Nathaniel Glover, A Vintage Vignette
A Vintage Vignette by John P. Rankin
October 20, 2008
East of Burgreen Road and north of Brown’s Ferry Road in Limestone County, diagonally opposite the B&B Cross Roads Restaurant is an old cemetery with five marked graves and quite likely several more that are unmarked. It is located in the wooded area behind one of the recent housing developments along County Line Road in Madison. The cemetery appears to have been established by the family of Nathaniel Glover. He was the only person of that surname to patent government land in the western part of Madison County in the 1800s. In 1833 he patented 83 acres north of Brown’s Ferry Road and along both sides of what today is Doc Murphy Road, between Liberty Middle School and County Line Road. However, according to the extensive inscription on his box crypt tablet, Nathaniel Glover came to the area in 1820, almost a year after Alabama became a state. Glover must have also occupied land to the west, in Limestone County.
The fragments of Nathaniel’s box crypt were reassembled in 2003 and the inscription enhanced to read the entire legend on the tablet. It was as follows, with spelling as shown: “Sacred to the Memory of Nathaniel Glover. Was born in Northhampton County, North Carolina October the 9th in the year of our Lord 1797. Was married to Miss Rebekah Glover August 17th 1820 and Emigrated to this State in the fall of 1820 and departed this life on the 12th of September 1840 in the 43rd year of his age, Leaving a wife and six Children and maney friends to morne his loss. In life was a kind husband and an affectionate Father, a good neighbor, and was loved by all who knew him.” The initials of the inscriber were noted as “JLP”, and from another tablet in the cemetery that gave the last name, it is known that the initials were those of J. L. Preston. Census records through 1880 show that James L. Preston of Decatur (Morgan County) was a stonemason born about 1810 in Pennsylvania.
Nathaniel’s box crypt, along with all others in the cemetery, was broken into pieces some time ago. Thunderstorms often topple large trees that can fall across box crypts and shatter them, as well as break other types of tombstones. In fact, only one tombstone remains intact here, and it is not likely to be original. It appears to have been of more recent vintage than the indicated death date of 1828 for Mrs. Fredericca Perkins, who died at age 78. The relationship of Mrs. Perkins to the Glovers is unknown, but all other grave markers in the cemetery are for Glover family members.
Another adult-sized box crypt tablet contains the inscription “Sacred to the memory of Alexander Glover, born in NortHampton County, North Carolina, August the 4th in the year of our Lord 1800 and departed this life Jan. 6th, 1835, leaving a wife and four children”. Again, stonemason J. L. Preston inscribed his name as the maker of the tablet. Entries on Ancestry.com show that in Northampton County of North Carolina, a Captain Jones Glover (1765-1828) and his wife Judith Love had children named Nathaniel, Alexander, John William, and Mary of ages that fit the local family of Glovers. The 1830 Limestone County census shows Nathaniel enumerated as living next door to a Will P. Glover who was 10 to 20 years younger. This Will P. Glover may have been a son that Nathaniel named after his brother John William. Apparently Nathaniel’s brother Alexander came to Alabama and is buried in the cemetery with Nathaniel. However, Nathaniel himself probably died in Lawrence County of Alabama, because he is found there with his family in the 1840 census, which was taken just before Nathaniel’s death. Since at least two of his children are known to be buried in Limestone’s Glover Cemetery, Nathaniel must have specified that he be returned here for his own burial.