Inman Family History
as told by Carroll Crosby Inman
June 12, 1971
The Inman family moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina and were closely associated with the Mitchells. Arthur Inman married Nancy Mitchell. They had three sons and one daughter. Henderson was one of the boys, another was John and the girl was named Mary. They migrated from South Carolina over to Alabama about the 1850's. Henderson Inman was born Feb 14, 1849 in South Carolina. Arthur Inman and his two oldest boys, John and the other one, joined the First Alabama Calvary of the Union Army at the out break of the Civil War. They left Arthur's wife Nancy, Henderson and Mary on the farm in Alabama. The rebels kept trying to get Nancy Inman to tell where her husband Arthur and her boys were. She refused or gave false information - had she not done this or told the truth they would have confiscated what little property they had.
The rebels came to the house one day and took Henderson, fourteen years old, and told Nancy they would hang Henderson by the thumbs and make him tell where his father and brothers were. His mother told the rebels they couldn't take him away until he put on a clean shirt, so they let him go in the house and put on a clean shirt. He went out the back door into the woods and hid in a brush pile. The rebels looked for him for quite a while and couldn't find him. Then they went away. Sister Mary carried food to him for a day or two. Knowing the rebels would be back, Henderson ran away to join the Union Army which was then located in Tennessee. He got through the rebel lines and located his father, was only thirteen or fourteen at the time. However, the Union Command let him join the First Alabama Calvary Union Army. His father, Arthur, died at Corinth, Mississippi and is buried at the Union Cemetery there. His brother, John, was poisoned by a rebel woman. They were foraging for food. This lady baked corn pone and put strychnine in it. They all died.
Henderson Inman was mustered out at the end of the war at Memphis, Tennessee and returned to Alabama. In the meantime, his mother and sister hitched up mules to their wagon and left Alabama driving through rebel lines to Tennessee where Mary met George Maxwell whom she later married and they returned to Alabama. Henderson and another brother were pretty wild, being young men and unrestricted, they did everything except murder.
Henderson left Alabama and went to Southern Illinois, Union County, where he worked on a farm owned by Captain Lance. He worked there for sometime, returning to Alabama and them went cross country back to South Carolina where he met Laura Jane Willis whom he married. Laura had seven brothers and sisters; Fay, Kemper, James, Wylie, Lizzie, Purchas and Ella - Quincy was also a brother.
Henderson farmed in SC after his marriage and had one son, Carroll, born on a cotton plantation a short distance from Laurens on January 15, 1885. About one year later Henderson and his wife decided to move to Illinois where he had a job supervising a large farm acreage.
In 1887 a daughter was born, Daisy Pearl; and in 1889 another son was born, John; and in 1891 another son James was born. James died six months later. Laura died about two months after James was born in 1891. Henderson at that time was farming and had considerable livestock, etc. His sisters-in-law, Lizzie and Perchas came to help take care of the children; Carroll, Daisy, John and James. They said if Henderson would move back to SC they would keep house for him and help raise the children. Henderson sold out in Illinois and moved to Greenville, SC where he managed a cotton plantation owned by a man named Ellis.
Henderson met a man by the name of Pool in Greenville who had considerable experience in the grocery business but no money. He persuaded Henderson to go into the grocery business, which he did making Pool a partner. In about two years Henderson had the experience and Pool had the money.
Henderson decided to move back to Illinois and hire a housekeeper to do the housework and help raise the children. Henderson always said he would not separate the children but raise them together. He went back to supervising a large farm acreage for two or three years, then went to farming for himself which he continued to do until the time of his death July 1, 1901. A guardian was appointed for the children by the court and George Maxwell and his wife Mary, Henderson's sister, said they would take the children. George Maxwell came to Jonesboro and took Daisy and John back with him leaving Carroll to take care of the livestock and other personal property until the sale. After the sale, Carroll joined George and Mary Maxwell at their home in Marion County northwest Alabama. Daisy stayed one year and their Uncle Wylie in Laurens, SC wrote and wanted her to come and live with him. This was agreeable to all parties and she went to her Uncle Wylie's to live. Carroll and John stayed in Alabama for a couple of years and their Uncle Kemper, station agent for the Southern Railway at Williamston, wrote and said if Carroll came and lived with him he would teach him telegraphy so he could get a job on the railroad.
Daisy had taken a business course and had a job as a bookkeeper. Uncle Wylie wanted John to come and live with him as he had no children. Carroll and John left Alabama for South Carolina. Carroll completed his telegraphy course and station work in about nine months and was employed by the Southern Railway. John stayed with Uncle Wylie but became dissatisfied because other employees were making more money than Uncle Wylie was paying him. He quit Uncle Wylie's job and got a job as an express messenger on the railroad. Made one trip to Augusta, GA when his Uncle Wylie went and got him and persuaded him to come back and gave him a raise in allowance.
Uncle Carroll was on Lowell, NC but lost that job because someone stole $1200.00. He started booming and went to Cincinnati and Indianapolis and got a job on the N.Y. Central Railroad, Indianapolis Division, Indianapolis to St. Louis. In the meantime working on the L&N Railroad located at Bowling Green, KY where he met and married Kathryn Mize. Lost that job because he belonged to Union of Railroad Telegraphers.
Then he went to Indianapolis where he railroaded until 1914 and went into insurance business with Aetna Life Insurance and was with them until 1917 at which time he went with Illinois Mutual as Executive Vice President.
Retired May 1, 1957 and lived happily ever after.