Capt. John Buchanan Floyd

Photo from Floyd
 Mayor of Madison Station

Nickname:John B.
Born:April 28, 1838, Lynchburg, Virginia
Died:August 18, 1902, Madison, Alabama
Buried:Madison City Cemetery, Alabama


•  Son of Dr. Nathaniel Wilson Floyd (1793-1866) and Elizabeth West Anderson (1802-1883). His mother was born, married, and died in Virginia. His father was born in Louisville KY and died in Madison County, AL, but most of the census records show him in Virginia most of the times between. His father comes from a family with high rankings in politics (a Governor), the military (General), and business. -

•  Both Capt. John B. Floyd and his wife Frances Maria Harris were "descendants of Orland Jones (1687-1719), a celebrated Colonial lawyer of Virginia who was a son of the Rev. Roland Jones (1650-1688) who was the first rector of Burton Parish Church at Williamsburg, Virginia, which was the Colonial capitol of Virginia. Many prominent people of the South are descendents from the two grand-daughters of Orlando Jones. The eldest, Martha Dandridge, married first Colonel Custis, and second General George Washington. The other grand-daughter, Frances Barbour Jones, married Captain John Jones (no relation of hers), who was a gallant officer in the "light Brigade" of harry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee; and was the great-grandmother of John Buchanan Floyd, and Frances Maria Harris, who married each other." - Davis

•  Married Fances "Fannie H." Maria Harris on Dec. 4, 1867 in Limestone County, AL. "At the handsome and hospitable home of Major John R. Harris, a prominent and popular resident and planter of Limestone County, Alabama, on December 4, 1867, his only daughter, Frances Maria Harris, was united in marriage to Captain John B. Floyd, of Virginia." - Floyd &

•  "John Floyd attended Virginia Military Institute, where he studied under Professor T. J. Jackson, soon to become known as "Stonewall Jackson." - Rankin

•  Virginia Military Institute - Floyd did not graduate; he attended for six months during the 1856-57 academic year in the class of 1860. - RootsWeb - Stevens

•  John B. Floyd's name was on the written declaration, "representing and stating that they have formed themselves into a body corporate for the purpose of education and improvement of the children of said town of Madison, in the County, and for the creation of an institution known as the "Madison Male and Female Academy Association", to be used solely for school purposes with a capital stock of Eight Hundred and Seventy Five Dollars ($875.00), divided in 36 shares at 250 per share. That said corporation now owns Lots 20 and 21 in the plat in the N.E. 1/4 of Section 17, T-4, R-2 W in the town of Madison; That on the 14th day of July 1885, said stock holders met in said town of Madison and elected the following trustees to wit: W.T. Garner, S. Doolittle, J.W. Burton, W.A. Russell, and G.W. Wise, to serve for the term of one year from that date: It is therefore ordered by the court that said Report be filed and received and a copy thereof duly certified according to law, and that said parties be duly incorporated under S 1994 of the code of 1876, it appearing that they have adopted rules and regulations for their control and management, and are fully organized according to law." "The Madison Male and Female Academy was located near Pension Row. The building was supposedly owned by Captain John B. Floyd, who later closed the school because of the disagreement with the trustees about his daughter's teaching. When this school was closed, children temporarily attended classes in a lawyer Strode's office." - Heritage

•  Justice of the Peace, Madison City - Record Vol. 1

•  The "Madison High School" (reported by some to have been the same as the Madison Training School), incorporated in February 1895. The papers of incorporation listed J. B. Floyd as a trustee. - Rankin

