Banister Family
and the
Old Prison Building,
Wetumpka, Alabama

Contributed by: Vivian Eakes Hull, May 1998.

I am interested in any records regarding the prison during the years from 1850-1860 should any still exist. My gg-grandfather William M. Banister worked there as a guard and lived two doors from the prison before entereing the civil war. His son, David M. Banister ( my g-gfather) worked there "plowing with oxen" and later stood guard at the prison himself and was but a young boy.

One would suppose that many young boys assumed men's work when the men went off to war. A member of the 17th ALA Inf. William Banister died of gunshot and amputation. His son David also served in this unit losing an eye at Kennesaw Mtn. and was captured. I visited what remains of the old prison bldg. last year in Wetumpka. I am told it was built in 1832.

Does anyone know where the burial grounds for the prison are? There is one cemetery in complete ruins nearby on the river... grown up and stones/markers uprooted by prison hogs, according to some locals. What a shame no one has seen fit to clean it up . I don't know the name of it but it dated to 1830's from the markers I was able to read... Has it been catalogued and is there another cemetery nearby? If anyone can offer me any info on this I would be appreciative. The attached photo is from an old postcard given me by a nice lady in the antique store there in Wetumpka.


Vivian Eakes Hull in TN.


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