Friday, October 30, 2009
Upon his return home to Bexar, Alabama, William Tillman Bishop found his county and state to have been ravaged by the effects of the war. Although no major battles took place in this part of the South, there were atrocities committed nonetheless. Both sides killed and robbed each other in service to their respective causes. Bitterness and hard feelings remained among friends, neighbors and families. Several men that had supported the Union were treated as traitors, especially those that had participated with General Sherman in his march through the South destroying and pillaging communities as they went. These families often moved away, usually west to Arkansas, Texas or Oklahoma.
While William was away at war, his son James Buchanan "Buck" Bishop, died. Upon Willilam's return, he and Sarah had seven more children: Paul, Timotheus Valentine, Jemima Francis, Theodoria Agnes Jane, Sarah Adeline "Sallie," Martha and Lucille. Paul became a physician, never married, and died at an early age of 34 in Arkansas. Timotheus, known as Timothy, served as a tax assessor for Marion County and also as a teacher before becoming a physician and moving to Texas. He died there during the influenza epidemic of 1918.
In 1867, Loyalty Oaths were required to be given before men were allowed to register to vote. The list for Marion County includes 903 names of men who signed such loyalty oaths to the Federal government. William T. Bishop's name was not among those men.
Despite his experience and the chronic ill health that resulted from malnutrition and poor diet during his imprisonment, William T. Bishop did not shrink from life. The Vernon Pioneer newspaper reported on May 26, 1876 that the Democratic party of Marion County elected delegates to the State Democratic Convention of 1876. William T. Bishop was one of the delegates elected and was instructed to vote for the nomination of George S. Houston for Governor of Alabama. When the Marion County courthouse was destroyed by fire on March 30, 1887, W. T. Bishop, as a County Commissioner, served on the committee that oversaw the building of a new courthouse for the county. Records indicate that on one occasion he was allowed $4.20 for one day's service and 24 miles travel for his commissioner duties.
William Tillman Bishop died October 1, 1891 when he was 68 years old. The newspaper reported his death: "The people of Marion County will regret to learn of the death of Mr. W. T. Bishop, which occurred at his home last Thursday night. We extend to the bereaved our sincere sympathy." William was buried in the Bishop-Gann Cemetery south of Bexar just off County Road 33. There are fairly recent stone markers placed in this cemetery for William and Sarah Bishop and for Dr. Paul Bishop. Ann McDonald Bishop, the first wife of W. T. Bishop, is also believed to be buried here but no marker exists for her grave.
Posted by Mona Robinson Mills at 6:43 AM