the school.  This meant helping support the teachers financially and providing a place for them to stay in the community if they lived beyond the limits of commuting daily from their homes, but this was only for the winter months.  Wood for heating was supplied by the fathers as partial payment of the children's fees.  The heating system was pot-bellied stoves or a similar type of stoves.  The parents were responsible for the upkeep of the grounds also.
       Water was brought from a nearby spring and later, a well with a hand pump was added on the grounds for the benefit of students, teachers and parents.  Students made drinking cups from writing  paper by folding it a certain way.  This is a lost art in these modern times of paper cups and drinking fountains.  Similarly, lunches brought from home were wrapped in whatever was available to wrap them in, from newspaper to brown sacks.  Some carried lunches in syrup buckets or similar containers.  These lunches consisted of homemade biscuits filled with home-raised meat or eggs, butter and sorghum syrup.  There were always sweet potatoes and sometimes a good fried apple pie or dried peach pie if they were lucky.
     This building was first a two story structure  that divided students in grades one through nine.  Some years later an addition was made with a wing on the west side for the younger set.  Here, front row benches were for a class to come forward to read “The Little Red Hen” and to do 1 plus 1 equals 2.  There, they also learned respect for God, teachers, parents, country and one another.
     This building was a community owned facility so it was also used for social activities in the community.  4th of July outings were enjoyed when games were planned for all ages with plenty of food, ice cream, lemonade and what have you.  Many times there were group pictures made and some of these are still around. One night a week there was a lodge meeting in the upstairs room of the school.  Plays and programs were afforded the parents on special occasions.  
     Remember the white socks and crepe paper dresses we danced in upon the stage of the ground floor room with the double front doors?
     In the summer there was usually a singing school taught by some of the capable teachers in the area and practice was held each third Sunday afternoon when there would be a community singing, especially during the years of 1912 to around 1922.  Home talent during these years who helped promote these singings were: Charlie Fondern, Phide Braselton, W. C. Long, Jim Taylor, Harvey Poe, Henry West, Boss Shirley, Will Shirley, Walter Shirley, Burt Skelton, Seaborn Skelton, Lander Lee, Frank Lee, Floyd Taylor, Commodora Braselton, Otis Doughty, Guy Doughty, Purvey Doughty, Manuel Moore, Joel Fondern, Andrew Fondern, Murry Fondern, Perry Fondern, Wesley Fonder, the Weavers and many others.
     From these singings, the first “Fifth Sunday in February” singing was originated in 1920 at the old Tierce School by Mr. Charlie Fondern and Mr. Phide Braselton.  In 1948, another fifth Sunday in February occurred and another singing was promoted by Mr. Murry Fondern, a son of Mr. Charlie Fondern.  This singing was held at the Gorges High School.  Another fifth Sunday in February occurred in 1976, so another singing was promoted by Mr. Murry Fondern with the help of his son, Doyle, and brothers, Joel, Wesley and Perry Fondern.  This one was held at Northside High School, still in the vicinity of the old Tierce School.  The Fonderns also have a sister who has been instrumental in all these singings and school work.  She is Mrs. Adella Fondern Weaver, wife of Mr. Burton Weaver of this area.  Many former Tierce School students attended these singings.
     The Tierce School building was used until around 1928 when it was consolidated into the new Etteca Junior High School, three miles north of it.  Both Etteca and Gorges High School were replaced with the new Northside High and the modern Walker Elementary School, which serve the area once served by Tierce School.
     There were many men who were supporters of Tierce school during its time of service in this area.  It is impossible to find out for sure who were Trustees in this time, but the following men could have been; they were at the least supporters: Mr. W. C. Fondern, Mr. Charlie Fondern, Mr. Phide Braselton, Mr. Lewis West, Mr. Sam Taylor, Mr. Sherman Gilliam, Mr. Walter Camp, Mr. L. A. Truett, Mr. Neal Oswalt, Mr. E. B. Long, Mr. L. E. (Bud) Davis and Mr. James T. Taylor.
     Many men and women helped build the personality and shape the character of people in the old Tierce School zone by being teachers there during its nearly one hundred years of existence.  In our search for teachers names, we found the following:

