PT Glass’ Will

24 Jul

If you’ve ever done genealogy for someone from Lauderdale County or even read something written about the history of Lauderdale County chances are that you’ve come across the GLASS surname. I’ve seen it quite a few times in my research and even have some individuals with the GLASS surname in my family tree.

While doing a bit of research I came across the will of PT (Presley Thornton) Glass. I was familiar with the name from reading history books written on Ripley and Lauderdale County. PT Glass had been a merchant in Ripley, secretary of Ripley Male Academy, a slave owner, fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, a lawyer, a member of the Tennessee State legislature, a member of the United States Congress, and he even has his own Wikipedia page complete with a photograph of him. If you’ve ever been to Maplewood Cemetery you might have even seen his grave. In doing my research for another subject I had to do a bit of research on him and that’s when I discovered an interesting tidbit in his will upon his death in 1902.

PT Glass Will 1902

PT Glass Will 1902

“I give and bequeath to my former slave Prince Glass five dollars”


Adjusted for inflation that 5 dollars in 1902 would be worth 135 dollars today.

Naturally I wanted to find out more about Prince Glass. According to the 1870 US Census Prince Glass was born about 1852 in Tennessee (I also found his year of birth listed as 1847). His parents were Wallace Glass and Matilda Partee Glass. On the 1870 US Census his occupation is listed as farm laborer. By 1880 Prince had married the former Jennie Fitzpatrick and they soon had children named Eddie, Nellie, Prince Jr, Benj, and Katy. Prince died June 30, 1927 and is buried in Ripley, Tennessee.

Prince must have meant something to PT Glass if he left him money when he died. I noticed that PT Glass referred to Prince as his “former slave” instead of  laborer, so I am curious to know if Prince worked for PT in some form after slavery or what type of relationship that they had after slavery or even during slavery.


– Tiffany

Source: Wikipedia –, – TN Probate Court Books, 1795 – 1927, Lauderdale Wills 1885 – 1904 volume F, image 315, page 525




11 Responses to “PT Glass’ Will”

  1. Keeping You Informed July 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Presley Glass once owned my home. I’m researching its history.

    • Tiffany July 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

      Thanks for commenting. Yes, I found this info while I was researching your home. I’ve got some info for you that might help.

  2. Adam Henig July 26, 2014 at 1:07 am #

    Very interesting.

    • Tiffany July 28, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. Karen Glass August 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Tiffany, thanks so much for your dedicated work. I am in tears. Wallace and Jennie are my Grandfather’s Uncle and Aunt. I am definitely sharing this article on Facebook for all of my relatives to see. I just called my Daddy and he was thrilled. You are a true Gem😘. Thanks again

    • Tiffany August 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      Thanks for commenting. I’m glad that you were able to use this information. Thanks for sharing it on FB.

      • William Carson August 21, 2014 at 7:21 am #

        I am too part of the Glass line. A great great aunt was from the Glass family

  4. William Carson August 21, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Nellie Glass was the wife of my great grand uncle Rufus CARSON

    • Tiffany August 22, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      Thanks for commenting William!

  5. Myrtle Louise Hence Murphy August 29, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    I am the Great -. niece of a Will Glass who married my great-Aunt Mary Ella Hence. I don’t know if I am this Glass or not. Myrtle Hence.

  6. John Shaw March 18, 2019 at 11:12 am #

    I would wonder whether Prince Glass was merely his “former slave” or in reality his son. If the latter was the case, of course, in that day and time, he could not have admitted it openly, although it might have been whispered about.

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