The Penton Family of Coosa County
The first known of our Penton clan are 3 apparent brothers, William born 1785-1787 in Georgia, John (about 1787, Ga.) and Abner (about 1805, Ga.).
On December 4, 1816, John Penton, married Elizabeth Brooks in Jasper County, Georgia. William Penton married Delilah Champion in Montgomery County, Alabama on December 29, 1820, and Abner later married Delilah's sister, Lavina Champion, sometime before 1825. By 1830 William Penton was in Lowndes County, Alabama while his brothers John and Abner, were next door in Montgomery County.
In 1840 John, Abner, and their families are found in Chambers County, Alabama, while William and his family were in Pike County, Alabama. By 1850 William and family had moved to Wilcox County and John and Abner's families were still in Chambers County. (Even today on State Highway 77 northwest of LaFayette there is a community called Penton, Alabama). In 1860 Abner and his family relocated to Coosa County. John later moved to Macon County and then to Covington County. William was found in Clarke County in 1860 and then just disappeared. Two of John's sons, Moses Terrell and Aaron Dupree Penton, moved to live in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties, Florida.
Coosa County provided a final home for Abner and Lavina where they raised their 7 children; William H., born in 1825 in Ga., John C. (about 1829, Ala.), Martha, (about 1832, Ga.), Robert Simeon, (January 25, 1835, Ala.), Mary Jane (about 1836, Chambers Co., Ala.), an Unknown Penton (born about 1838 & died before 1850), and Marion (about 1842, Ala.). Lavina died in June, 1859, and Abner was remarried, at the age of 55, to Mary Jane Smith, aged 18, on July 14, 1860. Abner and Mary Jane had an additional 4 children; Abner J., born in April, 1861, James C. (May, 1863), Louis H. (about 1865) and Elonzo Lonnie (July 10, 1867). We don't know the exact date of Abner's death, but since his last child was born in 1867, when he was 62 years old, and he was not on the 1870 federal census, it can be safely assumed that he died sometime between 1867 and 1870. With a 25 year old wife having a child in 1867 by a 62 old husband, it is no wonder that Abner didn't last until 1870! In the 1870 Coosa County census, Abner and Mary Jane's 4 children are living with Abner's 2nd son, John C. Penton. (John C. Penton later became the Probate Judge for Coosa County). Did Mary Jane and Abner die in a common accident or from a common disease? What happened to Mary Jane? Surely she would not willingly have left her 4 young children, aged from 3 to 9 years.
So the Pentons did come to Coosa; they saw, and they multiplied! Of the next 7 generations following Abner, there are over 335 descendants and 149 spouses! One of Abner and Lavina's children, Robert Simeon, a farmer, married Margaret Elizabeth Shaw (daughter of Hugh Shaw and Mary Leetham) on September 17, 1857. Robert Simeon and Margaret Elizabeth had 6 male children, all born in Coosa County. Robert Simeon served as a Private in Company B of the 59th Alabama Infantry Regiment, Confederate States Army. This regiment saw service at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, in Kentucky, at Chickamauga, Georgia, and in the trenches at Petersburg, Virginia. The regiment was engaged at Appomattox and surrendered there. The third son of Robert Simeon, Robert Simeon Beauregard Penton, was born in February, 1861, and named for the Confederate General Pierre G. T. Beauregard of Virginia. Robert Simeon Penton gave land for the Concord Bapitist Church and Cemetery in Coosa County where he lived and is now buried. The community near this church and his land is now named Pentonville, Alabama. The History of Coosa County, Alabama by Rev. George E. Brewer, 1917, comments on the Pentons of Coosa County:
"Following the Turnpike toward Rockford from here on, ... Neil Gillis and Henry Lybrand were long well known, and were among the early comers to the country. Lybrand gave the name to a hill at whose base he lived, said by Samuel Graham, once assistant State Geologist, to be the highest point of land from Montgomery to the Talladega mountains. "Lybrand's hill" will always be remembered by those who marketed over this road. ... On the east side of the road, and out in the Concord Church neighborhood, was Dr. George Gun, Mr. Thomas Mosley, Jack Gilliland, Abner, John, and Simeon Penton, with their descendants; Mr. John Payne, ... Simeon Penton later became a pillar of the community."
On January 4, 1884, in Coosa County, Robert Simeon Beauregard Penton married Cynthia A. Snider, daughter of Benjamin Franklin Snider and Mary A. Elizabeth Wade. Cynthia's grandfather, George Snider, was born about 1785 in South Carolina, the son of Hans Jacob Schneider and Susanna Oswalt. George had moved to Coosa County in the late 1820's and lived there with his family until his death sometime before November 15, 1850.
R.S.B. Penton was a farmer, an educator and a Democrat. He and Cynthia had a family of 9 children, 4 of which died in infancy, one that became a medical doctor and another that became a dentist. Lilla Loraine Penton, their first child born in December, 1884, married William Morris Cousins, son of Artemas Cousins and Matilda Connell, on November 30, 1905 in Coosa County, Alabama. Simon (Sim) Franklin Penton, the son of R.S.B. Penton who became a dentist, married Annie Duane Cousins, daughter of James (Jim) C. Cousins, MD and Annie Townsend. Dr. Jim Cousins was the brother of William Morris Cousins. Both of these Cousins were descendants of Green and Susannah Cousins, another of the founding families of Coosa County.
(A descendant of R. S. B. Penton)
Kissin' Cuzens of Coosa - http://www.mindspring.com/~ebateman
Sources: Census records, military records, marriage records of Coosa County, cemetery records of Coosa County, newspaper obituaries, and the research of Barber Varner of El Largo, Texas, Elaine Hendricks of Dadeville, Ala., and Sarah Cousins Sellers of Montgomery, Ala.