Alpha Ethel Fowler was born on September 18, 1868 near Jonesville, South Carolina. She was twice descended from Henry Ellis Fowler.

Her father was Walter Gaines Fowler (1828-1870), youngest son of Big Mark Fowler (1780-1853) and Elizabeth Moseley (1782-1882). Mark Fowler was a son of Henry Ellis Fowler (1746-1808).

Alpha’s mother was Mahala Rebecca “Becky” Worthy (1845-1929), a daughter of William Worthy (1813–1880) and Fanny Fowler (1825–1852).

Fanny was the daughter of Ellis Fowler (1770-after 1850) and his wife Mary (b. 1780), and of course, that Ellis Fowler was the second born son of Henry Ellis Fowler.

Walter Gaines Fowler and Mahala Rebecca Worthy were first cousins once removed.

Walter Gaines Fowler and Mahala Rebecca Worthy Fowler had a son, named Walter Gaines after his father. The little boy was born, and died, in 1870.

A daughter named Bettie was born, and I have her date of birth as 1870. It is possible that she was a twin to her brother Walter. It is also possible that I have the incorrect date of birth for her. Bettie married a man with the surname of Jackson, and they had a son, Jessie C. Jackson. Bettie died in Trough Shoals (Pacolet Mills, SC) on April 7, 1894. She was buried at Gilead..

Walter Gaines Fowler died in the very early 1870s, and there would be no more children.

Felix Haile, born out of wedlock to Frances Haile and Milligan Fowler (1802-1871), was a Fowler by blood. He either traveled with or met family from Union County SC in Llano County, Texas before 1860.

In 1860, in Llano County, Texas, there was a young couple also newly arrived — Pruda Bolt from Van Buren, Arkansas and her husband, William Walter Garner.

W.W. Garner and Pruda had a son, Thomas Samuel Garner, born in Texas in 1864. W.W. Garner was said to have been killed by Indians in 1865. Pruda Bolt Garner had married Felix Haile by 1867, and their first child was born in 1868 in Texas.

There is no census record for the Felix Haile family in 1870, but they must have remained in Texas until after January 1873 when their son Creed Haile was born. The next son, John Gary Haile was born in South Carolina in 1877, and more children followed after their return to Carolina.

Fifteen year-old Thomas Samuel Garner was in the 1880 Jonesville household with his mother Pruda Bolt Garner Haile, his stepfather Felix Haile, and his half-siblings.

The Felix Haile Family in the 1880 Census

In 1880, Alpha Fowler was eleven years old and lived in an all female household — her mother Rebecca, grandmother Elizabeth, sister Bettie, and aunt Salina — in Jonesville.

The Rebecca Worthy Fowler Family in the 1880 Census
  • Rebecca Fowler
  • Alpha Fowler
  • Bettie Fowler
  • Salina Fowler
  • Elizabeth Fowler

By 1883, Thomas Samuel Garner and Alpha Ethel Fowler had married. Their son William Hoyt Garner was born April 2, 1884.

Thomas Samuel Garner and Alpha Ethel Fowler had six sons and one daughter born between 1884 and 1897. Of these seven children, only four survived. The three who did not were laid to rest in the Milligan Fowler family graveyard (now known as the Webber-Haile cemetery) in Jonesville.

Grace L. Garner July 31, 1890-Feb 24, 1891
Hugh Garner Jan 13, 1893-Aug 12, 1894
Walter E. Garner Apr 22, 1895-Nov 3, 1896

The Thomas Samuel Garner family was in South Carolina until 1897. By 1900, the family had moved to Fulton County, Georgia. The family next door to them in 1900 was Thomas Garner’s younger, half brother, John Gary Haile (1876–1922), son of Felix Haile and Pruda Bolt.

1900 Fulton County Georgia Census

Two (or possibly three) more children were born in Georgia, but only one survived. A son born in 1903 only lived a few months was laid to rest back in the Milligan Fowler family graveyard.

Thomas Garner his wife Alpha were recorded in an Atlanta City Directory in 1903. The 1910 Census entry for the family shows Alpha Garner as the head of a large household which included her mother, three sons, a servant, and four boarders. Alpha Garner was recorded as “married” but her husband was conspicuously missing from the home.

Alpha Ethel Fowler Garner married John Joab Crawford (1868–1954) before 1920. It was a second marriage for both. They were recorded together in a Georgia Census in a household that contained Alpha’s 19 year-old son Roy Garner, and her elderly mother Mahala Rebecca Worthy Fowler.

