About Joseph Harvill
The family of Joseph Harville was one of the earliest to settle in the Loango community of Covington County during the early 1800s. This family was enumerated in the 1820 Federal Census for Conecuh County. There was one male and one female in the household who were born before 1800, and there were two males and three females present that were born between 1800 and 1820.
Records indicate that Joseph as well as his wife, Elizabeth, was born circa 1781 and 1792 respectively in the State of Georgia. Pulaski County records reveal a Joseph Harville was married to an Elizabeth Franklin on November 8, 1816. It is believed that Joseph may have been married previously since he has a son, Lemuel S. Harville, who was born in 1807 and a daughter born between 1810 and 1815.
A new settlement called Red Level began developing during the 1840s and 1850s. The families of Joseph Harville and his son, Lemuel S. Harville, were among those settling in the Red Level area. By the time of the War Between the States, Red Level had grown to a point of being one of the four largest communities in the county.
Joseph was enumerated in the 1850 Federal Census for Covington County as being 69 years old and his wife, Elizabeth, being 58. With them were the following children: William, 23; Martha, 20; Joseph, 18; Thadous, 16; and Margaret Lacy, 25, with Charity, 7.
Joseph and Elizabeth (Franklin) Harville had the following children: Lemuel S., b. ca 1807, m. Ellen Chapman; female, b. ca 1810-1815; female, b. ca 1816; female, b. ca 1818; Augustus S., b. ca 1820, m. Catherine Young Harwell; Sarah, b. ca 1824, m. J.W. Spragen; James C., b. ca 1825, m. Elizabeth ?; Margaret, b. ca 1825, m. ? Lacey; William, b. ca 1827, m. L. ?; Martha Elizabeth, b. 1830, d. after 1904, m. 1852 Thomas Jefferson Franklin (1832-1904); Joseph, b. ca 1832; and Thadeus Alexander, b. ca 1834, d. 1905, m. 1867 Martha E. Simmons (1840-1923.
Joseph Harville, Sr. was a prosperous farmer, and he reared a large family. He or his son, Joseph Jr., had one slave in 1840, 1850, and 1860. He had served as a corporal in Colonel Ezekial Wimberley's Third Regiment. Nothing more is known about Joseph Sr.'s involvement with the development of the county, but his sons became quite involved. Joseph Sr. sold his land in Covington County in the fall of 1855 and moved to Tyler County, Texas. Some of his children and families went with him, and some remained in Covington County. It appears that he died there after 1860 and before 1870, but the site of his grave is unknown at this time.
His oldest son, Lemuel S., became a leader in the community at a fairly young age. In 1841, he was commissioned to serve as Covington County Court Judge-an office he held for a number of years. From 1847 until some time after 1860, Lemuel served as clerk for the Fairmount Baptist Church in Red Level. During the 1850s, he acquired several tracts of land in the Red Level community: 40 acres in 1852, 39.96 in 1853, and 39.96, 39.87 and 240 in 1854. In 1864, he was enrolled in Capt. S.S. Johnson's Company B, Covington County Reserves (First Class). Following the war, he was a registered voter in Beat Number Six in 1867. During that year he was appointed registrar in Covington County along with A.C. Rose and G. Williams.
In the 1850 census, Lemuel was enumerated as a farmer at 43 years of age. His wife, Ellen, was 30 years old, and they had the following children in the household: David, 18; Joseph, 13; Lemuel, 12; and Benjamin, 10. Also, residing with them was Sarah Harvill, Lemuel's sister, who was 26.
The second son, Augustus G. or S., purchased 80.25 acres of government land in 1855 near that of his relatives in the Red Level Township. He is listed as Augustus J. Harvill in the 1850 census as being a farmer at 30 years of age. His wife, Catherine, was 25 years old, and they had two children at the time: Joseph, 7; and Young, 4.
Living near Augustus was his brother, James C. Harville. He was also a farmer and was 25 years of age. His wife, Elizabeth, was 29 years old, and they had the following three children: Charly, 5; William, 3; and Unity, 5 months. In 1854, he purchased three tracts of government land, 78.35 acres and 39.17 acres in the Montezuma Township, and 200.50 acres in the Buck Creek Township.
In 1850, William was unmarried and residing in his father's home. In 1854, he acquired 119.88 acres of land in the Red Level Township. In 1855, he bought two additional tracts in the same area, 79.91 acres and 80.35 acres. He also purchased 199.68 acres that year in the Buck Creek Township.
In 1855, there was a William M.C. Harville who purchased 80.50 acres in the Loango Township. His relationship to Joseph's family is unclear. He is likely the William H. Harville who acquired 80.35 acres of land through a military grant in 1851. That year he was elected to serve as Justice of the Peace for Beat Number Six.
Joseph Harville, Jr. was only 18 years of age in 1855 when one by the Joseph Harville name acquired 83.42 acres of land in the Loango community. Since his father was leaving for Texas that year, it is unlikely that he was the one buying land, but he could well have been.
The youngest son, Thadeus Alexander Harville, purchased 199.93 acres of land in the Buck Creek Township in 1855. He might also be the Thomas A. who acquired 119.73 acres in same area in 1855. In 1862, he joined the Confederate Army in Woodville, Texas, and served in Company D, 16th Texas Voluntary Infantry Regiment, which was Scurry's Brigade, Walker's Division. His brother-in-law, Thomas J. Franklin, joined and served with him throughout the war.
There were a few Harville men residing in the same area of Covington County who have not been related to Joseph Harville, Sr.'s family. One was David A. Harville who purchased two tracts of land, 159.84 and 39.96 acres, in the Red Level area in 1854. That year he was appointed to serve as County Constable. In 1862, he served as 1Cpl. for Company I, 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment (formerly Capt. Gantt's Company, 4th Regiment Alabama Voluntary Militia). D.A. Harville was a registered voter following the war in 1867.
Another Harville was Sampson who purchased land as early as 1853 when he acquired three tracts, 40 acres and 80 acres and 80 acres in addition from a military grant. An Andrew Harville purchased 40 acres in 1851 in the Buck Creek Township. Two Harville men who served in the Confederate Army from Covington Couny have not been related yet to the family of this narrative. B.J. Harville was 3Sgt. Company I, 29th Alabama Infantry Regiment, formerly Capt. Sowell's Company, 4th Battalion Alabama Volunteers. N.S. Harville was a private in Company I, 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Others on the voter's list of 1867 who are unknown are N. Harville and L.C. Harville.
The sources for this writing were a story in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama, submitted by Marlin H. Parker of Crosby, Texas, and references from Wyley Ward's books, Early History of Covington County, Alabama, 1821-1871 and Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama. Appreciation is expressed to these for the availability of their records.
If anyone has any correction to the above or additional research on this Harville family he is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.