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Hightower, William

Posted by WmDanGilbert 
Hightower, William
March 19, 2012 12:51PM
Hoping to find Williams ancestors. Possibly his father was Barksdale Hightower. Any help very much appreciated

William H. (M). Hightower (Hytour, Heightour), b. 20 March 1870 – died 1965 WVA [other estimates range from 1854 to 1871].
His 1938 social security application (while in Lafollette, TN) spells his name HYTOUR, place of birth: Coal Creek, TN DOB: 3-20-1870 self-reported as not sure, father: Birchville Hytour, mother: Maggie?.

On his 1965 WV death certificate his name is spelled HIGHTOWER, POB: Lakecity, TN, DOB: 3-2-1858
1920 Census: Precinct 4b, Harlan Co, KY.

1931 he is in Harlan Co. KY a newspaper article at that time says he was 77 years old
Two living descendants say that he lived to be 107 years old, dying in Anderson or Campbell Co, TN.
He married (1) Martha Herrell, b. 1877 in TN. Martha and William had 6 children Widowed by 1910 from first wife Martha Herrell (Harrel, Herold, etc)
In the 1910 census he is widowed and living in Campbell Co. TN with his children. They lived in and around Anderson Co, TN most of their lives.
He married (2) Ann/Anne Hall -His daughter and granddaughter (by his first wife) said (in 1987) that his second wife was "Anne Hall".
He married (3) Dora Dove, b. abt 1900 in TN. they had 3 children
He married (4) Maggie Browning. - in 1931 he was living in Harlan County, KY, married to Maggie Browning, the wife referred to during the 1931 Battle of Evarts,
Children with Martha Herrell:
……… Cassie (Casandra ?) Mae Hightower b 1895, died in 1990 at about 95 years old. in 1987 her home was in Lafollette, Campbell Co. TN. She thought she was born in Jellico but was not sure if it was TN or KY. in 1890 she was living in her father's household in Logan Co, KY.
……… Maggie Hightower 1896,
……… Grannison [Grannerson, Grantson] Hightower, b. 2 Apr 1898 in Perry Co, KY, occupation Coal Miner.
……… George Lee Hightower was born on 6-2-1900 in Jellico, Campbell Co, TN, he married Annie Opal Kuhn. George Lee Hightower was Living in Ethel, Logan Co, WV and working for the Hutchinson Coal Co on 11-27-1926. When George Lee Hightower died in April 1987 they were living in Salt Rock, Cabell Co, WV They had at least one son.
……………….George Edward Hightower born 11-26-1927 in McBeth, Logan Co, WVA. was unemployed and living in Ethel, Logan Co, WV on 2-23-1944. When George Edward Hightower died on 4-16-1981 they were living in Salt Rock, Cabell Co, WV
……………….Dewey Hightower 1903/07 in TN.
Children by Dora Dove:.
……… Mabel Hightower, b. 22 Apr 1916 in Harlan Co, Ky.
Children with Maggie
……… Freda Pauline Hightower age 3 in 1931 (don't dare call her Freda)
……… Bill (William) Hightower was five in 1931
……… Sue Nell Hightower was an infant in 1931.
Maggie Browning never talked about William Hightower due to the fact that he rejected the chance to stay out of prison when it was offered to him (the terms were he had to stay in WV with his wife and children and not return to Kentucky,and then after his pardon he never tried to contact them and never sent money. They grew up in poverty because of that, and Maggie blames him and won't talk about him much. [from this we might conclude that he had lived in WV before coming to Harlan] ),
This article was in a book that described his part in the coalfield wars in Harlan County, KY (Called Bloody Harlan). He was the UMWA Union Local President, He and other striking union miners were tried on trumped up charges, William specifically with conspiracy to murder Tim Daniels a deputy Sheriff, and sent to prison. William Hightower was pardoned after three years. This story agrees with what his daughter and grand-daughter remembered in 1988.

Jan. 14-Commonwealth Attorney J. B. Snyder tells the jury in the
case of William Hightower, 77-year-old president of the U. M. W. local,
that “we don’t know who killed Daniels. We don’t have to show this.
It is only necessary to show that it was done as part of the conspiracy.”
Hightower is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment
Social Security application: Full Name of Applicant: William Hytour (Hightower)
Present Mailing Address: General Delivery, Lafollette, TN, Route 3
Age at Last Birthday: 68 Date of Birth: 20 March 1870? His birthdate is followed by a question mark and the phrase "to be determined later”)
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
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 January 14, 1932 and imprisoned on a charge of "Conspiracy to murder" in the death of a deputy. He was pardoned in 1935 after 3 years..
death certificate from WV, had his Social Security Number on it. No parents are listed on his death certificate and his birthdate is shown as 1858 and death date as 1965, and age at time of death as 106 years, 9 months and 0 days.
William was related to a William "Uncle Billy" Hightower of Anderson Co. TN who was born November 15, 1869 and died September 29, 1946. Married Mary A. Pyatt, Uncle Billy's claim to fame was that he lost both hands as a young man while fishing with dynamite.

HARLAN, Ky,, May 15 1931
With two mine union officers and three
officials of the town of Evarts in jail
on murder charges, Harlan county
and military authorities today believed
they had removed from further
activity the ringleaders who they
said had been stirring up discontent
among coal miners.
Colonel Dan M. Carrell, in charge
of Kentucky guardsmen brought to
Harlan County to quell disorders,
strengthened the military patrols at
Evarts lest resentment at the arrests
lead to further troubles there. This
step was taken after the arrest of
William H. Hightower, president of
local union at Evarts. ,
Hightower and the other four were
indicted in connection with the slaying
of four men in a, gun battle last
week. The others under arrest are
W. B. Jones, secretary. of the Evarts
union; Asa Cusick, Evarts police
chief; A. L. Benson, assistant chief,
and Joseph Cawood, town clerk.
They are held in jail without bond

William Hightower age 71, was one of three local miners and union officials convicted in January 1932 [later pardoned] of conspiracy to murder
three mine guards who had been made sheriff's deputies in Evarts, Harlan County, Kentucky during the miners' strike of May 1931
known as the Battle of Evarts
NEW YORK TIMES
MAY 15, 1931

MINE UNION ARRESTED
Kentucky Leader is charged with Murder after Fatal Clash

Evarts Ky., May 14 William M. Hightower, president of the local coal mine union, was arrested today on an indictment charging murder in connection with the clash between deputy sheriffs [ed. Note: “coal mine guards”] and discontented men that cost four lives near Evarts last week.

Hightower was the fifth man to be arrested on a charge of murder in connection with the clash. The other indicted by the special grand jury investigating disorders which caused 400 state troopers to be sent here last week were W. B. Jones, secretary of the local union; Asa Cusick, chief of police; A. L. Benson assistant chief of police, and Joseph Cawood town clerk; all of Evarts.

Hightower was arrested and sent to Harlan when he came in Evarts to try to arrange bond for the other four men.