Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of Butler County, Alabama, from 1815 to 1885"

See other formats

, "^i>a^ ^ 

' .-^^^^ 


-' .^•■ 


-^^ .^^^V-r^-'. 




'"^r '^-t. "'"' •■ 

- ^>--. 

* «". A -^ ^ 




, - - '^ X -,, ^.. .^. 


o 0^ 

:%': ''^- v^^ 



-a"^' .^\^£!^^^' 

XN^^ ^^. ' 



.^•^ ^e 

■^-^ ■'^>. 

A- r. 





Butler County, Alabama, 

From 1815 to 1885. 

With Sketches of Some of Her Most Distinguished 

Citizens, and Glances at Her Rich and 

Varied Resources. 


Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the University of Alabama, at 


A land without ruins is a land without memories — a land without memories 
is a land without history. — Father Ryan. 


Elm St. Printing Co., Nos. 176 & 178 Elm St. 

AUG 5 \'y:f-\ I 
^<°^ washing! 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1885, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 
Electrotyped by the Elm Street Printing Co., Cincinnati, O. 


The people of Butler County have long expressed a desire to 
have a book published, containing the interesting history and 
a review of the natural resources of the County. The author 
was requested, by some of the prominent residents of the 
County, to undertake the preparation of such a book. 

While in the County, during the summer of 1884, he began 
the collection of the data for a complete map of the County, 
and the materials for writing her history. These facts have 
been arranged by the author, at odd hours, during the last six 
months. The author has endeavored to present facts in a plain 
and simple way, without aiming at the graces of elaborate his- 
tory or the vivid coloring of exciting romance. 

Many inaccuracies will no doubt occur, owing to the differ- 
ent statements given concerning some particulars, and the author 
was forced to exercise his own judgment in some instances. A 
few facts here and ttiere, that should be mentioned, are omitted 
entirely for want of authentic information. If the materials 
had been collected ten or fifteen years ago, while many of the 
older settlers of the County were still living, the errors would 
occur less frequently. But as it is. the humble volume is put 
before the people of Butler County, with the earnest hope that 
it may meet with their approval and receive their hearty sup- 



The author begs leave to acknowledge his great indebtedness 
to Benjamin F. Meek, LL.D., and Eugene A. Smith, Ph.D., pro- 
fessors in the University, for kind encouragement and valuable 
suggestions, which have proved of much benefit in the prepara- 
tion of the work. Also to Professor John Summerfield Daniel, 
for kind assistance rendered. Valuable information has been 
received from many other gentlemen, among whom the follow- 
ing deserve special mention : C. J. Armstrong, Judge S. J. 
Boiling, Ransom Scale, Dr. Job Thigpen, Major D. G. Dunk- 
lin, W. F. Hartley, Joseph Dunklin, W. H. Flowers and Joseph 
Steiner, of Greenville ; Warren A. Thompson and Wm. H. 
Traweek, of Monterey ; E. M. Lazenby and Thomas Glenn, 
of Forest Home ; O. C. Darby, John F. McPherson and Wal- 
ter Bennett, of Garland ; Daniel Peavy and R. S. Pilley, of 
South Butler ; Lovet B. Wilson and Oliver Crittenden, of Oaky 
Streak ; Elias McKinzie and John Kimmons, of McBrides ; 
J, W. Hancock and John McPherson, of Three Runs; John 
F. Barganier and R. H. Bush, of Dead Fall ; John J. Flow- 
ers, of Boiling ; Captain E. C. Milner, Professor J. M. Thigpen 
and Major A. Glenn, of Georgiana. Also to Mrs. Ellen Scale, 
of Monterey, and Mrs. I. M. P. Henry, of Greenville. 

The following publications have been frequently consulted, 
and have thrown much light upon points of interest and dis- 
pute : 

Pickett's History of Alabama, 

Garrett's Public Men of Alabama, 
Brewer's Outline History of Alabama, 
The Trade Issue of the Greenville Advocate. 

March 2, 188=5. 



Geographical Position — Geological FormaUons — Different 
Varieties of Soil — Virgin Growth — Slopes — Drainage, 
Etc., 15 


Earliest History — Formation of the County — Early Settle- 
ment, Etc., ........ 19 


The Ogly Massacre — Death of Captain Butler and Others — 

The Erection of Forts, Etc., 25 

The Rapid Settlement of the County After the Indians are 

Driven Away, Etc., ...... 34 


Establishment of Commerce — Mail Routes — The Seat of 
Justice Located at Greenville — General Growth and 
Prosperity of the County, ..... 40 


Great Need for Conveniences, such as Grist Mills, Gins, 

Blacksmith Shops, Etc., 44 




Biographical Sketch of Ex-Governor T. H. Watts, - . 47 


The War Between the States — The County During this Time, 53 


Condition of the County After the War, .... 58 


A General Description of the Present Resources of the 

County and Its Prospects for Future Development, . 60 


Pine Flat, • ... 71 

Fort Dale, 74 

Greenville, ......... 78 

Greenville, 1885, 95 

Ridgeville, lOO 

Sketch of Hon. W. H, Crenshaw, 103 



Manningham, ......... 105 

Sketch of Warren A. Thompson, ..... 108 

Dead Fall, Ill 

Sketch of Judge Benj. F. Porter, 1 14 

Monterey, ......... 120 

Sketch of Colonel T. L. Bayne, 132 

Butler Springs, ........ 136 

Sketch of Judge Anderson Crenshaw, .... 141 

Ancient Mounds in Butler County, . . • . . . 143 

Oaky Streak, ......... 145 


Garland, . . . . . . . . . .154 

South Butler, 156 


Sketch of Colonel Sam. Adams, . . . . .158 



Sketch of W. W. Wilkinson, i6o 


Forest Home, . . . . . . . . . 165 

Georgiana, ......... 172 

Starlington, ......... 175 


Sketch of Colonel H. A. Herbert, . . . . ; 177 

'chapter XXXV. 
Shackelville, 186 

Boiling, 188 

Sketch of Mrs. I. M. P. Henry, . . . , .191 

Sardis, .......... 195 

Toluka, .......... 197 

McBnde's, 198 

Press of Butler County, 200 

Bear s Store • • • 2lo 



Rocky Creek, ......... 212 

Roper Wells, 213 

Sketch of J. K. Henry, Judge, . . ' . . . 215 

Steiner's Store, ......... 216 

Dunham Station, ........ 218 

Mobile and Montgomery Railroad, ..... 219 


The Medical Profession in Butler County, . . . 221 

The Bar of Butler County, 224 

County Officers, 1885, 232 

Voting Precincts. ........ 236 

Churches and Places of Worship, 237 

Our Wealthy Men, . . . . . . , . 239 

Members of the State Legislature, ..... 241 



Officers of the County, 244 

List of Post-Offices, Etc., 247 

Wai- Record of the County, ...... 248 

Conclusion, ......... 252 



City Hall, 80 

Court House, ......... 65 

Colonel W. H. Crenshaw, ...... 103 

Greenville Collegiate Institute, ...... 142 

Hon. Hilary A. Herbert, M. C, 178 

Judge Benj. F. Porter, 115 

Methodist Episcopal Church at Greenville, ... 93 

Residence of J. C. Richardson, Esq., ..... 28 

Ransom Seale, Esq., 233 

Residence of W. R. Thagard, ...... 206 

Governor Thos. H, Watts, ...... 47 

W. Wilkinson, 160 


Part 1. 

This Part of the Work Contains a General 
History of the County. 

History of Butler County^ Alabama. 


Geographical Position — Geological Formations — Dif- 
fej'ent Vat ie ties of Soils — Virgin Growth — 
Slopes — Drainage, Etc. 

This county is situated a little south of the cen- 
ter of the State, and borders Lowndes on the 
north, Crenshaw on the east, Covington on the 
south, Conecuh on the southwest, Monroe on the 
west and Wilcox on the northwest. It originally 
contained thirty townships, but has been dimin- 
ished by the formation of Covington and Crenshaw 
Counties. There are twenty-one and one-half 
townships now in the county, making about 765 
square miles of territory, the most of which is 

The larger portion of the county is underlaid 
with rocks of the tertiary formation. These 
rocks are covered with deep strata of drift, vary- 
ing from twenty-five to one hundred feet in depth, 
at different localities in the county. In the south- 



ern part of the county the cretaceous rocks are 
exposed, and, from the amount of phosphoric acid 
contained in them, the soil here is by far the most 
productive in the county. A part of these rocks 
are also overlaid with drift, giving rise to a sandy 
soil on the hills and a calcareous variety in the 

This productive region of prairie — about forty- 
five square miles in the northwestern corner of the 
county — owes its fertility to the amount of phos- 
phoric acid contained in the lime rocks, which are 
constantly exposed to the disintegrating effects of 
the weather, and are continually being broken down 
and dissolved, enriching the soil and making it yield 
an abundant harvest of different kinds of agricul- 
tural products. 

These lands, drained by Cedar and Wolf Creeks, 
need no fertilizer of any kind, and when properly 
ditched, have been known to produce well for forty 
and fifty years in succession. The Drift in the county 
is generally of a light silicious nature, containing clay 
of different colors, varying from dark brown to 
deep red. The color is commonly due to the 
amount of organic matter present and the form of 
the iron oxide. There are some red clay hills in 
the county that contain as high as ten per cent of 
iron in combination. 

In some parts of the county the tertiary rocks 
are exposed, and give rise to a yellowish brown 
loam that is very sticky when wet and easy to 
crumble when dry. This variety of soil is difficult 


of cultivation, and has a low value in the market 
for farming land. The outcrop is four or five 
miles in width, and extends several miles across 
the county from below Butler Springs east, in 
township ten, to the neighborhood of Greenville, 
where the strata are overlaid with red clay. Many 
tertiary shells, in a good state of preservation, may 
be found in different localities along this outcrop. 
All the mineral springs in the county flow from 
the tertiary deposit. 

The whole of the slope drained by Persimmon 
and Pigeon Creeks and their tributaries, is oak and 
hickory uplands, with long-leaf pine, except in a 
few places where the tertiary or cretaceous rocks 
are exposed. In these places there is generally 
short-leaf pine, if any pine at all. The basin drained 
by Cedar Creek was covered with a virgin growth 
of oak, hickory, cedar, walnut, sweet gum, ash, 
dogwood, poplar, elm, etc., the most of which 
has long since been removed and consumed, leav- 
ing this section almost destitute of timber. 

There are no mountains in Butler County, and 
but few hills of extraordinary height — the highest 
of these not being over two hundred feet. The 
Cedar Creek basin is by far the deepest in the 
county, and is bordered by the loftiest peaks and 
cliffs in this whole section of country. 

The creeks have gradually worn their beds 
southward, leaving a gentle slope on the north 
side and a steep, rugged hill on the south side of 
the swamp. All the small streams and creeks that 


run into the larger ones generally empty on the 
north side, and rarely ever from the south. This 
fact is very perceptible from an examination of 
the map at the end of the book. 

Geographically, the whole county is divided by 
a high ridge into two slopes, or watersheds. By 
referring to the map of the county, the reader will 
find that it is divided into two unequal water- 
sheds, the northwestern and the southeastern, the 
latter being much larger than the former. In 1812 
General Andrew Jackson cut out a road on this di- 
viding ridge. This road, now known as the Old 
Federal Road, was cut from Montgomery to Mo- 
bile, by way of Fort Deposit, Fort Dale, the 
Buckalew Place, Shackelville and Claiborne. All 
the water falling in this county, on the southeast- 
ern side of this road, is emptied into the Conecuh 
River, and that falling on the northwestern side 
into the Alabama River. The creeks that drain 
the northwestern slope are Cedar, Wolf, Breast- 
work, Pine Barren and Reddock's, with their 
tributaries. The other slope is drained by Persim- 
mon and Pigeon, and their different tributaries. 



Earliest History, — Formation of the County from 
Conecuh and Monroe — Named in Honor of Cap- 
tain William Butler — First Settlements by the 
Whites — Description of the County at That Time. 

This county was formed from Conecuh and 
Monroe, by an act passed December 13, 18 19, 
by the Legislature while in session at Huntsville. 
This was the first session of the Legislature of 
Alabama as a State. The House was composed 
of forty-five members, with James Dellet, of Mon- 
roe, as Speaker; the Senate of twenty-one mem- 
bers, and Thomas Bibb was President. William 
W. Bibb was inaugurated first Governor of the 
State on the 9th of November, 18 19, before Con- 
gress had yet admitted Alabama into the Union 
as a State. The name of Fairfield was first pro- 
posed for this county, but was changed, on the 
passage of the bill, to Butler, in honor of Captain 
William Butler. This brave captain was a 
native of Virginia, and was of a restless and am- 
bitious nature. He lived in the State of Georgia 
for a few years, and was, while there, a member of 
her Legislature, and was also connected with the 
militia of the State. He soon came to the Terri- 
tory of Alabama to satisfy his adventurous charac- 
ter, but did not remain here long before he was 
killed in a horrible manner by the Indians, near 


Butler Springs, on the morning of the 20th of 
March, 18 18. While on his way from Fort Bibb, 
in the Flat, to Fort Dale, in company with four 
other men. Captain Butler was wounded and 
thrown from his horse, — but attempted to make 
his escape. Seeing that this was impossible, he 
resolved to die fighting the enemy. By his pluck 
and skill, he succeeded in killing one of Savannah 
Jack's bravest warriors, and severely wounding 
several others who attacked him, but the unfortu- 
nate soldier was finally overcome by the numerical 
strength of the bloodthirsty savages, who not only 
took his life, but who left his mangled body in the 
open forest, after having beaten him almost to a 
jelly with ramrods, scalped him, and cut off his 
ears and privates, and stuffed them into his mouth. 
He was found in this condition the next day. 
Captain Butler was exploring the new country 
previous to the Ogly massacre, and had taken 
refuge in Fort Bibb, until the Indians should 
be driven away. He volunteered his service 
to go along with any person to carry some 
important message to Fort Dale, which was 
situated in another part of the county, about 
fifteen miles distant. Unfortunately, his daring 
courage caused him to lose his noble life be- 
fore he had scarcely time to make it useful to 
his fellow-men. His remains, along with those 
of Daniel Shaw and William P. Gardner, were 
buried the next day by a detachment of men sent 
by Colonel Samuel Dale for that purpose; and the 


dense forest, where these young heroes were killed, 
was their burial-ground ; and the mild wailing of 
the wind, as it quietly whistled through the branches 
of the towering pines, was their only mourner 
for many years. 

In the year 1858, or thereabout, after a rest of 
over forty winters undisturbed, the decayed 
remains of these adventurous patriots were 
removed to the city of Greenville and buried 
in the old cemetery. A large concourse of citi- 
zens were in attendance when the remains were 
quietly deposited in their final resting place, and 
not a single gun was fired in memory of their 
heroic lives. 

Joseph Dunklin took an active part in having 
the bodies removed, and he deserves to be highly 
commended for the noble and patriotic motives 
which prompted him to be so conspicuous in such 
a good work. The pall-bearers on the occasion 
were Joseph Dunklin, Judge Samuel J. Boiling, 
Ezekiel Pickens and Joseph M. Parmer — four of 
the oldest residents of Greenville. Hilary A. 
Herbert, who is now one among Alabama's most 
distinguished statesmen, delivered a beautiful and 
patriotic address, which was filled with praise of 
the sacred names of our first fallen braves. After 
the delivery of the address, resolutions were offered 
and unanimously adopted by those present, to 
raise money for the purpose of erecting a suitable 
monument over the graves of these dead heroes. 
Unfortunately, the war between the States soon 


followed, and the requisite amount of money was 
never raised for purchasing the marble shaft for 
marking the spot of Captain Butler's last resting 
place, and showing to the world that his name 
still lived, although he himself was dead. 

Previous to the war, however, Hon. Benjamin 
F. Porter removed to Greenville with his interest- 
ing family. His kind and cultured wife sought the 
graves of the buried heroes, and immediately took 
steps to have a tomb erected to mark the sacred 
spot. Existing circumstances prevented her from 
receiving any encouragement from the people, and 
she was forced -to give up all hopes of their assist- 
ance in the matter. In 1861, greatly to the honor 
and memory of her illustrious name, Mrs. Porter 
purchased a small slab of marble at her own ex- 
pense, and had it placed over the grave of the 
noble William Butler. 

It is to be earnestly hoped that the good people 
of our county will, in the near future, take active 
steps for having a lofty shaft raised in some con- 
spicuous place in Greenville, in memory of the 
man whose name Butler County now so proudly 

The exact date of the first settlement made by 
the white people in the limits of this county, is 
not entirely authentic. It is believed by some to 
be as early as 18 14, and by others to be about 
1 8 16. The author has compromised and put it 
at 18 1 5. James K. Benson is supposed to have 
settled in the Flat as early as 18 15, and built the 


first house ever erected in this county. It was 
built near where the Pine Flat Methodist Church 
now stands, and was made of logs. About the 
same time, or shortly after, William Ogly and 
John Dickerson came with their families, and 
made a settlement on the Federal Road, about 
three miles below where Fort Dale was afterwards 
erected. In the fall of 1816, a party, composed 
of the following persons, came from the State of 
Georgia, and pitched their tents in the dense forest 
of Pine Flat: Thomas Hill, and his two sons, 
Reuben and Josiah ; Warren A. Thompson ; Cap- 
tain John H. Watts; Benjamin Hill, and his son 
Isaac. They brought with them horses, cattle, 
wagons, tools, and enough provisions to last them 
one year. These settlers worked very energetic- 
ally to prepare for their families, which were 
brought during the winter of the next year. In 
the fall and winter of 18 17, a good many emigrants 
stopped in this county, near Fort Dale, and on 
the head of Cedar Creek, the names of all of whom 
the author is unable to give. Among them were 
the families of Thomas Gary, Colonel A. T. Perry, 
James D. K. Garrett, and Andrew Jones. John 
Murphy and Alph. Carter had already located be- 
low where Butler Springs are situated. 

Butler County presented quite a different ap- 
pearance at this early period of her history from 
what it does to-day. The whole country was a 
deep forest of oak, hickory, pine, chestnut, chin- 
quapin, poplar, sweet and sour gum, etc., with 


not a stick amiss. All the heads of small streams 
were covered with a thick undergrowth of switch- 
cane, and the swamps were perfect wildernesses of 
cane-brakes. Where the land was at all fertile, 
the canes covered the sides and tops of the hills 
as well as the bottoms. Thousands of wild ani- 
mals infested the forests, and rendered the nights 
hideous with their unfriendly and discontented 
growls, as they roamed the wilderness in search of 
food. Hundreds of bears of various sizes rambled 
up and down the hills, large herds of deer gal- 
loped through the thickets, and flocks of hungry 
wolves made the hearts of the new settlers beat 
with fear, as they howled yearning for prey. 

In these early days, the emigrants lived almost 
entirely upon the game of the new country. This 
consisted of deer, turkey, squirrel, opossum, 
rabbit, raccoon, and all kinds of game-birds. A 
large portion of the time was at first taken up in 
hunting and trapping, the farm receiving but very 
little attention for several years. The settlers at 
first lived in small, rudely constructed cabins, 
which afforded good protection from the hungry 
wild beasts, but only little comfort to the inhab- 
itants. A good many scattered, unfortunate In- 
dians, were still to be seen wandering from place 
to place, lamenting the destruction of their favor- 
ite hunting grounds. The constant echoes of the 
woodman's axe, as it proceeded to level the forest, 
told them that civilization was soon to be intro- 
duced into the savage land. 



Further Settlement of the County by the Whites — 
The Conduct of the Indians on Seeing Their 
Land Completely Taken Possession of — The 
Ogly Massacre — The Death of Captain Butler 
— The Erection of Forts Bibb and Dale — The 
People Forced to Remain in the Forts the Larger 
Part of the Year i8i8. 

We will now take the reader over the blood- 
stained pages of Butler's history, caused by the 
settlement of the garden spot of the territory by 
the whites, against the will of the overpowered 
red men, who had been driven from their native 
land with fire and sword. 

In the winter of 1817, a large number of emi- 
grants passed down the Federal Road, some stop- 
ping in the section of country now known as 
Lowndes, Butler, Monroe and Conecuh Counties, 
while others crossed the Alabama River, below 
Claiborne, and settled in Clarke County. The 
few unhappy Indians who were left scattered 
through this section, became enraged at seeing 
the land of their forefathers completely taken pos- 
session of by the whites, and, accordingly, began 
to make preparations to drive them back from a 
place where they were unasked and unwelcomed. 
They forthwith made preparations for bloodshed, 


and organized themselves into two bands of war- 
riors, under the command of Uchee Tom and Sa- 
vannah Jack. 

About the 6th of March, i8i8, Uchee Tom 
and his warriors showed signs of hostiHty by 
stopping Wilham Ogly, who was in his ox-cart 
on his way to Claiborne for provisions for his 
family. He was, however, permitted to pass 
on without injury, after having been frightened 
almost out of his senses. Reaching Sepulga 
Creek, he succeeded in purchasing corn from a 
settler, and, feeling great anxiety about his fam- 
ily, he returned home without going to Claiborne. 
During his absence the Indians had visited his 
cabin, and showed signs of violence to his family. 
The news of the conduct of the hostile savages 
spread immediately to all the settlers, who began 
to make preparation for the protection of the 
whites. The men of the settlement were called 
to a company muster on the 13th of March, and 
different plans were discussed for the defense of 
the settlers against the attacks of the savages. 
The red men, seeing the movements of their op- 
ponents at the company muster, took it as a bad 
omen, and at once decided to take the lives of 
some of the settlers. 

While returning from the company muster, 
William Ogly met with Elias Stroud, who had 
been on a visit to relatives in Georgia, and was 
then on his way to his home near Claiborne. He 
had his wife and only child with him. Being an 


old acquaintance of Ogly, he was persuaded by 
him to spend the night under his roof and partake 
of the hospitahties of the savage land. Ogly had 
a wife and six children, and lived near the Federal 
Road, about three miles below where Fort Dale 
was afterward built. Shortly after supper, after 
the children were all put to bed, while these 
native Georgians sat around the scanty fire, talk- 
ing in their accustomed style of the misfortunes of 
different persons, and the many dangers and trials 
of the pioneer life, their attention was suddenly 
attracted by the tramp of warriors. Springing to 
his feet, Ogly seized his gun, and ran to the door, 
calling to his dogs ; but he was shot down before 
he had time to fire his piece at the enemy. Sev- 
eral guns having been discharged, and Ogly having 
been suddenly killed, the other inmates of the 
cabin became greatly excited with fear. Unfor- 
tunately, there happened to be but one way of es- 
cape, and that seemed almost certain death. But 
Stroud and his wife, regardless of the great danger 
of the whistling bullets and approaching savages, 
leaped out of the front door and attempted to save 
their lives. Mrs. Ogly, taking in the situation, 
did likewise. They were pursued by the blood- 
thirsty savages, bent on taking their lives, but by 
some means Stroud managed to escape. Mrs. 
Ogly was partially protected by a fierce dog that 
fought for her life like a tiger, and enabled her to 
escape to a ravine near by, where she hid 
herself in the high switch-cane. From this place 


she heard the pitiful screams of Mrs. Stroud at- 
tempting to make her escape, but who was finally- 
tomahawked and left on the cold ground as dead. 
The house was soon entered, and the shrieks and 
cries of the helpless children, as they were torn 
from their couches and butchered by the heartless 
demons, rendered the night hideous. No pen can 
describe the terrible feelings of Mrs. Ogly as she 
lay in concealment and heard the woeful cries of 
her dear children as their precious lives were be- 
ing taken one by one. 

After killing every person in reach, from the 
innocent little infant of Mrs. Stroud to the stout 
and brave William Ogly, the blood-thirsty heroes 
of the night marched triumphantly away, greatly 
rejoicing over the success of their victory. The 
profound silence which followed told the miserable 
woman that the bloody work was over. Early 
next morning the settlement was aroused with the 
sad news of the massacre, and many persons re- 
paired to the spot. They found six persons 
quietly asleep in death. Mrs. Stroud, who was 
tomahawked the night before, was not dead, but 
had managed to crawl into the house and pick out 
her little infant from the other mangled bodies in 
the room, and, having lost her mind, she was 
found stuffing her dead child's skull with leaves. 
Out of a family of eight, Ogly and four of his 
children were killed ; his wife and two small daugh- 
ters, Elizabeth and Mary Ann, were still alive, 
although these two children were scalped and 


tomahawked, and left for dead. The dead were 
all buried together in an old wagon-body under an 
oak tree near the cabin ; the living were well cared 
for among the settlers until Col. Dale sent an es- 
cort from Fort Claiborne, and immediately started 
with them to Monroe County. Mrs. Stroud died 
on the way, and was buried by ,the side of the 
road. Mary Ann expired after reaching Clai- 
borne. Through the kind treatment of Dr. John 
Watkins, Elizabeth recovered from the injuries re- 
ceived at the massacre, and lived for many years 
in Butler Country. Her hair never looked natural, 
and she never gained her right mind. She lived 
over twoscore years, and died during the war 
between the States, having never married. 

Mrs. Ogly afterward married John Dickerson, 
and they lived in the Manningham neighborhood 
the remainder of their lives, and raised a large 

It should have been stated that previous to the 
Ogly massacre Thomas Gary erected, at his own 
expense, a small fort or block-house, about two 
miles west of where Fort Dale was afterwards 
built. This fort was built by Gary for the pur- 
pose of collecting fees from the settlers as they 
would come in for protection. About the same 
time the people in the Flat erected a fort on the 
place of Captain Saffold, who had, only a short time 
before, moved from the Ridge to that place. When 
the people in the flat heard of the Ogly massacre, 
they forthwith took their families into the fort, 


which was soon named in honor of W. W. Bibb, 
the Governor of the Territory. The Governor 
had sent Colonel Samuel Dale to the place of ex- 
citement, and sent a good many soldiers with him 
to quiet the Indians. The people became dissat- 
isfied with paying Gary for staying in his fort, and 
at once decided to build another. Colonel Dale 
Immediately put them to work on Fort Dale, 
about two miles from Fort Gary. When Thomas 
Gary saw that the settlers were all determined to 
build a new fort, he was greatly troubled, and 
soon lost his mind. This is the first case of in- 
sanity in this county. 

One week after the Ogly massacre, William P. 
Gardner, Daniel Shaw and John Hinson, in com- 
pany with Captains William Butler and James 
Safifold, started from Fort Bibb to carry an im- 
portant message to Fort Dale, then in the course 
of erection. As the forest was filled with mad 
Indians, ever anxious for an opportunity for kill- 
ing some unfortunate wanderer, but few persons 
would dare to undertake such an adventure. Well 
armed and mounted, these five braves rode 
proudly through the gates of the fort on the morn- 
ing of March 20, 18 18. There being no road cut 
out to Fort Bibb at that time, they took the trail 
up Pine Barren Creek. Having gone about the 
distance of four miles from the fort, and while 
passing around the head of a small ravine, they 
were fired upon by a band of Savannah Jack's 
warriors, who were hid in ambush. 


Gardner and Shaw, being pierced with bullets, 
fell dead from their horses. Both Butler and Hin- 
son were wounded and thrown from their horses ; 
Saffold received no injury and was not thrown. 
Young Hinson soon caught his horse, which was 
a small pony, and remounted. As Butler could 
not recover his horse, and seeing that it was death 
to be left, he begged Saffold, who rode a large bay 
mare, to let him ride behind him. Saffold paid 
no attention to Captain Butler's earnest pleadings, 
but galloped away as rapidly as possible, leaving 
his poor comrade to his own fate. Saffold, being 
greatly frightened, soon reached Fort Bibb, and 
had told the news before Hinson arrived. The 
people in the fort were very indignant at the cow- 
ardly conduct of Saffold, and always blamed him 
for the death of Captain Butler, who was a man 
highly esteemed by everybody in the fort. There 
being no troops at this fort, they were compelled 
to send for aid to Colonel Samuel Dale, who was 
then at work building a fort at Poplar Springs, 

To get a message such a distance under existing 
circumstances was very dangerous. After sev- 
eral hours' discussion, it was finally decided by 
chance that Alph. McGlocklen should be the 
courier. He at once set out for Fort Dale, cross- 
ing Pine Barren, and going on the north side 
of the creek in order to miss the Indians. The 
courier reached his destination about sunset and 
delivered the message. A detachment of soldiers 
was sent soon the next morning to the bloody 


scene, and found Gardner and Shaw dead in one 
place, and Captain Butler horribly bruised and 
beaten to death two hundred yards from them. 
After burying the three dead heroes together, the 
soldiers set out in search of the red men. They 
found that the Indians had camped the night be- 
fore at a spring about three-quarters of a mile 
southeast of where Monterey was afterwards built. 
A blaze, indicating the direction of their course, 
was left on a pine on the top of the hill. They 
were traced into the swamp of Cedar Creek and 
given up as gone. 

Every settler was by this time safe in the forts, 
which were well fortified and guarded. Troops 
were sent from Fort Claiborne to each of the 
forts in this county to assist in protecting the peo- 
ple against any further injury by the savages. The 
families remained in the forts the larger part of 
the year, expecting an attack from the enemy 
every moment. 

In the spring of 1818, shortly after Butler was 
killed, the Indian^ came near Fort Bibb one night 
and took several horses from Dave Reddock, 
Thomas Carter and Josiah Hill, and a good many 
of Thomas Hill's fine beeves, which were killed 
and the flesh carried away in sacks. They were 
pursued by the militia and a few of the citizens, 
and the horses were tracked southward into the 
fork of Long Creek, where the Indians were found 
enjoying their spoils. Discovering the white men 
first, the savages hid themselves in the thick un- 


dergrowth of the swamp and awaited an oppor- 
tunity for an attack. The captain of the militia 
threw out a Hne of skirmishers, succeeded in 
catching the stolen horses, and began to burn the 
beef. One of the skirmishes, named William Cog- 
burn, who lived with James K. Benson, got upon 
a log in order that he might have a better view of 
the situation, and was commanded by one of the 
officers to get down. He replied that he was not 
afraid, but a bullet pierced his heart before he had 
hardly finished the sentence, and he fell dead upon 
the ground. The captain rallied his company, 
and attempted to make a charge against the en- 
emy, but not without some difficulty as a man 
could not be seen ten steps in the thick cane and 
bushes of the swamp, and the men were expecting 
to be shot down every moment. After firing a 
few volleys in the direction of the enemy, the com- 
pany set out for Fort Bibb, carrying with them 
the dead man and the captured horses. 

The people, expecting an attack from the Indians 
every day, remained in the forts the larger part of 
the year 1818. They had considerable difficulty in 
providing themselves with food. It was some 
distance to Claiborne, and very dangerous to make 
trips through the forests when so many were be- 
ing killed by the savages. They, however, man- 
aged to make some corn during the year of fort 
life. Some would plow and hoe, while others 
would stand guard around the field with their 
guns ready to resist any attack. 



All Danger of Another Attack by the Indians Re- 
moved, and Peace Restored — The County 
Rapidly Settled by Emigrants from Georgia and 
South Carolina — TJie Year \%\g a Year of 
Great Prosperity to the Settlers — Some of the 
Customs of the Times. 

News was received in October that the Indians 
had left this section entirely, and that there was 
no danger of further disturbance. These tidings 
brought great joy to the hearts of the settlers, 
who had remained in the forts the larger part of 
the year, enduring all the hardships of the fort life, 
and feeling great anxiety for the preservation of 
their lives from a bloody grave. They immediately 
returned to their cabins in the forest, and began 
to work with renewed energy, making preparations 
for the following year. 

When the news was spread abroad over the 
land that peace had been restored in the Territory 
of Alabama, thousands of families from Georgia, 
Tennessee, Virginia, North and South Carolina, 
and Kentucky, began to flock to this territory to 
find homes upon this fertile soil. A large num- 
ber of those coming from Georgia and South Caro- 
lina stopped in the present locality of Butler 
County. This was in the latter part of i8i8 and 


the early part of 1819. About this time, the fami- 
lies of the DunkHns, Herberts, BoUings, Gray dons, 
Judges, Farmers, Hutchinsons, Burnetts, Pick- 
enses, Smiths, Caldwells, Cooks, Waterses, 
Joneses, Dulaneys, Demings, Blacks, and Pickens, 
a large number of which settled near where Green- 
ville was afterward built. They were soon fol- 
lowed by the families of the Carters, Arringtons, 
Peavys, Donaldsons, Joneses, Mannings, Leving- 
stons, Crenshaws, Womacks, and others, who 
settled in different parts of the county. 

All the land at that time belonged to the Govern- 
ment, and could be settled and cultivated by any 
person who so desired. Any one wishing to pur- 
chase land, could do so by going to the land office, 
which was then at Cahaba, on the Alabama River. 
There was nothing but a trailway to Cahaba at 
this early period ; a plain road was, however, cut 
in a few years. At first, the land agent would 
knock off different pieces of land to the highest 
bidder on certain days of sale ; and it very often oc- 
curred that a settler would lose his homestead, 
after spending several months of hard labor build- 
ing the house and clearing the land around it. If 
he did not lose it, it frequently happened that 
some person would bid against him, and make him 
pay about two or three prices for his home. A 
case is reported of a settler, who had spent both 
time and money on his place, and who had to re- 
build, after riding over a hundred miles on horse- 
back, and spending several weeks on the road to 


Cahaba — his place having been knocked off to an- 
other person who overbid him. Another settler, 
in the same neighborhood, seeing how his friend 
had been treated, determined that he himself 
should not suffer the same treatment ; and when 
his land was put up for sale, he mounted a barrel, 
with rifle in hand, and announced that he would 
put a ball through the first man that bid against 
him for his own land. His place was knocked 
off to him at fifty cents per acre without any 
opposite bidding from any of the bystanders. 
But this law was soon changed, so that no person 
could buy another person's land after it had been 
improved. The price of all the land was regulated 
by law at ;^i.25 per acre, for rich as well as poor. 
All were well pleased at this solution of the prob- 
lem, and no further trouble was given to the people 
about their homes. Every family was soon pro- 
vided with as much land as it desired, and was 

In these early days, the soil was very fertile, 
and money plentiful. The surface of the ground 
was perfectly loose, and yielded corn on the least 
attention. The settlers would kick a hole with 
the heel of their shoe, drop in a few grains of 
corn, cover it up, and would gather good corn by 
only hoeing it once. There being no horses, 
cows, nor hogs in the county when the settlers 
came, the range was magnificent. Cane, pea-vines, 
grasses of all kinds, covered the face of the earth. 
The people lived the pioneei life, having but little 


use for money. Their dress, being almost entirely 
made at home, was of a very common type. The 
houses of the settlers were of the lowest order of 
architecture. They were roughly built of logs 
and poles, and covered with boards, held on by 
poles and pegs, as there were no nails to be had 
in the savage land in those days. The floor was 
generally of dirt, packed hard with mauls, and 
dried. Sometimes they were made of puncheons, 
which were poles split in half, with the flat side 
turned up. The chimneys were constructed of 
logs, sticks and dirt, and sometimes of rocks. The 
old-fashioned spinning-wheel and loom were a part 
of every family's furniture. The men spent their 
time in hunting, exploring the country, and work- 
ing some on the farm, while the women remained 
at home, looked after the children, spun and wove, 
cut out and made the garments, and cooked for 
the family. 