Arthur McGuff - 1910 - 1911
Burt Scrivner *
Brazzie Price - 1911
Zular Abston - 1912
Gennie Igo
Hattie Taylor Barnett
Essie ReCarter
Clarice Simpson
Myrtle Johns
Leona Adderhold
Carrie Lee Speed
Willie Bryant Oswalt
Pauline Scrivner - 1922 - 1923
Florence Montgomery Shamblin
John Alexander
Oddis West - 1911 - 1912
Varilla Alexander (Maddox) (Lasurer)
Mrs. Johnnie Thomas
Mattie Oswalt

Nettie Oswalt Taylor
Ethel Green
Gay Maxwell
Lonnie Watson
Monroe Watson Florence Yerby Oswalt (Mrs. Clyde)
Elizabeth Andoe
Nellie Wheat
Gertrude Simpson
Byrd Irish
Maude Bausewell
George Sparks
John Ellis
______ Black
______ Igo
Francis Doss
* Principal




This information was compiled and written by Mrs. Alta Mae Taylor Pearson, Route One, Berry, Alabama 35546, a former student of Tierce School and the daughter of Mr. Joe Taylor, also a former student of Tierce School.  She is a niece of Mrs. Hattie Taylor Barnett, a former teacher of Tierce School.         THE END

Note by Mem Tierce, II:  The preceding story was given to me by L. C. Dennis.  His mother, Essie South Dennis, and his aunt, Mauline South Weaver, both attended Tierce school. William Coplin Tierce was his great, great-grandfather. Part of this land was granted to William C Tierce in 1827/04/10 - 81.5 acres, 18 21S 9W.     

Macedonia Church and Cemetery
by Mem Tierce, II
The graves shown are my direct  Ancestors less my Mother and Dad and Jonathan Andrew Tierce and Catharine Ely Tierce.

     The Macedonia Cemetery is an abundant source of information for a Tierce researching his family tree! This small community Methodist Church has been the spiritual home of the Tierces for many decades. Susannah Clardy Tierce (1862) is the first known burial in this cemetery.  Her husband, Benjamin Tucker Tierce (1869), their son, Elliott Catlett Tierce (1906) and his wife, Frances Caroline Doss (1900), are buried in the next graves.  Adjacent to these are his son, Eugene Benjamin Tierce, and his wife, Veturia Scales. Most of Eugene Benjamin Tierce’s children are buried at Macedonia. Many of our other relatives are buried on the grounds also.  My ancestors are buried in a row starting with the two obelisks marking the graves of my grandparents, then my great grandparents, and my great-great grandparents.
     The church was reorganized in 1903 as the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  The Church records quote ... “Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Benjamin Tierce, prominent land owners of the community; on the 12th day of June, 1902 deeded land on which to build a church.” (Deed Book 55 page 247 Tuscaloosa County Court Records).  Excerpt: “known to all men by those present that we Eugene B. Tierce and Veturia Tierce, his wife for and in consideration of the love we bear, for the cause of Christ and for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, we do give, grant ...”.  E. V. Tierce and E. L. (Elliott Lee) Tierce were two of seven trustees.
     Originally, the graveyard was probably a small family cemetery of the Tierces and their neighbors.  A “meeting house” existed prior to the church that was used “for all community needs and revivals”, and this included school use.  Mrs. Octavia Tierce Hagler remembered “getting her younger brothers to school each day at the meeting house”.  Church records indicate that as far back as 1888 church was held at the “meeting house” and that Eugene Benjamin Tierce suggested the name of Macedonia.  The first 8 names on the church register of 1894 were Tierces with a total of 11 Tierces out of 77 members.
     “Logs were cut from the lands of those who were instrumental in the building of the church. Then they were hauled to the sawmill of Eugene B. Tierce where they were sawed into lumber and dressed.”
     Church records indicate Memorial Day was always remembered at the cemetery.  In order to make certain each grave had a flower on it, two boys and two girls were appointed; they wore a ribbon draped across their shoulders and hanging down, and each carried a basket.  After the people had finished decorating their families’ graves, they gave their leftover flowers to the two boys and two girls who carried the from grave to grave placing flowers on all the graves which were without flowers.  Mother Renfroe (Susan Martha Tierce) also placed flowers on the graves which had not received any.
     I remember Declaration and Memorial Day being a major event in the Tierce family during the 1940's, 50's and 60's. On the first Sunday of May all the area Tierces, as well as many other church members and all the county politicians, showed up at Macedonia.  As a child it was great fun.  Mother and the maid would spend all Saturday working late into the night frying chickens, making strawberry pies and other wonderful food.  We would get up early, dress up and drive the 10 or so miles to the church and cemetery.  First, we would greet all our cousins.  In 1950 I had 21 first and second cousins in Tuscaloosa.  It was the children’s  responsibility to decorate the graves with fresh flowers, not just the Tierce graves, but every grave had to have a least one flower.  After this, it was time to take a break and go to the spring. The spring was down a long trace through thick woods. At the end was a small rock outcropping with the best, cool water.  Someone had cut a small basin in the rock. We would search the woods for huge leaves and fold them just so, to make a cup for the water. Next was the best part - the food.  By now all the families had spread the food on huge picnic tables made and set up by my father.  Most of the Tierce family gathered in one area and I thought our area had the best food!  Chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, sweet potatoes and all kinds of pies and cakes.
     Soon after eating, the singing would start with Mother and Dad on the front row., During many songs Mother would stand up and lead or play the piano.  The kids soon slipped out and played in the woods at the spring or around the graveyard.  Later, when I became a teenager and developed other interests, First Sunday was still mandatory!  My father probably turns over in his grave today when I don’t attend.
      Many of the graves were very old and only had mounds of dirt to signify the grave site.  Others had handmade headstones.  In the late 1960's, my father had small marble tombstones made for all the unmarked graves. The mailing address of the church is 14749 AL. Highway 69 North, Northport, AL 35475.