Mahala Rebecca Worthy Fowler died in Georgia in 1925, and her remains were returned to Jonesville to be buried at Gilead where so many of her family had been laid to rest before her.

Alpha Ethel Fowler Garner Crawford died four years later, in 1929, of pneumonia. She was laid to rest at Melwood Cemetery in DeKalb County, Georgia. John Joab Crawford would live many more years and, in 1954, would be laid to rest beside her.

I find no record of Thomas Samuel Garner in 1910, but he appeared again in 1920 in Enterprise, Clarke County Mississippi with a wife and son. The wife was Lillian S. Cubley (1872–1963), widow of Charles W. Martin (1869–1900). Their son James Elbert Garner was born in 1912.

1920 Enterprise, Clarke County Mississippi Census

Thomas Samuel Garner was recorded in the 1930 and 1940 census records in Mississippi. The 1930 census included E. Guy Garner, his son with first wife Alpha Fowler. The 1940 census indicated an empty nest, only Thomas Garner and wife Lillian were in the home.

1930 Enterprise, Clarke county Mississippi Census

James Elbert Garner, the son of Thomas Samuel Fowler, had moved to Washington D.C. by 1940 and is found in that census record. His father would soon leave Lillian and travel to D.C. Although I have not found a death record for him, I know that he lived in Washington DC until at least 1944. I have reason to believe that he died about 1945 to 1947.

The Milligan Fowler family graveyard is where most of Alpha Fowler’s children lie in eternal rest. The four headstones of Grace, Hugh, Walter, and Thomas are near the grave of Gary McKinley Garner — their brother who lived a long life before being laid to rest. There is another, much older grave beside that of Gary, and next to the four children. I believe that it may be the grave of the child for whom I have no name or dates, but I do not know this.

Gary McKinley Garner 1898-1993. The four graves of his siblings stand behind his headstone.
A different view of the four Garner children graves and that of brother Gary M. Garner
The unmarked grave among the Garner children graves
  • Henry Ellis Fowler 1746-1808
    • Mark Fowler 1780-1851
      • Walter Gaines Fowler
        • Alpha Ethel Fowler 1868-1929 m. Thomas Samuel Garner 1864- 1947
          1. William Hoyt Garner 1884–1957 m. Ella Ford 1894–1982
          2. Arthur Duboy Garner 1886–1963 m. Samantha E. Berry 1887–1960
            • Vera Mildred Garner 1906–1993
            • Ellen Garner 1909–
            • Glenn J. Garner 1911–1997
            • Mary Kathleen Garner 1921–2011
          3. Eathan Guy Garner 1888–1969 m. Ludie Belle Cole 1886–1918
            • Arthur Eugene Garner 1912–1947 m. Dixie Lee Doby 1913–1938
              • Richard Eugene Garner 1933–2011
            • Clarence Woodrow Garner 1916–2006
          4. Grace L Garner 1890–1891
          5. Hugh Garner 1893–1894
          6. Walter E. Garner 1895–1896
          7. Gary McKinley Garner Sr 1897–1993 m. Effie M'”Ethyl” Wheeler 1897–1985; m. Frances Hopwood 1909-1970
            • Winmon Griffith Garner 1918–1993
            • Oscar Garner 1920–1926
            • June Helen Garner 1923-2003
            • Gary McKinley Garner Jr 1935–2005
          8. Roy Ural Garner 1900–1984 m. Lillian Ann “Dot” Ford 1900–1980
            • Hayward Garner
          9. Thomas S Garner 1903–1903

3 thoughts on “ALPHA ETHEL FOWLER (1869-1929) Daughter of Walter Gaines Fowler

  1. Ive Been doing a little history on what I believe is my family and find that Pruda Bolt and william walter had a daughter and a son, lucienda elizabeth and thomas joseph. I’m curious if you know anything about these 2 because Thomas Joseph is my grea great grandpa


    1. HI Noah. Pruda Bolt and WW Garner had a daughter and a son. The son was Thomas Samuel Garner (b. 1864) who married Alpha Ethel Fowler (b. 1868) and later, Lillian Chubley. I do not have a Thomas Joseph Garner or a Joseph Henry Garner in this family. Please send me a little more information on your great great grandfather so I can see if he was linked to this family. Thanks so much!


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