William Jefferson Franklin, known as Bill by most folks, was born in Alabama to John A. Franklin and Mahaley Celia Findley. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery, Andalusia, Covington county, Alabama in the plot he purchased in 1914 for $25 for his family. Daughter Bonzeal was the first burial in the plot.
He was appointed constable of precinct 6, Covington county, Alabama on 12 Feb 1887.
On 01 Sep 1887 his brother Jack sold him the E ½ of SE1/4 Sec 7, T4 R15, and the W1/2 of SW ¼ S8 T4 R15 containing 160 acres of land being the same 160 acres that Jack had purchased four years earlier from their parents, John & Celia Franklin.
He purchased land on 20 Aug 1889 in Covington County, Alabama described as the NE1/4 of the NW1/4 and the NW1/4 of the NE1/4 and S1/2 of the NE1/4 of Section 20 Township 4 Range 15, containing 160 acres. He bought it from Joseph Warren Washington Adams and wife Mary E. Georgiann (Franklin) Adams. Georgiann was Bill's first cousin. This would be the land on Prestwood Bridge Road down the road from his brother Jackson Magilbry Franklin.
On 16 May 1890 he purchased the NE1/4 of Section 21 in Township 4 Range 15, containing 160 acres of land, from Mrs. Tempy C. & Reubin Arthur Credille.
On 01 Oct 1890 he purchased from Jehro Wells, N1/2 of the SW1/4 and the W1/4 of the SE1/4 of S21 T4 R15 in Covington County, AL.
On 23 Aug 1891, Bill signed as a witness to a deed by Matthew A. Yaun and wife Ella (Summerlin) Yaun to their daughter and his sister-in-law Lougenie (Yaun) Franklin.
It is apparent the Franklin family, including Bill, knew Jake Feaster well before Bill chose to marry Jake's daughter Lora in 1903. Upon reading Jake Feaster's federal homestead application we learn that Bill and his brother Jack, their father John A. Franklin, and James McCormack who was married to the John's neice, Temperance (Franklin) McCormack, were witnesses for Jake's application for his homestead land in 1894, stating that they knew and attested that Jake had lived on the property for the required five years. Another notarized document in the packet dated 21 July 1891 is also signed by Bill as a witness to Jake's tenure on the land in question. Lora would have just turned six years old shortly before this notice appeared in the paper in Andalusia and would have been a toddler of only three years when he signed the paperwork for her father in 1891! He would have essentially watched his future bride grow from toddler to womanhood!
In September of 1894 notice appeared on the above land stating Lorenzo J. Feaster filed a homestead land claim which William J. Franklin, Jackson M. Franklin, James McCormack and John A. Franklin all of River Falls, Alabama signed as witnesses to his continuous residence on said land as part of his land claim.
William Jefferson Franklin was a registered voter in Covington County, Alabama, in 1902 listed with no date of birth, but as being 46 years of age. 
About 1912 Bill had the family's portrait taken in front of their home. Here we see from left to right, my grandfather Wilbert, Bill, Ceab, Bonzeal and Lora holding infant Theresa.
On 09 Nov 1923, he registered an automobile (1919 Ford) in Andalusia. Sarah (Franklin) Mock, Bill's niece, told me that Bill bought himself a car in the early 1900s. She said he was one of the first in the area to own a car and she related the following event to which she was an eyewitness! Not having had his new automobile long, Bill was not a very skilled driver. One Sunday morning he was driving home from church with several passengers, of whom Sarah was one, when he came upon the elderly Mrs. King and her granddaughters walking along the road. Mrs. King was injured in the incident in which Sarah said she'll never forget the feeling of the car just "a bumping over" the poor woman! A document was located that verifies the story as valid. It reads,"Received of W. J. Franklin the sum of $40.00 it being in full of all claims or demands of expenses and doctor's bills in the case of an accident that occurred on Sunday the 25th day of April 1920 at or near New Home [Congregational] Church. Said accident done by the said W. J. Franklin with a Ford car by running over Mrs. E. L. King. It is agreed and understood by all parties concerned that this 40 dollars is a full and complete settlement in said case." Signed by the mark of Mrs. E. L. King and witnessed by R. A. [Riley Alexander] Franklin [Bill's brother], Justice of the Peace on May 7, 1920.
Bill apparently grew cotton on his farm, as did many in the county, as a warehouse receipt was located dated 24 Nov 1924, Andalusia, AL for baled cotton.
Bill owned and ran a store for a time in Andalusia. His daughter Athey, sent me this photo and had written on the back that the store was pictured in the background, but by the time of the photo in 1942, it was only used for storage.