There was no society at this time. Every- 
thing was work, although work to the adven- 
turous settlers was nothing more than a pas- 
time. They would frequently assemble to assist 
in a house-raising, a log-rolling, or a cotton-pick- 
ing. These meetings were both social and busi- 
ness-like. All the men and women, both young 
and old, would be present; the men would engage 
in the harder part of the work, and the other sex 
would prepare a meal, a kind of feast, for the 
settlers. After the work was done, they would 
spend several hours in telling tales of an adventur- 


ous character, or of news from friends and relatives 
back in the old country. The few old settlers still liv- 
ing in the county, take great delight in telling 
some of these interesting and blood-curdling 
stories of early pioneer life. The author has col- 
lected a great many of these exciting narratives, 
but for want of space, will give only one in 

While a settler was out hunting, his dog bayed 
a bear in the cane-brake. The hunter, not know- 
ing what it was, crawled along through the cane 
with his gun ready to fire on short notice. When 
he was within eight feet of the object, a large bear 
made at him, breaking the cane as it came, blow- 
ing and puffing as if mad. Being greatly sur- 
prised and frightened at the sight of so dangerous 
an animal so near, the hunter turned himself as 
quickly as possible to flee, but, in turning, his foot 
was caught in a bamboo, and in attempting to 
free himself, he fell headlong into a brook — the 
bear still coming on him, reaching out his claws 
and blowing. The faithful dog, seeing his master 
in such a predicament, seized the bear by the 
hind leg, and began to tear his flesh vigorously. 
The bear turned immediately upon the dog, and 
the hunter escaped without injury. 

The settlers always laughed heartily at the nar- 
row escape of their comrades, and considered them 
great heroes. 

There were no churches nor preachers in the 
county at this time, and the people would fre- 


quently meet at some neighbor's house to engage 
in religious worship. A few chapters of the 
Scriptures being read, and a prayer or two offered, 
concluded the exercises, after which the settlers 
would spend some time in social and business con- 
v'ersation. Some persons would walk six or eight 
miles to these meetings. The settlers never lived 
close together, and neighbored with families 
ten or fifteen miles distant. The men carried their 
guns with them at all times, and brought down a 
buck or a turkey wherever they happened to meet 
them, regardless of the day of the week, or the 
work they were engaged in, whether plowing, 
hoeing, going to meeting, a burial, a marriage, or 
visiting their friends — it was never out of order to 
lay up something for eating purposes. It was 
some time before many of the settlers regarded 
Sunday more than any other day, for every day 
of the pioneer Hfe is a kind of hohday or time of 
rest and recreation. 

The early settler cared but little for money, and 
spent a very adventurous, easy-going sort of life, 
caring more for his rifle, ammunition, dogs, and 
the best stands for deer and turkeys, than for 
speculation in lands and any of the industries by 
which he could soon lay up a large fortune for his 
family. None of them ever accumulated a large 
amount of wealth, but all provided their fami- 
lies with a comfortable country living. The edu- 
cation of the children was, for several years, 
almost entirely neglected, and a great many of 


them grew up to be men and women without the 
least mental training. 


Men of Capital Begin to Locate in the County — Es- 
tablishment of Commerce — Mail Routes — Seat 
of Justice at Greenville — General Growth and 
Prosperity of the New Country — Great Demand 
for Landy Etc. , Etc. 

The report soon reached the older States of the 
natural resources of the new country — the vast 
amount of game, the large tracts of land, the fer- 
tility and diversity of the soil, covered with inex- 
haustible forests of all kinds of timber, healthful 
localities, good water and everything at extremely 
low prices. Men of means spared no time in in- 
vesting their capital in lands, in locating in the 
forests, and in devoting their energies to the ac- 
cumulation of more wealth. The best land in 
the county was soon taken up, and large fields of 
cotton and corn were seen where once stood all 
sorts of trees, making a perfect wilderness. 

William Martin started a store at Fort Dale in 
1 8 19, carrying a small stock of general merchan- 
dise. A store was soon opened at Greenville, 
then called Buttsville. Stores near at hand, for 


the convenience of the people, were very much 
needed at this time, as everything had to be 
hauled over one hundred miles to market. The 
profits on goods of all kinds were then immense, 
and everybody soon tried to conduct a store. 
Nearly every man that could afford it soon 
started in the business, and a joke went the 
rounds, that when a person approached a set- 
tler's house, a cock would fly up on the front 
yard fence, flap his wings, and crow, ' ' Master's 
got a store!" In 1821 permanent settlements had 
been made in the Flat, at Fort Dale, on the Ridge, 
and around Greenville, and the county was thickly 
enough settled to begin to want laws and courts to 
regulate the conduct of the people and give justice 
in all cases of dispute. The first court ever held in 
the county was held on some logs under the shade 
of a few large oaks, at Fort Dale, Judge Anderson 
Crenshaw presiding. The author was unable to 
find the nature of the cases on the docket at this 
term of the court, as no record of it can be found, 
nor does any citizen remember anything of it. 
There was a great demand now for roads to differ- 
ent parts of the country. The citizens had already 
applied to the Legislature for commissioners to 
lay out these roads, to establish a seat of justice, 
and open mail routes to the important places in 
the State for their convenience. The Legislature, 
then in session at Cahaba, appointed a Board of 
County Commissioners, and passed an act author- 
izing this board to locate a seat of justice for the 


county, lay off as many lots, and dispose of the 
same in such manner, as they might think most 
expedient for the benefit of the county. This act 
was approved December 7, 1820. George W. 
Owen was Speaker of the House, Gabriel Moore, 
. President of the Senate, and Thomas Bibb was 
then acting as Governor of the State of Alabama. 
Joseph Dunklin, John BoUing and Jesse Stallings 
were members of this board. The board, having 
taken into consideration the best localities for the 
convenience of the whole county, finally decided 
on the place now known as Greenville as the seat 
of justice, and reported the result of their investi- 
gations to the Legislature at its next meeting. 

An act was then passed authorizing the judge of 
the county court and the commissioners to levy an 
extra tax upon the property in the county for the 
purpose of building a court-house and jail in the 
town of Buttsville (the name afterwards being 
changed to Greenville), said town having been 
made the permanent seat of justice for Butler 
County. This act was approved December 18, 
1 82 1. James Dellett, Speaker of the House; 
John D. Terrell, President of the Senate; Israel 
Pickens, Governor of Alabama. 

The commissioners appointed May 5, 1822, as 
the day for laying out the town and locating the 
court-house. According to an understanding, the 
settlers from all parts of the county assembled at 
an early hour on the appointed day for the specified 
purpose, and took great delight in assisting in 


such a good work. No one ever saw a May day- 
more beautiful than the one on which the town of 
Buttsville was laid out and the site of the future 
court-house was staked. It is not known whether 
the few silver-tongued orators of the new county 
made the primeval forests of this locality resound 
with their gifted eloquence, or whether the day 
was spent in the earnest, silent work of laying out 
the town in the best approved style and in discuss- 
ing its future prosperity. The writer, however, is 
of the opinion that there was no display of elo- 
quence on this occasion. 

The tide of emigration had already flooded some 
parts of the county with new settlers just from 
Georgia, South and North Carolina, Tennessee 
and Virginia, some of these bringing large num- 
bers of negroes and already beginning to lay plans 
for farming on a large scale. The Ridge was now 
settled up very rapidly, and all the land on Cedar 
Creek was taken up by the eager farmers, who 
had an eye for growing corn and cotton and get- 
ting rich from the sale of the fleecy staple. The 
demand for land in some localities was greater 
than the supply, consequently some were forced 
either to locate on the thinner and less productive 
soil of the county, or to fold their tents and seek 
other climes. 



Great Need for Grist-Mills, Saw-Mills^ Gin-Houses^ 
Cotton Presses, Tanneries^ Shoe-Shops], Black- 
smiths, Carpenters, etc. — The New Country 
Showing Signs of an Advance in Civilizationy 
Etc., Etc. 

The accommodations of the settlers in every 
respect were very poor. There was no place for 
them to have their corn ground into meal, no 
mills to get lumber from, no place to gin their 
cotton, no tanyards to prepare leather for making 
shoes, and no person to make the shoes when the 
leather was furnished. If one desired to build a 
house, he could not engage a carpenter to perform 
the work, as there were none ; if a horse needed 
shoeing, or if a plow or wagon was out of fix, 
there was no blacksmith to repair them. For 
several years some of the settlers made their 
meal with hand-mills, while others beat their 
corn in large mortars, burnt out of trunks of trees. 
The cotton that was used for making clothes — 
they at first raised cotton for no other purpose — 
was for several years separated from the seed by 
picking the seed out with the fingers. The few 
houses made of plank were very expensive, as 
the plank was sawed with a hand-whipsaw — quite 
a slow process of making plank compared with 


the rapid manner in which our mills now turn it 

The great demand for these accommodations and 
the necessities of the country soon brought them 
into existence, and the people rejoiced, although 
they were forced to go ten and fifteen miles to a 
mill, and sometimes farther to a blacksmith or 
shoemaker. There being plenty of water in the 
county, it was not long before every neighborhood 
had a mill. The first of these, of course, did not 
have all the improvements of the mills of to-day, 
being very rude imitations of our mills, and they 
giound corn very slowly. It is said, however, 
that the meal turned out by them was more whole- 
some and nutritious than that ground by our fast 
mills of to-day. One by one these conveniences 
were given to the settlers, and the colony grad- 
ually changed from a land of savages to that of 
civilization. These changes always come grad- 
ually, and can hardly be detected by the people 
themselves. The small log huts were constantly 
torn down and replaced by neat, country dwell- 
ings of hewn logs or sawed planks, put up in the 
frame style. Public roads, leading to different 
parts of the country, were continually being cut 
out, and the stage-horn was soon heard to echo 
in the forest as the thundering stages went on their 
way from one part of the State to another, carry- 
ing mail as well as passengers. The whole coun- 
try began to show signs of civilization and growth. 
Emigration continued, and every one that located 


here seemed to be well pleased. The yield of the 
land in these early days was really astonishing. 
Everything being cheap, it cost but little to live, 
and consequently the prosperity of the thrifty was 

There is nothing of importance to record for 
several years. Everything was work, money, and 
abundance. Education and the various accom- 
plishments, as well as the luxuries of higher civ- 
ilization were gradually introduced, until the 
county and the people became enlightened in 
many respects. Everything moved on quietly 
and smoothly until 1855, when an effort was made 
to have a railroad run through the county for the 
transportation of produce and the accommodation 
of the people. This enterprise received great en- 
couragement from the wealthy and influential men 
of the county, and was soon a reality. It was not 
until 1 86 1 that the road was completed. In May 
of that year Butler County was in communication 
with Montgomery and Mobile, the two principal 
towns in the State. Their cotton, corn, stock, 
timber, leather, and any other part of their pro- 
ducts could be shipped to any part of the country 
in a few days. 

This railroad, known as the Mobile and Mont- 
gomery, was of great value to the county. More 
emigrants flocked to the county, land rose in 
value, wages were raised and the whole county 
began to show decided evidences of an increased 




Thomas Hill Watts, Ex-Governor of AlabarKa. 

This honored citizen of Alabama was born in 
Butler County, January 3, 18 19, and was the eldest 
child of John H. and Prudence Watts, who moved 
in 18 17 from Greene County, Georgia, to Butler 
County, in the then Territory of Alabama. His 
father was among the first settlers of Butler County, 
and located the place now known in the Flat as 
the Watts' Old Place, and which is often visited 
as the birth-place of one of the Governors of Ala- 
bama. His mother was a daughter of Thomas 
Hill, who distinguished himself by his generosity 
to the first emigrants to this county, and after 
whom the subject of this sketch was named. The 
country being new, Governor Watts did not have 
the privilege of going to a good school until he 
was sixteen years of age, when he was sent to the 
Airy Mount Academy, in Dallas County, where 
he received careful instruction from James A. 
McLean, a thoroughly educated Scotchman. Here 
young Watts made rapid progress, and was pre- 
pared for college in 1836. He was admitted to 
the University of Virginia in November of the 
same year, where he remained until July, 1840, 
when he was graduated in all the schools in the 
regular course except the school of the Greek 


language and literature. In addition to the regu- 
lar academic course, he received certificates of 
proficiency in political economy, geology and 
mineralogy. During the last session at the Uni- 
versity, he took the junior course in law. On his 
return home, in the summer of 1840, he found the 
county very much excited over the celebrated 
Harrison presidential campaign, and he began his 
political career by making several speeches in favor 
of the Whigs. 

He continued the study of law at home until 
January, 1841, when he moved to Greenville, 
where he was admitted to the bar in March, on the 
examination of the eccentric Judge Ezekiel Pickens. 
He at once entered upon the duties of his profes- 
sion, but was often interrupted by politics. 

In 1842, he was elected to the Legislature by 
the people of his native county, and was re- 
nominated in 1843, but declined the honor for 
want of time to devote to his business. He was, 
however, elected in 1844 and again in 1845 ; and 
made a good member of the Legislature each 
time. It was during his last session that the Con- 
stitution was changed so as to have only biennial 
sessions, and this was the last session at Tus- 
caloosa. On the lOth day of January, 1842, he 
was married to Miss Eliza B. Allen, the accom- 
plished daughter of Wade Allen, Esq., then a 
prominent and wealthy citizen of Montgomery. 
She died August 31, 1873, leaving a family of ten 
children. In 1847, Governor Watts removed to 


Montgomery. That city, then being the Capital 
of the State, was looked upon as headquarters for 
all the best lawyers of the Alabama bar. Here 
he opened an office, and enjoyed a successful prac- 
tice, soon winning the esteem and confidence of 
the intelligent people of the town and county. 
They showed their high appreciation of his worth 
by electing him to represent them in the House in 
1849, and in the Senate in 1853. The Capitol was 
burned during the session of 1849, ^"^ ^^^ effort 
to remove the seat of Government back to Tus- 
caloosa, and not rebuild in Montgomery, was the 
absorbing question during the remainder of that 

In 1855, he was the Whig candidate for Con- 
gress from this district, but was defeated by James 
F. Dowdell, Esq., the Democratic nominee. Al- 
though Mr. Watts was defeated by a small majority 
in this election, he was generally recognized as 
the leader of the Whig party in the State ; and 
was, accordingly, nominated as an elector on the 
Bell and Everett ticket in i860, hoping by their 
election to avoid, the necessity of secession. He 
was disappointed. 

The whole South was, in the fall and winter of 
i860, in a state of intense excitement. William L. 
Yancey and Thomas H. Watts were elected by the 
people of Montgomery to the Secession Convention 
of the State, which assembled on the 7th day of Jan- 
uary, 1 86 1. Colonel Watts voted for and signed 
the Ordinance of Secession, a lithographic copy of 


which now nangs in the library of the Supreme 
Court at Montgomery. After the organization of 
the Confederate Government, he was appointed 
by President Jefferson Davis, to act as Confederate 
States Commissioner to Arkansas, but declined 
the appointment from the fact that he was a mem- 
ber of the convention which seceded. In the 
spring of 1861, war was proclaimed against the 
Southern States by President Lincoln ; and Mr. 
Watts was instrumental in raising the 17th Alabama 
Regiment, of which he was elected colonel. He 
first entered active service at Pensacola, in the grand 
bombardment which took place there in 1861. 
In March, 1862, he was ordered to Corinth, Mis- 
sissippi, and it was while his regiment was at this 
place, that he received notice from President 
Davis of his appointment as Attorney General of 
the Confederate States, with the request that he 
immediately repair to Richmond. This appoint- 
ment was unsolicited by Colonel Watts or any of 
his friends, and shows how his ability as a lawyer 
was recognized by the public men of the South. 
With this appointment, Colonel Watts retired 
from the battle-field, after having won for himself 
a fine reputation in the military circles of the 
country, for bravery and gallantry. 

He entered upon the duties of this office, April 
9th, 1862, and continued to act as Attorney Gen- 
eral until October I, 1863. In August of that 
year, while he was absent from the State, the 
people of Alabama, from their high regard for his 


executive ability, elected him to the office of 
Chief Magistrate of his native State. He received 
a majority of the votes cast in every county of the 
State except Winston. 

Governor Watts entered upon his administration 
under most trying circumstances. The cause of 
the South had already assumed a distressing as- 
pect ; the governmental affairs in every State were 
in a most embarrassing condition, and it required 
a steady nerve and a sound and experienced judg- 
ment to meet every emergency to the satisfaction 
of the oppressed people. Governor Watts guarded 
the interests of Alabama to the best of his ability, 
and made the best use possible of the means at his 
command, for the good of the general public. In 
these times of great trial and excitement, he held 
the reins of Government with a firm and unswerv- 
ing hand, and the people of this grand State were 
exceedingly fortunate in having such a man at the 
helm of the ship of State. It is a remarkable fact 
that he gave general satisfaction. During the sec- 
ond year of his administration, the cause of the 
South became the Lost Cause, and the Govern- 
ment of the people was changed to the Provisional 
Government. The people of the South know, by 
experience, the effects of this form of Govern- 
ment. Fortunately, the Government of the peo- 
ple has been re-established, and Alabama buds 
and blossoms again as of yore. 

With the introduction of the Provisional Govern- 
ment, Thomas H. Watts, the distinguished Ex- 


ecutive Officer, retired from public life. He has, 
ever since that time, diligently devoted himself to 
the practice of law^, giving his whole time and 
energy to every case entrusted to him. He has 
argued more cases in the Supreme Court of Ala- 
bama than any other lawyer that ever lived in this 
State ; and has defended over one hundred persons 
charged with murder, and never had one of his 
clients hanged. He still lives in Montgomery, 
and enjoys a good share of public patronage from 
different counties in the State ; and is a member of 
the firm of Watts & Watts, having taken in part- 
nership with him his son, Thomas H. Watts, Jr., 
who is a lawyer of recognized ability. 

Governor Watts is a strong advocate of temper- 
ance, and has abstained from drinking any ardent 
spirits for forty years. He is now sixty-five years 
old, and still walks with the springing step of 
youth ; and is now able to do more work, both 
physical and mental, than he could do at the age 
of forty. 

He has a good knowledge of hygiene, and en- 
joys perfect health. In August, 1846, while liv- 
ing at Greenville, he connected himself with the 
Baptist Church, and has been a consistent Chris- 
tian ever since. He is now a prominent member 
of the First Baptist Church of Montgomery, and 
contributes liberally to all charitable enterprises. 

Before the war, he had accumulated a large 
amount of property, owning over 200 slaves, but, 
by his great liberality to friends during the needy 


times of the war, he lost his wealth, and was forced 
into bankruptcy in 1868. 

Governor Watts is a warm-hearted, polite, tem- 
perate, intelligent, energetic, honest, conscientious 
Christian, and is worthy of the admiration of all 
those who appreciate the rare qualities of a truly 
great man. He has many relatives, and a host of 
warm friends in Butler County, who remember 
him very distinctly, and refer to his name with a 
great deal of patriotic pride. Let the noble ex- 
ample of Governor Thomas H. Watts serve to 
kindle in the breasts of the young men of Butler 
County, the desire to make their lives useful, and 
light up the pages of Southern history with their 
illustrious names ! 


The War Between the States Interferes with the Great 
Prosperity of the People — The County Furnishes 
Many Brave Soldiers — The War Robs Her of 
Some of Her Best Men and Sweeps Away 
the Wealth of Her Citizens, Etc. 

Amid great prosperity and progress, the South 
was stirred from center to circumference in 1861, 
by a declaration of war between the States. The 
party issues of the country culminated in the elec- 
tion of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the 


United States in i860, and war was declared 
against the Southern States no sooner than he had 
taken his seat as Chief Executive Officer. The 
Southern States, feehng that their people deserved 
justice, seceded from the Union, and formed the 
Confederacy, to decide all party issues at the point 
of the bayonet. The author will not attempt to 
enter into the details of this bloody conflict be- 
tween the North and the South. He is concerned 
only in the part that Butler County took in the 
matter, and how she suffered from the effects of 
the conflict. 

Her men were brave and heroic sons of liberty, 
and espoused the Southern cause with as much 
patriotism as Roman soldiers. The Greenville 
Guards, with Captain H. A. Herbert in command, 
set out for Richmond early in May, 1861. Sev- 
eral military companies were soon organized and 
equipped by the citizens of the county, and sent to 
the battle-field to fight for justice to rule over the 
land. The whole county was enthusiastic on the 
subject of joining the Confederate Army, and six- 
teen companies were soon formed, and marched 
toward the scene of action, feeling almost confi- 
dent that their arrival would determine the result 
of the contest in favor of the South. The noble 
and thoughtful women from all parts of the county 
greatly assisted in the equipment of these com- 
panies of gallant men, and underwent many 
hardships and privations for the soldier-boys far 
from home. They worked with untiring energy 


to provide for their families and keep the soldiers 
in clothing at the same time. These patriotic 
daughters of Butler County, many of whom are 
still living in our midst, should be praised as much 
for the noble part they took in the late war, as our 
gallant soldiers, who spilt their life-blood on the 
gory fields of battle, and each should wear a crown 
of gold for their many self-denials in "the times 
that tried men's souls." 

The wheels of commerce were soon clogged by 
the struggles of war, and all the luxuries, as well as 
some of the necessities, of life were taken from the 
people. The cards, the spinning-wheel and loom 
of pioneer life had to be pressed back into service, 
for making clothing for the family at home and for 
the absent ones fighting for peace and justice. 
Coffee and tea were hardly to be had at any price. 
Meal, bran, okra, potatoes, sassafras and other 
things were substituted as a beverage for coffee 
and tea. 

A few men remained behind to prepare food for 
the army by working the slaves of several plan- 
tations in connection, and these men generally 
succeeded in making a good harvest every year 
during the war. The negroes labored faithfully 
and showed no signs of discontent, and are to be 
highly commended for their conduct and action in 
this great struggle concerning their future freedom. 
News was constantly received of the death of a 
brother, father, son, other near relatives, neigh- 
bors, or of the defeat of the Confederates in some 


battle; but this did not discourage the men at 
home nor the brave-hearted women, for they con- 
tinued to work without thinking of giving up hope 
of victory for the Southern people. It is, indeed, 
sad, that all their hopes, arduous labors, self-deni- 
als, earnest and tearful prayers should be in vain; 
and, though the bravest and most gallant men of 
the nineteenth century fought for the Confederacy, 
the South was defeated. And in the spring of 
1865, while the South bloomed in all the beauty of 
her flowers, and shed sweet fragrance over the soil 
made sacred by the blood of her noble citizens, 
the whole country was pillaged and plundered by 
the Federal Army — not satisfied with the injury al- 
ready done the rebels, these thoughtless victors 
proceeded to drain the last drop of blood from the 
veins of the Southern people. The horse or mule 
was taken from the plow, corn from the barn, 
meat from the smoke-house, the last cent from the 
purse, every piece of jewelry that could be found 
— all these, and any other valuables that were in 
reach, were boldly seized by the Union soldiers 
and either carried off or destroyed. The dome of 
heaven was often lit up by glaring light from the 
flames that laid in ashes the palatial home of some 
Southern family. During this great excitement 
the Confederate soldiers began to return to their 
homes, to find the whole country in perfect con- 

After all the soldiers had returned, many of 
Butler's brave and noble sons were found absent. 


Among the gallant officers that were left dead 
upon the battle-field were Colonel Samuel Adams, 
commander of the Thirty-third Regiment; Captains 
R. N. Cook, Zachariah Daniel, William E. Dod- 
son, E. Y. Hill, Lewis A. Livingston, J. D. Mc- 
Kee, H. H. Rutledge and William S. Sims. 
Besides these officers, there were many privates 
whose names the author could not mention here 
for want of space, although they were noted for 
their gallantry and courage in many hard-fought 

The war being over and the freedom of the col- 
ored people established, great excitement pre- 
vailed among the negroes. Some went off with 
the Union soldiers, while others, more sensible, 
contracted with their old masters to stay with 
them the remainder of the year for a certain part 
of the crop. All the bonds issued by the Con- 
federate Government had now no value whatever, 
and cash money was at a premium. The citizens 
of the county, being robbed of their wealth by the 
freedom of their slaves and the high taxes of the 
war, began at once to arrange their business matters, 
to provide for their respective households and make 
the best of the circumstances in which the country 
was placed by the late war. In addition to the 
many disadvantages and embarrassments of the 
times, the people had to endure the provisional 
form of government, and be ruled by men either 
directly opposed to the Southern cause, or who 
were in sympathy with the Union men, and had 


turned traitor to the South for the purpose of 
gain. Every office in Butler County was soon 
filled by an officer against the will of the ma- 
jority of the most intelligent citizens of the county. 
Several years were spent in trying to readjust 
matters, to wind up bankrupt and insolvent es- 
tates, and get back into the old path of happiness 
and prosperity. Many wealthy citizens sank 
amid the financial crash, only to rise in poverty 
and obscurity. This state of things could not last 
always, and a change for the better was earnestly 
hoped for by the downtrodden people. They 
gave up all hopes of the negro as ever being of 
any more service to them financially, and began to 
concentrate all their energies to fight their own 
battle in the struggle for subsistence. 


The People Manage to Survive the Oppressive Times 
Which Followed the War, and Begin to Pros- 
per — They Succeed in Electing Their County 
Officers from the Ranks of the Intelligent Dem- 
ocrats, and are no Longer Governed by Carpet- 
Baggers and Republicans — The Prosperity of 
the People Assured^ Etc. 

The business interests of the county were now 


in a bad condition. No one's credit was good for 
any amount ; the commerce of the whole country- 
was greatly affected by the destruction of the war; 
the labor of these sections was of no service to 
the people for some time, and many other things 
retarded the progress of the county for several 
years. But this state of affairs could not last al- 
ways. The clouds soon began to break away in 
the East, and a bright sun rose to shine in all its 
grandeur and splendor upon the desperate efforts 
of the Southern people to free themselves from 
the oppression of the times, and restore peace, 
happiness and prosperity in this their beautiful 

In 1874, the affairs of the county were removed 
from the hands of the Republican party, where 
they had suffered greatly from the want of proper 
attention, and all the offices were filled with men 
elected by the Democrats — this party consisting 
of a majority of the most intelligent and influen- 
tial voters of the county. The result of this elec- 
tion was received with great joy by the whites, for 
it meant that the provisional form of government 
was abolished, and justice and right should once 
more rule over the people. 

The principal officers inaugurated under the 
new regime in the fall of 1874, were John L. 
Powell, Judge of Probate Court; Ransom Scale, 
Clerk of the Circuit Court, and William M. Flow- 
ers, County Sheriff. 

The whole county now presents a different as- 


pect — the farming and business interests begin to 
look up and prosperity is secured to the thrifty. 
All kinds of enterprises of the citizens receive great 
encouragement, and the natural resources of the 
county begin to be developed by the capitalist. 
The immense forests were brought in service for 
making houses, and shipping timber to different 
parts of the State ; farming land and all kinds of 
real estate increase in value, and everything once 
more assumes an air of prosperity. This progress 
has steadily continued from that day, until Butler 
County stands to-day abreast with any county in 
the State in nearly every respect, and is far ahead 
of the average in some particulars. 


A General Description of the Present Resources of 
the County y and Its Prospects for Future Devel- 

We will now take the reader over a summary 
of all the resources of thb county, showing him its 
area of cultivated and uncultivated lands, the 
variety of soil in different localities, with its pro- 
ducts ; and, in fact, everything of interest to a per- 
son in search of general information will be found 
in this chapter. A fuller description of the small 


villages and neighborhoods in particular localities 
of the county can be read in the second part of 
this book. 

There are in this county about 450,000 acres of 
land, about 5,200 of which belongs to the Gov- 
ernment, subject to homestead entry at the rate 
of ten cents per acre; the rest is owned by cor- 
porations and private individuals. The Mobile 
and Montgomery Railroad, which extends about 
thirty-four miles nearly diagonally across the 
county, owns 8,800 acres, valued at ^1.25 per 
acre; the Michigan Land Company owns 10,700 
acres, the Milner, Caldwell & Flowers Mill cor- 
poration owns 25,000 acres, and Judge Samuel 
Boiling pays taxes on 20,000 acres. Joseph 
Steiner, W. W. Wilkinson, and others, own small 
plantations in several portions of the county. 

The mineral resources of the county are lim- 
ited. Up to the present there has been reported 
but one deposit of iron ore which contains enough 
metallic iron to pay for working it. 

The real value of the land, as well as its market 
price, depends upon the amount of timber on it, 
its agricultural products, and its locality. All the 
land of the county can be classified under three 
heads, viz., the Prairie, or Black Belt; the Mid- 
dle, or Red Clay Belt; and the Southern, or Gray 

Black Belt. The land in the northwestern part 
of the county, drained by Cedar Creek and the 
lower half of Wolf Creek, and lying north of Man- 


ningham, and north of Monterey, and bordering 
these villages on the north, is of the black prairie 
variety, and is very productive without any assist- 
ance in the way of fertilizers. There are about 
8,500 acres of this land, nearly all of which is in a 
high state of cultivation. The principal growth 
on these lands was red cedar, ash, hickory, sev- 
eral kinds of oak, covered with gray moss, poplar, 
wahoo, elm, sweet gum, dogwood, etc. Cane also 
grows vigorously in this region. This soil yields 
from thirty-five to sixty bushels of corn, from 
800 to 1,700 pounds of seed cotton per acre, and 
other things in proportion. From the richness of 
the soil, this is the most valuable farming land in 
the county, selling for, at least, $\o, and some- 
times as high as $25, per acre. Fossils and rocks 
of the cretaceous division are plentiful here, and 
interfere somewhat with the higher cultivation of 
the soil. Water in this section is very scarce, 
and, when found, is impregnated with lime, which 
renders it almost unfit for drinking purposes, often 
producing sickness. The malaria, constantly rising 
from the stagnant water in the lagoons found on 
the edges of the swamps, is the cause of so much 
sickness, that but few people dare trust their 
health in this locality. A great many, neverthe- 
less, live along the dividing line between the red 
and the black land, and own plantations in this 
productive region. 

Middle, or Red Clay Belt. This section borders 
the black belt of which we have just spoken, and 


extends in a southern direction, occupying nearly 
all of that portion of the county lying north of 
Greenville, and including that city, and extending 
east to Crenshaw County. The red color of this 
soil is due to the large amount of iron oxide dif- 
fused through it. In some places this iron has 
been concentrated, probably by the agency of cir- 
culating atmospheric water charged with organic 
matter, and may now be found in beds of very 
fair needle iron ore, yielding about fifty per cent, of 
metallic iron upon analysis. This deposit of ore 
begins in the neighborhood of Dead Fall, and is 
found on the tops of hills from this place around 
to near McBride's, in the eastern part of the 
county. The red clay section is not near so pro- 
ductive as the prairie lands, but when properly 
assisted by some kind of fertilizer, it has been 
known to produce very abundantly. Naturally, 
it yields from six to eight hundred pounds of seed 
cotton, and from fifteen to twenty bushels of 
corn per acre, but can be made to produce 
three or four times as much if properly assisted 
and cultivated. The natural growth is chestnut, 
oak, hickory, gum, long and short-leaf pine, etc. 
This land is generally termed rolling, and is sup- 
plied with plenty of freestone water. The locality 
is healthful and convenient to market. The lar- 
ger portion of this division is already under culti- 
vation, and is valued at from ;^5 to $\^ per acre. 
Gray, or Sandy Loam Belt. The third, or gray 
belt, embraces all the land covered with yellow 


pine timber as the principal growth, and includes 
the most of the land lying in the middle and 
southern part of the county. This soil, which is 
of a gray, sandy variety, is very productive when 
properly assisted by fertilization, and can not be 
cultivated to any advantage if some help is not 
received in the way of manure, bone phosphate, 
or some kind of decayed organic matter. The 
land is very valuable for its pure freestone water, 
its healthfulness of locality, and its immense for- 
ests of long-leaf pine, which are now being util- 
ized by having the timber sawed into lumber and 
shipping it in large quantities to the Western 
States, where it finds a ready market. This land, 
having plenty of timber, an abundance of good 
water, being level and susceptible of the highest 
stages of cultivation, will soon be the most valua- 
ble land in the county. Those desiring a safe 
investment would do well to purchase a few hun- 
dred acres of this land while it is comparatively 
cheap, the price now being from 50 cents to ;^io 
an acre, and if the development in this region con- 
tinues, the value will increase to four and five 
times what it now is. The land at Forest Home, 
in the western part of the county, is of this 
variety, and has been developed in a remarkable 
manner within the last ten years. In 1870 the 
best land could be bought for $^ per acre ; none 
can be bought now for less than $2^ per acre. 
All of our gray lands are becoming more and 
more in demand every day. They promise to be 


the garden spot of the South for truck farming. 
This has been thoroughly demonstrated by ex- 
periments in the growth of all kinds of vegetables 
known to grow in this climate. All kinds of 
grapes and fruit trees can be as profitably culti- 
vated here as the vegetables. All of the agricul- 
tural and horticultural properties of this soil have 
been thoroughly tested by skilled farmers living 
in different localities of the county. 

Cotton is Butler's principal product, yielding 
15,000 bales as the average crop. All of the land 
is well adapted to the growth of corn, cotton, 
oats, sweet and Irish potatoes, sugar cane, all 
kinds of garden plants and fruits of nearly every 
variety known. The author is of the opinion that 
it would be far better for the farmers to have a di- 
versity of agricultural products than to depend 
upon cotton as the only source of revenue or pay. 
This plan is practicable in many respects. In the 
first place, the cotton crop often turns out a faik 
ure; in this case other products would help out; 
another good reason is, it would make the farmers 
more independent; they could live more at home, 
live better, and become more prosperous. There 
are 108,480 acres of tilled land in the county, 
planted as follows: cotton, 41,320; corn, 21,570; 
oats, 15,350; sweet potatoes, 860; these being the 
principal products. 

Greenville, Butler's seat of justice, is located a 
little north of the center of the county, on the 
Mobile and Montgomery Division of the Louisville 


and Nashville Railroad, forty-five miles south of 
Montgomery, the Capital of the State. This is 
our largest town, and is an incorporated city of 
about 4,000 inhabitants. There are five com- 
modious churches and several fine schools at this 
place. The Greenville Collegiate Institute is un- 
der the control of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and the South Alabama Female Institute 
under the supervision of the Baptist denomina- 
tion. Besides these, there are several private 
schools — the Greenville Male High School, the 
Butler High School, and others, all of them hav- 
ing the services of competent and experienced 
teachers, who giv.e instruction in the different de- 
partments of science and literature. 

The court-house is beautifully located in the 
eastern part of the town, and is a very durable 
building, constructed of the best quality of 
pressed brick. The Greenville Advocate, the only 
paper now published in the county, is printed 
here every Wednesday, with Colonel J. B. Stanley 
as editor and proprietor. 

Georgiana, fourteen miles south of Greenville, 
is a flourishing little town of 800 souls, and ranks 
next to Greenville in importance in the county. 
Garland is about twenty miles below Greenville; 
population, 300. Both of these towns are on the 
railroad. Forest Home, a village fifteen miles 
west of Greenville, is located in a beautiful and 
productive part of the county. Manningham and 
Monterey, villages situated on the southern bor- 


der of the fertile black prairie belt, are very de- 
sirable localities in many respects. 

The people enjoy a very good system of public 
schools established in every township, the salaries 
of the teachers being paid by an appropriation an- 
nually made by the State for that purpose. The 
private schools are generally very good, but are 
not what they should be. The people are not as 
much aroused upon the subject of education as 
their interests demand, and it is sincerely hoped 
that they will soon arouse themselves from their 
apparent lethargy, in order that they may be in har- 
mony with the efforts now being made by the 
State to advance the cause of education and to ex- 
tend its enlightening influence to the masses of 
the people. 

We have no rivers in Butler, though the county 
is well supplied with water. The most of the 
streams furnish sufficient water-power to run any 
kind of machinery, when properly applied. Water- 
power is now extensively used throughout the 
county for grinding corn and ginning cotton. 
Pigeon and Persimmon are our longest and largest 
creeks, and are both used to some extent for raft- 
ing pine and cypress timber to Pensacola, Florida, 
for ship-building purposes. 

There are several large steam-power saw-mills 
situated on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, 
which are doing a very successful business in con- 
verting our pine forests into very fine lumber. 


Water-power in other parts of the county is util- 
ized for this purpose. 

Within the borders of the county are found 
seventy-six churches, most of which are Method- 
ist and Baptist. None of these churches have 
preaching every Sunday except those in Green- 
ville, but they all have services, at least, once 
•each month during the year. This exerts a won- 
derful influence upon the people throughout the 
county, and assists very materially in molding 
their character and in making of them good and 
useful citizens. Churches, wherever found, are 
a good sign of an enlightened and prosperous 

Butler County is known throughout the State 
for her many accommodations, for her refined 
society, and for the general intelligence of her 
citizens. No portion of Alabama is more desira- 
ble for homes and agricultural purposes than por- 
tions of this county, and few people are so happy 
and contented as her people. 

