Harlan County Hightowers

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The Elusive William M Hightower

I’ve been working on the Elusive, William M Hightower now for at least two years. I have been in touch with some of Williams grandchildren and talk with them quite often but one thing we have in common is the fact that we can't  find  out who William’s parents are !!

So, If anybody reads this and knows anything about William, please get in touch with me.

Here are web posts I got off the internet . Most of this information is by Darrell H Jackson….

William M. Hightower, b. 1870 in Anderson County, TN.  1920 Census: Precinct 4b, Harlan Co, KY.

William Hightower, my great grandfather was a mine union president, who was tried, convicted and imprisoned for 3 years for "conspiracy to murder" in 1n 1931. This was during the Harlan Co, KY mine wars and led to that county being known as "Bloody Harlan". During my research I have found data that give birth dates ranging from 1854 to 1871. A preponderance of the evidence indicates that 1870 is the correct date.  Darrwell H Jackson   Lakewood, Washington

"My maternal Great Grandfather was involved in the "Battle of Evarts" His name was William Hightower and was imprisoned for conspiracy to murder but was pardoned after three years. His grand daughter, my mother who is still alive at 82 years old remembers this incident. She was about 13 years old at the time and remembers the sound of gun fire, the "men" hiding their guns in the wall boards of the houses, and the fact that her grandfather was jailed. Darrell H Jackson  Lakewood, Washington

Battle of Evarts        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 The Battle of Evarts is the name given to a mining strike and ensuing violence that occurred in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1931. In February of 1931, The Harlan County Coal company cut wages for their employees. The United Mine Workers union responded by holding a rally in Pineville, drawing over 2,000 attendees. This and other wage cuts and firings led to a strike, and on May 5th a non-union worker was accosted by union mine workers, leading to three deaths. Eventually governor Flem D. Sampson had to call in the National Guard to quell unrest. The strike ended in June and led to several deaths and arrests.

Sept. 3-Jones and Hightower charged with perjury in connection with their murder trials.

Full Name of Applicant: William Hytour (Hightower)   Present Mailing Address: General Delivery, Lafollette, TN, Route 3  Enter Full Name at Birth if different from above: Age at Last

Birthday:68   Date of Birth: 20 March1870   Place of Birth: Coal Creek,TN     Father's Full Name: Maggie Mother's Full Maiden Name: Birchville Hytour   Sex:Male   Race: White    Business Name or Address of Employer: Craig-Wells Coal Co, Lafollette            Date Signed: 20 Sep 1938 Submitters Name: Darrell H. Jackson

Your relationship to the deceased: He is my maternal Great Grandfather

Comments or Additional Information: His form was typed and he signed it with an "X". In 1931 he was a Coal Miner's Union President. This was during the Harlan Co, KY mine wars. He and his co-workers were involved in the "Battle of Evarts" in Harlan Co, KY. He and about 20 others were railroaded into prison by the government and mine owners. He was convicted and imprisoned on a charge of "Conspiracy to murder" in the death of a deputy. He was pardoned after 3 years. I believe that on 9-20-1938 (at at least 68 years old)his employer told him he had to get a Social Security Account or lose his job (?). At his age and with his experience with the government that when asked questions by the clerk that typed his form he plead ignorance, forgetfullness, etc. Bored clerks probably did not dig too deep. His birthdate is followed by a question mark and the phrase "to be determined later). I also believe that his father's name is pure invention. I could not get his Form SS-5 initially because he was not listed. I obtained his death certificate from WV, it had is Social Security Number on it. I sent it to Social Security and in return got the SS-5. No parents are listed on his death certificate and his birthdate is shown as 1858 and death date as 1975, and age at time of death as 106 years, 9 months and 0 days. Based on research of this Surname I believe that it is commonly listed as Hightower. I have seen it on census records, in the same family as Heightour. This is the first time that I have see it as Hytour. Date: August 08, 2000 at 12:06:21 By; Darrell Jackson

William Hightower and Uncle Billy

My Grandmother Cassie (Casandra?) Mae Hightower's father was William Hightower and her mother was Martha Harrell/Herrell/etc. They lived in and around Anderson Co, TN most of their lives. I have not been able to find the father of William Hightower. There were between 4 & 6 Hightower/Heightours in Anderson Co during the the late 1800s and none of them seem to be my William's family. My mother who is still alive at 82 years old, said that William (her grandfather) was related to a William "Uncle Billy" Hightower of Anderson Co. Uncle Billy's claim to fame was that he lost both hands as a young man while fishing with dynamite. He spent the rest of his life as a preacher. He also married and raised a family. I can't make a connection to him either. William Hightower and Martha Harrell had the following children: Cassie Mae (my grandmother), Maggie, Grannison, George,Dewey and possibly one other. They were born betwwen 1895 and 1907. William Hightower was widowed by 1910. Posted by: Darrell H. Jackson Date: May 16, 2001 at 16:08:30

My maternal grandmother was Cassie Mae Hightower. Her father was William Hightower. He was born about 1869. This is based on the Anderson Co, TN census. Two living descendants say that he lived to be 107 years old, dying in Anderson or Campbell Co, TN. I found a book (with his picture) that says he was 77 years old in 1931. This article was in a book that described his part in the coalfield wars in Harlan County, KY (Called Bloody Harlan). He, as the UMWAUnion Local President and other striking union miners were tried on trumped up charges and sent to prison. William Hightower was pardoned after three years. The charge against him was "conspiracy to murder". This story agrees with what his daughter and grand daughter told me in 1988. I knew that he had been widowed from his first wife (Martha Herrell (Harrel, Herold, etc) by 1920 when he was living in Campbelll Co, TN. The article said that in 1931 he was married and had two young children at home. This would be a second family that I did not know of. His children as I know them are: Cassie Mae 1895, Maggie 1896, Grannison 1899, George 1901 and Dewey 1907. Evidence would indicate that this family followed the Coal Mine Jobs in TN, KY and WV. I will be glad to share what I have.

He married (1) Martha Herrell, b. 1877 in TN.  Martha: Martah and William had 6 children   He married (2) Dora Dove, b. abt 1900 in TN.  Dora: Dove had 3 children.

Children by Martha Herrell:  

Cassie Mae Hightower b. 1895. Maggie Hightower. Grantson Hightower, b. 2 Apr 1898 in Perry Co, KY?, occupation Coal Miner.   Also seen name spelled Grannerson. George Lee Hightower b. 2 Jun 1900. Dewey Hightower, b. abt 1903 in TN.                  

Children by Dora Dove:.

Mabel Hightower, b. 22 Apr 1916 in Harlan Co, Ky.