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• *"♦ 1 .
BMBBAOING A DBTAILBD RECORD OF EVENTS FROM
THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE PRESENT;
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THOSE
WHO HAVE BEEN MOST
THE ANNALS OF
THE COUNTT; A COM-
PLETE LIST OF THE OFFICIALS OF
CONECUH, BESIDES MUCH VALUABLE INFOR-
MATION RELATIVE TO THE INTERNAL RESOURCES
OF THE couinrr.
Rev. B. F. RILEY,
Pastor of the Opelika Baptist Church.
Thos. Gilbert, Steam Printer and Book-Binder,
\juA ;b I ^^ 3 . ^
TO MY MOTHER,
WHOSE ABDENT DESIBE TO TBAIN H£B OHILDBEN FOB USEFULNESS
FOUND EXPBE8SION IN THE MOST UNTIBINO DEVOTION TO
THEIB INTEBEST, AND TO WHOSE MA.TEBNAI1 FIBTT
AND SAOBIFIOE THET ABE MOBE INDEBTED
THAN TO ANT THING ELSE,
THIS HUMBLE YOLXTME IS AFFEOTIONATELT DEDICATED
Abottt two years ago, it was suggested that the people of Oone-
cuh take immediate steps toward the preparation of a history of
their county. A society was formed bearing the title of ''The
Conecuh Historical Society;" some interest was manifested, and
after several meetings the author was requested to undertake the
preparation of the present work. The disadvantages under which
he was placed, however, were very great. He lived in a portion of
the State remote from Conecuh, — and had the pastoral care of a
church, which entailed onerous duties upon him. To secure an
accorate record, it became necessary for him to visit the county
quite often, and to be in constant correspondence with parties in
different portions of Conecuh. But after two years of labor, amid
the weighty duties of the pastorate, the work is finished and sent
forth upon its mission. The author has striven to present facts in
their clearest and simplest form, so that the work would be accept-
able to all classes of readers.
If, in some portions, the history be thought too minute in detail,
I have to say that this is inseparable from the fact that it is a local
history. The work is not as complete in its scope as I would desire
to have it. It will be observed that marked details exist with respect
to some portions of the county, while they are meagre with regard
to others. This is entirely due to the fact that a greater amount of
data was famished me from some quarters than from others.
Special attention has been given to the biographical portion of
the work. The author regrets the absence of several biographies,
which would have appeared, could the biographical matter have
The author begs leave to acknowledge his indebtedness to
"Brewer's Outline History of Alabama," "Pickett's History of
Alabama," and " Garrett's Eeminiscences of Public Men." For aid
rendered in the collection of material he expresses his obligations
to the following gentlemen : John Greene, Sr. , J. B. Hawthorne,
Y. M. Babb, Andrew Jay, Willis Darby, H. Page, Dr. Feagan, J. M.
Davison, Dr. Shaw and others. For financial aid, thanks are due
Messrs. Bansom Simpson, Dabney Palmer, John B. Bobbins,
Dr. Shaw, Pinkney Straughn, Dr. Bobinson, N. Stallworth,
P. D. Bowles, G. B. Famham, J. D. Burnett, P. 0. Walker, and
S. F. Forbes.
With the hope that it may not prove uninteresting to the
resident of the county, the little book is sent forth upon its
Table of Contents.
CHAPTER I.— Page 13.
Introduction — Conecuh in the Earliest Times — Derivation of Its
Name — Original Appearance — Abounding Game — Ferocious
Beasts — ^Early Battle Scene, &o.
CHAPTER n.— Page 19.
Early Settlement of Conecuh by the Whites — Conflict at Battle
Branch — First Settlement at Bellville — Founding of Hampden
Ridge-^ — Alexander Autrey — Other Settlers — Land Claims —
CHAPTER m.— Page 22.
Early Privations and Struggles — Unparalleled Difficulties — Scarcity
of Shoes — Undaunted Heroism — Meagreness of Blacksmith
Facilities — Joshua Betts — A Barefooted Population — Scarcity of
Grist Mills — Georgia Currency, &e.
CHAPTER IV.— Page 26.
Indian Hostilities — Troublesome Red Men — Their Depredations —
Early Forts — Primitive Means of Defence Unceasing
Vigilance — Retirement of the Indians to tUe West.
CHAPTER V.—Page 28.
Signs of Advancement — Influx of Population — Industrious Signs
Prevailing — The First Store-House in Conecuh — The Court
House at*Hampden Ridge — Churches— The First Senron — ^First
School — Conecuh Organized into a County — Public Roads —
Anecdote of Hayes and Austill.
CHAPTEB VI.— Page 33.
A Chapter of Biography — Kev. Alexander Travis Alexander
Autrey — Samuel W. Oliver — Dr. John Watkins — Chesley Crosby —
CHAPTER Vn.— Page 43.
Centres of Population — Bellville — Hampden Eldge — Sparta —
Brooklyn — Fort Crawford.
CHAPTER VIII.— Page 55.
Centres of Population Continued — Old Town — Fork Sepulga —
Burnt Com — Evergreen.
CBAPTER IX.— Page 66.
An Early Home and Its Surroundings— Now and Then — Mode of
Transportation Adopted by the Early Fathers — The Home of the
First Year — The Improvement of the Second— House Furniture —
The Happiness of Former Times.
CHAPTER X.— Page 70.
Customs and Habits of the Early Pioneer Families — Rude State of
Society — Early Amusements — Styles of the Former Times —
Horseback Riding — Scenes at Public Gatherings.
CHAPTER XL— Page 73.
Continued Developnient — Rapid Advancement — Tides of Popula-
tion — Gathered Fruits of Toil — Improved Homes — Social
Changes — Reverses, &c.
CHAPTER XII.— Page 76.
Transportation and the Inauguration of Postal Routes — Navigation
of the Conecuh River — Brooklyn Again — The First Post-Office —
Different Mail Lines.
CHAPTER Xm.— Page 79.
A Chapter of Biography — Rev. James King — ^Rev. Keidar
Hawthorne — Joel Lee — Wilson Ashley — Nicholas Stallworth, Sr —
John Sampey — William Rabb, Sr — Adam McOreary.
CHAPTER XIV.— Paob 92.
Conecuh from 1825 to 1835 — Current History Resumed — ^Lull of
Apprehension — Fruits of Peace — Tragedy — Rude Customs Still
PrevaiUng—Birth of Political Agitation.
CHAPTER XV.~Page 103.
Conecuh from 1835 to 1845— Interesting Epoch— Birth of Political
Issues— Excitement Begins — Hot Contests— The Great Indian
War — ^Democrats and Whigs — Hard and Soft Money Issue —
Educational Improvements, &o.
CHAPTER XYL— Page 112.
A Chapter of Biography — Hon. J. S. Hunter — Richard Warren —
John Greene, Sr — J. R. Hawthorne— J. V. Perryman — Samuel
Burnett— H. F. Steams— John Bell.
CHAPTER XVn.— Page 123.
Conecuh from 1845 to 1855 — Status of the County at this Period —
Acrimonious Politics — Sad Tragedy — ^Steam Navigation Under-
taken Upon the Conecuh River — A Disaster and a Protracted
Law Suit — Caterpillars in Conecuh — Mexican War — Sickness in
CHAPTER XVm.— Page 130.
A Chapter of Biography — John Crosby — Rev. Hanson Lee —
James M. Boiling — Thomas W. Simpson — Nicholas Stallworth,
Jr— A. D. Cary— W. B. Travis.
CHAPTER XIX. —Page 146.
Ck)neouh from 1865 to 1860— Stirring Activity— Progress— Academy
at Bellville — Know-Nothingism— County Paper — ^Bailroads and
Telegraph — Murder of Allen Page.
CHAPTER XX.— Page 166.
A Chapter of Biography— E. W. Martin — ^Rev. George Lee —
Hezekiah Donald — Churchill Jones — J. W. Ethridge — ^Sherman
G. Forbes— Solomon S. Forbes— M. B. Travis— J. D. Cary.
CHAPTER XXI.— Page 167.
War Record of Conecuh — ^Intense Excitement— Conecuh Patri-
otism — Conecuh Guards — ^Flag Presentation at Sparta Depot —
Address by Miss Mathews — Other Companies — Scenes in the
Camps at Home — Invasion of the County— Disasters.
CHAPTER XXII.~Page 177.
A Chapter of Biography — James A. Stallworth — William A.
Ashley— Rev. W. C. Morrow — J. M. Henderson — Dr. Milton
Amos — ^Dr. William Cunningham.
CHAPTER XXIII.— Page 189.
Dark Sway of Reconstructionism — Social Chaos — Demoralization —
Local Troubles — Sovereignty of the Bayonet — The Negro as a
Politician — ^How the New Order of Things Affected Southern
Society — Heroism Displayed, &c.
CHAPTER XXIV.-Page 194.
"Peep o' Day " — Darkness Clearing Away — Advancement of Order —
Returning Signs of Prosperity — ^The People Becoming Them-
selves Again — Glance at Current Events up to the Present.
CHAPTER XXV.— Page 198.
Present Representative Men of Conecuh — Rev. Andrew Jay — Dr.
J. L. Shaw— Y. M..Rabb— A. J. Robinson— N. Stallworth— P.
D. Bowles— G. R. Farnham.
CHAPTER XXVI.— Page 214.
Population — ^Principal Town — Climate — Soil — Stock Raising —
Productions — Industrial Resources— Forests — Streams — Numer-
ous Advantages, Social, Educational, Agricultural — Colored
Population, &c — Closing Remarks.
I. —Constitution of Conecuh'Historical Society Page 223
n.— Roll of Conecuh Guards " 226
History of Conecuh.
Conecuh in the Earliest Times — ^Derivation of Its Name— Original
Appearance — Abounding Game — Ferocious Beasts — Early Battle
Conecuh is an Indian name, to which, have been
given a variety of meanings. But the best transla-
tors of the Indian dialect believe its meaning to be
"Cane Land," derived from the vast canebrakes which
lined its numerous streams, and which covered its
extensive tracts of lowlands.
The original word from which the present name is
supposed to have been corrupted was "Econneka,"
which, in the Creek tongue, means "Land of Cane."
This is the rendering given by Col. M. H. Cruikshank,
of Talladega, to whom the author was referred by
Prof. W. S. Wyman, of the University of Alabama.
After venturing several conjectures himself, as to the
14 HISTORY OF CONEOUH.
meaning of the word, Prof. Wyman, with genuine
good humor, says^ *'The name Conecuh means Pole-
cats Head; being a compound of kono^ the Creek
word for polecat, and ekuh^ head." "Then," continues
the Professor, " this is my best conjecture, and if it
should turn out that I have hit the right meaning, it
is to be hoped that the good people of Conecuh will
not be unduly distressed at the unsavory name of
their county. As the rose by any other name would
smell as sweet, so it stands to good reason that the
goodly land of Conecuh, swept, as it is, by the resinous
airs of its own healthful pine forests, visited by th,e
fragrant breezes of the peninsula of orange flowers,
and wooed by a touch of the sultry breath of old
Ocean himself, smells sweet in spite of its ugly name."
After several conjectures, against all of which he
raised some objection, Prof. Wyman urged that the
whole matter be submitted to Col. Cruikshank, whose
practical knowledge of the Indian dialect enabled him
to give the meaning presented on the first page. The
county took its name from the stream of the same
name which penetrates its eastern portion.
To each of these streams the native tribes gave a sig-
nificant name, derived from some prevailing character-
istic, or from some notable event connected therewith.
The statement already made as to the meaning of
Conecuh, is further corroborated by the glowing
description given by the earliest settlers of the appear-
ance of the face of the country. The virgin forests of
Conecuh, as described by the pioneer fathers, must
Itisro-Rt of OOITECUH. 15
have rivalled in appearance the fairest spots of earth.
Before! one occupying a prominence there was spread
oat a scene of panoramic beauty. Vast stretches of
land, dipping into occasional basins, ranged visibly in
all directions, unbroken by the small undergrowth of
shrubbery, which is now a prevailing feature in our
forests. The land was radiant with long, waving
grass, interspersed with the wild oat and the native
pea- vine, and relieved by the monarch pine trees, which
stood like so many columns in the great cathedral of
nature. Across these smiling landscapes, and through
these verdant vales, there roved vast herds of deer
and flocks of wild turkeys, together with other
game — ^the evident tokens of a beneficent Providence.
Here and there these lands of wild beauty were
streaked with clear, flowing streams, the track of whose
shining currents could be followed for milesjby reason
of the native cane, which grew in rank luxuriance
along their banks. There was not then, as now, a
mixture of tangled shrubbery with the cane along the
banks of these streams. The streams themselves
abounded in the finest fish, while the lakes and ponds
swarmed with countless flocks of wild ducks. From
out the thicket jungles there would issue, at night,
the hideous growls of wild beasts, the ferocious pro-
tests of the native denizen to the encroaching civiliza-
tion of the white man. Such is the description given
of Conecuh when the enterprising settlers first occu-
pied its soil.
16 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
The first item of historic interest is coDnected with
a skirmish on Burnt Corn creek, thirteen miles south
of Bellville, which was the commencement of the great
Indian War. The settlers along the Tombigbee,
having learned that Peter McQueen, with a body of
warriors, numbering about 350, had gone to Pensa-
cola for the purpose of obtaining supplies from the
British, preparatory to an attack upon the whites,
sent Col. James Caller, with a small body of cavalry,
to intercept them. Eeturning from Pensacola, ladened
with supplies, the Indians had stopped near the banks
of Burnt Corn creek, to rest and cook dinner. Having
driven their ponies across the stream to a basin of
land, thickly overgrown with tender cane, the dusky
warriors lay down in the shade to rest, while the
squaws prepared dinner. Coming from the opposite
direction the advance guards of Caller's forces found
the Indian ponies grazing in the tall cane, and imme-
diately reported the discovery to their commander.
With great caution the whites advanced, crossed the
stream in single file, and commenced to fire upon the
reclining warriors. Snatching up their guns, the
Indians ran down under a bluff that overhung the
creek. Confident of easy victory. Caller and his men
began to plunder the Indian camp and to reap the
spoils of success. Meanwhile the brave warriors ral-
lied and returned the fire with vigor, advancing all
the while upon the over-confident whites. At the
first fire from the savages, the unhitched horses of
HISTORY OF OONBOUH. 17
Caller's men scampered off in all directions. In much
confusion the whites retreated to the top of the hill,
and the results would have been disastrous, it is said,
had not Capt. Sam Dale covered the retreat with a
small body of men. Filled with a new fire of revenge,
the Indians, a month later, fell upon Fort Mimms,
the horrors of which event were appalling beyond
description. When the earliest inhabitants came to
Bellville they found the spot where the tribes held
their war dance in honor of McQueen's victory over
Caller. Thus was spilt upon Conecuh's soil the first
blood of that terrible series of sanguinary conflicts,
which culminated in the removal of the native tribes to
the far West. What a melancholy history is that of
the Eed Man I The narrative of their unchecked
dominion, contrasted with that of their rapid disper-
sion, is sad beyond measure. The history of their
undisputed sway is written upon the rills and rivers
of our fair land to-day. As Alabama's once gifted
poet. Judge A. B. Meek, has sung:
"Yes ! tho' they all have passed away, —
That noble race and brave,
Though their light canoes have vanished
From off the crested wave ;
Though 'mid the forests where they roved.
There rings no hunter's shout, —
Yet their names are on our waters,
And we may not wash them out I
Their memory liveth on our hills,
Their baptism on our shore, —
Our everlasting rivers speak
Their dialect of yore I
18 HISTOBY OF CONECUH.
'Tis heard where Chattahoochee pours
His yellow tide along ;
It sounds on Tallapoosa's shores,
And Coosa swells the song ;
Where lordly Alabama sweeps,
The symphony remains ;
And young Cahawba proudly keeps
The echo of its strains ;
Where Tuscaloosa's waters glide,
From stream and town 'tis heard.
And dark Tombeckbee's winding tide
Eepeats the olden word ;
Afar, where nature brightly wreathed
Fit Edens for the Free,
Along Tuscumbia's bank 'tis breathed,
By stately Tennessee ;
And south, where from Conecuh's springs,
Escambia's waters steal,
The anoient melody still rings,—
From Tensaw and Mobile."
HIBTOBY OF OONBOUH. 19
Early Settlement of Conecuh by the Whites— Conflict at Battle
Branch— First Settlement of Bellville — Hampden Kidge— Alex-
ander Autrey — Other Settlers — Land Claims — Emigration.
Subsequent to the defeat sustained by the whites
at Burnt Corn creek, under Col. Caller, it seems that
a small body of settlers penetrated Conecuh, under the
leadership of Capt. Shomo — now of Monroe county —
and chastised the Indians at Battle Branch, eight miles
south of Bellville. The details of this second conflict
are not given. It is said that the marks of the battle
are to be seen to-day, in the impressions made in the
bark by the flying bullets of the assailants. In the
latter part of 1815, the first permanent settlement, by
the whites, was made near Bellville. Samuel Buch-
anan was the first to establish his home within the
borders of the county. He located on what is now
known as Hawthorne's Mill Creek, about one and a
half miles west of Bellville, near the famous Indian
trail known, then, as the Old Wolf Trail, which ran
from the present site of Claiborne, on the Alabama
river, via Bellville, to some point on the Chattahoo-
chee. At this period no whites resided nearer this
pioneer hero than at Claiborne on the west, or Burnt
Corn on the north. But shortly after this, Alexander
Autrey removed from the region of Claiborne, and
settled upon a small stream west of his late residence,
20 mSTORY OF CONECUH.
which he called Autrey's creek. Subsequent to this,
he removed to the line of hills which overlook Mur-
der creek from the west, where he established himself
in a new home, and named it Hampden Eidge.
Shortly after Mr. Autrey's removal to Conecuh,
there came from North Carolina three gentlemen whose
names were Thomas Mendenhall, Eli Mendenhall, and
Eeuben Hart. The first of these established himself
at the spot now known as the Old Savage Place, on
the road running from Bellville to Evergreen. Mr.
Hart located very near the pr.esent residence of Dr. J.
L. Shaw. Early in 1817, the population of Bell-
ville, which then boasted of the name of "The Ponds,"
from the lakes which existed near, was increased by
the emigration of Joshua Hawthorne from Wilkinson
county, Georgia, to South Alabama. He pitched his
family tent in the virgin forests near the home of the
late Henry Stanley, surrounded by no other elements
of civilization than those already named.
As each emigrant would take up his abode in this
land of teeming beauty, he would cast about him for
the most favorable location, and one best suited to the
interests of his future residence. In order to fix the
title of what was then known as the Emigrant's
Claim, the early pioneers would select the tract or
district best suited to their tastes, and would proceed
to indicate their title to permanent tenure by girding
a few trees, with impressions cut in the bark, and by
laying somewhere upon land desired, the first four
logs of a building. This was a monument of posses*
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 21
sion, and was sacredly respected by the early settlers.
The man who would dare disregard this asserted
claim, was branded a rascal outright, and incurred the
loss of public confidence and esteem.
Near the period above referred to, another batch
of emigrants came to Conecuh from Chester District,
South Carolina. They settled near Hampden Eidge.
These were Chesley Crosby, Robert Savage, Mabry
Thomas, and Alexander Donald — then quite a young
man. These were accompanied by Robert Herrin and
Jesse T. Odum — the former of whom continued on
to Claiborne, where he located and resided many
years ; while the latter removed to Buena Vista, in
Monroe county, where he lived to be quite old. All
of these flourished conspicuously in their adopted
counties, for many years together.
182 HISTOBY or CONEOtTH.
Early Privations and Struggles — Unparalleled Difficulties — Scarcity
of Tools — Undaunted Heroism — Mea^eness of Blacksmith's
Facilities — Joshua Betts — A Barefooted Population — Paucity of
Grist Mills — Georgia Currency, &c.
Notwithstanding the luxuriant abundance of natural
elements, with which the early settlers found them-
selves surrounded, they were not exempt from the
privations then universally incident to pioneer life.
Vast forests had to be felled, and the fields to be cul-
tivated, but most scanty was the supply of implements
with which the formidable task had to be undertaken;
and the few in hand were of the rudest character. A
few axes and grubbing hoes, such as the daring em-
igrants had brought with them from their distant
homes, were the only utensils that could be brought
into practical requisition.
But with that heroism which had prompted them
to penetrate these forest wilds, they energetically ad-
dressed themselves to the stupendous task. But at
every step, they encountered new difficulties; one
overcome, ancTther was introduced. By dint of ardu-
ous and tedious toil, the forests were partially cleared
away — but where were the implements of agriculture
with which the soil was to be tilled ? A few shovels,
spades and grubbing hoes, of the rudest character,
and an occasional scooter plow, were the only imple-
HISTOBY OF OONBCUH. 28
inejjLts with which these primitive agriculturists were
to raise their virgin crops. The only instrument used
by many of the wealthiest farmers, for several years,
was a sharply-flattened hickory pole, made somewhat
in the shape of a crowbar, with which holes were,
made in the soil and the seed deposited. An embar-
rassing difficulty arose from the absence of smithy
facilities among the early farmers, and hence many
saw but little hope of subsequent relief from their
perplexity. This embarrassment, however, was par-
tially overcome in upper Conecuh by the possession
of a few blacksmith tools by Joshua Betts. He was
reinforced by his brother, Isaac — who had, by the aid
of the enterprising settlers in that region, supplied
himself with a complete outfit of blacksmith tools, for
which he agreed to pay with work done in his shop.
But one of the severest privations to which the
pioneer families were subjected was a great scarcity of
shoes. Many of the fathers and grandfathers of the
influential families now resident in Conecuh, were,
from necessity, barefoot laborers. The early soil was
tilled, through heat and cold, by barefooted men. The
game was chased over the hills by men wearing no
shoes. Men and women taught school, and attended
church, with feet totally unprotected. And to show
tbat it was not incompatible with primitive dignity,
pne of the earliest aspirants to Legislative honors —
Captain Cumming — actively canvassed the county of
Conecuh, on horseback, with his feet clad only in their
©ativo nudeness. It is said to have been not an unfre-
24 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
quent occurrence to meet men, on horseback, with
their naked feet armed with a pair of rude wooden
The year 1816 was noted as being one of sore
privation to the heroic families who had confronted
the perils of these forest wilds, nerved alone by the
hope of future reward, which itself was dependent
upon their tedious exertion. To appreciate their
struggles with formidable difficulties, one has only to
be told that during the year 1816 the settlers of Con-
ecuh had to procure their corn from Claiborne, which
had to be transported in sacks across the country on
horseback — and that, too, amid the constant danger of
falling into the hands of roving bands of savages, who
prowled like beasts of prey in all directions. This
stupendous disadvantage was further enhanced by the
utter absence of grist mills ; and hence' the planters
had to have recourse to a rude contrivance of their
own manufacture, which was called a "sweep." This
consisted- of a pestle, fixed into a horizontal pole, which
rested upon an upright forked beam, securely fixed
into the ground. Beneath this was placed a mortar,
which contained the corn. By the perpendicular op-
eration of the pestle, the corn was gradually pounded
into a mealy state. This inconvenient usage was at*
length obviated by the erection, in upper Conecuh, of
a grist mill upon the identical spot where Ellis's Mills
now stand. This was built by Captain Cumming.
Shortly after this, a similar enterprise sprang up on
Mill creek, near Bellville. This was erected by Bartly
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 25
Walker.* These were the only mills that existed
in Conecuh for many years. And such rare enter-
prises did not fail to become centres of influence for a
long time. They were the points of popular resort,
whither the fathers of yore would gather, each bring-
ing his ponderous sack of corn on his horse or mule,
and accompanied by his trusty rifle. ^ And as the mil-
ler would reduce their corn to meal, many would be
the feats described, and the adventures recounted, by
the hardy fathers of the long ago. Among other
hardships encountered by the early inhabitants of
Conecuh was that of being forced oftentimes, by stress
of necessity, to consume meal made of corn which
had molded through age and exposure. And their
rapid prosperity becomes to us, more a source of won-
der, when, superadded to all these hardships, was that
of being compelled to use Georgia currency, which
was below par ; so that even though the injured corn
was conveyed from such distances, it cost from four
to seven dollars per bushel.
But, rising above all these stupendous difficulties,
these hardy sons of energy laid the foundations of
-wealth, and transmitted to the succeeding generation
not only the results of their toils, but, besides, the
power of a physical and moral courage, whose strength
ever rose higher than the confronting barrier, and
enabled them to prevail against odds the most for-
midable. Verily, more than any ever experienced by
their offspring, "these were times that tried men's souls."
* The miU rocks used here were dag from the earth near Joseph
Burt's, where an abundance of similar stones may stUl be found.
2ff HISTORT OP OONBfOtTH.
Indian Hostilities— Their Depredations — Early Forts, Ac.
Contemporaneous with the events already recorded,
were occasional outbreaks from the Indians. Eelics
of the broken tribes were roving in small bands over
the wide and wild waste of country. These were the
remnants of the tribes defeated and dispersed by
General Jackson in the battle of the Horse Shoe.
Numerous were the depredations committed by these
wild bands. Frequently the carcass of a cow would
be found flayed of its skin and with the haunches
removed. And woe betide the poor Indian who was
found with traces of blood upon his person, or with
moccasins of cowskin upon his feet. He was sure to
become the recipient of a severe castigation at the
hands of the outraged inhabitants. These depreda-
tions kept alive the fire of hostility between the white
and red races. Stung with the passion of revenge,
these bands of hostile Indians would sometimes fall
unawares upon an unprotected community, and after
speedily wreaking their vengeance, in the work of
death upon the defenceless, would again dash off, and
stealthily conceal themselves in the jungles of the
forest. Bloody scenes were enacted upon the Forks
of Sepulga and upon the Conecuh river. In 1818 these
bands, having concentrated, felt sufficiently strong to
threaten the extermination of the pale faces. The
white settlements having learned of their belligerent
flisTOBY OF comtavn. 27
designs, considerable alarm was produced, and they
felt impelled to take immediate steps toward protec-
tion. By concert of action in the several settlements,
three forts were accordingly erected — one near the
house of Alexander Autrey, one at the fountain head of
Bellville branch, near the present house of John H.
Famham, and one in the neighborhood of Burnt Corn.
The implements of war, like all other works of art,
were necessarily scant. Whatever could deal the blow
of death, was laid under tribute and conveyed forth-
with to these strongholds of protection. The armory
of defence consisted of club axes, worn blunt by long
usage; knives, old bayonets, gathered from the Indian
battle grounds; clubs and old guns. With these
implements of protection, the early fathers, together
with their families, repaired to these bulwarks of
defence. Feeling that '^eternal vigilance is the price
of liberty," they slept nightly upon their rude arms,
and were ready, at the slightest alarm, to mete out
death to their dusky assailants. As the Indians
gradually retired, however, to the Big Warrior Nation,
tranquility was restored, and by degrees the people of
Conecuh resumed the work which High Destiny had
entrusted to their hands — that of lifting the country
from its primeval inactivity upon the plane of a pro-
gressive prosperity. As the slumbering resources of
nature were evoked, energy was stimulated, ingenuity
was unfolded, diflSculties vanished, the boundless
forests disappeared before the axe of advancement,
and fields were everywhere abloom with natural
28 HI8T0BY OF OONKOITH.
Signs of Advancement — ^Industrious Signs Prevailing.
With the restoration of tranquility there naturally
came an influx of immigration from the States of
South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Civilization
now began to find expression in the establishment of
social institutions. Commerce, though on a scale
quite limited, assumed positive shape. Schools were
established. Here and there a church edifice, though
quite in keeping with the rough life of the pioneer,
was erected, and industry was rearing embryonic
monuments all over the face of the country. In 1818
there came to the Bellville settlement a young man
whose name was Robert C. Paine. He was half-
brother to Mrs. Alexander Travis. Prompted by a spirit
of enterprise, he erected, in the Bellville community,
the first mercantile establishment ever built on the
soil of Conecuh. His store-house is described as
having been of exceedingly rude appearance — in apt
keeping, however, with the principle of "the eternal
fitness of things." It was built of pine poles, un-
stripped of their bark, and had a dirt floor. The
stock in trade of this father merchant was a little
coarse sugar, which he sold at fifty cents per pound;
a little coffee, at one dollar per pound; and a few dry
goods, suited to the tastes and the necessities of the
HISTOKT OF QONZQVA. 29
early families. These goods he hauled in a small
ox-cart from Blakely.
While Bellville was thus rapidly asserting her
claims to a more advanced civilization, Hampden
Kidge (the Autrey settlement) was setting up rival
claims. Here the first temple of justice was erected by
the aspiring fathers, in the shape of a rude court house.
It was built of chestnut logs, was planted full upon a
dirt floor, and in regard to furniture, boasted of a
rough table, behind which sat the wearer of the ermine
in all his primitive dignity. Having but one room,
the retiring juries would have to resort for secrecy,
and for the formation of their verdicts, under the eye
of a vigilant bailiff, to the surrounding forest. Pris-
oners were conveyed across the country — a distance of
thirty-five miles from the prison in Claiborne. During
the session of court they had to be guarded beneath
the shades of the ancestral oaks, which crown Hamp-
den Eidge. Favorably for the future inhabitants of
Conecuh, her earliest settlers were, to a great extent,
men of piety. Along with the development of the
several bustling communities of the county, there
grew up a desire to erect church edifices, to be conse-
crated to the worship of " the true and living God."
About 1817 there removed from Twiggs county, Ga.,
a Baptist minister, whose name was David Wood.
Though blind, he was an earnest, practical, devoted
minister of the truth. He preached the first sermon
ever delivered in Conecuh county, in a small, rude
cabin, which stood on the spot of ground now ocou-
30 HISTOBY OF CONECUH.
pied by the graveyard, near the Bellville Baptist
Church. A little later than this, the first school ever
instituted in Conecuh was established by John Greene,
Sr., near the site of his present home. Among his
pupils were the Eev. David Lee, now of Lowndes
county; his brother, Ithiel, deceased ; Watkins Salter,
at one time clerk of the court of Conecuh, and after-
ward its representative in the Legislature, and still
later a representative from Lowndes county ; the late
Miles Herrington, and Jacob Betts, a prominent mer-
chant at Burnt Corn — then quite a small boy.
CONECUH IS ORGANIZED INTO A COUNTY.
Conecuh did not become a separately organized
county until January, 1818. Prior to this time it was
embraced within the limits of Monroe county, which
then embraced an extensive tract of territory, extend-
ing from east to west, from the Chattahoochee to the
Alabama. But after the organization of Conecuh into
a county, it was bounded on the north by Monroe and
Montgomery counties, on the west by Clarke and
Mobile, on the east by Georgia, and on the south by
Florida — then a Spanish province. Eichard Warren
became the first representative of the county in the
Territorial Legislature, which met then at St. Stephens,
in Washington county. Eansom Dean (brother-in-
law to Col. J. E. Hawthorne), was the first sheriff,
and by virtue of his office, was tax assessor and col-
lector, as well. Joel Lee (the father of Eev. David
Lee), was the first justice of the peace appointed in
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 81
Coneculi. He was appointed by Gov. William Bibb.
For a long time after the settlement of this portion
of Alabama, the inhabitants had to adopt for their
highways the beaten trails of the Eed Man, which
threaded the forests in all directions, and led through
the dense cane that skirted the streams, at the only
points where it could be penetrated, and where the
streams themselves could be forded. To form some
estimate of the density of these brakes, which pre-
vailed with uniform impenetrableness along the banks
of all streams alike, the present inhabitant of Conecuh
has only to be told the following anecdote: On one
occasion a gentleman living near Burnt Corn, Captain
Hayes, accompanied by his young friend, Jere Aus-
tin — afterwards celebrated because of his connection
with the famous Canoe Fight — was traveling in lower
Conecuh, exploring the fertile lands which lie along
Murder creek. Returning after nightfall, they at-
tempted to cross Bellville branch, just where the road
now crosses between the village and the house of
James Straughn, and became entangled in the glade
of cane. After wading through the mud for some
time, and finding no relief, in their perplexity they
set up a yell of distress, which was promptly answered
by Joshua Hawthorne, who hastened to their relief,
with several negro men, bearing lighted torches, and
In 1822 the first public road that ever penetrated
83 HISTOBY or COXfSOUB.
aay portion of the county, was cut by order of the
Legislature. It was then about the most important
thoroughfare in the State. It ran from Cahaba, via
Old TurnbuU and Bellville, to Pensacola, and was
afterwards known as ** the Old Stage Eoad."
HISTORY OF COKBCtTBL 88
A Chapter of Biography — Early Heroes and Their Struggle
Frowning Barriers — Unequalled Energy — Moral Giants-^How
the Basis was Laid — Apostolic Consecration, Ac, &c.
REV. ALEXANDER TRAVIS.
The sacred position which Mr. Travis occupied,
together with the wholesome work accomplished by
him in giving so much moral tone to the character of
Conecuh county, demand that he occupy the first place
in the biographical sketches of her useful and prom-
inent men. Alexander Travis was born in Edgefield
District, South Carolina, on August 23rd, 1790. He
was the child of humble, though respectable parents.
Having been reared on a farm, he was inured to hard
service, and thereby the better fitted for the toilsome
duties which awaited him in the latter half of his
useful and eventful life. The educational advantages
of young Travis were limited — not exceeding an
imperfect training in the rudiments of the English.