The following tabular statement will show the 
population as it is given by the Federal census: — 

1820. 1830. 1840. 1850. i860. 1870. 1880. 
Whites, 835 3,904 6,192 7,162 11,260 8,590 10,684 
Blacks, 570 1,746 2,493 3.674 6,862 6,391 8,965 

Total, 1,405 5,650 8,687 10,836 18,122 14,981 19,649 

The decrease in the population in 1870 is due 

to the number of men killed in the war, and to the 

fact that a part of the county was cut off in the 

formation of Crenshaw County. 

Part 1 1. 

This Part of the Work Contains a Description 

OF THE Towns and Villages in the County, 

AND Short Sketches of a Few of the 

Most Distinguished Kesidents. 



Pine Flat. 

The level portion of low, flat land between 
Red dock and Pine Barren Creeks, was originally 
covered with a pine forest and a dense under- 
growth of dogwood. From the thickness of this 
undergrowth, this section of the county was 
called Dogwood Flat, but the name was afterward 
changed, and is now known as the Pine Flat. 
The soil of Pine Flat is a brown loam, and pro- 
duces abundantly, when properly fertilized and 
cultivated. It was in this beautiful section of 
level country that James K. Benson erected the 
first house ever erected by a white man in this 
county. The exact date of this historical fact is 
not known, but the best authorities in the county 
give it as 1815. The part of Butler County north- 
west of the Federal Road, belonged to Monroe 
County at that time. 

Reuben Hill, the elder son of Thomas Hill, 
came to Alabama the same year, and being well 
pleased with Pine Flat, persuaded his father to 
leave the State of Georgia and come to the new 
Territory of Alabama. In the fall of 18 16, a party, 
composed of the following persons, came to try 
the new country : Thomas Hill, his two sons, 
Reuben and Josiah ; Warren A. Thompson ; Cap- 


tain John H. Watts, (Ex-Governor Thomas H. 
Watts' father); Benjamin Hill (brother of Thomas 
Hill), and his son Isaac. All of these persons had 
horses, cattle, and enough provisions to last one 
year. Tommy Hill settled the place now owned 
by James Reynolds ; Captain Watts settled the 
Watts' place ; the other members of the party re- 
mained with these in their houses. 'Squire James 
K. Benson brought his family here in the fall of 

1817, and Thomas and Benjamin Hill brought 
their families the winter of the same year. 

Thomas Hill was one of the pioneer settlers, 
and named a good many creeks in this part of 
Butler County. He was born in the great State 
of Virginia, and was a herder of cattle. When 
quite a young man, he drove his herds from his 
native State into North Carolina and then into 
South Carolina. Becoming dissatisfied with the 
range in his State, he carried his stock to Georgia, 
finally removing them to the Territory of Alabama 
in 1816. 

When the Ogly Massacre took place in March, 

18 1 8, the people of this section of country erected 
a fort on a piece of land a little more elevated 
than the surrounding country. This was on Cap- 
tain Saffold's place, who had only been here for 
a few months. This place of refuge for the white 
people was known as Fort Bibb, named in honor 
of the Governor of the Alabama Territory. The 
Saffold place was afterward purchased by some of 
the Carters, and is still known as the Carter place, 


but is now owned by Peter Cheatham. After 
remaining in the fort the whole year of i8i8, the 
people became dissatisfied with this locality, and 
moved farther West, but their places were soon 
filled by other emigrants from Georgia, who tried 
their lots in the Flat. Not being accustomed to 
the frontier style of living, some of these soon be- 
came dissatisfied and moved farther West, those 
remaining, soon wishing that they had done like- 
wise; for, not taking the proper care of their 
horses, and feeding them exclusively on switch- 
cane, the animals soon died, leaving the settlers 
with no teams to haul their provisions from Clai- 
borne, and no other means of tilling the soil than 
by hoeing. 

The families that remained in the Flat soon be- 
came prosperous, from their untiring energy and 
the readiness with which the soil yielded to the de- 
sires of the tillers. 

A visit to this old settlement will convince any 
person of the wealth of its first settlers. Some of 
the palatial residences are still to be seen, but are 
now crumbling under the frosts of sixty winters. 
Although this land has been cleared over fifty 
years, the soil produces corn, oats, and cotton 
about as well here as on any similar soil in the 

Land is valued from i^io.oo to ;^ 15.00 per acre, 
but can not be bought for hardly any price. Those 
living here are too well satisfied to sell their inter- 
est for the purpose of trying some other locality. 


There are three mails per week from Greenville. 
The name of the post-office is Butler Springs, and 
put down on the map, Reynolds. 

Ex-Governor Thomas H. Watts was born in the 
Flat, and his mother and father were buried here 
in the old family graveyard. Captain John H. 
Watts was born in April, 1781, and died October, 

There is an old church at this place which has 
long been established. 

John Smith lives in this neighborhood, and is 
the wealthiest man here now, and is a man of 
considerable influence. James Reynolds, the 
postmaster here, is known throughout the county. 


Fort Dale. 

This fort was erected in the spring of 18 18, by 
order of Colonel Samuel Dale, who had charge of 
a garrison of soldiers at Fort Claiborne. It was 
built on the top of a small hill, near a spring, now 
known as the old Poplar Spring, in the neighbor- 
hood of Oak Grove Church. Although all traces 
of the fort have long since been removed, the spot 
still bears the name of the noble soldier who was 
so instrumental in its erection for the protection 


of the whites against outrageous attacks by the 
Indians, that reluctantly saw their favorite hunt- 
ing-grounds turned into corn-fields. All the peo- 
ple in this part of the county sought refuge in this 
fort, and remained there the larger portion of 1818, 
although a red man was not to be seen. 

After the excitement of 18 18 was over, the 
settlers returned to their homes and resumed work. 
Colonel A. T. Perry entered the land on which 
the fort was built, and lived there several years, 
finally selling it to Joseph Hartley, who came from 
Putnam County, Georgia, January 15, 1825. Hart- 
ley built a good house of logs, which were sawed 
with a whipsaw, and cleared a large field around 
the fort. Several families had settled near the 
fort, making a kind of village. William Martin 
started a small store in 18 19, and others were 
opened soon after. These were the first stores in 
Butler County. A small one was, however, started 
at Greenville, shortly after this. It is said by 
some of the older inhabitants, that the first court 
of any kind ever held in the county, was held here 
at Fort Dale, on some logs, before Judge Ander- 
son Crenshaw. This place, like all other new 
places of the county, was often frequented by the 
citizens of the county, and was the scene of many 
foot-races, horse-swappings, drinkings, fightings, 
etc. One of the most notable characters that 
visited Fort Dale, was Betsy Donaldson, whose 
father lived about two miles from Greenville. 
There is quite a contrast between this representa- 


tive of the opposite sex at that early period in the 
history of the county and the average maiden of 
to-day. She was about six feet in height, very 
stout and muscular, and weighed about i8o 
pounds. She was a maid of about eighteen sum- 
mers, when, one day, while her father was ab- 
sent from home, she killed a large bear, which had 
made an attack upon some hogs in the field near 
her home. This demonstration of her bravery, 
gave her a considerable reputation among the 
many adventurers of the county. She increased 
her reputation by throwing William Tragus, a 
worthless young man, into Stalling's Creek one 
night, for attempting to escort her home against 
her consent. She frequently visited the stores at 
Fort Dale, and was bantered for a wrestle one 
day by one of the bullies of the neighborhood. 
To the great delight of the bystanders, she gave 
her opponent a chance to show his agility and 
strength, and threw him the best two out of three. 
She soon entered the boxing-ring, and was equal 
to any man in the county in a pugilistic encounter. 
Her muscles were now so well developed that she 
was able to perform a number of wonderful feats 
of physical strength. It is said that she could 
pick up a barrel of whisky by the chimes, and raise 
the bung to her mouth and drink whisky from it 
without the assistance of any other person. After 
gaining so much notoriety, Betsy married a very 
quiet, peaceable man, and settled down, and made 
for him a good wife. They did not live in this 


county long before they moved West, where they 
lived to a happy, old age. She and her husband 
have both, long since, been gathered to' their 
graves in peace. 

When Greenville was made the seat of justice 
for Butler County, Fort Dale began to go down, 
and has continued in that direction ever since. 
There are but a few families in the neighborhood 
now, and the stores have been closed many years 
past. The thing now at this place, of most in- 
terest to the general reader, is the old graveyard. 
Here are deposited the remains of many of the 
first settlers of the county, the descendants of 
whom are now scattered to all parts of the State. 
Thom^as Gary was the first person ever buried 
here. He was born in South Carolina, in 1764, 
and came to this county in January, 18 18, and 
died in the fort in April of the same year. He 
was a Tory. His wife died in 1826. Andrew 
Jones was buried here in 1822. Ennis McDaniel 
died in 1832. Many other pioneer settlers were 
buried here, but they have no tombs to mark their 
resting places, and to tell the people whose sepul- 
chre they guard. Many large trees, regardless of 
the sacred spots, have grown on the smoldering 
mounds. Among the old citizens recently buried 
here, are: Joseph Hartley, born 1769, died 1849; 
his wife, born 1777, died 1863. Jesse Stallings, 
born 1795, died 1881; his wife, born 1804, died 

The palings that once inclosed this burial-place. 


have long since rotted down, and should be re- 
placed by those who have relatives and friends 
buried here. A small amount, subscribed by each 
one interested, would be sufficient to put it in a 
decent condition. 


Greenville — Early Settlement — Made the Seat of 
Justice — Gradual Progress — Business Men — 
Changes Down to the Present. 

This thriving little city is beautifully situated 
on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, forty- 
five miles south of Montgomery. The locality is 
healthful, the water freestone ; the land, however, 
is not as level as it is in some other portions of 
the county ; the soil is of the red clay variety, giv- 
ing rise to an impalpable powder, or dust, in dry 

Although Greenville is not a very large town, 
she is one among the first places settled in the 
State, having received a few emigrants as early as 
1 8 19. She has never made any rapid progress at 
any particular period of her history, but has grad- 
ually grown from a small village to her present 
size and importance. Like the great city of an- 
tiquity, Greenville was not built in a day. 


Previous to 18 19, the present site of Greenville 
was a. favorite resort for wild deer, hundreds of 
them often being seen at one time feeding upon 
the luxuriant growth of grass which covered her 
verdant hills, or lying down resting themselves in 
the cool and refreshing shade of the cane thickets 
that hid the mossy banks of the crystal streams 
from the face of the bright luminary of day. On 
the evening of the 14th of January, 18 19, the 
peace of this happy forest of oaks was disturbed 
by a train of emigrants, who had come from the 
State of South Carolina to the new country in 
search of future homes. Being favorably im- 
pressed with the appearance of this locality, they 
stopped for the night on what is now known as 
Routon's Branch, to rest themselves from the 
fatigue of the day, and to breathe the fresh and 
invigorating air characteristic of the locality. 

After further investigation the next day, thay 
were all well pleased with the surroundings, and 
at once decided to erect their future homes in this 
beautiful portion of Nature's happy vineyard. 
Among the settlers included in this train of emi- 
grants were James Dunklin, Joseph Dunklin, 
John Dunklin, Dr. Hilary Herbert, Webster Gil- 
bert, John Boiling, William Graydon, John Gray- 
don, William Payne, Thomas Coleman and Dr. 
George Herbert, eight of these emigrants having 
families. They brought with them fifty-two 
horses and twelve wagons, loaded with bedding, 
clothing, cooking utensils, all kinds of food, and 


an assortment of tools used in mechanical work. 
Each family selected a particular spot upon which - 
to erect a rude cabin, for the shelter and protection 
of its inmates from exposure to the weather and 
the danger of attack from wild beasts. 

A few weeks after the first batch of emigrants 
had pitched their tents here, Ephraim Palmer, 
John Cook, N. Hutchinson, and others, came 
from the older States, and cast their lots with 
their friends in this locality. The same year 
came John Caldwell, Samuel Black, Ezekiel Pick- 
ens, David Waters, and Thomas Burnett, all of 
whom settled near where Greenville was after- 
wards located. 

The first marriage in this county was confirmed 
in February, 1819, by John Cook, the Justice of 
the Peace, and the contracting parties were Dr. 
George Herbert and Miss Anna Dunklin. The 
day set apart for this great event was a cold and 
rainy one ; the magistrate was sick in bed, thereby 
compelling the couple to visit his house, and the 
ceremony was pronounced by Esquire Cook while 
sitting up in bed. The attendance on this occa- 
sion was small, compared to such grand social 
events in the higher circles of Greenville society 
of to-day, and, of course, the ceremony was 
marked with brevity and simplicity. 

Ephraim Palmer erected the first log cabin in 
the immediate vicinity of Greenville, it being situ- 
ated about where the Sycamore stables were after- 
wards built. It was not long before this section 


of country was tolerably thickly settled, and it 
soon became necessary for the people of the 
county to have courts, judges, etc. The inhabit- 
ants of the South Carolina colony immediately 
took steps to have the court-house located in their 
midst, and thereby build up a town in this savage 

The State Legislature, at its second session at 
Cahaba, in 1820, appointed a committee of citi- 
zens from different parts of the county, authoriz- 
ing them to select a suitable place for locating the 
seat of justice for Butler County, and further in- 
vesting in them the power of laying off as many 
lots as they may have purchased for that purpose, 
and dispose of the same in such a manner as they 
might deem most expedient for the county. The 
committee thus appointed, examined all the locali- 
ties in the new county, and decided upon the pres- 
ent site of Greenville as the proper place for the 
location of the court-house. On the i8th of De- 
cember, 1 82 1, the General Assembly passed an 
act authorizing the Judge of the County Court 
and the Board of Commissioners of the Roads and 
Revenue of Butler County to levy an extra tax 
upon the property of the people, for the purpose 
of building a court-house and jail in the town of 
Buttsville, said town having been made the per- 
manent seat of justice for the county. 

The 5th of May, 1822, was set apart as the day 
for laying out the future town of Buttsville. It 
was named in honor of Captain Samuel Butts> a 


Georgian, who was killed at the battle of Calabee, 
January, 1814. The good people of the little 
town petitioned the Legislature, and had the 
name changed to Greenville, in memory of the 
district in South Carolina by the same name, from 
which a majority of the first inhabitants of the 
hew town had emigrated. 

The court-house was soon completed, and was a 
neat frame building, which served all the purposes 
of the people for over twenty-five years. It was a 
very good house when it, with all the jfublic 
records of the county, was consumed by fire in 
1852. Another frame building was shortly 
erected on the same spot, and this was replaced 
in 1 87 1 by a substantial brick structure, at a cost 
of ;^i2,ooo. This building is a handsome piece of 
workmanship, and will, no doubt, last fifty years 
without much repairing. 

About the same time the first court-house was 
erected, James Johnson put up a log house for 
Caulfield & Bell, who opened a small stock of 
goods in it, having hauled them from Claiborne 
on the Alabama River, a distance of over seventy 
miles. Thomas McDaniel soon purchased the 
outfit, and continued the business in the same 
storehouse. Whisky was a great article of com- 
merce in these early days, and it was sold to the 
customers at extremely low prices. J. C. and 
W. H. Caldwell entered the mercantile business 
shortly after, the former employing his spare time 
as a silversmith and jeweler. A hotel was now' 


erected by W. H. Caldwell, the father of Mrs. M. 
E. McKeller. William L. Yancey, the gifted 
orator of Alabama, who set the South on fire 
with his burning eloquence and caused the 
secession of the States in 1861, is said to have 
been among the early business men of Green- 

The Boiling Hotel, with John Boiling as pro- 
prietor, was situated south of the court-house. 
The proprietor of this primitive inn sold whisky 
and groceries to his customers on the spot where 
the Boiling Bar now stands, and kept the accounts 
of his debtors on the walls of his store with long 
marks of charcoal. Old Uncle Johnnie was a rare 
specimen of Butlerian character, and many inter- 
esting tales are still told of his native originality 
and shrewd disposition shown in the accumulation 
of this worid's goods. It is said of this good old 
financier that he never allowed an opportunity for 
making a dime to pass without making good use 
of it. 

The first church was erected on a spot that is 
now inclosed in the limits of the old cemetery. 
It was in this small church that Parson James 
Dulaney expounded the Holy Scriptures to the 
colonists in his primitive style of delivery. All 
denominations in the vicinity used this house for 
some time, though it was generally considered to 
be Methodist. Religion and education were 
somewhat neglected for several years. The abso- 
lute necessities of every-day life had to be provided 


for, before mental and spiritual training could be 
taken into consideration. 

The little town constantly received additional 
citizens from the older States ; but, owing to the 
distance from the river and the inconvenience of 
transportation, she grew very slowly. Large 
teams were continually on the road to the land- 
ings on the Alabama River, carrying off the coun- 
try produce and hauling goods to Greenville in 
return. The transportation of news in these early 
days was an item of great importance. The 
United States mail system was not so perfect then 
as it is now, and, in some counties in the State, 
there was no mail communication whatever. The 
enterprising people of Butler were not long in de- 
vising plans by which they could have their mail 
transmitted without much delay. Horse mail 
routes were soon established, the first one being 
from Montgomery to Mobile, and making weekly 
trips. The Federal Road, which passed through 
a large part of Butler County, and within five 
miles of Greenville, was the route. The mail 
was first carried by Ward Taylor, on horseback, 
and afterward in a one-horse wagon. 

As civihzation advanced, passengers needed 
transportation as well as letters ; consequently, a 
stage line was established, which carried both mail 
and travelers between Mobile and Montgomery. 
Clute and Powell were the owners of this line for 
some time. Other mail and stage routes be- 
tween different points in the State were after- 


wards established for the convenience of the 

The restless minds of the progressive citizens 
soon became dissatisfied with this slow transpor- 
tation by horse-power, and expressed a great 
desire for a more speedy transportarion of mail, 
passengers, and all kinds of freight. The earnest 
efforts of some of the most energetic business men 
of the State, resulted in turning this long stage 
line into the Mobile and Montgomery Railroad, 
the exact course of the route being necessarily 
changed to the shortest line between these points. 
This road passed diagonally across Butler County, 
and within the corporate limits of the town of 
Greenville. This little place was now a town of 
several hundred souls, and her progress had been 
greatly retarded for the want of a more convenient 
means of transportation. 

The passage of this railroad gave new life to 
Greenville, and filled her streets with many per- 
sons in search of homes and occupation within the 
borders of the inland town. Carpenters and brick- 
layers were employed, houses sprang up as if by 
magic, and the future greatness of Greenville was 
considered certain. But, ah ! we are too fast. Be- 
fore the deafening whistle had announced the ar- 
rival of the first iron-horse at the station of 
Greenville, war had been declared between the 
States of the Union, and instead of building up, 
the town retrograted during the time of this great 
conflict between the Union men and the Confed- 


erates. A hospital was erected here as an asylum 
for the maimed soldiers, who had been wounded 
in defense of the Southern cause. Many of these 
unfortunate braves were nursed in this place by 
our noble, kind-hearted women, and some of them 
regained their strength sufficiently to re-enter the 
Confederate ranks; but a large number of them 
lingered, and died, and were buried beneath But- 
ler's sacred soil. Their lonely graves may be 
found in the old burial-ground below the old 
Crenshaw place, in the southwestern part of 
Greenville. The old hospital building still stands 
on the hill west of the depot, but is now used for 
tenant-houses, instead of a refuge for sick and 
wounded soldiers. 

We will now go back and bring up the history 
of the schools and churches from the earliest 
times down to the present, leaving the progress 
of Greenville since the war for the latter part of 
this article. Let us first take up the churches. 

The Holy Spirit knocks, and is forced to linger 
for some time, at the door of the colonist, before it 
finds an entrance into his rude apartments. The 
pioneer, who leads an easy, careless kind of life, 
filling his mind with heroic adventures, and caring 
more for hunting than for anything else, turns a 
deaf ear to the earnest pleadings of the evangelist, 
and forgets that this faithful adherent is teaching 
the sacred truths of the beloved Savior. From 
this fact, no churches were erected in Greenville 
for several years, and but few of the people con- 


fessed their belief in the teachings of the Holy 

The Presbyterians are supposed to have estab- 
lished a church here some time before 1830; there 
was, however, preaching by the Methodists and 
Baptists previous to this time. The lot on which 
the church was built, was given by William Kirk- 
patrick, in 1825. This church has never been 
a strong one in Greenville, though it has always 
had on its roll of membership some of the most 
influential persons in this vicinity. Her members 
have always stood up to the standard of the old 
orthodox Presbyterian Church, whose followers, 
as a rule, live more in accordance with the laws of 
the Church than any other denomination now in 
existence. The pastors of this church have been 
the following highly esteemed servants of God: 
J. Bradshaw, James Stratton, E. O. Martin, S. 
McKee, D. Swift, Dr. Nail, James Nail, Robert 
Nail, Jr., George T. Petrie, Robert Keer, M. M. 
McCoy and John C. Duncan. The last-named 
gentleman has done a great deal to revive the 
cause here, and has managed to receive enough 
subscriptions from the members and friends of the 
church, to build a handsome brick structure as an 
earthly temple in which the generations to come 
can assemble and sing praises unto the Giver of 
all good and holy gifts. 

Rev. Hanson Lee came into this part of God's 
vineyard in 1847, and held a series of meetings in 
the Presbyterian Church, which resulted in the 


conversion of many precious souls into tne Bap- 
tist faith of salvation. With this outpouring- of 
God's Spirit among the people, this little band of 
Baptists has been increasing in strength, until to- 
day the membership of this church numbers over 
two hundred souls. Through the kindness of their 
Hberal friends, the Baptists held their religious 
services in the Presbyterian Church, until they 
could build a church of their own, which they did 
in 1854. Prominent among those who assisted in 
this noble enterprise, were : J. Thames, H. Rudulph 
and Dr. T. M. Bragg. The names of the pastors 
of this church are: Revs. W. Keith, J. E. Bell, 
Dr. J. B. Hawthorne, N. Taylor, P. Lundy, Dr. 
B. Goodwin, B. H. Crumpton, T. W. Hart and C. 
P. Fountain. It is said, that the services of Mr. 
Crumpton, at this church, met with more success 
than those of any other pastor ever in charge of 
this gentle fold. 

The Protestant Methodists claim to have estab- 
lished the first church in the vicinity of Green- 
ville. This denomination was never very strong 
here, and finally sold their lot to the Methodist 
Episcopal denomination, in 1872. These earnest 
Christians immediately went to work, and suc- 
ceeded in erecting the finest church ever built in 
Greenville. William H. Flowers, Joseph Steiner 
and W. W. Wilkinson opened their hearts and 
purses, contributing ;^ 1,000 each for the comple- 
tion of this handsome edifice, which will stand for 
many years as the sanctuary of God, in all its 


beauty and grandeur. This little flock, in the 
short space of thirteen years, has increased to two 
hundred and thirty-five members. The Confer- 
ence has sent the following reverend gentlemen 
to look after this fold: J. W. Glenn, Charles King, 
W. M. Motley, Josiah Barker, O. R. Blue, John 
Urquhart, W. J. Mangum, W. A. J. Briggs, W. 
M. Motley, Josiah Bancroft, Dr. R. H. Rivers, J. 
R. Peavy and A. J. Lamar. 

The Episcopal Church was founded in i860, by 
Rev. James Jarrett, of Montgomery, and its few 
followers served their Master for several years in 
the building that is now a part of the South Ala- 
bama Female Institute. In the course of time, 
however, this devoted rector succeeded in con- 
structing a building which bears the name of St 
Thomas's Church. Soon after the completion of 
this church, Mr. Jarrett went to Florida, and left 
the parish under the protecting care of Rev. Dr. 
Benister, who was followed by Rev. James D. 
Porter. After the untimely death of this young 
minister, the church was for several years without 
a resident priest. Rev. George R. Upton is now 
serving the church to the great satisfaction of the 

There are also a few Primitive Baptists in Green- 
ville. Their church was erected in 1881, on a 
piece of land donated by Judge Samuel J. Boiling. 
Rev. E. L. Norris, who has been the pastor ever 
since the church was moved to Greenville, was 


very instrumental in the establishment and promo- 
tion of.the primitive faith in this locality. 

We have already taken up more space than 
was set apart for this article, but some remarks on 
the history of the schools of Greenville must be 
made. The South Alabama Institute is nothing 
more than the old Greenville Female School, es- 
tablished in 1846, by Thomas Herbert and his 
accomplished wife, Mrs. Dorothy Herbert ; both 
of whom came from Laurens Court House, South 
Carolina, where they had been successfully engaged 
in teaching for a number of years. Some time 
after the war, Prof. J. Mack. Thigpen became the 
Principal of this school, and soon built it up to the 
reputation of a female seminary of learning. He 
was greatly assisted by Rev. B. H. Crumpton, 
who advertised the school thoroughly, and in- 
duced a great many persons to send their daugh- 
ters here. All those coming from a distance, 
were allowed to board in any of the private fami- 
lies in the vicinity of the college buildings. In 
1879, this institution was chartered, with the 
authority to confer certificates of graduation in 
the different branches taught in its curriculum. 
This school is indirectly under the control of a 
Board of Trustees, consisting of members of the 
Baptist Church, with the pastor of the Greenville 
Church as President of the Board. It has enrolled 
as many as 200 pupils during one session. Its 
prosperity has been gradually diminishing ever 
since Prof. J. M. Thigpen and Rev. B. H. Crump- 


ton severed their connection with it. Prof. Milton 
Park, of Texas, was Superintendent of this insti- 
tution, but remained in, charge of it for only one 
year, when he returned to Texas. 

The Greenville Male High School was estab- 
lished through the instrumentality of Rev. B. H. 
Crumpton, about 1876. The principal teachers 
have been Professors M. M. McCoy, L. R. Gra- 
ham, B. H. Abrams, George W. Thigpen, W. R. 
Mustin, Thomas J. Howell and John C. Duncan. 
Prof. George W. Thigpen has been the Principal 
since 1878, and has now Hmited the number of 
pupils to thirty. This school was originally a 
branch of the South Alabama Institute, and under 
the control of the Baptist denomination. 

The Greenville Collegiate Institute was founded 
by the late Colonel James H. Dunklin, and char- 
tered in 1872. This earnest educator was greatly 
assisted by Joseph Steiner and W. W. Wilkinson 
in this important enterprise. The first President 
elected by the Board of Trustees, was Colonel 
James H. Dunklin, followed by Prof. Dyer, Rev. 
Dr. Urquhart, Prof. M. E. Butt, Rev. R. S. Hol- 
comb, Prof. George D. Hughes, who died in the 
service of President. He was succeeded by Prof. 
J. W. Holmes, whose successor is Prof. S. P. 
Rice. The college is now in a flourishing condi- 
tion, and enjoys a more extended patronage than 
ever before. 

We will now take up the history of Greenville 
after the war. Many of Greenville's wealthy and 


most influential citizens fell in the battles of this 
great conflict, but when the smoke had cleared 
away, the future size and importance of the town 
were clearly seen in the background. Houses were 
erected on every hand, persons moved in from all 
parts of the country, property rose in value, and, 
in 1870. the town had reached such dimensions 
as to require the services of a Mayor and other 
municipal officers to keep order in the thriving 
little city, now restless with progress. The State 
Legislature was accordingly petitioned to incor- 
porate Greenville as a city. A charter was granted 
by the Legislature, March 9, 1871, and ratified 
and accepted by the vote of the people on May 
20, of the same year. John B. Lewis was elected 
the first Mayor of the city of Greenville. 

Since this time, Greenville has continued to 
grow, both in population and in business, until to- 
day she claims 4,000 inhabitants in her vicinity, 
and an annual trade of ;^850,ooo. The authorities 
erected the City Hall and Market House in 1880, 
at the expense of the city. This commodious 
building cost the city ;^ 10,000, but is paying for 
itself in the way of fees collected for the use of it 
as a market and for other purposes. 

In June, 1874, the young men of the city organ- 
ized a military company, which was given the name 
of the Greenville Light Guards, with D. B. Taylor 
as captain. The successors of Captain Taylor 
have been Captains H. M. Amerine, R. Y. For- 



ter and Robert E. Steiner, the present excellent 

In August, 1884, another military company was 
organized, and is under the command of Captain 
A. Steinhart. This company was named the But- 
ler Rifles. Both of these organizations are excel- 
lent military companies, and rank high among the 
different companies of the Second Regiment of 
Alabama State Troops. The whole of Butler 
County, as well as Greenville, feel a just pride in 
their gallant soldiers, even in the happy times 
of peace, for the members of these companies are 
among the best young men of Greenville. Three 
cheers for Greenville's militia ! 

The authorities of the city liave always striven 
to make all the improvements and changes that 
they thought would be most beneficial to the citi- 
zens. At different times they have improved her 
streets, sidewalks, etc. , and have kept her treasury 
well guarded. They have now begun the boring 
of artesian wells, for the purpose of furnishing the 
city with an abundant supply of water. Notwith- 
standing all this, Greenville is financially in a 
very healthy condition, having a surplus of several 
thousand dollars in her treasury unexpended. As 
long as progress and internal improvement is her 
motto, the outlook for Greenville's future pros- 
perity is very promising. 

The author regrets that he was unable to pro- 
cure a complete list of the councilmen and other 
officers of the city, from 1871 down to the present 


time. The list of Mayors, however, is about cor- 


Louis Harrell, ex-officio member of the Board 
and President. 

J. C. Richardson, First Ward. 
J. T. Perry, Second Ward. 
J. M. Steiner, Third Ward. 
A. B. Dulin, Fourth Ward. 
P. N. Weatherly, Fifth Ward. 


1 87 1 — John B. Lewis. 
1872 — Alexander McKeller. 
1873— A. B. Dulin. 
1874— A. B. Dulin. 
1875— S. B. Otts. 
1876— John W. Mallett. 
1877— L. M. Lane. 
1878— J. F. Thames. 
1879 — J. F. Thames. 
1880— Hiram Pierce. 
1 88 1 — Louis Harrell. 
1882 — Hiram Pierce. 
1883 — Louis Harrell. 
1884 — Louis Harrell. 
1885— Louis Harrell. 



Greenville, 1885. 

We have just carried the reader briefly over 
the gradual development of this pleasant little 
city. We shall now turn our attention to the 
Greenville of the present day. 

Her corporate limits are about two miles 
square, and her officers claim 4,CX)0 inhabitants, 
the majority of whom are whites. In a business 
point of view, she is generally considered the 
most important point on the Louisville and Nash- 
ville Railroad between Mobile and Montgomery, 
receiving more freight, and shipping more cotton 
and other produce. 

The amount of trade carried on here can be 
estimated, and its character and quality deter- 
mined, by the number and variety of stores, 
which may be classed thus: fifteen dry goods 
and grocery stores, four dealing in drugs, one 
in books and stationery, eight in family groceries, 
two in furniture, two in jewelry, four in hardware, 
three in notions, ten in confectioneries, and two 
in tinware. There are also three well-kept livery 
and feed stables, six warehouses for weighing and 
storing cotton, three gun-shops, two excellent car- 
riage shops, two shops for the manufacture of bri- 
dles and saddles and all kinds of harness, two shops 
for making tinware, several good blacksmith and 


shoe-shops, eight liquor and biUiard saloons, one 
poor-house, three bakeries, five millinery stores, 
etc. The names of the most important firms are: 
D. G. DunkHn & Co., H. Z. Wilkinson & Co., A. 
G. Winkler, Flexner & Lichten, Charles Neuman, 
Drum & Ezekiel, Steiner Bros. & Co., Long & 
Greenhut, Wimberly & Co., J. T. Perry & Co., A. 
Steinhart, Weatherly & Barrow, Payne & Burnett, 
Beeland & Co., and J. K. Seale. The only bank- 
ing house here is owned by Joseph Steiner & 
Sons. H. Z. Wilkinson & Co. carry on some 
banking business, but do not keep a regular ex- 

The travelers stopping here have the privilege 
of choosing between three well-kept hotels — the 
Perry House, at the depot; the Holzer House, 
about the center of the business part of town, and 
the City Hotel, near the court-house. Persons so 
desiring can procure very good board at private 
boarding-houses at reasonable rates. 

The people belong to nearly all the religious 
denominations found in Southern cities. The 
whites have five churches — Methodist, Mission- 
ary Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Presbyterian and 
Episcopalian. The Methodists and Presbyterians 
have very durable brick churches ; the other de- 
nominations have neat frame buildings, suffi- 
ciently large for their present congregations. 
The colored people have four churches, all of 
which are made of wood. 

The children and young people of Greenville 


enjoy the advantage of receiving instruction from 
any of the following schools: The Greenville Col- 
legiate Institute, governed by a Board of Trustees 
appointed from members of the Methodist Church, 
and directly under the management of Professor 
S. P. Rice, male and female ; the South Alabama 
Female Institute, now under the supervision of 
Mrs, M. E. Garrett, who is assisted by several com- 
petent teachers ; the Greenville Male High School, 
with Professor George W. Thigpen as principal ; 
the Butler High School, for boys and girls, with 
Professor E. L. Norris as principal; the Home 
School, taught by the Misses Farrior. There are 
a few other schools taught in private families. 
Besides these, the State and county pay for the 
teaching of a public school, free of tuition. Green- 
ville could be made a great educational center, as 
it is healthful, conveniently located, with a favor- 
able climate and a refined society. 

The health reports from the Medical Board of 
the county show that Greenville is the most 
healthy city of its size in the cotton belt. Within 
three miles of the court-house are situated the 
celebrated Roper Wells, whose waters, upon an- 
alysis, are found to be very valuable for medical 
purposes. Water is shipped from these wells to 
all parts of the United States. Five miles west of 
the city are found the Reddock Springs, noted 
for their healing properties in cases of dyspepsia, 
dropsy, consumption, etc. Within the limits of 
the city the water is freestone, of the very best 


quality, and is found about forty feet from the 
surface of the earth. An artesian well is now be- 
ing bored, and when completed will furnish the 
city with an abundance of water for all uses. 

The city is governed by a Board of Councilmen, 
elected by the citizens, and the laws are enforced 
by a mayor, as chief executive officer, assisted by 
a marshal and several police officers. By this 
means the people have perfect order, and enjoy 
all the privileges of city life. The city owns the 
two-story brick building called the City Hall, 
which is located near the center of the city. The 
basement of this building is rented and used as a 
market-house ; the second floor is used as the ar- 
mory for the Greenville Light Guards, and for 
theatrical performances, balls, etc. All the rev- 
enue collected from the use of this building is 
turned into the city treasury. 

Greenville has twelve pleaders at the bar, whose 
persuasive powers make them rank high in their 
noble profession, and no citizen need fear that he 
will not get his deserts in this locality, for these 
followers of Blackstone are ever ready to prose- 
cute or defend those who may happen to be in 
need of their assistance and counsel. Those in 
need of medical advice have the privilege of nam- 
ing one of eight skilled physicians, who are ever 
ready and willing to prescribe, to the best of 
their ability. Greenville is not wanting in the 
dental profession. Three of these happy relievers 
of human pain hang their signs in conspicuous 


places in her streets, and inform the pubHc that 
all work in their line will receive prompt and 
careful attention. 

The Greejtville Advocate, the only paper printed 
in the county, is issued here, and employs a large 
number of men to do different kinds of work. 

From what has been said, we see that nearly 
every profession and trade is represented in 
Greenville, so that no one need go from her salu- 
brious shades in search of employment, for no 
city of the same size and importance has so great 
a diversity of work as the county-site of Butler. 

The private residences here are mostly neat, 
comfortable and substantial structures, of the cot- 
tage order of architecture, and are especially 
adapted to this locality and chmate. But few 
are found of the palatial order. All, however, 
impress the observer with the fact that they are 
constructed in accordance with the most ap- 
proved patterns of modern workmanship, and 
are built both for their beauty of design and for 
the great convenience of those who occupy them. 

