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James Hadley

Male Abt 1813 - 1890  (~ 77 years)


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  • Name James Hadley 
    Born Abt 1813  Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    • The date of birth for James is questioned. Most Hadley family historians give his date of birth as 1813, but without source. Census records consistently report the date of birth as 1826; however, the accuracy of any information reported from 1880 forward is questioned as the principal was a fugitive from justice. (After his conviction for the murder of Green Berry Bryars and two of his sons, Hadley, along with his father and brother, Jesse, decamped to Texas, and then Clay County, Florida where they assumed the name Lindsey.) The date of death given for his mother (again a date that is only secondarily sourced) and the provision in his father's will argues against the late date.
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 Oct 1890  Florida Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • BRYARS-HADLEY FEUD

      DREADFUL TRAGEDY IN BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA

      Partial reports of a terrible occurrence near the line of the Mobile and Montgomery Railroad reached us by telegraph from the Junction on Tuesday morning. Yesterday we were called upon by Mr. W.J. VAN KIRK, of Millvue, a surveyor, who was on duty near the scene of the tragedy, but not a witness to its occurrence. He visited the battleground, however, was present at the funeral of the victims, and gave us an intelligent report of the dreadful affair. Greenberry BRYERS and James HADLEY, two men of considerable means and both large owners of stock, had been at feud for some years in consequence of misunderstandings caused by the intermixing of their cattle which "used" in the same range. On Monday, BRYERS, Sr., with his son, Larry, was plowing about 150 yards from the house, when HADLEY, Sr., accompanied by a party of five others comprising his son, "Dink", two other sons, and his sons-in-law, Bud PRICHER and Thomas STEWART, all armed with shotguns, rode up near the fence and said they had "come to settle the matter". BRYERS and his son were unarmed, but the father, after some angry words had been exchanged, caught up a piece of pine root, a foot and a half long, and getting over the fence, his son following him, advanced toward the party. As he approached them he was shot down and instantly killed, and his son who ran to his father as he fell was instantly killed. Joseph BRYERS then came out of the house with a double barrel shotgun, but both barrels missed fire and he was shot dead. Meanwhile Dink HADLEY rode toward the house, sprang from his horse and got behind a pine tree to await the coming of another son, John BRYERS, who advanced from the house under fire with two guns. He dropped one of them and sprang to a post in the road which did not shelter more than a third of his person, and exchanged fires with Dink HADLEY about thirty yards off, the rest of the attacking party meanwhile firing on him from a distance. At his second fire HADLEY fell, and attempted to reload, but seeing BRYERS run back and get his other gun he scrambled upon his horse and rejoined his party and rode away with them, John firing into them as they left and wounding old HADLEY in the shoulder. Dink HADLEY's wound was in the knee. John was wounded in the head, arm and foot, but not dangerously? While the fight was going on near the house, Wylie, the youngest son of the BRYERS family, ran to where his father and brother Larry had fallen and was shot down, the wound being in the thigh and dangerous. The summary of the affair is a father and two sons murdered and two sons wounded, on one side; and on the other, a father and one son wounded. We are told that Mr. BRYERS was much respected being a leading man in religious affairs in the neighborhood, and that HADLEY had always been deemed a respectable person. The dead were buried on Tuesday, a large assemblage being present? Tuesday a posse of men, provided with warrants for the arrest of the murderers, went to the HADLEY settlement but found their residences deserted. The locality of these occurrences is near the Florida line, four miles west of Perdido station, or about midway between the Junction and Tensas Bridge.

      -Pensacola Gazette

      Source: Birmingham Iron Age, July 29, 1875

      * * * *

      The details of Green Berry's death are recounted at Hadley v. Alabama, 55 Ala. 31 (Ala. 1876):

      Supreme Court of Alabama.
      Hadley v. The State.
      December Term, 1876.

      Indictment for Murder.
      FROM the Circuit Court of Baldwin.
      Tried before the Hon. H. T. TOULMIN.