But possessing more than an ordinary stock of native
intellectual power, he absorbed much information
from divers sources, which gave him a respectable
position in society. In appearance, Mr. Travis was
tall and dignified, and by the gravity of his bearing
commanded universal respect. He was converted in
1809, and baptized into the fellowship of the Addiel
Church, in South Carolina. One year later, he was
84 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
licensed to preach ; and in 1813, was ordained to the
full work of a Baptist minister. Assuming charge of
several churches, he retained his pastorate until his
removal to Alabama in 1817. Upon coming to Con-
ecuh, he located near Evergreen, where he resided till
his death. Such was the zeal of this consecrated
missionary, that he would gather together, as he could,
a batch of hearers, from Sunday to Sunday, to preach
to them the richness of grace in Christ Jesus. Nor
were his ettbrts vain ; for soon he collected a sufficient
number of converts together, with those who had
previously been members of Baptist churches, to
organize a church near his home. Hence he became
the founder of the famous Old Beulah Church, situated
between Sparta and Brooklyn. This he did in 1818.
Nor were his labors restricted to this particular sec-
tion ; for in all directions his energies were exerted
in the organization of yet other churches. The sparse-
ness of the population compelled him to take long and
trying journeys from week to week. But never did
inspired apostle address himself to his work with more
alacrity. During the week he was an earnest, active
student. His library was a plain English Bible ; over
this he would assiduously pore, by the aid of blazing
pine knots, after his labors in the field. Such was the
devotion of this pioneer disciple, that he would leave
his home early on Friday morning in order to walk
to his appointments, thirty-five miles away. And
not unfrequently, in these foot-marches, he would
encounter swollen streams ;. but, nothing daunted, he
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 85
would strap his saddlebags — which he always carried
in his hands — about his neck, boldly plunge in, and
swim to the opposite shore. Through his indefatigable
exertions, thriving churches were established in differ-
ent parts of the county, and some in districts quite
remote from others. And such was his zeal, his suc-
cess, his ability as a preacher, and his affable firmness
as a pastor, that he remained in charge of several of
these churches from the period of their formation to
his death. This was true with respect to the Beulah
and Bellville churches. Of the former he was pastor
thirty-five years; of the latter thirty-two. A large
and flourishing interest was established by him in the
Higdon settlement, between Burnt Corn and Ever-
green. Because of his peculiar parliamentary ability,
Mr. Travis was chosen the Moderator of the Bethle-
hem Association for more than twenty consecutive
sessions ; and because of his earnest support of educa-
tion, he was made the first chairman of the Board of
Trustees of the Evergreen Academy, for many years
together. So evenly balanced were all his powers —
mental, physical and moral — that he was admirably
fitted to the work Providentially assigned him in a
rugged, pioneer region.
Elder Travis died in 1852, at his old home, where
he had lived full thirty-five years. His death was a
public calamity, and was universally lamented. He
was emphatically a good man. He was, in many re-
spects, a man of greatness. He was unswerving in
his principles, and had the courage of his convictions,
86 BISTORT OP COKIGUH.
whicfi he boldly evinced when occasion required; and
yet, in his general deportment, he was as meek as a
child. At the pulpit end of Old Beulah Church may
be seen to-day by the passer-by, a plain marble shaft,
which marks the resting place of this sainted pioneer
was the second white man to settle upon the soil of
Conecuh. His biography, therefore, is inseparably
connected with the history of the county from its
colonial period. He was born of French and Ger-
man ancestry, in North Carolina, on January 4th,
1780. On March 5th, 1803, he was married to Par-
thenia B. Irvin. In 1810 he removed to Georgia,
whence he removed to Monroe county, Alabama,
shortly after the establishment of peace with Great
Britain in 1815. Here he must have remained but a
short time, for we find him in the early part of 1816
the founder of Hampden Ridge, on the range of hills
west of Murder creek. In stature, Mr. Autrey was
tall, rather disposed to stoop, and of lean physique.
He practically illustrated in his life what could be
achieved by genuine pluck and perseverance. The
odds encountered, and the dangers braved by him in
coming to Conecuh, only served to stimulate him to
more vigorous exertions. He came up from the most
straitened circumstances, enduring all the priva-
tions of pioneer life, and yet when he died he was one
HISTORY OF OOITECtrH. 87
of the wealthiest men in Conecuh.* The controlling
traits of his character were an indomitable will and a
vigorous energy. Whatever engaged his attention at
all, fired him with an ardent enthusiasm. He reared a
large family, both of sons and daughters, of whom
only one remains — Mrs. 0. P. Eobinson, of Vermilion-
ville, Louisiana. Mr. Autrey died at his residence
on September 22nd, 1857, at the advanced age of
SAMUEL WHITE OLIVER.
This distinguished citizen was a native of Virginia,
where he was born about 1796. The early portion
of his life was spent in Clarke county, Georgia. His
literary course was taken at Franklin College, and was
fitted for the bar in Litchfield, Connecticut. In 1819
he removed to Conecuh, and located near the new
county site at Sparta. He soon associated with him-
self, in the practice of law, Hon. John S. Hunter. By
his ability, Mr. Oliver soon won the confidence of his
fellow citizens. In 1822 he was elected first to the
Legislature, in which position he was retained by the
popular voice of the people for twelve years. In 1834
he was chosen Speaker of the House. Two years
later he was elected to the State Senate from Conecuh
and Butler, but this position he resigned upon his re-
* The writer has heard his mother, whose father Mr. Autrey was,
relate what she had often heard her mother state — that she (Mrs.
A.) would often hold a lighted torch at night for her husband to
deposit his seed in the earth.
88 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
moval to Dallas county, in 1837. During this year he
was the candidate of the anti- Van Baren party for the
office of Governor. But in the contest he was de-
feated by a majority of 4,000 for Hon. Arthur P.
Bagby, of Monroe county. Colonel Oliver died at his
residence, on Pine Barren creek, in Dallas county,
January 18th, 1838. He was a gentleman of shining
qualities, spotless reputation and popular bearing.
Had his life been prolonged, he would doubtless have
attained great distinction.
DR. JOHN WATKINS
was a distinguished physician, who removed at quite
an early period, to Conecuh, where he found himself
almost alone, for some time, in his practice. Dr.
Watkins was born within a short distance of the scene
of General Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court
House, Virginia, in 1775. Having received a liberal
education, he pursued his medical studies in Philadel-
phia, whence he was graduated in 1804. He first
located at Abbeville Court House, South Carolina,
where he practiced in the family of Senator John C.
Calhoun. He removed to Alabama in 1813, and
located first on the Tombigbee river. Later we find
him at Claiborne — the only physician between the
Alabama and Chattahoochee rivers. Notwithstand-
ing his decided usefulness in his chosen profession,
he was urged to represent Monroe in the Consti-
tutional Convention in 1819, and during the same
year was elected to the Senate from the same county.
mSTORY OP OONKOUH. 89
At quite an early period after the settlement of OoneoTih,
he removed to that county, where his ability was
speedily recognized as a physician. But here again
he was destined to share in political honors, for in
1828 he was sent to the Senate from Conecuh and
Butler. Several years afterward he was chosen to
represent Conecuh in the lower branch of the Legis-
lature. In 1842 his services were again demanded in
the realm of politics, and he was chosen Senator from
Conecuh and Monroe counties. His devotion to his
chosen profession, however, continued unabated, and
he was assiduous in the accumulation of scientific
works, that he might be the more fully prepared to
meet the advancing demands of medicine. Dr. Wat-
kins died at his home, near Burnt Corn, in 1854. He
was a man of extraordinary physical powers. In
manners he was exceedingly plain, and oftentimes very
blunt. The following characteristic anecdote is rela-
ted of him: He had a patient who had for a long
time suffered from extreme nervousness. Dr. Wat-
kins having learned that she had a peculiar fondness
for coffee, admonished her to discontinue its use.
Having been called to visit her again, he found her
with her head resting upon her palms, and leaning
over the fire-place, where he spied the coffee pot,
poised upon a pedestal of glowing coals. Without
ceremony, he knocked it from its position, causing the
contents to flow out, and then proceeded to kick it
across the room, through the door, and into the yard.
But he was universally esteemed for his benevolence
40 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
and hospitality. His memory will ever be cherished
in Conecuh, because of his superior public worth.
The subject of this sketch was born is Chester Dis-
trict, South Carolina, July 22nd, 1788. Here he grew
to manhood, when he removed to Conecuh, which
was in 1818. When he came fco the county he found
a few struggling settlements, there having preceded
him but few of the early emigrants. Like all others,
he erected a rude house, and commenced his labors in
the boundless forests of Conecuh. Along with the
growth of prosperity in the county he continued to
accumulate wealth, and by dint of energy and econo-
my, had amassed considerable property before his
death. Mr. Crosby was the ancestor of a large
offspring. Many of these reside in Conecuh, some in
adjoining counties, and others in different and distant
States. He was a man of many sterling qualities of
character. In him the widow and orphan ever found
a sympathizing friend. And when convinced of the
worth of a public enterprise, no one was more liberal
in contributing to its success. A praiseworthy ex-
ample of his liberality is found in the Baptist church
at Bellville, to which he gave in a cash donation
$500. In consideration of this marked liberality, a
seat, stained with mahogany hue, was prepared for
him, and which he occupied in his attendance upon
the services of the church. After a long and useful
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 41
life of seventy-five years, Mr. Crosby died at his home,
between Bellville and Sparta, on May 22nd, 1864.
Among the earliest inhabitants of Conecuh was
Fielding Straughn, who was in very many respects
an extraordinary man. He was born in Chatham
county, North Carolina, in 1783. In 1817 he came
to Conecuh, in the full vigor of manhood, and settled
his home where Thomas Bobbins at present resides.
Such was the hardiness of his physical constitution
that he defied all the difficulties encountered by him
in this pioneer region. He was a modern Nimrod
amid the abundant game that thronged the primitive
wilds of Conecuh. It is said to have been a marvel how
he could penetrate with bare feet and short-cut trousers,
the dense everglades of cane and tangled thickets of
briar, as he would chase the flying deer or the retreat-
ing bear. Though unlettered, he is said to have been
a speaker of marked ability in the religious assemblies,
of which he was from time to time a member. In early
manhood he had a passionate fondness for pancakes and
molasses, and indicated an ambition to become suffi
cient]y wealthy to have them every day, instead of
only on Sunday. The object of his gastronomical
ambition was finally attained, and finding his desires
for other objects increasing with his acquisitions, he
declared that every man had a pancakes and molasses
point in life which was never reached. Mr. Straughn
lived to be quite old, having died in 1867, after reap-
42 mSTORY OP CONECUH.
ing his share of the prosperity of the county during
"the flush times" of its early history. Because of
his calm judgment and extensive practical knowledge,
he served the county for a long time as one of her
most efficient commissioners. Among other descend-
ants he left two sons — Pinkney and James — the former
of whom has been a prominent and useful citizen of
Monroe for many years, and the latter of whom has
served the county of Conecuh with efficiency, as sur-
veyor, for several successive terms.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 43
Chapter VII. ,
Centres of Population — Bellville Hampden Ridge Bparta —
Brooklyn — Fort Crawford.
Reference has already been had to the settlements
at Bellville and Hampden Ridge. Between the years
of 1817 and 1823 the population of both these points
was steadily increased. Several brothers, whose name
was Bell, came to Bellville, then called "The Ponds,"
about 1818 or 1820, and having commenced an enter-
prising life in this region, they called the village after
their own name — Bellville. At Hampden Ridge, the
home of Mr. A u trey, as at every advance post in this un-
civilized region of country, there was a nucleus formed,
around which the elements of growth would accumu-
late as the stream of immigration would continue to
flow. As has already been said, by the permission
of Mr. Autrey, and partly by his direction, the first
court house of the county had been built on Hampden
Ridge during the year 1817. After this there came,
in rapid succession, and settled hereabouts, the fami-
lies of Savage, Charlton, Thompson, John and Duncan
Mclntyre, Dr. Houghton (who soon after died). Major
Bowie, Stringer, Causer, Thomas Hodge and Jesse
Baggett, the father of Richard Baggett, of Castleberry,
who was the first white child born in the county of
By mutual agreement between the white residents
44 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
on Hampden Ridge, and the Indians, whose camps and
villages lay beyond Murder creek, this stream was
fixed as the boundary. But regardless of the agree-
ment, the savages would now and then cross the
creek in predatory bands, and commit depredations
upon the white settlers, by stealing their cattle and
driving them beyond the stream, and to the headquar-
ters of the tribe at Old Town. So enraged did the
whites finally become, that they resolved upon a total
suppression of these wrongs. Accordingly they mus-
tered every one who was able to bear arms and moved
in a body to Old Town. This, they attacked with
considerable spirit, driving the native inhabitants,
terror stricken, away. They next proceeded to set
fire to their town of huts and wigwams and reduce it
to ashes. Flushed with victory, the triumphant whites
returned to their homes, no more to be molested by
the prowling Red Man. The Indians having disap-
peared from this region, the whites commenced to
remove to the eastern side of Murder creek. Major
Richard Warren was the first to venture across the
stream and pitch his home in a region so lately filled
with peril. He was soon after followed by his son,
who located at the point where he died, one mile east
of Sparta. During the same year Malachi Warren
entered eighty acres of land and built a log cabin on
the spot where, afterwards, stood the Rankin House.
This cabin was the first building erected upon the
site of old Sparta, which, at this period, had not been
honored with its classic name. At this point Malachi
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 45
Warren opened a place of business that might have
been aptly described as a pop-corn grocery. Between
the homes of Major Warren and his son, Hinchie, a
gentleman, whose name was Spires, located. The
place occupied by him was afterwards called the Calla-
han Place. He was the first to begin the improve-
ment of what has been since known as the Gary
Plantation. In 1819, Thomas Watts (uncle to Ex-
Governor Watts), removed from Georgia and settled
near Malachi Warren's home. During the same year
a man named Gauf removed from Tallahassee, Florida,
and built below the point where afterwards stood the
Eankin House, on the road leading from Sparta to
Brooklyn. It was near this spot, too, where the first
jail was erected. Mr. Gauf established here the first
hotel built in Sparta, and in honor of himself, called
it the Gauf House. Like most other structures of
this period, this primitive inn was of pine poles and
flat upon the ground, and, in the absence of lum-
ber with which to construct shutters for the doors,
calico curtains and counterpanes had to be suspended
as flaps. About this time there came to this commu-
nity a Northern physician, whose name was Jonathan
Shaw. He engaged board in the Gauf House, and
built an office near where the Masonic Hall after-
wards stood. It was just subsequent to the events
already related, that the court house agitation sprang
up between the rival communities of Hampden Ridge
and the settlement on the opposite side of the creek.
A vigorous effort was being made by the Warrens,
46 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
Boy kins and Hunters, to transfer the site of the county
from Hampden Eidge into their own midst. Alexan-
der Autrey led, in a stout opposition, but the decision
of the ballot was against him, and, much to his dis-
satisfaction, he had to yield. Accordingly, in 1820,
a new court house was built, and the village there-
upon received the name of Sparta — given to it by
Thomas Watts, an attorney, in honor of Sparta,
Georgia, from which point he had removed. This
second court house is said to have been a slight im-
provement on the one originally built on Hampden
Eidge. It was constructed of pine logs, and was, in
size, about 20 by 30 feet, and had two doors. In
the absence of a local church edifice, it served the
double purpose of temple of justice and house of
worship. Another court house — the one consumed
by fire in 1868 — was erected three years later, by a
man named Simmons, from Tallahassee, Florida, and
the Masonic Fraternity gave him $500 additional to
place the lodge room and attic above. Evidences of
improvement began now to become manifest in all
directions. The evidences of an ambitious civiliza-
tion were beginning to show themselves in schools,
^nd in more pretentious forms of business than had
hitherto existed. The first school here was under-
taken by John McCloud, who taught but a brief
period, when he was succeeded by Murdock McPher-
son. The last named gentleman is said to have been
the first Mason buried with the honors of that Frater-
nity upon the soil of Conecuh. To give marked
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 47
solemnity to the occasion, a fiddle was brought into
requisition, and its solemn tones were evoked in the
strain of a funeral march, by a wooden-legged doctor,
named Ogden. Anderson and Blackshear, two broth-
ers-in-law, and John and Reuben Dean, built two places
of business in this rapidly growing village. And after
the removal of the court house, the bar of Conecuh
was increased by the location of Samuel W. Oliver,
Eldridge S. Greening and John S. Hunter, at Sparta.
Prior to the settlement of Brooklyn proper, quite a
community had been formed on Ard's and Bottle
creeks. There were in this community, as early as
1818, two stores, owned respectively by McOonnell
and George Feagin. There was also a school being
taught here by Mr. Graham, of Georgia ; and a black-
smith shop, owned by John Brantley. No trace of
this settlement, which was about six miles northwest
of the present location of Brooklyn, remains. The last
vestige has been obliterated by plantations. Among
the earliest settlers here were Asa and Caleb John-
ston, and Aaron Feagin — their father-in-law. They
removed from Georgia in 1818. Eichard Curry,
grandfather to Rev. W. G. Curry, now of Wilcox,
was also one of the founders of this community. The
first settler of the village of Brooklyn was a man
whose name was Cameron. He established a ferry
across Sepulga river. Edwin Robinson, from Brook-
lyn, Connecticut, bought out Mr. Cameron's interest,
48 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
opened a store, and called the place Brooklyn, for his
native village in New England. This occurred in
1820. He was reinforced pretty soon by the location
of Dr. Milton Amos, after whom Milton, Florida, was
named. Then followed the families of George and
Eeuben Dean and Benjamin Hart, who had first settled
at Bellville. Improvements were rapidly made in
the promising village, and thereabouts. A church
was erected in 1821, the pastor of which was Elder
Alexander Travis; a school was established under
Mr. Scruggs; a grist mill contributed to the comfort
and convenience of the expanding village; new places
of business were opened, and thus Brooklyn became,
in 1821, the emporium of trade to Conecuh, and the
river, which runs hard by, became the commercial
outlet of the entire region of country.
Transportation was begun on the Conecuh and
Sepulga rivers in 1821. It is believed that George
Stoneham was the owner of the first boat that sailed
upon the waters of Conecuh. The inauguration of
this movement was but the signal for many similar
enterprises ; for in rapid succession were boats entered
by Messrs. Edwin Eobinson, James and John Jones,
Starke and Harry Hunter, and Frank Boykin, so that
within a few years the river was alive with well-
ladened boats, plying between Brooklyn and Pensa-
cola, and when the depth of water would justify it,
ascending as high as Montezuma, above Brooklyn.
These were keel- boats, and would carry from fifty to
sixty bales of cotton. In capacity they were from sixty
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 49
to seventy feet long, and eight to ten wide. They were
entered in the Custom House at Pensacola, tonnage
paid, and then license obtained for steering into port.
But the heroic enterprise of these early inaugurators
of navigation on the Conecuh river, deserves more
extended mention than a bare passing notice, and
hence a detailed account of their reverses and successes
is reserved for a subsequent chapter. Fresh additions
were constantly being made to the population of
Brooklyn, and but a short time after its location, we
find the families of Hart, Hodges, Meeks, Manning,
Slaughter, Folks, Amos, Turk, Burson, Horton, Lee,
Halstead, and several families of the Stoneham rela-
tionship. These were, for the most part, men of
enterprise, and under their direction the work of
advancement went steadily on. Vast tracts of land
were cleared in the direction of the river, where were
soon some of the best improved plantations in the
county. Eleven miles below Brooklyn there was a
settlement founded on the river, the first inhabitant of
which was Malachi Ethridge, who removed with his
family from North Carolina in 1818. This well-to-do
colony were not neglectful of the advantages which
they had enjoyed in the older States, and hence one
of the first considerations was the erection of houses
of worship. The first church built in this region was
a Methodist house of worship, which enjoyed the
pastoral ministrations of Eev. James King — favorably
known for many years after, as "Father King." In
another portion of the community a Baptist church
50 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
was erected, under the ministerial auspices of Elders
Travis and Ellis.
One of the chief attractions of this thrifty com-
munity was a manufacturing establishment, which had
been built by Thomas Mendenhall, whose ingenuity
at that time was proverbial in all parts of the county.
Here he was resorted to, from all directions, as the
only manufacturer of chisels, augers, cotton-cards,
spinning-wheels and gins. Near the village of Brook-
lyn is a large cave, known as Turk's Cave. A tradi-
tion among the earliest inhabitants has it, that it was
a place of resort to the noted highwayman, Joseph T.
Hare, and his accomplices. It is said to have been
the spot where they stored their treasures, and whence
"they sallied forth to rob and murder the traders who
plied their vocation between Pensacola and the Indian
now in Escambia county, was one of the points earliest
settled in Conecuh. It derived its name from an offi-
cer in Jackson's command. Benjamin Jernigan seems
to have been the first to pitch his tent in this region.
He settled within two and a half miles of where Fort
Crawford subsequently stood, and on the west side of
Burnt Corn creek, within three-quarters of a mile of
the present site of Brewton. This was in the latter
part of 1816, or early in 1817. Not more than two or
three settlements had been made in the county at that
♦Brewer's History of Alabama, p. 194.
HISTOBY OF CONECUH. 51
time. Soon after Mr. Jernigan came here, he was
joined by James Thomson, Benjamin Brewton, E. J.
Cook, Lofton and Loddy Gotten. At this time the
fort was occupied by the Seventh Georgia Regiment.
General Jackson was in the habit of visiting the home
of Benjamin Jernigan — the father of the venerable
William Jernigan, now a resident of Pollard. Mr.
Jernigan had removed with his family from Burnt
Corn Springs for the purpose of herding cattle for
Jackson's army. From the direction of Pensacola,
Jackson sent the Jernigan family supplies by the Con-
ecuh river, and many were the annoyances to which
the boatmen were subjected by the Indians firing
upon them from the thickets along the banks. The
army quartered at this point received their supplies
from Montgomery Hill, on the Alabama river. They
were hauled in wagons across the Bscambias to Fort
Crawford, where for a time all the citizens of this
section went to procure bread. The erection of the
fort was commenced in 1817. Prior to this time only
temporary earthworks had been thrown up. No In-
dian settlements were then near ; but now and then
prowling bands would pass through the country, osten-
sibly on hunting excursions. They usually encamped
about the heads of streams, and built temporary shel-
ters of pine and cypress bark. Sometimes they would
linger at such points a week together, and then pass
onward. In the winter of 1817, tracts of swamp land
were cleared of the trees and rank cane, which were
burned in the following spring, and the soil planted in
52 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
corn. Though unprotected by fences, these cleared
spots yielded immense crops. The following year an
effort was made to fence with the tall cane, but failed.
Soon after the formation of the settlement. Rev.
Eadford Gotten, a Methodist clergyman, settled in its
midst. He was afterwards joined by Rev. Mr. Shaw,
also a Methodist minister. Some time prior to this,
services had been from time to time held at the fort
by Rev. Thomas Walls, a Baptist minister. These
services were held at the request of the officers of the
fort. In 1818, a church edifice was built on the west
side of the river, about four miles above the fort, at a
point called "The BluflF." It is thought to have been
erected through the influence of Elder Walls. Near
this spot a store-house was also built.
The inhabitants living in the neighborhood of Fort
Crawford were devoted to farming and to raising cat-
tle and hogs. As early as 1817 they furnished to the
markets of Pensacola vast quantities of pease and
pumpkins, which they transported in wagons, and ex-
changed for such delicacies as coflfee. So highly were
these farm products valued by the Pensacolians, and
so great was the abundance of coflfee at that period,
that a bushel of peas was readily exchanged for a
bushel of coflfee. The year 1818 was one of sore trial
to this interior settlement. The soil had been most
fruitful in its yield, but the resources of the earliest
farmers had been subjected to great drain by reason
of the constant influx of immigration. Such were
the straits to which this region was . subjected, that
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 53
corn was sold for four dollars per bushel. During
that year the community sent Bartley CoUey to New
Orleans to purchase supplies of corn, which were
shipped to Pensacola. As the Indians persisted in
their disturbance of all boats ascending or descending
the river, wagons were employed to convey these
necessaries across the country. A decided check was
put upon these troubles from the Indians, in 1818,
by the capture of four hundred warriors, by General
Jackson, at Ferry Pass.
In 1818, Mr. Walls, brother to the minister, erected
a small grist mill near "The BluflY' ^^^ ^ ^^^ years
later, Thomas Mendenhall built a saw mill above Fort
Crawford. Very little of the lumber sawn here was
sold to the citizens, and Mr; Mendenhall, aided by a
man whose name was Roily Roebuck, transported his
lumber on rafts to Pensacola. Prior to the erection
of this mill, the " whip saw" had been used to some
extent in the community. The lumber with which
were built the houses of the officers of Fort Crawford,
was sawn with the " whip saw." Other timbers were
cut and rafted down the river to Pensacola. The read-
iness with which man adapts himself to surrounding
circumstances is strikingly illustrated by the unique
plan adopted here by the residents for conveying the
products of their diminutive farms to a favorable
market. These fresh bottom lands were abundant in
their yield of pumpkins. In order to ship these to
Pensacola, a huge cypress was scooped out, somewhat
in the shape of a mammoth" batteau, and of sufficient
54 HISTORY or CONECUH.
capacity to hold three hundred pumpkins. With a
cargo like this these heroic farmers would speed away
down the river, and Pensacola reached, their golden
fruit was readily sold — realizing for each pumpkin
twenty -five or fifty cents — and rejoicing, they would
Game abounded here, as elsewhere in Conecuh.
But, strange enough, the community about Fort Craw-
ford was destitute of dogs. To obviate this disad-
vantage, the ofiicers of the for*:, having become very
intimate with Willie Jernigan, then a boy of sixteen,
engaged him to "play dog" for them in routing the.
deer from their hiding places at the bushy heads of
the streams. With many a bark and yelp, he would
plunge into the thick coverts, and the afl:righted deer
would scamper out in all directions, only to be greeted
by the leaden bullets of the ofiicers from their stands.
When, in 1819, it was determined to erect a court
house on the east side of Murder creek, Benjamin Jer-
nigan, E. J. Cook, Allen and Alexander McCaskill,
Mabry Thomas, and several others, were chosen by
this community to select a site for its erection. As
has already been stated, the point fixed upon was
HISTOBY OP CONECUH. 56
Centres of Population (Continued) —Old Town — Fork Sepnlga —
Burnt Corn — Evergreen.
The settlement of this point by the whites was
made about 1820 or 1822. Within this period there
were residing here Eichard Curry, who had settled
first near Brooklyn ; Joel Brown, Matthew Eay, Wil-
liam Eabb, Sr., Levi T. Mobley, Capt. Wilson Ashley,
Adam McCreary, John Scoggin, and Cravey.
This point seems to have been a favorite one with the
original resident tribes. It appears to have been a
chosen halting place on the great trail that ran from
some prominent point on the Chattahoochee to Pen-
sacola. It is supposed, from its original size and ap-
parent importance, to have been the headquarters of
some of the tribes. Here was an extensive commu-
nity, with all the evidences of having been for a long
period occupied. The huts, the patches of ground,
the extensive play-grounds and the order in which
they were kept, the marks on the trees, the neighbor-
ing streams, and the cool, perennial spring, which
bursts from amid the hills near the old camp-ground
— all these would indicate that it was a point of
unusual importance with the native inhabitants. But
the chief object of attraction, to the early white set-
56 HISTORY or CONECUH.
tiers, was a memorable tree, which still stands as a
source of wonder to the passer-by, and is known by
the familiar name of the " Old Flag Tree." Its name is
derived from the banner-like shape of its branches at
the top. For six or eight feet the trunk is utterly
bare of branches, when they assume the shape of a
flag by growing in a single direction. There was a
tradition among the early white settlers to the effect
that this towering tree was a signal to the Indian
traders passing from the Chattahoochee to Pensacola,
as it was to all the bands prowling through the coun-
try. The first white settlers who occupied this point
were an enterprising colony. Improvements were
begun at once. With characteristic energy, William
Eabb, Sr., erected a grist and saw mill on Old Town
creek. Joel Brown soon followed with the construc-
tion of a water-gin, the first built in this portion of
the county ; while Thomas Lord proceeded to open a
small stock of goods — the chief commodity of which
was cheap whiskey ! But four or five miles beyond
Mr. Lord's store, William Rabb, Sr., began merchan-
dising upon a more respectable scale, having ample
supplies of groceries and dry goods to meet the de-
mands of the growing community. Scoggins' Meet-
ing House was the first place of public worship in
this section. And the devotion of the people was
manifested by a ready disposition to walk to church,
on occasions of worship, the distance of seven or eight
miles. Others, more favored,- would come on horse-
back, or in carts and wagons. The families of William
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 57
Eabb, Sr., and Adam McCreary were classed elite^ be-
cause the former owned an old time gig, and the latter
an ordinary Jersey wagon. At this period, postal
facilities in the county were exceedingly meagre. The
nearest post-office to this community was at Sparta —
thirteen miles away. An occasional newspaper would
stray into the community of Old Town, and it was
sacredly preserved, by the fortunate possessor, until
the first general gathering of the people, when, by
common consent, some one was appointed to read the
marvelous harbinger aloud — and this was done to the
infinite delight of the eager crowd circling round.
The stream, between which and Duck creek this
settlement was formed, derived its name from a com-
pound Indian term, Svicka Pulga — which means Hog's
Creek. A tradition, derived from the Indians, is to
the following effect :• The Indians lost a large herd of
swine from drowning in the stream where Soweirs
Bridge now spans the creek. The native tribes were
accustomed to drive hogs, fattened on the luxuriant
mast in the oak and hickory swamps of Lowndes and
Montgomery counties, to Pensacola. A drove of these
hogs having been drowned at the above mentioned
point, the name Sucka (hog) and Pulga (creek) was
given it ; and for convenience, the Anglo-Saxons have
corrupted the name into Sepulga,
The inhabitant who first settled in this region is
said to have been Eichard Sermons, who came here in
58 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
1818. He was soon followed by Ely Stroud, Jolm
Houston, Harrison Harris and Billy Thompson. Later
still, we find the homes of Drury Dean, Jesse Cone,
Thomas Pigot, Joshua Calloway (a Methodist minis-
ter), and Jacob Page — the father of Allen Page (who
was murdered near this region), and grandfather to
the late P. D. Page, Esq., of Texas, and Haskew Page,
now of Sparta. Among the earliest residents here,
too, were Abraham Raggett, the grandfather of Rev.
Dr. Hawthorne, and William Wetherington. As in
all other new settlements, the first improvements here
were those born of the absolute necessities of the in-
habitants. And almost invariably, if not strictly so,
a grist mill was the first public enterprise. Thomas
Pigot was the first to meet the public demand in this
particular. He constructed a mill upon one of the
branches of Duck creek. He subsequently added to
his original enterprise a cotton gin. A mercantile
establishment had its existence under the auspices of
Messrs. Gallagher & Farley. They commenced busi-
ness, with a substantial stock of staple goods, about
1823. They were succeeded by T. M. Riley, Sr., now
of Pineville, Monroe county, who purchased their en-
tire stock in 1826. This point of trade was the same
as that which has been long known, by the later in-
habitants of the county, as Jackson ^s Store — the name
having been derived from that of two brothers, Wiley
and Andrew Jackson, who succeeded Mr. Riley as
merchants at this point.
At an early day a church, each, of the Methodist
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 59
and Baptist denominations, was built within the
circuit of this community. The first Methodist min-
ister who served in this region was Rev. Joshua
Calloway; the first Baptist pastor^s name was Rev.
Keidar Hawthorne — the father of Rev. J. Boardman
Hawthorne, D. D. The settlers in this part of the
county were the subjects of much annoyance from the
Seminoles for some time after they located in this
inviting region. These depredations were summarily
checked, however, in 18 18, by General Pushmattahoy —
familiarly known as "General Push" — coming to the
relief of the settlers with a band of ninety warriors.
General Pushmattahoy was a native Choctaw, and
friendly to the whites. Placing himself at the head
of his chosen warriors, and a few white men, he
attacked the Seminoles, who retreated toward the
Conecuh river, but were overtaken and captured
somewhere in eastern Conecuh, and brought back, via
Midway, to Fork Sepulga. These Seminoles were
sent forward to the Indian Reservation, west of the
At quite an early period in the history of Conecuh,
James Grace removed from Jackson county, Georgia,
and commenced the improvement of a home very near
the present village of Burnt Corn. He was the first
settler in Conecuh, upon its northern border. Two
years later he was followed by the families of Joshua
Betts, Thomas P. Jones, George Kyser, John Greene,
60 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
Sr., Samuel Salter, Eichard Warren, Joel Lee, Garrett
Longmire and Harry Waldrom. These settled, within
a circuit of a few miles, during the years 1816 and
1818. There was an unsteadiness in the population
for several years together — a constant shifting of loca-
tion on the part of the settlers. This was due to a
disposition to test the lands in all directions before a
permanent settlement was made. Nor did this rest-
less spirit cease until the lands were permanently
bought at Cahaba, in 1819. With advancing time the
population of Burnt Corn continued steadily to increase.
Among the most enterprising and public spirited of
the emigrants was Captain Hayes. He was a man of
wealth and influence. He built the first frame house
erected in Conecuh, which still stands, a monument
to his taste and enterprise, and is now occupied by
William Betts. Near the residence of Captain Hayes
a store-house was erected by Mr. Walker in 1822.
He is said to have had a substantial stock of dry
goods and groceries.
Near Burnt Corn, Captain Hayes purchased an
extensive tract of land, of eleven hundred acres — all
of which he enclosed in a single fence, and would
continue to clear and improve as it was needed. In
1822 he is said to have erected the first gin-house
built in Conecuh. He also established a good mill
near Burnt Corn.
