Excerpt from affidavit of Joel M. Utley, dated 10 July 1925


I am 64 years of age. I was born in Section 36, T-17-R-10-W of Tuscaloosa County, and have lived either on that Section of land or within one mile of said Section to this day.

As to NW¼ of SE¼, S½ of SE¼, S½ of SW¼ and 25 acres off of the east part of NE¼ of SW¼ Section 34, T-17-R-10-W; I know the above land extremely well, and remember that Friedman, Bryce & Co., bought it from F. M. Mackey about 1884. The first I recollect of above land was when I was a boy of about 9 years old, which was in 1870, and I know at that time and until he sold it, W. C. Beavers continuously cultivated either three or four farms on the above tract, and the reason why I remember so well is because though only a little boy, I was a mule driver, and used to help thresh the grain, and Mr. Beavers was a great grain grower and would bring his grain to our threshing machine every season and this grain was grown on the above property, the special fields that I remember that were in cultivation by Beavers were as follows; The old John Field in SE¼ of SE¼ of above Section 34, a field called the Bluff Field that lay partly in NW¼ of SE¼ and partly in the 25 acres above mentioned in NE¼ of SW¼ of said Section 34, and a five acre field in the SW corner of SW¼ of SW¼ of above section 34, this last named field almost touching the east side of North River.

To the best of my recollection W. C. Beavers had these fields in continuous cultivation at least 10 years, and my information is that he had it much longer than that, will also say that I remember that his son, James Beavers, for the last two years of W. C. Beavers’ ownership of the above land (for he sold it about 1880) and as late as 1882 lived in a cabin located on the west side of NW¼ of SE¼ of above Section 34.

As to SW¼ of NE¼, NW¼ of SE¼ and SW¼ of SE¼ Sec. 35- T-17-R-10-W, this land was entered by my father, at least so he told me, his name was David J. Utley, and as far back as 1871 I remember my father tending a small farm on the west side of above named NW¼ of SE¼ continuously every year until 1884 when I distincly remember he sold the above 120 acres to Friedman, Bryce & Co., and my father also continuously farmed from 1871 to 1884 10 acres in the SW corner of above named SW¼ of SE¼, in fact, it was on this 10 acres that I first learned to plough when a boy, and I will never forget it.