•  Confederate Captain - Rankin

•  Father of:
     Elizabeth Harris Floyd, (born 23 Dec 1868 in Madison County, AL; died 14 Oct 1900 in Madison County, AL.) Married Eldred Fletcher of Madison, son of Dr. Richard Matthew Fletcher (featured in this collection). Mrs. Fletcher died a few years after her marriage, leaving an only son who was adopted by his grandfather, Dr. Fletcher.
     Annie West Floyd, (born 18 Oct 1870 in Madison County, AL; died 24 Jan 1932.) Married (24 Jan 1900 in Madison County) William Harvey Gillespie, son of Campbell Milton Gillespie and his wife, Lorenda Clark.
     Schuyler Harris Floyd, (born 08 Oct 1873 in Madison County, AL; died 25 Jan 1942 in Camilla, Mitchell County, GA.) who married 1. Mitylene "Mittie" Sherrod (daughter of Mr. Frederick Sherrod and his wife, Miss Mittie Davis, Birmingham) 2.Louheath McNair
.      Ellen Stith Floyd, (born 23 Jul 1874 in Madison County, AL; died 25 Jan 1933) who married John Hertzler (Hurtzler), son of Dr. John Hertzler and his Miss Annie Garber of Pennsylvania, who in 1877 bought land east of Zierdt Road and north of Martin Road, land that became part of Redstone Arsenal
     Florence Lee Floyd, (born 13 Mar 1878 in Madison County, AL; died Abt. 1960 in Birmingham, AL.)
     Ida Isabel Floyd, (born 28 Jun 1886 in Madison County, AL; died Sep 1966 in Mobile, AL.) married Thomas H. Hopkins, son of Frank Hopkins and Mary Harris, a descendant of the Bibb family of Alabama's first two governors.
     John Buchanan Floyd Jr. (born 29 Nov 1880 in Madison County, AL; died 05 Jun 1945 in Birmingham, AL.) married Hibernia Wise, daughter of James Arthur Wise and Lucy Harris. James Arthur Wise was a prominent banker & businessman contributing much to the City of Madison.
     Charles Perkins Floyd, (born 27 Apr 1884 in Madison County, AL; died 07 Jun 1958 in Greensboro, NC.)
     Nicholas Nathaniel Floyd, (born 12 Oct 1889 in Madison County, AL; died 1983) - Rankin

•  His brothers were:
     Charles Anderson Floyd (1821-1865), "Killed in the repulse of Grant's attack on the right flank of the small remnant of the Army of Northern Virginia (under Gen. Robert F. Lee), only three days before the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865.
     Col. Nathanial Bedford Floyd (born 1826)
     Capt. Nicholas Jackson Floyd (born 1828) Owner and editor of the Athens, Alabama newspaper the Herald. - Rankin

•  He was the youngest of four brothers who fought for the Confederacy. While still living in Virginia, he visited his brother, Nicholas Jackson Floyd, near Madison in Limestone County, when the war between the states was starting. Nicholas convinced John to manage his plantation when he joined the CSA. But rather soon, John also joined, leaving his brother's plantation management in the hands of its black foreman. John became a lieutenant in a newly formed company that was a part of the Thirty-fifth Alabama Infantry. The company "distinguished itself at Corinth, Mississippi, where its major was killed. John was given a battlefield promotion to replace the major, but the War Department of the Confederacy refused to move him above those in the normal progression. Instead, a captain was put in the position, and John was transferred to Gen. Joe Wheeler's cavalry.
      When Wheeler's force was sent to defend Atlanta during a Southern attack at "Big Shanty," John Floyd was shot from his horse during the last charge against a greatly superior Union force. He received a Minie ball through an ankle, but men of his company rallied around him during intense fire and got him on his horse again. He refused to permit the surgeons to amputate his foot, and he suffered as a cripple for the rest of his life from the injury. His brother, Nicholas, was passing through on other orders and found John in distress, so he changed his travel plans to take John back to the family home in Virginia for the remainder of the war."
     After the war John revisited Nicholas' plantation. While there he fell in love was Frances Maria Harris and together, they became active in Madison County community. John served as Mayor of Madison for several terms. In 1896, he promoted the idea of a round house (octagonal in shape, however). "The Madison Roundhouse was built on eight-foot stilts over the town's water supply. The water supply was a cistern dug on railroad property per a deed recorded in July 1894. The location was specified as fifty feet south of the main track and thirty feet west of the western end of the depot. Mayor Floyd painfully ascended the stairs on his injured ankle every day that he went to his office in the Roundhouse, which served as the city hall, mayor's office, and barbershop until 1936." - Rankin

•  Captain John Buschanan Floyd was a Lictor of the Ku Klux Klan of Athens, Alabama. H was one of the Couriers between the Ku Klux Klan headquarters and the Virginia Ku Klux Klan. - Davis

