John PRATER was born about 1778 in Laurens County, Ninety-Sixth District, South Carolina. He was the son of Phillip John and Susannah "Susan" [nee HUBBARD] PRATER. During The American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) Phillip served as a Private, for eight months and 12 days, in a (Captain Robert MAXWELL) Company of Laurens County Militia. This Company was part of Colonel Andrew PICKENS' Infantry Regiment of South Carolina Militia. This Regiment was attached to (Major General Nathanael GREENE) The Army of the Carolinas, of The Continental Army (General George WASHINGTON) during the Battles in the Carolinas. The following is from a sworn statement by Susan PRATER, "She being very old and infirm and unable to recollect what length of time he was in the war, she thinks one or two years, as she suffered much during the time with her three children, hiding out and dodging the Tourey and British, that they lived in Laurens District and afterwards moved to this District (Pickens) near where she now lives and has resided ever since." At a young age John's parents moved to the neighboring District of Pendleton. Pendleton would later be divided into Pickens and Anderson Districts.
John married his first wife, the mother of his children, around 1799 in Pendleton District. Her name is not known at this time, but I believe it may have been either Margaret or Elizabeth. They had nine children that grew to adulthood. Their names are as follows: Philip Franklin PRATOR, John Bailus "J.B." PRATER, Margaret PRATER, Lydia PRATER, Susan PRATER, James PRATER, William C.(arl?) PRATER, Andrew Jackson "A.J." PRATER and Elizabeth PRATER. The 1820 census of Pendleton District, South Carolina suggests that he was a widower by then. The oldest female listed in the home was aged between 10 and 15 years old. Since their youngest child, Elizabeth, was born about 1819, John's first wife may have died shortly after her birth. There is an obituary for an Elizabeth PRATER that died on April 29, 1820 in Pendleton District that could be her.
John and children, A.J. and Elizabeth, moved from Anderson District/County, South Carolina to Benton (now Calhoun) County, Alabama in 1834. Also, two of his grown sons John and James moved to Benton/Calhoun County in the 1830's. According to records he bought 320 acres on 25 April 1836 in Northern Benton/Calhoun County, Alabama (near Roy Webb School) not far from the present County lines of Etowah, Cherokee and Calhoun. He married Jane (nee BOONE?) DOWDLE, a widow, on December 30, 1841 in Benton (now Calhoun) County, Alabama. Jane was born about 1785 in South Carolina. According to a tax assessement in 1844 he owned 240 acres, personal property of $1,350.00 and 13 slaves. He died in September 1850 near Cross Plains, Benton (now Calhoun) County, Alabama. According to probate records he still owned most of the land at his death.
The following is found on page 47 in the book Old records of estates and administrations, Benton (Calhoun) County, Alabama: Volume V - September 11, 1851. Petition to sell land by James PRATER and A. J. PRATER, Executors of the estate of John PRATER, deceased. John PRATER gave by Will to his wife, Jane PRATER, during her natural life 33 acres off SE 1/4 of SW 1/4, Section 5, Township 13, Range 9 - a tract of land including the dwelling house and the out houses. Distributees listed as: Jane PRATER, the widow; John B. PRATER; James PRATOR; Andrew J. PRATOR; Elizabeth ALLEN, wife of Memory ALLEN all of lawful age and reside in Benton County, Alabama. Susan MILLER; Harriet MILLER(Susan's daughter) of lawful age and reside in Cherokee County, Alabama. Margaret GUNTER, wife of John GUNTER, of lawful age and resides in Pickens District, South Carolina. Philip PRATOR, of lawful age, resides in Hays County, Texas. William PRATER, of lawful age and resides in Edgefield District, South Carolina. John SHIPLEY (Lydia's son) and Oscar MILLER (Susan's son), of lawful age, reside in Rome, Georgia. William SHIPLEY (Lydia's son), minor under 21 years, resides in Rome, Georgia. Russel SHIPLEY (Lydia's son); Ann SHIPLEY (Lydia's daughter); Benjamin F. SHIPLEY (Lydia's son); Sarah LIVELY (Elizabeth's daughter); Mark LIVELY (Elizabeth's son); George LIVELY (Elizabeth's son) minors who reside in Benton County, Alabama.
Jane died in July 1863 near Cross Plains (now Piedmont), Calhoun County,
Alabama. It has been reported that Jane was the daughter of a William BOONE a cousin to Daniel BOONE.