Mace Bicentennial Birthday
CONTACT: James Brindley
President, Brindley International Historical Foundation
Database and Web Site Coordinator
This Press Release and Digital Images of Mace
Thomas Payne Brindley can be downloaded at http://www.brindleymtn.org/PressDownload.html
The Brindley International Historical Foundation is conducting
a genealogy project in celebration of Mace Thomas Payne Brindley's
bicentennial birthday. Mace Thomas Payne Brindley, the man for
whom Brindley Mountain in North Alabama is named, was born on
February 10, 1801 and was the son of Phoebe and Frazier Brindley.
The goal of the genealogy project is to find and document all
the descendants and related families of Phoebe and Frazier Brindley,
on the organization's Web site at www.BrindleyMtn.org. Currently,
there are more than 3,000 names in the database, with 986 direct
descendants. To date, only a few family lines have been completely
The first Brindley to come to Alabama was Asa Riggs, the oldest
son of Phoebe and Frazier. As a Private in Co. F of the 4th Regiment
of the Georgia Militia, he traveled, with Andrew Jackson, through
what would become North Alabama. Asa returned to Georgia with
stories of the beauty of the land and the abundant wildlife.
Phoebe was the first Brindley to call Alabama home. In 1819,
as a widow with nine children, she headed from Georgia to Alabama.
Her husband had disappeared seven years earlier on his way to
Texas. She settled in Murphree's Valley, just north of Oneonta,
in Blount County, Alabama. During these early days, almost all
of northern Alabama was considered Blount County. Phoebe was
a strong and courageous woman, who supported her family through
her weaving abilities. She sold her woven cloth to buy a cow
and, thereby, support her growing children. She was also a good
midwife, which meant the difference between life and death to
many early settlers. Phoebe had learned the art of medicine from
her father, Dr. Asa Riggs. When called upon as a midwife, she
mounted her horse, often without provisions, and went to the
aid of her neighbors. Even with all her efforts, life in the
wilderness was rough. Mace would be 18 before he got his first
pair of shoes. Phoebe placed importance on religion and education
in her home, and her efforts were reflected in the successes
of her family.
After leaving the military, Asa Riggs Brindley was granted bounty
lands in Alabama, where he and his wife, Mary "Polly"
Bowen, raised 10 of their children. Asa would later become Postmaster
of Sand Rock, Alabama, and serve as the Cherokee County State
Legislative Representative during the historic 1861-1862 term.
One by one, Phoebe's daughters married and started families of
their own. Eudicia married Mr. WOODS, Eudoxy married Daniel EASLEY,
Euterpsey married Solomon MURPHREE, Evaline married James MURPHREE,
Lodica married Thomas C. MAYES, Lucinda married James MAYES and
Manila married Gray B. POWELL.
Mace Thomas Payne Brindley, the younger son and fourth child
of Phoebe and Frazier, was born on February 10, 1801. Mace took
advantage of the limited educational opportunities available
and, as a result, at age 18, Mace became the Chief Clerk in the
Blount County Probate Judge's Office and subsequently became
Probate Judge. He earned a reputation for being a philosopher
and a good businessman. Later, he served for two years as Alabama
State Representative, for nine years as Alabama State Senator,
and he served as Director of the State National Bank of Decatur
at a time when there were only five banks in Alabama.
Mace married Nancy S. Hanby on January 7, 1830, in Blount County.
Nancy was the daughter of Gabriel Hanby and Nancy Horne. Gabriel
Hanby was the first State Senator from Blount County, and one
of the original framers of the Constitution of the State of Alabama
at the 1819 constitutional convention in Huntsville, Alabama.
Before moving to Alabama, he had represented Surry County, North
Carolina, in the House of Commons.
In 1832, Mace forged his way by hand 16 miles north to a 160-acre
plot of land that he homesteaded on the Old Section Line Road,
about a mile north of present-day Simcoe on State Highway 69.
For several years, only Mace's family and a handful of settlers
lived in the entire area. His family grew to 11 children: Gabriel,
Phoebe, Asa Benton, John Hanby, Van Buren, Nancy Manila, Mace
T.P. Jr., George Goldthwaite, Rebecca Virginia, Portis Bethea
and Winston Yancey.
On January 11, 1834, Mace T. P. Brindley and his associates were
given the right to turnpike two roads which ran into Blount County
from the southern settlements in Morgan County. For their efforts,
the group was to receive the following toll: 75¢ for each
four-wheeled carriage, 25¢ for each two-wheeled carriage,
12 1/2¢ for a horse and rider, 6 1/4¢ for each loose
horse or mule, and 3¢ per head for each swine, cattle or
The 1856 La Tourrette Map of Alabama shows the Brindley Turnpike.
It started at Blount Springs, continuing northward to present-day
Hanceville, and onward to Brindley's home at present-day Simcoe.
At Brindley's, the road split, one branch continued north to
Morgan County while the other branch turned due west to the western
border of Blount, at which point the road turned northeast and
ran into Morgan County.
When the War Between the States came to their homeland, the price
paid by the Brindley families was high. All of Asa's sons left
their families, education, ministry, and life as they knew it,
to defend their beloved State. One by one, Asa and Polly received
the tragic news of the losses of their sons. A total of five
sons gave their lives for what they believed in. By war's end,
only three of their 11 children remained alive.
Four of Mace's sons served the CSA during the War Between the
States. His eldest son, Gabriel Lafayette Brindley, was captured
and held prisoner at Lake Eyrie. Later, he would become Cullman
County's second Superintendent of Education. Asa Benton Brindley
was captured at Buffington Island and was imprisoned at Camp
Douglas, near Chicago, Illinois. Van Buren Brindley was seriously
wounded at the siege of Jackson, Mississippi. He spent a year
in a military hospital near Mobile, before being able to return
home. In 1874, when former Confederates were allowed to run for
political office, he was elected Constable of Precinct No. 7
of Morgan County. Mace Thomas Payne, Jr. was only 17 when he
went to fight. He returned from the war to become a farmer.
The exact time at which Brindley Mountain was officially named
for Mace Thomas Payne Brindley is not known. It is known that
he was here some 54 years before Col. Cullman. Mace died on August
30, 1871, the year before Col. Cullman's arrival. He is buried
with his family across the road from where his home stood, just
off State Highway 69 near Simcoe, in Cullman County.
If you have information about descendants of Phoebe and Frazier
Brindley, you can contact the Brindley International Historical
Foundation president, James Brindley, at (205) 429-2185 or e-mail
Nancy Brindley, the Web site administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brindley International Historical Foundation was founded
in Decatur, Alabama, in 1992. The organization's primary interests
are preserving historical documents and artifacts, placing markers
at gravesites and conducting genealogical research.