      *1 The defendants in this case, James Hadley and James M. Hadley, were jointly indicted and tried, together with Jesse Hadley, Thomas Stewart, and Howell Pitcher, for the murder of Green B. Bryars; pleaded not guilty to the indictment; were convicted of murder in the second degree, and sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for the term of ten years, while a verdict of not guilty was returned as to the other defendants. The circumstances attending the homicide, as disclosed by the evidence adduced on the trial, are thus stated in the bill of exceptions: "There was evidence tending to show, on the part of the State, that the parties lived about seven miles apart in the northern part of Baldwin county, and were stock-raisers; that on the Saturday before the killing they (that is, James Hadley, James M. Hadley, Jesse Hadley, and Green B. Bryars) were together at the house of said Green B. Bryars, and were friendly, and parted friendly, to meet again on Monday morning, and to go to a fork two or three miles from the house, to drive out some sheep belonging to Hadley, and separate them from the sheep of said Bryars. On Monday morning, all five of the defendants came to the fence of one of Bryars's lots, which was near the road leading from, and about one hundred yards from his house. All of them were mounted except one, and all armed with guns, and were first outside of the fence, opposite said Green B. Bryars, who stood by his plow, just inside of his lot, where he had been plowing before the defendants came up. Larry Bryars, one of his sons, had been to the house for water, and had just returned to his father, whom he had been helping to plow, as the defendants came up, and was standing outside of the fence, a few steps from his father. Wiley J. Bryars, another son, came from the house towards the place where his father and the defendants were; and when he came within about thirty steps of them, the deceased had left his plow, and got over the fence, and walked a few steps in the direction of the house, when he called out, 'Boys, come here.' This call attracted the attention of John and Joseph Bryars, who were at the house, and of his wife and daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Bryars and Bettie Bryars, who were in the yard, near the gate. Immediately on the deceased calling for his boys, the defendants dismounted from their horses, and James Hadley, being about five steps from the deceased, leveled his gun at the deceased, and shot him with both barrels. The deceased fell instantly; and about the same time, James M. Hadley shot him with one barrel of his gun, and then shot the other barrel at Larry, who stood near his father; from which shot Larry fell. About the same time, all the other defendants pointed their guns in the direction of Larry and Wiley, who were in the same direction from the defendants, and fired; Larry being then down on the ground, and Wiley going towards the house. Wiley was shot in the back of the thigh and head. The deceased, Green B. Bryars, Larry, and Wiley, were dressed in their working clothes, were in their shirtsleeves, and had no arms or weapons of any sort. The evidence tended to show that the deceased, at the time he was shot, had in his left hand a small stick, about two feet long, and an inch and a half in diameter. Very soon after this shooting, Joseph Bryars started from the house, with his gun, and had reached within about fifty yards of the defendants, when he was shot in the head, and killed; and the evidence tended to show that he did not fire his gun. John Bryars was advancing a short distance behind Joseph, with two guns, and he received a shot in the arm. He immediately returned the fire, discharging both barrels of his gun, and turned to get the other gun, which he had put down, when he received a second shot in the foot. Green B. Bryars, Larry Bryars, and Joseph Bryars were all killed, and Wiley and John wounded, in a few moments of time, and within a short time, not exceeding ten minutes, after the defendants arrived there. The defendants remounted their horses, and left in the direction whence they came; and the evidence tended to show that they went towards the house of James Hadley, and from there to the woods. One Renfro testified, on the part of the State, that the defendant Pitcher was in his employ, getting timber, and came by his camp about sunrise on the morning of the killing, and told him 'that he was going to fight a duel with old man Bryars that morning, and would be back to his work about twelve o'clock that day'; that said Pitcher then left his camp, with a gun, and went in the direction of Bryars's house, which was two or three miles distant. The killing took place about eight o'clock in the morning.

