Written by Rebecca Sellars for the 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 6 miles northeast of Madison, near present day County Road 254, and they brought all 8 of their children. The Agners moved from Greenwood County, South Carolina. 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 7 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. Samuel and his first wife, Mary Jenkins, had 7 children:
Mary Belle Agner, (1874-1941) who married Henry Raines and lived near Pine Grove Baptist Church;
a son who died in infancy;
Anna Agner, who married W. L. Lamb and who lived in Live Oak;
W. Eddie Agner (1879-?) who married Cordelia Lanier;
John Oscar Agner (1882-1960’s) married Lizzie Martin and settled in Taylor County;
an infant son, Perry Agner, who was born and died in 1884; and
Colina “Lena”Agner (1888-?) who married a Mr. Knowles and settled in Avon Park.
Three children were born to Samuel and his second wife, Nora:
Ernest Agner (1895-?);
a daughter Talmadge Agner (1898- ?); and
Leslie Agner (1900-?).
Samuel M. and his second wife Nora Parker received 160 acres of a land patent in 1896.
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:
Thomas Cecil Agner (1887-?)
With his second wife, Rosa Lee Stokes, five children were born:
Samuel Geiger Agner (1894-1973);
Mollie Agner (1897-1899);
Josie Agner (1899-?) married Dewitt Fortner and had four children;
James Marshall Agner (1903-1904); and Teddy Alice Agner (1905-?) who married a Mr. Brown.
Thomas and his family lived a short while in Madison County, then in Lowndes County, then in Suwannee County.
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 7 children, and 3 of their children raised families in the county. Many of their grandchildren still live in the county. John Quincy Agner, (1888-1970) lived in Madison and farmed; he never married. Samuel Hugh Agner lived from 1892-1911. Helen Douglas Agner married Moses Fligh; the couple owned a grocery store in Jacksonville and had no children; Edith Isabel Agner married Jesse Alonzo Summers and lived in Providence with their 6 children.
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 5 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 6 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 3 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 4 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 2.
8. Hilda Mae Agner married James “Jimmy” Tillis Dixon.
9. Dianna Lois Agner married Allen Wayne Rehberg; and
10. Lewis Michael Dale Agner married Cassandra Jane Browne.
Lots of 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 in general 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 Enterprise-Recorder, 30 May 2014]