The society of Greenville is marked by hon- 
esty, morality and intelligence, and will com- 
pare favorably in culture with that of any other 
city of the same size in Alabama. Since the late 
war, the higher circles are not controlled by the 
so-called aristocj'ats, and any person who is honest 
and worthy of respect is now permitted to enter 
the social circles without further restrictions. 




This piace was once the center of civilization 
and culture in Butler County, but is now inhab- 
ited almost entirely by the American citizen of 
African descent. A high ridge of drift soil, with 
Cedar Creek on the north and Wolf Creek on the 
south, extends from Manningham about eight 
miles west, and this Ridge is the dividing line of 
the black prairie land in the county from the com- 
mon sandy land. This situation attracted the at- 
tention of many of the earliest settlers, who erected 
stately mansions upon this elevated locality, and 
enjoyed the healthful properties of the pure free- 
stone water that poured forth in abundance from 
the sides of the Ridge. This situation allowed the 
planters to live on the healthy Ridge and farm in 
the sickly swamps of Cedar Creek. As farming 
was the principal occupation, and as this was on 
the edge of the best farming land in the county, 
many of these planters soon accumulated wealth, 
and became the leading men in Butler County, 
both in culture and politics. Each farmer owned 
from twenty to sixty slaves, as much rich land as 
he cared to cultivate, and a fine buggy and car- 
riage, drawn by fat, sleek horses. But the Ridge 
has been considerably affected by the late war, 


and now appears to be deserted, as far as wealth 
and culture is concerned. Who would have proph- 
esied this state of things in 1850? No one knows 
to-day what changes the morrow's sun may bring. 
The Ridge was first permanently settled about 
1819. The following is a'list of the early settlers, 
as far as is known, with the names of the places 
settled : Adam Livingston settled the place now 
known as the George Lewis old place, in 1820; 
he sold out, and located the John B. Lewis place; 
Matherson Patton, the Watts place ; John and 
Dave Griffit, the Caldwell place. William Drake 
entered the land at the foot of the Ridge, now 
owned by Captain Ira Traweek. Drake sold to 
Thomas Hays in 1822. The same year. Jack 
Womack built a house on the place now owned 
by Dr. C. J. Knight. Andy Tarver entered the 
place now occupied by Mrs. M. A. Thompson. 
He killed a negro in 1822, and was forced to leave 
the State, giving his place to his brother, who 
soon sold it to Jesse Womack. The latter traded 
it to Thomas Hays, about 1830. The first store 
started on the Ridge, about 1822, was owned by 
James Earnest, and was at the place now known 
as the Lewis Womack place. There was a post- 
office at the store at that time, and the store was 
known as the old stand. This was a general dis- 
tributing point of the mail for the western and 
northern part of the county. This store and post- 
office was moved down the Ridge to the Caldwell 
place, and called Ridgeville. It was in 1835 1*^- 


moved to the crossroads at the Davis place, and is 
still known as Ridgeville. This same storehouse 
and post-office was afterward removed across Wolf 
Creek to Monterey, where it still remains. The 
post-office was called Monterey. 

The Ridge was once the gayest place in Ala- 
bama. The people enjoyed themselves at foot 
and horse-racings, fightings, log-rollings, cotton- 
pickings, and sometimes dances and weddings. 
The people showed a decided disposition to fight. 
There was scarcely a public gathering of any kind, 
unless several fights occurred. The people were 
so accustomed to pugihstic encounters then, that 
the first question asked a person on his return 
from a gathering, was : ''Who fought to-day?" No 
deadly weapons, such as knives and pistols being 
used at that time, a person was rarely ever killed 
in one of these personal encounters. Fighting, 
boxing and wrestling were indulged in very freely 
by everybody, and afforded very innocent pas- 
time for the young men and boys of those early 
times. As the revenue laws were not so strict 
then as they are now, whisky was very cheap, 
and a large amount of it was annually consumed 
by the people of all classes. Many tales are told 
by the old settlers of the drunken fights that 
occurred on the Ridge, but they are not of 
enough importance to be mentioned, although 
they make up a. large part of the history of Ridge- 

The Ridge was a kind of continued village for 



about eight miles, there being no two houses over 
half a mile apart on the whole Ridge. 

Henry C. Jones taught the first school on the 
Ridge, about 1820. The people generally, had a 
very good country-school all the time, but were 
constantly changing their teachers, which always 
has its bad effects. A subscription was taken in 
1830, and a substantial brick academy was built, 
which still stands in memory of the thoughtful 
fathers, the majority of whom have long since been 
cut down by the sickle of death. 

A church was erected near the Waters old 
place, in 1835, ^^^ another near the Davis place, 
in 1850. Neither of these churches are now in 
use by the white people. 

Many large families were reared upon the Ridge, 
the most important of which bear the following 
familiar names: Crenshaw, Caldwell, Hays, Lewis, 
Little, Patton, Waters, Watts and Womack. 


Hon. Walter H. Crenshaw. 

This noble citizen of Butler County was bom 
at Abbeville Court House, South Carolina, July 
7, 1 8 17. He was the eldest son of Judge Ander- 
son Crenshaw, who emigrated to this State in the 

104 "^^^ HISTORY OF 

year 1 8 19, and located at Cahaba, then the Capi- 
tal of the State of Alabama. Judge Crenshaw 
soon moved to Butler County — about 182 1 — and 
settled the old Crenshaw place, on the Ridge 
below Manningham. The subject of this sketch 
was graduated at the State University at an early 
age, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 
1834, he being then about 18 years of age. 

After his school days were over, he began to 
read law under his father, but was not admitted 
to the bar until 1838. He was elected to repre- 
sent Butler County in the State Legislature in 
1838, being hardly 21 years old. He received 
the degree of A. M. from the University of Ala- 
bama in 1837; he was appointed major of the 
Alabama State Militia, by the Governor, in 1837, 
and was promoted to the rank of colonel of the 
State Troops in 1848. He represented his county 
in the legislative halls of Alabama as follows: 
1838, 1840, 1841, 1847, 1861 and 1863, and was 
Speaker of that noble body in 1861 and 1863. 
He was a member of the State Senate in 185 1, 
1853 and 1865, being elected President of the 
Senate in 1865. He was noted for the grace and 
dignity with which he presided, and gave general 
satisfaction while occupying this high position. 

He was appointed Judge of the Criminal Court 
of Butler County, and gave general satisfaction to 
the members of the bar and to the people, his de- 
cisions rarely ever being reversed by the Supreme 


Judge Crenshaw died from a stroke of paraly- 
sis, December 7, 1878. He was noted for his 
sound judgment and firmness of character, getting 
on the right side at first, and always sticking to it. 

He accumulated considerable wealth in his 
younger days, but suffered considerable loss by 
the late war, and died in very ordinary circum- 
stances. He left a widow and six children. Cap- 
tain Edward Crenshaw, his eldest son, is an 
attorney-at-law in Greenville, where the remain- 
der of the family still lives. 



Elijah Manning brought his negroes to this 
place in the fall of 181 8, and pitched the first tent 
on this soil. He brought his family from Geor- 
gia the next year, and was followed in 1820 by 
his cousin, Benjamin Manning. Both of these 
put up mills on Wolf Creek. Benjamin soon 
started a small store and had a post-office estab- 
lished for the convenience of the people. The 
Postmaster-General named the office Manningham, 
in honor of the first postmaster, which name it 
still retains. Grey Thigpen, Sr., settled about a 
quarter of a mile west of where the stores now 


stand. Judge Anderson Crenshaw settled the 
Crenshaw place about 1821, and opened a store 
soon after Elijah Manning started his. Several 
stores were put up at Manningham after this, 
there never being more than four at any particu- 
lar time. Grey Thigpen soon moved on Cedar 
Creek, about two miles northeast of the stores, 
where he brought up a large family of boys, 
whose names were: Job, now Dr. Thigpen, of 
Greenville; William J., Grey, Gideon, John, 
George, and one other, whose name I do not 
remember. The old man lived to a ripe old age, 
and died in 1877, having accumulated a considera- 
ble amount of this world's goods. Many of his 
descendants still live in this county, and are men 
of honor and integrity. Grey Thigpen is said to 
have built the first frame house in this county, 
the planks being sawed with a whipsaw. 

The first massacre committed by the Indians 
took place about four miles east of Manningham, 
in 18 1 8. Mrs. Ogly, the wife of the man killed, 
afterwards married John Dickerson. John Dick- 
erson and his wife reared a large family in the 
Manningham neighborhood, some of whom are 
still living in this locality. John Dickerson died 
in 1866, and his wife in 1854. William Ashcraft 
and James Brown came to this county in 1830, 
and have been identified with Manningham ever 
since. Most of these old settlers have been gath- 
ered to their fathers, and the present inhabitants 
of Manningham know nothing of its past history. 


Manningham was never noted for high culture 
and refinement, the majority of its people being 
always in ordinary circumstances and of practical 
disposition. There was never as much wealth 
here as there was on the Ridge. The schools 
were always of a common order, and hence the 
education of the children was limited. A large 
amount of whisky has been sold here, causing 
many men to become habitual drunkards. It was 
a place of much merriment at one time, but is 
now quite different. Jerry Simpson is the most 
prominent citizen of this place now, and owns the 
largest store here. There are now three small 
stores, one blacksmith-shop, shoe-shop, etc., and 
all in successful operation. Dr. J. D. Simmons 
has been practicing medicine here for many years. 
Dr. Harvey E. Scott has only been here for a 
short time, but has already won the confidence of 
the people, and enjoys a lucrative practice. The 
post-office is kept by Miss Mary Shell, who makes 
a very accommodating and efficient officer, and 
gives general satisfaction. The water is freestone, 
and very healthy. This being in the pine region, 
the land is not very valuable, and can be bought 
for $^ per acre, although some ask a much higher 
price for theirs. 

The people of Manningham have long been be- 
hind in some respects, and they will remain so, 
unless they awake from the sleep into which they 
have thoughtlessly fallen, while other neighbor- 
hoods have kept abreast with this unquestionable 


age of progress. The schools should be made 
better, the churches need repairing, and the homes 
and farms would be more in harmony with those 
of neighboring towns if they had some improve- 
ments. It is to be hoped that the good people of 
Manningham will arouse themselves and place 
their village where it once was — in the front rank 
of progress and on the high road to prosperity. 


Warren A. Thompson. 

This old citizen of Butler was born in Clark 
County, Georgia, May lo, 1802. His father died 
in 1807, leaving a large family without any means 
of support, and his children were distributed among 
the neighbors. Thomas Hill took Warren, and 
adopted him. When Thomas Hill came to Ala- 
bama Territory in 18 16, he brought the adopted 
child with him. Warren spent the earlier days of 
his life driving cattle for this good old man, and 
worked faithfully for him until his death in 1821, 
and remained with his widow until she died in 
1822. He was then about grown, and was thrown 
upon his own responsibilities, having no relatives 
in this distant land. He was quite small for his 
age, weighing only 98 pounds, but was very strong 


and tough. He bore the reputation of being the 
only man in the county that could throw down 
Betsy Donaldson, who was quite a noted charac- 
ter for strength at that time. He was employed 
by Dave Elder as overseer, and remained with 
him five or six years. He married December 19, 
1829. His wife, Mrs. Mary Danvis, was the sec- 
ond daughter of Thomas Hays, who was so op- 
posed to the marriage, that Warren had to steal 
his bride from the paternal roof at night. This 
marriage proved quite fruitful, and nine children 
were raised, all of them having since married and 
have families. The names of Warren's children 
are: Albert, Mary, James, Arvilla, Franklin, 
David, Calvin, John and Pinkney. Three of these, 
Albert, Mary and Franklin, died in 1883 ; all of the 
otHers are still living. Warren's wife, known as 
Aunt Polly, also died in 1883. Having no money 
to start with, this old veteran had some difficulty 
in providing for his large family, and had to under- 
go many hardships, of which the men of to-day 
know nothing. For several years he tried farming 
on the rich land in the fork of Wolf and Cedar 
Creeks, but sickness in his family caused him to 
move out to a more healthful locaHty, and in 1835 
he settled the place where he now lives, and his 
family enjoyed perfect health. He carried on a 
tannery here in connection with his farm, and 
made a very good living for his family. 

It is to be regretted that this pioneer settler was 
deprived of the advantages of a common-school 


education. By some means, he learned to read, 
write and rriake his figures, and thus equipped, he 
went forth into the world, and made a comforta- 
ble living. In the times of the militia musters, 
he was elected captain of a company in the county, 
and held that position with credit for many years. 
He joined the Primitive Baptists in 1840, and has 
been a very consistent member ever since, but was 
never an enthusiastic member. As he came to 
this county in 18 16, he is well acquainted with 
everything as it was then, and relates with pleasure 
the things of most interest to those in search of 
historical events. He went with Captain John H. 
Watts and Thomas Hill on their many explorations 
through the county, and was with them when they 
named many of the creeks in the county. He was 
in Fort Bibb in 18 18. He was personally ac- 
quainted with William P. Gardner, Daniel Shaw, 
Thomas Hinson, Captains William Butler and 
James Saffold, and saw them the morning when 
they started on their way to Fort Dale. Uncle 
Warren is now over 82 years old, and has lived to 
see a new country undergo the many changes 
necessary to bring it from the savage life to the 
highest stages of civilization and enlightenment. He 
has seen a country in all its virgin richness, yield- 
ing plants of every description in abundance, and 
has seen this prolific soil almost exhausted and 
worn out by long use. He has seen families grow, 
become prosperous and die ; seen towns build up 
and crumble under the wheels of time, and yet he 


is spared a few years longer, and is still stout and 
full of life and humor. 

May the Lord, in his infinite mercy, spare him 
a while longer, and comfort him in his old age ! 


Dead Fall. 

This neighborhood is one among the oldest in 
the county. James F. Barganier came from Wash- 
ington County, Georgia, to Alabama in 1821, and 
has lived in this neighborhood ever since that 
time. He reared a large family, consisting of 
seven sons and two daughters. His eldest son, 
Captain John F. Barganier, was captain of a com- 
pany, and did good work in favor of the South, 
during the war of 1861-65. His fellow-citizens 
showed t-heir appreciation of him in 1876, by elect- 
ing him to the position of sheriff of his native 

A store and dramshop was started here in 1822. 
It was named Dead Fall by Aaron Butler and 
William Poterfield, who were then the important 
leaders in the neighborhood. This singular name 
was bestowed from the reputation it bore for bloody 
fights, there being several every day. Two per- 
sons were killed here the first year after the dram- 


shop was opened, and this fact gave the place such 
a bad reputation, that a considerable decrease in 
the trade was caused in consequence. There is no 
sign of a store at the place where it was first 
located. The original site is in front of where 
James F. Barganier's house now stands. The 
store was afterward moved down to the place now 
owned by William F. Hartley, and was finally sus- 

The Federal Road along here, is the dividing 
line between the prairie-lime land and the com- 
mon sandy land ; all the water falling east of the 
road, flows into the Conecuh, and that on the 
west into the Alabama River. The larger portion 
of the land that is at all fit for cultivation, has been 
cleared and tilled for a number of years. 

A post-office was once established at this place, 
but has long since been abolished. Dead Fall is 
an old voting precinct, the exact place of voting 
having been moved several times. The polls are 
now opened at the Indian Creek Baptist Church, 
which is about nine miles from Greenville. A con- 
siderable amount of iron ore occurs in this part of 
the county, from the fact that the drift here is 
underlaid with the lime rocks of the cretaceous 
formation, and the iron has been probably reduced 
by the lime. The best quality of this ore occurs 
on Richard H. Bush's place, about one mile east 
of the L. & N. R. R. It crops out from the sides 
of nearly every hill in this locality, and is about 
two feet in thickness in some places, and as much 


as four feet in others. The ore is classed Needle 
ore or Limonite, and is of a very good variety. A 
proximate analysis, made by Cadet Thomas D. 
Stallings, shows that it contains about fifty per 
cent, of metallic iron, which, of course, is a very 
workable ore where the materials are convenient. 
It has yet to be determined whether it would be 
profitable to have the ore shipped to some furnace 
for working it. A plan may yet be suggested for 
working this ore successfully, and if it is worked, 
the v/hole county may expect to benefit by the en- 

Land in Dead Fall neighborhood is worth from 
;^4.oo to ;^7.oo per acre The schools are gener- 
ally poor, and should be improved by the good 
people of this locality. 

There are two or three churches in the neigh- 
borhood. Some of the people are Baptists, and 
others belong to the Christian churches, there 
being but few Methodists. 

A large portion of the trade from this place goes 
to Fort Deposit, which is only a few miles distant, 
in Lowndes County. Every one seems to be well 
pleased with this enterprising market. 



Judge Benjamin F. Porter. 

Although this distinguished jurist spent only 
■^e last ten years of his life in this county, we feel 
that his prominence as a patriot, the high order of 
his talents, together with his sterling worth of 
character, entitle his name to a place in Butler's 

He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 
the year 1808. Though he was debarred from 
the privilege of a collegiate education by the un- 
timely death of his father, we find him trying his 
fortune in the world at a remarkably early age. 
His earliest experience displays the restless ten- 
dency of his disposition. When fourteen years of 
age, he found employment in a counting-house ; 
but, holding this position only about a year, he 
next entered the office of Dr. Thomas Legare, a 
distinguished practitioner of Charleston, where he 
earnestly improved the opportunities offered him 
in the study of medicine and the natural sciences. 
Still the yearning spirit of this ambitious youth 
was not satisfied. The burning words of elo- 
quence, ably spoken by distinguished lawyers, 
touched in him a sympathetic chord, so that, in a 
few months, he is found engaged in the office of 
William Crafts, a leader at the bar, and a man of 
letters, where the young student applies himself. 



with his wonted diligence, to the subject of law. 
He was admitted to the Court of Appeals in the 
year 1826. 

The following year he moved to Chesterville. 
Not meeting with the desired success in this 
place, he removed to Claiborne, Alabama, in 
December, 1829. During the first year of his 
stay in this county, Mr. Porter practiced medi- 
cine, but having gained some reputation by his 
eloquence and natural abilities as a lawyer in the 
voluntary defense of a criminal case, he was en- 
couraged to resume his profession, and in 1832 
was elected to the Legislature from Monroe, 
which county he represented for three successive 
sessions, being also Judge of the County Court in 

In 1834 he was appointed by Judges Saffold, 
Lipscomb and Thornton, the three Justices, to fill 
the place of Mr. Stewart as reporter of the Su- 
preme Court. He held this position five years, 
in the meantime representing Tuscaloosa County 
in the House for three sessions. During his term 
as reporter, he gained great distinction by the 
able manner in which he discharged the duties of 
that office. While in Tuscaloosa, Mr. Porter was 
elected a trustee of the University, and was also 
appointed its attorney. At his suggestion, the 
Chair of Law was established in that institution, 
and he was elected the first professor in this de- 
partment. It has been intimated that Mr. Por- 
ter's incentive in adding this branch of instruction 


to the University, was the hope of thereby afford- 
ing himself an opportunity, under very favorable 
circumstances, of preparing some valuable treatise 
on law — perhaps designed to be used as a text 
or reference-book — and had his plans met a 
favorable issue, we have no doubt but that his 
originality, his profound learning, the boldness of 
his conceptions, and the vivacity of his style, to- 
gether with the general talents of no common 
order, would have produced a book to take high 
rank among the best of the day. Unfortunately, 
the professorship was to be supported by fees 
from students attending the department, and, not 
seeing a prospect for sufficient irnmediate remun- 
eration to justify his attention, he resigned the 
position before entering upon its duties. 

The session of 1839-40 was the last that Judge 
Porter served in the House from Tuscaloosa 
County; at that session he was elected Judge of 
the Tenth Judicial Circuit, and he then repaired 
to Mobile to assume the obligations of this office. 
The good people of this city were appreciative of 
his rare qualities and of his indefatigable efforts 
for the public good, and received him with 
marked civilities. Imbued with his wonted zeal, 
Judge Porter discharged the duties of this office 
with great energy for one term, clearing the 
docket of several thousand cases, and then re- 
signed on account of a dispute which had arisen 
as to his eligibility to the position. His term of 
service in this office was very satisfactory. 


Judge Porter was a membdr of the General As- 
sembly in 1842, in 1845, ^^^ again in 1847. Dur- 
ing his long term of service as member of the 
House from different counties, ranging from 1832 
to 1847, J'Jdge Porter introduced a number of 
very important bills. He always had at heart the 
good of his country, and especially of his footer 
State, and he never allowed an opportunity of im- 
proving her condition to pass by. Indeed, he 
was one of those pioneers whose earnest labors, 
directed with intelligence, served to awaken our 
State from the sleep of ages, to redeem her from 
the hands of savages, and to ** carve an empire 
out of a wilderness." 

Among the important measures whose pater- 
nity is credited to Judge Porter, is the one to sub- 
stitute the penitentiary as a punishment, instead 
of the old way of whipping and branding, for 
crimes deserving less severe punishment than 
death. The penitentiary was first rejected by a 
popular vote, but was adopted in 1839, ^^^^ build- 
ings were ordered to be erected at Wetumpka, 
and were ready for use in 1 841. He was author 
of a bill looking to the improvement of the public 
school system, and he published, in pamphlet 
form, an ingenious and logical line of argument to 
support this measure. We should state, while 
speaking of Judge Porter's legislative career, that 
he was an earnest and eloquent opponent of the 
death penalty, and used his efforts to have it 
stricken from the lav/s of Alabama. Some of his 


published speeches upon this subject are marked 
by much abiUty, learning and research, whatever 
may be said of the soundness of the views advo- 

In 1848 Judge Porter removed to Georgia, and 
settled at Cave Springs, which offered superior 
advantages in health and educational facilities. 
The romantic scenery and general surroundings 
of this place accorded well with his refined taste 
and aesthetic tendency, but he was soon induced 
by his friend and associate, Richard Yeadon, of 
Charleston, editor of 'the Courier, to make that 
city his future home. In 1850 he once more 
became a citizen of his native State, and began 
his work in Charleston as editor of the Charleston 
Nezvs. Although he was a man of decided liter- 
ary propensities, his connection with the News 
was, for some reason, severed in less than a year. 
He continued to practice law while in Charles- 
ton, and, in several important cases, sustained 
his well-earned reputation as an advocate at the 

Mr. Porter had many warm friends among the 
abler men of Charleston, and they had hoped to 
rftain his citizenship; but he found it to his 
imerest to remove to DeKalb County, Ala- 
bama. He spent about two years in this county, 
where he practiced law, edited the WilVs Valley 
Post, and filled the responsible position of Super- 
intendent of Education of the county and Presi- 
dent of Will's Valley Railroad Company. He 


was SO zealous in his labors for the people's good, 
that he was but a short while out of the public 
service before he was nominated for State Senator, 
but was defeated in the election. 

In i860 he removed to Greenville, Butler 
County. After the Republican party, under 
the Reconstruction Act of Congress, took charge 
of the government of Alabama, Judge Porter be- 
came a member of that party, and was appointed 
Judge of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit; and it was 
while discharging the duties of this office that he 
died at Greenville, in June, 1868. This change 
in politics was, perhaps, unfortunate for Judge 
Porter, as it was a source of regret to his friends, 
and afforded a new pretext for those who were 
envious of his abilities, jealous of his reputation, 
and unwilling to satisfy his ambition, to do what 
was in their power to entail upon him the disfavor 
of the people. In 1833 ^^ was a Nullifier, and 
gained the reputation of a State Rights man by 
the introduction into the House of a bill pledging 
this State to support South Carolina in case of a 
crisis growing out of her resistance of the oppres- 
sions of Congress. His political views often un- 
derwent radical changes. In 1840 he supported 
General Harrison for President, and Clay in 1844, 
and Taylor in 1848. In 1852 he was in favor of 
Pierce against General Scott for the Presidency. 
He was a true Southerner in the war between the 
States, and defended the Lost Cause with all the 
enthusiasm of his nature. It has already been 


Stated that he changed from his old party to that 
of the RepubHcan shortly after the war. 

We have previously called attention to the lit- 
erary tastes and talents of Judge Porter. These 
led him to dive deep into the various departments 
of learning, and his extensive and well-selected 
library of rare books on different subjects of sci- 
ence and art was his pride and delight. Various 
periodicals frequently published his articles ; and 
if he was vain in this particular, let us believe that 
he had something of which to be vain ; and if he 
had faults, let us hide them behind the shadow of 
our own ; for that he was chaste, enthusiastic, gen- 
erous and noble, none can deny. 

In 1828, while in Chesterville, South Carolina, 
he married Miss Eliza Taylor Kidd, a lady of 
great conversational powers, but very modest in 
her manners. They raised a large family, and 
many of their descendants are still living in Butler 
County. Of these, Mrs. I. M. P. Henry is gen- 
erally known throughout the Southern States as a 
lady of marked literary talent. 




This pleasant little town is situated near the 
line where the black, prairie soil of the cretaceous 
formation is overlaid with the white, sandy drift. 
The water is freestone, of the best quality, and the 
locality is as healthful as any other in the State. 
One may ask if Monterey has a history; yes, it 
has. In 1 8 17, Thomas Hill had a trail cut from 
the Flat to the present Steen's Ford. This trail 
passed through Monterey, and was used for several 
years before a permanent settlement was made in 
this beautiful forest of oaks and sour-gums. Dave 
Elder built the first house in 1820. He settled on 
the top of the hill coming from Wolf Creek, where 
he afterward built a gin-house. He removed in 
1835, to the place where Thomas W. Traweek 
now lives, and built a double-pen log-house. In 
1 83 1, John Cannon settled back of where Jackson 
Luckie now lives. William Powell soon settled 
the J. M. Donald place, and William Miller the 
school-house lot ; the former owned all the land, 
and sold it out to the people as they moved in. J. 
M. Yeldell located the place now owned by W. 
H. Traweek, Esq., and opened a mixed store in 


Bob Steverson soon put up a grog-shop, and 

sold the worst of poisons to the people by the gal- 


Ion. William H. Traweek came from the prai- 
ries the same year, and built a house where Cap- 
tain T. A. Knight's gin-house now stands. There 
was so much sickness in the prairie regions, that 
nearly all the white people had to move out. 
Monterey being the nearest point, and very 
healthful, most of the farmers located here, where 
they could go to their plantations in the day, 
and return to their homes at night. Accordingly, 
as soon as a few planters had tried the change, 
nearly every one left the sickly, muddy farms on 
the creeks, and bought lots in the new village, 
then called Goblersville. It was given this name 
from the fact that large droves of wild turkeys 
frequented this beautiful grove of oaks in the fall, 
for the purpose of feeding upon the acorns, which 
were in abundance. The farmers had turkey every 
day while the acorns lasted. After Esquire Will- 
iam H. Traweek's return from the Mexican War, 
he gave the place the name of Monterey, in mem- 
ory of the battle fought at the city by that name 
in Mexico, and this name was retained when the 
post-office was estabHshed. In 1838, T. M, B. 
Traweek built on the place which is now the 
home of Mrs. Telitha C. Barge. David Gaston 
built the Tom Smith old house, and Dr. J. W. 
Atkins built the house now occupied by Dr. J. G. 
Donald. Hon. James R. Yeldell built the house 
in which Dr. C. J. Knight now lives. Henry 
Smith and Monroe Watts started a store. Jonathan 
Yeldell started one soon after, and did a good 


business. Jonathan Yeldell will long be remem- 
bered by the people of this locality, for superior 
business qualities and powerful influence upon the 
people. He was the first to take hold of every new 
enterprise that he thought would be of any service 
to the people. He was very rich, and merchandised 
and farmed until his death. When he died, he left 
his family well provided for. He was twice married 
and started a large family, but was not permitted 
to live long enough to have them educated as he 
had often said he wanted them to be. The names 
of his children now living are, John, Robert, Will- 
iam, Edward, Fenner, Frank, Mary and James. 
After the death of Mrs. Yeldell from smallpox, 
in 1873, the family was separated, and some of 
the children have since gone to Texas. Jonathan 
never catered politics, although he had considera- 
ble influence throughout the county, and would 
have made a model county officer. James R. and 
Robert Yeldell both raised families here, and were 
men of wealth. 

Among the other families most conspicuous in 
Monterey's earliest history, are the families of Billy 
Powell, who was the father of Judge J. L. Powell, 
now of Greenville, William H. Traweek and Jesse 

There was a considerable amount of whisky sold 
at this place before the war, and the village bore 
the reputation of being one of the rowdiest places 
in the whole section of the country. This was 
caused from the fact that a great many of the 


young men, then living in the vicinity of Monterey, 
would come over and get under the influence of 
whisky, and in this state, they often had difficul- 
ties with persons in whose company they happened 
to be. In those days, it was no uncommon thing 
for a man to be cut all to pieces in a fight at 
Monterey. However, there were not many lives 
lost compared to the number of fights. Horse- 
racing, cock-fighting, and amusements of a similar 
nature, were frequently indulged in, and many 
hundred dollars were spent in gambling and bet- 
ting. All this was done in the "flush times of 
Alabama," before the country was drained of its 
money by the war between the States. 

The fight between Joe Yeldell and Dr. James 
Longmire threw a damper on rowdyism at Monte- 
rey, which lasted for some time. Joe Yeldell 
was killed by Dr. Longmire, and the latter was 
cleared in the courts for the deed. 

The murder of Richard Hartsfield, by two 
slaves in 1862, created more excitement among the 
people of the surrounding country than anything 
that ever happened at Monterey, before or since. 

The following are the facts of the case : Rich- 
ard Hartsfield was a mechanic, and ranked high 
among the people who knew him as a man of honor 
and integrity, and was a first-class contractor. He 
was born in the State of Georgia, April 28, 
1830, and was killed on the morning of Feb- 
ruary 10, 1862. He purchased two slaves, Simon 
and Lewis, from the Peaster estate. These slaves 


soon began to hate their master, and accordingly 
began to make plots to kill him. Their plans 
were executed on a bright, frosty morning in Feb- 
ruary, 1862. Their master gave orders to have 
some hogs killed, which had been fattened in a 
pen near a spring, about two hundred yards 
from the residence. Mr. Hartsfield came down 
to the spring to shoot the hogs for the negroes, 
but found that the water was not hot enough to 
scald, and he began to stir up the fire around the 
kettle. While Hartsfield was stooping down, 
punching the fire, Lewis struck him with an ax, 
crushing his skull. Simon struck him with a 
fence rail, and terminated his life immediately. 
One of the negroes then ran to the house, asked 
their mistress for their master's horse, telling her 
that the hogs had broken out of the pen and the 
horse was needed to get them back. The horse 
was saddled and brought to the spring. It was 
the intention of Simon and Lewis to put their 
dead master on the wild horse, fix one of his feet 
tightly in one stirrup, and turn the horse loose, 
and say that he was thrown and killed. The ani- 
mal was a fine, ambitious bay, and had only been 
managed by his master, and emphatically resisted 
all attempts to place the dead man upon him. 
The heartless murderers, failing in this part of 
their plot, smeared a small stump with blood, and 
dragged their master from it some distance, and 
left him lying dead. They then turned loose the 
enraged horse, which ran many miles, snorting 


and looking back as if pursued, and seemingly 
greatly frightened. They immediately informed 
their mistress of the death of their master, telling 
her that he was thrown from his horse, and his 
foot was caught in one stirrup, and was dragged 
some distance before it was released. The fright- 
ened horse, with bloody saddle, stopping and 
snorting at every house on the road, and instantly 
galloping on, showed the people that something 
terrible had happened, and every man thus in- 
formed immediately repaired to the bloody scene. 
When the neighbors saw blood on Simon's shirt; 
that the hogs were never killed ; that there was 
blood on the saddle ; they immediately saw 
through the whole plot, and had the murderers 
arrested. After the burial of Mr. Hartsfield, at 
which every person for ten miles around was pres- 
ent, T. M. B. Traweek, Justice of the Peace, 
called a preliminary trial of the case, and, from 
the evidences brought forth, found the negroes 
guilty, and ordered them to be carried to jail, at 
Greenville, the next morning. Lewis Knight, a 
prominent citizen in the neighborhood, made a 
touching speech to the excited assembly, and 
ended by saying, that ' ' all those in favor of burn- 
ing these bloodthirsty devils, will step on the, 
opposite side of the road." Every man immedi- 
ately stepped on the other side of the road, ex- 
cept the Justice of the Peace and the four men 
who had been appointed to carry the prisoners to 
jail. Those in favor of burning the murderers 


then resolved themselves into a mob and ad- 
journed, to meet next morning at the post-office 
before sunrise. Next morning long before the 
appointed time of meeting, the little village was 
astir with excitement, and the streets were 
thronged with the enraged mob, bent on the 
destruction of the helpless prisoners. After some 
delays, the mob marched up the Greenville road, 
about three-quarters of a mile from the post-office, 
and stopped on a small hill. Here they waited 
several hours for the victims of their wrath to 
pass on their way to Greenville. Finally they 
came. They were taken from their guard, and 
locked with chains to two pines, standing close 
together. Pine knots were collected from every 
direction and piled around the trees. The mob 
had, by this time, increased to over one thousand 
persons. Everything being ready, the torch was 
applied, and the angry flames soon licked the 
tops of the trees. It is said that a fire never 
burned more energetically, and flames never 
leaped more triumphantly, than in the burning of 
these two murderers. Shortly before the burn- 
ing, Simon confessed the deed, and related the 
details of the murder, but Lewis never did con- 
fess it. 

Richard Hartsfield left two children, Livia and 
Mary — both of them are grown and married; 
the older was married to J. W. Weaver, and 
the younger to Ransom Scale, Esq. Mrs. Cath- 
erine Hartsfield still lives at Monterey, and is 


loved and highly esteemed by all who know her. 
The first families that settled at this place were 
from South Carolina and Virginia, and were fami- 
lies of culture. They gave a high tone to the 
society at Monterey, which is still very character- 
istic of the people of this village. A majority of 
the citizens living at this place were wealthy be- 
fore the war, but much of their wealth has disap- 
peared since the abolition of slavery. They have 
always had a high regard for those versed in the 
fine arts, and have taken great interest in the edu- 
cation of the young. The author was unable to 
procure the names of all the teachers to whom the 
people of this place are under many obligations 
for valuable services rendered in the school-room. 
Among the female teachers, Miss Anna Bonum is 
remembered above all others ; more, however, for 
her peculiar notions of discipline than for her su- 
perior mode of instruction. Ransom Scale was 
an instructor of rare parts, and had the force of 
character to enforce any regulation necessary for 
the advancement of his pupils, or to sustain the 
reputation of his school. He resigned in 1874, to 
accept the position of Clerk of the Circuit Court 
of Butler County, to which he had been elected 
by the people of the county. Young Columbus 
Norris is the next teacher worthy of notice. He 
took charge of the school in 1875, and is regarded 
by all those who patronized him as a faithful pre- 
ceptor. Prof. John Moore, A. B., of Howard 
College, was offered the position of Principal of 


the Monterey Academy by the Board of Trustees 
in 1879, ^nd remained in that position four years. 
He was assisted by Mrs. M. C. Jones, of the Jud- 
son Female Institute. 

The school flourished more while Prof John 
Moore was Principal than ever before, and the 
people had to build a larger academy for the ac- 
commodation of the increased number of students 
in 1882. The scholars advanced very rapidly 
while going to Prof Moore; but it is said by some 
that they did not learn as much as when they 
went to other teachers that advanced them more 
slowly, but learned everything thorough as they 

Prof Andrew W. Hayes, A. B. , a graduate of 
the University of Alabama, was elected Principal 
in 1883, and was assisted by Miss Tinie Gullette, 
of Camden. Miss Alice Adams, of Tuskegee, 
taught the school in i^jy-y^^ and Miss Hattie 
Stewart in 1878-79. Both of these ladies were 
well qualified, and rendered good service to the 
people, but, of course, could not give the satis- 
faction to the general public that male teachers 

The first church at this place was built in 1838, 
and was called the Monterey Methodist Church. 
The church was moved in 1870 from the school- 
house lot to where it now stands, and was used as 
a union church until 1878, when the Baptists com- 
pleted their house of worship. Since that time, 
it has been known as the Methodist Churchy A 


Union Sunday-school has been organized for sev- 
eral years, and meets every Sabbath evening at 
the Baptist Church. Alexander Stewart was the 
Superintendent for over six years, and made one 
of the best the school has ever had. Both of the 
churches are badly in need of a coat of paint, and 
it is hoped that the citizens will attend to this at 
their earliest convenience. 