As much, perhaps, as any other this community
was harassed by the Indians. The inhabitants shared
in the consternation produced in all parts of the coun-
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 61
ty; and in Monroe, in 1818. So intense did the ex-
citement become, that some of the residents of this
portion of the county joined others leaving Monroe,
and fled into Clarke county, where they remained
until the restoration of peace. In order to provide
against the attacks of the Indians, Major Eichard
Warren, an old chivalric South Carolinian, erected a
rude stockade, into which he invited the terror stricken
inhabitants to take refuge every night. This kind
offer many accepted, and during the intervening day
they would resume their accustomed pursuits. But
this state of feverish excitement and alarm so para-
lyzed the energies of the inhabitants that they were
unable to cultivate their little fields. Every distant
sound was construed into a danger signal, and so
much time was thereby lost, that the result was an
almost total failure of the crop. John Greene, Sr.,
bravely refused to enter the stockade, but remained
at his home and continued to cultivate his crop, and
the consequence was -he reaped a full harvest in
autumn. With the restoration of tranquility, the
fugitive emigrants returned from beyond the Alabama
river, and resumed the improvement of their homes.
There came together with them into Conecuh, many
who had fled from other portions of the country.
Among these I may mention David Jay, the father of
Eev. Andrew Jay, who, sharing in the stampede, had
gone from the region of Pine Orchard, in Monroe
county, to Bassett's creek, in Clarke. Together with
Nicholas Stallworth, whose overseer he subsequently
62 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
became, he returned from Clarke county in 1820, and
located about four miles southeast of Evergreen, on
what is still called the Stall worth Plantation. After
spending about three years here, Mr. Jay removed to
the community of Old Town.
DERIVATION OF BURNT CORN.
Many inquiries have been raised, and conjectures
made, relative to the origin of the peculiar name —
Burnt Corn, Eev. David Lee, whose father was a
prominent citizen in this section during its earliest
settlement, states that near the large spring, which
bursts from beneath the hill below the village, there
was the residence of a friendly Indian, whose name
was Jim Ournells, and that this Indian gave the
following as the real origin of Burnt Corn: Two
Indians were returning from Pensacola and stopped
at this famous spring to camp. During their stay
here, one became sick and was unable to prosecute his
journey. His companion grew impatient and resolved
to leave him to his fate, not, however, without first
having supplied him with a quantity of corn, which
he poured in a heap on the dry leaves near the suffer-
ing man. Eecovering from his sickness, the Indian
found himself without a sack into which he could put
his corn, and left it heaped upon the dry leaves, which
caught from the camp fire, and the corn was partially
burned. Travelers, stopping here to camp, found the
pile of charred corn, and called the spring Burnt Corn
Spring, As trivial as the occurrence was, the fore-
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 63
going statement deserves great credence as coming
from Jim Curnells. During the war of 1812, this
friendly Indian was quite serviceable to the American
army, and frequently served as courier, carrying im-
portant messages from one point to another. In con-
sideration of his invaluable services, the Federal
Government donated him 640 acres of land, including
Burnt Corn Spring.
now the thriftiest village, perhaps, in South Alabama,
received its first installment of emigrants in 1819 and
1820, though the village itself did not find a name
until years afterward. When James Cosey, George An-
drews and the Messrs. Gluff, first reached this section,
the present site of Evergreen was a tangled wild- wood,
revelling in dense thickets of briar and cane, with the
jungles infested by the native deer, wolf, bear and
wildcat. The tiny streams, that still wind their way
through different portions of the village, were then
strongly barricaded on either side, with impenetrable
brakes of cane. And such was the nature of the soil,
which skirted the streams, that it was peril to man
or beast to tread upon it. Upon the arrival of the
emigrants already mentioned, Mr. Cosey and the
Messrs. Cluff located within the limits of the present
village, while Mr. Andrews pitched his tent upon the
hill beyond the small branch, west of Evergreen. Mr.
Cosey was an old Revolutionary soldier, and bore the-
mark of a severe wound in his bosom. Additions
64 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
were soon made to this diminutive population, for
during the years already named there came several other
families, among which were those of William Jones,
Sr., and George Foote. Of the entire population,
Messrs. Andrews and Foote had removed from South
Carolina, the others from Georgia. Living contiguous
to the vast swamps which border Murder creek, this
settlement was peculiarly exposed to the inroads of the
bear, the wildcat, the deer, and turkey. The bear and
wildcat preying upon the pigs, and the less offensive
deer and turkey riotously assailing the ripening grain
of autumn. Benjamin Hart erected, at an early day, a
good mill, which is now known as the E. C. Smith mill.
While subjecting the natural barriers, and wrestling
with the grave disadvantages, whose name was legion,
these early fathers were not forgetful of the intellectual
improvement of their children. About 1820 or 1821,
George Andrews opened a small school, about three-
quarters of a mile east of the present location of the
court house. This gentleman was the father of H. M.
Andrews, of Bellville, James W. Andrews, of Allen-
ton, Wilcox county, and of the late George R. An-
drews, of Monroeville. In its early history. Evergreen
gave but little promise of becoming the important point
which it is to-day. Located considerably in the interior,
it was regarded as being remote from most of the
points first settled. For more than an entire decade it
was the most insignificant of all the centres of popu-
lation in the county. But the gradual settlement of
the adjoining regions, the rapid improvement of the
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 65
fertile lands, in the midst of which it is fortunately
located, the early educational advantages which it
afforded, the importance given it by the Mobile &
Montgomery Railway, and the location of the court
house at this point, have helped to render Evergreen
conspicuous alike as a mart of trade, an educational
centre, and a village unequalled in the State for the
moral tone of its population.
66 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
An Early Home and Its Surroundings— Mode of Transportation
Adopted by the Early Fathers.
The marvelous changes which have been wrought
in our habits and customs, in private and public life,
within little more than half a century, deserve some
notice at our hands. The prosperity which has been
enjoyed almost uninterruptedly by the people of Con-
ecuh is, in large measure, due to the assiduity of the
early founders of the society of the county. The
fatigue endured, the self-abnegation, the perils braved,
and the obstructions overcome, deserve favorable no-
tice in this work. Never did an ancestry deserve
more that their heroism be sacredly enshrined in the
memory of a posterity. The homes of comfort, nestled
amid natural delights ; the extensive and fertile dis-
tricts of land; the numberless facilities of an ad-
vanced civilization ; the wealth gathered through
years of toil — all this has been secured to the posterity
of a heroic ancestry. Starting from their remote
homes in the Carolinas or Georgia, and even from
Virginia, these early heroes and heroines were aware
of the vast distance that lay between them and their
future places of residence in the far South. A wagon
or two, drawn by horses, or mules, or oxen, were the
sole means of transportation enjoyed by an early
emigrant for the removal of his family and chattels.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 67
Stopping at night, the family would rest beneath the
sheltering folds of a huge tent. This served as a res-
idence, even after the arrival of the family at their
final abiding place, until a more substantial home
could be established. With very many families, the
method of transportation was inferior, even, to that
above referred to. Some regarded themselves peculi-
arly fortunate in being able to secure a huge water-
proof hogshead, into which were tightly packed the
effects of the family, after that a long rod had been
inserted lengthwise. There was sufficient projection
of the rod at either end to enable it to serve as a sort
of axle. To these points was fitted a pair of rude
shafts, to which was hitched an ox. The movement
of the animal gave revolution to the great receptacle,
and over long leagues, reaching across the broad areas
of States, the faithful ox would draw the unique car,
even to the final destination of his master. This
reached, the first care was to clear off as large a plot
of ground as possible, preparatory to the erection of
a temporary dwelling. This was constructed after the
following model : Four corner posts were fixed upright
in the ground, near the tops of which were fastened
two small poles, facing each other, and extending
around the four sides of the square. Between these
opposite pieces was left sufficient space to insert small
saplings, which were driven securely into the ground.
Over the top of this clumsy abode were thrown the
curtains of the tent, which had served the family in
its migration, besides the skins of animals. No care
68 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
was given, the first year, to a floor for the- temporary
home. The heroic settler had to content himself with
pounding into firmness the surface of the ground
within this rude enclosure. Even the erection of such
a rude domicile as this made a heavy draught upon
his time. That which most concerned every one was
the production of the first crop. But the second year
gave the earnest settler more .leisure for the erection
of a comfortable house. This was built of hewn logs,
which rested upon sills, which in turn were supported
by four corner blocks of wood. The roofing was of
boards, or rather slabs, riven from split timber. To
hold them in position, weight poles were used, which
were held at equal distances apart by means of knee
pieces. The flooring was constructed of logs cloven
into two parts, with the flat surface turned upward.
Within this enclosure might have been seen, at the
end opposite the family fire-place, a rude bedstead,
which was erected in a corner of the room. A single
fork, driven through the flooring, served as the sup-
port of two beams, which formed the side and foot
pieces of this uncomely couch. Meeting in the fork,
these pieces of timber were inserted, respectively, into
the end and side of the dwelling, — and thus the frame
of the bed was erected. Upon this rough contrivance
were placed the pieces of timber having the flattest
surface. Oftentimes another frame of similar make
would be seen in the opposite corner. Some of the
family would occupy these beds, while others would
lie upon pallets spread on the hard floor.
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 69
If emergency demanded the existence of more
apartments than one, this was speedily effected by
means of curtains and counterpanes, so swung in con-
junction with the walls of the corner, as to form a
separate room. Cooking was usually done without
doors, over a blazing fire, unless the harshness of the
weather forbade it. From the centre of the chimney
within the dwelling there were suspended the antique
"pot-hooks and hangers." One could rarely enter a
home of the olden time without finding a huge gob-
bler, or a leg of venison, swung on either side of the
fire-place. During the day the father and sons would
till the soil, while the good mother and sisters would
serve the cooking, and wake the forest echoes with
the live hum of the spinning-wheel, which was usually
blended with the spirited songs of these industrious
women. The early night was spent around the hearth,
made bright and cheerful by blazing pine-knots ; and
if any member of the circle could read with satisfac-
tion, he was usually assigned this work, while the
others joined in the customary labor of carding, spin-
ning, or sewing. And seated thus upon their rough
blocks of wood or rude stools, there was enjoyed much
of that domestic happiness which has been lost to
generations later, even amid the glitter of an advanced
70 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
Customs and Habits of the Early Pioneer Families — Rude State of
Society — Early Amusements.
Much in regard to the simplicity of the manners of
the early pioneer families will be gathered from what
has already been said. The constraints and conven-
tionalities which increase with a developing state of
society, found no exception here. Society was com-
posed of men who were bound together by strong ties.
A feeling of mutual dependence produced a feeling of
mutual esteem. This they sought occasion to evince
as they would ofttimes come together in the chase, at
the "log-rolling," or at church. Here they freely
mingled together, and were controlled as gentlemen
by the dictates of natural judgment and good sense.
The wives, sisters and daughters would meet most
frequently at quiltings, — occasions which served the
double purpose of profit and pastime. The occasion
of preaching was hailed with delight. Everybody
attended, and every one joined with a genuine hearti-
ness in the sacred worship. No laws of dame Fashion
were then transgressed by attending church bare-
footed, so long as this was regarded a necessity. So
highly prized was a pair of shoes during these early
times, that the fortunate possessor would guard against
tramping in them the entire distance to church, by
carefully wrapping them up, and carrying them under
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 71
his arm until near the place of worship, when he
would proceed to wipe the dust from his feet, insert
them into his shoes, and stroll onward to church. Or
else, men and women, who had each a pair of old and
new shoes, would wear the older within a short dis-
tance of the place of worship, and then proceed to
displace them with the newer ones, while the others
were concealed until their return.
Means of conveyance were exceedingly scant. The
father and husband would sometimes be seen ap-
proaching, on a public occasion, with his wife behind
him, and his children disposed upon the back of a
faithful horse, as they could find sufficient space. No
violence was done the rules of social etiquette when
a gallant youth would offer a blushing damsel a seat
behind him on his horse. Where social gatherings
were less frequent than now, these people of artless
customs were loth to separate. Drawn together from
distances far apart, and meeting but seldom, they
would quietly listen to quite a long discourse on occa-
sions of sacred service ; and when the exercises were
over, they would mingle informally together, and
render the occasions doubly profitable and attractive
to themselves by a free interchange of thought on
spiritual experience. After an hour spent thus pleas-
antly together, a cordial invitation was extended by
those living nearest the place of worship, to go with
them to their homes and dine. Here was dispensed
the freest hospitality, and in the simplest manner,
72 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
mucli to the enjoyment both of the entertainer and
The favorite amusements of the least spiritual of
the male population were shooting matches, foot races,
and boxing and wrestling contests. The rude athletic
sports, though always begun good-humoredly, were
not unfrequently converted into occasions of "rough
and tumble" fights. But the primitive '*code of honor"
forbade the use of sticks, pistols, or knives. Every
contestant would have to depend solely upon his nat-
ural resources, should he so far forget himself as to
be betrayed into a spirit of belligerency.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 73
Continued Development — Rnpid Advancement — Tides of Pop-
ulation — Gathered Fruits of Toil — Improved Homes — Social
Changes— Reverses, &c.
Kever was any section more rapidly populated, per-
haps, than was Alabama, during the decade following
1819. The flood-gates of immigration seemed hoisted,
and great swollen currents of human masses poured
in from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Geor-
gia. During the most favorable seasons for journey-
ing, the ferries along the Chattahoochee were crowded
with immigrant trains. Not unfrequently a family
would be checked in its progress, for several days,
because of the jam and pressure upon the ferries.
Their destinations reached, these heroes and heroines
would begin at once to lay the rude basis of a house
in the way already described. All the while, the older
settlements were making rapid strides in advancement.
The sound of progress was heard on every hand.
Such was the yield of every returning harvest, that
the zeal of the immigrant was constantly stimulated.
For as soon as the axe levelled "the giant progeny of
the crowded trees," and the warmth of the sun reached
the soil, upon which had been accumulating, for ages,
stratum on stratum of vegetable mould, the produc-
tiveness was immense. Homes, too, were improved.
The rude hut of the pioneer settler was displaced by
74 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
cozy and attractive residences. Skilled educators were
sought, and scbools, of as high grade as possible, were
established. The toils of the spiritual laborer were
at length rewarded by the erection of neat houses of
worship, filled with devout audiences. The increase of
population, the advancement in prosperity, and the
growing ambition everywhere evinced by the inhab-
itants of the county to surround themselves with the
comforts and conveniences of life, gave new spirit to
merchants of enterprise, and hence centres of business
were being rapidly formed. Indeed, all branches of
industry were being constantly improved. Each re-
volving year set the stamp of advancement upon the
face of the country. This had the double effect of
stimulating the energies of the inhabitants and of
holding forth a tempting inducement to the residents
of the older States to cast their fortunes, too, amid the
primitive settlements of Alabama. But the luxuriant
prosperity of Conecuh county was destined to sustain
a severe check. Either heedless or ignorant of the
fact, that behind the screen of the dense everglades that
lined the streams and swamps, there lurked a poisonous
malaria, the energetic farmer swept down all alike.
The fearful consequence was that this invisible foe to
health and happiness, crept forth from its impure re-
treat, and smote with sickness all that came within
the reach of its infectious power. Nature surrounds
our stagnant swamps with a luxuriant growth of vines
and hanging moss, to protect the inhabitants from the
pestiferous exhalations ; and when this barrier is
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 75
swept away, there comes forth disease, shaking us with
chills and filling our bodies with the venomous seeds
of sickness. This calamitous mistake the early inhab-
itants of Conecuh made. Finding the lands to increase
in fertility as they gradually approached the swamps,
they at length invaded the marshes themselves, and
even increased the intensity of the malarial power by
ditching, thus exposing to the sun the unearthed
vegetable matter. As a consequence, there was a
wide-spread prevalence of bilious and malarial fevers,
and many fell victims to their fatal ravages. A per-
fect panic was produced, especially in lower Conecuh.
Several young physicians died. And such was the
consternation among the settlements that many left
and returned to their homes in the older States, or
else removed to counties more northward. The oldest
inhabitants of the county to-day refer to 1824 as a
year of fatal sickness.
76 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
Transportation and the Inauguration of Postal Routes— Navigation
of the Conecuh River— Brooklyn— The First Post-Office— The
Different Mail Lines Established.
Products seek a market as the rivers do the sea.
The productive yield from the virgin soil of Conecuh
naturally sought an outlet, especially when as inviting
a market as was Pensacola in 1821, was within such
easy reach. As has already been intimated, the nav-
igation of the Conecuh and Sepulga rivers was under-
taken in 1821. Mr. George Stoneham, having inau-
gurated the movement, was speedily followed by a
host of others, prominent among whom were Edwin
Robinson, James and John Jones, Starke and Harry
Hunter, and Frank Boykin. These rude crafts were
called keel-boats, and would carry a cargo of fifty or
sixty bales of cotton. In capacity they were from
sixty to seventy feet long, and from eight to ten feet
wide. By common consent the following was fixed
upon as a scale of prices for the transportation of
freight : A bale of cotton weighing 300 pounds, $1.25 ;
weighing 450 or 500 pounds, $1.50 ; corn in the shuck,
18f cents ^er bushel ; flour, per barrel, $1.25; sugar,
per barrel, $1.25 ; salt and coflfee, $1.25 per sack ; mo-
lasses and whiskey, $1.50 per barrel ; iron, 50 cents
per hundred weight. Freight generally averaged about
87i cents per hundred weight. Farmers, furnishing
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 77
their own blankets and provisions, were cordially in-
vited to accompany these freight-laden crafts, so long
as their capacity would warrant. No charges were
made for the transportation of such self-sustaining
passengers. These primitive boats were steered by
means of a beam being fixed at each, the bow and
stern, and two at either side. Ascending the stream,
a far different method had to be adopted. An instru-
ment, familiarly known among the early boatmen as
the "hook and jam," was indispensable to moving
these clumsy barges up stream. This instrument was
a long smooth pole, of considerable strength, pointed
with an iron spike, and with a hook curving its beak
but a few inches from the point. The point was used
for giving propulsion to the boat by being pressed
against the nearest trees, or the banks of the stream.
The hook was serviceable in being hitched in the
overhanging boughs, which also aided in the propul-
sion of the craft. Such was the rapid increase of pop-
ulation, and the consequent increase of demand for
transportation, that at one time there were seventeen
boats, of various sizes, on the Conecuh river. These
varied in capacity from five to two hundred bales
of cotton. Competition has been ofttimes quoted as
being "the life of trade;" but the rule has not bean
without such exceptions as to prove that it may be
the death of trade. Such was the ambition, among
these early navigators, to control the transportation
on the river, that freight was reduced to the minimum
price of fifty cents per bale from Brooklyn to Pensa-
78 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
cola, and up freight correspondingly low. The impor-
tance of Conecuh river as a commercial outlet may
be estimated when the reader is told that, even as
early as 1823, there were annually shipped from
Brooklyn three thousand bales of cotton. The passage
to and from Pensacola was usually made with com-
parative ease ; and yet more or less peril was appre-
hended when the river had been cleared, and the
barges floated out into the open sea. GulFs Point, in
Pensacola Bay, was an object of peculiar terror to
these early boatmen. If this could be passed without
encountering adverse winds, it became a subject of
common congratulation among these primitive pro-
pellers of the oar.
The first mail route that penetrated any portion of
Conecuh was along the Old Federal Road — which, for
a considerable distance, divides the counties of Cone-
cuh and Monroe. The first office was established at
Burnt Corn. A branch route was subsequently es-
tablished between this point and Sparta. This postal
service was originally performed on horseback, and
at a later period in stages along the principal routes.
With the rapid growth of population, post-offices
were eventually established at all the principal points
in the county.
HISTOBY OP CONECUH. 79
A Chapter of Biography — Rev. James King — ^Rev. Keidar Haw-
thorne, and Others.
REV. JAMES KING.
The writer was fortunate enough to find an auto-
biographical sketch of the life of this sainted preacher,
in the hands of his daughter, Mrs. John Sampey. She
very kindly surrendered it for publication, and it is
herewith submitted :
December 10, 1856.
This day the Conference met at Tuskegee, being
the day that closed my 74th year ; and being present
with this large^Sody of ministers, numbering about
two hundred, it caused my mind to run back over the
past|scenes of my ministerial life, with deep and very
solemn reflections. In contrasting the past with the
present, I have thought proper to write down a brief
sketch of ray ministerial life, with a few incidents
connected with my history, which are as follows :
In 1800, 1 attached myself to the Methodist Church.
The society which I joined was composed of six
women and one free black man — he being the class-
leader. In 1802, 1 married and took upon myself the
responsibilities of a family. In 1803, 1 was appointed
the leader of the class which I had joined. In 1805,
I was licensed an exhorter. In 1806, I was licensed
80 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
a local preacher. By this time the society had in-
creased to the number of seventy. In 1816, I was
ordained deacon, in Wilmington, by Bishop McKen-
dree ; that being the first ordination ever conferred in
that place. Up to this date my family had increased
to nine in number, beside myself and wife. I re-
mained in North Carolina until 1818, making twelve
years. During this time my ministerial labors were
confined to six counties, to wit : Bladen, Brunswick,
Hanover, Cumberland, Eoberson, and Columbus, with
some occasional visits to Horee District, South Caro-
lina. In view of the charge upon my hands looking
up to me for support, it will be easy to perceive
that my labors were extended beyond the ordinary
grounds of a local minister ; and for all this service
and labor I had no claim upon the church, nor did I
receive one cent for my labors. On the 21st of April,
1819, I removed with my family to Alabama. I
arrived at Alabama Town, where I met with some of
my North Carolina friends, who prevailed upon me to
stop there for the year. My ministerial labors during
that year were as follows: One Sabbath at Alabama
Town — the next at Philadelphia (now Montgomery.)
I was the first licensed preacher that ever preached in
that place. This was one of the years of great trial
and privation to me, there being no regularly organ-
ized society, and I heard but one sermon preached
during the time. In the winter of 1819, I removed
to Conecuh river. There being but few settlements
at that time, my labors were somewhat curtailed ; but
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 81
I had two appointments — one above and the other
below the Florida line. In the winter of 1820, I
moved higher up, into the Burnt Corn settlements, in
the bounds of what was then called the Conecuh Cir-
cuit, belonging to the Mississippi Conference. This
circuit, at that time, covered nearly all that part of
Conecuh county that was then settled, and a consid-
erable part of Monroe county. Here, a field was
opened wide enough for my labors. In 1822, I was
ordained Elder, at the Bellville Church, by Bishop
George and others. This circumstance brought upon
me a greater amount of labor. The Mississippi Con-
ference, being weak, could not afford an ordained
preacher for all the circuits. For four or five years
there was no regularly ordained preacher sent to Con-
ecuh Circuit, and consequently it devolved upon me
to attend all the societies around the circuit to admin-
ister the ordinances of the church. Up to 1830, I
continued to travel and labor in that section of the
county. In 1830, I lost my wife, which was a severe
trial to me. Having three daughters with me, I pro
posed to them to make their homes with three of their
sisters, who were then married, and that I would join
the Itinerancy. To this proposition they were op-
posed, preferring to remain at their own home. Con-
sequently I consented to remain with them, and to do
the best for them I could. In 1832, I married the
second time. At this time one of my daughters had
married, and the other two had gone to live with their
82 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
In the spring of 1834, myself and wife removed
to Middle Tennessee, where we remained until the
close of 1835. My labors during that time were con-
fined to three counties, to wit : Weatherford, Bedford
and Williamson, and I attended five campmeetings
during my stay there. In the winter of 1835, I re-
moved to Wilcox county, Alabama, and settled a short
time afterwards. At the request of Bishop Andrew,
I consented to confine my preaching for one year to
the colored people, for the purpose of arranging a
mission. For this service I received one hundred
dollars from the Missionary Society ; all is told that I
ever received for my ministerial labors. From that
time up to 1850, 1 continued my labors in Wilcox and
adjoining counties. In 1851, I lost my second wife.
This circumstance changed my situation, and placed
me under the necessity of breaking up for good.
Since that time, being relieved of the cares of a fam-
ily, I have devoted my time, as far as circumstances
and feebleness would permit, in extending my labors
to a wider field.
I have been three rounds with the Presiding Elders
down on the west coast of Florida ; one round on the
Lowndesboro' District, and as far east in this as Dale
and Pike counties ; from thence west across the State
as far as Sumter, and the southern portions of Missis-
sippi. I have visited the above named State three
times, in its northwestern counties; and I have also
made three visits to my native State — North Carolina.
And in all my travels I have preached as often as
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 83
circumstances would allow. And, in conclusion, what
is in the future, is impossible for me to foresee ; but
of one thing I am assured, that it is my settled pur-
pose to devote the remainder of my life to the service
of God and his church. W hereunto I subscribe my
[Signed] James King.
It will be seen from the above article that my labors
have been scattered over seven States, to wit : North
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida,
Mississippi and Tennessee.
[Signed] J. King.
Mr. King died in Wilcox county, on January 12th,
1870, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years.
REV. KEIDAR HAWTHORNE
was a native of North Carolina. He removed from
Robinson county, in that State, to Conecuh county,
Alabama, in 1817. Six months after his arrival in
Alabama, he enlisted in the United States Army under
General Jackson, and continued with him to the close
of the Indian War, in Florida. After his return to
Conecuh, he settled near Bellville, where he was mar-
ried to Martha Baggett, in 1825. It was just subse-
quent to this time that both Mr. and Mrs. Hawthorne
became the subjects of renewing grace, and were bap-
tized by Elder Travis. About two years afterward,
Mr. Hawthorne was licensed to preach the gospel, and
after serving as a licentiate a short time, he was or-
dained by Elders Travis and Ellis. A door of oppor-
84 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
tunity opened to him in the Forks Sepulga, and he
forthwith directed his attention here as an inviting
field for the exercise of his ministerial powers. A
flourishing interest was established by him in this
Leaving this region, he removed to Mount Moriah,
in Wilcox county. He founded the Baptist church
at that place, known as the Fellowship Church. .
Living at a period when there was quite a scarcity of
ministers, his services were broadly demanded, and
hence he became thoroughly identified with every
denominational interest that sprang up in the counties
of Wilcox, Monroe and Conecuh. He aided in the
constitution of most of the churches in these counties.
Perhaps the most remarkable period of his career was
the service which he rendered in Eastern and Middle
Florida, as a missionary. His labors here were pecu-
liarly blessed. In 1856 Mr. Hawthorne removed to
Mobile and established a book-store, at the same time
serving with efliciency the Stone Street African
Church — one of the largest in the South. Mr. Haw-
thorne reared quite a useful family, several of whom
attained to marked distinction. One of his sons,
Gen. Alexander Travis Hawthorne, was a chivalrous
officer under General Price, in the Trans- Mississippi
Department, during the late war. Another of his
sons. Rev. Dr. J. Board man Hawthorne, has a national
reputation as a pulpit orator.
Like many others. Elder Hawthorne sufitered the
total loss of his estate by the war, but he was tenderly
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 85
cared for by his children to the close of a long and
useful life. He died in Greenville, Alabama, in 1877.
Some estimate of his wonderful usefulness may be
had when the fact is related that, during the years of
his active ministry, he baptized more than 4,500 be-
lievers. His ministry extended over more than fifty
JOEL LEE, ESQ.
Among the first who set foot upon Conecuh's soil
was the subject of this sketch. Joel Lee was born in
Johnston county. North Carolina, January 4th, 1773.
Forty-four years after this date he removed to Conecuh
county, choosing for his home a spot about three miles
from Burnt Corn. Here his usefulness was speedily
recognized, and he became one of the most prominent
citizens in this section. When Alabama became a
State, and Conecuh was made a county, Mr. Lee be-
came her first justice of the peace. He was appointed
by Gov. William Bibb — Alabama's first Governor.
In 1821 he became a member of the Old Bethany
Baptist Church, and was baptized by William Jones,
Sr. In his church relations his usefulness was as
conspicuous as it was in the walks of public life. For
many years he served his church efficiently as clerk
and deacon. Under his wholesome influence there
grew up a large and useful family. Three of his sons
were eminent ministers of the gospel. One of them
still remains a venerable monument of piety, and a
sage counsellor in Israel. I refer to Eev. David Lee
86 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
of Mount Willing, Lowndes county. Joel Lee died at
his home, near Burnt Corn, on October 23rd, 1863.
CAPT. WILSON ASHLEY
was among the most useful of Conecuh's sons. He
was a native of Barnwell District, South Carolina.
His entrance into public life was quite early. When
in 1814 the struggle with Great Britain was pending,
Mr. Ashley, then a youth of eighteen, joined a volun-
teer rifle company, of which he became the first lieu-
tenant. He afterwards became the captain of this com-
pany, and subsequently the captain of a cavalry com-
pany. He removed to Alabama in 1820, and located
within a few hundred yards of where he spent the
remainder of his life. In his new home his attention
was directed altogether to husbandry. The results
of his energy and skillful management soon showed
themselves in a growing fortune. In 1832 he was
called from his favorite pursuit and was made the
sheriff of Conecuh county. Three years later he was
chosen, without opposition, to represent his county in
the General Assembly of the State. At the expira-
tion of his term of service he peremptorily declined
further honors at the hands of the people of the
county, and returned to the quietude of his rural home.
Here he remained until 1861, when the stirring scenes
of that period drew him again from his seclusion. In
the election of President and Vice-President, of what
was designed to be the permanent government of the
Confederacy, Capt. Wilson Ashley was honored by
HISTORY OF CONEOUH. 87
the people of his State with a position on the electoral
ticket of Alabama. This closed his career with pub-
lic life. Mr. Ashley was noted for his suavity of
manner, his penetrating discrimination, and his clear
judgment. Once convinced of the righteousness of
the cause in which he was enlisted, and his zeal knew
no bounds. He had all the elements necessary for a
political leader of the people. In his home, he was
proverbially hospitable. In his social relations, he
was cheerful and generous. Full of years, well spent,
and endeared to a host of friends and relatives, he
closed his eyes in death in the 74th year of his age.
was one of the original settlers of Conecuh. Born in
Edgefield District, South Carolina, on April 25th,
1777, he removed to Clarke county, Alabama, where
he remained but one year. The hostilities of the
Indians having subsided, in 1818 he, together with
several others, removed to the east side of the Ala-
bama river. He located his home four miles southeast
of Evergreen, on what is now known as the Ever-
green and Brooklyn public road, where he continued
to reside until his death in 1836. Mr. Stallworth was
constitutionally fitted to brave the perils of a pioneer
country. With robust frame, determined will and
unlimited energy, combined with business tact and
shrewdness, he rapidly accumulated a handsome
fortune, and became one of the wealthiest men in the
88 HISTORY OF OONEOUH.
county. He was the ancestor of quite a number
of descendants, some of whom attained marked dis-
JOHN SAMPEY, SR.
Among the best and most useful of Conecuh's
earliest inhabitants was John Sampey, Sr. His birth-
place was Belfast, Ireland, where he first beheld the
light on April 20th,. 1801. In September, 1824, he
sailed for America, and reached New York some time
during the following month. His tastes having led
him to the new regions of rapidly growing America, he
came to the inviting State of Alabama, then just
looming into prominence, and settled upon the soil of
Conecuh. His attention was directed at oAce to stock
raising, and he soon populated the grass grown dis-
tricts of southern Conecuh with .herds of stock cattle.
The energy with which he addressed himself to his
chosen vocation soon became proverbial. The ances-
tors of Mr. Sampey (Sampler) were French. They
were driven by religious persecution from France
during the 16th century, and sought refuge in Ireland.
The subject of this sketch was originally a devout
member of the Church of England, in which he was
reared; but upon removing to Conecuh he became a
member of the Methodist Church, in which he spent
a devoted life. Mr. Sampey was remarkably quiet
and unostentatious. His career was one of even-
flowing uniformity. He was scrupulously exact in
all his transactions. Was careful never to allow a
HISTOBY OF CONECUH. 89
note to mature without being promptly met. His
eyes were closed in death at his old home, near Bell-
ville, on July 8th, 1877.
WILLIAM RABB, SR.
Among those who have contributed to dignify the
early annals of Conecuh county by an unobtrusive,
yet virtuous life, may be classed the subject of the
present memoir. William Rabb, Sr., was born in
Fairfield District, South Carolina, on January 10th,
1775. His father was born in Ireland. Mr. Rabb's
mental training was defective, because of the meagre-
ness of educational advantages during his early life.
During his youthful days he realized the fearful
responsibilities of the present life, as connected with
the life to come, and without delay gave his heart to
God. At this time he joined a Presbyterian church,
but in 1835 his church relations were changed by his
union with the Old Beulah Church. In 1804 he was
married in Edgefield District, South Carolina, to Miss
Sarah McDonald, of Scotch parentage. With his
family, he removed, in 1819, to Conecuh, and settled
what was subsequently known as Rabbville, or Rabb's
Store, five miles east of Evergreen. This was one of
the first voting points established in the county. Here
Mr. Rabb proceeded to merchandising and farming.
His goods were hauled across the country, from Pen-
sacola, by his own teams. Like most of the pioneer
fathers, who had been attracted from their homes in
distant States, Mr. Rabb was active and energetic, and
90 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
shared largely in the fruits yielded by the virgin soil
of Conecuh. He was noted for his liberality, and gave
largely to the relief of suffering humanity. His days
upon earth closed on September 20th, 1859. His
family physician remarked that it was the first natural
death he had ever witnessed. There was no disease,
no expression of pain, but a placid sleep, ebbing out
in death. He sank
** As sinks the morning star,
Which goes not down behind the darkened west,
Nor hides obscured amid the tempests of the sky,
But melts away in the light of heaven."
was the ancestor of the extensive relationship of that
name still to be found in Conecuh and adjoining
counties, and indeed in different States. He was
born in Barnwell District, South Carolina, about 1772.
He removed to Conecuh county in 1818. The strug-
gles and perils of his youthful life thoroughly inured
him to hardship, and fitted him for what he had to
encounter in a wild region, such as was Conecuh when
he removed thither. While he was quite a boy he
endured some of the horrors of the Revolution. His
father's home was located in that region which was so
sorely infested by the Tories. Fearful lest her son
might have to pay the penalty of his father's patriot-
ism — ^for he was in the ranks of the regular army —
the anxious mother would send her son, in company
with a negro boy, to sleep, at night, in the woods.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 91
Upon his removal to Conecuh Mr. McCreary selected,
as the place of his future residence, the thrifty little
community of Old Town. He was the first to im-
prove the present home of Dr. Taliaferro. In dispo-
sition, Mr. McCreary was quiet and passive. His
Christian deportment was almost without exception.