      *2 There was evidence tending to show, on the part of the defense, that the defendants were at the house of said Bryars on the Saturday before the killing, and, in a conversation between him and James Hadley, reference was made to a dispute previously existing, about a sheep of Hadley's, which Bryars said Hadley had accused him of marking; and Bryars insisted on his retracting the charge, and admitting it to be a falsehood; while Hadley denied that he had said Bryars had stolen his sheep, but only that Bryars had made a mistake in marking one of his sheep. At the solicitation of James M. Hadley, they made friends, and parted as friends, and agreed to come Monday morning, and get Hadley's sheep out of 'the fork'; James Hadley saying that he would send the boys, and, Bryars insisting that he should come too, he then consented to come. Immediately after they had left, Green B. Bryars said, in the presence of one Weakley, 'James Hadley seems like he wanted to compromise and make friends; but he can't make friends with me on any consideration, unless he acknowledges that he told a lie on me. He thinks he is coming here Monday to get them sheep, but he can't do it: he either has to acknowledge he told a lie, or fight.' Larry Bryars said to a friend on Sunday evening, when taking leave of him, 'I don't know that you'll ever see me any more. The Hadleys are coming on Monday to get them sheep; but old Jim will have to take back what he said, and admit he told a lie, or there will be a fight,' or 'a fuss.' Joseph Bryars said, on Sunday, that he could not go to the house of one King, his brother-in-law, 'because the Hadleys were coming to the house on Monday morning, and there would be hell.' There was evidence tending to show on the part of the defendants, by three witnesses, that when they started Monday morning, they were prepared and furnished with provisions for two days and one night in camp; that two of them were to drive home some sheep, and the others were after cattle; that Bryars was in the field when they rode up to the fence, and advanced towards them, with a pine root, about two and a half feet long, and one and a half or two inches in diameter, and jumped on the fence with it, calling towards the house, 'Come on, boys,' or 'Come with your guns, boys,' and attacked James Hadley with the stick; and that at the same time, while Hadley was backing his mule out of the way, several discharges of guns were made to and towards the defendants from persons on the premises of Bryars, and James Hadley and James M. Hadley were shot, and the clothes of the other defendants were a good deal cut by shot; and that Green B. Bryars was not shot, nor either of the others, until after this assault and these discharges from the Bryarses, and that twelve or fifteen shots were fired in two or three minutes. There was evidence on the part of the defendants, also, tending to show that Mrs. Elizabeth Bryars, on the evening after the difficulty and the death of Green B. Bryars, made statements of details of the rencontre different from those made by her as as witness on the trial."

      *3 "D. C. Byrne, a justice of the peace in said county, who was examined as a witness for the defense, testified, that he is a native of said county, and had known Hadley all his life, who is also a native of the county, and lives about eight miles from him; that he did not know the reputation of the defendants in the community in which they live, but had never known or heard anything against them, and until this occurrence had never heard his character for peaceableness discussed; that of his own knowledge he knew nothing against them; that James Hadley, so far as he knew, was a peaceable, good man, but he could not say what his reputation for peaceableness was in the neighborhood in which he lived. The court thereupon ruled, on motion of the State, that said witness was not competent to testify as to
      the character of said Hadley, and excluded his evidence from the jury; to which ruling the defendants excepted." "When John B. Bryars was offered as a witness on the part of the State, the defendants objected to his competency as a witness, and offered to show that he was a son of the deceased, and a brother of Larry and Joseph Bryars, and had brought an action of attachment in the Circuit Court of said county for $10,000 damages, for an assault and battery on him at the time and place the deceased was killed, against all the defendants, which action was still pending. The court overruled the objection, and allowed the witness to testify; to which ruling the defendants excepted. The defendants offered to prove, on cross- examination of said witness, that he was the plaintiff in a suit against them for an assault and battery committed on him by them, being the same suit mentioned above; but the court sustained an objection to this evidence on the part of the State, and the defendants excepted. The defendants also objected to the examination of Mrs. Elizabeth Bryars, the widow of the deceased, as a witness for the State, on the ground of incompetency, and offered to show that she, as the administratrix of said deceased, had brought an action in said court against all these defendants, for $20,000 damages for the wrongful killing of said deceased, and had also brought another action in said court, as next friend for Wiley Bryars, her son, to recover $10,000 damages for an assault and battery committed on him by them at the same time and place; which said actions are still pending in said court. The court overruled the objection, and allowed the witness to testify; to which the defendants excepted. The defendants also offered to prove these facts on cross-examination of said witness, but the court sustained an objection to said evidence by the State; to which the defendants also excepted." Similar objections were made to the testimony of Wiley J. Bryars, and exceptions duly reserved to the overruling of them. "John Bryars, Wiley J. Bryars, Mrs. Elizabeth Bryars, and Bettie Bryars, were the witnesses for the State who testified as to the facts of the rencontre. After the evidence for the State was closed, the defendants offered to show the same facts as to said pending suits, claiming $70,000 in all, separately, and all together as to each of them, and to produce the full record in each case, and that their attorneys in said suits were also their attorneys in this case. But the court refused to permit the defendants to prove any or all of these facts, and excluded them from the jury; to which ruling of the court the defendants excepted."

