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LOFTIN
GENEALOGY
LINE


The
LOFTIN
Family
Tree


Philip
Daniel
Loftin

(1978 - 200?)

Curtis
Dean
Loftin

(1953 - 20??)

Sam
William
Loftin

(1918 - 1979)

Alonzo
Lester
Loftin

(1876 - 1937)

William Alexander
Loftin

(1851 - 1939)

James
Franklin
Loftin

(1827 - 1864)

Thomas
Loftin

(1798 - 185?)

James
Loftin

(1768 - 1836)

John
Loftin

(1740 - 1793)

Cornelius
Loftin III

(1714 - 1785)

Cornelius
Loftin II

(1675 - 1735)

Cornelius
Loftin I

(1648 - 1735)

Leonard
"Laughton"
Loftin

(1610 - 1678)
_______

William
Alexander's
SIBLINGS:

Harriet Jone Loftin

(1849 - 1908)

James
Edmund
Loftin

(1853 - 1925)

Mary
Frances
Loftin

(1855 - 19??)

Alonzo
Loftin

(1857 - 1???)

Washington
Lafayette
Loftin

(1859 - 1932)
Oliver
Cromwell
Loftin

(1861 - 1930)
__________
 

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William Alexander Loftin

 

Born: 26 Oct 1851, Catawba County, NC
Died:  11 Jun 1939, Catawba County, NC

 

 

The William Alexander Loftin & Laura Cranford Loftin Family

 

(Left to Right)  Garland, Alec holding Pearl, Lee, Laura holding Cordie,
Frances, Alonzo, Zettie and Cornelia.

 

William Alexander (“Alec” or "Alick") Loftin was the son of James Franklin Loftin and Frances Elizabeth Fisher.  Alec was the 2nd of their seven children.  He was born 26 Oct 1851.  The others were Harriet born 1849, James Edmond born 1853, Mary Frances born 1855, Alonzo born 1857, Washington Lafayette born 1859 and Oliver Cromwell born December 1861. 

Alec's father, James Franklin, enlisted in the confederacy and was killed in May of 1864 at Drewry's Bluff, VA.  It has been said that when James Franklin went off to war that Alec was just tall enough to harness the horse to the plow.

 

According to census records, after James Franklin was killed in the Civil War, Alec’s mother, Elizabeth, continued to run the farm. Census and tax records list the animals and crops she had. 

 
1870 Catawba County Census
 
Last Name First Name Age Sex Race Occupation Real Estate Personal Estate Can't Read Can't Write
Loftin Elizabeth 42 F W Keeping House $400 $150    
------ Alexander 18 M W Farm Laborer        
------ James 16 M W Farm Laborer        
------ Mary 15 F W At Home        
------ Lafayette 13 M W At Home       X
------ Oliver 9 M W          
                   
McKinnis Gilbert 28 M W Farmer $100 $150 X X
------ Harriet 23 F W Keeping House        
------ William 1 M W          
Sherrill Joseph 13 M W Farm Laborer     X X
 

Those living at the family farm at the time were Elizabeth age 42, Alexander 18 Farm Laborer, James 16 Farm Laborer, Mary 15, Lafayette 13 and Oliver 9.  Real Estate value for James Franklin & Elizabeth’s farm was $400 and Personal Estate Value was $150.  Also according to the Census Lafayette could not write at the age of 13.

 

Alec’s sister, Harriet age 23, was married to Gilbert McKinnis and living nearby.  They had a son William, 1 year old, and Joseph Sherrill, age 13, living with them.

 

Alec continued to farm as he grew older.    

 

   

 
1874 is the first year that William Alexander "Alec" Loftin was listed on the Catawba County tax list.
 

On January 28th, 1875, Alec married Laura Rossie Cranford, the daughter of Rev. Manley Wilson Cranford and Mary Martha Lomax at William Howard's.  [J. S. Sherrill was the Minister, and L. A. Rudisill & L. S. Burkhead were the Witnesses.]  He was 23, she was 20.  Laura was born 02 Jan 1855.  Manley and Martha attended Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church in the Sherrills Ford area.  The church had been established by a local group of citizens with anti-slavery and pro-Union feelings as a Northern Methodist Episcopal Church.  This did not sit well with some of their neighbors.