Such was his'veneration for the Scriptures that he
drew therefrom the names of all his children. His
views were exceedingly hyper- Calvinis tic, and quite
frequently, in the midst of calamity, he would seek
relief in the assurance "that it was foreordained, and
therefore right." On one occasion, a negro boy,
belonging to him, made an inroad upon the smoke
house of his Antinomian master, and when arraigned
for the deed, took refuge in the favorite doctrine of his
owner, saying, "Well, Massa, you see all dis was
'ranged fore hand. It was all fore'dained dat I should
take dat meat I" Stung by the evident sarcasm, and
exasperated by the complacent impudence of the thief,
the master bound toward him and caught him in the
collar, saying, "And it is foreordained that I give
you a thorough thrashing, and I'll do it !" After a long
and usefulpife, spent in Conecuh, he died at his home,
in 1844, in the 72nd year of his age.
92 HISTOBY OF CONECUH.
Conecuh from 1825 to 1836 — Current History Hesumed — The Lull
of Apprehension Among the Inhabitants — The Fruits of Peace —
Tragedy— Rude Customs Still Prevailing— The ^irth of Political
The current history of Conecuh was broken at the
point where reference was had to the wide-spread
sickness among the inhabitants of the county in 1824.
Sufficient attention having been bestowed upon the
events which gathered around that period — to the
personages, too, who flourished at that time, giving
so much character to the dawning history of the
county — we resume at this point the continuation of
the current record of events. The disease of the
previous year had spent its force, and the citizens,
having become acclimated, or else having removed
with their families to higher and healthier locations,
resumed with unabated vigor the work of develop-
ment. The period, about which I now write, was one
of very great tranquility. The circles of population
were being enlarged in all directions, more extensive
tracts of land were being annually cleared, and the
prosperity of the county was settling down upon a
solid basis. The oldest and most improved plantations
were now exceedingly productive, and their owners
were growing rich. As yet no political venom, with
its attendant demoralization, had been injected into
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 98
the social mass. Quietly every man attended to his
own affairs at home, or else, acting in concert with his
neighbors, would engage in the erection of churches
and school houses. The martial spirit imbibed from
their contests with the Indians and British, was still
retained by the inhabitants, and places for general
drilling were appointed in different parts of the coun-
ty. This gathering gave occasion for having a gala-
day, and its recurrence was ever hailed with delight.
To these different points the male population would
repair, en masse^ each man carrying with him his
fowling-piece; and after evoking all the delights that
could be drawn from a straggling, dusty and irregular
drill, they would gather about the place of trade,
lounge in the shade, exchange rude jokes, recount
perilous adventures, wrestle and box, and not unfre-
quently become contestants in a tumbling hand-to-
hand fray. But, however much puffed the cheek may
have been, or however much bunged the eye, or en-
larged the nose, every one usually repaired, at the close
of day, to his own home bearing no malice toward his
neighbor. These pugilistic rencounters, let it be said,
were usually confined to the "lewd fellows of the baser
sort," each of whom coveted the distinction of "bully."
Eefinement by degrees predominated and these barba-
rous practices were gradually abandoned.
Keturning to the thought of the growth of devel-
opment, let me say that but little attention was be-
stowed upon any occupation except that of farming.
Indeed, "farmer" was quite a comprehensive term.
94 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
Many of the farmers combined merchandising with
agriculture. A farmer was very frequently both a
merchant and carpenter ; for there was not sufficient
trade to engage the entire time of one man, and hence
the store was made secondary to the farm. And again,
in such a rude state of society, the only architectural
knowledge required was that which enabled one to
erect a rude tjabin with cloven logs. Hence, farming
was the chief vocation. For the most part, the in-
habitants who first settled Conecuh had removed from
wheat-producing regions; and this cereal they under-
took to raise in Conecuh, and for the first few years,
were remarkably successful. But, either because of
the decline of the fertility of the soil, or because it
was found to be so much easier and more profitable to
produce corn and cotton, its production was gradually
abandoned. Another consideration which led, per-
haps, to its abandonment was that the harvesting of
wheat conflicted sadly with the attention which was
necessary to be given the cultivation of corn and cot-
ton. And another consideration, still, was that the
wheat was smitten with rust, which was discovered to
increase with each advancing year.
As in all new regions of country, where Nature is
munificent in her gifts, these are sadly abused ofttimes
by the earliest recipients, so in this favored region the
pioneer fathers manifested, in some respects, a most
reckless prodigality in regard to their fertile lands.
This, however, was, in part, due to their ignorance of
the utility to which many elements could be applied,
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 96
and partly to a lack of sagacity. For many years after
the production of cotton had begun, the seed were re-
garded a nuisance after that they had been removed
by ginning from the fabric. The idea of employing
them as a fertilizer, to arrest the decay of lands, was
not suggested to the thrifty fathers. Hence they were
hauled away and thrown into abandoned heaps.
The wisdom of arresting the washing of lands,
seems never to have been suggested to the primitive
farmer. Of course, the best lands were the first to be
improved, as they were quite frequently the first to
be abandoned as having become useless through wear.
As a consequence, many of the lands which were orig-
inally the best to be found in the county, were speedily
surrendered to the sedge-grass and the needle-leaved
pine, and are to-day regarded as barren wastes. With
a more compact population — which our county is
destined, at no distant day, to have — these wasted
fields will be reclaimed from desolation, and again be
made to "blossom as the rose."
A few years after the first settlement of the county
another branch of business sprang into existence —
that of stock raising. The luxuriant pasture lands
that composed the southern portion of the county,
reaching even down to the coast, were covered with
vast herds of cattle. The largest among the herds
was that of David Tate, a half-breed, whose cattle
swarmed over the grassy districts stretching between
the Big and Little Escambias. Higher north, a herd
of four thousand was owned by John Sampey. This
96 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
brancli of trade has ever been one of profit, and is
destined, in the history of the county, to become one
of the most lucrative of her industries.
In 1825, a Land Office was established at Sparta,
with Dr. Jonathan G. Shaw, of Massachusetts, as Re-
ceiver. He was appointed by President John Quincy
Adams. Considerable excitement prevailed among
the people of the county at this period in consequence
of the spirit of speculation that existed in certain
quarters. Keen-eyed speculators were industrious in
seeking out the best lands in the county, the claims of
whose occupants were not secure, and in putting an
enormous estimate upon their value in order to realize,
in their sale, considerable profit. This produced wide-
spread dissatisfaction and demoralization. To avoid
being dislodged from the place improved by himself.
Rev. Alexander Travis purchased his land of these
Shylocks at the exorbitant sum of $37.50 per acre.
But so grave an imposition upon a quiet, industrious
community, such as Conecuh had become, could not
go unrebuked and unchecked. The grievances of the
indignant masses reached the ears of Congress, and
the Relief Bill was passed, causing the late sale to be
cancelled and the lands to be re-purchased. Mr. Travis
now secured his land, under this bill, for $1.25 jper
acre. And what was true of him was equally true of
others. This brought a protracted period of tran-
quility and prosperity to the people of Conecuh.
The successful navigation of the Conecuh river, and
the enormous revenue which the owners of the boats
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 97
on that stream were realizing, led to an effort to nav-
igate Murder creek.* Accordingly the services of
Colonel Bowie were secured to clear the stream, and
prepare it for the passage of boats. Several ineffectual
efforts, however, convinced the inaugurators of the
enterprise that it was by no means feasible, and the
project was abandoned at once. While this attempt
was a bootless one, it only served to show that the
spirit of enterprise was abroad in the land. By every
means the inhabitants sought to utilize the facilities
with which nature had so prodigally supplied their
adopted home. Continued advancement served to
stimulate the energies of the thrifty population, and
each recurring year witnessed a marked change in all
portions of the rapidly growing county. Lands were
being improved by a more thorough system of drain-
age, and the rude contrivances of the early colonists
were being eventually displaced by substantial evi-
dences of advancement.
In 1827, a tragedy occurred at Ellis's Mills th^t
shocked the entire county. Captain Cumming, who
had, for some years, been conspicuous in different
ways in the coun':y, was killed by a man whose name
was Fuller. Naturally impulsive, and of a domineer-
ing disposition, Cumming attacked Fuller with a storm
of abuse, to which no resistance was offered. Stung
by this cool indifference, Cumming went away and
♦This beautiful stream derived its name, according to Colonel
Pickett, in his History of Alabama, vol. II. , page 82, from a bloody
tragedy enacted upon its banks in 1788.
98 HISTORY OF OONEOUH.
carefully loaded his gun for the express purpose of
killing Fuller. Fired with passion still, he returned
to the place where Fuller was quietly at work hewing
a log, and walking within a few feet of hira, he lev-
elled his gun at his breast, pulled trigger — and it
missed fire. At this juncture Fuller sprang forward,
with his broad- axe, and drove it into Cumming's skull.
He quietly surrendered himself to the proper author-
ities, but was duly acquitted.
While the material interests of the county were
being steadily advanced, regard was had to the moral
enlightenment and spiritual improvement of the peo-
ple. The ministry of this period were ardently de-
voted to the promulgation of the truths of the gospel,
and their laborious exertions bore fruit in the form of
thriving spiritual interests, which were being planted
within convenient reach of the growing population.
The consecration of Eevs. Alexander Travis, Keidar
Hawthorne, John Ellis, and William Jones, Sr., of
the Baptist denomination; and of Eevs. James King,
Joshua Calloway, John A. Gotten, and Lewis Pipkin,
of the Methodist Church, is sacredly enshrined in the
memories of the oldest residents of the county. The
recollections of these sainted pioneer preachers will
never be embalmed in "the flower-crowned annals of
song," but better, they will be transmitted with pa-
thetic interest to the future generations of the county.
An event took place in the region of the Burnt
Corn settlement, in 1828, that deserves special notice
in the History of Conecuh, as indicating both the as-
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 99
siduity of Elder Travis and the generosity of John
Greene, Sr. Ministerial laborers being bat few in the
county, and Mr. Travis being anxious to have the
gospel preached to as many as possible every Sabbath,
conceived the plan of centralizing the interests in
diflFerent portions of the county. In upper Conecuh
there had been established, by himself and his co-
laborers, several points where preaching was had as
often as a minister could, in turn, visit them. He de-
termined upon a combination of these several interests,
and appointed a committee to select a site for the erec-
tion of a house of worship sufficiently commodious to
accommodate these congregations when formed into a
single church. Finding the committee somewhat em-
barrassed by their inability to fix upon an eligible spol,
Mr. Greene very generously oflFered them a tract of
land, northwest of his dwelling, as a spot suited to the
erection of a church edifice. The lot thus donated by
himself was covered with a grove of beautiful oaks,
from the midst of which flowed, perennially, the wa-
ters of a bold spring. The terms of the donation were,
that the tenure of possession was to be commensurate
with the occupation of the place as a point of worship.
The generous offer was gratefully accepted, and the
church became famous as a place of worship in this
portion of the county. In after years the church
was removed to Puryearville, in Monroe county, and
became the Old Bethany Church.
Among the enterprises which were inaugurated in
the county during the following year (1828) was one
100 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
that sprang into existence as if by magic. This was
a point of business of unusual interest, that was estab-
lished just below Bellville, between the Fergurson
Place and the residence of Thomas Simpson, Sr. This
enterprise was established under the auspices of a
young man, from Mobile, whose name was Hosefield.
His place of business was contiguous to an old field,
whose broad, level acres presented an inducement to
the county militia-men as an admirable place for
"mustering." So important did this point become, as
a place of thriving trade, — and so notorious was it for
rowdyism, — that the inhabitants named it "Little New
York." After a few years' existence, it disappeared
with the suddenness with which it originally began.
A* slightly cleared place is the only relic now remain-
ing of one of the most notorious points that existed
in the county of Conecuh.
The political questions of the period, which had
already commenced their turbulent sway in the older
States, had not as yet reached Alabama. The Caro-
linian element, which entered so largely into the early
population of Conecuh, shared somewhat in the ex-
citing Nullification movement, which stirred so deeply
the public sentiment of South Carolina, in 1832. But
it gave no shape or color to the politics of this region,
as did no other question at this time. It was reserved
for later years to witness all the bitterness and rancor
that are born of heated political discussion. At this
period of the history of the county, voters were not
controlled in their preferences by the complexion worn
fflSTORY OF CONECUH. 101
by any political organization, but altogether by the
reputatiou of the candidate. The contests in the
realm of politics were based upon no pronounced
issues. Sometimes there was but one candidate before
the people — at other times there was quite a* host.
The most formidable opponent was he whose integrity
was most unquestioned and unsuspicioned, and whose
personal influence was such as to sway the masses.
Long before this period — perhaps as early as 1820 or
1822 — election precincts had been established at the
homes of William Brewer, William Blackshear, and
David Hendricks, at Cumming's Mill; also at Zuber's
Store, George Constantine's, Brooklyn, James Cald-
well's, RabVs Store, James Grace's, and John Bell's.
About 1833, a startling event occurred in the region
of Fort Crawford. A woman, whose name was Mrs.
Nancy Taylor, had gone to the home of a neighboring
woman and had given her a severe drubbing. The
violent assault evoked judicial interference, and Dep-
uty Sheriff Dollyhide was sent by Sheriff Wilson
Ashley to arrest the turbulent woman. When Mr.
Dollyhide reached her house, she positively told him
that she would not be taken. Walking coolly up to
her side, he laid his hand upon her shoulder, and
said: "Madam, you are my prisoner!" She instantly
snatched from her bosom a sharp dagger, and drove it
to the hilt into the heart of Deputy Dollyhide, and he
fell dead at her feet. Dressing herself in the costume
of a male, and in company with a kinsman, whose
name was Fed Walker, she fled to Texas, leaving
102 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
behind her husband. He remained in Conecuh for
another year, when he, too, emigrated to Texas, and
rejoined his fugitive wife.
The following is a list of the members of the
General Assembly from the county up to the period
of 1835 :
1819— John Herbert.
1821— John W. Devereux.
1825— William Jones.
1828— John Watkins.
1830— William Hemphill.
1833— William Hemphill.
1819— William Lee, Thomas Watts.
1820 — Samuel Cook, Thomas Armstrong.
1821 — Eldridge S. Greening, John E. Graham.
1822— Samuel W. Oliver, John S. Hunter,
1823 — Samuel W. Oliver, John Fields, James Salter.
1824— Samuel W. Oliver, Nathan Cook, John
1825 — Samuel W. Oliver, Eldridge S. Greening.
1826— Samuel W. Oliver, Eldridge S. Greening.
1827— Samuel W. Oliver, Eldridge S. Greening.
1828 — Joseph P. Clough, James Salter.
1829 — John Greene, Henry E. Curtis.
1830 — Joseph P. Clough, Samuel Dubose.
1831— Samuel W. Oliver, John Watkins.
1832 — Samuel W. Oliver, Julian S. Devereux.
1833— Samuel W. Oliver, Watkins Salter.
1834— Samuel W. Oliver.
1835— Wilson Ashley.
HISTOBY OF CONECUH. 103
Conecuh from 1835 to 1845 — Interesting Epoch — Birth of Political
Issues — The Excitement Begins— Hot Contests — The Great Indian
War — Democrats and Whigs — Hard and Soft Money — Educational
We now enter upon the history of one of the most
interesting decades in the annals of the county. The
political questions which had grown out of the exist-
ing state of the government, and which had crystallized
into positive shape in the older States, had been trans-
ferred to the extreme South, and gradually shaped
themselves into principles upon which the voters of
Conecuh were divided. Just enough interest had been
awakened by the exciting Nullification movement in
South Carolina, to inspire a desire to read, and hence
the leading political papers of the country were being
eagerly subscribed for. This spirit received encourage-
ment, too, from a combination of favorable circum-
stances, in which the people of the county were now
placed at this advanced stage of their history. These
circumstances were — the growth of population, which
drew the masses more frequently together; the in-
creased postal facilities of the county ; the more intelli-
gent generation that was coming upon the stage of
action ; and the greater leisure afforded by the advanced
prosperity of most of the citizens of Conecuh. Not-
withstanding the intense excitement produced by the
104 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
Nullification struggle, it was destined to be followed,
within a few years, by a discussion, the excitement of
which, if it did not equal the intensity of the former,
it exceeded it in general interest. This was the dis-
cussion of the great Bank question. A subject so
important, and of such popular interest, touched all
classes of persons alike. In the midst of the sternness
displayed by President Jackson, which unpoised the
financial system of the whole country, producing a
serious crash in 1837, Thomas H. Benton, Senator
from Missouri, urged the adoption of a gold and
silver currency, as the true remedy for the embarrass-
ments of the times. This financial question drew the
line of demarcation very broadly and clearly between
the two existing dominant parties — the Whigs and^
Democrats — the former of whom opposed the measure
suggested and advocated with so much power by Mr.
Benton, while the latter, with heartiness, adopted them.
The two parties became very pronounced in the
enunciation of their respective views. This period
witnessed the first political contest, upon clearly
defined party issues, that was ever had in the county
of Conecuh. True, divergent views had been held
by her people prior to this time, and minor differences
had been expressed in a feeble way; but now excite-
ment ran high, and the respective parties rallied and
drilled their forces for a hot contest at the ballot-box.
They selected their candidates for the Legislature,
the Democratic nominee being J. Richard Hawthorne,
and that of the Whig Party being Jephtha V, Perry-
HISTORY OP CONKCUH. 105
man. Because of his enthusiastic advocacy of hard
money principles, Mr. Hawthorne won from his oppo-
nents the sobriquet of "The Benton Mint Drop Boy."
After a thorough and exciting canvass of the county,
the election resulted in the choice of Mr. Ferryman
by just seven votes. This election, for a time, put a
quietus upon the county, the Whigs being exhilarant
over their victory, while the Democrats were en-
couraged to renew the contest, by the fact that they
came so near of success. At this period of the county's
history, public attention was diverted to a more seri-
ous question than that which agitated the people at
their homes — this was the outbreak of hostilities on
the part of the Indians. The policy of the govern-
ment of removing them from their old abodes, which
was instituted in 1832, had met with resistance almost
everywhere. Both along the Chattahoochee and in
Florida, there were hostile demonstrations. A call
was made for troops, and in response, Captain Bell,
of Bellville, raised a company and went to Georgia.
Of those who were members of that company, the
names of none can be secured, except those of Absalom
Autrey, Pinkney Straughn, and Madison Crosby.
Whatever of interest there was in the history of the
county for several successive years following 1836, it
gathers around the fierce contests which were waged
in the political arena from year to year. For a num-
ber of elections together, the Whigs were the success-
ful contestants. 1839 is famous in the annals of the
county as being a year of remarkable prosperity. The
106 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
oldest citizens still refer to it as an unusual year for
the production of cotton. The following year, 1840,
witnessed the establishment of an excellent litei*ary
institution at Evergreen, which has ever since been
known as the Evergreen Academy. Suitable steps
had been taken the year previous to locate the insti-
tution at the point where it now stands, but not until
1840 was it formally opened for the matriculation of
students. Prior to this time little or no business was
conducted in the now thrifty town of Evergreen, and
it appears that up to this period the community
boasted of no other name than that of Corsey's Old
Field. When, however, such men as Rev. Alexander
Travis, J. V. Ferryman, James Tomlinson, Garland
Goode, Nicholas Stallworth, Churchill Jones, Nathan
Godbold, Chesley Crosby, John Crosby, Blanton P.
Box, and others, combined their energies and wisdom
and determined to establish a literary institution of
high merit at this point, the unclassical name of
Corsey's Old Field was displaced by the more elegant
designation of Evergreen. Mr. Ferryman having
modestly declined having the place named "Perry-
ville," in honor of himself, as was justly suggested by
some one, Rev. Mr. Travis thought that a name might
be derived from the verdant foliage that abounded,
suggested that the place was forever green — meaning to
refer, however, only to the foliage ! The uniqueness
of the name struck those most interested in the enter-
prise, and hence the academy was called Evergreen.
The resolutions originally adopted provided for the
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 107
election of a President and Vice-President of a board
of twelve trustees. Eev. Alexander Travis was
chosen President, Hon. Churchill Jones, Vice-Pres-
ident, and the following were the original Board of
Trustees of the Academy : John D. Travis, Nicholas
Stall worth, Littleberry Chapman, James Tomlinson, C.
H. Stallworth, Mabry Thomas, Chesley Crosby, John
G. Smith, Wilson Ashley, Mason L. Mosely, Garland
Goode and Nathan Godbold. An efficient Principal
and Assistant were immediately chosen, and the doors
of the new institution were thrown open for the re-
ception of pupils. Eev. Horatio Smith became the
first Principal, with Mrs. Smith as his Assistant. The
success of the new enterprise more than equalled the
most sanguine expectations of its founders, and it
was soon discovered to be necessary to increase the
force of instruction. Accordingly Professor Stroud
was engaged, and later the Faculty was increased by
the addition of Mr. A. S. Flowers, and Misses Arm-
strong and Hitchcock. The merits of the insti -iUtion
speedily became known, and students were matricula-
ted, not only from Conecuh, but from the counties of
Butler, Wilcox, Monroe, and Mobile, as well. The
school numbered as many as 155 upon its roll at
different times. For many years it continued in a
thriving condition, the pulpit, the bar, the halls of
national legislation, the ranks of the army, as well as
many a radiant home in this and surrounding coun-
ties, having been contributed to by its classical halls.
Eighteen hundred and forty-one is memorable
108 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
as having been a year of remarkable excitement
in the county. The chief issue, still, was the
currency. Undismayed by past reverses, the Dem-
ocratic Party renewed its efforts to secure the
Representative to the Legislature in the session of
1841. Garland Goode was chosen as the advocate of
the principles of Democracy, while Churchill Jones
led the opposing Whigs. Public sentiment was stirred
to its deepest depths, and the passion for success well
nigh bordered on to frenzy. The county resounded
from limit to limit with impassioned oratory. Every
man was a politician, and the emphasis with which he
announced his principles, left no doubt as to the
political banner beneath which he served. The con-
test was again close— just enough so, to tantalize the
Democratic hosts and to fire them with a determina-
tion to renew the conflict the next year. The Whigs
bore off the palm, and Mr. Jones was sent to the Leg-
islature. So acceptable a Representative did he prove,
that he was returned for three successive terms.
With unabated ardor, however, the Democrats en-
tered the field afresh in 1844, under the leadership of
A. W. Jones. The opposite party found a worthy
champion in the person of Ransom L. Dean. The
contest was again close, but this time the Democrats
achieved a victory. This conflict between the two
parties continued from year to year, as we shall see
as we proceed.
In 1841, a tragedy occurred at Bellville, which,
because of its boldness, and premeditated concoction,
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 109
excited the profoundest indignation in all parts of the
county. Two negro men, belonging to Mr. Sandy
Puryear, of Monroe, had adroitly arranged to rob and
destroy the store of Duncan Mclntyre, who was then
merchandising at Bellville. They succeeded in enter-
ing the house, and after ladening themselves with
valuables, they quietly set the house on fire within,
coolly mounted their horses, and rode toward home.
Investigation and vigilant search for a single trace of
the stolen goods seemed, for a time, fruitless — and,
perhaps, the criminals would have escaped undetected,
had not one of the villains undertaken to barter a fine
gold watch for a gun. This furnished a clew to the
mystery ; the advantage was improved, and soon the
guilt was fixed upon the scoundrels. After trial, they
were duly executed by being hanged, at Monroeville,
the following year.
In January, 1844, the first tannery ever established
in Conecuh was built near Bellville, under the auspices
of Messrs. J. E. Hawthorne and John H. Farnham.
For a number of years it continued in a flourishing
condition, as it furnished leather to Conecuh and to
citizens in counties adjoining.
It was by no means an uncommon occurrence, at
this period, to see slave speculators plying their trade
as they would pass, here and there, into different parts
of the country. The slaves were usually transported
in wagons ; and these dealers would locate themselves,
for several days together, at the different centres of
population, — pitch their tents,— and exhibit their
110 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
slaves to all desiring to purchase. It is a matter of
public congratulation that the Slave Trade, so fraught
with innumerable evils, belongs to the times of the
The following is a list of the different county
officers of Conecuh during the period embraced in
the foregoing chapter :
1835— J. V. Ferryman, t
1836— Henrv F. Stearns.
1841 — Benjamin J. Goodloe.
1845— A. W. Jones.:]:
1837— William E. Ellis. . .
1841 — David F. Henderson.
1844— WilUam E. Ellis.
1837— Churchill Jones. §
1841— Wilson Ashley. ||
1845— Nicholas Stallworth. Hi
♦Until 1850, the County Judges were elected by the Legislature,
with term of service of four years.
t Resigned the next year.
X Resigned before the expiration of his term.
§ It was universally understood that this election was held in the
interest of A. D. Cary, who, being Receiver at the Land Office, was
legally disqualified to offer for the position, but who could do the
work for another.
11 For Mr. Cary.
1111 For Mr. Cary.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. Ill
The following is a list of the members of the Gen-
1836— Samuel W. Oliver.
1837 — Herndon Lee Henderson.
1839— Stephen S. Andrews.
1842— John Watkins.
1845 — John Morrisette.
1835— Wilson Ashley.
1836— Jephtha V. Ferryman.
1887— Jephtha Y. Ferryman.
1838— James M. Boiling.
1839— James M. Boiling.
1840— W. A. Bell.
1841— Churchill Jones.
1842— Churchill Jones.
1843 — Churchill Jones.
1844— A. W. Jones.
112 HISTORY OF CONEOtJH.
Chapter of Biography — Hon. J. S. Hunter — ^Richard Warren, etc.
JOHN STARKE HUNTER
was an attorney of some distinction, who came to
Conecuh shortly after it became a county. He was a
native of Camden, Kershaw District, S. C. His early
literary training was of the first order, having gradu-
ated from the South Carolina College. He was admit-
ted to the bar to practice law in 1816, and two or three
years later turned his face westward toward Alabama,
the fame of whose inviting territory had already
reached the older States. He first located at Clai-
borne, in Monroe county, as the law partner of Hon.
A. P. Bagby. Thence he removed to Sparta, and be-
came the partner of Samuel W. Oliver. About the
year 1829 he removed from Conecuh to Hayneville,
Lowndes county, where he continued the practice of
law. In 1834 he was promoted, by election, to the
circuit judgeship to succeed Hon. John W. Paul, but
remained upon the bench only a single year. In 1836
he was placed upon the electoral ticket for Martin Van
Buren. In 1840 he was sent from the county of
Lowndes to the Legislature, and after a single year's
service in this branch of the General Assembly, he
was elected Senator. Eesigning his seat in the Senate
in 1843, he removed to Dallas county. While residing
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 118
in Cahaba, he combined planting with the practice of
law. In 1849 he was again summoned to the arena
of politics to join in a contest with Hon. S. W. Harris
for Congressional honors. In this contest his oppo-
nent was successful. He removed from Dallas county
to Kentucky in 1857, and there engaged in raising
stock. After an absence of eight years, he returned
to Dallas county, Alabama ; and during the latter part
of 1865, he was elected to the Constitutional Conven-
tion. This closed his public career. During the year
1866 he died at Louisville, Kentucky, having com-
pleted "three score and ten years." Judge Hunter is
described as having been an orator of more than
ordinary ability. His manner was easy, his diction
chaste, and his reasoning forceful. He was rather
austere in his general bearing, which operated sadly
against his popularity. In the counties of Dallas and
Mobile many of his descendants are still residing.
Maj. Eichard Warren removed from Burke county,
Georgia, to Alabama in 1817. He first improved a
home near Burnt Corn, during the most troublous
period of the county's history. Ever careful for the
rights and interests of others, he, with true chivalric
spirit, erected a fort near Burnt Corn, as a refuge
against the depredations of the Indians. After a so-
journ of one year here, he removed southward, and
* The author regrets his inability to secure no fuller record of the
Uf Q and services of • this honored and useful citizen.
114 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
was the first to venture across Murder creek, and to
erect a home on the eastern side. He settled the place
now owned by the Messrs. William and John Bur-
gamy. Mr. Warren and his sons were the first white
inhabitants who lived in the neighborhood of Sparta.
JOHN GREENE, SR.,
came to Conecuh county as early as 1816. At that
time it was embraced within the broad limits of Mon-
roe. He was born in Abbeville District, South Caro-
lina, on March 8th, 1790. When he had attained to
ten years of age, his father removed with his family
to Jackson county, Georgia, where he resided till 1816.
Coming to Conecuh at this period, Mr. Greene found
it without the slightest trace of civilization. But,
thoroughly prepared to grapple with the difficulties
here encountered, he began to establish his home in
the midst of the wild forests. Quite fortunate for
upper Conecuh, and for its educational interests, one
of its first citizens was a man whose attention had
been largely directed to literary pursuits. Of course,
at this period of the country's history, educational fa-
cilities were exceedingly meagre. According to Mr.
Greene's own statement, he was indebted, for his ac-
quirements, to a small public library in Jackson coun-
ty, Georgia. Here, under the direction of a judicious
friend, he was enabled to pursue a course of reading,
and to improve his handwriting. Ambitious of future
eminence, he prosecuted with zeal his studies to the
utmost of his facilities, and finally decided to adopt
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 115
the profession of teaching. He was the first to estab-
lish a school in Conecuh, and has trained for use-
fulness many of her best and honored citizens. . At
different times, Mr. Greene has had accorded him, by
his fellow -citizens, worthy honors. Twice has he
been selected as her Eepresentative in the General As-
sembly of the State — once in 1824 and again in 1828.
Though a Union man, he was chosen to represent
Conecuh in the Secession Convention in 1861 ; and in
1875, was sent as a delegate to the Constitutional Con-
vention. Coming to Conecuh in early manhood, with
no other resources at command than an honest heart,
a courageous energy, and an unbending will, he has
accumulated a fortune, reared a useful family, and
by his sage counsel and public-spiritedness, has aided
largely in advancing the interests of the county from
its organization to the present. He is one of the very
few persons now alive who has lived under the ad-
ministration of every President, from Washington to
Arthur. Venerable with age, Mr. Greene still lives in
the midst of his fellow citizens, honored and revered
by all who know him.
J. RICHAKD HAWTHORNE
is a native of Eobinson county. North Carolina, where
he was born March 8th, 1805. Five years later, his
father removed, with his family, to Wilkinson county,
Georgia. Here the family resided until 1817, when
•they removed to Conecuh county. The first place of
permanent residence was near the home of the late
116 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
Henry Stanley, now in the beautiful little village of
Bellville. Here was pitche(J the family tent when
Eichard was a bright boy of twelve summers. At
the time of the settlement of this locality it was known
as "The Ponds" — a name derived from the extensive
lakes which lay to the east of the community. Highly
gifted with native powers, mental and physical, Mr.
Hawthorne's influence was felt as he advanced toward
the period of manhood's perfect mould. He was equal
to the hardships incident to a frontier section, and
from straitened circumstances he rose to the posses-
sion of considerable wealth. In 1837 Mr. Hawthorne
was the nominee of his (the Democratic) party, against
a very formidable opponent, Jephtha V. Ferryman.
And though he belonged to the minority party of the
county, his popularity came well nigh securing for
him the laurels of the contest. For when the ballots
were counted he came within seven votes of victory.
No man who has ever lived in Conecuh exerted a
broader or more wholesome influence, than did J.
Eichard Hawthorne. His zeal in all matters relating
to the public weal was proverbial. He occupied
several positions of public trust before his removal to
another section. In 1854 he removed to Pine Apple,
Wilcox county. Here his influence was not inactive,
and soon public appreciation summoned him to active
usefulness. He was sent to represent the county in
two terms of the Legislature, and has been frequently
called upon to act in matters requiring calm and dis-
passionate consideration. He has reared a large and
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 117
respectable family, and accumulated considerable
property. He still lives to wield a godly influence in
the promotion of the general good. Generous, hospita-
ble as a prince, warm-hearted and public-spirited, and
above all, a devout Christian gentleman, his useful-
ness is destined to be commensurate with his days.
JEPHTHA V. FERRYMAN,
to whom reference has been had several times in the
progress of this history, was born in Twiggs county,
Georgia, February 9th, 1798. Thence he removed
to Henry county, and after his marriage to Miss Jones,
he removed to Conecuh, and erected a home on the
west side of Murder creek, opposite the present site of
Evergreen. He was among the first judges of the
county court, having occupied this position as early
as 1835. After serving the county one year in the
administration of justice, he resigned, and became the
Whig candidate for the Legislature. He was the
Eepresentative of the county for two successive terms,
during which time he was efficient in aiding 'the State
to pass through the financial storm that was sweeping
the country. This ended his activity in public life
for a number of years. In 1858 or 1859 he was made
the supd'inj^ndent of education for the county. And
again did he re-enlist, with all the ardor of his nature,
in the promotion of public improvements. The pro-
jected railroad from Montgomery to Pensacola fired
his enthusiasm and enlisted his activity to the utmost
tension. Not only did he liberally contribute of his
118 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
purse to the undertaking, but engaged as one of the
contractors to build the roa<i, and it is thought undue
exposure, incidental to his work, produced sickness,
and finally death, which took place at his home, on
March 30th, 1861 — just a few days prior to the com-
pletion of the two ends of the road. Judge Ferryman
was the embodiment of a positive nature. He lived
in an atmosphere entirely above the reach of the petty
arts with which politicians sometimes seek to woo the
masses. If convinced of the correctness of a given
course of conduct, the force of public opinion was as
weak as the breath of the zephyr. He was firm,
without being obstinate ; positive, without being stern.
