"Ingleside" The Alabama Home Of The Barclays
The Barclays In Alabama
A wandering wayfarer with historical curiosity can travel eastward of Wheeler, Alabama on US Highway 72 for about a mile and turn northward up a deserted dusty drive for about two miles and he is in store for a treat. The road empties into another dusty drive which wanders westward and eastward on the once beautiful Barclay plantation known as “Ingleside.” Then turning eastward and traveling for about a half mile he will find, rising from a fork in the road, a grassy knoll, once the site of the massive mansion of the Barclays. The mansion has long since disappeared and all that now remains is the Barclay family cemetery of less than a dozen graves and memories of the distinguished dead resting there.
The Barclay family roots, historically can be traced to Barclay of Erie, the Quaker apologist. Dr. James Turner Barclay, the patriarch of this sketch, was the son of Robert Barclay, American Consul to Tripoli during the Jefferson administration. The Barclays and Thomas Jefferson were close friends and after Jefferson’s death, Dr. James T. Barclay purchased Monticello. Thomas Jefferson’s home place. Dr. James T. Barclay was the first missionary sent out by the American Christian Missionary Society. He went to Jerusalem in 1850 and remained until 1854 when he returned to America and published his famous book, The City of the Great King. In 1855 he was placed in charge of the Philadelphia mint, by the President, to find new ways to prevent counterfeiting. He was successful in his task and only missed by one vote in Congress awarded $100,000 for his labors. He returned to Jerusalem and remained abroad until 1865. In 1868 he moved to North Alabama and lived the remainder of his days on his eldest son, Dr. Robert G. Barclay’s Ingleside plantation. According to his grandson, James T. Barclay, Jr. he died in 1874 and is buried there in the family plot at “Ingleside.” His grave remains unmarked.
His eldest son, Dr. R. G. Barclay, the owner of “Ingleside,” was distinguished in his own right. He served as medical missionary to Beirut, Jaffa, and Jerusalem. He was “Physician of the Jerusalem Mission” for several years. He returned to America in 1865 and in 1867 married the niece of Alexander Campbell’s second wife. Dr. R. G. Barclay died in 1876 and is buried in the family cemetery at “Ingleside,” leaving his wife Emma to follow him in death 52 years later.
Dr. Robert G. Barclay’s wife Emma Celestine Bakewell Barclay was reared, as an adopted daughter, by Alexander Campbell, after her parents died. She was treated as one of the Campbell children and was dearly loved by her Aunt Selina (Campbell’s second wife.) This love was expressed many time in visits to “Ingleside” by Selina Campbell while staying with Emma. The locals still remember Emma as “Miss Campbell Barclay.” She died July 11, 1928 and was laid to rest by her beloved husband, R. G.
Emma and R. G.’s son, James Turner Barclay, Jr. is also buried in this small shady spot. It was he who wrote most of the sources from which this sketch was drawn. His writings appeared in books and journals of our brotherhood.
Speaking of books, one could write a book about the famous family resting at “Ingleside.” Who knows? Maybe some day that “wise” wandering wayfarer will wander down that deserted dusty drive to “Ingleside” and be moved to write.
Alexander Campbell’s tenth child, Decimal, married J. J. (Judson) Barkley, who was also a son of Dr. James T. Barkley, Sr. Judson and Decimal also lived for a while in the Ingleside mansion. During that time Judson gave to General Joe Wheeler a copy of the book entitled: Popular Lectures and Addresses by Alexander Campbell. While visiting recently in General Wheeler’s home I saw this book and saw in front of it Judson Barclay’s statement and signature showing he gave the book to General Wheeler.
While living at Ingleside, Judson made reports to the Christian Standard about the church of Christ that met in what was called Ingleside Chapel. Alexander Campbell’s widow, Selina, lived at Ingleside some and she gave the money for erecting Ingleside Chapel. T. B. Larimore, David Walk, and J. M. Pickens officiated at the dedication of this chapel.
-C. Wayne Kilpatrick, The World Evangelist, June, 1987, pages 3 and 4.
Barclay-Phinizy Graves, Lawrence County, Alabama
Recollections Of North Alabama, page 215
Recollections of North Alabama, page 505
Basil Overton - Sometime in the early 1980s
Directions To Barclay Cemetery
The Barclay's Plantation, "Ingleside," is all but disappeared from existence. The only thing left is a cemetery. The land is still owned and worked for crops. When I visited the cemetery in March 2023, a small farmhouse had been recently built next to the cemetery. Also, silos and tractors were closeby showing it to be a working farm. It is unclear as to the owners. The location of the small cemetery is in Lawrence County, Alabama. From Decatur, Alabama head west on Hwy. Alt-72 toward Town Creek. From the Beltline (Hwy. 67) head 9.2 miles and turn right on Co. Rd. 383. Head to dead end into Browns Ferry Rd. and turn left. About a half mile look to your right for some farm silos and farm house. The cemetery is behind the house.
or D.d. 34.679227, -87.199217
Mrs. Emma C. Barclay
June 22, 1842
July 11, 1928
Blessed are the dead
Which die in the Lord
Dr. R. G. Barclay
July 16, 1832
November 10, 1878
Asleep In Jesus
James Turner Barclay
January 8, 1868
July 2, 1945
Mrs. Lena B. Phinizy
Born November 24, 1872
Died August 26, 1925
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Daughter of R. G. and Emma C. Barclay
Photos Taken 02.23.2023
Webpage produced 04.15.2023
Courtesy Of Scott Harp