The peculiar selfishness of the land-holders has 
retarded very much the progress of Monterey. 
They will not sell an acre of land to any one, and 
the consequence is, a new house has not been 
erected at this place for years. Several more 
dwellings could be built without the least incon- 
venience to those now living here. 

Monterey has furnished the county with a num- 
ber of noble citizens, some of whom have been 
honored with positions of public trust. She has 
sent to the halls of the State Legislature : Hons. 
James R. Yeldell, William H. Traweek, John L. 
Powell, and Dr. Conrad Wall ; to the County 
Courts of Justice, Hon. John L. Powell ; Ransom 
Scale to the office of County Clerk ; and Captain 
Ira Y. Traweek to the office of Sheriff. 

While Hon. Nathan Wright was in the Legisla- 
ture from this county in 1880, the sale of whisky 
was prohibited within five miles of this place, and 
everybody is well pleased with the result. The 
majority of them are now in favor of prohibition 
in the whole State, as well as in Butler County. 

There are now at Monterey three stores, which do 


a very good business in general merchandise. They 
buy about three hundred bales of cotton per an- 
num, but most of the trade is cash. 

Dr. Thomas H. Barge was the druggist of the 
place, and always kept on hand a full line of drugs. 
He died in the spring of 1884, much to the regret 
of all who knew him. He was a man of fine busi- 
ness qualities. 

There are three mails per week from Greenville, 
with Captain Thomas A. Knight as postmaster. 

There are two practicing physicians here, although 
it is a very healthful locality. Dr. James G. 
Donald has been here for many years. Dr. J. J. 
Garrett came here in 1882. Their practice is con- 
fined almost entirely to the section of country ly- 
ing north and northeast of Monterey. Dr. Comer 
J. Knight lives at this place, but has retired from 
practice. The society at this place will compare 
very favorably with that of any other town in the 



Colonel Thomas Levingston Bayne — Extracts 
from a Biographical Sketch of Him in * * The 
Representative Men of the Souths 

This distinguished citizen was born at Clinton, 
Jones County, Georgia, August 4, 1824. The 
Bayne family were among the original settlers of 
the eastern shore of Maryland, and in Virginia. 
John Bayne, the grandfather of the subject of 
this sketch, removed, when quite young, into 
Georgia, at an early period in the settlement of 
that State. He was prominently identified with 
the early history of Georgia, and represented Jones 
County in the State Legislature for sixteen years 
successively. His son, Charles Bayne, was married 
to a daughter of Charles Bowen, a well-known 
planter of Jones County, and both parents died 
at an early age, while their son, Thomas L. Bayne, 
was quite a child. On the death of his parents, 
he passed under the control of his maternal uncle. 
Colonel Edward Bowen, of Butler County, Ala- 
bama, a gentleman of high character and intelli- 
gence, who spared no trouble nor expense in 
obtaining the best teachers for his nephew, who 
was reared as one of his own family. 

Mr. Bayne was fortunate in having his early ed- 
ucation intrusted to William Lowery, a graduate 


of Dublin University, Ireland, and a most ac- 
complished scholar, who prepared him for college, 
and to whose thorough scholarship Mr. Bayne 
attributes much of his subsequent success. He en- 
tered Yale College, Hartford, Connecticut, Sep- 
tember, 1843, and graduated with distinction in 
the class of 1847. He received at the hands of 
the Faculty, the high appointment of valedictorian 
for his class at Commencement, B. Gratz Brown, 
of Missouri, being his competitor. He was also 
President of the Calliopian Society at Yale Col- 
lege. After graduation, he returned to Alabama. 
Shortly, he went to New Orleans, where he studied 
law under Thomas Allen Clarke, a distinguished 
lawyer of that city, then associated with Thomas 
Slidell, afterward Chief- Justice of Louisiana. 

Mr. Bayne was admitted to the bar in the fall 
of 1850, and after remaining for some time in Mr. 
Clarke's office, became his partner in the follow- 
ing year. In 1852 and 1853, he became Acting 
City Attorney of New Orleans, as a substitute for 
Thomas R. Wolfe, during that gentleman's ab- 
sence from the city in the summers of those two 
years. In 1862, he went into active military serv- 
ice, as a private, in the Fifth Company of the 
Washington Artillery of New Orleans, which was 
largely composed of gentlemen of high social 
standing ; the members were elected by ballot — a 
small number of votes excluding. Mr. Bayne 
served with this gallant company in the Southwest, 
until after the battle of Shiloh, at which he was 


severely wounded, being shot through the right 
arm while serving one of the guns, and was con- 
sequently disabled from further immediate service. 

Brigadier-General Randall L. Gibson, who had 
studied law in Mr. Bayne's office, offered him, 
prior to the battle of Shiloh, a position on his 
staff, which was declined, the general tone and 
spirit of the Fifth Company at that early period 
of the war being against accepting any position 
which would separate its members. Mr. Bayne 
returned to New Orleans, and when, in April, 
1862, Commodore Farragut's fleet arrived in front 
of that city, he left for South Carolina. 

After locating his family, and remaining suffi- 
ciently long to recover from his wound, he left for 
Richmond, Virginia, where he was appointed 
Captain of Artillery, and assigned to ordnance 
duty with his brother-in-law, General Josiah Gorgas, 
Chief of Ordnance in the Confederate service. He 
was afterward promoted to Major, and subse- 
quently to Lieutenant-Colonel of Artillery, and 
was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Foreign 
Supplies, reporting directly to the Secretary of 

When it became necessary to evacuate Rich- 
mond, Colonel Bayne left with the other officers 
of the Government for Danville, Virginia, where 
he remained until the surrender of General Robert 
E. Lee at Appomatox, and from thence he re- 
moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where the 
Confederate Government was virtually dissolved. 


When the war was over, Colonel Bayne returned 
to New Orleans, where he resumed the practice 
of his profession with his former partner, Thomas 
Allen Clarke. Colonel Bayne has never been a 
candidate for any political position, but has al- 
ways actively discharged his duties as a citizen. 
Like most of the officers of the army, he accepted 
the war as closed in 1865, and at once addressed 
himself to the restoration of his own means and to 
the revival of the prosperity of his State. 

Colonel Bayne was married, December, 1853, 
to Maria Gayle, a daughter of Hon. John Gayle, 
formerly Governor of Alabama, Member of Con- 
gress from the Mobile District, and Judge of 
United States District Court. 

Butler County was his home during his boyhood 
and college life, and we recognize him as belong- 
ing to this county, and his noble life makes a part 
of its history. With affectionate familiarity, we 
recall him as one of the triumvirate — Tom Watts, 
Tom Judge, and Tom Bayne. He still lives in 
New Orleans, engaged in a successful practice, 
and has fond recollections of the happy youthful 
days spent in Butler. 



Butler Springs. 

These Springs, at one time, afforded a very 
pleasant summer resort for a large number of 
health-seekers in the southern part of the State, 
but it now appears that the Springs have seen 
their best days. They are situated in the valley 
of a small creek, on an outcrop of tertiary rocks 
of the buhr-stone variety, many specimens of 
which are to be seen near the Springs. The 
steep, rugged hills, with precipitous cliffs of rock 
on the south, and a low, flat land, covered with a 
dense forest of long-leaf pine, on the northwest, 
afford a variety of scenery peculiarly adapted to 
those persons of meditative minds. 

The author does not know to whom is due the 
honor of the discovery of these valuable springs. 
He has been informed that they were found by 
some girls wading in the creek. The names of 
two of these girls were Susan Murphy, afterward 
married to John Clark, and Ellen Murphy, after- 
ward married to Ransom Scale. There is a gen- 
eral belief among the old residents of the county 
that the Springs were discovered by hunters as 
early as 1830. This was a central point where 
hunters would meet after the chase and clean 
their game, drink of the mineral water, rest them- 


selves from the fatigue of the day, and relate their 
interesting adventures. The land where the 
Springs were was then owned by the Government 
as public land. The surrounding land was owned 
by Ransom Seale and Wilson Murphy. The 
Springs at that time all boiled up in a hole about 
five or six feet in diameter, and about four feet 
deep in the edge of the creek, and was overflowed 
when the creek was at all swollen by rainfall. The 
medical properties of the water were not entirely 
established until about 1842, when Jesse Knight's 
wife came here with her son Thomas, and spent a 
few weeks in a rude cabin, temporarily con- 
structed for the convenience of the two, for only 
a short time. Other afflicted ones soon came and 
boarded with Wilson Murphy, and were also ben- 
efited by the many healing properties of the 
water. John Ubanks built a temporary tavern 
here in the spring of 1843, and had the Springs 
thoroughly advertised throughout the surrounding 
country, and gave a big barbecue on the Fourth 
of July of the same year. Frederick W. Cren- 
shaw, who had just been graduated at the State 
University, was selected to deliver an address on 
the occasion, and did so to a large and apprecia- 
tive audience, who had come to see the new water- 
ing-place and to hear the different orators of the 
day discuss subjects of general interest. The 
Springs were purchased the next year by Nat. 
Sims, a wealthy farmer from Lowndes County, 
who soon erected a fine hotel for the accommoda- 


tion of the large crowds that now began to fre- 
quent this place of health and pleasure. At that 
time a large number of persons came here and 
camped under tents for eight or ten days, to re- 
cuperate themselves by drinking the water, and to 
strengthen themselves by the hardships of camp- 

Isaac Keiser opened a store in connection with 
a billiard saloon in 1846, and soon had a very suc- 
cessful business, as his combination was a thing 
much needed here. John Clark soon opened a 
dram-shop, which paid him as well as any other 
kind of business could pay at such a place as this. 
After the death of Nat. Sims in 1855, his widow 
sold the Springs to John Edy, who kept them 
only a few years and sold them to Captain T. A. 
Knight and Alph. Carter, i860. These two gen- 
tlemen did a great deal to improve the whole ap- 
pearance of the Springs, and expended large sums 
of money in the way of repairs. The Springs 
were never divided into separate springs until 
they took charge of them. They had a large 
spring-house built and curbed in with costly mar- 
ble, making four distinct springs, the water in 
each being different from that in any other. The 
Springs flourished more under their management 
than ever before or since, there being over 500 
visitors on the grounds at different times. The 
war soon came on, and the success of the Springs 
was considerably interfered with. In 1862 Cap- 
tain Knight sold his interest to James Benson, 


and Alph. Carter sold his to John Carter. Will- 
iam A. Sims bought both interests in 1874, and 
has had entire control since that time. But the 
Springs have not been such a place of general re- 
sort since the war as they were before the war; 
first, because the people in the surrounding coun 
try have not got as much loose change to spend 
in that direction now as they once had, and sec- 
ondly, because the Springs are not as well kept 
now as they were then. Most persons who desire 
to visit a watering-place during the summer sea- 
son, prefer to go North, to some place situated 
more conveniently to the railroads. 

These Springs were named in honor of Captain 
William Butler, who was killed in 18 18, about 
two miles northeast of them. 

The neighborhood of Butler Springs was settled 
by John Murphy, who came from Georgia in 18 1 7, 
and Alph. Carter. Both settled near the Springs, 
which were not discovered then. John Murphy 
reared a large family, and his descendants are still 
to be found in different parts of the county. He 
removed from his old place near the Springs in 
1827, and started the mill now known as the old 
Murphy Mill. He died in 1844. 

Alph. Carter also raised a large family, many 
members of which are still living — still keeping 
up the reputation of their father for honesty and 
general information. 

This mineral water has been analyzed, and con- 
tains many elements, in combination, eminently 


fitted for the cure of a variety o. diseases too 
numerous to mention here. The author is sorry 
that he was unable to procure a copy of the anal- 
ysis for publication. No doubt the water con- 
tains a large amount of free sulphuric acid, 
sulphide of hydrogen, sulphate of iron and car- 
bonic acid gas. Many recommendations of its 
healing properties can be obtained on application 
to William A. Sims, the present proprietor of the 
Springs. It has long been customary for the peo- 
ple of the county to assemble here on the Fourth 
of July each year, and celebrate the Declaration of 
Independence by a basket picnic. The exercises 
generally consist of a few political and literary 
speeches, delivered by persons previously selected, 
after which dancing is participated in until sunset. 
This is a very good way of spending the glorious 
Fourth, and should be kept up for years to come. 


Judge Anderson Crenshaw. 

The name of Crenshaw is a familiar one in this 
county, and has always been associated with pub- 
lic affairs. The subject of this sketch was born in 
Newberry District, South Carolina, in 1786, and 
spent the earlier part of his life in this good old 
State that has furnished Alabama with so many 
useful and influential men. His kind and thought- 
ful father paid particular attention to his educa- 
tion, and, at the proper time, placed him at South 
Carolina College, where he received his diploma 
in 1806. Choosing the legal profession, he studied 
in the office of the distinguished Judge Nott, 
under whose instruction he succeeded in master- 
ing the subject and was licensed to practice in 

In 1 81 2, we find him a member of the Legisla- 
ture of his native State. With the great ti'de of 
emigration in 1820, he came to the new State of 
Alabama, and located at Cahaba, then the Capital. 
The following year, he was elected one of the 
Associate Judges of the Supreme Court, a position 
that was occupied by him for twelve successive 
years. Shortly after his election in 1 821, he re- 
moved his family to this county, and settled on the 
Ridge below Manningham, where he resided the 
remainder of his life. 


When the Supreme Court was separated from 
the Circuit Court, Judge Crenshaw was retained 
on the Circuit Bench. He discharged the duties 
of this office until he was elected Chancellor of the 
Southern Division in 1839. -^^ ^^^ filling. this 
position when he died in 1847, ^^ the age of 
sixty-one, after having served in the capacity of 
Judge for over a quarter of a century. One of his 
contemporaries has well said that "His mind was 
stored with a vast amount of knowledge of the 
principles of jurisprudence, and he strove to make 
his court the forum of the reason and spirit of the 

Judge Crenshaw was honest, just, and hospita- 
ble, and his moral character was without blemish. 
Our State Legislature showed their high apprecia- 
tion of his noble character by naming a county in 
honor of him in 1865. He married a Miss Chiles, 
of Abbeville, South Carolina, and reared a large 
family, giving each one of his children a liberal 
education, and a good start in life. His eldest son 
was the only one that chose the law as a profession. 
A sketch of him will be found in another part of 
this book. 



Ancient Mounds in This County, 

In Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, 
are found a number of mounds, which have ex- 
cited much curiosity and speculation. These 
mounds were built in prehistoric times, and vary 
in size and shape in different localities. In Missis- 
sippi they have been measured sixty feet in height, 
and over a thousand feet in circumference. They 
are oval, elliptical, conical, and sometimes square. 
In Butler County, however, they are all oval in 
shape, and small, measuring from fifteen to thirty 
feet in diameter at the base, and from four to ten 
feet in height. They are more frequently found 
in swamps, on creeks, than on high table-lands. 
Some of them have been nearly leveled with the 
surrounding land by the process of cultivation ; 
others still, in the forest, are covered with large 
trees of natural growth. 

A large number of these mounds have been ex- 
cavated and carefully examined. Bones of per- 
sons, in a bad state of preservation, human teeth, 
Indian beads, arrow-heads, earthen pots, pipes of 
clay, and many other things indicative of savage 
life, have been found in them. 

These mounds are supposed to be the burial- 
places of the Indians, when that unfortunate race 
lived and flourished on the fruitful soil that now 


yields so abundantly to the demands of the happy 
people inhabiting this section of country. 

Two of these mounds are found on the south 
bank of Cedar Creek — one below Sixteenth Bridge, 
and the other above Steen's Ford, near the old 
Creampot Springs. Both of these have been con- 
siderably disintegrated by the leveling action of 
the plow and the drenching rains of many years. 

Two may be found on Long Creek, in the 
Bennett settlement. These were examined in 
1878, and Walter Bennett has some of their con- 
tents in his possession as curiosities. Two are 
found near Pigeon Creek, on Lovet B. Wilson's 
plantation — one upon a hill near his residence, the 
other in the hollow of a ravine close by. Both of 
them have been plowed down, until they are nearly 
upon a level with the surrounding land, but the'.r 
exact position is determined by small particles of 
decayed bones, which can still be seen scattered 
around over the plowed soil. 

There are several of these mounds on the banks 
of Persimmon Creek, but they are not of sufficient 
importance to call for a description now. 

Many stories of romantic interest are told by 
some of the superstitious persons living near these 
mounds. They tell of the death of a heroic chief 
at the head of his warriors, who sacrificed his noble 
life in defending the cause of his oppressed tribe. 
They mourned the loss of so brave a leader, and 
raised a mound in memory of his heroic life. 

Another tale is told of a passionate Indian maid, 


who died in the arms of her lover on returning to 
her native wigwam, after having been captured in 
battle and kept from the fond embrace of her 
lover for five long years. 


Oaky Streak — Precinct No. 3. 

This scattered settlement is situated on the 
southeast side of Pigeon Creek, and has nearly the 
same soil as that found in the South Butler neigh- 
borhood, but being more calcareous, it produces 
better with less work. Lovet B. Wilson is the 
oldest person living at this place now. He came 
here with his father, George W. Wilson, in 1826. 
They came from Jones County, Georgia, to Cone- 
cuh County, in 18 18, but not being satisfied with 
that locality, they moved to Butler County. When 
they moved to this neighborhood, they found 
a good many persons already here ; the soil being 
of such a quality that no emigrant could pass it 
after an examination of its general appearance. 
David Simmons, Isaac Smith, George Tillman, 
Richard Prewhitt, and Joe Jones were living here 
in 1826, when the Wilson family moved here. 
Thomas Hester, Daniel Stallings, and William 
Graydon are supposed to be the first settlers of this 


section of the county, but they did not remain 
long, before they moved farther west. 

This place was named Oaky Streak, from the 
fact that no pine is found here, and oak is the 
principal growth. As has been stated in a previ- 
ous chapter in this book, this peculiar soil be- 
gins on the southeast side of Persimmon Creek, 
about section 8, and runs up the creek about five 
miles, and extends across the county in a south- 
eastern direction, crosses Pigeon Creek, and passing 
on out of the county, being about nine miles long 
and four and a half miles wide. It extends on in 
Crenshaw County to the Patsiliga River, where 
the formation is different. The road from Green- 
ville to Andalusia, passing this place, was cut 
about 1 82 1. The people built a Baptist Church 
one and a half miles from where the post-office is 
now. The settlement grew gradually until 1830, 
when Lem Harvel came here from Covington 
County, and opened a mixed store, which gave 
the neighborhood some advantage over the other 
settlements in the county at that time. In 1835, 
James Jones opened a very extensive mercantile 
business here, which proved very profitable, as 
there were not many stores of any importance in 
those days, the most of them being mere dram- 
shops and peanut-stands. The Methodist people 
erected a church for their congregation soon after 
this, which was about two miles southeast of the 
post-office. The Methodist Church still stands 
where the old one was first built, but the Baptist 


has been moved from its original position to near 
the Methodist, about a mile from where the post- 
office now stands. 

The wells are from twenty to forty feet in depth 
in this place. The water is not good, having a 
large per cent, of lime in solution, yet the health 
of the place is comparatively good. Dr. Kendrick 
is the practicing physician here, and is well 
thought of in the neighborhood. The people are 
doing very well ; most of them are out of debt, 
and raise their own corn and other things needed 
on their farms, this being the principal occupation. 
The land is worth now from ;^2.50 to $7.50 per 
acre, according to improvements and locality. 
The schools are not as good as they could be, as 
there are a large number of children here, and most 
of the parents are able to pay for sending them to 
school. There are several stores in the neighbor- 
hood, but John Crittenden has the only store 
of any importance, he being the wealthiest man 
in Oaky Streak at this time. There is not much 
wealth in this section of the county. A majority 
of the planters farm on a small scale. This little 
town was called Middleton from 1840 up to 1870, 
the post-office was then given the name of Oaky 
Streak. O. H. Crittenden is the present post- 
master, and has been for several years. This place 
was once noted for its fights and general rowdy- 
ism ; but, since John Crittenden owns the land 
around the post-office, he will not allow any whisky 
to be sold near the place. The people are now 


very peaceable — never being in a row. This neigh- 
borhood was considerably excited in the fall of 
1833. A white man, whose name was never as- 
certained, passed through here, having in his 
charge five negro men. It was afterward learned 
that they were from Mobile, the negroes being 
stolen from their masters. They lived by hunting 
and killing people's stock, as they found them in 
the country through which they happened to pass. 
They were found gathering chestnuts east of Oaky 
Streak, and were attacked immediately by the en- 
raged citizens, who had spent many sleepless 
nights, fearing to hear of the killing of some of the 
stock in the neighborhood, or of the robbery of 
some house. Upon approaching, one of the ne- 
groes offered to resist the attack by cocking his 
gun, but he was shot down instantly, and several 
other shots were fired at the same time, wounding 
the white man and several of the negroes. All made 
their escape, however, except the one shot dead at 
the first fire. They were capured the next day, 
but the white man was not in the number. On 
inquiry, the negroes reported that he had died 
from wounds received the day before, and had 
been buried. The negroes were put in jail until 
the news was sent to Mobile of their capture, and 
they were sent to their proper owners on receipt 
of the necessary claims. This was a great event 
in the early history of Oaky Streak. 


Colonel Thomas James Judge. 

Butler County was the home of this distin- 
guished jurist and cultured gentleman, both in his 
childhood and in his riper years. He was born in 
Richland District, South Carolina, November i, 
181 5, but came with his father's family to Butler 
County about the year 1820. The early part of 
his life was spent near Greenville, in assisting his 
father on the farm and in attending such schools 
as were then taught in this locality. At the age 
of fifteen we find him serving an apprenticeship in 
a printing-office at Montgomery. After hand- 
ling the composing-stick for one year, he aban- 
doned the printing art to accept a position as 
salesman, which had been offered him by one of 
the dry goods merchants of Montgomery. Re- 
maining in this store for three years, he left it in 
1834 to estabUsh a newspaper in Greenville, which 
was called the Greenville Whig^ and was published 
by John W. Womack and Thomas J. Judge for 
about one year. 

He volunteered his services in the Creek War, 
and remained with the army for several months. 
In 1837, at the age of twenty-two, he removed to 
Lowndes County and began the study of law in 
the office of Nathan Cook and John S. Hunter, 



who prepared him for entering active practice the 
following year. 

In 1842 Mr. Judge was appointed SoHcitor of 
the Second Circuit by Governor Benjamin Fitz- 
patrick. He held this position until the Legisla- 
ture met, but was defeated before that honorable 
body by Franklin K. Beck, who was a Democrat, 
while Mr. Judge was a Whig. Having won the 
confidence of the people, Mr. Judge was elected 
by them to represent Lowndes County in the 
lower branch of the Legislature in 1844, and 
again in 1845. Two years later he was sent to 
the upper branch of the State Legislature from 
Lowndes and Butler Counties, but remained in 
this trust for only three years, when, in 1850, he 
removed to the city of Montgomery, which ne- 
cessitated his resignation as a member of the State 
Senate. The next year he was a delegate to the 
National Convention, at Nashville, which nomi- 
nated Winfield Scott for President. 

In Montgomery, Mr. Judge formed partner- 
ship with Thomas H. Watts, in the practice of 
law, and gave his whole time as well as talent to 
the earnest prosecution of all cases entrusted to 
the firm. He was not, however, permitted to 
rest from public duty long, for in 1853 he was 
sent to the legislative halls from the county of 

By this time Mr. Judge had won considerable 
reputation as a man of marked ability as well as a 
fluent speaker. In 1857 he was the candidate of 


the Whig party for Congressman from the Second 
District of Alabama against Hon. James F. Dow- 
dell, of Chambers County. Although the canvass 
was conducted with particular reference to the 
fundamental principles of the two distinct parties 
then in the State, Mr. Judge was defeated at the 
ballot-box. Not content with this decision of the 
voice of the people, he solicited the support of 
his friends again in 1859 against Hon. David 
Clopton, the Democratic candidate. A second 
defeat showed his party that it was not due to the 
want of talent and confidence in Mr. Judge, but 
to the fact that the Democratic party was much 
the stronger in the Second Congressional District, 
for by this time Mr. Judge was generally recog- 
nized as a man of power throughout the State, 
and a man whose influence and prominence 
among the people was greatly envied by the most 
talented men of Alabama. 

In i860 he supported John C. Breckinridge for 
President. When war was proclaimed against 
the Southern States, Mr. Judge entered the ranks 
of the Confederate Army as a private, but served 
only a short time at Pensacola, when he was ap- 
pointed by Governor Andrew B. Moore as Com- 
missioner to negotiate with the Government of the 
United States in reference to the forts, arsenals 
and custom-houses in Alabama, and was entrusted 
with other business of importance between the 
United States and the Confederate Government. 
The President of the United States, however, re- 


fused to recognize Mr. Judge in his official capacity, 
thereby rendering his mission of no service to his 
country. His services as a diplomatist being 
fruitless, Mr. Judge returned to Alabama to enter 
the military service in defense of the South. He 
soon succeeded in getting up a regiment, which 
was organized at Auburn, August i, 1 86 1, with 
Thomas J. Judge, as Colonel, in command. This 
regiment of infantry was composed of men from 
Chambers, Lowndes and Tallapoosa Counties, and 
entered the service as the Fourteenth Alabama. 
Colonel Judge remained with his command in Vir- 
ginia in active service until April, 1862, when he 
was so severely injured by a railroad collision that 
he was forced to resign his position as colonel of 
the regiment and return home for recovery. 

Shortly after Colonel Judge's return to Mont- 
gomery, President Davis appointed him judge of 
a military court in Virginia, with the rank of Colo- 
nel of Cavalry. This position was declined by 
Colonel Judge, because he was confident that the 
rheumatism, which he had contracted, would give 
him great trouble if he should expose himself to 
the cold climate of Virginia. The President, learn- 
ing the cause of Colonel Judge's action, tendered 
him a similar appointment, with orders to serve in 
Mobile, which appointment was accepted. Colo- 
nel Judge discharged the duties of this office until 
the close of the war in 1865, and won much repu- 
tation as a distinguished tactician and a man well 
versed in military jurisprudence. 


In 1865, when the Supreme Court of the State 
was reorganized, Colonel Judge was called to that 
high tribunal, and it is said that he graced the er- 
mine with all the dignity of the judges of old. 
He only remained in this position of highest legal 
trust three years, when he was removed, in 1868, 
by the Reconstruction Acts of Congress. Shortly 
after this he removed his family back to his old 
home in Greenville, where he spent the declining 
years of his useful life among the friends of his 
childhood, enjoying the high esteem of all who 
knew him, and the happiness of being contented 
with the success with which he had met in life, 
with the world and all mankind. He paid the 
debt that every man owes to Nature on the 3d 
day of March, 1876, and his remains were buried 
beneath Butler's fertile soil, amidst a throng of 
his old acquaintances. 

He married Miss Graves, of Lowndes County, 
and has two sons now living in Greenville, one of 
whom represented Butler County in the last ses- 
sion of the Legislature. 

The career of Judge Judge is surpassed by that 
of but few men in Alabama. He began as a poor 
printer's boy, with but little mental training, but 
by his earnest application to business and to 
books, and a determination only excelled by his 
perseverance, he won a reputation among the 
people of his State for intelligence and ability that 
will not soon be forgotten. 



This station is in the southwestern corner of 
the county, in the swamp of Persimmon and 
Sepulgah Creeks, and is the last station in the 
county on the L. & N. R. R. going toward Mo- 

This part of the county was settled about 1840. 
It is not known who first cut and built here, but 
it is known that as early as 1845, John Coleman, 
Hamp Kebler, Tom and Dan Koker. Edmund 
Etheridge, lived on the east side of Sepulgah 
Creek, and Elias Presley, John P. Mires, Andrew 
Dunham and James Adams settled on the west 
side of Persimmon Creek. John F. McPherson 
lived about five miles up the creek from where 
Garland is now. John Rogers lived in the fork 
of the two creeks. Garland was located and 
named in the spring of i860, by Colonel W. P. 
Garland, one of the chief engineers on the Mobile 
and Montgomery Railway. The railroad reached 
this place in the fall of the same year. Edmund 
Brooks owned all of the land, and took Garland 
in with him as a partner. Robert Powell started 
a dram-shop here in the fall of i860, at the same 
time selling a few other things. John Rhodes and 
H. Clay Armstrong, with his father, started stores 


here the same year, seUing general merchandise. 
The town grew very rapidly. Elias Hinson bought 
a lot, and soon erected a hotel, but as it was a 
small town, the hotel never prospered. John Julian 
started a steam saw-mill at this place in 1861, and 
furnished the people with a very good article of 
lumber. When the war came in 1861, every kind 
of business was suspended here, except the mill, 
which continued until 1865. H. Clay Armstrong 
raised a company in this part of the county, 
and went to join the army. 

After the war, merchandising was resumed, and 
the town has been growing ever since, having now 
five stores of general merchandise, one drug store, 
shoe-shop, etc. There are two churches here, but 
the school is sorry, although there are enough 
children here for a flourishing school. The post- 
office is kept by Mr. O. C. Darby. A majority of 
the people of this place belong to the church, and 
whisky or ardent spirits are not allowed to be sold 
in this vicinity. About four miles east of Gar- 
land, may be found a neighborhood of Latter- Day 
Saints, consisting of about forty members, having 
services at appointed times. 

Land in this part of the county has always been 
comparatively cheap, except a while in 1859 and 
i860, when it was sold for ;^5.oo and sometimes 
;^7.oo per acre. Before that time, it was worth 
;^i.25 per acre; now it is put on the market 
at ;^3.00 per acre, and much demand for it at that 
price. There is but little farming interest at this 


place. The soil would produce very well, if prop- 
erly fertilized. The land is more valuable for its 
timber than anything else. However, a great deal 
of the timber has been used. M. B. Bazer started 
a mill here in 1870, but was soon burned out. He 
was succeeded in the lumber business by the 
Binion Brothers, who have cut all the timber in 
several miles of the place. They moved their mill 
about four miles east of this place the early part 
of 1884, cind are doing a good business, still keep- 
ing a lumber-yard at Garland, and sawing a very 
good quality of lumber. 

Some timber is rafted down the creek from this 
place, there being a good deal of fine pine and 
cypress wood in the Persimmon Swamps. 


South Butler, 

John Wheeler and Jessie R. Hinson moved to 
this part of the county about 1823, the former 
coming from North Carolina, the latter from 
Georgia. Both of these gentlemen have long since 
died. South Butler, like a good many other vil- 
lages in the county, should have the name of 
Scatterville. It is a neighborhood about eight 
miles square, and all of that part of the county is 


called South Butler. There are three stores in 
this neighborhood, but none of them are in a mile 
of each other. There is a post-office at one edge 
of the neighborhood, with Mr. W. C. Shell as 
postmaster. The soil at this place is a kind of 
lime, with oak and dogwood growth and short- 
leaf pine. Land is worth about ;^5.oo per acre. 
Some fertilizers are used here, and the soil pro- 
duces tolerably abundantly when all things are 
suitable. This is a very healthy section of coun- 
try, the people never having any need of a physi- 
cian. There never was but one physician that 
lived at this place. Dr. U. H. Cook moved here 
about 1874. He being an old man, did not live 
^ong. The water here is not very good, contain- 
ing some lime in solution. There never was 
much wealth at this place, and none of the planters 
farm on a large scale. 

The first store was opened by Pleasant G. Jack- 
son, in the fall of 1835, near where the Georgiana 
Road crosses the Sparta Road, about two miles 
from the old South Butler Church. This church 
was built by the Methodist people in 1827, being 
the only church in this part of the country at that 

The people of South Butler are noted for their 
good behavior generally. They are particularly 
known as law-abiding people, rarely ever having 
any litigation. There is generally a school of 
some kind in this neighborhood ; but the schools 
are not near what they ought to be, as there are 


enough children in the community to have a flour- 
ishing school the year round. 

Some timber is rafted down Persimmon Creek, 
near this place, but not enough to be a source of 
much revenue to the inhabitants ; their chief oc- 
cupation being farming, with Georgiana and Green- 
ville as their market. Different kinds of grapes 
and fruits are grown in abundance on this kind of 
soil but very little wine is made 


Colonel Samuel Adams. 

The subject of this sketch was one of Alabama's 
mihtary heroes, who fought bravely for the South, 
and who lost his precious life in her defense. He 
was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina, 
in 1830, where he spent his childhood. Entering 
Columbia College at an early age, he succeeded in 
finishing the course taught in that institution at 
the age of twenty. He came to Butler County in 
185 1, and became the Principal of the Male and 
Female Academy at Greenville. After holding 
this responsible position for two years, he began 
to read law under Hon. John K. Henry, and was, 
in due time, admitted to the bar. Removing to 
Conecuh County, he entered into partnership with 


J. A. Stallworth, a prominent lawyer of that 
county, and a relative of Mr. Adams. 

Not meeting with the desired success in Cone- 
cuh County, he returned to Greenville in 1854, 
and was admitted as a partner of Colonel H. A. 
Herbert. This firm was not long in becoming 
successful in the practice of the county. 

In 1857, the people of Butler elected Mr. Adams 
to represent them in the General Assembly, and 
returned him in 1859. These two sessions in the 
lower house of the Legislature, terminated his 
public career as a citizen. 

When the war broke out in 1861, Mr. Adams 
entered the military service as a second lieutenant 
in the Ninth Alabama Infantry, and remained in 
Virginia with this regiment until February, 1862. 
While at home on a furlough, for the purpose of 
recuperating his health, he was elected Colonel of 
the Thirty-third Alabama, which position he filled 
with great ability until his death. Colonel Adams 
received a severe wound in the foot, while com- 
manding a brigade at Perryville, and was com- 
pelled to obtain a leave of absence to assist in the 
speedy recovery of his wound. He soon joined 
his regiment, leading it at Murfreesboro, and in 
all operations between this place and Atlanta, al- 
ways displaying the highest courage in his com- 
mand. While he was superintending the erection 
of some fortifications near Atlanta, on the morn- 
ing of July 21, 1864, a ball passed through his 
breast, kiUing him instantly. His remains were 


brought to nis home in Greenville, and buried in 
the old cemetery. 

Courage, sincerity, integrity and lofty morality 
were the most prominent traits of his noble char- 
acter, and won for him the respect and esteem of 
all his associates. His brave disposition gave 
him complete control of his command, and en- 
abled him to execute all orders from higher 
authorities. Generals Hardee and Cleburne had 
frequently recommended him for promotion. He 
was, undoubtedly, a man of promise, and one 
that would have been of great service to his coun- 
try, if he had lived through this awful struggle be- 
tween the North and the South. He fills the 
grave of a brave soldier, an honest man, and a use- 
ful citizen. He was married to Miss Dora, a sister 
of Colonel H. A. Herbert, of this county, and 
made a devoted husband. 


W. W. Wilkinson. 

This prosperous merchant of Greenville ranks 
high among the business men of Butler County, 
both as a skilled trader and a shrewd manager; 
and it will not be out of place to devote a few 
pages of the county's history to a brief sketch of 
his varied and successful life. 



He was born in Dale County, in the eastern 
part of this State, June 15, 1830, and spent the 
days of his childhood and youth in that county. 
His father, Henry T. Wilkinson, was one of the 
first settlers of Dale County, and was a thrifty 
farmer and stock-raiser. He had only three chil- 
dren — two daughters and one son. The subject 
of this sketch spent the early part of his life on 
his father's farm, and enjoyed but few educational 
advantages, going to but one or two old field- 
schools before attending a high school at Orion, 
where he finished all the studies taught there in 
1850. He returned home and soon received em- 
ployment as a salesman in a small store at old 
Cerublia, where he remained one year. 

