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Foster Mark Kirksey Papers

Identifier: MSS-0827

Scope and Contents

The Foster Mark Kirksey Papers consist of the personal and business papers of Greene County, Alabama, businessman and sheriff Foster Mark Kirksey (1817-1906), his wife Margaretta Lucretia Liston Kirksey (1839-1911), and their children Harold A. Kirksey (d. 1953), John Kirksey (d. 1920), Robert Elisha Kirksey (1871-1948), and Foster Mark Kirksey, Jr. (b.1867). The collection also includes the papers of Foster M. Kirksey's brothers J. M. C. Kirksey and Robert Brown W. Kirksey (circa 1815-1857), Margaretta Liston Kirksey's father Jonathan Allen Liston (1806-1882), mother Margaretta Lucretia Todd Liston (1818-1853), sister Mary Todd Liston (1842-1863), grandfather Levi Luther Todd Sr. (1819-1867), uncle Levi Luther Todd, Jr., and aunts Ann Duke Todd Thompson (d. 1855), Mary Ann Todd, and those of Eliza Ashby Todd Taylor (1821-1896) and her husband Thompson W. Taylor. Foster Mark Kirksey was a commission merchant, and his business papers include records of the firms of Kirksey, Sheppard, and Bray (1848-1852), Sears and Kirksey (1862-1874), Kirksey and Carpenter (1866-1871), and Dew and Kirksey (1872-1889). Kirksey's papers as sheriff of Greene County, Alabama (1841-1849), and as a deputy commissary agent for the Confederate Army (1864-1865) are also included among his business papers, as are household and farm records and deed and land surveys. The papers are arranged in series by person and include the Liston, Kirksey, Todd, Thompson, Ashby, Duke, and Graydon families. There is also correspondence of S. J. Nunnelee, a Confederate prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio (1864), Stephen F. Austin, and various family members. Note: Correspondence between family members may be located in more than one series, depending on whether an individual was the sender or the receiver.


  • 1795 - 1953


Biographical / Historical

Planter, elected official, agent for the Confederate government, cotton factor, and commission merchant, Foster Mark Kirksey was a part of Greene County, Alabama, history for more than fifty years. Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, he was one of seven children of Jehu and Eleanor (Nellie) Foster Kirksey. In 1822 his family moved to Greene County, Alabama, and in 1839 Kirksey moved to Eutaw, Alabama, where he lived the rest of his life. Having served as deputy sheriff in 1836, he was elected sheriff in 1845, serving until 1848. His business endeavors continued throughout his life, though his post-war partnerships are especially interesting, relating as they do to factorage and commission merchandizing in the 1870s and 1880s. In 1845 he married Jane Merriwether, daughter of Dr. Zachery Merriwether of Greene County. She died in 1857, leaving no children. In 1860, Kirksey married again, this time to Margaretta Lucretia Liston, daughter of Jonathan A. Liston of Indianapolis and South Bend, Indiana. Of their seven children, three (Mary Liston, Earl Brown, and Foster Mark, Jr.) died young. Margaretta's mother, also named Margaretta, was a member of the Todd family of Kentucky, and second cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln.


15.0 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



An extensive collection of business and personal papers and correspondence of this Greene County, Alabama planter, commission merchant, sheriff, and Confederate commissary agent, and his extended family.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Roy Swayze, 1978

Related Materials

Alabama Corps of Cadets uniform jacket and Shako hat, worn by Robert E. Kirksey in W. S. Hoole Library artifacts collection (MSS.3348)


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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266