Macedonia Cemetery.  The names listed were taken from the cemetery in early 1996. Unfortunately, this list does not include many Tierce women that married and are buried with their married names.


Susannah Tierce  
b: June 13, 1787
d: April 27, 1862 Age: 75

Benjamin T. Tierce
b: 1785
d: Feb. 18, 1869
Age: 84

Frances G. Tierce
b: 12-3-1831
d: 3-13-1900
Age: 68 yr., 3 mo., 10 days
(note by M. T. II: The middle initial “G” is probably a mis-cut, her name was Frances Caroline Doss)

Tiny Infant of E. B. and Veturia Tierce 1889

Julia Frances Tierce
b: 1-28-1868
d: 4-7-1904

E. C. Tierce (Elliott Catlett)
b: 12-17-1827
d: 3-21-1906
Age: 78 yr., 3 mo. 4 days

Veturia Tierce
b: 11-22-1869
d: 6-21-1907
Age: 37 yr., 7 mo

Eugene B. Tierce
b: 5-15-1865
d: 8-30-1918
Age: 53 yr., 3 mo., 15 days

Infant daughter of Memnon and W. K. (Willie Koster) Tierce
b: 10-14-1921
d: 10-14-1921

Willie A. Tierce
b: 1-3-1894
d: 10-11-1926

William H. Ballenger
b: 4-17-1871
d: 10-10-1933

Mollie Snyder Tierce
b: 11-18-1895
d: 9-23-1937


Elliott Lee Tierce
b: 3-18-1863
d: 10-17-1938

James S. Clements
b: 1877
d: 1945

Mary E. Clements
1881-1946

B.  (Benjamin) Collier Tierce
b: 6-6-1890
d: 8-15-1946

George Culver Tierce
b: 6-21-1902
d: 4-10-1951

Lela A. Hyche Tierce
b: 8-6-1885
d: 8-22-1958

Joe T. Tierce
b: 1-14-1896
d: 5-16-1965

Victor C. Tierce
b: 10-9-1897
d: 9-24-1968

Eugene Benjamin Tierce
b: 10-30-1908
d: 12-31-1970
Lillie M. Tierce
b: 5-13-1898
d: 5-10-1971

