Jemison Land & Cattle Company

 "This web site is a tribute to the American Cotton Farmer, the last eight generations of Jemison cotton farmers, the Jemison Family and a special tribute to Lynn Hawkins Jemison co-owner of Jemison Land & Cattle Company."      

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Jemison History

Business Hall of Fame
Elbert S. Jemison
Elbert S. Jemison, Jr.
Jemison Mansion
Mary Jemison
Robert Jemison, Jr.
Science Hall of Fame
Sports Hall of Fame
William Jemison
William T. Van de Graaff
Robert Jemison, Jr.

 

CLICK HERE to get a full  history about Robert Jemison, Jr. and other historical information about the "Jemison Mansion".

Robert Jemison, Jr. (1802 -71) was major bridge builder, owner of flour and saw mills, toll roads, a foundry, surface coal mines, a stage line, six plantations, and more than five hundred slaves. 

Senator Jemison served the state of Alabama well in many capacities and for many years. A practical and pragmatic man, he trained many of his slaves with marketable skills learned on his plantations and in his mills and factories.  In January 1861 he argued forcefully against seceding from the Union at the Secession Convention in Montgomery.  However, when the vote went against him, he responded to his duty to his state, ultimately serving in the Confederated Senate.

One of the leadership hallmarks of Jemison's tenure as a State Senator in Alabama, was as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. During this time he led the state out of a finanical crisis in 1847. 

Jemison was a major advocate for the construction of a hospital for the humane treatment of the state's mentally ill.  Largely through his efforts Tuscaloosa was selected  as the site for the Bryce Hospital.  After the war, with much of his personal fortune lost, Jemison continued his efforts for the state, devoting considerable time and efforts to rebuilding the University of Alabama, destroyed during the war.

Four generations of the Jemison, Hargrove, and Van de Graaff family lived in the home carrying on the tradition of service to the community and university.  Among them are Colonel Andrew Coleman Hargrove, Confederate army officer, state senator and one-time den of the University of Alabama Law School who married Jemison's daughter, Cherokee Mims Jemison.  Their daughter Minnie Cherokee married A. S. Van de Graaff, circuit court judge for the Sixth Judicial District.

Minnie and A.S. Van de Graaff had five children, each of whom had a distinguished career.  The two eldest sons, Adrian and Hargrove fought in France during World War I.  Hargrove, for whom the Tuscaloosa County Airport has been named, received the American Distinguished Service Cross, two French Croix de Guerres.  Adrian went on to become a well regarded attorney in Tuscaloosa.  Their daughter Cherokee Jemison married John Asa Roundtree, Jr.

Football and Physics

The third son of Minnie and A.S., William T. (Bully) Van de Graaff was an outstanding football player for the Crimson Tide from 1913 through 1915.  A punter kicker, and tackle, he was the first southern player ever to be named to the All American team in 1915.  He later attended West Point.  From 1926 to 1939 he was the head footbal coach at Colorado College.  He then resumed his army career, retiring as Lt. Colonel.

The internationally renowned physicist, Robert Jemison Van de Graaff, was their youngest son.  Dr. Van de Graaff's invention of the belt-charged electrostatic generator provided the means to create the first particle beams of precisely controlled energy, allowing scientists to explore and use subatomic particles.  Through his discovery Van de Graaff became one of the founders of high energy physics.  Increased knowledge of the nucleus of the atom has led to practical applications including advanced cancer radiation therapy.


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