It’s difficult for me to remotely imagine a better day that yesterday, 9 March 2019. That was the date of the Windham reunion held at Sepulga Church.
We had people show up from all over, some that had never been to this area before and some reclaiming their roots and connections to both the land and the Windham families that grew up here.
In 1860 Aaron Windham and Amanda Murphy migrated here, with 10 children, from Talbot County Georgia and took up residence in what is now known as the Mt. Union area. Aaron negotiated with a man named William Barlow and finally worked out a deal in September 1860 whereby Aaron would indenture himself to Mr. Barlow in return for 220 acres of land surround ding the area I now reside in.
Shortly after that Mr. Barlow left home journeying to Mobile to join the Confederate Army. Approximately 3 weeks later Mr. Barlow was dead and it was noted that his body had been sent north. Where Mr. Barlow wound up at is unknown to this individual.
There was a codicil in the deed paperwork that 1 acre of the land would be withheld for the Sepulga Baptist Church. This one acre was designated as lying alongside the Jones Bridge to Old Town Road.
After 2 years of labor, Aaron was awarded the land and I have the handwritten description of it.
To condense this story some let’s say that in 1871 Aaron decided to leave Conecuh County and sold his land rights to his son George Washington Windham. Aaron departed Conecuh and wound up in Jena Louisiana.
When Aaron left the remainder of his family, with the exception of George Washington and his brother James Taylor Windham, followed him.
George was married and living on the land. James Taylor was married and lived primarily in the Brooklyn area. Both had children that lived in the local area hence the Windham’s became even more established in the local area.
As we move forward to yesterday’s reunion, the group that gathered could trace their roots back to either George’s family or James’ family.
To the best of my knowledge this was the first Windham reunion to ever be held and I was so pleased to meet and see people that I was totally unaware of their existence before.
I personally thought it was a good thing to hold our reunion at the Sepulga Church, a central point in the land Aaron indentured himself for. We had offspring from both brothers side of the family. Probably what I would consider the senior member of our reunion was Ms. Polly (Varner) Hall. It just so happens that Amanda Merliner Windham, oldest daughter of James Taylor, married into the Varner family. That would have been Ms. Polly’s grandmother.
We had folks come from all over to be at the reunion and I am so pleased and humbled by the turn out and continuous question of, “can we do this again next year?” HECK YES WE CAN.
Had some pretty good food to go with the companionship too. Baked beans, coleslaw, fried fish, hamburgers and hot dogs, tea, water and cold drinks.
We closed out around 2:30 with people leaving for home. A sad time, a happy time, I think we ran the gantlet of emotions as the realization of the day closing in on us. I only wish we could have kept it going but it sure gives us incentive and desire to live until next year.