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Butler County, Alabama,
From 1815 to 1885.
With Sketches of Some of Her Most Distinguished
Citizens, and Glances at Her Rich and
JOHN BUCKNEK LITTLE, B. A.,
Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the University of Alabama, at
WITH TWELVE ILLUSTRATIONS.
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
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1885, by
JOHN BUCKNER LITTLE,
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-
Pickett's History of Alabama,
Garrett's Public Men of Alabama,
Brewer's Outline History of Alabama,
The Trade Issue of the Greenville Advocate.
J. B. LITTLE.
March 2, 188=5.
CHAPTER I. PAGE.
Geographical Position — Geological FormaUons — Different
Varieties of Soil — Virgin Growth — Slopes — Drainage,
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
CHAPTER VII. PAGE.
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
Sketch of Hon. W. H, Crenshaw, 103
CHAPTER XVII. PAGE.
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
VI 11 CONTENTS.
CHAPTER XXX. page.
Sketch of W. W. Wilkinson, i6o
Forest Home, . . . . . . . . . 165
Georgiana, ......... 172
Starlington, ......... 175
Sketch of Colonel H. A. Herbert, . . . . ; 177
Sketch of Mrs. I. M. P. Henry, . . . , .191
Sardis, .......... 195
Toluka, .......... 197
Press of Butler County, 200
Bear s Store • • • 2lo
CHAPTER XLIII. page.
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
CHAPTER LVI. page.
Officers of the County, 244
CHAPTER LVII. ^
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
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-
l6 THE HISTORY OF
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-
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 7
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
1 8 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 9
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
20 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 21
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
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
22 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 23
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
24 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 2$
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,
26 THE HISTORY OF
and organized themselves into two bands of war-
riors, under the command of Uchee Tom and Sa-
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 2/
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
^8 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 2g
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,
30 THE HISTORY OF
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
32 THE HISTORY OF
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
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-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 33
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.
34 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 35
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
36 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 37
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
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-
38 THE HISTORY OF
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
There were no churches nor preachers in the
county at this time, and the people would fre-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 39
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
40 THE HISTORY 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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 4I
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
42 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 43
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
44 THE HISTORY OF
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
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 45
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
46 THE HISTORY OF
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
GOV. T. H. WATTS,
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 4/
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
48 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 49
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
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
50 THE HISTORY 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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 5 I
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-
52 THE HISTORY OF
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
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 53
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
54 THE HISTORY OF
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
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 55
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
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
$6 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 57
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
58 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 59
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-
60 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 6 1
villages and neighborhoods in particular localities
of the county can be read in the second part of
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-
62 THE HISTORY OF
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 $25, per acre. Fossils and rocks
of the cretaceous division are plentiful here, and
interfere somewhat with the higher cultivation of
the soil. Water in this section is very scarce,
and, when found, is impregnated with lime, which
renders it almost unfit for drinking purposes, often
producing sickness. The malaria, constantly rising
from the stagnant water in the lagoons found on
the edges of the swamps, is the cause of so much
sickness, that but few people dare trust their
health in this locality. A great many, neverthe-
less, live along the dividing line between the red
and the black land, and own plantations in this
Middle, or Red Clay Belt. This section borders
the black belt of which we have just spoken, and
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 6$
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
64 THE HISTORY OF
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 $2^ per acre.
All of our gray lands are becoming more and
more in demand every day. They promise to be
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 6$
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
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
66 THE HISTORY OF
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-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 6/
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
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.
68 BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA.
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. ^1
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-
72 THE HISTORY OF
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
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,
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 73
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
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.
74 THE HISTORY OF
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.
