Revolutionary vet honored

Members of the Cahaba-Coosa Chapter of the Alabama Society of the Sons of the American Revolution recently honored Revolutionary War Veteran Jonathan Clower.

On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 19, 2008, the members of the Cahaba-Coosa Chapter, Alabama Society, Sons of the American Revolution marked the final resting place of Revolutionary War Veteran Jonathan Clower at his burial spot in northern Chilton County. Patriot Jonathon Clower was born on Dec. 3, 1763 in Berks County Pennsylvania and served in the North Continental Line. He fought at the Battle of Eutaw Springs and the Battle of Dorchester and was discharged on May 20, 1782 in Charleston, South Carolina by Colonel Lee.

After the war he married Mary Shular and they had twelve children, nine daughters and three sons. They eventually migrated to Alabama and were among the first settlers of what is now Chilton County. Jonathan Clower died September 18, 1837 in Shelby County (now part of Chilton County) and his grave is the earliest recorded grave in Chilton County. His gravesite, known as Caviness Gardens, is named for Jonathan Clower’s son in law, Andrew Caviness who owned the land on which Clower is buried. Mary Clower, widow of Jonathan Clower, applied for a pension in Shelby County on Nov. 8, 1844. Around 1850, the Clower and related families moved westward, most of them settling in Arkansas and Texas. Mary Clower died on Sept. 3, 1853 and is buried in Drew County Arkansas.

Approximately forty-five people were in attendance, including seven descendants of the patriot. Descendants of Jonathan Clower came as far away as Texas and Arkansas to attend the dedication ceremony. Scott Martin, a Clower descendant and former president of the Cahaba-Coosa Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, organized the dedication and also provided the family history to those in attendance. Alan Dismukes, current president of the Cahaba-Coosa Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, presented the state wreath. Other groups represented at the grave dedication were the Chilton Cemetery Association, the Chilton County Historical Society, the Shelby County Historical Society, the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance and the Alabama Historical Commission. The Chilton Cemetery Association also provided several volunteers for the event.

Special thanks to those individuals who assisted in the cleanup of the gravesite: Jenna Burns, David Dennis, Charles Ellison, Kevin Laws, Scott Martin, Jeff Reece, and Tye Southard. Thanks also to Gerald “Buck” Cost who volunteered to bring his golf cart and transported people the 400 yards into the woods, enabling numerous elderly and disabled people to attend the event.

Special thanks also to Hancock Forest Management and John Hancock Life Insurance for granting access to the gravesite and for authorization for the ceremony.