After leaving this store, he had a great desire 
to accumulate wealth, and decided to begin bus- 
iness for himself As he had no capital to start 
with, his friend, Samuel Collins, was kind enough 
to lend him ;^500, at sixteen per cent. , with Wil- 
kinson's father as the security. He at once pur- 
chased a stock of goods at Milton, Florida, and 
opened it at Daleville. Soon after the court- 
house was moved to Newton, Mr. Wilkinson 
opened a branch store at that place, and finally 
moved his whole business to that thriving little 

In 1857 Mr. Wilkinson was united in marriage 
to Miss Elizabeth J. Vinson, a modest, noble- 
hearted Christian, who did a great deal to make 
her husband the man that he is to-day. He al- 


ways was a fair and honest merchant, but when he 
first started in business he sold the fiery hquid 
and poisoned his many customers with the great- 
est curse of the nineteenth century. His wife 
soon persuaded him to abolish the grog-shop in 
connection with his other business, and to devote 
his whole attention to general merchandise. This 
advice was wise and commendable in this excel- 
lent lady, and was very instrumental in the great 
success that followed all of her husband's efforts 
in his business pursuits. He continued the dry 
goods and grocery business with marked success 
until the war. He had managed to pay off the 
^500 at 16 per cent, that was borrowed to start 
with, and had purchased several lots and small 
pieces of land around Newton. 

The war interfered so materially with his bus- 
iness that Mr. Wilkinson was persuaded to leave 
Dale County and remove to Greenville, which he 
•did in May, 1866, buying the corner lot, which he 
still owns. He soon built up an active trade, and 
was one among the first to erect a brick store in 
Greenville. He met with considerable opposition 
from all the older merchants of the town, but 
competed with them in every respect, always 
beating them in low prices and good bargains. 
He was the farmers' friend, often doing them 
favors and giving them accommodations that 
seemed impossible without losing all the profits. 
He soon built free wagon-yards and camp-house, 
wJiere the farmers could stay all night with their 


teams, well protected from the weather, and be 
safe from all danger of thieves — all free of cost. 
He reduced the charges made at the livery sta- 
bles for taking care of horses and buggies. When 
he first came to Greenville the liverymen would 
charge fifty cents for hitching a horse in the stable 
out of the sun. All horses could be hitched in 
Wilkinson's stable free. He allowed a farmer to 
furnish his own feed, and only charged a small 
amount for giving it to the horse at the proper 
time. This was never done before Billy Wilkin- 
son came to Greenville. It was not long before he 
opened a warehouse for weighing cotton, and re- 
duced the price charged for weighing and storing 
the fleecy staple. Immediately after the war the 
most of the farmers were compelled to adopt the 
advancing system and get their supplies from the 
merchants on time. It is said that no man was 
ever turned away from Wilkinson's store without 
getting what he wanted, either for the cash or on 
a credit; for Wilkinson always would credit any 
and everybody. All these things conspired to 
make him known, not only to the people through- 
out this county, but in all the adjoining counties, 
and they flocked to his store in large numbers to 
profit by the rare inducements offered. 

Enough has been said to show the reader the 
important place that W. W. Wilkinson has occu- 
pied in the business circles of Butler County. 
He has been abused and severely criticised by his 
fellow-merchants, slandered and prosecuted by 


some of his debtors, and laughed at by the peo- 
ple ; but it can be truthfully said that he has done 
as much for the general good of the people of this 
county as any other merchant that ever sold 
goods in Greenville. And, in spite of all opposi- 
tion, small margins and many losses, he has ac- 
cumulated a large amount of wealth, and ranks 
among the first tax-payers of this county. He 
has dealt, at different times, in drugs, hardware, 
groceries, dry goods, and general plantation sup- 
plies. After being actively engaged in merchan- 
dising for over thirty years, W. W. W. has at last 
retired and turned his business over to his son 
Zollie, who has shown a great deal of talent in 
that direction, and who may prove to be finan- 
cially as shrewd as his father. 

W. W. Wilkinson is a friendly, liberal, kind- 
hearted man, full of energy and determination, 
and has a keen eye to business. He is a devout 
Christian, a faithful member of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, and contributes liberally to all char- 
itable enterprises. He was very instrumental in 
building the Methodist Church in Greenville in 
1872, contributing ;^ 1,000 for that purpose. He 
is honest, reliable and conscientious in all his 
transactions. As his ideas do not always coin- 
cide with those of the general public, he is said to 
be cranky, and is undoubtedly very original. His 
advertisements in the Greenville Advocate were 
always read with great interest by every sub- 


scriber. The following is a fair specimen of his 
peculiar style of advertising : — 


"1\7"ANTED an all sober, stout, hearty young man, not to 
^' weigh less than i6o pounds; a prize-fighter and a natural 
collector; who is not afraid of work; has sufficient self-will and 
backbone to be sure he is not wrong and to go ahead when he 
is right; who desires to work himself up in business and to make 
a man. 

Those possessing the above pedigree will please correspond with 
the undersigned. No others need apply. 

W. W. Wilkinson, 

Greenville, Ala. 

He has been the life of trade in Greenville for 
many years, and his retirement will be felt and re- 
gretted by the people of the surrounding country, 
for he has done a great deal in promoting their in- 
terests, and has rendered them valuable assistance 
in their prosperity. 


Forest Home. 

This village has the reputation of being the most 
energetic and prosperous settlement in the county. 
Situated as it is, on the north side of Pine Barren 
Creek, it enjoys all the advantages that a level, 
sandy and productive soil can afford. The blue 
marl is from 75 to 100 feet under the surface of 
the ground, and hence the wells here are much 


deeper than at any other place in the county ; but 
the superior quahty of freestone water found, more 
than repays for the extra depth. This section of 
country remained undisturbed for many years, 
while the people tried their fortunes on more pro- 
ductive soil. A few, who settled in this locality, 
convinced the public that a much better living 
could be obtained here than on the more produc- 
tive soil of the sickly prairies. As soon as this 
fact was established, the virgin pine forests, that 
had stood so long, were hewn down, and were re- 
placed by beautiful fields of oats, corn and cotton. 

Although this place has been settled ever since 
1819, yet Forest Home is in its infancy; for it was 
not until recently that the people became thor- 
oughly convinced that this place offered superior 
advantages to those of any other locality in the 
whole surrounding country. 

In 18 19, Henry Powell settled in the field near 
where E. M. Lazenby's gin-house now stands. 
He sold out to his son-in-law, Robert C. Traweek, 
who came from the State of Georgia to Tus- 
caloosa County, in 18 19, and removed to this 
county in 1820. The old gentleman not being 
used to the log-house accommodations, soon went 
to work to build a frame-house, which he com- 
pleted in 1827. This house still stands on the old 
site, and on the brick chimney may be found this 
inscription in large letters : Robert C. Traweek, 
1827. Traweek put up a mill on Breastwork 
Creek in 1825, the dam of which may still be seen a 


few hundred yards below the mill now owned by 
Lewis Wright & Co. Mr. Traweek opened a 
blacksmith-shop here in 1821, being the only shop 
of this kind in this part of the county at that time. 
He lived here about twelve years, but did not de- 
pend upon farming for his living. Here he began 
to rear a large family, the most of them being 
boys. They were : Thomas, William H., Brown, 
Lafayette, Ripley and Hugh. 

In 1833, Robert Traweek sold his interests here 
to William Wallace, who soon sold to Green Cole- 
man. The property then passed through several 
hands, being owned at one time by Major James 
Yeldell, and at another by Mrs. Christian, and 
finally was purchased by E. M. Lazenby in 1869. 

L. H. Gibbs built a house in 1828, about one 
mile northeast from where Smith's mill now stands, 
and put up a mill on Pine Barren for John Murphy. 
This was one of the first mills started on this creek. 

Lod Roberson moved into this neighborhood 
about 185 1, and was followed by John Worrell, 
Seb. Moore, Nathan Wright, Thomas and Joseph 
Glenn, and many others, who can not be men- 
tioned in this short sketch of Forest Home. 

In 1 87 1, E. M. Lazenby opened a shoe-shop 
with S. J. Campbell, and shortly after, during the 
same year, he had a few goods for sale in the shop. 
Finding that there was business enough to em- 
ploy one man's whole time, he opened a store 
separate from the shoe-shop, an enterprise which 
paid him very handsomely for the amount of cap- 


ital invested. In the meantime, the land that had 
been almost valueless as far as its market price 
was concerned, now sold for prices equal to those 
paid for fine Cedar Creek land, and the demand 
was greater than the supply. A large number of 
families having moved in, they opened a school in 
1 87 1, which was taught by Mr. J. Norris, whose 
place was filled the next year by Miss Hattie 
Stewart, a lady of rare accomplishments, superior 
culture and refined Christian manners. It is to 
this lady that the good people of Forest Home 
should feel grateful for giving to this happy and 
prosperous village the name it now so appro- 
priately bears. To think of a home where strife, 
disappointment and grief are replaced by joy, hap- 
piness and peace, and this home, situated in the 
refreshing atmosphere of a deep pine forest, 
is enough to make the mind of the common pil- 
grim wander. 

In 1873, the people erected a frame school- 
house, which still stands near the Baptist Church. 
Miss Stewart was succeeded by Miss Wilson, from 
Georgia, who proved quite as efficient a teacher 
as those that had preceded her. She was after- 
ward married to Thomas Ansley, and still resides 
at this place. At the close of Mrs. Ansley's school 
in June, 1875, occurred a difficulty which will long 
be remembered by the Forest Home people. It 
arose from a wrong interpretation of what a Meth- 
odist preacher named Gillis, who lived near the 
school-house, had said in the church at Monterey, 


some time previously, and the young men at 
Monterey took this opportunity of caUing upon 
the reverend gentleman for an explanation. Not 
finding him at home, they attempted to interfere 
with the exercises of the school, which the citizens 
resisted very emphatically. However, the writer 
will not enter into the details of this matter, but 
will proceed with the next teacher at Forest Home, 
who was Samuel A. Lowrey, of Monroe County. 
It was here in 1876, under his ever- watchful eye, 
that the writer of this little volume entered upon 
the studies of geography, algebra, and English 

Lowrey was followed in 1878 by Prof. Seb. 
Reynolds, assisted by Mrs. Powers. They taught 
together for several years. In 1883, the people 
decided to erect an academy for the accommoda- 
tion of all the students in the place. Each citizen 
subscribed according to his means, and the acad- 
emy was, according to agreement, erected near 
the Methodist Church ; but after its completion, 
there was a misunderstanding between the people 
as to their teacher, and a disagreement ensued, 
which resulted in a denominational issue. The 
Baptists took the old school-house and employed 
their teacher, and the Methodists took the academy 
with their teacher. They both had flourishing 
schools during the past session, the Baptist enjoy- 
ing the best reputation. It would be considerably 
better, if the whole place could unite and have a 
school in common. But from appearances now, 


it will be some time before a union can be effected 
on the school question at Forest Home. 

In 1880, the Methodists, assisted by other citi- 
zens, erected a very handsome and commodious 
structure, which now bears the name of the Forest 
Home M. E. Church. A parsonage was erected 
in 1 88 1. The Baptists removed old Ebenezer 
Church from the cross-roads, near Butler Springs, 
in the summer of 1882, and remodeled it, making 
a very nice building, with plenty of room for the 
large congregation which always assembles on the 
regular days for services. 

As there is not much wealth at this place, most 
of the farms are two-horse farms. The planters 
farm here on the intensive system, using a great 
deal of the different kinds of fertilizers, which pays 
them very handsomely for the money expended 
and the extra pains taken in the course of cultiva- 
tion. Land rents at from ;^4.oo to ^7.00, and can 
be made to produce over 1,600 pounds of seed 
cotton per acre, when the season is at all favor- 
able. Land sells at from ;^ 15.00 to ;^35.00 per 
acre, and sometimes even higher than this when 
improved and in a very desirable locality. 

There is a post-office here, George Lazenby, 
postmaster, with three mails per week from Green- 
ville. Here are also three stores, owned by F. N. 
Moorer & L. Glenn, Lewis Wright, E. M. Lazen- 
by & Son, the last carrying a full line of general 
merchandise and plantation supplies. 

Dr. Conrad Wall moved to this place in 1878, 


from Monterey, but as this is a very healthful lo- 
cality, the Doctor does not depend upon his prac- 
tice entirely. He spends his spare time upon a 
few well-fertilized acres, which always yield very 

The general tone of the society at Forest Home 
will compare with that of any other place in the 
county, but there is not as much * 'starch" in this 
society as is usually found in villages of the same 
size and importance. 

Hon. Nathan Wright, an honest man, a worthy 
citizen, a true gentleman, and a faithful Christian, 
spent the latter part of his useful life within the 
borders of this happy village. He represented 
Butler County in the General Assembly in 1880, 
and was an active member in the passage of many 
local prohibition bills in different parts of our 
State. This fact, along with his noble traits of 
character, should make the good people of this 
county immortalize his humble name. He de- 
parted from our earthly shades in 1883 to join the 
angels in that bright and blissful home above, where 
none but the righteous dwell. 

May fragrant roses ever bloom over his silent 
grave ! 




This town on the Louisville and Nashville Rail- 
road was founded by Pitt S. Milner, a Baptist 
minister, who came from Pike County, Georgia. 
He settled the place now known as the old Milner 
place in 1855. He established a post-office here 
the same year, naming it Georgiana. The rail- 
road soon established a depot here, and named it 
Pittsville for Rev. Pitt S. Milner, but the reverend 
gentleman objected to the name, and had it called 
Georgiana, the same as the post-office. John M. 
Smith came here soon after the post-office was es- 
tablished. Several people lived in the surround- 
ing country; the oldest settler lived about two 
and a half miles north of this place. He was 
named John Shepherd, and was also from Geor- 
gia, having moved here in 1824. The name 
Georgiana is a combination of Georgia and Anna. 
Mr. Milner combined his daughter Anna's name 
with that of his native State, and made a very 
euphonious name for this pleasant little city. In 
1858 Pitt S. Milner opened a store of general 
merchandise. T. H. Powell soon followed with a 
grog-shop, the liquor business proving quite as 
profitable as any other for. some time. Miles and 
Peter Simpson and John W. Wheeler each started 
a store the same year. Many people having 


moved in, and the business being very good, the 
pubhc demanded roads leading to the prosperous 
village. Accordingly, in 1862, the Commission- 
ers ordered a road to be cut to Bear's store from 
this place, and the road to Oaky Streak through 
South Butler was cut the same year. Other roads 
have since been cut to this place from all parts of 
the southern portion of the county, making it a 
convenient market for all that live in this section 
of the country. 

Rev. Pitt S. Milner started the Baptist Church 
here in 1865, and began preaching in it in 1866. 
The Methodists started their church the next 
year. Both denominations have very handsome 
structures for the size of the town. In 1868 the 
citizens erected a large building for school pur- 
poses, which is called the Georgiana Academy. 
First school was taught at this place in 1856, in a 
log school-house, by Miss Eunice Eskew. E. C. 
Milner, Pitt Milner's son, had a steam saw and 
gristmill here as early as 1858. In' 1867 Jerry 
Fail established one, which is still in operation. 

The mercantile business sprang up very briskly 
in 1866, and has been steadily increasing ever 
since. The merchants buy from 3,500 to 4,000 
bales of cotton per year, and other country prod- 
uce in proportion. This place commands not 
only the trade of this part of the county, but also 
a considerable amount from the adjoining coun- 
ties. There are now in Georgiana ten stores, two 
drug-shops, two hotels, one livery and feed stable, 


one cotton warehouse, public mill and ginnery, 
shoe-shop, blacksmith-shop, etc. There is also a 
City Hall for public meetings and theatrical 
troupes. This place was incorporated as a town 
in 1869, and as a city in 1872. As there is no 
whisky sold here, there is not much use for 
municipal officers. Major A. N. Glenn is the 
present Mayor. Major Glenn is a man of consid- 
erable influence, and makes a very efficient officer. 
There are about 600 people living in the cor- 
poration. The state of society compares very 
favorably with that of any other town in the 
county. A very flourishing school is now in 
operation, with Prof. J. M. Thigpen as Principal. 
This school will continue to grow, as Professor 
Thigpen is a superior teacher and is aided by 
other very competent instructors. The people 
have always been noted for their observance of 
the laws of the country, and for pursuing their 
own interests and not interfering with those of 




Philip Coleman located on Long Creek about 
1821, and was soon followed by Joe Ainsworth, 
Joel Ellis and Elijah Hobbs, all coming from 
Mississippi. Coleman lived in what is now 
known as the Bennett neighborhood, about three 
miles south of Starlington. The old Sparta Road 
was cut through this place about 1825. The road 
to Cleburne was made public about 1832. Ben- 
jamin Parker moved his family here in 1820, and 
his son began a small mercantile business here in 
1830. The place was named for Benjamin Park- 
er's son, Starling Parker, he being the most busi- 
ness-like and intelligent person in the settlement 
at that time. The first store was not at the cross- 
roads, but was about one mile south of where the 
church is now. There was one murder committed 
at this place in 1833. There was a misunder- 
standing between Granville Parker and Graves 
Ellis ; the former struck the latter on the head 
with a piece of scantling and killed him almost in- 
stantly. No other person was ever killed at this 
place. The store was moved up to the church 
about 1836. A man by the name of Sims kept it 
for some time, afterwards selling out to Jim Page. 
The latter sold to Jackson Allen about i860. 
There has been no store here since the war. It is 


not known exactly when the churcH was put here. 
Starlington never was much of a place — nothing 
more than a cross-road. The land here is of a 
yellowish, sandy nature, and does not produce 
well unless highly fertihzed ; yet those living here 
seem to be doing about as well as they do in any 
other part of the county. The schools here are 
very poor, and the houses are not at all comforta- 
ble. There has been some wealth here, but very 
little here now. A great many negroes have 
bought land in this neighborhood and seem to be 
doing very well. The land is very cheap here, 
being bought for ;^i.50 per acre. The land is well 
timbered, the pine forests extending for miles on 
every side. In April, 1836 or 1837, a hurricane 
passed through the southern part of the Starling- 
ton neighborhood and did a great deal of damage 
in the way of blowing down houses, fences and 
trees, killing stock and people. No tree of any 
size was left standing in its path. It passed on in 
an easterly direction, and marks of its destructive 
path are found in South Butler and in Oaky Streak. 
It passed a little north of these places, and was 
even more destructive in Oaky Streak than any- 
where else in the county. 



Colonel Hilary A. Herbert, 
Congressman from the Second District of Alabama. 

This worthy son of our county was born at 
Laurens Court House, South Carolina, March 12, 
1834. His parents, Thomas E. and Dorothy T. 
Herbert, were prominent educators in South Caro- 
Hna and Alabama. They taught a flourishing 
female school together in Laurensville until 1846, 
when they removed to Greenville, Butler County, 
where they were engaged in teaching school with 
marked success for a number of years. 

It was while his parents were in Greenville that 
Hilary went to school to W. P. Eaton and other 
faithful teachers, and laid a good foundation for 
his future education. He made sufficient progress 
to be ready to enter college at the age of sixteen. 
His father, however, did not approve of sending 
him to a boarding-school while so young, and put 
him to work on his plantation. On the farm he 
was as diligent and successful as in the school- 
room, and proved to be of great assistance to his 

After remaining in active service on the farm 
for about two years, he was matriculated as a 
member of the Sophomore Class in the State Uni- 
versity at Tuscaloosa, in the fall term of 1853, 


and by his diligent application made a high stand 
in his class. His pleasing manners and superior 
character soon won for him a host of friends, who 
admired him both as a student and a true friend. 

It was a great misfortune that the **Doby Re- 
beUion" should have taken place while this prom- 
ising youth was at college. 

Doby was a member of the Sophomore Class; 
had earned the means for defraying his college ex- 
penses, and was recognized as a young man of 
some promise. He was dismissed from college by 
the faculty for shouting **Wolf!" at Prof. George 
Benagh, but he denied the truth of the charge, 
and appealed to his class to prove that he was in- 
nocent. The enraged Sophomores, feeling that a 
great injustice had been done to their classmate, 
met in the Erosophic Society Hall and called 
Hilary Herbert to the chair. Inflammatory 
•speeches were made, and, amid great excitement, 
a resolution was offered -and adopted that the 
signers would attend no more college duties until 
Doby was reinstated. 

The faculty immediately suspended all those 
who signed the resolution. Among those sus- 
pended were Hilary Herbert, as well as a majority 
of his class, about half the Freshmen and a few of 
the Juniors. Many members of the class after- 
wards returned to the University, made the nec- 
essary reparations for having acted as they had 
done in the matter, and were reinstated. A ma- 
jority of those engaged in the Doby Rebellion 



were influenced by pure and noble motives, and 
accepted the decision of the officers of the institu- 
tion as final. Those suspended for taking part in 
the Doby Rebellion have never harbored any ill 
will against the University for the action the 
faculty took in the matter, but, on the other hand, 
have been strong friends and supporters of the 
institution. Hilary Herbert has since served on 
its honorable Board of Trustees, and made a very 
useful and influential member. 

After being sent from college at Tuscaloosa, 
Mr. Herbert entered the University of Virginia, 
and prosecuted his studies here during the ses- 
sions of 1854-55 and 1855-56. At this great seat 
of learning he made good use of the superior ad- 
vantages offered and enjoyed the same success 
that he had met with in Alabama. Greatly to 
his regret, his health gave way under the pressure 
of sedentary life, and he was forced to return to 
his home in March, 1856, for the purpose of re- 
gaining his strength. Having contracted dyspep- 
sia, it was necessary for him to employ the best 
medical skill, and to adhere strictly to the pre- 
scriptions given, lest he should be an invalid for 
life. His health had improved sufficiently by the 
following September for him to begin the study 
of law, which he did with E. A. Perry (now Gen- 
eral E. A. Perry, of Pensacola, Florida). They 
both had just begun to read law, and soon formed 
a great attachment and friendship for each other. 
One would read aloud while the other listened; 


they would then have a quiz on the whole chapter. 
These two young men made rapid progress, and 
were both admitted to the bar by the Supreme 
Court in March, 1857. M^- Perry opened an of- 
fice in Pensacola, and shortly after married Miss 

Taylor, a beautiful and accomplished lady, 

and a granddaughter of Dr. Hilary Herbert, an 
uncle of the subject of this sketch, and for whom 
he was named. 

Herbert formed partnership with Samuel Adams, 
a very prominent lawyer in Greenville at that time, 
and who represented Butler County twice in the 
General Assembly. He married a sister of Hilary 
Herbert. He was a brave soldier in the Confed- 
erate Army, and was promoted to the rank of 
Colonel of the Thirty-third Alabama Regiment, 
but was killed at Atlanta in 1864 before he had 
time to add much lustre to his name as a com- 

From 1857 to 1861 Mr. Herbert practiced law 
successfully in Greenville, but was no aspirant for 
office. He was, however, alternate elector for 
Breckinridge, having always been a stanch Dem- 
ocrat and a strong supporter of such principles as 
were consistent with Democratic views. 

Having advocated secession, he thought it his 
duty to defend it. The Greenville Guards had 
been formed in Greenville in the fall of i860 and 
Herbert was elected Second Lieutenant in that 
company. Governor Moore ordered the com- 
pany to Pensacola in January, 1861, before the 


State had seceded. After staying at Pensacola 
about six weeks, the company was ordered to re- 
turn to Greenville. Here it was reorganized, and 
Hilary A. Herbert was elected as its Captain. 
Captain Herbert took his company to Richmond 
the following May. This was the first company 
that enlisted into regular service from this county, 
and was made Company F, Eighth Alabama In- 
fantry, with John A. Winston as Colonel in com- 
mand. After the battle of Williamsburg, in the 
spring of 1862, Captain Herbert was promoted to 
the rank of Major of the regiment. He was 
wounded and captured at the battle of Seven 
Pines, but was exchanged in August. He was 
then in command of the regiment, and was struck 
three times at Sharpsburg, but was not wounded 
severely enough to be obliged to leave the field ; 
was promoted to be Lieutenant-Colonel, and re- 
mained with the regiment during all of 1863, ^^^ 
until the battle of the Wilderness, in May, 1864, 
when he was disabled by a severe wound in the 
left arm. 

After reaching home, he sent on his application 
for retirement, and wrote to Colonel King, the 
commander of the brigade, to have it hurried 
through, as he did not wish to stand in the way of 
the gallant officers, the promotion of whom would 
follow his retirement. Colonel King showed this 
application to the regimental officers. The of- 
ficers who would be promoted by Colonel Her- 
bert's retirement, after consultation, decided that 


Colonel Herbert deserved to be promoted to a 
full Colonelcy, and, as it was likely he would get 
promotion before a great while, they requested 
Colonel King to withhold and not forward his res- 
ignation. These officers thus voluntarily caused 
Herbert's promotion to the position of Colonel of 
the regiment, and this at a sacrifice to themselves. 
Such instances of self-sacrificing devotion to a 
commander were not common among officers, 
even in the heroic days of the Confederacy. This 
is quite a compliment to Colonel Herbert. It 
shows how highly the officers of the Confederate 
Army regarded him as a commander, and his abil- 
ity in the successful discharge of the different 
duties devolving upon him while holding such a 
responsible position. A soldier, on a thirty days* 
furlough, on his way home, brought to Colonel 
Herbert his commission as Colonel, thus obtained 
for him by the devotion of the officers of his old 

After the war was over, Colonel Herbert re- 
sumed the practice of law in Greenville, and 
formed partnership with John L. Powell, now 
Probate Judge of Butler County. In 1867 Colo- 
nel Herbert was united in marriage with Miss 
Ella Smith, a daughter of Colonel Washington 
M. Smith, of Selma. Mrs. Herbert is a lady of 
high culture and rare accomplishments. Having 
spent several years in the city of Washington 
with her husband while in Congress, she had the 
opportunity of meeting a great many distin- 


guished persons from different parts of the coun- 
try, and has won the admiration and esteem of all 
those who know her. She has been elected Vice- 
Regent of the Ladies' Mount Vernon Association 
for Alabama, an organization for the purpose of 
preserving the sacred home of George Washing- 
ton for the American people, who constantly visit 
it in large numbers. 

Colonel Herbert followed the profession of his 
choice with considerable zeal, and had but little 
to do with politics until the passage of the Recon- 
struction Acts. He then considered it his duty 
to oppose Republicanism in the State, and took an 
active part in the campaign of 1867. He soon 
won a reputation as a speaker and Democratic 
leader, and was made a member of the State 
Executive Committee. In the meantime, Hon. 
David Buel had been admitted into partnership 
with him in the practice of law. 

The war had deprived his father, Thomas E. 
Herbert, of all his property, and had robbed two 
of his daughters of their husbands. Colonel Sam- 
uel Adams was killed at Atlanta, George M. 
Cook at the battle of Seven Pines, and his 
nephew, James A. Young, who was an adopted 
son, fell at New Hope Church in 1864. Colonel 
Herbert, the only survivor of the family from the 
war, had the gratification of being able to assist 
his aged father in the houi of need, and took 
great pleasure in giving him every care and com- 
fort in his decHning years. The good-hearted old 


gentleman was disabled in 1863 by a paralytic 
stroke, and was perfectly helpless until his death, 
in 1868. 

In 1876 Colonel Herbert received the nomina- 
tion for Congressman from the Democratic party 
of the Second District of Alabama, and was duly 
elected the following November. Soon after his 
election, L. M. Lane, a prominent and able law- 
yer, was admitted into the firm, and the firm still 
bears the name of Herbert, Buel & Lane. Colo- 
nel Herbert has been in Congress ever since 1876. 
It was very gratifying to his friends of the Second 
District, as well as the people of Alabama, that he 
was renominated in 1884 without opposition, and 
was elected by a large majority. 

In national legislation. Colonel Herbert has 
shown himself to be a man of Integrity and ability. 
He has always kept in view the interests of the 
people, is a strong advocate for reform, and has 
ever been in favor of a judicious management of 
the affairs of the Government. 

Many of his constituents, for a time, thought 
him in error, when, in 1877, they learned that he 
was not In favor of the indorsement of the Texas 
Pacific Railroad Bonds, amounting to ;^38,ooo,ooo. 
When the company found that Colonel Herbert 
opposed the passage of the bill, they put out 
agents through the Second District of Alabama, 
and got a large number of the most influential 
men of the district to sign a petition, asking their 
Representative, Colonel Herbert, to support the 


bill. Colonel Herbert, who had given the subject 
due consideration, delivered an able speech in 
Congress against the bill. His speech met almost 
universal approval, and the soundness of his posi- 
tion was no longer doubted by his constituents. 

This distinguished Congressman from Alabama 
has been prominent in the passage of many im- 
portant bills in the House, and is generally rec- 
ognized, by members of the Republican as well as 
the Democratic party, as a statesman of ability and 
influence. In the XLVHI. Congress, he is a 
member of the Committee on Ways and Means, 
which is considered the most important committee 
in the House of Representatives. He takes a great 
deal of interest in the discussion of the Tariff ques- 
tion, and is in favor of a reduction. He is an 
honor to Alabama in Washington, and should, by 
all means, be kept in Congress, to guard the in- 
terests of the people, and to assist in making laws 
that will be beneficial in the advancement and 
prosperity of this country, by helping the devel- 
opment of its wonderful natural resources. 



Shackelville , 

Tom Seale, who was an uncle of the Primitive 
Baptist preacher by the same name, settled on 
the old Federal Road, near where this place is 
now, about 1826. James Moore lived on the same 
place, afterward sold it to George Vickery in 1837. 
Thomas Seale, the minister, located near here in 
1835. He hardly ever remained at one place long 
enough to tell whether he would like it or not. 
James D. Parks and Stephen Sims settled near 
where the store now stands, about the year 1830. 
This section of the country not being very fertile, 
was not as much desired for homesteads by the 
pioneers as other parts of the county, and those 
that did locate here, soon became dissatisfied, and 
removed to another portion of the county to pitch 
their tents. This is a kind of a flat, sticky, cal- 
careous soil, that is not very productive, even when 
properly fertilized and cultivated. The water con- 
tains a very perceptible amount of lime, but is 
very good for drinking purposes. 

The land here has always been cheap, selling 
now from ;^2.oo to ;^5.oo per acre, and being higher 
now than at any time before this. Although the 
soil is not easily tilled, and when tilled is not very 
productive, yet this place is tolerably well settled 


up, and everybody seems to be getting along 
about as well as could be expected. While there 
is plenty of timber for having pine-planks sawed 
at the mills, it is a fact that the majority of the 
houses in Shackelville are now constructed of 
losfs. and, of course, are not near as comfortable 
as they should be. There are two churches here. 
The Shackelville Missionary Baptist, established 
in 1872, by Rev. Thomas Scale, and changed 
from the Primitive to the Missionary after his de- 
parture from this place. The Butler Branch Church 
is of the Latter-Day Saints' faith, and was erected 
in 1883, but has only a few followers as yet. 

Mr. Lewis Hartsfield built the first house at the 
cross-roads where Frank Vickery now lives, about 

L Forst & Bro. started a small mercantile busi- 
ness here in the fall of 1879, but did not continue 
it long, as it was not a paying business under ex- 
isting circumstances. The schools are not what 
they ought to be ; however, there is generally a 
school here about six months a year, and is patron- 
ized about as well as could be expected, the larger 
proportion of the people being in ordinary circum- 
stances. There being no very wealthy men living 
in the neighborhood, the town does not show 
itself off to much advantage. A steam saw-mill 
at this place, would pay a very good dividend, if 
properly managed, as there is any amount of fine 
timber here, and the land very cheap. There is 
no post-office here. Rev. Thomas Scale named 


this place about 1870, but it is not known why he 
gave it this name. 


This place has sprung up since the passage of 
the railroad through the pine forest region. 

John T. and B. C. Miiner began to build a steam 
saw-mill here in the year 1865. The latter built 
the first dwelling-house in this place the same 
year, on the lot now owned by Asberry Flowers. 
The mill started to sawing lumber in 1866, with 
James Flowers as the sawyer. He has given satis- 
faction to the company in this position for eight- 
een years, and is of all men one that is entirely 
reliable. The company employed W. H. Flowers, 
as Superintendent of the mill in 1867, which posi- 
tion he held until he bought an interest in the 
company in 1872. A stock company was formed 
September i, 1880, with a stock valued at ;^8o,- 
000. W. H. Flowers was elected General Super- 
intendent, and John J. Flowers Secretary and 
Treasurer. J. T. Miiner, H. M. Caldwell, W. H. 
Flowers and J. J. Flowers are the principal stock- 
holders, each owning ;^20,ooo. 

This company owns about 28,000 acres of land 


near this mill, all of which is well timbered, yel- 
low long-leaf pine being the principal growth. 

This mill has suffered three times from fire. 
The mill, with lumber on the grounds, was burned 
in 1869; loss about ^^ 15,000. It was rebuilt im- 
mediately, and burned again January, 1879; 1^^^ 
;^ 1 5,000. It was rebuilt almost as quickly as 
burned. There was no insurance in either case. 
The lumber-yard and the kiln-drying machine were 
consumed by fire in April, 1884. Insurance, ^15,- 
000; loss, ^40,000. The lumber business was in 
such a flourishing condition in 1873, that the com- 
pany employed convicts from the county to assist 
in cutting timber. The timber being sawed so 
rapidly, they found it expedient to use a steam 
locomotive on their tramway. An engine was 
made especially for their use, and it was put on 
the Narrow Gauge Railway in June, 1875. This 
railroad ran out about six miles southeast, and all 
the timber reached by it was exhausted by the 
spring of 1882. Work began immediately on a 
road northwest from the mill. The timber has 
been exhausted in this direction for five miles. 
The road will extend about seven miles farther be- 
fore it will be removed to another bed. 

This mill, known all through the county as 
Flowers' Mill, does an immense business. It has 
a 95 horse-power engine, and turns out 35,000 
feet of sawed planks per day. They have a pat- 
ented drying-machine, that dries about the same 
amount per day, and also a planing-machine, which 


prepares the lumber for immediate use. Most of 
the lumber is shipped West. They work between 
50 and 75 convicts here the year round, getting 
them from several counties in the State, and pay- 
ing for them from ;^7.oo to ;^i5.oo per month each. 
I am glad to state that the convicts, sentenced to 
hard labor and in the employ of this corporation, 
are well cared for. On examination of Colonel 
Reginald R. Dawson's report as inspector, you 
will find that he, as well as many others who have 
visited the mill, are well pleased with the system 
adopted by the company. The good treatment 
given to all convicts under their control, should se- 
cure for them, in the future, as many more as they 
may happen to need, to keep up with the orders 
for lumber. 

The most of the land here belongs to the cor- 
poration or some of its members. John J. Flowers 
opened a store here in 1872 ; bu»t, as the business 
was not sufficient to pay him a reasonable per cent, 
on the money invested, it was soon suspended. 
The company has always kept a kind of grocery 
store here to supply the hands with meal, flour, 
bacon, etc., and a few dry goods. 

As the land around this place is not very fertile, 
and as the corporation owns the larger portion of 
it, there are no farming interests here. Everyone 
living here is connected with the mill, and in that 
way obtains a livelihood. 

The people all have a great desire for the edu- 
cation of their children, and always employ the 


best teacher they can get, and by this means there 
is generally a better school here than in many of 
the other little villages in the county. Although 
it takes more money to engage a good teacher, 
yet the efficient services rendered, will more than 
repay the difference in cost. 

The academy is a very neat and commodious 
building, centrally located. 

The majority of the people here are Methodists, 
and have built a very handsome structure, in which 
they meet at appointed times to worship the Giver 
of all good things. 

It is supposed that this station was named in 
honor of Judge S. J. Boiling, of Greenville, but 
this statement is not entirely authentic. 

The post-office was established here in 1873, 
with J. J. Flowers, postmaster, who has acted in 
this capacity ever since. 

There is a telegraph office here, but no ticket 


Mrs. Ina Marie Porter Henry. 