•  "Captain Floyd was a man of many noble qualities and impulses. Kind and generous to a fault, he was not the kind of person, who, with a young and increasing family, could accumulate property during the period immediately succeeding the War between the States, when more than 90 per cent of the people in the South were virtually bankrupt, and most of them were old Confederate soldiers with needy families. He and his noble wife made a happy home for their numerous children, and bestowed upon them every good gift within the bounds of their ability. They are now resting from their labors, and their children are gratefully benefiting from the wise and judicious discharge of their parental duties. Captain Floyd died at his home in Madison, Ala., of heart failure, on Aug. 18, 1902, and his devoted wife tarried only seven years longer." - Floyd

Related Links:

• - Page owned by roselion and can be viewed only with an paid subscription. (Originally found at

•  Davis - Authentic history, Ku Klux Klan, 1865-5877. by Susan Lawrence Davis, 1924, page 57-59.

•  Floyd - Biographical genealogies of the Virginia-Kentucky Floyd families by Nicholas Jackson Floyd, 1912, pages 70-73 & 111-112. Pictures before title page and opposite page 70

•  Heritage - The Heritage of Madison County, Alabama, by The Madison County Heritage Book Committee, John P. Rankin, Chairman, pages 11 & 33.

•  LeCompte - A family website by Kirkwood Adams LeCompte in (No. 11). (Originally found at

•  Losset - Article titled: "Madison History: A Student's Perspective" by Courney Losset in Historic Huntsville Quarterly, Vol. XIX, #1-2, Spring-Summer, 1993, Historic Huntsville Foundation, page 63.

•  Rankin - Memories of Madison: A Connected Community, 1857-2007, by John Patrick Rankin, 2007, page 59. 100. 107-9, 114, 121, 132. (Starting on page 107, Rankin has included many biographical details.)

•  Rankin - VV - A Vintage Vignette by John P. Rankin, published on April 13, 2007.

•  Rankin File - John P. Rankin has, over the years, collected information about families living in Madison County, AL. He has made these files available here at Huntsville History Collection. The files include Rankin's notes, photos, digital copies of documents, and clippings from newspapers and periodicals. He has a Floyd family file and some of it might apply to Florence Moore Floyd.

•  Record - Mayor of the City of Madison in 1896, 1898-1900.

•  Record Vol. 1 - A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and Incidentally of Alabama and the United States, Volume I, by James Record, 1970, page 222.

•  Record, Vol. 2 - A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and Incidentally of Alabama and the United States, Volume II, by James Record, 1978, pages 465.

•  RootsWeb - Stevens - Family website by Pat M. Stevens IV for RootsWeb (Originally found at

•  Stevens - A family website by Pat M. Stevens IV in

Likenesses of Floyds of Past Generations

Images and excerpt from Floyd.

     "We give in the frontispiece a group of all the likenesses the writer has been able to obtain—in addition to the sketch on page 26—of the older generations from William of Amherst, (1720-1770). Heading the page is Colonel John Floyd)1 (1751-1783) the most distinguished member of his generation. This was copied from an old crayon drawing in the library of Colonel R. T. Durette of Louisville, Kentucky, and has been slightly renovated by a Baltimore artist. Colonel Durette states that it was purchased, many years ago, at a sale of the effects of an old settler in that vicinity. He has been unable to leam anything definite about its history, but is inclined to the opinion that it was executed in Paris, as Kentucky was but little more than an unbroken forest at the time of his murder by the Indians.

     When Colonel Floyd escaped from the English prison and made his way to Paris he was received by our Minister at the Court of Louis XVI, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, with great cordiality and friendliness; and it is believed he procured for him an audience at Court. At any rate, Marie Antoinette, the queen, a romantic girl of twenty-three years, became interested in his history and adventures, and before his departure sent him, through Dr. Franklin, a purse of gold coins of the value of sixty pounds sterling, English money. Out of this he bought for his sweetheart, in Virginia, the beautiful Sallie Buchanan—who believed him to be slumbering beneath 'the sad sea waves'—a pair of shoe buckles of the Court style, studded with brilliants. Being a gallant lover the young man could not have failed to know that his lady love would prize his likeness far above any article of personal adornment. The unsolvable thing about the likeness is how it got into the possession of an old settler who was not allied to the family.