To him the town of Evergreen is largely indebted.
His earnest spirit gave life to many of its first im-
provements. He was notably identified with the
establishment of the academy in the town. The same
ardency that fired his zeal whenever he addressed his
energy to an undertaking, gave a glow to his patriotism
at the sound of the tocsin of war. When Lincoln was
declared elected. Judge Ferryman tendered, by tele-
graph, to Gov. A. B. Moore — then the Chief Execu-
tive of the State — his two sons and five thousand dol-
lars. The beauty that invested his useful life was,
that whatever he undertook, he did it -without osten-
tation. Duty was his pole-star, and not the opinions
of his fellows. He is described as having been ex-
ceedingly liberal and hospitable. "No petty avarice,
no sordid ambition, characterized a single act of his
life, and whatever fault may have been imputed to
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 119
him, no one thought him capable of a dishonorable
act." In the bosom of his family, and surrounded by
his friends, he died at home, and was interred on the
Franklin Plantation — the burial ground of his father-
in-law, William Jones, Sr. Within a short distance
of his first home in Conecuh, his dust is slumbering
came to Conecuh and located at Hampden Ridge as
early as 1820. His native State was Georgia, where
he was born in the year 1777. Mr. Burnett was the
possessor of such elements of character as made him
conspicuous among his fellow citizens. Quite social in
his disposition, jocular and hospitable, and withal, the
possessor of considerable executive ability, he was
remarkably popular. As a result, he had been a
resident of the county only ten years, when he was
chosen judge of the county court. In this honored
capacity he served Conecuh for two successive terms.
During the terms of service as county judge, he would
go from his home, on Hampden Ridge, to the court
house, at Sparta, every day and return. An anecdote
is related of him, as connected with one of his trips
from the court house to his home, and as illustrative
of his confidence in his favorite steed, as well as of
the exuberance of his humor, even under trying
circumstances. According to his daily habit, he left
his office, at Sparta, late one afternoon, in mid-winter,
and though he knew the swollen condition of Murder
120 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
creek, and that the waters had swept away the bridge,
he resolved to cross the dangerous stream and reach
Hampden Eidge before night. Some friends, after
endeavoring to dissuade him from such a mad-cap
purpose, followed closely after him as soon as his
departure had been ascertained. To their dismay?
they found, on reaching the deep stream, that he had
been swept from his horse, and had succeeded in
clutching hold of the trunk of a magnolia that
was projecting into the waters. Astride this, with
his body of 225 pounds, avoirdupois, going upward
and downward, with the see-saw motion of the
huge log, he was first beheld by the anxious eyes
of his friends. In response to the question, " What
are you doing up there. Judge?" he replied, "Ah,
gentlemen, I'm navigating!" In his business relations
Judge Burnett is said to have been scrupulously exact,
spurning the thought of indebtedness to any one, and
positively forbidding any one to owe him. He was
the parent of eight children, most of whom lived in
Conecuh, and themselves reared families of influence.
John D. Burnett, Esq., a young attorney, of Evergreen,
and among the most promising young men of the
county, is a grandson of Judge Samuel Burnett. The
subject of this sketch died at his old home, on Hamp-
den Ridge, in 1839.
HENRY FRANKLIN STEARNS.
About the year 1830 there came to Conecuh a young
Canadian, of pleasant address, and with a liberal edu-
HISTORY OF CONECUH. ' 121
cation. A stranger amid strangers, he is said to have
spent a night at the home of Alexander Autrey, on
Hampden Eidge. Mr. Autrey, having learned that
he was a young man just beginning his rough encoun-
ters with the world, and having been pleased with the
unusual promise coached in the elegant gentleman,
and more with his pronounced principles of Univer-
salism, gave him some substantial aid, and rendered
him valuable service in securing his introduction into
Conecuh. This young man was the subject of this
sketch. Henry Franklin Stearns was born in the
county of Stanstead, Dominion of Canada, province of
Ontario, on March 21st, 1805. He was of English
parentage. He was graduated from a college in New
Brunswick. In 1830 he came to Conecuh, and found
employment in teaching a school for some time near
Bellville. Shortly after this he addressed himself to
the study of the law, and was admitted to practice in
1834 or 1835. At that time ample scope was afforded
him for the exercise of his legal powers, and he en-
tered at once upon a successful practice. He had con-
tinued his practice but about two years, however, when
he was appointed judge of the county court. Judge
Stearns was noted for his invincible zeal. In him
every cause which he espoused found an ardent ad-
vocate. By discreet management he accumulated a
respectable property. The hospitable spirit, so char-
acteristic of the well-to-do residents of Conecuh, was
entirely congenial with Judge Stearns when he became
a citizen of the county. At one time he was the can-
122 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
didate of his (the Whig) party for Eepresentative in
the General Assembly ; and though his party was in
the majority in the county, he sustained defeat. This
was due. however, to the fact that he was of Northern
birth. He was honored with being a delegate to the
National Whig Convention which nominated Henry
Clay for the Presidency. At the time of his death,
Judge Stearns had in course of successful prosecution
a plan for the establishment of a cotton factory at
Fowler's Mills. His waning health forbade the execu-
tion of a work, which, had it been successful, would-
have conferred lasting benefits upon the county at
large. In 1856 he went to Texas in the interest of a
plantation in that State. Returning home during the
following year, he was able to get no nearer than Clai>
borne, Monroe ^ county, where he died, on February
3rd, 1857. Here, too, was the resting place of his
came to Conecuh about 1819. He was an emigrant
from Ireland. At the time of his removal to this
county, Bellville, then called " The Ponds," was one of
the most prominent settlements in Conecuh. He is
said to have been quiet, unobtrusive and enterprising.
The vast ponds which bound the community on the
east, he determined to drain — and accordingly dug a
ditch of great length and considerable depth, which
crosses the road just below Bellville. In honor of
John Bell the beautiful village was finally named.
The time of his death is not known. He sleeps
beneath the sod, under a wide-spreading tree, near
the home of Mrs. Stanley.
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 123
Goneouh from 1845 to 1855 — Status of the County at this Period —
Acrimonious Politics— Sad Tragedy— Steam Navigation of Con-
ecuh— A Disaster and a Protracted Law Suit — Caterpillars-
Mexican War — Sickness in the County, &c.
This period introduces us into the midst of stirring
scenes. By its increased facilities the county was now
brought into easy communication with the world be-
yond. A new generation of men had been reared
upon her soil, and were corning rapidly to the front,
to the assumption of the control of affairs, — men who
were in sympathy with the over- reaching strides of
advancement now being made in all departments.
The fertile lands of Conecuh, and their prodigious
yield, had drawn industry and capital from various
directions, until now the population of Conecuh had
reached almost ten thousand. Business, in all its
branches, was thriving, — and many of the citizens of
the county were becoming immensely wealthy. The
indications of prosperity were evident in the elegant
homes, the extensive plantations — tilled now by
numerous slaves — ^the comfortable " negro quarters,"
the neatly built churches and school houses, and the
magnificent equipages of many of the wealthiest fam-
ilies. What a transformation had been produced in
the county within a period of three and a half decades !
The hand of Industry had made the wilderness to
blossom as the rose.
124 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
But that which was engrossing more and more
public attention was, the political issues of the period.
The alternating victories secured by both parties kept
them constantly on the alert. The greatest care had
to be taken to avoid the mistake of placing any other
in the field than the most popular man. The standard
bearer of the Democratic hosts in the county, in 1845,
was James A. Stallworth ; that of the Whigs was
Mortimer Boulware. Mr. Stallworth was a young
man, who was just now catching public attention by
the brilliancy of his oratory, and by the readiness with
which he grappled with the issues of his opponents.
He found in Mr. Boulware a formidable opponent.
The county was never more thoroughly canvassed and
aroused. Everywhere the zealous candidates were
met by vast crowds. In the election which followed,
both parties strained their facilities to the utmost ten-
sion. Mr. Stallworth bore off the palm of victory,
and thus commenced a brilliant political career, as will
be seen in the future history of the county.
In March of this year, a sad tragedy occurred in the
vicinity of Bellville, which, because of its connection
with one of the most distinguished families of Conecuh,
cast a gloom over the whole county. A freedman,
who was popularly known as "Free Henry," in a
rencounter with Joshua and James Hawthorne — two
sons of Col. J. E. Hawthorne — fatally stabbed the
latter named young man. The freedman was arrested,
lodged in jail, at Sparta, at the approaching term of
HISTORY OF COll^ECUH. 125
court convicted of murder, and was publicly executed
by hanging, in October of the same year.
The success which had constantly attended the
navigation of the Conecuh by raft boats, excited a
desire finally to launch upon her waters a more stately
craft, and one in more apt keeping with modern ad-
vancement. Accordingly a meeting was called at
Brooklyn, in August, 1845, to consider the feasibility _
of undertaking the navigation of the river by steam.
It was called the Steam Navigation Meeting. It was
the occasion of much interest, many of the wealthiest
and most enterprising gentlemen of the county having
responded to- the call. The advisability of such an
enterprise was duly considered, and a stock company
was formed. Subsequently the steamer "Shaw" was
purchased, duly manned, and started on a trip up the
river. Expectations became more sanguine still, when
the steamer had reached Brooklyn landing without
hindrance or disaster. The boat, unloaded of its
cargo of supplies, which it had borne up the stream
from Pensacola, was re-loaded with cotton, and, amid
the most jubilant expectations, started southward.
But, alas! when it had descended the stream but a
short distance, it struck an unfriendly snag and was
sunk, and with it sank the hopes of the ardent insti-
gators of the enterprise. The whole cargo was lost.
Mr. George Turk — the father of Laban Turk, of
Monroe — was the principal loser, having on board
most of the cotton. The result of this sad catastro-
phe was a protracted law suit between Mr. Turk and
126 HISTORY ^F CONECUH.
the stock company, which terminated in favor of the
plaintiff. Thus ended all efforts to propel boats, by
steam, upon the Conecuh river. This enhanced the
value of Claiborne, Monroe county, for it was now the
most accessible shipping and receiving point to the
planters and merchants of Conecuh.
A sudden check was placed upon the prosperity of
the county in 1846, by the destruction of the cotton
by the caterpillar. So sudden and wide-spread were
the ravages of the cotton worm, that the crop of that
year came- well nigh proving a failure. During this
year, too, there was an alarming prevalence of pneu-
monia in Conecuh. It spread with violence in all
portions of the county, and did not cease its ravages
for several years together. The year 1846 is memora-
ble in the annals of the country as the beginning of
hostilities between the United States and Mexico.
During the latter part of this year several victories
had been achieved by General Taylor. When the
news of bloodshed, and his splendid successes, reached
the States, crowds of volunteers demanded the accept-
ance of their services. Nor did the patriotism of the
Conecuhians lie dormant, while others, from different
sections, were rallying beneath the American banner.
It is to be regretted that the names of but two of the
brave patriots of Conecuh, who enlisted in this war,
can be secured. These are William R King and
Mark Travis. The former of these died in service in
Mexico, and his remains were sent home and interred
in the graveyard at Bellville. Mr. Travis survived
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 127
the war, and returned to his home, bearing the mark
of a wound received in the battle of Cherubusco.
The only interest which attaches to the history of
the county for several years together, subsequent to
the period already adverted to, is that which gathers
around the political contests. The Democratic Party,
having been led to victory in 1845, under the leader-
ship of their young champion, James A. Stallworth,
continued to hold the majority .of the popular vote
until 1849. At this period the Whigs nominated
William A. Ashley as their candidate for legislative
honors. Through personal popularity, as an able
advocate of the principles of the Whig Party, Mr.
Ashley succeeded in securing triumph to his party,
and marked distinction to himself. This was to him
the beginning of a very long and popular career as a
leader in Conecuh. Such was his acceptance during
his term of service, that he was rewarded by his party
with a second nomination and was again elected by
the popular voice of the county. Political supremacy
was held now by the Whigs until 1857. For after
Mr. Ashley had been elected State Senator, Andrew
Jay became the favored leader of the party, by which
he was honored with two successive terms of office in
the lower house of the General Assembly.
With 1854 came the first railroad excitement ever
experienced by the people of Conecuh. Prodigious
advantages were promised the people of the county if
they would only aid in the construction of the Mobile
and Girard Railroad. Eloquent agents depicted in
128 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
glowing description, the advantages which must accrue
to the county by the projected enterprise, and thus
succeeded in booking handsome subscriptions from
very many of the citizens. The total failure to reap
any benefits from the road, bred dissatisfaction and
gave rise to serious litigation, which resulted in the
recovery of a portion of the funds contributed to the
establishment of the enterprise. A comparative lull
of several years followed this period.
The following is a list of county officers who served
during the decade included between 1845 and 1855 :
1849— p. D. Castillo.*
1850— A. D. Gary.
1847— John D. Travis, f
1848— William M. Stall worth.:]:
1851 — Stephen Eichardson.
1854 — George Christian.
1849— Mark B. Travis.
1855— Mark B. Travis.
♦Appointed to fill an unexpired term. The following year the
office was abolished.
t Resigned the following year.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 129
1837— 1841— Jordan B. Lewis.*
1841— 1845-John D. Gary.
1845— 1849— John D. Gary.
1849— 1850— Sherman G. Forbes, f
1847 — John Morrisett.
1851 — William Perry Leslie.
1853— William A. Ashley.
1845 — James A. Stallworth.
1847— James A. Stallworth.
1849— William A. Ashley.
1851— William A. Ashley.
1853 — Andrew Jay.
1855 — Andrew Jay.
* This should have been embodied in the earlier list, but was
t Office universally abolished in ISftO throughout the State.
130 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
A Chapter of Biography — John Crosby — James M. Boiling —
Rev. Hanson Lee, etc.
Among the best and noblest of the citizens of
Conecuh, during his career, was John Crosby. He
came to the county from Chester District, South Car-
olina, in 1832, and settled, first, at the home owned at
present by Dr. John D. Eeilly. In personal appear-
ance, Mr. Crosby was rather tall, of dignified mien,
with ruddy complexion, and hair of raven blackness.
In character, he was exceedingly firm and positive.
Possessed of a vigorous energy and an unconquerable
will, he bore down before him all diflSculties, and
rarely failed of success in any pursuit. If he was
fond of accumulating wealth, he was equally fond of
bestowing it upon any object that commended itself
to his heart and judgment. While he was proverb-
ially liberal, he grew wealthy within a few years ;
thereby exemplifying the sacred expression, "The
liberal soul shall be made fat." Commencing with
resources quite meagre, he had amassed a respectable
fortune in twenty -five years. During this period he
had become the owner of two extensive plantations,
well manned with negro slaves. To the comfort of
these slaves he was devoted with a tenderness quite
unusual. He was universally esteemed for his piety.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 131
and manifested his devotion to the cause of Sacred
Truth by being one of the most consistent of the mem-
bers of the Baptist Church, at Bellville, for quite a
number of years. A characteristic anecdote is related
of him, as illustrative of his thorough honesty, and
abiding conviction of right. During a given session
of the Circuit Court, held at Sparta, Mr. Crosby was
one of the petit jurors. In that capacity he would
serve during the day, and after adjournment, ride to
his home in the neighborhood of Bellville. Eising
with the earliest tinge of dawn, he would start each
morning toward Sparta, going via one of his planta-
tions to give directions to his laborers for the day.
One morning he was unduly detained at his farm, and
did not appear at the court house until after his name
had been called, his absence announced, and a for-
feiture entered against him by the presiding Judge.
Coming into the court room, he was apprised of the
imposition of the fine. He was summoned into the
presence of the court to give the reason of his absence.
He replied that his absence was due to the protracted
attention which he had to bestow that morning upon
his affairs at his plantation. Whereupon the court
asked him if any reason could be assigned by himself
why the forfeiture should not be entered against him.
He very frankly replied : *' Oh, no ! I have no excuse
whatever. The whole matter is just as it should be.
The fine is justly imposed." An example of his lib-
erality is found in the fact that he donated to Howard
College one thousand dollars, and defrayed the ex-
132 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
penses of a theological student throughout his entire
course. After a useful and exemplary career, he died
at his beautiful home near Bellville, in the early part
JAMES M. BOLLING.
This gentleman made his debut into public life in
1838, when he represented Conecuh in the Legislature.
Though young, he soon became one of the most active
members of the General Assembly. Such was the
pleasantness of his demeanor, that he became a favor-
ite among the members. He was returned to the
Legislature for two successive terms. From the be-
ginning, he gave pjomise of distinction at the bar.
He married a daughter of the Hon. Eeuben Saflbld,
Judge of the Supreme Court ; after which he removed
to Hayneville, Lowndes county, where he continued
to practice to the close of his life.
KEV. HANSON LEE
removed, with the remainder of his father's family, to
Conecuh, in the earliest settlement of the county. He
was the sixth son of Joel Lee. The subject of the
present memoir was born in Johnston county, North
Carolina, on December 27th, 1816. He was a young
man of brilliant parts, and at an early age resolved to
fit himself, through self-training, for future usefulness.
By dint of close and laborious study, he succeeded in
acquiring a classical education of a high order of
merit. Recognizing his ability, the college at Marys-
ville, Tennessee, conferred upon him the degree of A.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 133
M. When he was a lad of sixteen he was baptized
by Rev. Alexander Travis, and became a member of
the famous Old Bethany Church. He was ordained
to preach the gospel about 1844. In connection with
preaching, he adopted the .profession of teacher. His
services were secured at different points as teacher.
His first school was at Brooklyn. Thence he was
invited to take a school in Lee county, Georgia, whence
he removed to Louisiana. Here he became the Presi-
dent of Mounb Lebanon College. In connection with
his duties here, as Professor, he became the editor of
the Louisiana Baptist — the organ of the Baptist
denomination in Louisiana for a number of years. He
died at his home in 1862. In writing his obituary,
Rev. William Carey Crane, D. D., LL. D., President
of Baylor University, Texas, said : "A great man in
Israel has fallen."
THOMAS W. SIMPSON
was a native of South Carolina. He was born March
23rd, 1806. Coming to Conecuh, together with his
father, as early as 1818, he enjoyed but few educa-
tional advantages. He commenced life in circum-
stances quite humble, with no other reliance than a
strong determination and a heroic energy. With
the growing development of the county he con-
tinued to increase his acquisitions until he had sur-
rounded himself with a property quite respectable.
Mr. Simpson was one of the most useful, and yet one
of the most modest, of Conecuh's citizens. He de-
134 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
lighted in dispensing hospitality. His roof was the
refuge of many a way-worn traveler. To a praise-
worthy degree he exemplified the principles which
he professed as Mason, Son of Temperance, and
Christian. Among his children who survive him is
Eansom Simpson, of Snow Hill, Wilcox county — a
citizen whose worth is greatly prized in his adopted
county. Mr. Simpson died at his home, near Bell-
ville, June 1st, 1861.
NICHOLAS STALLWORTH, JR.
Prominent among the first generation of young
men, reared in Conecuh, was he whose name is re-
corded at the head of this sketch. He was born in
Edgefield District, South Carolina, on February 21st,
1810. When he was only eight years of age he was
brought, with the remainder of his father's family, to
Alabama. He was married to Miss Martha Travis —
eldest daughter of Eev. Alexander Travis. The result
of this union was seven children, among whom were
Robert P. Stallworth and Frank M. Stallworth, of
Falls county, Texas ; Major Nick Stallworth, late of
Hilliard's Legion ; and Mrs. Barnett,* wife of Hon.
Samuel A. Barnett, now of Mobile. Reared in the
midst of circumstances unfavorable to his mental
development, at a time when few or no schools existed,
Mr. Stallworth had to depend almost altogether upon
self-training. He was lacking in none of the virtues
that make a sterling citizen. Hospitable, liberal and
♦Who died several years ago.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 135
possessed of public spiritedness, lie was quite popular
with the masses. Without himself seeking the posi-
tion, he was at one time made Circuit Clerk of Conecuh
county. When, in 1850, the office of Judge of Pro-
bate was made elective, he warmly espoused the
candidacy of A. D. Cary. As early as 1838, Mr. Stall-
worth foresaw the struggle which reached its bloody
culmination in 1861. The tendency of existing politi-
cal issues caused him to predict the dismemberment
of the Union, and the probable abolition of American
slavery. Mr. Stallworth died in 1853, in the prime
A. D. GARY.
Armstead Dudley Cary was born in Gloucester
county, Virginia, October 23rd, 1791. Eight years
later his father removed to Clarke county, Georgia,
and settled near the famous educational seat of Athens.
When he had attained his eleventh year, young
Armstead was sent from the paternal roof to receive
his elementary training in the famous Waddell High
School, in Abbeville District, South Carolina. Here
he was the school-fellow of such men as James L.
Pettigrew, of South Carolina, and of Governor Lump-
kin and Judge A. B. Longstreet, of Georgia. Having
been thoroughly fitted here for his future course in
college, he returned to his home at Athens, entered
the State University, and was graduated in 1813. He
at once chose the profession of teacher, and became
the principal of a school in Sumter District, South
136 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
Carolina. Among his pupils in this school was the
Hon. James E. Belser, who, in after years, was a resi-
dent of Montgomery, Alabama. Lured by the fasci-
nating descriptions given of the lovely region of the
Southwest, Mr. Gary, in 1820, removed to Claiborne,
in Monroe county. Here he remained only one year.
In 1821 he removed to Bellville, and two years later
still, to Sparta. During this time, and for several
years subsequent to 1823, he was engaged in teaching.
In 1826 he was chosen Clerk of the Circuit Court for
Conecuh, which office he held, uninterruptedly, for
almost a quarter of a century. In 1833 President Jack-
son appointed him Receiver of the Land Office for the
Sparta District. From this position he was removed
in 1850, by President Taylor, because of the fact that
he was a Democrat.
Such was the solidity of his character, that Mr. Cary
passed through all these eventful scenes with unsullied
record. He spurned with derision any proposition
•that did not fully comport with the principles of rec-
titude, and strove to shun even "the appearance .of
evil." The following anecdote is related of him :
As Receiver, he was legally required to make
quarterly returns. At the conclusion of one quarter
he deposited the enormous sum of $140,000. Just
prior to rendering in his returns, he was confidentially
advised by a prominent and professional citizen of the
county to pay his bondsmen the full amount of the
bond of $40,000, and to put the balance in his pocket.
Mr. Cary very frankly said : "But that would be dis-
HISTORY OF CONKOUH. 137
honest." He was assured that this was the course
adopted by nearly all the officers of the department.
But Mr. Gary, with characteristic gravity, said: "My
code of ethics will not permit me to do so dishon-
orable an act." And the amount was forthwith
For many years he combined the offices of Receiver
and Circuit Clerk. He was enabled to do this in the
face of a prohibitory statute, by some friend securing
the office for him, by securing his own election and
appointing Mr. Cary as his deputy. Valuable service
was rendered him in this way by Churchill Jones,
Wilson Ashley, and Nicholas Stallworth, Jr. Such
was the personal and professional popularity of Mr.
Cary, that all efforts to defeat him before the people
were totally unavailing. After the establishment of
the Probate Court in the county, in 1850, Mr. Cary
became the first Judge of Probate. In September of
that year he became a member of the Baptist denom-
ination, and was baptized by Elder Alexander Travis^
During the closing years of his life, Mr. Cary was
tenderly cared for in the homes of his children. His
earthly career terminated on December 7th, 1879. No
man who has ever lived in Conecuh has left a fairer
record than Judge Cary. He was universally recog-
nized as a man who was swayed in life by the purest
motives. So circumspect was his deportment in all
relations, that no one has ever ventured to cast any
asperities upon his fair name.
138 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
WILLIAM BARRETT TRAVIS, THE HERO OF THE "ALAMO."
Near the ancient Spanish town of San Antonio, and
on the left bank of the stream of the same name, in
the southern border of Texas, is to be seen, to-day, a
cluster of block-houses. This is the famous site of
Fort Alamo, the calm bravery of whose ill-starred
defenders entitles them to a place in the world's his-
tory along-side that of the heroes of Marathon and
Thermopylae. At this sacred spot, baptized in fire
and blood, was displayed a heroism unsurpassed in
the annals of conflict. Around this little spot centres
the thrill of the War for Texan Independence.
William Barrett Travis was born In Edgefield Dis-
trict, South Carolina, (near Old Fort Ninety-Six,) on
August 9th, 1809. He was the son of Mark Travis,
Sr., and nephew to Elder Alexander Travis. The
family removed to the county of Conecuh in 1818,
and founded a home that is near the location of the
present home of Eev. Andrew Jay. Young Travis
was as thoroughly educated as the educational facili-
ities of a frontier region would allow. When he
reached maturity, he studied for the bar, at Claiborne,
under Hon. James Dellett. Whether induced by the
rapid developments made in the far West, to remove
to Texas, or whether led by love of adventure, is not
known. But, quite early in 1835, we find him bidding
farewell to his quiet home in South Alabama and re-
moving to Texas. When he reached the province, he
found it in a state of seething excitement. The rapid
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 139
strides which were being made by Santa Anna toward
centralization met with a warm protest from the Tex-
ans. Young, ardent and chivalrous, Mr. Travis was
soon in profound sympathy with the Texan patriots.
In the very beginning of hostilities, we find him con-
spicuous as a chosen leader. When, at length, a dec-
laration of hostilities was made by Santa Anna against
the Anglo-American Rebels of Texas, and when, at
the head of an army of 4,000, he marched upon San
Antonio, near the beginning of 1836, we find Col. W.
B. Travis in command at this point. The advance of
Santa Anna's army reached the heights of the Alazan,
overlooking the city of San Antonio, on the morning
of the 22nd of February. Before so formidable a
force as that led by the Mexican President, Colonel
Travis retired with 144 men to the Alamo. Upon the
occupation of the city, Santa Anna sent a summons to
the garrison to surrender. The response of the heroic
Travis was a cannon shot from the battery, — for he
too well knew the treachery and blood-thirstiness of
his foe. Travis had within the fort fourteen cannon,
but only a limited supply of ammunition. Having
received so defiant a reply from the American com-
mander, Santa Anna caused to be run up above the
church of the city a blood-red flag, proclaiming, "iV^o
On the 24th, Travis dispatched couriers to San
Felipe and Goliad for assistance. Meanwhile the Mex-
icans steadily bombarded the fort without effect. At
quite an early hour on the morning of the 25th, the
140 HISTORY OF CO]SrBCUH.
Mexicans evinced a more determined spirit than ever.
They brought into active play all their available guns.
Toward noon Santa Anna left his headquarters in the
city, crossed the river, and gave his personal super-
vision to the well directed aim of the gunners.
Wherever he could screen himself from view, he would
advance and plant his guns nearer the walls of the
fort. To prevent surprise, the Texaus sallied forth on
the night of the 25th, and burnt some houses standing
near the fort. The following morning a brisk skir-
mish took place, but without decisive results. The
overwhelming numbers of the Mexicans were now
greatly increased, and Santa Anna proceeded to draw
the toils of his strength more closely around the walls
of the besieged fort, in order to cut off the garrison
from water. But in this he signally failed. When
night had again settled upon the assailants and the
assailed, Travis's men made another sortie, and again
destroyed some houses, behind which the besieging
forces might take refuge. For several days together
the Mexicans continued the bombardment without the
accomplishment of any serious results.
On March 2nd, the garrison in the Alamo was
reinforced by thirty-two citizen soldiers, who had cut
their way through the ranks of the enemy. These
were under the command of the gallant Capt. John
W. Smith, of Gonzales. On the day following Colonel
Travis sent a courier to Washington, where the State
Convention was assembled, and with the following
HISTORY OP OONBOUH. 141
"I am still here, in fine spirits, and well-to-do. With
145 men, I have held this place ten days against a
force variously estimated at from 1,500 to 6,000; and
I shall continue to hold it until I get relief from my
countrymen, or I will perish in its defence. We have
had a shower of cannon balls condnually falling
among us the whole time, yet none of us have fallen.
We have been miraculously preserved."
During the day Colonel Bonham, who had been sent
to Goliad to secure reinforcements, returned to the
fort and united again with his comrades in its defence.
After nightfall, the Texans again issued forth upon a
sally, but without the achievement of any success.
The morning of the 4th of March dawned upon the
besiegers and the besieged. Sharp cannonade was
renewed by the assailants. The ammunition being
scarce within the fort, the garrison but seldom fired.
The day wore heavily away, and no change still was
produced in the situation.
At night, Santa Anna called a council of war, and
urged upon his officers the necessity of a speedy assault
upon the fort. Against this suggestion, however, all
his oflScers remonstrated, and counseled tardiness until
the siege guns should arrive. But the impetuous
President had grown impatient of delay already. Given
to celerity of movement, he chafed under the worrying
delay incident to a siege. His wish finally prevailed.
He had resolved upon storming the fort. It was to be
attacked simultaneously from different directions by
four columns under the leadership of his most expe-
142 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
rienced officjers. The orders of the comraander-in-
chief were given with the utmost minuteness. Each
column was to be provided with scaling ladders, pick-
axes and crowbars. The signal of attack was to be
given precisely at midnight. The cavalry was to be
marshalled in the rear to prevent the desertion of the
unwilling troops, and to intercept the escape of the
Americans. For some reason the time of attack was
delayed several hours. At precisely 4 o'clock on the
morning of March 6th — the thirteenth day of the
siege — the bugle sounded the attack along the whole
Mexican line, and a firm, onward movement was made.
The garrison soon became aware of the situation, and
leaped to their guns, and poured upon their assailants
a storm of lead and iron. Before the well directed fire
of the Texans the three columns on the north, west
and east staggered and swung back. Some confusion
was produced by several columns becoming com-
mingled ; but the solid mass rallied again under effi-
cient officers, and renewed with vigor the assault.
This time they succeeded in eftecting an entrance into
the wall of the yard running around the fort. About
the same time the column advancing from the south
made a breach in the wall, and captured one of the
guns. This cannon was commanded by Colonel Travis
himself, and it is supposed that he fell early in the
action, as he was found dead very near the gun. The
Mexicans turned this favorite gun upon the last re-
maining stronghold, and dislodged the Texans, who
took refuge in the diflferent buildings of the enclosure.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 143
The conflict now began in good earnest. Each build-
ing was a separate battle scene. Resolved to die with
as much profit as possible to the struggling province,
every man fought like a bayed tiger. When the
enemy would press so closely upon one that he could
not load his piece, he would reverse his gun and club
every advancing assailant until he fell pierced with a
bullet, or driven through with a bayonet. The heroic
Crockett, knowing that death was inevitable, struck
down his enemies until, when his corpse was found, it
was in the centre of a circling heap of dead Mexicans.
Colonel Bowie was confined to his bed in the last stage
of consumption. As the enemy rushed into his room,
he sat upright in his bed, and killed several of the foe
before he himself was killed. The details of the hor-
rible massacre have oftentimes been given, and need
not be repeated here. It may be proper to state, how-
ever, that the bodies of the Texans were collected into
heaps and burned. A year later. Col. John N. Seguin
superintended the collection and proper interment of
the bones of these heroes.
As you enter the capitol, at Austin, you are con-
fronted by a monument bearing this inscription:
"Thermopylae had its messenger of defeat ; the Alamo
had none." Thus went out into the darkness of a
horrible death the star of the brilliant and brave Col.
William Barrett Travis. With the change of adapi-
tation, we adopt here the language of Albert Pike, in
his "Grave of Washington:"
144 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
" Disturb not his slumber ! Let Travis here sleep,
'Neath the boughs of the willow that over him weep !
His arm is unnerved, but his deeds remain bright
As the stars in the dark- vaulted heaven at night.
** O, wake not the hero ! His battles are o'er !
Let him rest, undisturbed, on Antonio's fair shore !
On the river's green border as flowery dressed,
With the hearts he loved fondly, let Travis here rest."
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 145
Conecuh from 1855 to 1860 — A Period of Stirring Activity — More
Progress — Academy at Bellville— Know-No thingism in Oonecuh —
A County Organ Established — Railroad Excitement — Telegraphic
Line — Murder of Allen Page — Ominous Signs on the Political
The period into which we are now introduced far
exceeded in importance and excitement any which
had preceded it. Rapid and marked changes were
being created in the politics of the country by the
addition of new elements to the sectional controversies
which were agitating the country in all directions.
The respective parties in Conecuh, of course, echoed
the sentiments of their leaders. It was during this
period that the Whig Party ceased to have a national
existence. The formation of an Anti-Foreign and
No-Popery Party, called the "Know-Nothing Party,"
blotted from existence the party which had been con-
trolled by the Whigs for a long time. The political
contest was no longer between the Whigs and Demo-
crats, as before, but it was now waged beneath the
banners of the Democratic and Know-Nothing Parties.
In 1855 Maj. Andrew Jay, who had been conspicuous
for a number of years before the people of the county,
as an ardent worker and wise counselor in political
affairs, and who had previously been the Representa-
tive of the Whig Party in the Legislature, was chosen
146 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
as the standard bearer of the new party, and sent
again to the General Assembly. But these political
contests, so far from retarding the intellectual or
material development of the county, were, beyond
question, one of the cardinal factors that contributed
to the advancement of her people. Eagerness for
information relative to the great questions that were
now swaying the people of the Union, prompted the
increase of political literature in the homes of Conecuh.
This, acting in concert with the frequent discussion of
these principles on the stump, in the social circle, and
in the homes, awakened inquiry and stimulated the
mental energy of the youth of the county. And the
combination of these concurrent causes, too, led to
increased facilities in the county for the transmission
of intelligence, and finally, to the encouragement of
the establishment of the great thoroughfare which
now penetrates the county from north to south.
