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From: The Story of Selma by Walter M. Jackson
Gilbert Shearer, one of Selma’s most important citizens, was born in Newburgh, New York, in 1789. He joined Col. George Phillips and W.R. King in laying out Selma. In 1822, Shearer built Selma’s first brick house. In 1836 he was made major general of Sixth Division Alabama Militia and was active in the campaign against the Creek Indians. We find him president of the Real Estate Banking Company in 1838. He also became Selma’s first railroad president. Shearer was elected intendant of Selma four different times: 1822, 1830, 1832 and 1835. Shearer married Martha Ann Cowles in Augusta, Georgia, in 1810. They had eight children who were: Martha Ann, who married Dr. Frank Philips; Louisa married James L. Price; William married Mary Elizabeth Nance; Edwin; Dr. Henry married Elizabeth Waters; Mary married Robert Nicholson; Thomas Cowles married Sallie Boling; and Emily, who married Alfred Huntington. Shearer is buried in Live Oak Cemetery.