 
The following year after their marriage, their first child, Alonzo Lester Loftin, was born on 05 Feb 1876.  In time, Alec and Laura had six more children.
 
 
1880 Catawba County Census

 
Last Name First Name Sex Age Relation Occupation School Can't Read Can't Write
Loftin William A. M 28   Farmer      
------ Laura R. F 24 Wife Keeping House      
------ Alonzo L. M 4 Son At Home      
------ Frances I. F 1 Daughter At Home      
 
 

In 1878 daughter Frances Ivey was born, followed by Zettie Wilson in 1881.  On December 13th, 1881, Alec bought 12 acres of land from his mother.  This is the only land deed that has been found for him.  Alec lived at this location all of his life.

 
 
On 20 Jun 1884 Arthur Lee was born, followed by W. Garland on 23 May 1887. 
 

From all available evidence, it seems that the original Methodist Church in Catawba was called Smyrna. As a young man Alec was a member of the Smyrna Society in 1868 and 1869 and continued there at least through 1877.  Class papers for Smyrna (1872 & 1873) indicate that Alec was "single" and a "Believer".

 

In 1887 Alec, along with his brother-in-laws, Gilbert McKinnis and Preacher Francis “Fitze” Drum, decided a church was needed in the Catawba County community where they lived, so they called for a meeting at Walden School House.  Many of the people in the community were part of the congregation at Shiloh, a Methodist Episcopal Church, and there was friction dating from the War Between the States.  Response to the meeting was encouraging and a brush arbor was constructed near the site where Center Methodist Church now stands.  

Later as the church grew, people donated wood and their time to build a church.  The construction of Center Methodist Church took place in June of 1890.  William Alexander was elected one of the leaders of the church.  Francis Drum was asked to be the song leader, but declined, saying he preferred that Alec do it.


Center United Methodist Church

 
Alec loved to sing and had to walk to church.
 
 

Hattie Pearl was born on 09 Jul 1890 and Cordie Bland was born on 26 Aug 1894, completing Alec and Laura’s family.

 
Alec purchased several pieces of property of the next few years.
 
Property purchased by William Alexander Loftin
 
Grantee (Purchaser) Grantor (Seller) Year Kind of
Instrument
Book Page
           
Alexander Loftin Lemuel N. Miller 1898 Deed 59 362
Alexander Loftin William Bandy 1899 Deed 60 578
 
 
 
1900 Catawba County Census

 
Last Name First Name Relation Sex Birth Mth Year Age Occupation Read Write
Loftin Elizabeth Head F Aug 1830 69 Farmer No No
                   
Loftin Alexander Head M Oct 1851 49 Farmer Yes Yes
------ Laura Wife F Jan 1855 45      
------ Lee Son M Jun 1884 15 Farm Laborer Yes Yes
------ Garland Son M May 1887 13 Farm Laborer Yes Yes
------ Pearl Daughter F Jul 1890 9      
------ Cordie Daughter F Aug 1894 5      
 
 

According to the 1900 Catawba County Census, Alec and Laura were living next door to his mother, Elizabeth, who was living alone at the age of 69.  At the time of the Census, Alec was 49 and Laura was 45.  The children who were still living at home were: Lee age 15, Garland age 13, Pearl age 9 and Cordie age 5.  Alec’s occupation was listed as Farmer, while Lee and Garland were listed as Farm Laborers.

 
 
Children of Alec Loftin and Laura Cranford
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Alonzo Lester Loftin 05 Feb 1876 04 Feb 1937 (1) Cornelia Estelle Lowrance
(2) Ida Lillian Setzer
Frances Ivey Loftin 19 Sep1878 15 Jun 1958 Wesley Drum
Zettie Wilson Loftin 25 May 1881 22 Apr 1956 Charles McCulloch Beatty
Arthur Lee Loftin 20 Jun 1884 30 Jun 1950 (1) Alice Josephine Gilleland
(2) Bertha Kale
W. Garland Loftin 23 May 1887 02 Aug 1912 Rosa N. Wike
Hattie Pearl Loftin 09 Jul 1890 04 Aug 1966 (Never Married)
Cordie Bland Loftin 26 Aug 1894 06 May 1981 Thomas Robinson Wilson
 
 

(Below)  Frances Elizabeth Fisher
(Right) Alonzo, Frances & Zettie Loftin
 

 
 
 

Alec loved Campmeeting and attended the Balls Creek Campground just like his father before him.  Alec greeted his kin in the tent his father had raised in the 1850s.