This gifted and accomplished lady was born in 
the city of Tuscaloosa, the Athens of Alabama,* 
which has given birth to many distinguished men 
and women. She was the daughter of Judge 


Benjamin F. Porter, and inherited the literary- 
tastes and talents of her distinguished father. She 
was taught her letters by Mrs. Dr. John Little, 
Sr., whose admirable training did so much to 
fashion and develop the boys and girls of the 
classic city. 

From Tuscaloosa, Judge Porter removed to 
Cave Springs, Georgia, where the education of his 
gifted child was continued in the schools of that 
place, though, on account of her delicate constitu- 
tion, her father was compelled to check the en- 
thusiastic fervor with which his child pored over 
the printed page. Her education was afterward 
continued at schools in DeKalb and Marshall 
Counties, and finished in Greenville, Butler County, 
under the skillful tuition of Mrs. E. V. Battey, an 
accomplished and experienced teacher. 

From early childhood, Miss Porter exhibited 
great fondness for poetry, and soon learned to ex- 
press her thoughts in verses highly creditable to 
her youthful years, verses marked by force and 
finish. Some of the first of her graceful produc- 
tions were published in the Marshall County News 
and in the Wills Valley Post, and were much ad- 
mired and praised by many who saw rich promise 
of future fame for the young writer. 

Before the war, the modesty of the young poetess 
kept her from seeking place in the magazines of 
the day for her happy and well-rounded verses. 
Soon after the war, however, her pen became more 
active, and sought a wider field. General David 


H. Hill and the Hon. John Forsyth, of Mobile, 
were two of her warm and admiring literary friends 
and advisers. The former sought her poems, 
stories, and sketches for the pages of The Land We 
Love, and the latter for the columns of the Mobile 
Register. Other periodicals and papers were glad 
to present her poetry and other literary work to 
their readers. 

In 1858, Judge Porter, with his family, includ- 
ing his gifted daughter, moved to Greenville, 
where her life has since been spent, and where she 
has continued her devotion to letters and her lit- 
erary work. 

In 1867, Miss Porter was married to Captain 
George L. Henry, son of Judge John K. Henry ; 
but eight years ago she was left a widow with one 
child. Since this time, Mrs. Henry has been 
busy with her pen, and, what so few Southern 
writers have done, has earned a support with its 

On the 1st of August, 1883, Mrs. Henry be- 
came connected with the Greenville Advocate as 
associate editor, and has done admirable work in 
the columns of this most excellent and prosperous 
paper, whose many readers always greet with 
pleasure the effusions of her pen. 

Mrs. Henry is possessed of rare intellectual 
powers, and wields a vigorous pen, but whatever 
she writes is marked by the modesty and refine- 
ment of true womanhood. While fully apprecia- 
ting the loveliness and dignity of her sex, she 


exhibits no sympathy with the so-called strong- 
minded women of the day, and with the mascuHne 
acts and utterances which come from them. Gentle- 
ness and grace, in an eminent degree, mark what- 
ever she writes and does, and she is one in whom 
our county and State may feel a just pride. 

Her longest and perhaps her most finished poem, 
is entitled Southrea. Many of her poems, enough, 
in fact, to fill several handsome volumes, are as 
yet in manuscript; but we trust they will soon be 
published, for they would, no doubt, add in no 
small degree to the reputation of their cultured 
authoress, and to the growing literature of our 

From her publications we have selected the fol- 
lowing, and we regret that space forbids ampler 
justice to this accomplished lady. 


In Dixie cotton loves to grow 
With leaf of green and boll of snow ; 
Here waves the golden wheat and corn, 
In Dixie land where I was born — 

Come away down South in Dixie ! 

In Dixie gayest roses bloom, 
The jasmine yields its rare perfume ; 
And here the sea-breeze haunts the South 
With orange-blossoms in his mouth — 

Come away down South in Dixie! 

In Dixie land we love to give 
With generous hand — we love to live 
With cheerful light and open door; 
What matter if the wind doth roar? 
The heart is warm in Dixie ! 


The Dixie skies are bonnie blue, 
And Southern hearts are warm and true ; 
Let there be love throughout the world, 
The pure white flag of Peace unfurled, 

Floats away down South in Dixie ! 

In Dixie it is sweet to rove 
Thro' piney woods and sweet-gum grove ; 
And hark ! The rebel mocking-bird, 
With sweetest song you ever heard, 

Sings away down South in Dixie ! 

In other lands 'tis sweet to roam. 
But Dixie land is Home, Sweet Home, 
And Southern maid, with simple song. 
Loves dear old Dixie, right or wrong — 
God bless the land of Dixie 1 


Sai'dis, Box 2, Beat No. 4. 

This post-office is on the Andalusia Road from 
Greenville, and is about ten miles from the court- 
house. The land here is not entirely a pine land. 
Some of the wells and springs afford freestone 
water and some lime-water. There is not much 
wealth in this section, yet everybody makes a good 
living. The schools here are, as they are nearly 
all over the county, of a low order of excellence. 
The people are generally pious. The Baptist de- 
nomination is very strong. 


There are three stores on the road from Sardis 
Church to Oaky Streak; R. D. Shell, R. C. 
Shell and A. C. Van Pelt are the owners. 

Van Pelt keeps the poisonous liquid as well as 
general merchandise. The others sell goods or- 
dinarily kept in common country stores. R. D. 
Shell is the postmaster ; the post-office here being 
called Pigeon Creek. 

The health of this place is very good. Young 
Dr. McCane does the practice when there is any 
to do. 

Nothing is known of the early settlement of 
this place. It seems that those who settled it, 
have either moved away or died, never relating 
the growths of the village or the difficulties of the 
pioneers. The land here is worth from ;^3.0o to 
;^5.oo per acre, and is not as good as it is at Oaky 
Streak. Most of the people here live in small 
houses built of logs, there being but few frame 
houses in the whole neighborhood. It is a sad 
fact that the citizens are not as hospitable as they 
might be, a stranger having often to ride in to an- 
other neighborhood before he can get a meal or a 
night's lodging. This fact will give the general 
reader a very good idea of the general tone of so- 
ciety at this place. 


Toluka, Box I, Beat No. 4. 

ToLUKA is in the open piney woods near the 
Crenshaw line. There is no store here at present, 
business having been suspended some time since. 

Jackson Thornton and John Thomas settled in 
this neighborhood about 1830. The other citizens 
moved in slowly, but it is not now known in what 
order. They erected a church near Pigeon Creek, 
about 1840, naming it the Damascus Baptist 
Church. The church has since been torn down, 
and rebuilt on the same spot. It is now a very 
spacious house of worship, and accommodates a 
large congregation on the regular days of service. 

The land here is generally level, and produces 
well when properly fertilized. All the land in this 
part of the county is level, and is worth from ^7.00 
to ;^I5.00 per acre, according to the amount of im- 
provements and locality. Dr. T. A. McCane is 
the most influential man in this neighborhood. 
The people are tolerably well up with the times, 
have very comfortable homes, and are making a 
good living. Toluka is on the Lower Troy Road. 
Some of the neatest farms and dwellings are to be 
seen on this road from Toluka to Greenville. 

Land on this road is more valuable than on any 
other road in the county, except the land at Forest 
Home. One of the prettiest farms in the county 


is on this road, two miles and a half from Greenville, 
owned by W. R. Thagard, Esq., who is well- 
known as one of the best and most successful sci- 
entific farmers in the county. He farms on a large 
scale, and is always successful in his plans of 


This place is known as McBride's, Yellowshanks, 
and Zinn ; but more generally known throughout 
the county as McBride's. It is located in a very 
beautiful section of level, sandy soil, with long-leaf 
pine and oak as the natural or virgin growth. The 
people here have well-cultivated farms, which re- 
pay them for their trouble by the average yield of 
the stuff planted. 

Land is worth about ;^5.oo per acre, and is very 
fine farming land, being easy of cultivation, and 
well adapted to the different kinds of fertilizers 
now sold for use. 

This neighborhood, being on the Upper Troy 
Road, enjoys a superior locality for good roads to 
the different markets. There are two churches in 
this neighborhood, but no schools of any conse- 
quence. The people through here are generally 
Primitive Baptists and Campbellites, and it is not 


necessary for me to say anything of the higher 
circles of society and prevaiHng styles in vogue 
here, as these denominations have had almost a 
uniform style since 1826. 

The people here are known throughout the 
county for their honesty and promptness in the 
way of discharging their duties in every respect. 

Elias McKensie came here from Tennessee in 
1836, and found Maxy Armstrong and William 
Taylor already here, having been here probably 
ten or twelve years. 

Jesse McBride opened a store of general mer- 
chandise here in 1858, but there was a kind of 
store and grog-shop here as early as 1845. There 
has always been a blacksmith-shop here in connec- 
tion with a wood-shop. Elias McKensie and Jesse 
McBride are the most prominent men in this place, 
both being men of general information and some 

There are some very fine farms on the road from 
Greenville to McBride's. 

The people on the Upper and Lower Troy Roads 
seem to have the neatest and best kept up farms 
of any in the county. 



The Press of Butler County. 

The first newspaper was established in this 
county in 1834, edited by John W. Womack, and 
pubHshed by Thomas J. Judge. This was in the 
days of the Whigs, and these two gentlemen being 
strong advocates of the principles of their party, 
named the paper the Greenville Whig. They were 
both energetic and intelligent men, and soon made 
their paper a success. Thomas Judge afterward 
became a leading politician in the State. The first 
printing-office was over the store of Gafford & Co., 
afterward owned by John K. Henry & J. C. Cald- 

The MijTor soon after put in its appearance, 
and was edited by Watson. It was a paper of lit 
tie influence, and soon suspended. 

In 1845, Curtis took up subscriptions for the 
Alabamian, and was afterward assisted in its pub- 
lication by Moody. John S. Davies was their 
foreman, and subsequently bought the paper, and 
was both editor and business manager. 

By this time, a number of persons in the county 
began to think that journalism was the most at- 
tractive occupation of the age, and the Southern 
Messenger was accordingly established, with Liv- 
ingstone and Steele on the editorial tripod. Each 


editor of the town papers was very eager for the 
success of his own paper, often forgetting entirely 
the interests of all other journalists. This brought 
on a bitter rivalry between the newspapers, which 
grew into personal abuse, and came near ending 
in bloodshed. 

When the Southern States seceded from the 
Union, the officers of the Government thought it 
more expedient to have the printers and editors 
employed shooting the Union soldiers, than to 
have them at home to spread the news of the de- 
feat of the Confederates in the different battles; 
consequently, the voice of the press was hushed 
in many counties in the State during the unfor- 
tunate struggle of the South to protect her un- 
questionable rights. 

In 1865, when the Greenville Advocate vjdiS ^stsh- 
lished, there was not a printing-office in Butler 
County, nor a piece of type, except at Judge B. 
F. Porter's residence, where he had a job press 
for printing legal documents for his own use. 

In 1864, the Southern News W3.s irregularly pub- 
lished by Captain George L. Henry, and in a part 
of 1865-66 by W. W. Beasly, assisted by Hon. 
Benjamin F. Porter. 

In 1869, the Sout/i Alabamian was revived, with 
J. R. Thames at its helm. Its pages sparkled 
with the burning thoughts of Mrs. I. M. P. Henry, 
the following year. In 1871, this interesting 
writer was a member of the editorial staff of the 
Mobile Register. Dr. J. M. Jennings made his 


salutatory in 1872, but unfortunately his obituary 
was written in the same paper three weeks later. 
J. R. Thames resumed his seat in the editorial 
chair in 1873. The paper was purchased the fol- 
lowing year and published by Porter, Drake & 
Harbin, with J. D. Porter as editor. Later, Per- 
due purchased the interests of Drake and Harbin, 
but soon sold his interest to Porter, who continued 
to publish the Alabamian until August, 1876, 
when he retired to enter the ministry. The name of 
Dr. T. J. Parmer then appears as editor, until the 
paper was suspended in October of the same year. 

The Independent Thinker made its appearance in 
1872, with Colonel J. M. Whitehead at its mast. 
It was short-lived. 

In November, 1879, George D. Reid started the 
publication of the Spirit of tJie Times. 

In the hotly-contested county campaign during 
the summer of 1880, the Echo budded and bloomed 
in favor of Hon. John L. Powell, for Judge of. 
Probate, and was edited by J. R. Thames. At the 
untimely death of this earnest quill-driver, Mrs. I. 
M. P. Henry lent her glowing pen for a few 
months, until Rev. B. H. Crumpton purchased the 
outfit and assumed the responsibilities of its man- 
agement; but his active ministerial duties prevented 
him from continuing its publication long, and it 
died in 1882. 

In the same campaign that brought the Echo 
into existence in 1880, the Voice \^2i?> heard to pro- 
claim to the people of the county in favor of J. C. 


Richardson, Esq., for Probate Judge, and was en- 
couraged in its work by Colonel J. M. Whitehead. 
It did not have such a long life as the Echo^ but 
died a natural death after the election. 

Colonel William C. Howell made his polite bow 
to the people of this county in 1883, in the form 
of the Butler County Citize7i. Colonel Howell has 
edited a number of papers in different parts of the 
State, but his experience was to no effect in this 
county, as he had to compete with the Advocate. 
The Citizen was suspended before the end of the 

It will not be out of place to give the Greenville 
Advocate^ with its editor and associates, a more ex- 
tended notice in the history of the county than 
we have given any other paper, as it has, un- 
doubtedly, a much greater reputation for general 
information than any of the other papers ever pub- 
lished in Butler County. 

James Berney Stanley was the founder of this 
newsy journal, the prospectus of which appeared 
in the Montgomery Advertiser in the latter part of 
1865. He had not long returned from the war, 
and was a young man of considerable energy, but 
had never had any experience in journalism. 
After canvassing the county soliciting subscrip- 
tions for the paper, he bought the outfit for its 
publication, paying 1^150 in cash and giving his 
note for the remainder, which was paid three 
months afterward. Under these disadvantages, 
the Greenville Advocate ^ a six-column weekly, made 


its appearance before the public, published by 
Leatherwood and Stanley; subscription, ;^5.oo per 

The people, immediately after the war, were not 
especially interested in any particular kind of liter- 
ature, but gave their time and attention almost en- 
tirely to the adjustment of their financial and 
domestic affairs. The different journals conse- 
quently received but little encouragement from 
them for some time. 

Mr. Stanley managed to save up enough money 
to buy out the interest of Leatherwood in 1867, 
paying that gentleman ^2,500. The Advocate has 
been directly under his management ever since 
that time. In 1876, he issued a four-column daily, 
then a tri-weekly, then a semi-weekly, and subse- 
quently enlarged the Advocate to an eight-column 
weekly, which has the largest circulation of any 
paper in the State of Alabama. 

This paper is not only regarded as a good paper 
by the intelligent and competent people of the 
county, but the whole South, it being awarded 
the First Premium of $100 and Gold Medal, at the 
Southern Exposition, Louisville, Ky., October 
23, 1883, for being the best county weekly printed 
in the Southern States. This is no ordinary com- 
pliment ; however, it simply confirms the earnest 
convictions of its many readers. The Advocate 
now goes to over 500 different post-offices, from 
Canada to Mexico; the circulation in some towns 
reaching as high as 150 copies. Thousands of 


dollars are annually distributed to its many sub- 
scribers, and yet the manager makes more money 
from the paper than any other journalist in the 
State. The Advocate owes a great deal of its 
literary success and reputation for containing mat- 
ter of general interest, to the associate editors. We 
will now notice these briefly. 

In 1880, Lucien J. Walker, a young man from 
Lowndes County, who had shown a decided liter- 
ary talent, made his bow to the public. The col- 
umns of the paper soon sparkled with the news as 
it was recorded by his glowing pen. It was while 
he was connected with the Advocate that it at- 
tained its reputation for sprightliness and origin- 
ality. He left the Advocate in the summer of 
1 88 1, to take a position on the Daily Times, at 
Selma, but did not remain on that paper long be- 
fore he accepted a position on a paper in Eufaula. 
In the fall of 1883, he went to Washington City, as 
a special correspondent to several of the Southern 
papers, and was soon appointed secretary to an 
important committee in the House of Representa- 
tives, a position which pays him very handsomely 
for the amount of work done. He is still at Wash- 
ington, engaged as secretary of the committee 
and correspondent of the different papers, and is 
generally regarded as a very interesting corre- 
spondent as well as a young man of much promise. 

In 1 88 1 the responsibilities of associate editor 
fell upon the shoulders of Charles R. McCall, of 
Bullock County, who was graduated first in his 


class at the University of Alabama in 1879, ^^^ 
was an assistant professor in that institution for 
the next two years after graduation. As this in- 
experienced youth ascended the tripod and made 
his unpretentious bow, it was generally conceded 
that the interests of the paper would flag; but 
greatly to the surprise and pleasure of the many 
readers, the interest grew with each edition of the 
paper after his connection with it. He did a great 
deal to raise the general tone of the paper, and 
put the editorial department abreast with the 
other papers in the State, and succeeded admira- 
bly. He remained with the Advocate two years, 
and resigned to enter upon the duties of editor of 
the Troy Messenger, a weekly published in Pike 
County, which position he still holds, to the great 
satisfaction of the many readers of his paper. 
Few writers wield more scholarly and gifted pens 
than the accomplished McCall. He still enter- 
tains fond hopes for Greenville (?), and pays her (?) 
a number of visits each year, thinking, probably, 
that he may yet make Butler County his home. 

Since the summer of 1883, Mrs. I. M. P. Henry 
has been associate editor. A short sketch of the 
useful life of this accomplished lady will be found 
in another chapter of this book. 

We will next turn our attention to Colonel 
James B. Stanley, the successful editor and pro- 
prietor of this well known paper. He was born 
in Hayneville, Lowndes County, August 9, 1844, 
and was the fourth son of Robert H. and Emma 


Stone Stanley. His father was a Carolinian, of 
English parentage ; his mother was the daughter 
of a British officer, and was born in Paris. 

He attended but few schools until after the age 
of fourteen. His first work, of which we have 
any record, is his connection with the Southern 
Messe?tger, a weekly paper printed at Greenville, 
his father's family having already removed to that 
place. He entered the office of this paper as an 
apprentice in 1858, and remained here for three 
years. He was then entered as a student of the 
Glenville Collegiate and Military Institute in Bar- 
bour County, but did not remain here long before 
the whole college, aroused by Southern patriot- 
ism, entered the army in defense of the Southern 
Confederacy. The subject of this sketch joined 
the celebrated Seventeenth Alabama, and re- 
mained in its ranks until the close of the war. 
Although he was in active service all the time, 
and witnessed some of the bloodiest of the fights, 
he was wounded in but one battle. On the mem- 
orable field at Franklin he received two severe 
wounds, which disabled him for several months, 
and the marks of which he will bear while life 

Immediately after the war, the people of the 
South were financially embarrassed, and those 
who wished for early prosperity entered the first 
employment which presented itself On Mr. 
Stanley's return home he took all the money that 
he had in the world, which was only j^ioo, and in- 


vested it in a family grocery and notion store in 
Greenville, and by close attention to his business, 
and strict compliance with the laws of economy, 
he soon saved enough hard cash to invest in a 
paper, which was unfurled to the breeze in 1865 
as the Greenville Advocate. 

Mr. Stanley started the publication of this paper 
against the advice of many of his friends, who 
thought it useless to attempt such an enterprise 
while the country was in such a condition. For- 
tune smiled upon the proprietor, and the Advocate 
flourished as the green bay tree. Day by day the 
paper grew more and more in the favor of the 
people, and new names were constantly added to 
the subscription list, until to-day the newsy sheet 
is welcomed in thousands of families. Mr. Stan- 
ley deserves special recognition as one of the first 
newspaper men after the war who fostered home 
talent by the substantial encouragement of remu- 

Although he is a stanch Democrat, and a strong 
advocate of the principles of his party, he is not 
particularly fond of politics, and has never shown 
any desire for office. If he should ever wish to 
enter politics, he is too honest to resort to the 
various schemes by which the majority of the 
officers of our Government now receive the nomi- 
nation by the Democratic Conventions. He is a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but 
is a man of views too broad to believe that there 
Ts but one church, and that all th^t is good and 


holy is in that church. As all earnest Christians 
should be, he is constantly striving to impress the 
minds of the young with the sacred teaching of 
the Holy Scriptures, and is rarely ever absent 
from the Sunday-school. 

In May, 1882, on a steamboat on the Alabama 
River, the editors of the State unanimously elected 
Mr. Stanley President of the Press Association of 
Alabama. The members of the press showed 
their appreciation of his abihties as an officer by 
re-electing him the following year at Selma. At 
Eufaula, in May, 1884, he was made President by 
acclamation. He takes a great interest in the 
brotherhood, and does everything in his power to 
make each meeting of the Association as instruct- 
ive and pleasant as possible. 

The success of his paper and the noble qualities 
of his character have won for him a wide reputa- 
tion and given him a high rank among the differ- 
ent journalists of the country. Many of the 
Southern papers have tendered him positions on 
their editorial staff, and several persons have, at 
different times, offered to buy his interest in the 
Advocate, but his sound judgment tells him to 
"let well enough alone." 

He was united in marriage to Miss Lulu Reid 
December 17, 1867. His wife is indeed a help- 
meet, whose worth is only rivaled by her modesty. 
His happy family consists of one son and four 
daughters. Being energetic, persistent, painstak- 
ing and scrupulously honest, he deserves all the 


success that he now enjoys; and may peace, hap- 
piness and prosperity abide with him the remain- 
der of his days. 


Bear's Store. 

This little village might be very appropriately 
called Burkettville, as every other house you pass 
is occupied by some descendant of the Burkett 

Thomas Burkett came here about 1830, and 
pitched his tent southwest of where the store now 
stands. He was soon followed by John Hood, 
Joab Coleman, Manuel Burkett, Davy Grason and 
Evans Burkett, who settled near each other, and 
were the pioneer settlers. Thomas Burkett built 
;a house where the present store now stands. Of 
course, there was no town here for some time 
after these men entered the land. The land being 
of a poor variety, the people did not care to cast 
their lot in this section of the county. 

A Dutch peddler, named Lewis Bear, opened 
a few dry goods in connection with his dram-shop 
here in 1857. It was quite a profitable business 
for several years, as there were but few stores in 
ihis part of the county at that time. He sold out 


to John Coleman in i86i, and joined the Con- 
federate Army. The place was named in honor 
of him, and still retains his name. There has been 
some kind of a store here ever since he left, but the 
business was not very profitable until 1882, when 
Joseph Sellers took charge of it and has worked 
up a considerable trade. 

There never was a post-office here, there being 
no mail line along either of the roads passing the 

Although there is plenty of pine timber here, 
the people live in houses built of hewn logs. The 
land is a kind of sticky, rotten lime, being difficult 
to cultivate properly. There are but few springs 
that afford water from one year to the other. The 
water is not good, containing lime in very per- 
ceptible quantities. 

The schools are very ordinary at this place, and 
the people do not use much starch. All of them 
are law-abiding people. They have a church in 
the neighborhood, and have preaching twice each 

There is not much demand for land in this place, 
hence it can be bought for ^1.50 to ;^2.oo per 
acre. This is a very healthy locality, and could 
be made a very desirable one. 



Rocky Creek ^ Beat No. i6. 

James Campbell pitched his tent in this pleasant 
locaHty about 1855, and found James Prewhitt 
and Allen Lovet enjoying the blessings of its pro- 
ductive soil, they having immigrated here about 
1845. These, with a few neighbors, were the only 
persons living here until about 1870, when the 
land got on a boom. So many famiHes coming 
in, soon gave the place the appearance of a country 
village. The people established a voting precinct 
here in 1874. There are two churches here, both 
in a very flourishing condition. There never was 
a store here ; Boiling is the nearest point to pur- 
chase goods, it being about five miles. The peo- 
ple have tolerably good common schools here, and 
patronize them very well. Most of the timber 
near this place, has been used by Flowers, Cald- 
well & Co. , for making planks. The soil here is 
similar to that at Shackelville and Bear's Store ; 
for particulars see Shackelville. 

The locality of this neighborhood is very beau- 
tiful. It is supposed, by some that have their 
imaginative powers well developed, that the red 
men often assembled in the neighborhood to cele- 
brate their different festivals, and pass a few hours 
in innocent sports appropriate to the customs and 


the occasion. Many pots, beads, arrow-heads and 
other Indian relics have been plowed up in the 
fields in the course of cultivation. 

The land is not very good for farming purposes, 
yet the people manage to make a very good living 
by earnest and untiring energy. The land sells 
for;^2.50 per acre, and is sometimes sold for as 
much as ;^5.oo, being worth much more now than 
ever before. 

There is no post-office here. 


Roper Wells, 

These wells are located about two miles east of 
Greenville, and are owned by E. B. Roper. In 
1875, he had a well dug in his yard for drinking 
purposes. Water was obtained after digging 42 
feet, but proved to be entirely unfit for ordinary 
use. The water seeps out of a kind of iron-rock 
at the bottom of the well, and gives everything a 
deep yellow color with which it comes in contact. 
There is a stratum of blue marl, fifteen feet in thick- 
ness, just above the iron-rock. 

The peculiar properties of the water were 
reported to different persons living in the neigh- 
borhood, and many opinions were expressed con- 


cerning its probable mineral ingredients. An 
experiment in 1877, upon a long sufferer from 
dyspepsia, established its healing properties. In 
the spring of 1878, the water was sent to W. C. 
Stubbs, Professor of Chemistry in the A. & M. 
College, at Auburn, Alabama, who gives the fol- 
lowing as a complete analysis. The amount of 
water used was one litre, which is a little more 
than one quart. 

Sulphuric Acid, 84|- grs. 

Magnesic Oxide, 4^ grs. 

Ferric Oxide, 27I '' 

Sodium, -j^ '* 

Ferrous '' I7| '' 

Chlorine, -| ** 

Calcic '' lOj^ " 

SiHca, 2| '^ 

Potassic '' 2I '' 

Carbonic Acid, 5^ ** 

The Roper Well water was thoroughly adver- 
tised, and put on the market at 50 cents per gal- 
lon for the first year, and sold for ;^i.oo per 
gallon the next year. Fifty cents is the regular 
price now. This water has cured many cases of 
different kinds of diseases, when all other appli- 
ances had failed. It is highly recommended by 
the medical profession as being a good remedy for 
all skin diseases, burns, dyspepsia, loss of appetite, 
and especially for all chronic diseases. The water 
is for sale in all the principal cities in the State, 
and is sometimes shipped to other States. 



Judge John K. Henry. 

This able member of Butler County's bar was 
born in Hancock County, Georgia, March 23, 
18 14, and came with his parents to this State in 
18 19. His father located in Wilcox County, 
where he spent his time in farming. His son re- 
mained on the farm until grown, and assisted his 
father in the management of the plantation. He 
received but little mental training while on the 
farm ; nevertheless, he chose the legal profession, 
and began its study as soon as it was convenient 
for him to do so. He was in his twenty-ninth 
year when he began to prosecute his legal studies 
in Greenville, but it was not long before he gained 
sufficient knowledge of the subject to stand a 
creditable examination for admission to the bar. 
Being a close student and an industrious business 
manager, he was not long in building up a paying 

In 185 1, Mr. Henry was nominated by his party 
for the State Senate, but was defeated by Hon. 
Walter H. Crenshaw. He was, however, elected 
to the Circuit Court Bench in i860, and discharged 
the duties involving upon him, while in this office, 
with great satisfaction to the people. He was 
again elected to the same position in 1866, with- 


out opposition. Contrary to the wishes of the 
people of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, he was re- 
moved from office by Congress in 1868. 

In 1874, he was elected Judge of the Circuit 
Court, and held that honorable position for several 
years. He was elected by the Counties of Butler 
and Conecuh in 1884, to represent them in the 
the State Senate. 

He is now a partner of the firm of Henry & 
Steiner, of Greenville. 


Steiner' s Store. 

This place is known by three names — Scatter- 
ville, Three Runs and Steiner's Store. Three 
Runs is its proper name, as a creek by that name 
passes through the neighborhood. 

John McPherson moved here from Conecuh 
County in 1832. He found three families living 
here at that time. There were two families of 
Browns and the family of William Peavy, he being 
the first to settle here. As the soil is not very 
productive here, the land was not in much de- 
mand until after the war between the States. 
Joseph Steiner may be said to be the pioneer set- 
tier of this place. He built a log cabin here in the 


winter of 1848, which he used for a dwelling-house, 
and opened a store here in 1849. These houses 
were soon torn down and frame houses erected in 
their stead. He engaged in a very paying business 
here until i860, when it was suspended. Riley & 
Ziegler bought the Steiner lot the same year and 
sold it in 1865 to Jerry Gafford. A post-office 
was established here in 1849 called Three Runs, 
with Joseph Steiner postmaster, and was sus- 
pended in i860, never being opened since. 

The land here is not entirely a lime, nor can it 
be called a sandy soil, yet it produces about as 
well as the average soil in the county when prop- 
erly cultivated and fertilized. The water here 
contains some Hme in solution. Land is worth 
from $^ to $S per acre, and not much demand for 
it at that price. There is some iron ore found 
here, which is of the limonite variety, and is a very 
good ore. A large quantity of it is found on Mrs. 
Nancy Hancock's place, on the east side of Three 
Runs Creek. 

There are two churches in the Three Runs 
neighborhood, which have services at regular ap- 
pointed times. The schools are not as good as 
some of the patrons would have them, but are on 
an average with other schools of the same grade 
in the county. There is not much wealth here, 
Joshua Perdue having the reputation of being the 
richest man in this neighborhood. 


Dunham Station. • 

This place is situated on the Louisville and 
Nashville Railroad, about eighteen miles from 
Greenville. The Dunham Lumber Company is 
situated here, and is the only thing of importance 
here. This mill was put up in 1882 by B. B. 
McKenzie, one of the chief engineers on the 
Louisville and Nashville Railroad. He is now 
President of the Lumber Company and owns the 
larger portion of the stock. The mill is run by a 
ninety-horse-power engine, and turns out over 
20,000 feet of lumber per day. They have one 
of the patented drying machines, and also a plan- 
ing machine, which prepare the lumber for im- 
mediate use. They have a broad-gauge railway, 
about four miles in length, which supplies the 
mill with logs from the almost inexhaustible 
forest of yellow pine near at hand. There being 
no convicts employed here gives work to many 
hundred men, who come from all parts of the 
county to profit by the wages offered. 

This company has the contract to furnish the 
Louisville and Nashville Railroad with cross-ties 
and bridge timber. This is a very large bill to 
fill, and they fill it, having time to saw other lum- 
ber for flooring and ceiling purposes. A person 


can not form a correct idea of the amount of lum- 
ber handled by this company until he visits it and 
sees the immense side-track, three miles long, 
used in loading the different cars for shipment. 
This company does not saw all the lumber that 
passes through their hands. They have several 
other smaller mills in their employ, and by this 
means are able to furnish lumber in any quantities 
on short notice. 


Mobile and Montgomery Railroad Leased by the 
Louisville and Nashville Railway Company. 

This railroad runs diagonally across the county^ 
and is 34 miles in length. It Avas completed 
through the county in the fall of i860. This 
road is of considerable service to the county, as it 
is the only source of transportation. It pays a 
handsome revenue annually to the county treas- 
ury, which the following statistics will show: — 

34 mis. main track, valued per mile at . $ l2,00O 
2. 71-100 mis. side-track, valued per mile at . 3,000 
Rolling stock valued at . . . . 458,289 

Depot buildings, 5, 100 

Land owned in the county is 8,800 acres; rate of tax is 6^ 
mills on the dollar. 


Main track, . . • . . 152,704.845 

Side track, ...... 52.845 

Rolling stock, ..... 274.2285 

Land, 28.6000 

Depot buildings, ..... 33.1500 

Total ^553,093. 6685 

There are eleven men employed by the com- 
pany at the different offices in the county, and 
five section bosses, who employ six hands each, 
making a total of 46 men given employment on 
the road, besides many that are kept employed 
preparing cross-ties. The road is kept in good con- 
dition, and has always had polite and accommo- 
dating men in its employ. They run two 
passenger trains each way daily, and one accom- 
modation, with freight trains to suit the demands 
of transportation. As there is no river in this 
county, commerce would be very much retarded 
by the suspension of this road. 

Other lines have been contemplated through 
the county, but it will be some time before the 
people will enjoy the advantages of another rail- 
road in this county. This road is the main chan- 
nel through which Butler County exchanges her 


The Medical Profession in the County, 

Although the health of this county is as good 
as that of any other county in the State, we do 
not want for medical skill. There are twenty- 
seven doctors in the county, all of whom are 
graduates of recognized medical colleges of the 
country, and are thoroughly acquainted with the 
different branches of their profession, and have 
always kept abreast with the steady advance of 
the science of sciences. As a general rule the 
doctors do not receive the amount of praise that 
they so justly deserve. In the times of antiquity 
the people looked upon them as the wise men of 
the land, and showed them marked civilities ; to- 
day the opinion of the public gives them a low 
place in the scale of excellence, while the politi. 
cians are given a place even above the clergy. 

The medical profession has been gradually 
broadening its field of usefulness by constantly 
adding to its college curriculum more extended 
courses in the various departments of science, and 
making the instruction more practical by the use 
of large hospitals, where every type of disease can 
be privately studied by the students of medicine. 
Specialists have devoted their whole time to the 
study and practice of some one of the different 
branches of medicine, and have succeeded in cur- 


ing cases that had hitherto been regarded as 
entirely hopeless. 

As there are no large cities in this county, we 
have no specialists, each physician devoting his 
time to the general practice. None of them have 
grown particularly rich from the fees collected 
from patients, although all have made comforta- 
ble livings. 

Dr. Hilary Herbert was the first resident phy- 
sician of this county, and was followed by Dr. 
Thomas Bragg. Dr. Barge came to the Flat 
about 1 82 1, and married a daughter of Thomas 
Hill. The first doctors of the county were very 
practical in their treatment of the different cases 
that came before them. Dr. Bragg lived to a 
ripe old age, and died in 1881. Being a useful 
citizen and a faithful Christian, he was loved and 
respected by his many acquaintances. 

Previous to 1873, any person could practice 
medicine, provided a certificate was obtained from 
the Medical Board of the State certifying that he 
had a sufficient knowledge of the subject to prac- 
tice, although he may never have graduated at a 
medical college. In 1873 the Legislature of the 
State passed a law requiring each county to have 
a Board of Examiners, before which each person 
wishing to practice medicine in that county must 
appear. The applicant must be a graduate of a rec- 
ognized medical college, and Is required to show 
his diploma. Before obtaining a certificate from this 
Board he is also required to stand an approved ex- 


amination on all the branches of the medical profes- 
sion. The Board of Examiners is elected by the 
Medical Society of the county, which is an organ- 
ization composed of all the physicians of the 
county, and which has meetings at regularly ap- 
pointed times. Officers of the Society are annually 
elected, and subjects of most interest to the pro- 
fession are discussed freely by the members. 
This organization is a good one, and should be 

We might state in this connection that we are 
well provided with drug stores and a corps of ex- 
perienced druggists, who understand their busi- 
ness, and who fill all prescriptions with care and 

The following is a list of the physicians in But- 
ler County as far as the author remembers: — 

At Greenville: Doctors Job Thigpen, C. B. 
Herbert, C. B. Lampley, T. J. Broughton, F. C. 
Webb, J. C. Kendrick, Joseph Harrison, S. J. 
Steiner, Arthur Stewart, J. B. Kendrick and 
Lewis Perdue. 

Monterey: Doctors J. G. Donald, C. J. Knight 
and J. J. Garrett. 

Forest Home: Dr. C. Wall. 

Butler Springs : Dr. B. Sims. 

Georgiana: Doctors J. E. Allman and T. M. 

Oaky Streak : Dr. W. F. Kendrick. 

Toluka: Doctors T. A. McCane and James 


Stelner's Store : Dr. Webb. 

Manningham : Doctors H. C. Scott and J. D. 