      *4 "The court charged the jury, among other things, as follows: 'If one man shoot another with a gun, or other deadly weapon, and death ensues, the law implies, or considers, or presumes, that the act was done maliciously, and imposes upon the slayer the burthen of rebutting this presumption, unless the evidence which proves the killing itself shows it to have been done without malice. Hence, if you believe, from the evidence, that the prisoners at the bar shot Green B. Bryars with a shot gun, or other deadly weapon, and thereby caused his death, the law presumes that the act was done maliciously, and imposes upon the prisoners the burthen of rebutting this presumption, unless the evidence which proves the killing itself shows it to have been done without malice. Now, then, if you believe from the evidence that the prisoners took the life of Green B. Bryars with a shot gun, or other deadly weapon, willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and premeditatedly, as tested by what I have said to you, and you find that it was done in this county, and before the finding of this indictment, they would be guilty of murder in the first degree, and it would be your duty so to find them. Should you find them guilty of murder in the first degree,' etc. To this charge the defendants excepted."
    Person ID I7570  Dickinson
    Last Modified 10 Nov 2013 

    Father Benjamin Hadley,   b. 1760, Fayetteville, Cumberland, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1830, Seven Mile Springs, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Kenderson,   d. Abt 1822, Seven Mile Springs, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2037  Group Sheet

    Family Elizabeth J Stewart,   b. Abt 1833, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 01 Oct 1847  Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. James Hadley,   b. Abt 1848, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Mary Hadley,   b. 1850, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Cynthia Hadley,   b. Abt 1852, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Jesse Hadley,   b. Abt 1856, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. William Hadley,   b. Abt 1858, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Irene Hadley,   b. Abt 1862, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. John Wesley Hadley,   b. Abt 1864, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Minnie Hadley,   b. Abt 1866, Escambia County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
     9. Lee Hadley,   b. Abt 1867, Jack Springs, Escambia, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 5 Sep 2011 
    Family ID F2041  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 01 Oct 1847 - Baldwin County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S007856] 1850 United States Federal Census, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration), Census Place: Division 1, Baldwin, Alabama; Roll: M432_1; Page: 88B; Image: 283.

    2. [S014287] 1860 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004), Census Place: , Baldwin, Alabama; Roll: M653_1; Page: 217; Image: 216; Family History Library Film: 803001.

    3. [S014080] 1880 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Census Place: Precinct 3, 5 and 6, Clay, Florida; Roll: 126; Family History Film: 1254126; Page: 320B; Enumeration District: 17; Image: 0230.
      Alias used: Thomas Lindsey

    4. [S336391] The Hadley Society, (http://www.hadleysociety.org/photo_gallery/documents_gallery/hadley_benj_signature.html).