Katherine Tierce
b: 1-19-1925
d: 6-21-1971

Evelyn Tierce
b: 4-24-1916
d: 8-23-1972

Nellie F. Tierce
b: 11-30-1897
d: 1-7-1974

Elliott A. Tierce
b: 1890
d: 1974

John Martin Hagler
b: 9-25-1898
d: 7-5-1980

Louise A. Mathis
b: 3-31-1910
d: 2-11-1983

Octavia Tierce Hagler
b: 10-26-1894
d: 4-6-1983

Son of Ben and Beverly Tierce
Eugene Benjamin
“B.J.”
b: 3-16-1984
d: 4-29-1984

Festus F. Tierce
b: 6-25-1901
d: 2-3-1988

Nora Lee Tierce
b: 11-21-1908
d: 2-22-1993

Raymond Ammons Guy
b: 3-13-1928
d: 11-26-1994



The Origin of the Tierce name
     In olden days people used only one name for identification.  But, duplications began to occur so often that additional differentiations became a necessity, hence, surnames.  
     The surname was usually related to one’s livelihood (Smith, Baker, Miller, Chapman) or other associated characteristics such as ailments (Crampeasy, Gout, Swelling, Warts), personality traits (Witty, Toogood, Cusser, Goodfellow, Looney, Howling) and religious or personal interests (Baptist, Angel, Heavens, Hells, Waltzes, Fiddles, Drums, Harps).  Surnames were also derived from nature - insects, fruits and nuts, plants, etc. (Flyberry, Toadvine, Rottenberry).  
     Because of variations in spelling over the years, your surname may not be spelled the way it was 200 years ago.  Changes may have been made in an effort to reflect a link with one’s heritage/origin, ie: Tiers became Tierce, or simply because a new spelling seemed more aesthetic.  Occasionally, Tierce was changed to Tearce, Tearse, or  Trice.
     As stated earlier, Tierce came from Tiers.  All definitions of Tiers relate to “third”; a sequence of three cards of the same suit, the third position in fencing, the third hour after sunrise.  Tierce - Middle English, from Old French, from feminine of tiers, third, from Latin tertius.     
The dictionary shows:
Tierce (tîrs) n. 1. Also terce (tfrs).a. The third of the seven canonical hours. No longer in liturgical use. b. The time of day appointed for this service, usually the third hour after sunrise. 2. A measure of liquid capacity, equal to a third of a pipe, or 42 gallons (159 liters). 3. Games. A sequence of three cards of the same suit. 4. Sports. The third position from which a parry or thrust can be made in fencing. 5. Music. An interval of a third. [Middle English, from Old French, from feminine of tiers, third, from Latin tertius. See trei-] American Heritage Dictionary ©.Huguenot
Huguenots,  name given to the Protestants of France from about 1560 to 1629.  Protestantism was introduced into France between 1520 and 1523, and its principles were accepted by many members of the nobility, the intellectual classes, and the middle class. At first, the new religious group enjoyed royal protection, notably from Queen Margaret of Navarre and her brother, King Francis I of France.  Toward the end of his reign, however, Francis persecuted the Protestants and his successor, Henry II, followed his example.  Nevertheless, the French Protestants increased in number.  At their first national synod (1559), or council, 15 churches were represented.  At the next, held two years later, more than 2,000 churches sent representatives.