In 1854 the citizens of Bellville, and the surround-
ing communities, established an academy in the
village, and the following year its doors were thrown
open for the reception of pupils. Prof C. D. Cole
was secured as the Principal of the institution, and
from the beginning its career has been one of marked
The year 1856 witnessed the inauguration of a new
enterprise at Sparta — that of the publication of a
county organ, under the editorial management of
Messrs. Witter and McGinnis. This year, too, gave
birth to the agitation of the railroad question. Con-
HISTORY OF OONEOUH. 147
siderable enthusiasm was awakened by the prospect
of having the county favored with the presence of a
railroad. Under the impulse of this excitement
public meetings were held in different parts of the
county. By common consent a sumptuous barbecue
was usually had in connection with these occasions.
Earnest advocates of the enterprise would unfold the
incalculable advantages that would arise from such a
thoroughfare ; roasted meats and delicate viands would
be enjoyed, and then an opportunity would be afforded
for subscribing to the establishment of the railroad.
An active canvass of the question secured from the
county the handsome subscription of $85,000. This
liberal subscription secured the location and comple-
tion of the road through Conecuh. It may not be
amiss, in this connection, to mention the liberal sub-
scribers to whom the county is chiefly indebted for
this important line of transportation. The list was
headed by the names of Andrew Jay and J. Y. Fer-
ryman, each of whom subscribed $5,000. Asa John-
son, Elijah McCreary, W. A. Ashley, James A.
Stallworth, Caleb Johnson, Y. M. Rabb, M. L. Mosely,
Y. S. Hirshfelder, and others, whose names could not
be secured, followed with sums ranging from $1,500
to $2,500. Work was commenced soon after from
the opposite directions of Montgomery and Pensacola.
In the political contests in the county in 1857 and
1859, the Democrats again attained the supremacy,
under the lead of John D. Gary. Elected in 1857 to
148 HISTOEY OF CONECUH.
the General Assembly, he was re-elected to the same
position during the following campaign.
In 1858 a telegraphic line of communication was
established from Greenville to Mobile. Passing
through Conecuh, the enterprising company estab-
lished an oflSce at Evergreen.
During the following year a brutal tragedy was
enacted in Fork Sepulga. Mr. Allen Page, a promi-
nent and highly respected citizen, had started a num-
ber of wagons, loaded with cotton, from his gin house,
on Tuesday morning, toward Claiborne. In company
with Mr. John Wright, Sr., he followed the wagons
the next day, in a buggy, and reached Claiborne at
night. Having cautiously concealed a gun beneath
the cotton in one of the wagons, Irvin Ward accom-
panied the party until within a short distance of
Claiborne, when he separated himself from them, and
turned into a road leading to a landing above Clai-
borne, announcing his purpose to visit some relations
living in Clarke county. Before sundering himself
from the wagons, ho.wever, he informed himself, with
the utmost minuteness, with respect to the intention
of Messrs. Page and Wright to sell their cotton on
Thursday, and to return home on Friday. Having
passed beyond the view of the wagons. Ward retraced
his steps, hurried back toward his home, and engaged
with his brother, Stephen, in the formation of a plot
to murder and rob Messrs. Page and Wright upon
their return. Accordingly, they placed a small log
across the road, on the east side of Little Brewer
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 149
creek, and within six miles of the home of Mr. Page,
in order to check them when they should reach the
spot. One of the brothers screened himself behind a
pine log, which ran parallel with the road, and in
order the more effectually to conceal himself, had
stuck here and there, about him, quite a number of
gall bushes. The other was secreted about twenty
yards to the rear. Both were armed with double-
barrel guns. Ere long, the rumbling of the wheels of
the buggy was heard, and the murderers lay silently
awaiting the favorable moment to fire. The horse
reached the log; a short colloquy ensued as to the
strange appearance of the log across the road ; some
doubt w^s expressed with regard to the inability of
the buggy to roll over it, when Mr. Wright proposed
to alight and remove it. Just as he had thrown it
aside, a load of buckshot was discharged into the
bosom of Allen Page, who was seated in the buggy.
He instantly threw up his hands and exclaimed, " I
am killed," and was' in the act of falling from the
buggy, when Mr. Wright bounded forward and caught
him. Just at this moment another barrel was dis-
charged at Wright, the contents of which did but
little execution, as but few shot penetrated his skin.
His clothes, however, were sadly perforated by the
bullets. It was afterwards ascertained that the most
of the load of the second barrel took effect in a root
of the log behind which Ward was concealed. Snatch-
ing up the lifeless body of Mr. Page, Mr. Wright
applied the whip to the excited horse, and dashed up
150 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
the road at full speed. He left the corpse at the home
of Mrs. Bidgood, two miles from the scene of the
horrible transaction. In a few hours the community
was thoroughly aroused, and excited crowds gathered
about the scene of the murder. A pack of negro dogs,
belonging to Mr. Jones, was brought into requisition,
but were unable to indicate the direction taken by
the fugitive murderers. The most intense excitement,
mingled with honest indignation, prevailed on all
hands. The general reputation of Irvin Ward, coupled
with his suspicious conduct on the day preceding the
tragedy, led to his arrest. His younger brother,
Stephen, was not suspected as being an accomplice, at
the time. Irvin Ward was subjected to a rigid ex-
amination before Justice K. R. Page. Upon his state-
ment that he had been on a visit to relatives in Clarke
county, a runner was sent thither, and it was ascer-
tained that he had not at all visited Clarke. A com-
mittee of gentlemen was formed, whose duty it was to
ascertain the whereabouts of every man in the com-
munity, for several days previous to the murder. The
statements of the two brothers. Ward, were found to
be false in many essential particulars, and they were
seized and held in close custody, until further devel-
opments could be made. Finally, after the accumula-
tion of considerable circumstantial evidence against
them, they openly confessed themselves to have been
the perpetrators of the bloody deed. This confession
was made at the home of the deceased, and in the
presence of about one hundred auditors. Public notice
aSTORY OP OONEOTJH. 151
was now given that they would be hanged the follow-
ing day at 1 P. M. at the spot where the deed was per-
petrated, and just one week subsequent to the bloody
transaction. Messengers were dispatched in all direc-
tions giving due notice of the proposed execution.
Strong guards were placed around the house, and on
every approach thereto. A brother of the murderers
hastened to Sparta that night, and endeavored to
secure the interposition of the sheriff on behalf of the
murderers. But he would not interfere. An excited
and determined populace had resolved upon the speedy
execution of the murderers, and had determined to
shoot down any parties who should undertake their
rescue. A rude gallows was erected over the spot
where the deed was perpetrated, the murderers were
marched out in front of about forty citizens and to
the place of execution, six miles distant. When they
had come near the homes -of the Wards, they were
met by their relatives — the old parents, brothers and
sisters, and the wife of Stephen Ward, bearing in her
arms an infant of six weeks. The place of execution
was reached, and a statement was made by the mur-
derers. They said that no malice had prompted the
bloody deed, for Mr. Page was among their best
friends. He had relieved their wants, and those of
their families, when their father could not. They had
murdered him for the purpose. of robbing him of the
proceeds of the cotton. After this, the ropes were
adjusted by P. D. Page, Esq., and William Wright,
and they swung just at 1 o'clock, on Friday, the 18th
152 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
^ of November, 1859. When they had ceased to
breathe, their bodies were taken in charge by the
father and brothers. The sons of Mr. Page, deceased,
sent a number of negro men to dig their graves and
to assist in a decent interment. At the approaching
session of the Circuit Court, bills of indictment were
found against about forty of those who were most
active in the prosecution and execution of the Wards,
and bonds were fixed at $1,000. Judge J. K. Henry,
at the next term of the Circuit Court, caused a nol.
pros, of all the cases, and thus the public mind became
quiet upon a subject which had engrossed it for so
long a period.
During the same year (1859), successful operations
were commenced upon the Montgomery and Pensacola
Eailroad. From both directions the work began, but
the road was not completed until about April, 1861.
This is, to-day, one of the most important thorough-
fares in all the Sbuth. It now constitutes a part of
the great line operated under the auspices of the
Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company. Entering
Conecuh on its northern boundary, it penetrates it
southward twenty-four and a half miles.
The year 1860 marks an emphatic era in the politi-
cal history of the country. Some of the questions
which had their birth in the political struggles of
former periods, now assumed serious proportions.
Grave issues were involved in the coming struggle
between the different political organizations of the
Union. The acrimony of feeling between the North-
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 158
ern and Southern States, was aggravated by every
recurring event. The long agitation had shattered in
pieces the old political parties of the country. Split
asunder in their Convention at Charleston, the Demo-
crats proposed two candidates to the people — Stephen
A. Douglas, of Illinois, and John C. Breckinridge, of
Kentucky. Disintegration had also invaded the old
Whig Party. The Union wing of the Whig Party
named John Bell, of Tennessee, for President. The
Eepublican Party was increased by accessions from
both the Whig and Democratic Parties, and announced
the name of Abraham Lincoln as their chosen candi-
date. The county of Conecuh shared in the intense
excitement that prevailed throughout the whole
country. It was convulsed by the canvass. Little
else was done this year, than discuss politics. Vast
crowds would daily assemble at the places of popular
resort, to canvass the questions at issue. Stump
speaking was a daily occurrence. Men were swayed
more by passion than by calm judgment. The storms
of war were gathering thick and fast. The . period of
conflict had been reached.
The following is a list of county officers who served
during the period embraced in the foregoing chapter :
JUDGES OF PROBATE.
1856— A. D. Cary.
. 1857— A. B. Kennedy.
I860 — Isaac D. Johnson.
154 HISTORY OF COlfEOUH.
1856— Mark B. Travis.
1857— Daniel H. Horn.
1857— John D. Gary.
1859— John D. Gary.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 155
Chapter of Biography— E. W. Martin — Rev. George Lee— Hezekiah
Donald — Churchill Jones, etc.
EDMUND W. MARTIN.
This distinguished son of Conecuh was born near
the city of Montgoniery, on December 15th, 1821. He
received his mental training at West Point. Through
the influence of Senator Dixon H. Lewis, an ardent
friend and relative of Mr. Martin, a cadetship was
secured for him at the National Military Academy.
Returning to his home from West Point, Mr. Martin's
gifts led him into the forum, rather than the field.
Having taken a course in law, he was admitted to
practice, and commenced his career, as a lawyer, at
Hayneville, about the year 1843. When the conflict
with Mexico began, in 1846, Mr. Martin raised a
gallant company in the county of his adoption, known
as the "Lowndes County Volunteers," was made their
captain, and went immediately to Mobile to offer their
services to the government. Here they were received
and mustered into the service of the government, but
lack of transportation prevented their being trans-
ferred to the scene of action, and the war closed with-
out their being able to participate. In 1849 Mr.
Martin removed to Sparta, where he began a career
which enabled him to make quite a reputation for
156 HISTOBY OF OONKOdH.
himself as a practitioner of law. He was regarded by
his brethren at the bar, as a close, calm reasoner, dig-
nified, and keenly conscientious with regard to all
questions of ethics. He was one of the readiest of
speakers. A subject was quickly grasped by him,
and even while the thought was warm, fresh from
its new creation, he was giving it expression in
elegant diction. During the war Mr. Martin raised a
company of volunteers, of which he was made cap-
tain. Subsequently he became the major of the regi-
ment to which his company was attached. During
the battle at Dalton, Georgia, on the 24th and 25th of
February, 1864, Major Martin was wounded by the
fragment of a shell. In his command he was admired
for the wonderful combination of kindness with firm-
ness, in the exercise of discipline. At one time one
of the men under his command became somewhat
refractory, and it became necessary for him to give
him some peremptory orders, which, with relutance,
the soldier proceeded to obey, but with a protest in a
low, under tone of voice, but sufficiently loud for every
one to hear him say, " Well, never mind, every dog has
his day." To which Major Martin replied, "That may
be, if there are not more dogs than days." In politics,
Major Martin was a life-long Democrat. In 1872
he was elected to the State Senate, from the district
composed of Butler and Conecuh counties, but upon
a contest, his opponent. Miller, was seated, not because
he had received a majority of the popular vote, but
because the Eepublican Party was dominant in the
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 157
Senate. In 1874, however, when the Democrats again
attained the ascendency. Miller was legally ejected,
and Senator Martin re-seated. The Montgomery Ad-
vertiser^ in referring to his restoration to his seat in
the Senate Chamber, said of him : " He is an able and
watchful Senator, and possesses to the fullest extent,
the confidence and esteem of his associates." He was
the leading candidate for Lieutenant Governor in the
Convention of 1874, and came within a fraction of a
two-thirds vote upon the nomination. Also, in 1878,
he was conspicuous as a candidate for Congress, and
came within one vote of the nomination. On the
22nd of October, 1878, he died at his home, at Ever-
REV. GEORGE LEE
was a Baptist minister of some local distinction, and
a member of one of the best families that ever resided
in Conecuh. He was the seventh son of Justice Joel
Lee, and brother to Kevs. Hanson Lee, whose sketch
has already been given, and David Lee, now of Lowndes
county. George Lassiter Lee was bom near Burnt
Corn, on November 9th, 1819. When he was a lad of
fifteen or sixteen, he became a Christian, and was
baptized by Elder Alexander Travis. From the date
of his conversion he had a disposition to attempt to
preach, but great constitutional diffidence restrained
him from the assumption of the sacred office for ten
or twelve years. Yielding at length to those inward
impressions, he became quite an eflfective minister of
158 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
the gospel. During his early years he had received a
thorough English training. Besides being a preacher
of marked ability, he was a terse, vigorous writer.
During his ministerial career, he served the Bethlehem
Association, on different occasions, in the capacity of
Clerk and Moderator. He was the Moderator of the
body the year before his death. About 1871 or 1872,
he died in the same section in which he had been
reared. Mr. Lee was honored for his piety by all
who knew him.
was a native of Conecuh. He was a man totally
unpretentious, and yet one of the most useful of men
during his career. Such was his extreme modesty,
that no emphasis was ever given by himself to the
liberal benefactions which came from his hand. He
found special delight in contributing to a cause, the
object of which was the increased happiness or use-
fulness of his fellows. Diligent in the administration
of his private affairs, he was prosperous. During the
last few years of his life he was prominent as a suc-
cessful planter. Mr. Donald died at his home, near
Bellville, in 1861, much lamented by all who knew
The birth-place of Mr. Jones was Virginia. But
little is known of his early career. He emigrated to
Conecuh when a young man, and began teaching at
Gravella. He soon found a charm in the agitated
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 159
politics of the county, and ardently espoused the cause
of the Whig Party. As the standard-bearer of that
party he was sent to the Legislature for several con-
secutive sessions. He was regarded as possessing
uncommon shrewdness in business, and within a few
years after he came to the county he was the possessor
of no mean wealth. His name is inseparable from
the litigations which characterized the history of the
county during his residence within it. He is remem-
bered, to-day, as a most uncompromising litigator.
In manners, Mr. Jones was affable and communicative.
Several years before his death he removed to Texas.
JOHN W. ETHRIDGE.
The subject of this sketch came to Conecuh with
his father's family when he was quite a small boy.
He was born in North Carolina in 1810, and eight
years later was residing near Brooklyn. Mr. Ethridge
has led a quiet, unostentatious life. At different times
he has been summoned from the solitude of home life,
and by the popular vote elevated to positions of trust.
In 1870, he was regarded the most available man in
Conecuh to defeat the notorious William P. Miller for
the Legislature. In this his supporters were not
disappointed. His unquestioned integrity, and sober,
conservative spirit, secured to the party of the Democ-
racy a majority, and he became the Eepresentative of
the county in the lower house during the sessions of
1870 and 1872.
Other positions have been held by him with credit
160 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
to himself and lionor to his county. Though the frosts
of three-score-and-ten winters have gathered upon his
locks, he is, to-day, as elastic in his tread as a youth.
Of him it may be almost as truly said as of the olden
lawgiver : "His eye is not dim, nor is his natural force
SHERMAN G. FORBES.
Many years ago there came to New England from
Scotland two brothers whose names were Abisha and
Squire Forbes. One of these settled in Salisbury, and
the other in Canton, Connecticut. The latter of these,
according to the history of that section, was the first
smelter of iron in the United States. Abisha was
the grandfather of Sherman G. and Dr. Solomon S.
Sherman G. Forbes, familiarly known in all sections
of the county as "Squire Forbes," was born in Canton,
Connecticut, in the year 1818. His father was a
native of the same section. Mr. Forbes removed to
Alabama when he was quite a young man, and located
at Sparta. Here he found employment as a clerk in
the mercantile establishment of Eobinson & Cary. He
afterwards served Mr. Cary as clerk in the Land Office.
Subsequent to this he was postmaster at Sparta, by
appointment ; and was also elected justice of the peace,
which office he continued to hold for more than thirty
years. He was, at length, elected to the position of
tax assessor of the county, where he displayed such
rare efficiency that he was re-elected for several suooes-
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 161
sive terms. About the year 1845-46, he was elected
Clerk of tlie Circuit Court. In 1849, he engaged in
a political contest with A. D. Cary for the Probate
Judgeship. He was defeated by only thirty votes, and
by a man of the most decided strength in the county.
The close approximation to success in this election
manifested the estimate which was placed upon his
worth by the good people of Conecuh. Upon the
resignation of Stephen C. Eichardson as sheriff of
Conecuh county, the office was tendered Mr. Forbes
by the Governor of Alabama, but this offer he de-
clined. At the close of the late war, he was appointed
Eevenue Assessor for the United States District, and
none could have performed the duties pertaining to
this office with greater efficiency. Mr. Forbes was a
gentleman of even temperament, of much native dig-
nity, and of superior qualifications for business. His
memory was proverbially exact. The different sta-
tions held by himself during his life, had led him
largely into the investigation of the legal science, and
within a given compass of law no opinion could ex-
ceed his in exactness. He was freely resorted to for
legal advice, which was gratuitously given. Politi-
cally, Mr. Forbes was a Democrat. He was emphati-
cally a Union Democrat, both before and after the
war. In March, 1876, he suffered from a paralytic
stroke, from which he never recovered. After a sick-
ness of seventeen days his spirit passed from earth
into the boundless Beyond. The verdict of Judge
Cary upon the reception of the news of his death, was
162 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
that of every one who knew him with any degree of
intimacy: "Conecuh county has lost one of its best
citizens. He was the most correct business man I
ever knew 1 "
DR. SOLOMON S. FORBES,
brother to Sherman G. Forbes, beheld the light, first,
in 1827, in the town of Canton, Connecticut. He
emigrated southward and reached Sparta in 1852,
where he engaged in teaching a school. This he dis-
continued, however, after six months, and addressed
himself to the study of medicine, under the tutorship
of Dr. John Anderson. In 1854 he attended medical
lectures in Albany, New York, at the Union Medical
College. Here he graduated three months before the
expiration of his term of study, received his diploma,
and started westward. He opened an ofiice at Sauk
Eapids, in the Minnesota Territory, eighty miles
above St. Paul. He continued his practice in this
region for eight months, until the arctic breath of
winter brought with it a vivid reminder of the bland
climate and fervid skies of the far South, and without
delay he left the hyperborean region of Northern
Minnesota and returned to Alabama. Coming again
to Conecuh, he located at Bellville, in 1856, and con-
tinued the practice of his chosen profession until 1872,
During this interval he was President of the Board
of Examination for the county, Vice-President of the
County Medical Association, and 2nd Eecording Sec-
retary of the Medical Association of Alabama. During
mSTORT OP CONBOUH. 168
the year 1872 he removed to Milton, Florida, where
he continues the practice of medicine. The citizens
of Milton have honored him for three successive terms
with the mayoralty, and upon his election the third
time, it was his humorous boast that he had beaten
General Grant for "the third term." Dr. Forbes is a
gentleman of cultivated taste and of polished manners.
A vein of genuine humor pervades his nature, which,
coupled with his accomplishments, makes him quite
companionable in the social circle.
MARK BUTLER TRAVIS.
Few men have left a more illustrious record to the
future generations of Conecuh, than Mark Butler
Travis. His life was one of chivalrous heroism and
of devotion to his country. He was born in the
neighborhood of Old Town,- on May 18th, 1827. At
quite an early age he evinced remarkable aptness in
the acquisition of knowledge, while attending the
schools of the neighborhood. Having pursued a
course of medical study under the supervision of Dr.
John Watkins, he left his home, when a stripling of
only seventeen, to attend medical lectures in a distant
State. But Mars was a more attractive personage to
his chivalrous mind than jEsculapius, and while
en route to college, he met the famous Palmetto Eegi-
ment, of South Carolina, on their way to join General
Scott, in Mexico, and the blood of our young hero
grew so warm within him, that he determined to enlist
in the regiment and to go with them to Mexico. This
164 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
he did, and shared with them the glories of Contreras
and Cherubusco. In the latter named battle, he re-
ceived a wound in the head, and was thereby pre-
vented from being with his regiment when they
entered the Mexican Capital. Eecov.ering from his
wound, he rejoined his comrades and served with
patriotic efficiency throughout the remainder of the
struggle. Returning to his home, he was honored by
his fellow citizens with the office of Colonel of Militia,
and was afterwards made General of Militia, over
Col. Brock Henderson, of Butler. The people of
Conecuh showed him deserved consideration by eleva-
ting him to the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court,
which he held for four consecutive terms. He was
universally known as an ardent Democrat, and yet
such was his personal popularity, that serious inroads
were invariably made by him into the ranks of the
opposite party, and hence his unbroken political suc-
cess. When again the clash of conflict summoned
the men of the South to arms. General Travis was
among the first to respond. He enlisted in the
Conecuh Guards — the first company that left the
county. He was made the 2nd lieutenant of this
company, and went with it to Virginia. The following
anecdote is related of him, as connected with the battle
of Bull Ran. At the time of the fall of the gallant
Colonel Jpnes, the Fourth Alabama Regiment, to which
the Conecuh Guards belonged, seemed threatened with
utter extermination by the peculiarity of its surround-
ings. Becoming cognizant of this fearful fact, a panic
HISTOBY OF CONECUH. 166
seemed inevitable, and brave men began to turn their
feet and faces toward the rear. Seeing the perilous
situation, Lieutenant Travis endeavored to stay the
flight of the regiment, and stood before the retreating
columns with brandished sword, begging them not to
fly. He was suddenly confronted by a burly Teuton,
whose glaring eyes, open mouth and thin nostrils
showed that he was the victim of a stupendous fright,
and as he witnessed the efforts of Travis to check the
flying columns, he blurted out: "0, mine friendt, my
life is too schweet!" Lieutenant Travis, seeing that
all efforts to arrest the flight were useless, himself
joined in and sought a more secure position. He was
sadly encumbered by a pair of heavy horse-skin
boots, which provoked Dr. Taliaferro to say to him as
he ran past : "Lieutenant, you had better look out, or
Barnum will have those boots in his Museum before
night ! " The subject of this sketch died of pneumonia,
at his home, in 1864. There were combined in his
character many elements of true nobility.
JOHN DUDLEY GARY.
Conspicuous among the worthies of Conecuh county
is he whose name is placed at the head of this sketch.
He was brought to Conecuh, by his parents, when
quite an infant, having been born in Sumter District,
South Carolina, on the 20th of January, 1820. Having
been reared by a father whose uprightness was pro-
verbial in the county, Mr. Cary became an elegant
gentleman, and one eminently fitted to the positions
166 mSTORY OT CONEOtTH.
which he was summoned to occupy during his life.
His first attainment to distinction was in 1841, when
he had barely reached maturity. During this year
he was elected county clerk, and in 1845 was re-
elected to the same position. But for his personal
popularity, he would have sustained defeat in the
second contest, as he had to encounter the serious
difficulties of leading a party whose voting power was
in the minority, and of confronting a candidate who
himself enjoyed the confidence of the people — William
M. Bradley. The second victory of Mr. Gary was
exceedingly creditable to him, as he led his opponent,
in the face of the barriers already alluded to, with a
majority of sixty-eight. In 1857 he was sent by
the popular voice of the county to the Legislature.
Having been renominated two years later, for the
same office, he was again elected, defeating Hon. F.
M. Walker. Like his father, he enjoyed the confi-
dence of the masses, which was manifest whenever he
presented himself before them for their suffrage. He
removed to Florida in January, 1872, and died just a
month later, leaving a wife and five children.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 167
The War Record of Conecuh — Intense Excitement — Conecuh Patri-
otism — Conecuh Guards, &c.
The election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency
of the United States in 1860, was the signal for the
clash of conflict. For successive decades the storm
had been gathering, and the delay only rendered more
terrific its fury when at length it did burst upon the
country. Petty sectional issues had grown into giant
proportions, and by their strength had drawn the
North and South face to face, with demonstrations the
most hostile. A review of these issues need not here
be attempted, as they are familiar to all. We have
only to do with the part borne in that period of car-
nage by the brave sons of Conecuh. Her people felt
as deeply as did any, the force of the great questions
which were moving the masses throughout the broad
land of States. The withdrawal of Alabama from
the Union, sent a tremor of patriotic thrill throughout
the hosts of her brave men, and under the impulse of
this power, they formed themselves into military
organizations, and repaired at once to the scene of
Among the companies earliest enlisted for this ap-
proaching struggle, was that of the Conecuh Guards.
They were organized at Sparta, April 1st, 1861, and
on the 24:th of the same month they left their homes
168 HISTOBY OF OONBCtJH.
for the seat of war in Virginia. Through the zealous
efforts of some noble women, among whom were the
Misses Stearns and Mathews, Mrs. Jay and Mrs.
Dubose, a magnificent banner had been ordered for
the gallant company, and reached Sparta just the day
before their departure for Virginia. A large con-
course had gathered at the Sparta depot to witness
the formal presentation of the flag and to take affec-
tionate leave of friends and loved ones. Master
Henry Stearns. held the banner during its presenta-
tion, and on either side of him stood three young
ladies, dressed so as to represent the States that had
withdrawn from the Union. Miss Irene Stearns
represented South Carolina; Miss Kate Autrey, Geor-
gia; Miss L. Henderson, Florida; Miss Mathews,
Alabama ; Miss 0. Gary, Mississippi ; Miss S. Crosby,
Louisiana. This group, having been confronted by
the company, drawn up in order, Miss Mathews pro-
ceeded to deliver the following
Gentlemen of the Guards : — The clouds which have
so long impended over us, have burst at last in the
fury of war, the tocsin has sounded, your country has
summoned you to arms, and nobly answering to her
call, you have assembled here to bid adieu to old
familiar scenes and faces, and to receive in return our
parting words of encouragement and cheer. We
admire your valor, we love your patriotism, we par-
take of your enthusiasm, and as a token of these feel-
HISTOBY OP OONKCUH. 169
ings we have assembled to-day, to present to you this
banner, consecrated by a thousand loving wishes — a
thousand earnest prayers. The light of spring is on the
Southern hills, a thousand flowers lend fragrance to
the breeze, a thousand birds are warbling songs of
love — the friends of your youth, the companions of
your boyhood, are around you — all is peace, and
beauty, and tranquility. But the gleam of sunlight
upon gay uniforms and flashing steel, reminds me (of
what I would fain forget) that from all these you must
turn away — that you must exchange the quiet of
these green old woods, in all their spring-tide beauty,
for the turmoil of the camp ; sweet bird songs and
loving tones, for the musket's rattle and the cannon's
roar; kindly smiles and familiar faces, for the whizzing
ball and deadly bayonet. In these perils we may not
participate — we may not share with you the battle's
rage, nor partake of the hardships and privations of
a military career — but we, too, have our mission. It is
ours to give you words of sympathy and cheer, to
animate you by our enthusiasm, to encourage you to
deeds of noble daring. Our prayers shall attend you
our smiles shall welcome your return, and should it
be the fate of any here to fill a warrior's grave, his
name shall be embalmed with our heartfelt tears and
cherished forever in our inmost memories. As the
Spartan women in the olden times sent forth their
loved ones to the battle, bidding them never to return
unless graced with the laurel wreaths of victory, so do
we now bid you go forth, to return to us only when
170 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
our native land is free. I profess to be endowed with
no gift of prophecy, but Ifeel^ I know, that the South
will be victorious in the approaching conflict. Already
has the telegraph brought to us " great news from the
Carolinas," and our ears welcomed the salutes which
ushered in the victory. Already has one important
stronghold yielded to our arms, and the Black Repub-
lican flag gone down dishonored, before the proud
banner of the Confederate States. Naturally gallant
and chivalrous, the sous of the South have plucked
Fame's proudest laurels
** Oa many a field of strife made red
By bloody victory."
In the thickest of the fight has ever rang the Southern
war-cry ; going as gayly to the battle as to a/e^e cham-
petre. No foe has ever yet withstood the rush of
Southern steel, and in such a cause as we are now en-
gaged, our armies must prove invincible. Battling
on their own soil, in the holy cause of Freedom, in
defence of their homes and loved ones, and in short,
of all that is nearest and dearest to the hearts of men,
they will know no such word as "fail," and Victory
must be their handmaid. The war may be long, it
may be bloody, but there can be but one result — the
eagle of victory will finally perch upon the banner of
our young Republic. Go, then, " where glory awaits
you," and may this flag, which, in the name of the
ladies of Conecuh county, I present to you to-day,
float ever like the white plume of King Henry of
Navarre, in the very front of battle. Then
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 171
"Take thy banner, may it wave
Ever o'er the free and brave ;
Guard it 'till our homes are free,
Guard it — God will prosper, thee."
At the conclasion it was presented to Captain
Bowles, and, in behalf of his company, he expressed
his thanks for this expression of encouragement.
The company embarked on the following morning
for Montgomery, receiving a number of accessions to
its ranks at Evergreen.* The organization and de-
parture of the Conecuh Guards, were speedily followed
by the organization of other companies in the county,
while others joined companies from the surrounding
counties. Quite a number of the gallant boys of
Conecuh entered the ranks of the Monroe Guards.
The patriotism of no county was more profoundly
stirred than was that of Conecuh. Not only did
brave young men leave the comforts and clustering
associations of palatial homes, and set their faces
toward the uninviting camp and the perilous field;
but brave mothers, wives and sisters, sought to inspire
them with timely words and deeds of sacrifice. And
great was the patriotic generosity manifested by very
many of the oldest citizens, in supplying the families
of absent soldiers with food. Draught after draught,
was made upon the barns and smokehouses of men
too old for service, by the families of those upon
whose labors they had been dependent for the neces-
* A complete list, together with a succinct history of the company,
will be found in the Appendix.
174 mSTOBY OF OONKCUH.
purpose of reconnoitering. When they had come
withia three or four miles of Evergreen, they sud-
denly encountered a small squad of Spurlin's com-
mand, that had been sent forward upon the Bellville
road to guard against any sudden demonstration on
the part of the citizens, while the chief command was
moving along the dirt road toward Sparta. This squad
had dismounted near the Bradley Plantation, in a
sudden curve of the road, to burn a wagon, which had
just been captured, when the Bellville deputation rode
suddenly upon them. The surprise was equally
shared in by both parties, but evidences of precipitate
flight having been first given by the reconnoitering
Bellvillians, nothing was left the invaders but a hot
pursuit. With a clattering pell-mell, the citizen sol-
diery, still clinging to their shot-guns, fled back
toward home. All would have reached their homes
in safety, but for a diseased horse, which was ridden
by Willie McCreary. Unable to keep abreast of the
others in the stampede, his animal continued to
slacken in speed until he was finally overtaken at
Hunter's creek. Here, Willie, then a lad of sixteen,
fell into the hands of the enemy, and was sent at once
to Ship Island, as a prisoner of war. The extreme
northern portion of Conecuh suffered somewhat from
the depredations of Wilson's raid during the following
The events just recorded, were but the prelude of a
scene of chaotic confusion throughout the county.
Ujifortunately for its inhabitants, this disaster was
HISTOBT OF CONBOUH. 175
introduced just at a season when every thing turned
upon activity on the farm, and when entire cessation
of^ labor would have been well nigh calamitous.
^ Following in the wake of these local troubles, was
the surrender of the armies of the Confederacy, and
the sudden close of the war. With the crops just
springing into luxuriant promise, the slaves were liber-
ated, and in their exhilaration, they left their old homes
in vast crowds, and thronged the Federal camps.
Utter lawlessness everywhere prevailed. Demoraliza-
tion was wide-spread and rampant. Gloom was depicted
in every countenance as men gazed upon a scene of uni-
versal disaster. The Southern soldier, returning to
his home, after years of privation, either maimed or
poverty-stricken, if not both, was confronted by the
wreck and ruin of war_j But with a heroism, just as
marked as that which they had evinced on the weary
march, or upon the field of carnage, they addressed
themselves to the work of repairing their shattered
fortunes, and of providing for loved ones. Their
heroism was not more conspicuous under the leader-
ship of Lee, Jackson and Johnston, than it was in
peacefully following their vocations after the tattered
banner had been folded, and the cannon hushed in
The following is a list of the county officers who
served during this period :
176 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
JUDGES OF PROBATE.
1862— A. D. Gary.*
1864 — Jolin M. Henderson, f
1863— William M. Strange.
1864— William A. Duke.
1861— D. 0. Davis.
1865— William A. Ashley.
1861— William A. Ashley.
1863— William Greene.
1865— F. M. Walker.
♦Disqualified by age in 1863.
t Appointed by Governor Watts to fill the unexpired term.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 177
A Chapter of Biography— James A. Stall worth — William A. Ashley —
Bev. W. C. Morrow — J. M. Henderson, etc.
JAMES A. STALLWORTH
was the most distinguished of the sons of Conecuh.
Highly gifted with brilliant parts, of pleasing address
and commanding person, h^ combined all the elements
requisite to success in the realm of politics. He was
born near the village of Evergreen, on April 7th,
1822. He became an orphan quite early, his mother
having died when he was but three years of age.
