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Thomasson-Hilton family moved to Andalusia from country

The youngest child, George Clauson Thomasson, of Cornelius Starr Thomasson and Susannah Henley will be featured in today’s story. He was the grandfather of Margie (Brasselle) Malloy, the historian of this family.

George Clauson Thomasson was born in 1878 in the Fairfield community of Covington County. He was the eighth child born to his parents. Like his brothers, he grew up learning to farm, hunt and fish as other young men in his community. He attended area schools for several grades, but he was unable to continue in high school. However, he became a successful farmer and store owner, where he managed and kept the books. He also served for more than 50 years as a notary public where he notarized numerous documents for the county.

Around 1903, Marjorie “Margie” Ellen Hilton/Helton moved into the community to teach school at Hart’s Bridge. It wasn’t long before George Thomasson began “calling on her.” On one occasion, he took her on a date to the county fair and had their pictures made. They were married on February 14 (Valentine’s Day), 1904, at Abram Hart’s home where Margie was boarding. They “set up housekeeping” in an old house in the Fairfield community, which was a relatively prosperous community at the time with several stores, a barroom and post office.

Margie was the daughter of Jason Houston Hilton (or Helton) and Cynthia Ann Pitts of Santa Rosa County, Fla. Her father was a Confederate Veteran who was originally from Covington County.

Soon after his marriage, George and his younger brother, John Herbert Thomasson, sold the property given them by their father. Together, they purchased 213 acres of good farmland in the Conecuh River community. They renovated an old house on the property and made it livable for George and Margie along with John Herbert who lived with them. Soon afterwards, their father, Neil Thomasson, sold his holdings in Fairfield and moved over near his two youngest sons where they all engaged in extensive farming operations. During this time, George and Margie’s first child was born, and John Herbert married Margie’s sister, Deborah Hilton.

These were busy years for the family with building their houses, farming and beginning their families. They helped each other working together with all the farming activities. George and Deborah had three children born to them, and Deborah still found time to teach school. As the children grew, they attended the school where she taught which was the Conecuh River Baptist Church of Jesus Christ as it was originally called. Organized in 1830, it is considered to be the second oldest Baptist congregation in Covington County.

They continued their life there until the children were ready for high school. The unpaved roads from their home to Andalusia made it difficult to transport them, so the decision was made to move to town. This would allow Margie to have roomers to help with income while George could go to Florida and work in the booming construction business. The move was made in 1922, and they settled in a house at 9 Dunson Street. After a year, they moved to a larger house and again later to one on Opp Avenue that provided more rooms for renters.

Although they did not have children, John H. and Deb, also moved to Andalusia to be near their close relatives. Deb also took in boarders, and both families did well with this endeavor for some time. Deb as well as Margie were industrious and served fine meals, so their homes were appealing to those needing to rent rooms. Tragedy struck in 1926 just when finances were becoming strained. Margie became quite ill, so she entered the Andalusia Hospital to have her gall bladder removed by Dr. Underwood, reputable surgeon. All went well until she developed pneumonia shortly afterwards. Death came quickly as she passed away on January 8. She was buried in the Thomasson Cemetery at Hopewell near George’s relatives. Margie had been the mainstay in so many ways for the family

Afterwards, the husband, George, moved back to the farm leaving his two younger children with his brother, John Thomasson, and Deb to finish high school. Irvin finished that year and entered Georgia Tech in the fall; Clinton was still at the University of Florida, so that left Durlie with her uncle and aunt. One of the men boarding there was Herbert Spencer Brasselle who had been moved to Andalusia by the Central of Georgia Railroad. Naturally, he and Durlie became acquainted and began dating. They were married in August 1928 after Durie was graduated from Andalusia High School.

The 1929 Flood totally destroyed George’s house and farm land, so he lost everything. The year before, the little Town of Brooklyn was experiencing significant growth. It so happened that his nephew, Everett Knowles, was operating a store there in the first floor of the Masonic Hall. Everett expanded his store to a more mercantile one, so he persuaded his uncle George to move to Brooklyn and help him operate it. George agreed and moved in with Everette in the old Brewer place, which was located across the street from the Rabun house, and he went to work in the store.

Sometime later, George met his neighbor, Mrs. Margarete Elizabeth (Rumbley) Rabun, who became a widow soon afterwards. She had moved to Brooklyn after finishing at Troy Normal to teach in the Brooklyn Public School. After marriage, she had discontinued her teaching, but renewed her certificate when Mr. Rabun’s health began to fail and his business beginning to falter. After his death, she met George Thomasson socially when he purchased her meal at a box supper. They ate the meal together and began gradually to court each other for some two years. They were eventually married in her home in 1932.

George took over the farming of his new wife’s property. Later he opened his own mercantile store in the Brooklyn Masonic building and operated it until his health began to fail. He completely lost his eyesight a few years before his death. His wife took great care of him, and a Black man, Ned, helped around the farm. Their son, Clinton, lived near and looked after the aging couple. George became seriously ill and died in 1961. He was buried beside his first wife in the Thomasson Cemetery at Hopewell. His second wife, Miss Lizzie, died a few years later and was buried in Brooklyn beside her first husband.

George and Margie were the parents of three children: Marvin Clinton, b. 1905, m. Mary Lee Scales; Irvin Clauson, b. 1906, d. 1989, m. (1) Beulah York (2) Mrs. Frances Hayes (2) Margaret Easley (4) Margaret Pinkston; and Durlie Gladys, b. 1909, d. 1932, m. Herbert Spencer Brasselle.

Due to length of the story, the lives of the three children above will be shared in next week’s column. There stories will be presented along with a feature of George Thomasson’s brother, John Herbert Thomasson, who was the youngest child of Cornelius Starr and Susannah (Henley) Thomasson.

The source for this story was Thomasson Traces—Lineages, Vol. I and Thomasson Traces—Narrative, Vol. II, written by Margie B. Malloy and Curtis H. Thomasson. Anyone who finds an error in the above or has a question related to it is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.