French Civil War
The rise in the number of French Protestants excited the alarm and hatred of the French Roman Catholics. The religious hatred was intensified by political rivalry between the house of Valois, then in possession of the French throne, and the house of Guise.  Catherine de Médicis, widow of Henry II, who governed in the name of her son, King Charles IX, at times allied herself with the Huguenots for political reasons, but generally sided against them. The Huguenots were persecuted severely in Charles's reign, and they in turn made reprisals upon the Roman Catholics. Finally, open civil war broke out. Between 1562 and 1598 eight bitter wars were fought between French Roman Catholics and Protestants.
The Huguenot leaders in the first of the nearly four decades of conflict were Louis I de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, and the French Admiral Gaspard de Coligny; subsequently, they were led by Henry of Navarre and later Henry IV, King of France.
The principal Roman Catholic leaders were Henri I de Lorraine, 3rd duc de Guise; Catherine de Médicis; and King Henry III.  Each side from time to time called on foreign help.  The Huguenots obtained troops from England, Germany, and Switzerland; the Roman Catholics, from Spain.  The treaties that concluded the wars usually granted the Huguenots some measure of tolerance, but the government's subsequent ignoring or outright repudiation of the terms of the treaties led to a renewal of hostilities.  The greatest act of treachery of the period took place in 1572.  Two years previously, Catherine and Charles IX had signed a treaty with the Huguenots granting them freedom of worship; they had remained on friendly terms with the Huguenots, calling Coligny to court, where he enjoyed great influence. Having lulled the Huguenots into a feeling of security, on August 25, 1572, St. Bartholomew's Day, the Queen Mother and the King caused thousands of them to be massacred in Paris and elsewhere in France.  Coligny was found and killed by the duc de Guise himself.
The eighth civil war took place during the reign of Henry III, successor to Charles IX. The Huguenots, now led by Henry of Navarre (1587), inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Roman Catholics at Coutras. Strife among the Catholics themselves, which resulted in the assassinations of the duc de Guise in 1588 and Henry III in 1589, helped the Huguenot cause. With the death of Henry III the house of Valois became extinct, and Henry of Navarre, the first of the Bourbon line, became King of France as Henry IV. To avoid further civil strife, he conciliated the Roman Catholics by converting to Catholicism in 1593. In 1598 Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes, by which the Huguenots received almost complete religious freedom.
An End to Persecution
Under Henry IV the Huguenots became a strong power in France. To break this power, which stood in the way of the absolutist type of government that the next two kings of France, Louis XIII and, particularly, Louis XIV, wished to impose on the country, both monarchs instigated new persecutions of the Huguenots, and new civil wars took place. The French statesman and cardinal Richelieu caused the political downfall of the Huguenots with the capture (1628), after a long siege, of their principal stronghold, La Rochelle. Thereafter he sought to conciliate the Protestants. Louis XIV, however, persecuted them mercilessly, and on October 18, 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes. Finding life in France intolerable under the ensuing persecutions and evaporation of religious liberty, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled to England, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the English colonies in North America, including Massachusetts, New York, and South Carolina. The total emigration is believed to have been from 400,000 to 1 million, with about 1 million Protestants remaining in France. Thousands of Protestants settled in the Cévennes mountain region of France and became known as Camisards; the attempt of the government to extirpate them resulted in the Camisard War (1702-05).
The enlightened and religiously skeptical spirit of the 18th century, however, was opposed to religious persecution, and during this time the French Protestants gradually regained many of their rights. Although Louis XV issued an edict in 1752 declaring marriages and baptisms by Protestant clergymen null and void, under Louis XVI the edict was recalled. After 1787, Protestant marriages were declared legal, and Protestants were granted other rights as well. Several laws passed later in the 19th century gave full religious freedom to all French sects, including the Protestants. In the 19th and 20th centuries French Protestants, although comparatively few in number, have been influential in French life, playing an important part in education, law, and finance, and in general taking a liberal stand on social reform.

"Huguenots," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright © 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright © 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation.


1740    1750    1760    1770    1780    1790    1800    1810   1820   1830   1840  1850  1860   1870 1880     1890   1900   1910  1920    1930    1940    1950    1960   1970    1980   1990   2000   2001     
                                                              American Revolution            1831 U of A founded   War between the states
            1745 Jonathan Andrew Tierce         1797  1765 Came to America from Ireland       Cherokee Indians removed from the South                     
                                                Catharine Ely                                 1830  
                                                                    1785 Benjamin Tucker Tierce  1831 Moved To Tuscaloosa AL
                                                                                                              1833 Bought land in Tuscaloosa County
                                                                                                      1827 Elliott Catlett Tierce     1865 EugeneBenjamin Tierce        1918                                                                                                                        

                                                                                       1883 J. Lebron Wilson                             1952
                                                                                                                            1892 Memnon Tierce                                               1976
                                                                                                                                                                  1915 Frances Wilson Tierce                    1976            
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       1937 Memnon Tierce, II                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1959 Laura Joan Tierce                                      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1961 Memnon Tierce, III (Trip)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2001 Kit Tierce Adam