The John W Inzer Museum
The John W. Inzer Museum, Inc.
229 5th Street
One block south of the Courthouse on Hwy 231
Home of Lt.Col. and Judge John Washington Inzer
The home of John W. Inzer and his descendants is a Greek revival antebellum home built by Moses Dean in 1852. The home was acquired by John W. Inzer in 1866 and was occupied by the Inzer family from 1866 to 1987. In July 1987 the home and its contents, including Judge Inzer's extensive law library were deeded by the family heirs to St. Clair Camp 308, Sons of Confederate Veterans, to become a museum in honor of Lt. Col. & Judge John Washington Inzer. The Museum is maintained for educational purposes and public awareness of John W. Inzer's contributions to the Confederate States of America, the State of Alabama, St. Clair County and the Town of Ashville.
The Museum was incorporated in December 1988 as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Alabama and has been under restoration since that time.
John Washington Inzer was born January 9th, 1834 in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The family left Georgia in 1853, moving to Eden in St. Clair County, Alabama. In 1854 John Inzer began his study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1855. In 1856 he moved to Ashville to practice law. In 1859, John W. Inzer was licensed to practice law before the Alabama Supreme Court and was appointed Probate Judge of St. Clair County in that year. In 1861 he was elected to represent St. Clair County at Alabama’s Secession Convention being the youngest man to do so.
In 1862, he joined the Confederate Army as a private and rose to rank of Lt. Col. in the 58th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Lt. Col. Inzer fought in the battles of Corinth, Shiloh, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge where he was captured and made a POW at Johnson’s Island, Ohio from 1863 to 1865. After Chickamauga, Col. Bushrod Jones wrote of Lt. Col. Inzer's conspicuous bravery, his causing his men to charge with enthusiasm, and of his gallantry on the battle’s second day, which according to Col. Jones exceeded that of the first day. There was not a more gallant and courageous officer in the Confederate Army.
John W. Inzer was appointed Probate Judge by occupying Union Forces in July 1865. He was elected to that office in 1866, which is the same year he acquired the Moses Dean Home. He was elected to the State Senate, in 1874 and 1890. In 1877 he was appointed as Trustee of Howard College which later became Samford University. From 1878 to 1900 he was Trustee of the Alabama Insane Hospital in Tuscaloosa. In 1907 he was appointed Judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit and re-elected to that same office in 1908.
John Washington Inzer died January 2nd, 1928 at the age of 93. He was the last surviving member of the Alabama Secession convention. He was known throughout Alabama as "Alabama's Grand Old Man." He is buried in the Ashville Cemetery along with his wife and several relatives.
We, the members of St. Clair Camp 308 with the support of Ashville Chapter 1488, United Daughters of the Confederacy are working diligently to restore and maintain John W. Inzer's home and making it into one of the finest Museums of that period. The Museum is governed by a Board of Directors made up of St. Clair Camp 308 and Ashville Chapter 1488 UDC Members.
Members of St. Clair Camp 308 and the Ashville Chapter 1488 meet monthly on the third Thursday, 6:30 PM, at the Museum.
Presently the Museum is open by appointment by calling the St. Clair County Tourism Office at 205-594-2116 or Ben Hestley at 205-338-2412.
Board of Directors
Benjamin M Hestley, Chairman....................email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeannette Taylor, Vice Chairman..................email email@example.com
William E Watkins, President.................email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Rankin, Secretary.................................email email@example.com
Edward V Gunter, Treasurer......................email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thelma Watkins, Member.....................email email@example.com
David M Murphree, Member........email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis K White, Member................................email email@example.com
Gary "Stan" Robertson, Member...................email firstname.lastname@example.org
"I believe the people of my county will stand by the action of the State in her sovereign capacity; and I am in hopes that Alabama will go on with her great work to independence and prosperity. I told the people of St. Clair, [Mr. Inzer's county,] while canvassing the county, that I was in favor of coöperation; but said, if Alabama should secede separate and alone, I would go with her and stand by her in every peril, even to the cannon's mouth; and I now repeat it, I am for Alabama under any and all circumstances."
John W. Inzer, Secession speech, Montgomery, Alabama 1861.
Congratulations to Compatriot Ben Hestley on receiving the Roy Swayze Historical Preservation Award for his tireless efforts restoring the John W Inzer Museum
Other Links of Interest: