Story Submitted: Rebecca Sellars, Madison Genealogy Society
Around 1861, just in time for the Civil War, Samuel and Mary Martha Tittle Agner moved into Madison county. Samuel and Mary settled six miles northeast of Madison, near present day County Road 254, and they brought all eight of their children. The Agners moved from Greenwood County, S.C. Samuel was around 40 years old, and Mary was around 35.
Shortly after he arrived, Samuel served as a private in the Confederate Army, from 1862-1865; he served in Captain John Westcoat's Company of Madison County, which was Company I, 10th Regiment, Florida Infantry. Wounded in the left foot in 1864, he was hospitalized and "rendered unfit for manual labor". In 1884, Samuel was granted a land patent of 80 acres of land; the family had lived on the land already for seven years.
The eight children of Samuel and Mary Martha were: (1) Margaret J. "Maggie" Agner (1848-1930) who taught school in various locations throughout the county: Pine Hill, Friendship Academy, New Prospect, Suwannee River, Midway, and West Farm. (2) Samuel M. Agner (1853-1930's) married first Mary M. Jenkins; his second wife was Lenore M. "Nora" Parker; his last wife was L. C. Bass. (3) Thomas Sloan Agner (1854-1925) married Laura "Lollie" Belle Sealey; his second wife was Rosa Lou Stokes. Thomas Sloan and his wife, Lollie, had one son. (4) Ann M. Alice Agner, 1856-?, married Joseph A. Ambrose; her family farmed in Columbia and probably Suwannee Counties. (5) John Lewis Agner married Barbara Isabelle Stephens and raised their family in Madison. (6) Sarah "Sally" Agner (1859-1908) married John Francis "Frank" Webb; their family ended up in Live Oak. (7) Lucy (1862) died as a child. (8) Martha S. "Mattie"Agner (1868-1947) married Henry May. When she died, Mattie was living on land homesteaded by her father.
You may recognize some of the descendants of John Lewis Agner (1857-1929) and Barbara Isabel Stephens. They farmed land adjoining Dusty Miller Road, and the Agner descendants today live in the same spot. John and Barbara had seven children, and three of their children raised families in the county:
John Lewis and Barbara Stephens' daughter, Nina Agner, married Berry Martin Williams. They lived on the land patented to Samuel Agner. Their two daughters were Annie Barbara "Bobbie," who married Gordon Stanton Martin Sr. and lived in Jacksonville; and Dorothy Elizabeth "Dot" who married Daniel Marvin Reeves and lived in Madison County.
John Lewis and Barbara's son, Willie James (1896-1977) married Fannie Lou Pulliam and the couple had 13 children, raised in Madison County: (1) William Alexander married Birdie Marie Burnett from Tennessee and lived in Tennessee. (2) James Carroll married Coantha "Kitty" Cole, raised four children in Madison, farmed and was a Nazarene minister. (3) Raymond Lewis died as a young child. (4) Joe Dean married Arldine Reaves, farmed, drove a school bus and had five children. Joe's second wife was Helen Carroll Mills and his third wife was Angelus Miller. (5) Mildred Davis Agner worked for many years in Dr. Bibb's office. (6) Wesley Cole Agner married Mary Alice Sawyer; Cole farmed and drove a school bus; he and his wife had six children. (7) John Pendleton and Verdie Mae Fouraker had five children. (8) Robert Quincy Agner married Joyce V. Price from Kentucky; he pastored churches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and in Madison. The couple had three children. (9) Arthur Paul Agner taught school many years in Colorado and some years in Georgia. (10) Shellie Mae Agner married first Dean Archie Rees and lived in Indiana. The couple had 3 children. Shellie next married Arthur "Art" Duran and they had two children in Colorado. (11) Samuel Hugh Agner married Mary Ella Williams and worked mostly as a contractor and carpenter. Samuel and Mary Ella had 3 children. His second wife was Carolyn Jones LaPoint; and his third was Janice Drawdy Ritchea. (12) Barbara Joyce Agner married Johnnie Lewis Williams, Sr.; they had four children. (13) Walter Parrish Agner was the last child of Willie James and Fannie Lou.
John and Barbara's son, Carradine "Dean" Agner (1898-1981) and Silviria Clide Stewart farmed all of their lives in Madison County and had 10 children. (1) Carradine "C.D." married Joyce Ann Smith. (2) Virginia Nell Agner, married Marjell Otis Dobbs. (3) Viria Susan Agner married Manzie Wallace "Acey" Wall. (4) Baby Agner lived only a few hours. (5) Nancy Elizabeth Agner married Theodore "Ted" LeRoy Martone; she died in Cleveland, Ohio. (6) Jimmie Martin Agner married Bonnie Nadine Smith. (7) William Quincy Agner died at age two. (8) Hilda Mae Agner married James "Jimmy" Tillis Dixon. (9) Dianna Lois Agner married Allen Wayne Rehberg. (10) Lewis Michael Dale Agner married Cassandra Jane Browne.
Many descendants of Samuel and Mary Martha Agner's son, John Lewis and his wife, Barbara Isabel Stephens, remain to this day in Madison, some still farming original family land from the 1870's. Willie James and Fannie Pulliam and their 13 children, and Carradine and Silviria Clide Stewart and their 10 children have made lasting imprints in Madison County. Farmers, solid citizens, community-minded people and fine folks, members of the Agner clan have enriched the lives of everyone who came in contact with them for quite a few years.
[Extracted from the Madison Enterprise-Recorder, 30 May 2014]