When he was but fourteen, he was left entirely
parentless by the death of his father. His scholastic
training was merely academical. His career as a
student was spent in the academy at Evergreen. But
such was the readiness with which he could always
command his resources, that every one was impressed
with the idea that his mental training was of the
highest order. So deeply impressed was the Hon. Frank
Beck, of Wilcox, with his social ease and graceful
mien, and his ability as an orator, that he asked him,
while both were representatives together in the Leg-
islature, "Stallworth, from what college did you
graduate ? " He expressed great surprise when he was
told, "I never attended college." At quite an early
age Mr. Stallworth gave promise of future ability.
178 HISTOBY OF OOKBOIJH.
His powers of oratory were quite marked when he
was but a boy. At the early age of eighteen he was
married to Miss Harriet E. Crosby, eldest daughter
of John Crosby. His marriage was quite fortunate
for his future success in life. Inheriting, to a large
degree, the energy and executive ability of her father,
Mrs. Stallworth contributed largely to the growing
success of her husband. Soon after his marriage he
began planting, which he pursued for several years,
when he was called into public life by having been
nominated upon the Democratic ticket for Representa-
tive to the Legislature. In Mr. Mortimer Boulware,
young Stallworth found a strong opponent. He was
a gentleman of great personal popularity and wealth,
and was connected with one of the wealthiest families
in the county. Mr. Stallworth, who had scarcely
passed his twenty-second year, awoke a sensation
wherever he went in the county, so brilliant was his
oratory, and so cordial was his address. Large acces-
sions were drawn from the ranks of the Whig Party,
and he was elected, first, to the Legislature in 1845.
He was renominated by the Democrats in 1847, and
was again elected by a largely increased majority over
his Whig competitor. Judge H. F. Stearns. During
his last term of service in the Legislature he entered
upon the study of law, and after adequate preparation,
was admitted to practice. By force of talent he rose
rapidly as a lawyer, having entered at once upon a
most lucrative practice. So distinguished had his
ability at the bar become, that in 1850 he was elected
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 179
to the solicitorship of the Second Judicial Circuit. In
this new position he had to encounter the ripe expe-
rience of one of the ablest bars in the State; and yet
so nobly did he acquit himself that he came to be
recognized as one of the best prosecuting attorneys
the State ever had. In 1855 he resigned his position
as solicitor and accepted the nomination for Congrcvss
of the Democratic Party, against Col. Percy Walker,
of Mobile — the candidate of the Know-Nothing Party.
Though defeated in this contest, Colonel Stallworth
added new lustre to his rapidly-rising star, as an able
debater and eloquent exponent of the political issues
of the period. In 1857 he was again honored with
the nomination of his party, for Congress. The result
of this contest was the election of Colonel Stallworth,
by quite a handsome majority, over Col. John McKas-
kill, of Wilcox. Two years later still, he was renomi-
nated for Congress, and this time defeated Col. Fred
Sheppard, of Mobile. Colonel Stallworth remained
in Congress until the passage of the ordinance of
secession by the Alabama Convention, when he,
together with the remainder of the Alabama delega-
tion, withdrew. Returning to his home, he contribu-
ted largely of his means to the cause of the young
Confederacy. His declining health forbade his en-
trance into the army, but his sons were among the
first to enlist, though quite young. Colonel Stall-
worth died at his home, in Evergreen, on the 31st
of August, 1861. Daring the brief period of sixteen
years, he had occupied several of the most prominent
positions in life.
180 HISTORY OF CONEOUH.
Harper's Weekly^ of February 9th, 1861, has this
to say with regard to the subject of our sketch : " James
A. Stallworth, who represents the First, or Mobile
District, in the House of Representatives, was born in
Conecuh county, Alabama, on the 7th of April, 1822.
After having received an academical education, he
studied law, passed a high examination, and has since
enjoyed a lucrative practice. He was twice elected
District Attorney for the circuit in which he practices,
and was a member of the Legislature from 1845 to
1848. After having been defeated by the Know-
Nothings, he was in 1857 elected to Congress, where
he is a universal favorite, ever ready with an anecdote
or repartee, yet none the less determined in maintain-
ing the rights of his native State." Colonel Stall-
worth was a man of the noblest natural impulses.
Most princely in hospitality, he frequently drew
around his family board many of his truest friends.
It is a matter of deep regret that one of such vast
lisefulness, and possessed with so many elements of
greatness, should have been swept into a premature
grave. He passed away at the early age of thirty-
WILLIAM A. ASHLEY.
The reputation enjoyed by this prominent Conecuhian
was far from being local. His sterling ability was
recognized throughout the Commonwealth of Alabama.
William Adam Ashley was a native of Conecuh coun-
ty, having been born in 1822. After an academical
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 181
training in the schools near his father's home, he
entered the East Tennessee University, at Knoxville,
from which institution he was graduated. After his
return to his home he married Miss Amanda Thomas,
a daughter of Major Thomas. His attention was first
devoted to planting, — but one with such distinguished
qualifications for public service could not be suffered
to address himself solely to his private interests. He
was summoned into public life first in 1849, when the
Whig Party of Conecuh named him as the champion
of its principles, and nominated him for the Legisla-
ture. His success was easily attained. So conspic-
uous was his usefulness in his new rofe, that he was
returned during the following canvass in 1851. Two
years later he was elected to the State Senate, in which
capacity he served for four years. In 1861 he was
again elected to the lower house from Conecuh. During
this year, too, he was Presidential elector for Messrs.
Davis and Stephens. In 1865 he was returned to the
Senate for four years — which terminated his publie
Mr. Ashley was a man of solid, rather than shining
qualities. Cool, deliberate, of unerring judgment, and
withal, highly scrupulous, no one was better fitted
than himself to serve his people during the trying
ordeals through which they were called to pass during
much of his public career. He was emphatically a
patriot. Although he supported the Bell and Everett
ticket in the memorable canvass of 1860, and though
he opposed secession in 1861, Mr. Ashley did not
182 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
falter a moment in sustaining the cause of the South
throughout the hard struggle. " His wealth and his
personal services" — says Mr. Garrett, in his "Public
Men of Alabama" — "were devoted to the public
defence." During the war many a Confederate soldier,
weary and footsore oftentimes, found a cordial welcome
beneath the hospitable roof of Mr. Ashley. After the
close of the war, and when the work of the infamous
Eeconstruction measures was commenced in the South,
Mr. Ashley denounced it in unmeasured terms as being
the essence of tyranny.
He died at his home on Hampden Eidge, February
12th, 1870, and was buried in the Thomas burial
ground. Thus there passed away that honored son of
Conecuh before he had reached the meridian of life.
Simple justice demands that appropriate reference be
made in this connection to his most estimable wife,
who honored her distinguished husband, and aided
greatly in his elevation in life. The liberal and refined
hospitality for which he was so noted, was enhanced
by the conspicuous part borne by herself in its dis-
REV. WILLIAM C. MORROW
was a native of Pulaski county, Tennessee, where he
was born on June 6th, 1815. At an early age he re-
moved to Alabama, where he spent the major part of
his life. When he was quite young, he was received
as a member into the Presbyterian Church, and under
its auspices fitted for the ministry. He continued his
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 183
connection with this denomination until 1841 or 1842,
when his views upon certain cardinal principles un-
derwent a complete change, and he at once joined a
Baptist church. His first charge was the Old Flat
Creek Church, at TurnbuU, in Monroe county. Re-
markably gifted as a speaker, and unusually skillful
in debate, he at once took high rank in the Baptist
ministry. On different occasions he became the cham-
pion of his cherished principles in the field of polem-
ics, and was justly esteemed an ardent advocate of the
peculiar tenets held by his denomination. Such was
the ability displayed by himself on several occasions,
in the delivery of sermons, that their publication was
earnestly sought, and they found enduring form in
pamphlet shape. Mr. Morrow's secular interests, to-
gether with his declining health in later years, with-
drew him gradually from the pulpit ; so that, for more
than an entire decade, toward the close of his life, he
had no pastoral charge. He died at his home in
Evergreen, on October 16th, 1879, in the sixty-fifth
year of his age.
JOHN M. HENDERSON.
Among the men of worth produced by Conecuh is
John M. Henderson. His place of birth was Brook-
lyn, and the time October 14th, 1824. He was edu-
cated in the schools of his native county, and never
enjoyed the advantages of a course of training in col-
lege. Notwithstanding this, his mental attainments
were by no means of a limited character. His mind
184 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
was well stored with useful information gleaned from
different fields of thought. His debut into public life
was when his father, David F. Henderson, became
sheriff of Conecuh. The son — then just budding into
manhood — served the father as an efficient deputy.
Subsequent to this he entered the mercantile business
at Sparta, in which he remained until 1860. During
this period he was treasurer of the county for one or
two terms. In 1860 he removed to Pensacola, Florida,
where, with marked success, he was engaged for some
time as a commission merchant. Pensacola having
become a scene of exciting hostility after the com-
mencement of the war in 1861, Mr. Henderson re-
turned to Conecuh and built a handsome home near
Castleberry, and was instrumental in the establishment
of a depot at that point. The advancing demands of
the armies of the Confederacy for increased strength,
made an appeal to the patriotism of Mr. Henderson,
and such that he could not resist. Together with
General Martin, he raised a company of volunteers, of
which Martin became captain, and himself 1st lieu-
tenant. The company was connected with the Thirty-
eighth Alabama Regiment. Mr. Henderson remained
in active service about two years, when he was ap-
pointed by Governor Watts, Judge of Probate of
Conecuh county, to succeed Judge Cary, who had re-
signed because of a constitutional provision forbid-
ding the occupancy of the office beyond a specified
age. The ability which he brought to this new sta-
tion enabled him to meet its demands in such way as
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 185
to win distinction to himself and to impart unusual
satisfaction to his constituency. This position he con-
tinued to hold until the dawn of the Reconstruction
period, when he was ejected against the popular vote
of the county, and A. W. Jones was elevated to the
Retiring to his home at Castleberry, he remained
here but a short while, when he removed to Brewton,
and thence to Mill View, Florida — at both of which
places he was engaged in the milling and timber busi-
ness, with varied success and misfortune. He died
at Mill View, of typhoid dysentery, on September 9th,
1872. His remains were transferred to Sparta, where
they were interred in the old family burial ground.
Judge Henderson was a typical Southern gentleman.
Of commanding person and dignified mien, he excited
the profoundest respect in every circle which he en-
tered. His whole course of life bore the stamp of
true manliness. He was exceedingly scrupulous with
regard to the slightest promise. Toward the close of
his life he evinced unusual solicitude in regard to his
children, precipitated, as their lives had been, into the
midst of the wide-spread demoralization which fol-
lowed in the wake of the war. His family are still
residents of the county.
DR. MILTON AMOS,
who was one of the earliest residents of the county,
and for many years one of her most distinguished
physicians, was born in the State of Maryland, about
186 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
the year 1781. At an early age he turned his thoughts
to the study of medicine, and afterwards finished his
course in Philadelphia. Eemoving to Jones county,
Georgia, he was married to Miss Reese. In the year
1818 or 1819 he came, with his young bride, to the
wild scenes of South Alabama. His first point of
location was at Cotten's Bluff, about twenty miles be-
low Brooklyn. Here he resided for only a year, when
he removed to Brooklyn, which gave early promise of
vast importance in the future. When he came to this
place, which afterwards became the most conspicuous
point in the county, he found but two families residing
here — those of Mr. Edwin Robinson, a merchant, and
Mr. Thompson, the owner of the ferry on Conecuh
river. During the period of his residence here, he
had an extensive practice — reaching to all portions of
the county, and even beyond. In 1835 he changed
his location to Bellville. Again, he removed to Mil-
ton, Florida, in 1850. The town of Milton derived
its name from that of his own. Dr. Amos died in
Escambia county, in 1875, at the advanced age of
ninety-four years. He has left a record of honored
DR. WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM.
This distinguished physician was born in Mecklen-
burg county, Virginia, on April 21st, 1809. His med-
ical training was secured in Philadelphia, where he
was graduated when quite a young man. Returning
to his Virginian home, he determined to seek a sphere
HISTORY or CONBCUH. 187
for the exercise of his talents in the far South. Hence
he removed to Alabama, and located first at Monte-
vallo, in Shelby county. Thence he removed to Ar-
kansas, and purchased lands upon Red river. A brief
sojourn here was altogether sufficient to satisfy any
longings which he might hav6 had for the much-
talked-of West, and he again turned his face toward
Alabama. Removing farther south than before, he
founded a home in Monroe county — the one now
occupied by Hon. W. T. Nettles, and but a short dis-
tance from the present site of Kempville. In 1842,
he served Monroe county in the lower branch of
the Legislature. About this time he suffered the
saddest of misfortunes — the loss of his wife — when he
removed a few miles south of Burnt Corn, and built
a handsome residence, just within the limits of Cone-
cuh. Here he continued to reside until his death.
With remarkable success Dr. Cunningham combined
planting with the practice of medicine. He shared in
the general "wreck and ruin" incident to the war.
By thrift and skillful management he had become the
possessor of a vast estate before the war. Dr. Cun-
ningham was a polished gentleman of the Old Virginia
School. He was exceedingly polite, and his urbanity
was extended to all alike.* Highly gifted as a con-
versationalist, and broadly informed upon all current
topics, he was quite companionable. His scope of
reading, however, was not restricted to the current
* The author remembers the impression produced upon his child-
ish mind by the gentle politeness of Dr. Gunninghan^.
188 HISTORY or CONECUH.
literature of the period. His fondness for study led
him into the investigation of all sciences, alike. He
was one of those remarkable spirits, who was prepared
to impart information in regard to almost every
subject. By the sprightliness of his conversation he
always shed a wholesome radiance into the chamber
of sickness. To these superior qualities of personal
character was added that of exceeding great fondness
for the fine arts. No one had a keener appreciation
for excellent music, or works of art, than himself.
Naturally hospitable, his pleasant home was the fre-
quent resort of congenial associates. He contributed
with unstinted hand to the war waged for Southern
Independence. Besides contributing three sons to the
armies of the Confederacy, he sustained the families
of other men, who were absent upon "the tented
field." Dr. Cunningham died at his home, on August
HISTOBY OF CONBCUH. 189
Dark Sway of Reconstructionism — Social Chaos — ^Demoralization —
Local Troubles — Sovereignty of the Bayonet — The Negro as a
Politician — How the New Order of Things Affected Southern
Society — Heroism Displayed, &c.
Nothing equalled the wild chaos which prevailed
in the South, just subsequent to the close of the
war. The disorder introduced by invading armies,
the derangement of the system of labor by the
sudden emancipation of the slaves, the crash ex-
perienced by the heavy loss sustained by their former
owners, the shock of disappointment at the failure of
Southern arms — all these produced a universal gloom
among the whites of the South. Exhilarated by the
consciousness that he was no longer under the re-
straint of a master, the negro unceremoniously threw
aside the implements of labor, and met his fellows
where they were wont to gather, from day to day, in
the rural village, at the depots, in the towns and
crowded cities. All industry was suddenly paralyzed.
There was a painful consciousness in the minds of the
most reflective that no shield of legal defence existed,
and that for once, society was launched upon a wild
and stormy sea of disorder. Prompted by the innate
principle of self-defence, every man resolved to protect,
as far as possible, his own interests against the inva-
sion of lawlessness. Hence it was to be expected that
190 HISTORY OF CONfiCUa.
there would be occasional outbreaks of disorder.
Robbery was by no means a rare occurrence, and here
and there a murder was committed, while differences
between the two races were frequently arising. Noth-
ing of a serious nature arose in Conecuh. After the
establishment, by the government, of military dis-
tricts, troops were quartered at several points in the
county, but here, as elsewhere, they were productive
of more disorder than quiet. Every local camp
became a kind of confessional, to which the negro
would, for the most part, resort, not to confess his own
sins, but to make confession of the sins of his white
neighbor, and perhaps former owner, especially if
these sins had the slightest relation to himself. Hence
squads of cavalrymen were traversing the country-
districts, hunting up the perpetrators of reported mis-
demeanors, and great was the annoyance to which the
people were subjected by these petty commanders of
local posts. The feeling of demoralization, which
came immediately upon the heels of the war, was
gradually displaced by that of desperation, as the peo-
ple witnessed the removal, by military orders, of the
entire official incumbency of the civil positions, and
their places filled by military appointees. Legally
enfranchised, the blacks swarmed around the ballot-
boxes at the first opportunity, and seemed greatly to
relish the privilege of citizenship, though they were
totally ignorant of the consequence of voting. Con-
flicting elements would soon have been tranquilized,
and serene peace would again have smiled upon the
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 191
desolate'fields of the South, and would have kindled
new hopes in the bosoms of her impoverished people,
had not a horde of unprincipled politicians swarmed
into the States, and fanned into intenser heat the
hostility between the races. These, unfortunately,
found fellow-helpers among the whites of the South,
who, stimulated by no higher motive than self-
aggrandizement, sought to widen the chasm between
the races, in order to command the negro vote, and
secure to themselves the spoils of office. Among
those who contributed to this race agitation in Conecuh
were William P. Miller and Rev. A. W. Jones.
In the midst of this wide- spread anarchy, created
by the war and its disastrous results, it is wonder-
ful that there was evinced such elasticity on the part
of Southern society. A revolution could not have
been more sudden or complete, than that into which
the society of the South was precipitated ; and yet the
ease with which it was speedily adjusted to the exist-
ing order of things, was indeed marvelous. Men had
risen from the most straitened circumstances into easy
competency, and with a contentment at once natural
and legitimate, were quietly resting from their early
toils ; and yet, when the crash of disaster came, they
had to resume the hard labor of other days, in order
to provide the actual necessities of life. Women,
unused to domestic drudgery, and the thousand cares
of which they had been relieved by competent serv-
ants, had to face the dire inevitable, and grapple with
the duties to which a disastrous war had subjected
192 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
them. But with the energy and elasticity for which
the Anglo-Saxon race is so famous, these heroic men
and women bravely met these trying odds, and dis-
tinguished themselves as signally as did their soldier
boys upon the bloody field. Year by year, the South
emerged from the wreck of the dark and bloody past,
her people came more and more to take a calm and
dispassionate view of "the situation," the lines of race
prejudice were growing gradually dimmer, a spirit of
industry began to awaken the sluggish energies of
the people, and a wholesome change was being mani-
festly wrought in all directions.
The one event of marked interest in Conecuh,
during the year 1866, was the removal of the seat of
justice from Sparta to Evergreen. Two principal
causes contributed to this removal. The first -was the
total destruction of the court house at Sparta, with
all the county records, and the second was the grow-
ing importance of Evergreen, and its easy accessibility
from all portions of the county. Two years later,
Conecuh lost a portion of her southern territory by
the formation of Escambia county. This county was
established by an act approved December 10th, 1868.
It was carved from Conecuh and Baldwin counties.
It has not been allowed separate representation in the
General Assembly, until the last few years.
List of county officers from 1865 to 1870 :
HISTORY OF OONKOUH. 193
JUDGES OF PROBATE.
1868— John M. Henderson *
1868— A. W. Jones.
1867 — ^James Fortner.
1868— J. Yates.
* 1870— J. W. Ethridge.
* Removed by military force and succeeded by A. W. Jones.
t Of Illinois — appointed by the military authorities.
194 mSTOBT OF CONECUH.
** Peep o' Day " — Darkness Clearing Away — Advancement of Order —
Returning Signs of Prosperity— The People Becoming Them-
selves Again — A Glance at Current Events up to the Present.
The period about which I now write, was anticipa-
ted in the closing remarks of the last chapter. Several
years elapsed before the people of Conecuh could
withdraw sufficiently far from the reign of disorder
to address themselves to the re-establishment of their
institutions, and the resuscitation of their shattered
fortunes. But a steady- growing resolution was pos-
sessing the people, and gradually the signs of return-
ing prosperity began to show themselves in every
quarter. Of cour.^e this growing change was largely
due to the revolution in politics. The combined
powers of ignorance and selfishness were gradually
giving way before the strong assertion of intelligence
and public-spiritedness. Instead of being represented
by men who were hostile to the public interest, the
people were eventually able to send representatives of
their choice. The wholesome legislation so sadly
needed by the masses in their depressed condition,
was eventually secured,, and impartial officers elected
to execute it.
The colored people, having realized the extent of the
boon of liberation, and the relation which bound them
to the whites, resumed, with commendable spirit, their
HiSTOity 01^ CONECUH. 195
former habits of industry in the field, the shop, the
home, and thus contributed, in no small degree, to the
prosperity which all, in common, now enjoy. Few
have been the events that have disturbed the increas-
ing growth of harmony in Conecuh, within the last
In the summer of 1877 a painful event occurred in
the quiet town of Evergreen, and one, the circum-
stances of which rendered it more painful, because of
the parties connected therewith. SheriiflF B. M. Burns,
of Monroe county, while on official business in Conecuh,
was engaged in a game of billiards with William
Ashley, son of the late Senator Ashley, when a disa-
greement arose between them, and Mr. Ashley was
shot and killed by Sheriff Burns. Intense excitement
was created in both counties by the sad and unex-
pected tragedy, because of the prominence both of
the slayer and the slain. After two years, Mr. Burns
was tried at Evergreen and sentenced to hard labor
for the county for a limited term of months.
To recount the events which have transpired from
year to year, would be to tell the deeds of a deter-
mined people to make their section fairer, better and
more inviting, than during any period of the past.
Of the material elements with which they have to
deal, I have occasion to write more at length in a
The following list contains the officers of the county
from 1870 up to the present time :
196 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
JUDGES OF PROBATE.
1874— F. M. Walker.
1880— F. M. Walker.*
1880— Perry 0. Walker.
1869— James Fortner. ||
1874— John Angle.
1877— Robert J. McCreary.
1880— John Angle.
1874 — George Christian.
1880— William Beard.
1870— William Miller, Jr.
1874— William Miller, Jr.f
1874— E. W. Martin,:]:
1877— J. H. Dunklin. §
* Resigned and was succeeded, by gubernatorial appointment, by
his son, P. C. Walker.
II Retained in office, under the Reconstruction Acts, until 1874.
t Successful contestant of the seat with Gen. E. W. Martin, be-
fore the tribunal of a Republican Legislature.
X Seat given him upon the decision of the Democratic Legislature,
that he was the year before fraudulently ejected.
§ Died before the expiration of his term.
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 197
1878— David Buell. ||
1880— G. R. Parnham.
1872— N. StaUwortli.
1874— N. Stallworth.
1876— A. J. Robinson.
1878— Eli Clarke.
1880— A. J. Robinson.
I Elected to fill unexpired term.
198 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
Present Represuutative Men of Conecuk — Rev. Andrew Jay — Dr.
J. L. Shaw, etc.
Approaching, as we are, the conclusion of our
county history, so thrilling in historic event, and so
conspicuous in the biography of prominent spirits, it
has been thought proper to devote attention to those
who are at present recognized as the representative
men of Conecuh. Prominent among these is
REV. ANDREW JAY,
who is a native of the county, and has shared largely
in its fortunes and its reverses. He was born within
three miles of his present home, at Jayvilla, on Feb-
ruary 16th, 1820. His father was one of thue earliest
emigrants to the county, and upon his removal
hither was quite poor. But he was not lacking in
those qualities of industry and economy, which
invariably find expression in accumulation. His
father surrounded himself and family with a compe-
tency of life's necessities. His son was early taught
the habits of industry, and has led quite an active
life. His mental acquirements were secured within
the narrow compass presented by the school facilities
of his boyhood days. When he had attained man-
hood the academy was established at Evergreen, and
for three successive sessions, he studied there with
tigitized by Google
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 199
vast advantage to himself. After his marriage to
Miss Ashley — daughter of Capt. Wilson Ashley — ^he
devoted his attention to planting. At different periods
of his life he has been elevated to positions of trust
and distinction. During the period when considera-
ble attention was bestowed upon the organization of
an efficient militia, Mr. Jay was selected as the major
of a battalion. He was successively commissioner
of roads and revenue, tax assessor and Representative
to the General Assembly. For two consecutive terms
he served Conecuh in the Legislature. Mr. Garrett,
in his "Eeminiscences of Public Men of Alabama," pays
him a deserved compliment when he speaks of his
ability as a legislator, and the marked attention
bestowed by himself upon the interests with which
his position was invested. Up to the period of the
formal emancipation of the slaves, Mr. Jay had
gathered about him a respectable fortune. And during
the period of his prosperity, his liberality was pro-
verbial. Whatever enterprise was inaugurated for
the public weal, found a generous response at the
hands of Mr. Jay. No one advocated with more pro-
found earnestness the establishment of the railroad
through Conecuh, than did he. He was one of the
most liberal contributors to the enterprise. He gave
largely to the endowment of Howard College, and the
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at Louisville,
Aided by his noble wife, he found peculiar delight,
during the war, in raising supplies of clothing and
202 HISTORY OF CONKCaH.
of a brother. By this event the management of his
father's estate fell completely upon himself. But
having naturally a sprightly mind, he continued to
address himself to literary pursuits, as he had oppor-
tunity. In September, 1847, he connected himself
with the Baptist Church at Evergreen, and shortly
after became one of its deacons, which position he has
held to the present. He was married, in 1848, to Miss
Polly H. Stallworth, and at once turned his attention
to planting. He was regarded a successful planter
during the palmiest period of that pursuit in Conecuh.
In 1856, we find him a citizen of Evergreen, whither
he had removed for the education of his children.
Here he formed a partnership with S. A. Barnett (now
a citizen of Mobile), in a mercantile interest, which
was conducted with success until the beginning of the
late war. For many years Mr. Eabb was a member
of the Commissioners' Court of the county, where he
was exceedingly scrupulous in regard to the expendi-
ture of the people's money. After the close of the
war, he relinquished his farming interest, and em-
barked in a timber enterprise in Escambia county,
Florida, as the partner of W. D. Mann. Here the
failure of the contractors, under whose auspices the
firm operated, involved it in serious embarrassment,
thereby rendering Mr. Eabb unable to sustain that
spirit of hospitality and benevolence for which he
was characteristic during more prosperous periods.
In 1880, Mr. Rabb ofiTered himself to the people of
Conecuh- as a candidate for the Judgeship of the
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 203
Probate Court. He was, however, defeated by Judge
Walker, a former incumbent of the office, and the
regular nominee of the people. The many virtues of
Mr. Rabb, his devotion to the public interest, and
his intellectual qualifications, make him one of the
representative men of Conecuh.
DR. A. J. ROBINSON.
This gentleman is a native Georgian. He was born
in Fayet-te county, in that State, on January 16th,
1833. His parents were poor — but his father, by no
means, humble in his influence. He was repeatedly
elected to the State Legislature. For his public ser-
vices he realized but little remuneration, and hence
was unable to give his children the intellectual advan-
tages which they might have otherwise enjoyed. The
subject of our sketch was the eldest of the family
of children, and upon him devolved the necessity of
laboring upon the farm for the support of the younger
children. He was an industrious laborer upon the
farm until he was fully nineteen years of age, enjoying
at brief intervals the advantages of country schools.
But with his father absent as a public servant, and
himself the first of a family of thirteen children, these
opportunities for scholastic training were exceeding
scant. At the age of nineteen. Dr. Eobinson removed
to McDonough, Georgia, where he attended a good
school for six mouths. On the 17th of August of that
year, he was married to Miss Josephine Moftett, 'of
204 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
Crawford, Georgia. She is the cousin of Col. J. S.
Boynton, the President of the Georgia Senate.*
During the winter following his marriage, Dr.
Robinson removed to Stewart county, Georgia, and
began work upon a little farm, in connection with oc-
casional intervals of school- teaching. In 1856 he sold
his interest in Georgia, and removed to Covington
county, in this State, settling upon Pigeon creek. In
the midst of his varied reading he had acquired a
peculiar fondness for the investigation of the science
of medicine. Resolving to adopt the practice of med-
icine as a profession, he disposed of his place on
Pigeon creek, and removed to Brooklyn, for the pur-
pose of pursuing a more systematic course of study.
Here, by stress of necessity, he was forced to divide
his time between his studies and. labors in the wagon
shop of D. M. Dodson — his wife, meanwhile, assisting
as teacher in the academy at Brooklyn. In 1857 and
1858 he attended lectures in Memphis, Tennessee.
Here license to practice was granted him, and he re-
turned to his home, and entered at once his chosen
profession. In 1859 Dr. Robinson formed a partner-
ship with Dr. John Scott ; but after a year's connec-
tion with this gentleman, the copartnership was dis-
solved by the withdrawal of Dr. Scott. During the
summer of 1859 Dr. Robinson attended another course
of lectures at Atlanta, Georgia. Returning to his
home, he found himself rapidly introduced into an
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 206
extensive practice. For several years his practice in
the portion of the county in which he resided was
simply overwhelming. Declining health forced him
gradually to retire. Since his retirement from the
duties of a physician, he has been honored by the
people of Conecuh during two different sessions with
the position of Representative to the General Assem-
bly. In this capacity he has proved to be quite use-
ful, and has won for himself considerable distinction
as a legislator. He served Conecuh during the last
session of the General Assembly.
Dr. Robinson is a gentleman of many sterling
qualities. His usefulness has been realized not only
in direction of public affairs, but also in the sacred
matters of the church. He is profoundly interested
in the spiritual elevation of the masses. Possessing
the highest sense of right, he is admirably fitted to
become a prominent director in all matters relating to
the public weal.
familiarly known as "Nick," is the third child of
Hon. James A. Stallworth. He was born at Ever-
green on the 9th of August, 1845, and hence is now
but thirty-six years of age. He left school at the
early age of fourteen, to accompany his father — then
in declining health — to Washington. He spent the
winters of 1859-'60- 61 in the National Metropolis.
Returning with his father in 1861 to Conecuh, he at
once joined the "Conecuh Guards," though he was a
206 HISTORY OF CONBOUH.
lad of only fifteen. His honored father accompanied
him to Montgomery, and there meeting several of his
quondam associates in the United States Congress —
who were then members of the Confederate Congress
— ^they proposed to secure for "Nick" the commission
of lieutenant in the regular army. This was commu-
nicated to him by his father and friends ; but the offer
he politely refused, saying that he preferred a place in
the ranks with the companions of his boyhood days.
Upon the organization of the Fourth Alabama Eegi-
ment, he was found to be the youngest member in the
entire command. He went with the Fourth Alabama
Eegiment to Virginia, and served in all the campaigns
and battles in which it participated until the battle of
Cold Harbor, where he was wounded and discharged.
For some time prior to this he had been suffering
from a bowel affection, and was in feeble health when
he received the wound. Eeturning to his home, he
found his mother stricken with grief by the double
affliction of the loss of her husband and eldest son.
The mother communicated to her son the dying re-
quest of his father, that if he should survive the
bloody scenes of the war, he should go at once to the
University of Alabama and complete his education.
Eegaining his health, "Nick" repaired to the Univer-
sity, and entered the Junior Class, in 1863. But his
university course was cut short by sickness, and after
an attendance of only eight months, he returned to
his home. After the recuperation of his health, again
he was offered a position on the staff of Gen. Samuel
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 207
Adams. But before the offer was responded to,-General
Adams was killed. He was also tendered a position
on the staff of Gen. Thomas 0. Hindman, but de-
clined. Subsequently he accepted the Adjutancy of the
Twenty- third Kegiment of Alabama, then under the
command of Maj. Nick Stallworth. Leaving at once
for Virginia, he reached Petersburg ; but the commu-
nication being cut between that place and Eichmond,
he was forced to turn his face homewards after several
vain attempts to /reach his command. The death of
his brother-in-law, Captain Broughton, left him the
oldest male member of the family, and he was forced
to remain at home by the sad dependency of the
family, combined with the shattered condition of his
health. The war closing soon after this, he found
himself ladened with unusual responsibilities for one
so young. With no resources at command, he ad-
dressed himself with heroic spirit to whatever his
hands found to do. After varied struggles with ad-
verse circumstances, and hard labor with his own
hands, for some time, he determined to address him-
self to the study of law. This he did with P. D. Page,
Esq., and was soon admitted to practice.
In 1872, and again in 1874, he was chosen Repre-
sentative from Conecuh to the Legislature. At the
session of 1875-76 he was elected Solicitor of the
Eleventh Judicial Circuit. In this circuit he had to
cope with many of the ablest legal spirits of the.
State, and yet his course was attended with remark-
able success from the beginning. By the respect-
208 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
fulness of his deportment, and the urbanity of his
disposition, he won the esteem of his legal brethren
in all parts of the circuit ; and by his efficiency and
impartiality as a judicial officer, he secured almost
universal popular esteem. He is justly regarded one
of the most promising young men in the State.
COL. p. D. BOWLES.
Pinckney Downie Bowles is a native of South
Carolina. His place of birth was l^dgefield District.
He received his educational training at the Citadel of
Charleston, South Carolina, and at the University of
Virginia. His collegiate course completed, he returned
to his native State, and engaged in the study of law
under Gen. Samuel McGowan.* He came to Alabama
in April, 1859, and went into the office of Hon. James
A. Stallworth, where he remained until the beginning
of the war. In 1860 he was elected Colonel of the
Twenty-eighth Eegiment of Alabama Militia; and
also 2nd lieutenant in the "Conecuh Guards," in the
summer of 1860. In January, 1861, he went in that
capacity with the company to Pensacola. When the
company returned home, and upon its reorganization,
he was chosen captain, and went with his gallant
company to Virginia. Henceforth the war record of
Colonel Bowles is inseparably connected with the
illustrious career of the Fourth Alabama Infantry —
"of which he was the brave and faithful commander"
almost throughout the entire war. He led his regi-
^Now on the Supreme Bench of South Carolina.