 

Ball's Creek Arbor, at the center of the campground, established in 1853

 
 

Alec and Laura’s daughter-in-law, Cornelia, died from pneumonia on 11 Feb 1904 leaving Alonzo with five small children of his own to raise.  When the decision was made to send the children away to an orphanage in the mountains until Alonzo could bring them home, Alec and Laura brought Alonzo’s youngest daughter, Verdie Lee, home with them to live.  In her later years, Verdie Lee recounted how when she was a little girl Alec would sometime take a nap at lunch and loved for her to brush his hair while he was sleeping.

 

March 5, 1909 was a tragic day in William Alexander’s life - the day that his wife Laura died.  Alec was 58 at the time and Laura was 54.

 
 
1910 Catawba County Census

 
Last Name First Name Relation Sex Race Age Trade Occupation
Loftin William A. Head M W 58 Farmer General Farm
------ Zettie Daughter F W 26 Dress Maker At Home
------ Pearl Daughter F W 18 Farm Laborer Home Farm
------ Cordie Daughter F W 15 Farm Laborer Home Farm
------ Verdie Lee Grand-Daughter F W 6 None  
Shelton Loum Nephew M W 35 Farm Laborer Home Farm
 
 

According to the 1910 Catawba County Census, William A “Alec” is 58 years old.  Those living with him were his daughters Zettie age 26, Pearl age 18 and Cordie age 15.  Granddaughter Verdie Lee age 6, daughter of Alec’s  son Alonzo, was also living with him, as well nephew Loum Shelton.

 
 

 

(Left) Loum Shelton, nephew
(Right) Frances Ivey Loftin


Alec faced another time of sadness on August 2, 1912 when his son W. Garland died from typhoid fever after having been married for only 5 weeks to Rose Wike.

 

Alec and the family owned property and lived on Loftin Dr., just off of Murrays Mill Rd. in Catawba County, NC.

 
 

On 22 Dec 1912, at the age of 61, William Alexander married Amanda Wanetta “Juanita” Beatty.  Wanetta was born 18 Jan 1868.  She was the daughter of Tyler Beatty and Adeline Parks.  They were 2nd cousins.  Alec's father, James Franklin Loftin, was 1st cousins with Wanetta's father, Tyler Beatty.

 
 

Alex's Certificate of Marriage to Wanetta Beatty

 

 
 
 

In August 2010, a 101-year-old Lois Loftin Mundy (daughter of Arthur Lee Loftin and granddaughter of William Alexander Loftin) describes her grandfather Alec as a "not very tall" and "slim man" who loved his family, loved his church and loved campmeeting.  Lois said Alec loved to tell stories and would frequently sit beside the fireplace and do so.  The family loved to listen to him as he talked.  According to Lois, his second wife Juanita was a large quiet woman who smoked a pipe.

 
 
 

The 1920 Catawba County Census shows Alex (Alick), his second wife Amanda Wanetta Beatty and youngest daughter Hattie Pearl living in the family home.  Alex is 65, Wanetta is 59 and Hattie Pearl is 28.

 
1920 Catawba County Census

 
Last Name First Name Relation Sex Race Age Md. Read Write Birth Occupation
Loftin Alick W. Head M W 65 M Yes Yes NC Farmer
------- Amanda Wife F W 53 M Yes Yes NC None
------- Hattie P. Daughter F W 28 S Yes Yes NC None
 
 
The 1930 Catawba County Census listed Alex's age as 78, Juanita as 62 and Pearl as 30.
 
