Luther P. Barnett
by Nolen L. Brunson
Luther P. Barnett was born on November 24,1849. There is some uncertainty about his middle name. Almost all of the records refer to him as Luther P. Barnett or L. P. Barnett. Most records [Elizabeth Farmer and others] indicate that the "P" stood for Pinckney (or Pinkney); however, there is one report indicating that it stood for Perry.About 1870, he married Mary Jane Fowler, and, according to the stone at Glassy Mountain Baptist Church, she was born on September 23, 1851.
Note: Mary Jane was the sister of Martha Ann Fowler, wife of Simon D. Lister; of Nancy Fowler, wife of David Ballenger; of Rebecca (Becky) Ann Fowler, wife of Jefferson B. McMakin; and of Elizabeth (Betty) Fowler, wife of Mitchell (some report Michael) King Robertson and was the mother of John Eugene Robertson and Lydia Robertson. These five Fowler girls were the daughters of Matthew B. Fowler born March 3, 1814, died March 30, 1884 and Kindness Barton born August 6, 1818, died July 10, 1904.9
The Barton Book (courtesy of Mrs. Myrtle Lee, living in Tigerville) shows, on page 51, a Fowler daughter who married a Barnett, but her name is given as Rebecca Ann; her date of birth is given as 1848. The editor believes that the Barton Book is in error here, and another Fowler sister, listed as Mary, born 1850 or 1851, is the one who married Luther P. Barnett. Mary Jane is shown in the 1860 Census family of Matthew B. Fowler and wife, Kindness Barton as being 10 years of age.
The relationship of these five Fowler girls to Rachel Fowler, who married Moses H. Lister, is uncertain; however, it seems clear that Rachel was much older - perhaps she would have been a sister to Matthew B. Fowler and an aunt to these girls?
Mann Batson's book (page 216) mentions L. P. Barnett and the context indicates that his residence was on the "main Gowansville road", which, it is believed, is now Highway 11 at that point, or approximately so. L. P. is also mentioned on page 218, and the context indicates that he lived near Rev. O. C. Barton and that further away were the residences of Big Bill Howard, Ben Ross, George Center and the home of J. A. Center.
The George Center family is shown on page 364, dwelling and family 696, of the 1850 Census of Greenville County as: George Center, 38; Elender Center, 31; Roseanna Center, 13; and Narcissa Center, 11.
The book on the Plumblee family (The Plum(ly, lee, ley, blee) Family, From Bucks to Buncombe, 1862-1981, written by Millard Quentin Plumblee, published privately in Salisbury, North Carolina, 1982, page 160), says that he (Luther) owned the eastern half of Squirrel Mountain (Big Bill Howard owned the western half).
The information given in the History of Alabama concerning Luther is to the effect that he was a successful farmer, had always taken an active and prominent part in local affairs and had served a number of years as Township Commissioner and as a member of the Board of County Commissioners. For more than thirty years, he was on the Tax Equalization Board for Greenville County, was a Democrat, and was very active in party affairs. He retired in 1910.
A photograph showing a portion of Luther's homeplace was recently published in Dean Campbell's pictorial essay.
Mary Jane died on September 26, 1909 (Luther Z. Barnett's records indicate September 6, 1909) and Luther P. died on April 12, 1925 (Luther's records indicate April 12, 1921). Mary Jane was buried in Glassy Mountain Baptist Church cemetery, and her stone reads "A Christian, A Devoted Wife & Mother". The place of burial for Luther has not been learned, but it is also probably there, in a grave now unmarked.
Information from local sources (Ross Greene) indicate that the homeplace (now owned by members of the Greene family) was damaged by fire, probably in December, 1994. It was recently (January, 1995) pushed over and demolished, and a new house is now there (1997).