Dead Fall: Dr. J. D. Owen. 


The Bar of Butler County. 

The bar of Butler County has always ranked 
among the first in the State for learning and 
ability. Many of its members have distinguished 
themselves for their judgment in the administra- 
tion of the Government to the general satisfac- 
tion of the people. The State has frequently shown 
its confidence in their wisdom and counsel, by 
electing them to the highest positions of public 

. Judge Anderson Crenshaw was the first lawyer 
that settled in this county. He was born in New- 
berry District, South Carolina, in 1786, and came 
to this State in 1820. He read law in his native 
State under Judge Nott, and was licensed to prac- 
tice in 1 809. In 18 1 2, he was a member of the 
Legislature of his native State. Soon after com- 
ing to the State of Alabama, he was elected to the 
bench of the Supreme Court, and held that posi- 
tion for twelve years in succession. He resided in 


Butler County from 1821 until his death in 1847. 
Judge Crenshaw was Chancellor of his District for 
eight years. 

The names of Crenshaw, Womack, Watts, 
Henry, Porter and Judge will always be cherished 
by the bar of this county for the reputation they 
gave it in the earliest days of its existence. 

Governor Watts was born in the county in 18 19, 
and began practice in Greenville in 1841. He 
represented the county several times in the Legis- 
lature, and then removed to Montgomery, and 
was afterward elected to the office of Governor of 
the State. 

Judge John K. Henry came from Wilcox 
County, but studied law and began to practice in 
Butler County. He has spent a long, busy and 
useful life in the county, at the bar and on the 
bench. He was elected Judge of the Circuit Court 
of this District in i860, and filled that position 
with great satisfaction, until he was ejected by 
Congress in 1868. He is now serving with ability 
the people of Butler and Conecuh Counties in the 
State Senate. Judge Walter H. Crenshaw was a 
son of Chancellor Crenshaw, and was a chip of the 
old block. He represented this county many 
years in the State Legislature, and was both 
Speaker of the House and President of the Senate. 
His last public duty was in the office of Judge 01 
the Criminal Court of Butler County. 

Thomas J. Judge was a member of the Butler 
County Bar, and represented his county in the 


Legislature. He was generally recognized as stand- 
ing at the head of the legal profession in the State, 
and was the candidate of the. Whig party for Con- 
gress against Judge David Clopton, the Demo- 
cratic nominee. This election is conceded to have 
been the most hotly contested election ever 
known in Alabama, and resulted in the defeat of 
the Whig candidate by a small majority. Thomas 
Judge was three times elected to the Supreme 
Court Bench, which position he held with the uni- 
versal confidence of the people at the time of his 

His opinions delivered from the Supreme Bench, 
are regarded by the legal profession as clear, 
logical and convincing. 

Judge Benjamin F. Porter was a native of South 
Carolina, He was a member of the Butler County 
bar about eight years before his death. He was 
a man of fine culture, rare literary attainments 
and profound judgment, and was the peer of any 
man in the legal profession in Alabama at the 
time of his death. He represented as many as 
three different counties in the Legislature at differ- 
ent times ; and was appointed Circuit Judge when 
quite a young man. He was Supreme Court re- 
porter for a number of years. He died in Green- 
ville, in 1868. 

Since the war the members of the bar have been 
none the less able. Judge M. C. Lane will ever 
be remembered by all those who knew him, for 
his social qualities and conversational powers. He 


was a good lawyer, but never entered politics. 

Colonel Hilary A. Herbert was raised in this 
county, and was a member of her bar for over 
fifteen years. He is the most distinguished mem- 
ber of the bar since the war, having been in Con- 
gress for eight years in succession, and having 
been elected for another term. He began the 
practice of law at Greenville just before the war, 
but is generally considered among the younger 
members of the bar. He was a student of the 
University of Alabama, and was for several years 
one of its honored Trustees. 

Hon. John L. Powell was born and educated in 
this county, and began the practice of law here. 
He represented the county in 1870, was elected 
Judge of the Probate Court of the county in 1874, 
and has held that office ever since. He is well 
versed in law, and was the partner of Colonel 
Herbert for several years. He is probably the 
most influential man in the county. 

The firm of Judge & Boiling was formed in 
1868, composed of Thomas J. Judge and Captain 
John BoUing, and his father, Hon. S. J. Boiling. 
The firm of Powell & Gamble was formed about 
this time, and consisted of Hon. J. L. Powell and 
Captain John Gamble, and was dissolved on the 
election of the former to the office of Probate 
Judge. After this. Gamble practiced several years 
vv^ith Padgett. He is now in the firm of Gamble 
& Richardson. 

J. C. Richardson, the junior member of this 


firm, is not a native of this county, but is rapidly 
growing in the favor of the people by the close 
attention given to all business entrusted to him. 
Being Avealthy, he does not rely upon his practice 
for a support. He was Hon. John L. Powell's 
opponent in 1880 for Probate Judge, causing con- 
siderable excitement and a close race. Judge 
Powell was re-elected by a majority of "j^ votes. 

The firm of Herbert, Buel & Lane is the oldest 
one now in the county. It originally consisted of 
Colonel Hilary Herbert, Hon. David Buel and L. 
M. Lane. Colonel Herbert has not been an 
active member of the firm since 1876, but his 
name is still retained by the firm. Hon. David 
Buel is a Northern man. He married a sister of 
Colonel Hilary Herbert. He has been identified 
with the interests of the county ever since 1865, 
and represented Butler and Conecuh in the Senate 
in 1877. He died in 1884, having suffered several 
years from bad health. The firm of Whitehead & 
Dukes was formed in 1870, which was dissolved 
in 1874, when the latter moved to Texas. Colo- 
nel J. M. Whitehead, the senior member of the 
firm, was editor of the Greenville Advocate for 
several years, but gave up the paper as soon as 
his practice justified him. He moved to Mont' 
gomery in 1882, and is editing the National Inde^ 
pendent in connection with his work as a lawyer. 

We will now briefly notice the younger mem- 
bers of the present bar. Captain Edward Cren- 
shaw IS. a son of Hon. Walter H., and was 


educated at the Universities of Alabama and Vir- 
ginia. He began the practice shortly after the 
war, and has held several appointments, such as 
County Clerk, Circuit Clerk, SoHcitor for the 
county, etc. 

Jesse F. Stallings is a native of this county, and 
was graduated at the University of Alabama in 
1877, and studied law at Greenville in 1878. He is 
rapidly winning the confidence of the people by 
the despatch with which he discharges all his 

H. B. Pilley was born in this county, and is a 
promising member of the bar. Not having a 
collegiate education, he read law with considera- 
ble disadvantage, but with earnest application he 
was admitted to practice in 1879. 

C. W. King came to Greenville in 1878 from 
the chilly climes of the State of New Jersey. 
While working for his uncle in Greenville, he de- 
voted his spare time to the study of law, and was 
examined in 1880. He has been elected to the 
office of County Coroner. He is accused by some 
of the old citizens of the county of trying to lead 
the Democratic party in the politics of the county. 

John W. Crenshaw was born at Manningham 
in this county, and graduated in the academic de- 
partment of the State University in 1881, and in 
the law department in 1882. He had scarcely 
entered upon the practice in Greenville when he 
was offered a partnership with Tweed & Han- 
cock in Phoenix, Arizona, which he accepted, 


and is enjoying a lucrative practice in the Far 

Harris D. Lamply is a native of this county, 
and was graduated at the State University with 
distinction in the class of 1 88 1, and received his 
law diploma in 1883. Being a young man of a 
brilliant mind, it is to be expected that he will 
make a good lawyer. 

Captain Robert Eugene Steiner was also born 
in this county, and graduated from the University 
at Tuscaloosa. He received his final degree from 
the University in 1881, and stood high in his 
class. He entered the law department of Harvard 
University at Cambridge, Mass., the same year, 
and pursued the regular course in that institution 
until he was graduated in June, 1884. This law 
school has a more extended reputation than any 
other law school in the United States. Shortly 
after his return from Cambridge, he formed a 
partnership with Judge John K. Henry, of Green- 
ville. Mr. Steiner's prospects for success are 
thought to be as good as those of any young 
lawyer in the State. 

The firm of Judge & Wilkinson is about the last 
firm formed in the county. David G. Judge, the 
senior member of the firm, is a son of the late 
Judge Thomas J. Judge, and is a young man ot 
promise. Charles L. Wilkinson, the other mem- 
ber of this firm, is a son of W. W. Wilkinson, a 
large merchant of Greenville. Mr. Wilkinson is 


a graduate in law from the University of Ala- 
bama, of the class of 1883. 

Dr. J. W. Blow and J. R. Keen resided at 
Georgiana and practiced law for a number of 
years, but both of them have since left the county. 

The lawyers and firms now in practice in Butler 
County are as follows : H. B. Pilley, Edward 
Crenshaw, Harris Lamply, W. C. King, Jesse F. 
Stallings, L. M. Lane, Judge & Wilkinson, Henry 
& Steiner and Gamble & Richardson. It is very 
gratifying to the members of the Butler Bar to say 
that no lawyer from any other bar of the State 
ever has a case in any of the different courts of 
this county. 

County Officei's, 1885. 

Jonathan L. Powell, Judge of Probate and 
County Courts. 

Ira Y. Traweek, Sheriff. 

Ransom Scale, Clerk of Circuit Court. 

James L. Dunklin, Treasurer. 

C. J. Armstrong, Tax Assessor. 

George W. Lee, Tax Collector. 

H. B. Pilley, Register in Chancery. 

Dr. J. B. Kendrick, Coroner. 

Rev. W. H. Morris, Superintendent of Educa- 



Jonathan L. Powell, ex-officio President; Robert 
Powers, W. P. Graham, W. R. Thagard, P. D. 

It was the intention of the author to have por- 
traits engraved of the first three officers of the 
county, but he has been unable to procure the 
photographs from any except Mr. Scale, a very 
neat engraving of whom the reader will find on 
the following page. We will now proceed to 
notice these three officers briefly. 

Judge Jonathan L. Powell was born and raised 
near Monterey, in the western part of the county. 
His father was one of the early settlers, and was a 
practical farmer and good neighbor. His son, 
Jonathan, however, did not inherit his father's 
tastes for agricultural pursuits, and, at an early 
age, he abandoned the farm in search of an educa- 
tion to fit him for a public life. He soon began 
the study of law in Greenville, and was in due 
time admitted to the bar to practice his profession 
in all the courts of the State. His earnest efforts 
were constantly rewarded with marked success, 
and it was not long before he ranked high among 
his legal brethren. He was for a while in partner- 
ship with Colonel Hilary Herbert, but spent the 
last years of his practice with Captain John Gamble. 

His easy manners and friendly disposition won 
for him many warm friends, who soon pressed 
him into the service of his county in an official 
capacity. In 1870, he was elected to represent 



the people of his native county in the House at 
Montgomery, making a useful member in that 
time of great confusion. Desperate efforts were 
made by the people of the county to throw off the 
yoke of Radicalism in 1874, and elect the county 
officers from the Democratic ranks. Mr. Powell, 
being one of the strongest men in the county, was 
placed at the head of the Democratic ticket for 
Probate Judge, his many friends doing everything 
in their power to secure his election, and restore 
harmony to the people. Beyond the earnest ex- 
pectations of his friends, he was elected by a large 
majority to the highest office at the hands of the 
people of his county, and has performed the duties 
of this office ever since, having been re-elected in 

Judge Powell is kind-hearted, social, hospita- 
ble, and free and open in all his manners, and 
makes a good, careful, agreeable officer. Possess- 
ing all the essential qualities for success, both in 
public and private life, he has a wonderful influ- 
ence upon the voters of the county, always receiv- 
ing their cordial support in times of need. 

He married a daughter of Hon. Samuel J. 
Boiling, and enjoys all the pleasures of a cheerful 
home made happy by an interesting family. 

Captain Ira Y. Traweek, the present Sheriff, was 
born near Monterey, and has spent all of his life 
at this pleasant little country village. His father, 
Hon. William H. Traweek, came to the county 
about 1820, being one among the county's first 


settlers. Like a great many of the first settlers, 
he spent the most of his time in farming and rais- 
ing stock, but, at the same time, not forgetting 
the interests of the people. He was elected to 
the Legislative Halls at Montgomery in 1852, but 
retired from public life after serving one session. 
His son, Ira, adopted farming as his occupation, 
and has made it quite a success. His friends urged 
him into politics in 1884, and he was elected to 
the office of Sheriff of the county by a very hand- 
some majority. Being straightforward and prompt, 
he discharges the duties of his office as efficiently 
as the people could wish. He is tall, stout, well 
proportioned, and has a commanding appearance; 
is polite, obliging, cheerful and agreeable in his 
manners, making friends wherever he goes. He 
married a daughter of Mr. Thomas Smith, one of 
Monterey's cleverest citizens. 

Ransom Scale, Clerk of the Circuit Court, was 
born near Rocky Creek Beat, and spent the early 
days of his life in this locality. His good father 
paid special attention to the careful training of his 
son's mind, giving him every advantage that a 
man in ordinary circumstances could well give. 
This course consisted of the branches generally 
taught in our best high schools. Thus equipped. 
Ransom starts out as a school-teacher, and meets 
with great success in every respect. He was a 
natural teacher, possessing that great faculty of 
easily imparting his knowledge to others — the thing 
most essential for the success of any teacher. He 


possessed another essential to success in teaching, 
as well as in any other vocation in life, that is a 
strong will and powerful executive ability — these 
form the basis of all true success, and no man can 
be truly great if he is lacking in this particular. 

Mr. Seale spent several years in teaching in dif- 
ferent localities, and made many friends wherever 
he stopped. It was while he was teaching a flour- 
ishing school at Monterey that he received the 
nomination in 1874 for Clerk of the Circuit Court, 
and was elected to that office ; which position he 
still holds, having been again elected in 1880. He 
is honest, conscientious, and as sound as a silver 
dollar; is energetic, particular and prompt in the 
discharge of the duties devolving upon him as an 
officer of the people. He is competent to fill any 
office in the gift of the people. 

He married Miss Mary, a daughter of Mrs. 
Catherine Hartsfield, of Monterey, this county, 
and has a pleasant home. 




Voting Precincts in Butler County. 

Beat No. i, . 


. Starlington. 


'' 2, 

South Butler. 


'' 3, . 


Oaky Streak. 


'' 4, 

TBox I, Toluka. 
\ Box 2, Sardis. 


'' 5, . 

. . 

Steiner's Store. 


'' 6, 



" 7, . 


. Spring Hill. 


'' 8, 

Dead Fall. 


'' 9, . 

. . • 



'' ID, 



"II, . 

\ Box 
{ Box 

1, Forest Home. 

2, Butler Springs. 





-13. . 




'* 14, 



"15, . 

, . • 

Mt. Olive. 



Rocky Creek 




Churches and Houses of Worship. 

Name and Denomination. Locality. 

Greenville Primitive Baptist, Greenville. 

Greenville Missionary Baptist, Greenville. 

St. Thomas Church, Episcopalian, Greenville. 

Greenville Methodist Episcopal, Greenville. 

Greenville Presbyterian, Greenville. 

Georgiana Missionary Baptist, Georgiana. 

Georgiana Methodist Episcopal, Georgiana. 

Garland Methodist Episcopal, Garland. 

Garland Missionary Baptist, Garland. 

Pleasant Hill Union, near Garland. 

Monterey Methodist Episcopal, Monterey. 

Monterey Missionary Baptist, Monterey. 

Forest Home Missionary Baptist, Forest Home. 

Forest Home Methodist Episcopal, Forest Home. 
Butler Springs Missionary Baptist, Butler Springs. 

Shackelville Missionary Baptist, Shackelville. 

Moriah Primitive Baptist, Dead Fall. 

Oak Grove Methodist Episcopal, Fort Dale. 
Mount Zion Primitive Baptist, 

Damascus Missionary Baptist, Toluka. 

Spring Hill Methodist Episcopal, Spring Hill. 
St. Paul Methodist Episcopal. 
Antioch Missionary Baptist. 
Spring Creek Missionary Baptist. 

Sardis Missionary Baptist, Sardis. 



Name and Denomination. 
Mount Carmel Primitive Baptist. 
Mount Pisgah Primitive Baptist. 
Wesley Chapel Methodist Episcopal. 
Bethel Methodist Episcopal. 
Mount Zion Methodist Protestant. 
Good Hope Missionary Baptist. 
Shiloh Primitive Baptist. 
Pine Level Missionary Baptist. 
Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist. 
County Line Protestant Methodist. 
Pine Flat Methodist Episcopal. 
Providence Methodist Episcopal. 
Ebenezer Primitive Baptist. 
New Prospect Missionary Baptist. 
South Butler Methodist Episcopal, 
Elizabeth Primitive Baptist, 
Bethel Missionary Baptist, 
Oaky Streak Methodist Episcopal, 
Consolation Primitive Baptist, 
Friendship Missionary Baptist, 
Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal, 
New Prospect Methodist Episcopal 
Mount Olive Missionary Baptist, 
Breastwork Primitive Baptist. 
Pleasant Point Christian, 
Friendship Missionary Baptist. 
Pine Grove Missionary Baptist. 
Boiling Methodist Episcopal, 
Liberty Chapel Methodist Episcopal. 
Salem Protestant Methodist. 


South Butler. 
South Butler. 
South Butler. 
Oaky Streak. 
Oaky Streak. 
Oaky Streak. 
Mount Olive. 
Mount Olive. 

Dead Fall. 


butler county, alabama. 239 

Name and Denomination. Locality. 

Brushy Creek Missionary Baptist. 

Butler Branch Latter-Day Saints, Shackelville. 


Our Wealthy Men. 

The following is an alphabetical list of the 
wealthy citizens of Butler County; none of them 
own less than ;^ 15,000, while a few of them are 
valued at ^95,000. 

Judge Samuel J. Boiling, Greenville. 
Burt Boutwell, Forest Home. 
John Crittenden, Oaky Streak. 
Fred. C. Crenshaw, Manningham. 
A. Z. Davis, Davis'. 
M. P. Davis, Davis'. 
Major D. G. Dunklin, Greenville. 
John J. Flowers, Boiling. 
William H. Flowers, Greenville. 
William Harrison, Greenville. 
William F. Hartley, Greenville. 
Dr. C. J. Knight, Monterey. 
E. M. Lazenby, Forest Home. 
Jackson Luckie, Monterey. 
Dr. T. A. McCane, McCane's. 
Captain E. C. Milner, Georgiana. 


Charles Neuman, Greenville. 

J. G. Peagler, Manningham. 

Joshua Perdue, Steiner's Store. 

J. T. Perry, Greenville. 

Joseph Pool, Davis'. 

J. C. Richardson, Esq., Greenville. 

Pinkney Rouse, Greenville. 

Jerry Simpson, Manningham. 

J. M. Sims, Georgiana. 

John Smith, Butler Springs. 

Joseph Steiner, Greenville. 

W. R. Thagard, Greenville. 

Joseph Touart, Georgiana. 

Mac Wimberley, Greenville. 

A. F. Whittle, South Butler. 

W. W. Wilkinson, Greenville. 

A. G. Winkler, Greenville. 

W. J. Yeldell, Monterey. 



Members of the Legislature. 

Previous to 1825, this county voted with Cone- 
cuh in the election of Representatives. 


1825 — Nathan Cook. 

1826 — Andrew F. Perry. 

1827 — Nathan Cook. 

1828 — Nathan Cook. 

1829 — Nathan Cook. 

1830 — Nathan Cook. 

1 83 1 — Nathan Cook. 

1832 — Nathan Cook. 

1833 — Edward Bowen. 

1834 — Edward Bowen and Herndon L. Hender- 

1835 — John W. Womack and Herndon L. Hen- 

1836 — Henry T. Jones and H. L. Henderson. 

1837 — H. T. Jones and Herndon L. Henderson. 

1838 — Henry T. Jones and Walter H. Crenshaw. 

1839 — Jesse Womack and James W. Wade. 

1840 — Edward Bowen and Walter H. Crenshaw. 

■I 841 — Joseph Rhodes and Walter H. Crenshaw. 

1842 — Thomas Hill Watts and Herndon L. Hen- 

i843_William H. Traweek and W. D. K. Taylor. 


1844 — Thomas H. Watts and Joseph Rhodes. 

1845— Thomas H. Watts and W. D. K. Taylor. 

1847 — ^- ^- Henderson and Walter H. Cren- 

1849 — Edward Bowen and John S. McMullan. 

185 1 — Brockman W. Henderson and John S. Mc- 

1853 — Thomas J. Burnett and James R. Yeldell. 

1855— R. R. Wright and John S. McMullar. 

1857 — Samuel Adams and A. B. Scarborough. 

1859 — Samuel Adams and M. C. Lane. 

1 86 1 — Walter H. Crenshaw* and Thomas J. 

1863 — Walter H. Crenshaw* and S. F. Gafford. 

1865 — Thomas C. Crenshaw and S. F. Gafford. 

1867 — No election. ; 

1870 — Jonathan L. Powell. 

1872 — Nathaniel V. Clopton. 

1874 — John F. Tate. 

1876 — John Gilchrist and Dr. Conrad Wall. 

1878 — Dr. Thomas A. McCane and Richard S. 

1880— Bartow Wimberly and Nathan Wright. 

1882 — Daniel G. Dunklin. 

1884 — Thomas J. Judge. 

■'•Small capitals show that the member presided over the body 
at that session. 



1822— John D. Bibb. 

1825 — William Jones. 

1828 — John Watkins. 

1830 — William Hemphill. 

1833 — William Hemphill. 

1836 — Samuel W. Oliver. 

1837 — Herndon L. Henderson. 

1839 — Joseph W. Townsend. 

1840 — Jesse Womack. 

1842 — Asa Arrington. 

1845 — Archibald Gilchrist. 

1847 — Thomas J. Judge. 

185 1 — Walter H. Crenshaw. 

1855— Franklin C. Webb. 

1857 — Thomas J. Burnett. 

1861 — Edmund Harrison. 

1865 — Walter H. Crenshaw.^ 

1870— William Miller, Jr. 

1874— Ezra W. Martin. 

1876 — James H. Dunklin. f 

1877 — David Buel. 

1880 — George R. Farnham. 

1884— John K. Henry. 

*The small capitals indicate that the member presided during 
that session. 

tMr. Dunklin died in 1877, and his unexpired term vras filled 
by Mr. Buel. 



Officers of the County. 


I AM indebted to the f(jllowing gentlemen for in- 
formation concerning the officers prior to 1852: 
Hon. S. J. BoUing, Alex. McKellar, Esq., Messrs. 
Anderson Scale and Ambrose Smith. 
1820— A. T. Perry. 
1824 — Wm. Payne. 
1828 — John Taylor. 
1832 — Samuel J. Wright. 
1836 — David Rogers. 
1840 — ^John T. Henderson. 
1844 — Thos. B. Windham, who soon resigned, 

and Phil. B. Waters was appointed to the 

1848— Phil. B. Waters. 
1852 — George W. Thagard. 
1855— Phil. B. Waters. 
1858 — Walter D. Perryman. 
1861 — Jerry P. Ronton. 
1864 — Andrew M. Black. 

In 1865 a new election was ordered by the 
Provisional Government, and in November, 1865, 
John T. Long was elected. He resigned before 
the expiration of his term of office, and Hiram 
Pierce was appointed by the Governor. He also 
resigned, and Ira W. Stott was appointed, who 


finally resigned, and his place was filled by the ap- 
pointment of Jas. H. Perdue in 1869. 
187 1 — Jas. H. Perdue. 
1874— Wm. M. Flowers. 
1877 — John F. Barganier. 
1880— John W. Grant. 
1884 — Ira Y. Traweek. 


1820 — Robert Reid. 

1828 — Samuel L. Caldwell. 

1836— William T. Streety. 

i8zi4 — Ezekiel Pickens. 

1864 — Jerry P. Routon, resigned 1868. 

1868 — James D. Porter, appointed. 

1869 — Edward Crenshaw, appointed. 

1874 — Ransom Scale, elected, which office he 
holds until 1886. 

1885 — Rev. William H. Morris, County Superin- 
tendent of Education. 


1820 — Edward H. Herbert. 

1826 — Reuben Reid. 

1832 — Benjamin Newton. 

1837 — Samuel J. Boiling, who served in this office 
until 1850, when it was abolished and the 
work given to the Circuit Clerk. 


Hilary Herbert. 

William Gafford. 


1844 — Ezekiel H. Pickens. 
1846 — James L. Dunklin. 
185 1 — James L. Dunklin. 
1854 — Joseph Dunklin. 
1856 — ^Joseph Dunklin. 
1858 — Joseph Dunklin. 
i860 — Joseph Dunklin. 
1861 — Joseph Dunklin. 
1861 — Samuel B. Lewis. 
1863 — Samuel B. Lewis. 
1865— Alexander McKeller. 
1870 — Alexander McKeller. 
1874 — James L. Dunklin. 
1880 — James L. Dunklin. 
1885 — ^James L. Dunklin. 


William Lee. 

James Lane. 

Daniel Gafford. 

Herndon L. Henderson. 

J. F. Johnson. 

1850 — Samuel J. Boiling. 
1854 — Samuel J. Boiling. 
1858 — Samuel J. Boiling. 
1862 — Samuel J. Boiling. 
1866— Samuel J. Boiling. 
1868 — Samuel S. Gardner. 
1869— H. W. Watson. 
1874 — ^Jonathan L. Powell. 
1880 — ^Jonathan L. Powell. 




List of post-offices and publ 
County, with the names of the 

Bear's Store, 

Butler Springs, . 
Dead Fall, . 
Dunham, . 
Forest Home, 
Fort Bibb, 
Fort Dale, 
Oaky Streak, 

Reynolds, Butler Springs P. O. 
Sardis, Pigeon Creek P. O. 
Scarey, .... 
Shackelville, . 
South Butler, Shell P. O., 
Spring Hill, . 
Steiner's Store, 

ic places in Butler 


. No office. 

. J. J. Flowers. 

Jas. Reynolds. 

B. B. McKenzie. 
Geo. Lazenby. 

O. C. Darby. 

. J. R. Stott 

. J. H. Perdue. 

Miss E. Shell. 

T. A. Knight. 

Oliver Crittenden. 

, Jas. Reynolds. 

. R. D. Shell. 

Riley Searcy. 

W. F. Shell. 



War Record of the County. 

With the Number of the Regiments and Companies^ 

and the Names of the Various Captains of 

the Companies at Different Ttnies. 

It is very desirable to have a complete record 
of the names of the companies that went from the 
county, with all the officers and the time they went 
into service ; but all the efforts of the author to 
obtain such information has been unsuccessful. 

The following tabular statement has been taken 
from Brewer's History of Alabama. 


One company from this county. Captains : Hilary 
A. Herbert; promoted to Major; wounded at 
Seven Pines ; promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. 
Severely wounded at the Wilderness ; subsequently 
promoted to Colonel of the Regiment. 

Lewis A. Livingston, wounded at Gettysburg, 
and died in the hands of the enemy. 

Ira W. Scott. 


One company from this county. Captains : E. Y. 
Hill, killed at Gaines' Mill; Thomas Mills, re- 
signed ; Mathew Patton. 



One company from this county. Captains : John 
Glasgow, resigned ; C. N. Cook, killed at Cold 
Harbor; L. P. Broughton was Adjutant of this 
Regiment, but was killed at the battle of the Wil- 


Three companies from this county. Captains: 
first company, Thomas J. Burnett ; promoted to 
Major; wounded at Atlanta; subsequently pro- 
moted to Lieutenant Colonel. T. A. McCane 
carried the company through. 

Second company: W. D. Ferryman, resigned. 
John Boiling, captured at Nashville. 

Third company : J. Dean, resigned. James S. 
Moreland, captured at Resaca. 


Ojte company frojn this county. Captains : H. 
Clay Armstrong, resigned ; Augustus C. Green, 
wounded at Jonesboro. 


Three companies from this county. Samuel Adams, 
of this county, was elected the first Colonel of this 
Regiment, wounded at Perryville, and killed at 
. Kennesaw. 

Willis J. Milner, of this county, was Adjutant 
of the Regiment during its last service. 

Captains: First company, James H. Dunklin, 
promoted to Major; wounded at Chickamauga ; 


promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. William E. 
Dodson, killed at Kennesaw. Charles S. Lithicum. 

Second company: J. D. McKee, killed at Perry- 
ville. B. F. Hammett, wounded at Chickamauga. 

Third company: Thomas G. Pour, resigned. 
John F. Barganier, resigned. William S. Sims, 
killed at Chickamauga. John Gamble, wounded at 
New Hope and Columbus. 


One company from this county. Captain : F. D. 
N. Riley. 


Tzvo companies from- this county. Captains : First 
company, J. R. Glasgow, resigned. Louis Har- 
rell, resigned. H. H. Rutledge, killed at 
Drewry's. Zach, Daniel, killed at Hatcher's Run. 

Second company: R. F. Manly, wounded at 
Drewry's, wounded and captured at Hatcher's 


One company from this county. Captains : W. D. 
Tarbutton, wounded and retired. G. A. Tarbut- 
ton, wounded at White Oaks Road. 


072e company from tins county. Captains : John 

F. Barganier, detached. Porter, captured 

at Spottsylvania, and died in prison. 


One company from this county. Captains : R. W. 
Carter, promoted to Major. Joseph Allen, served 
until close of the war. 


This company was organized in May, 1861, 
and was composed of men from Butler, Dallas, 
Lowndes, Marengo and Perry Counties. Robert 
Yeldell, of this county, was First Lieutenant, but 
soon resigned his commission. 




Together, kind reader, we have passed over 
the most important pages of Butler County's his- 
tory. We have seen her forests in all the beauty 
of their nativity. We have seen hopeful emi- 
grants leave their native land in search of happy 
homes, and pitch their tents on Butler's sunlit 
hills and in her shaded valleys. We saw the little 
colony increase in numbers, and the settlers un- 
dergo all the hardships of the frontier life. We 
saw her fertile soil stained with the precious blood 
of her heroic citizens. We have followed the prog- 
ress of the people until we find them to-day among 
the first men and women of Alabama. We have 
read sketches of her towns and villages, and the 
lives of some of her most distinguished residents. 
But we must now part, and leave the future his- 
tory of the Banner County to some other son of 
Butler, whose tastes for historical details are more 
highly cultivated than those of the present writer. 
And while the happy people of Butler County are 
enjoying a more general prosperity than ever be- 
fore in the annals of her history, the curtain is 



Adams, Colonel Samuel, Sketch of, . . . .158 

Ancient Mounds in Butler County, ..... 143 

Bar of Butler County, ....... 224 

Bayne, Colonel Thomas L., Sketch of, .... 132 

Bear's Store, Description of, 210 

Black or Prairie Lands, . . . . . . . 6i 

Blood-Stained Pages of Butler's History, ... 25 
Bodies of Butler, Gardner and Shaw Removed to Greenville 

in 1858, 21 

Boiling, Description of, . . . . . . . 188 

Butler, Captain Wm., Notice of, ..... 19 

'* Last Resting Place, ... 21 
Butler, The Horrible Massacre of, . . . . .20 

Butler Spring, Description of, ..... 136 

Churches and Places of Worship, ..... 237 

Commerce Established in the County, .... 40 

Conveniences of the People Needed, .... 44 

Confederates, Defeat of, ...... 56 

Condition of the County After the War of 1865, . . 58 

County Offices in 1866, 58 

1874 59 

1885 232 

«* " from 1822 to 1885, 244 

County Named in Honor of William Butler, ... 19 

Conclusion, ......... 252 

Court House, Where Erected, etc., .... 82 

Crenshaw, Judge Anderson, Sketch of, ... . 141 

'« Hon. Walter H., " .... 103 

" John W., Notice of, . . . . . . 229 

Cultivated Lands, etc., ....... 6l 



Customs of the People in 1820, 
" " 1825, 

Dead Fall, Description of, . 
Defeat of the Confederate Army 
Democratic Rule in 1874, . 
Deposit of Iron Ore, 
Doctors of the County, 
Donaldson, Betsy, Notice of, . 
Drainage of the County, 
Dunham Station, Description of. 
Earliest History of the County, 
Fertility of the Soil in 1820, . 
First Bloodshed in the County, 

Companies of the Late War, 
Court Held in the County, 
Court House Erected, 
House in the County Erected, 
Marriage in the County, 
Settlements by the Whites, 
Store in the County, 
Attack by the Indians, 
Formation of the County, 
Forest Home, a Description of, . 
Forts Erected in the County, . 
Fort Dale, a Description of, 
Geographical Position of the County, 
Geological Formation, 
Garland, Description of, 
Georgiana, Description of, . 
Gins, Tanneries, etc.. 
Gray Lands in the County, 
Grist and Saw Mills Needed, . 
Greenville, First Settlement of, etc 
Greenville, 1885, a Description of, 
Henry, Mrs. I. M. P., Sketch of, 

" Judge John K., " 
Herbert, Colonel Hilary A., Sketch of. 
How Land Was First Entered, 



Indians Become Dissatisfied; 

" Show Signs of Hostility, 

'• Attack the People, 

** Compel the People to go in Forts, 

** Do Other Damage, 

" Further Trouble the Settlers, 

" Leave the County, 
Iron Ore Deposit in the County, 
Judges of the County, 
Judge, Colonel Thomas J., Sketch of, 
Lampley, Horris D., Notice of, . 
Lands Cultivated and Uncultivated, 
Land Office, ..... 

Lawyers of the County, . 
Legislature, Members of, . 
Lumber Mills, .... 

Mail Routes Established, 
Manningham, Description of, 
Monterey, " . . 

Men of Capital Locate in the County, 
Medical Profession in the County, 
Mayors of Greenville, List of. 
Mineral Waters, .... 

McCall, Charles R., Notice of, 
McBride's, Description of, . 
Mobile and Montgomery Railway, . 
Mounds of Prehistoric Times, 
Names of the Settlers of 1818-19, . 

Heroes That Fell in 1861-65, 
Oaky Streak, Description of, . 
Officers of the County, 1885, 

" " From 1822 to 1885 

Ogly Massacre in 1818, 
Pine Flat, Description of, 
Populaion from 1820 to 1880, 
Porter, Judge Benjamin F., Sketch of, 
Post-Offices, Postmasters, etc.. 
Press of Butler County, . 



Produce of the County, 
Properties of the Soil, etc.. 
Public Schools, .... 
Railroad Built Through the County 
Religion in the Savage Land, 
Religious Influence of To-day, 
Red Clay Lands, 
Ridgeville, Description of, 
Rocky Creek, Description of, 
Roper Wells, " 

Sardis, Description of, 
Saw Mills, .... 
Seat of Justice Located at Greenville, 
Self-Denials of the People During the Late War, 
Schools, Public and Private, 
Shackelville, Description of, 
Starlington, ♦' 

Steiner's Store, *' 

South Butler, " 

Stage Lines and Routes, 
Slopes and Drainage, 
Stanley, Colonel James B., Sketch o 
Steiner, Captain Robert E., Notice < 
State of Affairs in 1865, 
Timber on Gray Lands, . 
" Black «< 

Red «' 
Thompson, Warren A., Sketch of, 
Toluka, Description of, . 
Truck Farming, 
Virgin Growth of the County, 
Voting Precincts, 
Walker, Lucien J., Notice of, 
War Between the States, 
War Record of the County, 
Water and Water-Power, 
Wealthy Men of the County, 
Wilkinson, W. W., Sketch of, 
Wright, Hon. Nathan, Notice of, 

6 70 




* x^- -"^ 


V. -^1-^0 

■K^-. ,d^ 





^c, "■- 

.^-v... ", 


'^V. .cV 



■ r,. 


.■ '■ ■ A> 



y> \v 


H '^^ 

•^^^ V 

^//^o mO^ ,^^" 


" if,' >9 ' J. 

"-<. .^^ 




"^^ v*^ 



^A V 


d- ,\^ 

-$-. <i^' 

^' .i>. 



c^, , 



V' .. 

>- . '^?-, 


'^^. <^^ 

s '"r^