I have not found anything on it, but I assume “A. C. F.” probably stood for “Alabama College for Females”, or something similar. Neither Thomas nor Martha Ann had any formal higher education, but they obviously respected it, and were willing to relocate in order to provide it for their children. In general, Thomas seemed to have broader horizons than some of his direct ancestors, generation after generation of farmers. His ambitions and abilities included agriculture, on a large scale, but he also excelled in self-taught business and clerical skills. “Aunt Duck” continues:During the time we children were in school, our father worked for Col. Jamison, a great and influential man of that City [Tuscaloosa], worked as bookkeeper and managed his general business for many years.The Tuscaloosa County federal census for 1860 enumerated the family, for some reason, not once but twice. On page 478 we find Thomas Burgin, 46, farmer and “cleark”, value of real estate 515.00 [an obvious error], value of personal estate 30,000, born in Georgia; Martha, 40, born in Alabama; John D, 18; Daniel A, 16; Anna, 15; and Mandeline M (sic), 13. Eight pages later, on 486, they appear as Thomas Burgin, 46, clerk and planter, value of real estate 6,000, value of personal estate 31,000, born Georgia; Martha, 40, born Alabama; John, 18, D. Andy (sic), 16, Ann, 15, and M. Maria (sic!), 13. Both listings show all the children as having attended school within the year. I return to Aunt Duck:. . . . my father bought farms in Oktibbeha County, Miss. and moved there in 1862, just after the Civil War began. He was there only a short time before he was drafted by the State Military Officials into Service and acted as Captain for a while and was finally promoted to Lieut-Colonel. He was at the surrender of Vicksburg.The farm land was in both Lowndes and Oktibbeha Counties; Lowndes is on the Alabama state line, and Oktibbeha borders Lowndes on the west. Geologically, this is the western edge of the extraordinarily fertile Black Prairie soil belt; Thomas had chosen well. As a residence site he selected the village of Mayhew, in Lowndes County near the Oktibbeha County line.
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