     The likeness of Nathaniel Floyd1 (1767-1842) is the third, of the first generation from William Floyd, which the writer has been successful in ferreting out and securing a copy of, for this work. It is believed to have been made in New Orleans after the memorable battle near that city, January 8, 1815, in which he took an active part. An old Kentucky tradition, heard by the writer, more than three score and ten years ago says; when General Jackson made his first attack upon the British—a night surprise on January the first, eight miles below the city—the Kentuckians, on the extreme left wing of the attacking force, were being crowded in the darkness, into a boggy swamp on their left, by the Tennesseeans on their right, it was 'Squire' Floyd's vehement and stentorian protest:—'Bear to the right! D— you; bear to the right!!' which was, fortunately, mistaken by the Tennesseeans for an order in General Jackson's own voice, that saved the Kentuckians from getting 'stuck in the mud.' Some of them did not entirely escape the mud, but they were in time to be among the first to mix up with the 'Britishers' while they were trying to stamp out the light of their camp fires.

     The picture came down to the present generation through the family of the old gentleman's great-grandson, J. B. Floyd Shock, of St. Louis, Missouri, who kindly furnished a copy made by an expert artist of his city.

     The first in seniority of the second generation is Governor John Floyd2 (1783-1837). This was photographed from a portrait now in the State library, Richmond, Virginia, painted for the family by a noted artist of that day. It was presented to the State by a member of the family.

     Doctor Nathaniel Wilson Floyd2 (1703-1866) is the second in seniority of the second generation. His picture was copied from an old Daguerreotype taken about the middle of the last century. The copying artist gave it a soft finish which did not respond satisfactorily to the photographer's art of the present day; but the likeness is fairly good.

     The youngest of the group, General John Buchanan Floyd3 (1807-1863) while a member of President Buchanan's Cabinet, bad several photographs made, by request, from which a bust was executed and placed in the Capitol at Washington. The picture presented is a copy of one of those which was preserved in Brady's National Portrait Gallery, New York; and is strikingly lifelike. The other group, opposite page 70, is composed of four Virginia brothers of the third generation who served as Confederate soldiers in the War between the States, as long as life or physical ability endured, and there was a semblance of duty to be performed.

     The eldest, Charles Anderson Floyd3 (1821-1865) was photographed in camp a short time before he was killed in the repulse of Grant's attack on the right flank of the small remnant of the Army of Northern Virginia, three days before the general collapse at Appomattox, 1865.

     The second, Nathaniel Bedford Floyd3 (1826), was taken in 1864, presumably in Matamoros, Mexico, while he was an officer of the general staff, assigned to the performance of a special duty in connection with the ordnance department.

     The third, Nicholas Jackson Floyd3 (1828), was taken after the Battle of the Crater, Petersburg, 1864, as he passed through Lynchburg, en route to the Trans-Mississippi Department. It was taken on a thin metallic plate and set in a small breastpin encircled by a double row of pearls, as a parting gift for his aged mother. The printed copy is very much enlarged, but the artist has preserved the likeness fairly well.

     The fourth and last, John Buchanan Floyd3 (1838-1002), was taken after the war, and after he had succeeded in procuring a suit of citizen's clothing of proper size. He and all the brothers were over six feet tall excepting the third, who was just 'six feet in his boots.'The third, Nicholas Jackson Floyd3 (1828), was taken after the Battle of the Crater, Petersburg, 1864, as he passed through Lynchburg, en route to the Trans-Mississippi Department. It was taken on a thin metallic plate and set in a small breastpin encircled by a double row of pearls, as a parting gift for his aged mother. The printed copy is very much enlarged, but the artist has preserved the likeness fairly well.

     The fourth and last, John Buchanan Floyd3 (1838-1002), was taken after the war, and after he had succeeded in procuring a suit of citizen's clothing of proper size. He and all the brothers were over six feet tall excepting the third, who was just 'six feet in his boots.'"

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  Losset
•  Rankin
•  Rankin - VV
•  Record Vol. 1
•  Record, Vol. 2