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 209
ment into the majority of the fiercest battles fought
on the soil of Virginia. The regiment belonged to
the famous brigade commanded by General Bee, who
was so conspicuous at the first battle of Manassas. It
was in the battle of Seven Pines, Cold Harbor, Mal-
vern Hill, Second Manassas, Boonsboro', Sharpsburg,
Fredericksburg,. and Suflfolk. It joined in the inva-
sion of Pennsylvania, and was engaged- in the fierce
conflict at Gettysburg. It went with Longstreet when
he was sent to reinforce Bragg in North Georgia ; it
returned with him when he marched through East
Tennessee, via Knoxville. Eejoining the Army of
Northern Virginia, it was engaged in the battle of
the Wilderness, and at Spottsylvania. In the opera-
tions of the Second Cold Harbor it was again engaged ;
and then lay for ten months behind the defences of
Petersburg, sharing in the various movements and
assaults connected with that eventful period. And
finally, with ranks depleted by death and disability, it
surrendered with the rest of the army at Appomattox
Court House, with two hundred and two men.
During this long and bloody period. Colonel Bowles
was ever found at the head of his regiment. I believe
only one brief respite from service was given him —
and that was on the occasion of an amorous mission
to his adopted county in February, 1863, when he was
married to Miss Steams, daughter of the late Judge
Though Colonel Bowles did not receive his com-
mission as brigadier, he was placed in the command
210 HISTORY OP OOiraOUH.
of five regiments, near the close of the war, and a full
brigade staff ordered to report to him. When he
returned to Conecuh, in 1865, he had but fifty cents in
his pocket. Without delay, he opened an oflSce at
Sparta, and resumed the practice of law. The follow-
ing year he was elected county solicitor for Conecuh,
in which position he served for a long period, with
Though having so eventful a record. Colonel Bowles
is still comparatively a young man. He is now a
resident of Evergreen, and is a successful practitioner
GEORGE ROBERT FARNHAM.
This prominent young attorney was born near
Bellville, on January 23rd, 1845. He was reared by
his great-grandmother, Mrs. Nancy Savage, whose
piety and usefulness were proverbially known for
many years, throughout Conecuh. His course of
instruction was cut short at the Bellville Academy,
by enfeebled health, when he had reached the age of
fifteen, and was recuperated by active work on the
farm. When a youth of only sixteen, he enlisted in
the Confederate army, having joined the "Monroe
Guards," under Capt. Giles Goode. He went with his
command to Pensacola, whence, after a brief service
of three weeks, it was ordered to Virginia. Near the
close of 1861 he was prostrated by a protracted attack
of measles ; he was discharged and returned to his home.
The following year he resumed his studies at the
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 211
Bellville Academy, and in the fall of 1862 was entered
as a cadet upon the matriculation roll of the Univer-
sity of Alabama. In the early part of 1865 he
graduated in the regular course of that institution,
with the exception of mathematics, and was pursuing
the last studies in that branch when he retired. His
course at the University was marked with distinction.
He was appointed first a sergeant in the corps, then
promoted to a second lieutenancy, afterwards to the
adjutancy, and when he left the University he was
senior 1st lieutenant. While at the University the
corps of cadets did service, as soldiers, for three weeks
in Mobile, and again at Jacksonville. -In 1864, while
going home upon a tour of vacation, about fifty or
sixty of the cadets reached Montgomery, where they
found the city in the midst of the most intense excite-
ment, growing out of the threatening demonstrations
of General Rousseau. Governor Watts ordered the
cadets to remain in Montgomery and assist in its
defence against Rousseau, who was then at Chehaw.
Arms having been furnished them, a soldier of the
regular army was appointed to the command, and
they were permitted to elect their other officers. Mr.
Famham was at once chosen 1st lieutenant, and
the buoyant cadets leaped upon the train and started
at once for Chehaw. They were accompanied by
some regulars, who happened to have been in Mont-
gomery at the time, and also by some raw reserves.
But for the military training and thorough efficiency
of the cadets, the entire command would have been
212 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
captured, and the city of Montgomery would have
fallen. Subsequent to this, Mr. Farnham served as
adjutant in the corps of cadets, near Spanish Fort.
In the early part of 1865 he raised a cavalry company
among the students of the University, which was
designed to serve as the body-guard to General Buford,
and the company left the University, to return to
their homes to secure horses and equipments; but just
at this juncture the State was overrun by the Federal
troops, and before a thorough organization could be
effected, the war closed. In 1866, Captain Farnham
commenced the study of law in the office of General
Martin, at Sparta, and in September, of the same
year, was admitted to practice. The first year of his
legal career was spent as a partner of General Martin,
after which he practiced alone, until his late connec-
tion with M. S. Eabb, Esq. In 1868 he was elected a
member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic
Party of Conecuh, and in this capacity served with-
out intermission, for ten years — the last four of which
he was the chairman of the committee. In 1870 he
was unanimously nominated for the county solicitor-
ship, by the Democratic Party, but was defeated by
the Radicals. In August, 1876, Captain ^Farnham,
underwent the greatest of all changes — the renovation
of his spiritual character. He became at once an
active member of the Baptist Church at Evergreen, and
finds peculiar delight in the work pertaining to the
office of Sunday School Superintendent. In 1880 he
was elected the President of the State Sunday School
HISTORY OP OONEOUH. 218
Convention. During the same year he was nominated
for the Senatorship of his district, and was over-
whelmingly elected — having received the largest vote
ever cast in the district, 5,435. He was sustained by
both the Democratic and Republican Parties. During
the approaching session he signalized his usefulness
as a legislator, by securing the passage of a bill pro-
viding for the humane treatment of prisoners — the
proper ventilation, heating of cells, and the proper
supply of pure water for drinking purposes. He also
secured an amendment to the section of the code re-
lating to the regulation of the hire of convict laborers,
so limiting the time as not to remand persons to
slavery under the color of law. He earnestly strove
to secure the passage of bills relative to reformation in
the voting system of Alabama. In this he encountered
strong opposition in the State Senate. His object
was to secure an amendment to sections 274-276 of
the code, relative to numbering and the size of ballots.
By dilatory motions and parliamentary manoeuvring,
the action upon the bills was delayed. By resolute
effort he forced a vote upon them toward the close of
the session, and lacked only a few votes of securing
the passage of the bill providing for the numbering of
ballots. His speech upon the election law was pub-
lished in the Montgomery Advertiser^ and won alike
the approbation of the press and the people. For one
so gifted, so young, and energetic, and withal so vir-
tuous in his life, there is a future of the most radiant
214 HISTORY OP OONBCUH.
Population — Principal Town — Climate — Soil — Stock Raising —
Productions — Industrial Resources — Forests — Streams — Numer-
ous Advantages, Social, Educational, Agricultural — Colored
According to the late census* Coneculi has a popu-
lation of 12,606. The population would have been
much greater had the county retained its original ter-
ritorial limits. By the formation of Escambia county,
in 1868, Conecuh lost much of her southern territory,
which included several thousand of her population.
Among her numerous villages, Evergreen, the county
seat, is the largest. It is one of the thriftiest towns
of Southern Alabama; is situated on the Mobile and
Montgomery Eailway, nearly mid-way between these
two cities, and has a population of nearly 800 inhabi-
tants. Its location, in one of the most productive
regions in this section of the State, the elevated tone
of its society, its educational and religious facilities,
and its mineral springs, make it quite a desirable
Conecuh county lies in the southern part of Ala-
bama, and is within the southern portion of the tem-
perate zone. Its climate is such as to exempt it alike
from the rigors of a Northern region, and the disease
and debility of the tropics. The mean annual tem-
HISTORY OP CONEOUH. 215
perature is about 65 degrees. Within the limits of
the county can be found every variety of soil, from
the most productive to the most barren. From the
centre of the county to its northern limits are to be
found lands of great fertility, while in the southern
portion the lands are for the most part, thin, but by
no means valueless. In the earliest periods of the
settlement of the county, the lands which lay along
the streams had a deep alluvial soil, that had been
enriched for ages by the steady influx of productive
deposits. And when the forests were felled, and the im-
plements of industry had begun to stir the soil, the yield
from these lowlands was immense. The basin lands
of Murder creek, Conecuh river, Bottle creek and the
Sepulgas, furnished the most productive soil found in
the county. Adjoining these regions, though elevated
to uplands, are the red lands of the county, which are
regarded the most unfailing and uniform in their
yield, as well as being most resistful to the power of
waste. In the lower portion of the county are the
pine districts, made famous, in late years, by the vast
quantity of timber furnished to foreign ports. Since
the earliest settlement of the county, these regions
have been held in high esteem as pasturage lands.
The absence of undergrowth or shrubbery, gives un-
bounded freedom to the luxuriant grass that flour-
ishes throughout this entire section. Though naturally
thin, the soil is susceptible to a high degree of artificial
cultivation, as there is usually found in this sandy
region, a deep sub-soil of clay. These, regions of
216 HISTORY OF CONECUH.
sand and pine, though prevailing almost uninterrupt-
edly in the lower half of Conecuh, are found in many
portions of the county. These lands, almost without
exception, are of level surface, thereby rendering
quite easy the retention of fertilizers. And it is a
subject of inquiry, if, with their subsoil of clay
and their level surface, they are not destined to
become the most unfailingly-productive lands in the
county. It is a subject of regret that so many of the
best lands of the county have been surrendered to
the sway of **the tangled vine and riotous weed."
Where once there waved the harvests of plenty,
there are to be found, to-day, in many places, the
thicket of briar and rustling sedge. Having undis-
puted sway, the early farmers would betake them-
selves to the invasion of uncleared forests, as soon as
it became evident that their lands were being im-
paired by usage, and they would thus leave behind
them broad acres of soil that needed but little careful
attention to preserve their wonderful productive
powers. These lands are only awaiting the hand of
industry to become again the most yieldable in the
Conecuh is peculiarly adapted to the raising of
cattle, sheep, hogs and goats. Her extensive areas of
grassy lands, which are covered with a verdant and
luxuriant herbage, almost the year round, and well-
watered with perpetual streams, places Conecuh in
HISTORY OP CONECUH. 217
the front rank of stock- producing counties. In addi-
tion to the growth of these tender grasses, there is
that of the wild cane, which grows throughout aJl
seasons along the streams, and is much relished by
every variety of stock. Beef in considerable quanti-
ties, and of superior quality, has for a long time been
furnished from these, and adjoining regions, to the
markets of Pensacola and Mobile. The production
of wool is beginning to excite considerable attention
in the county, and the time is not distant when it will
become a source of vast revenue to the county.
The prevailing growth in the forests of Conecuh is
that of the hickory, poplar, ash, beech and pine, all the
varieties of oak, and the queenly magnolia. The un-
cleared districts of the county cover at least 75 per
cent, of its surface. Along the streams, and upon the
most fertile soil of the county, are found abounding
the oak, the hickory, and beech — the annual yield of
whose fruit fattens hundreds of hogs. And in the
near future the hand of Art will be laid upon these
useful timbers, and they will be made serviceable in
the homes and trades of men. For many years past,
the pine timbers of Conecuh have been a profitable
commodity to dealers in lumber. Hewn into proper
shapes, these timbers are floated in rafts down the
principal streams to Pensacola, whence they are trans-
ported to the ship-building yards of different countries.
Through the enterprise of Messrs. BeUingrath arid
218 HISTORY OP CONECUH.
Redwine, a turpentine manufactory has just been
established at Castleberry. This article will no doubt
become quite a commodity in the future commerce of
The productions of Conecuh are as varied as the
soil upon which they are grown. The soil is pecu-
liarly adapted to the growth of cotton, which is its
all-prevailing staple. All the cereal crops, except
wheat, are cultivated and yield in abundance. Im-
proved systems are obtaining very generally through-
out the county, and as a consequence, production is
Of staple farm products, corn, oats, rye, peas, rice,
potatoes, peanuts, millet, sugar-cane, and cotton, are
produced quite early.
Of fruits, the apple, pear, peach, fig, grape and
melons, are the chief productions. Vast varieties of
grapes are being introduced into different parts of
Conecuh, and they never refuse to yield handsomely.
The forests and abandoned fields abound in nuts,
grapes, and berries, in large variety, which are fur-
nished by Nature without cultivation. Because of
the diversity of soil, the variety of productions, the
favorableness of climate, and the easy accessibility to
market, no field is more alluring to the immigrant
than Conecuh. Vast regions of her land can be pur-
chased at figures quite low. To the farmer, the hor-
ticulturist, the gardener, the shepherd, and the man-
HISTORY OF CONECUH. 219
ufacturer, facilities are afforded for easy settlement
and rapid accumulation.
Within the county is found a great variety of use-
ful stone. In different sections the lime rock abounds.
Mica has been discovered within the last year in such
quantities as to encourage the hope of future profit.
Conecuh is penetrated in different directions by
some of the noblest streams of South Alabama.
Along its eastern border runs the Conecuh river
into which flows Sepulga and Bottle creeks, while
farther in the interior is Murder creek — a stream of
great width and depth — and the southern portion is
watered by Burnt Corn creek and its numerous
SOCIAL AMD EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGES.
The county of Conecuh will compare favorably
with any other in the State, with respect to the tone
of its society and the character of its institutions.
The society is, for the most part, moral and refined.
Schools and churches abound. Two academies of
high grade are to be found — one at Evergreen and
the other at Bellville — presided over respectively by
Professors Tate and Newton.
THE COLORED POPULATION.
The colored people of the county are as intelligent,
industrious and thrifty as any in the South. Since
220 HISTORY OF OONBCUH.
their emancipation many have secured comfortable
homes by energy and frugality. There is a number
who are well-to-do — having amassed to themselves
Together, dear reader, we have passed over the
scenes enacted in the county of Conecuh from the
time that the first white man faced its perilous wilds,
to the present time. Through all the shifting scenes
incident to human life, we have passed, in this rapid
review. Together have we stood with the gray-
haired sires of the long-ago, and gazed upon the
sunlit hills and green valleys of Conecuh, ere the
tread of civilization broke their slumbering echoes.
We have seen the hardy settler leave his home in
the distant States and confront the barriers and
hazards of a long journey, and finally pitch his home
in a region as yet unwrenched from the grasp of the
wild savage. We have seen the heroism with which
he addressed himself to the colossal task of subject-
ing the wild forces of nature to his control. We
have watched the growth of civilization along succes-
sive decades, and have seen its struggles with frown-
ing disadvantages. Through poverty and pinching
distress, through smoke of battle and radiant pros-
perity, we have come up to the Present. And look-
ing back from our present eminence-height, along the
stretch of past years, we see the monuments of worth
erected along the track of six and a half decades —
HISTORY OF OONBOUH. 221
monuments reared by the energy and pluck of our
fathers and grandfathers, — yea, we see a county
reclaimed from its wilderness wilds and made to
"rejoice, and blossom as the rose." The determina-
tion to snatch from oblivion the records of their
heroism and success, and embody it in perpetual form,
was alike honorable to sire and son. These brave
men and women of the past, many of whom slumber
beneath the sods of Conecuh, have bequeathed to the
present and succeeding generations a rich legacy — a
priceless bequest — in their deeds of nobleness ; they
"being dead, yet speaketh." Upon the generation of
the present — the sons and grandsons of a noble
ancestry — rests the duty of continuing the work of
advancement commenced sixty- six years ago, when
Conecuh was enfolded within her own virgin forests.
Let them seek to preserve intact the institutions
designed to ennoble the masses, and let them be as
diligent in service to the generations to follow as
were their ancestors to the generation of the present.
So shall Conecuh continue her onward progress, and
her people shall continue to be elevated in the scale
of intellectual and moral excellence, "to the last
recorded syllable of time."
CONSTITUTION OF THE CONECUH
Whereas, the citizens of Conecuh county being desirous of re-
claiming from the obscurity of the past, all the elements which will
serve to make a correct history of the county, have agreed to con-
stitute a Society for that purpose, to be governed by the following
Section 1. The name of this Society shall be "The Conecuh
County Historical Society. "
Sec. 2. The object of this Society shall be the accumulation and
compilation, in enduring form, of the events which have marked
the history of the county in the past, reaching back to its earliest
period, and also of the men who have flourished in its annals, and
indeed of every object and item which would serve to contribute,
in anywise, to the interest of the history of a people.
Sec. 3. The officers of this Society shall be a President, two
Vice-Presidents, a Recording Secretary and a Treasurer, who shall
perform the duties usually connected with such offices.
Sec. 4. In addition to the above officers there shall be an Execu-
tive Committee of five, composed of four members to be chosen
from different parts of the county, and the President of the Society,
who shall be ex officio Chairman of the Committee. The duty of
this committee shall be to appoint time and place of meetings,
arrange programme of exercises, and do whatever else will be de-
manded for the success of each occasion.
Section 1. This Society shall be composed of all who are or
have been citizens of this county, who may desire to unite there-
with. A list for the enrollment of names shall be kept in the office
of the Judge of Probate, and a Recorder shall be appointed in each
Beat, whose duty it shall be to secure the names of citizens, and
forward weekly to the Judge of Probate at Evergreen.
Sec. 2. The members of this Society shall secure material from
every possible source that would in anywise contribute to the his-
tory of the county, whether traditional, biographical, martial,
agricultural, or otherwise.
Sec. 3. Material thus secured must be forwarded to the address
of the Chairman of the Statistical Committee, at Evergreen.
Sec. 4. This Constitution may be amended by a majority vote at
any regular meeting of the Society ; provided, that notice of such
proposed amendment be given at a previous meeting.
Company E, Fourth Alabama Regiment.
Below is given a complete roll of this company, which was the
first organized for the war in Conecuh.
It was permanently organized at Sparta, Alabama, on the 1st day
of April, 1861 ; mustered at Sparta Depot, April 24th, 1861 ; re-
ceived flag from the Ladies of the county ; embarked on train with
the following named commissioned, non-commissioned officers and
privates ; mustered into the Confederate States Army at Lynchburg,
Virginia, May 7th, 1861 ; surrendered at Appomattox Court House,
Virginia, April 9th, 1865 :
Bowles, P. D., captain; promoted major, August 22, 1862 ; lieu-
tenant colonel, September 30, 1862; colonel, October 3, 1862;
brigadier commander C. S. A., April 3, 1865.
Lee, William, promoted captain from 1st lieutenant, August 22,
1862 ; wounded at Gaines' Farm, Virginia, 1862 ; killed at Gettys-
burg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863.
Mclnnis, Archibald D., promoted captain, from 1st lieutenant,
July 3, 1863 ; retired from wounds received at first Manassas, July
1861, and at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863, and at Cold
Harbor, Virginia, 1864 ; died in Mobile, Alabama, since the war.
Darby, James W., promoted captain, from 1st lieutenant, J 864;
wounded at Gaines' Farm, 1862 ; resides in Butler county, Alabama.
Guice, John G., promoted Ist lieutenant, from 2nd lieutenant,
August 22, 1862 ; wounded first battle Manassas, Virginia, July 21,
1861 ; wounded at Gaines' Farm, Virginia, July, 1862 ; wounded in
two places sacond battle Manassas, August, 1862, lost leg; honorably
discharged ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Christian, Alfred, Ist lieutenant ; wounded second battle Ma-
nassas, Virginia, August, 1862 ; died in Conecuh county, Alabama,
since the war.
Travis, Mark B., 2nd lieutenant; honorably discharged, April 1,
1861 ; died at Sparta, Alabama, during the war.
Taliaferro, Charles T., 2ad lieutenant; resigned 1862 ; promoted
to assistant surgeon 1862 ; promoted full surgeon Fourth Ala-
bama Regiment, 1864 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stearns, John S., 2nd lieutenant; wounded at Knoxville, Tennes-
see, November, 1863; wounded at Wilderness, Virginia, May 6,
1864 ; died at his home in 1880.
Gatch, Louis, Ist sergeant ; killed first battle Manassas, Virginia,
July 21, 1861.
Green, William, 1st sergeant; honorably discharged 1863, on
election to Alabama Legislature ; resides in Washington county,
Mosley, Andrew J. , 1st sergeant ; wounded first battle Manassas
in head and arm ; wounded at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July, 1803 ;
wounded at Chickamauga, Georgia, September, 18(53 ; wounded at
Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 9, 1864; resides in Falls
Downs, George, 2nd sergeant ; killed at Chickamauga, Georgia,
Cotton, James, 4th sergeant; taken prisoner at Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania ; remained in prison to the end of the war ; died in
the State of Texas since the war.
Richey, Robert, 3rd sergeant ; killed at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,
Stinson, Jasper Newton, promoted to color sergeant Fourth Ala-
bama Regiment, July, 1862 ; killed at the second battle Manassas,
Boulware, Gil R. , promoted to color sergeant Fourth Alabama
Regiment ; wounded at Fredericksburg. Virginia, September, 1862 ;
wounded in side and arm, and right arm amputated, at Chicka-
mauga, Georgia, September, 1863; resides in Conecuh county, Ala-
Spence, Ingram, sergeant ; recruited November, 1861 ; wounded
at Knoxville, Tennessee, September, 1863 ; resides in Conecuh
Clark, William D., sergeant ; recruited November, 1861 ; wounded
at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862 ; wounded at Spotsylvania Court House,
Virginia, May 10, 18G4; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Dunham, John Q. , sergeant ; wounded at Chickamauga, Georgia,
September, 1863 ; died in Madison county, Florida, 1878.
Andrews, James M., sergeant; wounded first battle Manassas,
Virginia ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Floyd, Alfred H. , 2nd sergeant ; recruited November, 1861 ;
wounded at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July, 1863 ; wounded (lost
leg) at Wilderness, Virginia, May 6, 1864 ; honorably discharged ;
resides in Texas.
Stahl, Louis, 3rd sergeant ; wounded and arm resected at Peters-
burg, Virginia, October, 186-4 ; resides in Marlin, Texas.
Thomas, William, 1st corporal; killed first battle Manassas, Vir-
ginia, July 21, 1861.
Briley, Thomas, 1st corporal; killed at Chickamauga, Georgia,
Richey, James, Ist corporal; killed at Knoxville, Tennessee,
Boach, Fred. G., 2nd corporal; killed at Petersburg, Virginia,
April 1, 1865 ; last man ever killed in company E.
Crosby, William S., Ist corporal; resides in Conecuh county,
Thomas, Joseph A. , 4th corporal ; wounded first battle Manassas,
Virginia, July 21, 1861 ; wounded at Eltham's Landing, Virginia,
April, 1862 ; wounded at Gaines' Farm, Virginia, 18()2 ; wounded at
Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1863 ; wounded at Gettysburg, Pennsyl-
vania, 1863 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Anderson, W. F., 2nd corporal; wounded at Fredericksburg,
Virginia ; died at Sparta, Alabama, since the war.
Bobertson, James, 3rd corporal; wounded in three places at
Sharpsburg, Maryland, September, 1862 ; wounded at Wilderness,
Virginia, May 6, 1864 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Anderson, George, recruited in fall 18G1 ; killed battle Lookout
Mountain, October, 1868.
Akerman, John, recruited January, 1865 ; wounded at FarmTille,
Virginia, on retreat from Petersburg ; whereabouts unknown.
Alford, Artemus S., recruited January, 1865; resides in Texas.
Beard, Blake, wounded first battle Manassas, and discharged
(honorably) ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Bonnett, J. B., wounded first battle Manassas; discharged, 1862,
(honorably) ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Betts, Frank, returned home on sick furlough, and died in fall
Betts, Ed., discharged in summer 1861 ; rejoined some other
command and was killed in East Tennessee.
Blakely, G. W., discharged in fall 1861 ; run over and killed by
cars since the war.
Booker, W. B., wounded at Chickamauga and disabled for life;
resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Baggett, Bichard, recruited in fall 1861, and died from sickness,
in hospital, in the winter of same year.
Brown, Julius, recruited in April, 1862 ; died from sickness, in
the hospital at Charlottesville, Virginia, in the spring of 1862.
Brown, Robert, recruited in April, 1862; died in hospital at
Bichmond, Virginia, from sickness.
Brown, "William, recruited November 1861 ; deserted May 1, 1863.
Burk, William, recruited November, 1861 ; died in Montgomery
county, Alabama, since the war.
Carter, D. L., recruited November, 1861; wounded at Suffolk,
Virginia ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Cooper, M. A. , wounded at battle Wilderness, May 6, 1 864 ; re-
sides in the State of Texas.
Chapman, Henry C, recruited March, 1864 ; wounded at battle
Wilderness, May 6, 186-t ; placed on retired list ; resides in Texas.
Curlee, F. M., recruited November, 1861; wounded at Gettys-
burg ; whereabouts unkuown.
Coleman, Henry C, died at Bichmond, June, 1862.
Coleman, William, recruited November, 1861 ; killed at battle
Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.
Oato, A. J., recruited November, 1861 ; discharged for disability ;
resides in Texas.
Downs, Jerre, killed at battle Gaines* Farm, July, 1862.
Daniels, J. W., recruited 1862 ; wounded at Fort Harrison, 1864 ;
resides in Conecuh county.
Dyas, Thomas, taken prisoner at Enozville, 1864 ; died in prison.
DuBose, James, killed at Chickamauga, September, 1863.
Dean, Thomas, recruited November, 1861 ; deserted to the enemy
at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, 1863.
Douglas, William, honorably discharged, July, 1862 ; residence
Foss, Roderick, recruited March, 1864 ; wounded second battle
Cold Harbor ; resides In Alabama.
Fortner, Bichard, killed in skirmish below Richmond, January,
Floyd, Charles, wounded at Gaines' Farm, 1862 ; resides in Texas.
Gamer, Caleb, recruited April, 1862 ; wounded at Gettysburg,
1863, and died from wounds.
Gamer, John, recruited April, 1862; killed at Gaines* Farm,
Goldstein, Isadore, taken prisoner at Chickamauga ; remained in
prison until after the war ; resides in Pennsylvania.
Gandy, Oxford, recruited November, 1861 ; honorably discharged
July, 1862 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Grice, Francis M., recruited November, 1861; lost left arm at
Gaines* Farm ; afterwards sutler Fourth Alabama Infantry ; resides
in Escambia county, Alabama.
Gaflf, John, recniited November, 186J ; killed at Gaines* Farm,
Hodo, John, recruited April, 1862 ; killed at Malvem Hill, 1862.
Hughes, Daniel, honorably discharged August, 1861 ; died during
Hodges, Dr. Elias O. , promoted to assistant surgeon of a Virginia
regiment, 1863 ; died in Texas since the war.
Hodges, William, wounded at Gaines* Farm, July, 1862 ; taken
prisoner at Lookout Mountain, 1863 ; died near Washington, Geor-
Hudson, Walker A., recruited April, 1862; taken prlBoner at
Hagerstown, Maryland, 1863 ; remained in prison during the war.
Hirschfelder, Jacob, killed at Sharpsburg, Maryland, 1862.
Hyde, John D., recruited November, 1861 ; wounded at Ghdnes*
Farm, 1862, and at Ghickamauga, September, 1863, and in skirmish
below Bichmond, 1864 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Hyde, Joseph, recruited November, 1861 ; resides in Oonecah
Henderson, William, resides in Georgia.
Haskins, William, recruited April, 1862; killed at Petersbnzigy
Haskins, Isaac, recruited April, 1862 ; resides in Texas.
Horton, William, wounded in shoulder and leg at Gaines* Farm,
July, 1862 ; resides in Butler county, Alabama.
Johnson, William W., wounded and disabled at Gaines' Farm,
1862, and honorably discharged ; resides in Conecuh county, Ala-
Johnston, Augustus, recruited March, 1864 ; killed at Wilderness,
May 6, 1864.
Jones, E., recruited April, 1862; honorably discharged for sick-
ness in 1862.
Johnston, Emanuel, recruited November, 1861 ; killed at Malyem
Hill, July, 1862.
King, J. O., recruited November, 1861 ; discharged in the winter
of 18G1 ; resides in Butler county, Alabama.
Kirk, Frank, recruited November, 1861 ; honorably discharged;
joined the Thirty-eighth Alabama Begiment; killed at Chicka-
mauga, September, 1863.
Little, J. H., resides in Texas.
Long, William B., killed at Gettysburg, July, 1863.
Lampkins, Lindsey, died at Staunton, Virginia, July, 1868.
Lynch, Fielding, recruited April, 1862 ; killed at Gaines' Farm,
Mathews, William M., died in Conecuh county, Alabama, since
Mertins, Julius A., recruited April, 1862 ; killed at Gaines' Farm.
Mosley, Mason L., resides in Erath comity, Texas.
Morris, Wiley, recruited in 1864 ; died in Conecuh since the war.
MoiTOW, William, wounded at the second battle Manassas, and
wounded at Spottsylvania Court House, May, 1864 ; resides in Mo-
Myers, John, recruited November, 1861 ; wounded at Gaines'
Farm, July, 1862 ; dropped from the roll in 1863 ; killed in Butler
county, Alabama, since the .war.
Mason, John, wounded in first battle Manassas ; dropped from
the roll 1862 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
McMillan, C. C, furloughed in 1862, and transferred to another
command ; resides in Butler county, Alabama.
Mclver, Evander, wounded in two places first battle Manassas,
and honorably discharged September, 1861 ; resides in Texas.
Nichols, W. H. H., deserted to enemy in front of Richmond,
Nichols, John, transferred from Finnegan's Florida Begiment in
the fall of 1864, and deserted to enemy before Bichmond, March,
Nash, Samael D., honorably discharged August, 1861 ; resides in
Monroe county, Alabama.
Olivia, George, recruited November, 1861 ; honorably discharged
August, 1862 ; died since the war.
Peacock, Jesse, killed in first battle Manassas, July 21, 1861.
Perry, Frank, deserted November, 1863.
Perry, Owen, wounded first battle Manassas, July 21, 1861, and
honorably discharged ; rejoined the army, was captured, and died
Perry, Thomas, recruited May, 1864 ; wounded at Spotsylvania
Court House, May, 1864 ; resides in Monroe county, Alabama.
Perry, Theophilns, recruited May, 1864 ; residence unknown.
Powell, Ephraim, killed second battle Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864.
Ferryman, James, honorably discharged January, 1862, and died
in Conecuh county, Alabama, during the war.
Quinley, William, recruited April, 1862; woimded at Gaines*
Farm, July, 1862, and at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 ; deserted to the
enemy in 1865.
Qoinley, Stephen, recruited March, 1863 ; wounded at Wilder-
ness, May 6, 1864 ; resides in Texas.
Bay, Thomas E., recruited April, 1862 ; wounded at Sharpsburg,
September, 1862 ; deserted to enemy 1864.
Bussel, David, honorably discharged December, 1861, for disa-
bility ; resides in Louisiana.
Bose, Bobert, killed at Seven Pines, Virginia, May 31, 1862.
Bobbins, John, killed first battle Manassas, July 21, 1861.
Bobbins, Thomas, died from wounds received at Gaines' Farm,
Bobertson, Thomas, killed second battle Manassas, August, 1862.
Bitchey, Thomas, recruited April, 1862 ; died in the hospital at
Bichmond, August, 1862.
Bobinson, J. Mat, honorably discharged for sickness, 1862 ; re-
sides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stearns, Henry C. , wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862 ; resides
in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stallworth, Nick, wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862 ; honor-
ably discharged 1862 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stallworth, W. L., honorably discharged June, 1861, for disabil-
ity ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Snowden, Newton, killed at Wilderness, May 6, 1862.
Snowden, William H., wounded in skirmish at Lenoir Station,
Tennessee, December, 1863 ; honorably discharged for wounds
received in 1863 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Salter, Mich B., wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862,- wounded
at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, and right arm amputated ; honorably
discharged ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stallworth, Jos,, killed second battle Manassas, August, 1862.
Stuckey, Buck, wpunded second battle Manassas, August, 1862 ;
killed at battle Darby town Boad, September, 1864.
Stuckey, John, wounded at ; resides in Conecuh county,
Stuckey, James, recruited November, 1861 ; resides in Monroe
Strickland, James, killed first Manassas, July 21, 1861.
Smith, Jack, recruited November, 1861; honorably discharged
for disability ; resides in the State of Georgia.
Shaver, John D., recruited April, 1862; killed at Chickamauga,
Shaver, Phil. C, recruited April, 1862 ; resides in Conecuh
Sheffield, Evans, wounded at Gaines* Farm, July, 1862, and at
Gettysburg, July, 1873 ; killed by a falling tree in Conecuh county,
Alabama, since the war.
Sampey , Francis M. , wounded at second Manassas, August, 1862,
and near Farmville, Virginia, April, 1865 ; died in Selma, Alabama,
Sampey, Greenberry G., recruited May 7, 1864; resides in
Conecuh county, Alabama.
Thomas, James H., wounded at Seven Pines, May 31, 1862;
killed second battle Manassas, August, 1862.
Thomas, James C, recruited November, 1861 ; killed at Sharps-
burg, Maryland, September, 1862.
Thomas, Henry C, recruited September, 1862; resides in Texas.
Turk, Theodosius, wounded at first Manassas ; honorably dis-
charged under act of Congress, 1862.
Whelan, Pat S. , commissary sergeant Fourth Alabama ; died at
Sparta since the war.
Wilson, John W. , recruited November, 1861 ; wounded at Cold
Harbor, Virginia, June 3, 1864; resides in Conecuh county, Ala-
Wilson, George, wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, May 8,
1864 ; residence unknown.
Wilkinson, Thomas, deserted March, 1862.
Wimberly, Dr. Samuel H., killed at first Manassas, July 21, 1861.
Williamson, John, recruited November, 1861 ; honorably dis-
charged 1862 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Williamson, James, recruited November, 1861; honorably dis-
charged 1862 for disability ; resides near Brooklyn, Alabama.
Watson, Bailey, recruited November, 1861 ; taken prisoner 1864,
and remained in prison until the end of the war ; resides in Texas.
Wood, Rev. George A., recruited November, 1861; wounded at
Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 ; resides in Georgia.
J Digitized by VjOOQlC