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 75
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-
'J^ THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 7/
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.
yS THE HISTORY OF
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
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 79
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
8o THE HISTORY OF
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-
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 8 1
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
82 THE HISTORY OF
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'
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 83
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
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
84 THE HISTORY OF
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-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 8$
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-
86 THE HISTORY OF
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
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-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 8/
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
88 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 89
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
go THE HISTORY OF
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-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 9I
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
We will now take up the history of Greenville
after the war. Many of Greenville's wealthy and
92 THE HISTORY OF
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-
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, GREENVILLE.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 93
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
94 THE HISTORY OF
time. The list of Mayors, however, is about cor-
COUNCIL FOR 1885.
Louis Harrell, ex-officio member of the Board
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.
LIST OF MAYORS.
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 95
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
96 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 9/
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
98 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 99
places in her streets, and inform the pubHc that
all work in their line will receive prompt and
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.
100 THE HISTORY OF
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,
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. lOI
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*^-
I02 THE HISTORY OF
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
HON. WALTER H. CRENSHAW.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. IO3
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. IO5
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
I06 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 10/
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
I08 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. IO9
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
no THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. Ill
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 !
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-
112 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. II3
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.
114 THE HISTORY OF
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.
JUDGE BENJ. F. PORTER.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. II5
with his wonted diligence, to the subject of law.
He was admitted to the Court of Appeals in the
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
Il6 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER con MTY. ALABAMA. 11/
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
Il8 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. II9
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
120 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 121
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-
122 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 123
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
124 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 125
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
126 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 12/
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-
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
128 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 29
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
130 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I3I
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-
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
132 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 33
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
134 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 35
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.
136 THE HISTORY OF
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-
BUTLEF COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 3/
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-
138 THE HISTORY OF
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,
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 39
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
This mineral water has been analyzed, and con-
tains many elements, in combination, eminently
140 THE HISTORY OF
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.
\ BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I4I
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.
142 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I43
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
144 THE HISTORY OF
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,
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 4$
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
146 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I47
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
148 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I49
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,
THE HISTORY OF
who prepared him for entering active practice the
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I5I
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-
152 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 53
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.
154 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 55
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
156 THE HISTORY OF
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.
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 15^
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
158 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I 59
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
l60 THE HISTORY OF
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.
W. W. WILKINSON.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. l6l
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-
l62 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 63
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
164 THE HISTORY OF
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-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 6$
scriber. The following is a fair specimen of his
peculiar style of advertising : —
NOTICE TO YOUNG MEN!
"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
Those possessing the above pedigree will please correspond with
the undersigned. No others need apply.
W. W. Wilkinson,
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.
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
1 66 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 167
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-
l68 THE HISTORY OF
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-
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,
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 69
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,
170 THE HISTORY OF
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,
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 171
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
1/2 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1/3
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,
174 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1/5
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
1/6 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I'J'J
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,
178 THE HISTORY OF
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
COL. HILARY A. HERBERT.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I/p
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;
l80 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. l8l
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
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
152 THE HISTORY OF
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-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 83
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
1 84 THE HISTORY OF
gentleman was disabled in 1863 by a paralytic
stroke, and was perfectly helpless until his death,
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 85
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.
1 86 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I 8/
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
1 88 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 89
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
1 90 THE HISTORY OF
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
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I9I
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
192 THE HISTORY OF
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
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 93
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
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-
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
194 THE HISTORY OF
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.
AWAY DOV^N SOUTH IN DIXIE.
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 !
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 1 95
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.
196 THE HISTORY OF
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
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I97
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
198 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. I99
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.
200 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 201
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
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-
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
202 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 203
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
204 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 205
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
206 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 20/
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-
208 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 2O9
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
210 THE HISTORY OF
success that he now enjoys; and may peace, hap-
piness and prosperity abide with him the remain-
der of his days.
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 2 1 1
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-
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.
212 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 213
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
There is no post-office here.
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-
214 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 21 5
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-
2l6 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 21/
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
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.
2l8 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 2I9
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.
220 THE HISTORY OF
TAX RECEIVED FROM THE RAILROAD.
