Biography of Jesse L. Kirk

Planter and Saddle Maker

Jesse L. Kirk, planter and saddle maker, came from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina to Franklin County. He was a soldier of the war of 1812. The following inscription appears on his gravestone in the Roberson Cemetery, near Fairview: JESSE L. KIRK, BORN MAY 6, 1791, DIED OCTOBER 11, 1876.

Honorable James Kirk, of Tuscumbia, states that Jesse Kirk participated in the Battle of New Orleans, and that both Jesse and James, his brothers, were in the early Seminole war.

L. N. Pace, Sr., and Jesse L. Hovater, who are descendants of Jesse L. Kirk, state that he at one time lived in Tennessee, in the County of Haywood, it appears, and was jail keeper of that county. While Mr. Kirk was warden of the prison, the notorious outlaw, robber, murderer and slave trader, John A. Murrell, was captured and put into that prison. One day, states Mr. Pace, Murrell’s wife came to visit her husband. She was given entrance permission into Murrell’s cell. Murrell donned his wife’s clothes and walked out of jail easily enough.

Mr. Kirk lived for a long period of time in Russellville, where he was engaged in the making of saddles. Saddles were very much in demand in those days of horseback riding. So he, no doubt, was kept steadily employed. He also lived in several different places near Russellville and died near Duncan Creek Church. He owned a considerable amount of land in the county. He was a Mason.

Among the children born to Jesse Kirk and wife, whose first name was Mary, were:

  1. Matilda, married (1) Wyatt Pace, (2) James McGahee.
  2. 2. Betty Jane, married Cordy McNatt.

Source: Source: James, R. L. Distinguished Men, Women and Families of Franklin County, Alabama. Russellville, Ala., Private Publication, 1928. 111 p.

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