GREENE COUNTY FIRST TOWNS

 

Beulah: See Snoddy/Beulah.

 

Boligee (1816): Col. John McKee (1771-1833) the Indian Agent, frontier Statesman and local Congressman, built the first house in this town, Hill of Howth, in 1816. In 1825, Col George Hays encouraged settlers from VA, NC and SC to join a new planters’ culture in this new township. The Bethsalem Presbyterian Church was built on land donated by Col. Hays in 1835. The church cemetery is the resting place of many County notables, including Col. McKee and Revolutionary War Soldier, Mordecai, Barbour of VA. The Friendship Baptist Church came to Boligee from the Forkland Burton Plantation. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church was also moved in 1880.

 

Clinton (about 1819): Clinton began as a community of wealthy planters and small farmers with fine artesian wells along the Montgomery to Aberdeen stagecoach route. In 1855-1856 Clinton had 250 residents, two hotels, four dry-goods stores, one grocery and one drug store, one saddlery, two churches, two schools and one Masonic Lodge and one Odd Fellows Lodge. Its stately homes and mansions included the Pippen and Carpenter Plantations, which are now registered as State Landmarks. A fire in 1904 destroyed its business section, but some old churches remain, including the Concord Church (Clinton) and the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church. Clinton is about ten miles west of Eutaw on highway 14.

 

Dollarhide: This is a great tract of swamp land 10 miles South of Eutaw, fronting more than 9 miles of the Warrior River. It has been a haven for sportsmen for generations, where they built lodges to enjoy the hunting and fishing.

 

Erie (1819): Erie, the first county seat for Greene County (now Hale County) was located “on the east bank of Tuskaloosa river in Range 2 East, Township 20” is now gone. One tale associated with the demise of Erie was that “yellow fever swept through the town and entire households were wiped out.” Another was that Erie was not located centrally and had then "little and bad water and a muddy location." The county seat was transferred to Eutaw in 1838.

Surnames of early land owners in Erie included: Ashford, Baldwin, Bennett, Brishan, Carr, Cassells, Childress, Foster, Fowler, Hargrove, Herndon, Gaines, Hines, Inge, Jennings, Kinnard, Kirksey, Lawson, Loe, Madison, May, Marr, McAlpine, McGee, Monett, Murphy, Myers, Patterson, Pay, Snedecor, Sheet, Skinner, Robinson, Russell, Sims, Thompson, Thorpe, Wade, Whitson, Williams, Withers and Wynne.
 

Eutaw (1838): This became the County Seat in 1838, moving from the old one, Erie. It was named for the Revolutionary War Battle of Eutaw Springs (SC) and was laid out by Robert G. Quarles in 1839 and incorporated as a city in 1841. Of the 53 remaining antebellum homes, 27 are on the National Register of Historic Places. Barges still dock there on the Warrior River.

 

Forkland (1818): This community was named for its location in the rich farmland in the fork of the Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers. Settled in 1818, by 1856 it had a school, churches, stores and a wagon factory. It was an easy steamboat ride to Mobile. A stagecoach inn remains near the historic St. John’s in-the-Prairie Episcopal Church as does the one room school house "Little Place."

 

Garrett’s Shop: See Tishabee.

 

Hopewell: See West Greene.

 

Lewiston: This town was founded by farmers and merchants and included the families named Carpenter, Eatman, Gandy, Hales, Harris, Hollingsworth, Jones, King, Leavelle, Morgan, Morrow, Price, Richardson, Sanders, Scarbrough and others associated with the Pleasant Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church and cemetery.

 

Lizzieville: Located 3 miles Northwest of Boligee on the Clinton Road was a Plantation named Lizzieville, named for its mistress, Elizabeth Dunlap McLemore, wife of Joel McLemore. Long before it was destroyed by fire in 1920, it had the only cotton gin in the area and a post office, tannery, sawmill, store and smokehouse.

 

Mantua (1817): Settlers form Spartanburg, SC came to Mantua in 1817 with William N. Morrow. The pre-1846 Morrow-Eatman House has been the home for 5 generations of the C. Irvin Eatman family. Mantua was part of Pickens County in the 1840’s when residents of six and one-half townships petitioned the State Legislature to become part of Greene County.

