Revolutionary War Soldier Buried
in North Gadsden
Recently there have been efforts made
in cleaning up the old Garner Cemetery .
The cemetery is located in a wooded area
at the Northeast end of Washington
Street . It is on a rocky hillside
Coosa River in North Gadsden .
The Garner Cemetery contains the only
Revolutionary War soldier's grave
in Gadsden . His name is Joseph Garner.
The cemetery was added February 27, 1978
Alabama Register of Landmarks and
Heritage. This is a prestigious
listing of historic, architectural and
1797 Joseph lived in
Culpeper, Virginia , where he was
paying on 286 acres of land formerly
owned by a Hisle and he paid on this
land for five years. Joseph enlisted in
the 1st VA Regiment on 5 September 1775
and he was wounded the next spring at
Williamsburg . In 1789 Joseph was
36 years old, he had been wounded in the
arm as a private in the
1st Virginia Regiment, and his
pay was 24 pounds per annum.
Joseph Garner enlisted in
Fauquier County, Virginia, in
Capt. William Blackwell's
11th Virginia Regiment. He was
Brandywine. He also fought at
Valley Forge and. was discharged
White Plains, N.Y.
married Sarah Orr in 1790 and in 1802
moved to Clark County, Ga , as did his
brother, Charles, also a veteran. He
applied for a
disability pension while in
Georgia in 1818.
1820 Joseph Garner moved into
St. Clair County in the new state
of Alabama . In 1821 his property
consisted of "one sow and four pigs, one
pot, two axes, two old weeding hoes, two
feather beds and furniture valued at
$21.50. His age was about 65."
When Joseph moved to Georgia , he
entrusted his pension certificate to a
friend who was to collect and send the
money to him. But by 1819 the friend has
moved "to parts unknown." Joseph had to
reestablish his identity with the aid of
Judge (later Chief Justice) John
Marshall, who had been his lieutenant in
the war. He was paid 10 lbs. per annum
as a pensioner. Thomas Page and
John Marshall both confirmed
Joseph’s service record in a letter in
There was difficulty because he was "Joseph
Gardner" on the pension roll, but
he finally did show he was the same
person. His payments were transferred to
St. Clair Co Al, in 1824 and to
Cherokee Co Al when it was created.
Daughters Malinda and Rosa married into
the Burger Family. Rosa 's family moved
to what is now Tillison Bend.
The main road in which is now North
Gadsden was the old High Town Path often
known as the Turkey Town Road, an Indian
way through Chief Turkey's Town. The
body of the Cherokees had been forcibly
removed as white settlers poured in.
Some however remained and were still
watering their horses at "the spring"
near the Garner home place.
1850, a plat was entered by Joseph
Garner’s son, Joseph Garner II, although
the family was already living there in
1840. In 1889 this land was old outside
the family, with the exception of the "family
burial ground" and right of
access. It was divided into lots and
called the Riverview Addition.
The cemetery gradually became public
with the mining boom of the 1800s. But
the boom did not last. By 1923, the
cemetery was beginning to run down. It
once was beautiful and people liked it
so much they kept burying past the
Presently, it consists of 1.3 acres,
virtually unchanged since the early
1920s. Tax records show only Lots 92 and
93 as cemetery all the way back to the
original division, which gives the
location of the Garner family plot.
The old Joseph Garner homestead was near
a spot where a small schoolhouse was
later built. The school is gone being
replaced by a Presbyterian church, and
now the Abounding Grace Baptist Church
stands in the vicinity of the first
house. It is believed the house was torn
down in 1924.
Joe Garner lived in a two-story
house on what is now the
St. James School playground. The
spring which was down the hill is
covered by Furnace Pond which is now
covered by the backed-up Coosa River .
On Dec. 20, 1840 the old soldier
died. Three day later the couple would
have celebrated their 50th wedding
Francis Garner, son of the second
Joseph, died in Savannah in 1864.
Another son, John, died at Deep Bottom,
Va. in 1864. Both were Confederate
The youngest son of the Revolutionary
soldier, John, married Elizabeth
Tillison in 1844. She was the daughter
of Spencer Tillison and sister of
William S. Tillison, pioneers in
Sarah Garner, widow of Joseph
Garner, filed a statement, regarding her
pension, in which she names the
children, living at that time. These
Rosia (Rosanna) Burger, wife of Jacob
4. Sally (Sarah) White, wife of Stephen
Gilford Garner, ( m. Polly Caddell)
Joseph Garner, (m. Lydia Margaret
John Garner (m. Elizabeth
Joseph Garner was the son of Charles (b:
1724 in Stafford Co, Virginia) and Ann
Darnell Garner, (b: 1716 in
King George Co, Virginia) who
died in Clarke Co. Ga. . They were
married in 1769 at
Joseph’s siblings were:
Jale Garner, never married
Elizabeth Garner, m.__Robbins
Ann Garner, m. Jacob Burger
Charles Garner, m. Hannah.
5. Presley Garner, m. Margaret Hinson