Another Antebellum House

This blog post continues the recounting of events from our family vacation of August 1-7, 2009. 

In my last post, I described visiting the home of General William Blount McClellan, the residence of my husband’s ancestors down in Talladega, Alabama. 

The next day, after our trip to Birmingham to the Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Street Church, we drove by the home of one of the General’s daughters,  Elizabeth Idora McClellan.  Elizabeth became known as a writer and her papers are inventoried as part of the UNC North Carolina Collection.  

During my visit to the Talladega Public Library a two days earlier, I’d found an architectural description of the home along with a picture. I’d also had a picture that another researcher sent to me.  So, off  we go driving around the area of Talladega in which we knew the home to be located. 

We found the home, it is at 511 East Street and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   Idora lived in this home with her first husband, Albert Plowman.

No knocking on doors this time to see it; I just wanted to know where it was 🙂 Maybe next time!

Comments (7)

  1. Brian


    I’ve been reading your blog with great interest since I stumbled across it recently. Just before I started reading it this morning, I was looking at the 1860 census of slaves in Talladega and, coincidentally, saw then entry for Gen. McClellan and the listing of all his slaves. It was a long list. It was very moving to see on paper. Such a sad chapter of American history.

    But what I wanted to mention here is that the house pictured here was built in 1854 by Thomas S. Plowman, the son of Albert Plowman. You may be correct that Albert lived his with his son, but I just wanted you to know it was Thomas’ house and not Albert’s. Idora was Albert’s second wife, I believe.

    I’m from Talladega and know the family that currently owns the home. If you want to see more pictures of the mansion, search for “Plowman home” on Flickr. I have a couple of pics posted there from this year’s pilgrimage.

  2. Brian

    Well darn! After posting the above response, something started ticking in the back of my head and I began to wonder if I had given you the correct info – sorry, but I’m seem to be suffering from CRS these days. 😉

    I went through some of my papers and realized my mistake: Albert Plowman is NOT the father of Thomas S. Plowman (builder and owner of the house in the pictures you posted). Albert Plowman was married, until his death, to Idora McClellan, but I don’t find any relationship between him and Thomas Plowman. Thomas Plowman was the son of George Paris Plowman, a mayor of Talladega.

    If you have information that contradicts this, I would like to know about it. There’s a lot of misinformation out there when you’re trying to sort out old genealogy.

    There’s not a lot of info on Albert Plowman, but a ton of info on George Paris and Thomas Scales, so I’m certain they are father-son.

  3. taneya (Post author)

    Albert & Thomas are brothers. I have a book called McClellans in Alabama that has information about the Plowman family, combined with a little bit of information I’ve gathered on my own. Albert, Thomas and their brother also named George. all married into the McClellan family. I have a tree on my site at and if you click on a name, you’ll see more detail. Now, interestingly enough, I had not done enough research to know that their father was a mayor of Talladega!

  4. Craig Canada

    Sarah Caroline Cotton was my 2nd ggrandma. She had 5 children by George Parish Plowman:

    The never married.

  5. taneya (Post author)

    Thanks Craig for sharing that information!

  6. Fran Quarles

    I am a descedent of General McClellan through another daughter of his, Amanda Olivia. Idora McClellan Plowman Moore (she married Capt. M.V. Moore, CSA, several years after Arthurs death) was known in the family as “Aunt Missy,” and she never had any children of her own. She wrote under the pen name of “Betsy Hamilton,” was a friend of Joel Chandler Harris (Uncle Remus author), and was a regular contributor to The Atlanta Constitution for many years. Her books are still available on sites such as I discovered your blog recently and have enjoyed reading it.

  7. Pamela Cotton Field


    Sarah Caroline Cotton is my GGGgrandmother. She had a son, John C Cotton, who had a son Doss Cotton….then my Grandfather, Grant Cotton. Just started researching that side of my family. Very interesting.

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