Alabama Commissioners of Agriculture and Industries

Edward C. Betts: 1883-1887


Lawyer, planter and commissioner of agriculture was born August 13, 1820, ten miles from Huntsville in Madison County, on his father's plantation, and died Deptember 18, 1891, at Huntsville; son of Charles Edward and Martha Cousins (Chambers) Betts, the former a native of Lunenburg, Mecklenburg County, Va., who later lived at Boydton, finally locating in Madison County, the latter a sister of U. S. Senator Henry C. Chambers for whom Chambers County is named; grandson of Elisha and Mary (Parrot) Betts. Edward Chambers Betts received his elementary education in private schools in Madison County and under private tutors. He attended the University of Virginia and studied and traveled abroad and in the east. After practicing law for some years he retired to his plantation. He served several terms in the Alabama legislature; was judge of the county court of Madison County; first commissioner of agriculture of Alabama; and trustee University of Alabama, a number of years. He was a Democrat and an Episcopalian.


Married: in 1854, at Courtland, to Virginia Augusta, daughter of John M. and Cyntha (Early) Swope of that place; great-great-granddaughter of Jeremiah Early and wife, a Miss Buford, the former who immigrated from Donegal County, Ireland to Virginia about 1702. Gen. Jubal A. Early and Bishop John Early were among his descendants and he was a lineal descendant of Carbri Lifichar, an ancient king of Ireland, born A. D. 225 and the name was Anglicised as Early during the reigns of the Henrys and Edwards. Children: Rostan, m. Mattie Minor Meriwether; 2. Tancred, m. Maude Minor Brown, (q. v.); 3. Victor, m. Lucy Lee Winston; 4. Agusta Ada Kortrecht; 5. Chambers. Last residence: Huntsville.


Owen, Thomas McAdory, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. Sparetanburg: The Reprint Company Publishers, 1978 (1921), III, 141.