Main track, . . • . . 152,704.845
Side track, ...... 52.845
Rolling stock, ..... 274.2285
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 221
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-
222 THE HISTORY OF
ing cases that had hitherto been regarded as
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-
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-
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 223
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
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
224 THE HISTORY OF
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, ALABAMA. 22$
Butler County from 1821 until his death in 1847.
Judge Crenshaw was Chancellor of his District for
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
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
226 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 22/
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
J. C. Richardson, the junior member of this
228 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 229
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
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,
230 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 23 1
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
County Officei's, 1885.
Jonathan L. Powell, Judge of Probate and
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-
232 THE HISTORY OF
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS.
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
RANSOM SEALE. CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 233
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
234 THE HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 235
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.
THE HISTORY OF
Voting Precincts in Butler County.
Beat No. i, .
'' 3, .
TBox I, Toluka.
\ Box 2, Sardis.
'' 5, .
" 7, .
. Spring Hill.
'' 9, .
. . •
1, Forest Home.
2, Butler Springs.
, . •
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA.
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.
THE HISTORY OF
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.
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.
240 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 24I
Members of the Legislature.
Previous to 1825, this county voted with Cone-
cuh in the election of Representatives.
HOUSE 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.
242 THE HISTORY OF
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 243
MEMBERS OF THE SENATE.
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
tMr. Dunklin died in 1877, and his unexpired term vras filled
by Mr. Buel.
244 TH^ HISTORY OF
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
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 245
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.
CLERKS OF COUNTY COURT.
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.
246 THE HISTORY OF
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.
JUDGES OF THE PROBATE AND COUNTY COURTS.
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.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA.
List of post-offices and publ
County, with the names of the
Butler Springs, .
Dead Fall, .
Reynolds, Butler Springs P. O.
Sardis, Pigeon Creek P. O.
South Butler, Shell P. O.,
Spring Hill, .
ic places in Butler
. No office.
. J. J. Flowers.
B. B. McKenzie.
O. C. Darby.
. J. R. Stott
. J. H. Perdue.
Miss E. Shell.
T. A. Knight.
, Jas. Reynolds.
. R. D. Shell.
W. F. Shell.
248 THE HISTORY OF
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.
EIGHTH ALABAMA INFANTRY.
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.
NINTH ALABAMA INFANTRY.
One company from this county. Captains : E. Y.
Hill, killed at Gaines' Mill; Thomas Mills, re-
signed ; Mathew Patton.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 249
THIRTEENTH ALABAMA INFANTRY.
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-
SEVENTEENTH ALABAMA INFANTRY.
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.
EIGHTEENTH ALABAMA INFANTRY.
Ojte company frojn this county. Captains : H.
Clay Armstrong, resigned ; Augustus C. Green,
wounded at Jonesboro.
THIRTY-THIRD ALABAMA INFANTRY.
Three companies from this county. Samuel Adams,
of this county, was elected the first Colonel of this
Regiment, wounded at Perryville, and killed at
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 ;
250 THE HISTORY OF
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.
FIFTY-SIXTH ALABAMA, MOUNTED.
One company from this county. Captain : F. D.
FIFTY-NINTH ALABAMA INFANTRY.
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
SIXTIETH ALABAMA INFANTRY.
One company from this county. Captains : W. D.
Tarbutton, wounded and retired. G. A. Tarbut-
ton, wounded at White Oaks Road.
SIXTY-FIRST ALABAMA INFANTRY.
072e company from tins county. Captains : John
F. Barganier, detached. Porter, captured
at Spottsylvania, and died in prison.
BUTLER COUNTY, ALABAMA. 25 I
SECOND ALABAMA CAVALRY.
One company from this county. Captains : R. W.
Carter, promoted to Major. Joseph Allen, served
until close of the war.
JEFF DAVIs' ARTILLERY.
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.
252 TPIE HISTORY OF
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
«* " 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,
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,
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 «<
Thompson, Warren A., Sketch of,
Toluka, Description of, .
Virgin Growth of the County,
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,
* x^- -"^
.■ '■ ■ A>
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" if,' >9 ' J.
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