 

Mesopotamia (before 1818):Several homes from old Mesopotamia remain along Highway 14, just Northwest of Eutaw, including John Coleman’s Grassdale. Settled by Scots-Irish Presbyterians, this became a community of planters with nearby churches, stores and a stagecoach inn. This community was annexed to Eutaw in 1947.

 

Mt. Hebron (1818): Andrew Steele and Josiah Collins were planters who left the coastal regions in search of better land and who chose the Mt. Hebron area to begin, again. The 1820 home of Dr. Arnold Jolly is adjacent to the Parham house he used as an office. Captain Digges Poynor’s 1895 Mt. Hebron Academy stood nearby.

 

Pleasant Ridge (1819): In 1819, James H. Archibald and David Hitt were the first settlers of Pleasant Ridge. Union Academy was founded by sons of James in 1850, A. A. & Edward A. Archibald.

The only Civil War skirmish in Greene County was 1 mile North of Pleasant Ridge in late April 1865, when troops of Nathan Bedford Forrest encountered a band of Union Raiders.

 

Snoddy/Beulah: (1830’s): As a Rest stop on the old stage line, Snoddy, later changed to Beulah, was originally an area of small farms run by devout Christians in a strict church community. The Beulah Academy existed from the 1850’s to the 1940’s. Beulah was part of Pickens County in the 1840’s.

 

Springfield (1818): This was a town of more than 1500 people in 1820 with big brick stores and two hotels. It was a successful township of cotton planters and home of the famous race horse, Daniel Boone. A cotton gin and a large warehouse were also there in a site at the Warrior River known as Meriweather’s Landing. Springfield is west of Merriweather's Landing about 3 miles north of Eutaw on U.S. 11.

 

Steele’s Bluff/Knoxville: The community called Steele’s Bluff became known as Knoxville after the Knox family came in the 1860’s. The Archibald, McGiffert and Patton families were early settlers here.

 

Tishabee/Garrett’s Shop (1817): Tishabee was a community West of Forkland, largely populated by genteel intellectuals. As the first settler, Richard Bragg developed the area on the Tombigbee River known as Bragg’s Bluff. Grand homes once surrounded his in this area.

 

Union (about 1820's): Although unincorporated until 1845, Union was settled as early as 1821. By the 1850’s it was an active community of planters, merchants, blacksmiths, physicians, teachers and saddle makers. A cotton gin and press was operated by the M. A. Reynolds family here well into the 1900’s. The Early 19th century Jennings Stage Coach Inn, the Williamson-Reynolds House, and the 1836 Gordon Bamberger House are among its historic sites.

 

West Greene/ Hopewell (1824): This community abandoned the name, Hopewell, following the War Between the States. It is a cotton and cattle ranching region as well as an archeological research site for Native American culture. Pioneers to this area include Simeon and John Carpenter, Samuel Cherry, Joe Childers, Aquila Coleman, J.D. Duncan, W.H. Foster, William Hales, J.D. Hutton and Jackson Williams.

 

Sources:
Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., The Heritage of Greene County, Alabama, (Clanton, Alabama: Walsworth Publishing Co., Inc., 2001), 4.


Owen, Thomas McAdory. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921)

Snedecor, Gayle V., Snedecor's Directory of Greene County (1963 reprint, edited by Franklin Shackelford Moseley, Eutaw, Alabama), page 65.

 

CITIES AND TOWNS IN GREENE COUNTY TODAY

Birdine

Boligee *

Braggville

Caples

Clinton

Eutaw *

Forkland *

Jena

Knoxville *

Lewiston *

Mantua *

Mount Hebron *

Pleasant Ridge *

Tishabee *

Union *

West Greene *

 

*Early Town still in existence today.

OTHER TOWNS & TOWNSHIPS OF YESTERDAY THAT ARE NO LONGER

Boston, Dobbs, Drake's Landing, Frog Level, Glovers Ferry Landing, Gradys Landing, Hairston, Hollow Square, Millwood, Red Gap, Waltons Landing