1930 Catawba County Census

 
Last Name First Name Relation Sex Race Age Md. Age@
1st
Md.
Read
Write
Birth Occupation
Loftin Alex Head M W 78 M 25 Yes NC Farmer
------ Juanita Wife II F W 62 M 40 Yes NC None
------ Pearl Daughter F W 30 S   Yes NC Farmer
 
 

According to Frances Loftin Cook, Alec almost lost his home and property during the Depression.  His son-in-law, Tom Wilson, husband of Cordie Loftin, helped pay off Alec’s mortgage and thus Alec was able to keep his home and property. 

 
 

Alec lost another son on 04 Feb 1937 when Alonzo Lester died while living in Charlotte. 

Alec’s daughter Frances Ivey married Wesley Drum,  Zettie married Charles McCulloch Beatty and Cordie married Tom Wilson.  Hattie Pearl never married.

Alec’s son Arthur Lee married Alice Josephine Gilleland on 23 Sep 1906.  Upon her death he married Bertha Kale and the couple resided in Catawba, NC.



(Right) Alec and Wanetta/Juanita at a birthday dinner to honor him. (Left to Right) Zettie, Frances, Alec, Pearl, Juanita, Lee and Cordie.

 
 
Helen Josephine Loftin White (daughter of Arthur Lee Loftin & granddaughter of William Alexander Loftin) says of her grandfather Alec, "He was funny and was always telling jokes and kidding.  I remember going to his house.  Once we stayed for a week.  We fed the chickens and kept busy.
 

William Alexander died June 11, 1939 at the age of 87.  Dr. Fred Long was the attending physician.  Alec died from "Disease of Heart".  He and Laura are buried at Center Methodist Church in Catawba County, NC.

 
Alec's Death Certificate shows his father as Frank Loftin and his mother as Elizabeth Fisher.
 

William Alexander Loftin's Death Certificate

 
 
 

 
 
 



Loftin Drive on Murray's Mill Rd
is named in honor of Alec & Laura Loftin
 and marks the area of the county
where they lived.

 
 

The changing face of Center Methodist Church in Catawba County, NC

 

The beginnings of Center Methodist Church date from 1887 when a group of concerned citizens met at the Walden School House, located near where Harwell & Lowrance Rds intersect.  Some of the people were in the congregation of Shiloh, a Methodist Episcopal Church, and they were motivated to organize the new church due to friction dating from the War Between the States.  Response to the meeting was encouraging and a brush arbor was constructed near the site where Center now stands.  The following men were chosen as leaders of the new congregation:

     Alexander Blaylock
     Francis Drum (brother-in-law to William Alexander Loftin; husband to Mary Frances Loftin)
     Pinkney Durant Drum
     James T. Harwell
     W. Alexander Loftin
     Gilbert A. McKinnis (brother-in-law to William Alexander Loftin; husband to Harriet J. Loftin)

Land for a permanent place of worship was given by Mr. Joseph Beal, and a deed for the property was drawn in 1888 with James T. Harwell, T.L. Jones and Alexander Blaylock as the first trustees.  Construction was begun as the congregation met first at Walden School and later at the brush arbor.

 

Wanetta Beatty Loftin died on 25 Jun 1950 at the age of 82 years old.  Her Death Certificate lists the cause of death as "arterial sclerosis" or hardening of the arteries. Her parents as listed as Tyler Beatty and Adeline Parks.  Reid Beatty was the informant.

 
 

Death Certificate for Amanda Wanette Beatty Loftin

 
 

William Alexander's 2nd wife, Amanda Wanetta "Juanita" Beaty Loftin is buried at Sherrills Ford Presbyterian Church.

 

 
 
 

Video Interview With Lois Loftin Mundy (age 101) from August 2010:

Lois discusses her parents (Lee & Josephine Loftin), Lee's work,
dating, typhoid fever and Marie, Dr. Fred Long,
Grandpa William Alexander "Alec" Loftin,
Grandma Laura Cranford Loftin
and Great Uncle James Edward Loftin (Alec's brother).

Click Here

 
 
 
SOURCES
 

Thanks to Alisha Story for the photos from Hart's Square

 

A special thanks to Peggy Loftin Brotherton for the photos of Alec and his family. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 If you have additional photos or information about William Alexander Loftin, please contact me.