Bill was apparently a religious man, as were most folks of his time and Sarah also told me that he gave money to have a Church of Christ built in Andalusia across the road [Plywood Mill Rd] from his first home. Documents which remained with the family indicate he later leased the church building to the Ted Allen family to use as a home until 1925.
In 1927 the family received a blow from Mother Nature as described by cousin Tom, age 95:
Yes, Lisa, I remember the flood of 1927 although I was only six years old at the time. I believe we were living at 31 Dunson Street in the house that my Dad, Henry, had built using select timbers from the sawmill that he and Tom Brooks, his brother-in-law operated. The previous house there had burned down when Henry and Bill Franklin spent the night there playing checkers and (per my Mom's suspicions) drinking home brew. I don't know where the rest of the family was but I do remember camping in the detached garage for awhile.
Back to the flood which would have been about two years later: My Dad drove the family down to Debbrow Hill (phonetic:I've never seen it in print) toward River Falls where we could see nothing but water from the lower part of that hill onward.
After Uncle Bill died, Lora offered to share crop the farm with my Dad and we moved to the farm in 1933. We had already lost the new Dunson St. house in the Great Depression that had begun in the latter part of 1929. Lora and Athey Faye stayed on for a while and while Athey Faye played with my little five year old sister,Madge Juanita, Lora instructed the rest of us how to run a farm. I remember her telling me, as she dumped coffee grounds on the worm bed at the edge of the porch, that on a farm, nothing is wasted.
I also remember her describing what happened when the Point A Dam broke and the flood waters began to approach the farm. She said you could hear it rolling through the forest north of the farm and later see it coming toward the house in waves or tiers of water one after another. The house was about three feet off the ground and the water eventually rose six feet or more above that. The front bedroom of the house did not have a ceiling and they were able to get up to the attic level and punch a hole in the roof from which they were eventually rescued. Uncle Bill had a little store and gas station across the road and at some point the gas tanks erupted or exploded. I also remember Aunt Lora telling that one of her cows had been able to get on the porch and through the front door and put her front feet on the bed so she could keep her head above the water.
Uncle Bill was able to get everything back in good operating condition before he died in 1932.
By the way, when we were out there in 1933 Jim Hogg was still alive. In fact we went possum and coon hunting with him; and maybe a wild boar hunting event. I also remember seeing Jack Franklin sitting on the porch of his log cabin that same year.
Thank you Lisa for all the information you have accumulated and organized for us Covington County Franklins. What a monumental task that must have been for you. I doubt that anyone else in the Clan could have done it.
On 03 Mar 1932, Bill died at the home of his daughter Theresa in Mobile.
↑ "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXZ8-Q21 : 14 December 2015), William J Franklin, River Falls, Covington, Alabama, United States; citing sheet 4A, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,010.
↑ "Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JDDJ-66N : 27 November 2014), William Jefferson Franklin in entry for Bonzeal Franklin, 12 Feb 1914; citing reference cn 159, Department of Health, Montgomery; FHL microfilm 1,894,106.
↑AGS Magazine. Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc. Birmingham, Alabama. Volume 36 Fall/Winter 2004. Bibles, Wills and Court Records - The McGilbie Finley Family. p15-16.
Obituary, The Andalusia Star News, 08 Mar 1932, p3.
William J Franklin Succumbs Thursday
William J. Franklin , 76, died at Mobile last Thursday morning at eight o'clock at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Theresa Christian. Funeral services were held from Patrick Funeral Home Friday afternoon at three o'clock with Rev. E. R. Talley of Christian Church officiating.
Mr. Franklin was a pioneer citizen of Covington County, where he was favorably known. He was a member of the Christian Church.
The pallbearers were Tom Bazer, Chas Keefe, Gordie Brooks, A.L. Hodges, Stewart Homes and Seldon Garrrison.
Cemetery plot deed, in possession of descendant Lisa R Franklin.
Information from discussions with his son and daughter-in-law, Wilbert Ira Franklin & wife Margaret Mae "Maggie" Franklin, my grandparents.
Alabama death certificate
Marriage record- Covington county, Alabama
Oral family history interviews with his neice, Sarah L. (Franklin) Mock, at her home at Rt 4 Box 440, Andalusia, Alabama. The niece of Bill, she was a first cousin to Wilbert Ira Franklin, my grandfather. 1989-93.
US Federal Census - 17 Jul 1860, Andalusia, Covington County, AL.
"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHKM-KPB : 17 October 2014), William Franklin in household of J T Franklin, Alabama, United States; citing p. 1, family 2, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,510.
Land deeds, Covington county, AL
US Federal census-1880, Covington county, AL (attached)
"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKQ4-GCS : 29 October 2015), William J Franklin, River Falls, Covington, Alabama, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 59, sheet 12A, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,022.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: