tallapoosa historical markers

Battle of Emucfau


5 miles south, January 22, 1814. Jackson fortified position here during Creek Indian War (1813-14). Although repeated attacks by the Red Sticks were repulsed, Jackson withdrew with the Indians pursuing.
[1953: AL Hwy 22 at Church Street in New Site, AL 33.03628 N    85.77515 W ]


Battle of Enitachopko


Creek Indian War 1813-14, 4 mi. E. Hostile Creeks attacked Andrew Jackson, withdrawing to Ft. Strother. Jan. 24, 1814. His troops broke through lines and kept on to Ft. Strother. But Creeks boasted that they defeated 'Capt. Jack,' drove him to the Coosa.
[Before 1965: Ala. Hwy 22, northeast of Hackneyville]


Court Square


Anticipating the construction of a railroad through the country hamlet of Youngsville, Griffin Young in 1860 hired W. H. Whatley to survery a portion of his property and lay it off in forty-eight town lots. In the plan two acres were reserved for use as a public square. Delayed by the Civil War, the railroad was finally completed to the newly named Alexander City in 1874, and the business center developed around and to the north of the public square. 


In 1877, on the south side of the square, the members of the First Baptist Church erected their first house of worship. 


In 1889, during the term of mayor Buford L. Dean, a courthouse-city hall was erected on the site. The original building was destroyed in the 1902 fire. A second building was erected and a third in 1939.
[1999: Court House Square in Alexander City 32.94359 N    85.95373 W ]


Side 1
Edward Bell High School


On this site Tallapoosa County Training School, later renamed Edward Bell High School, became the first high school for African Americans in Tallapoosa County, Alabama in 1931, with graduation of its first two students in 1933. It was a pioneer educational institution for students in the County and beyond, with an emphasis on college and vocational curricula. In 1947, citizens of the community built the first gymnasium, lunchroom, and additional classrooms from donated building materials.  During the late 1950’s the older building burned and a new building was constructed at a nearby site. Extracurricular activities included sports, band, newspaper, photography, solar energy, hydroponics, aquaculture, greenhouse, and gardening projects. The school bore the name of Edward Bell, one of its several outstanding principals. School colors were Royal Blue and White and the mascot was the Bear.

Side 2
Alma Mater


Hail to thee, Our Alma Mater, Dear
Thru the years, you’ve shone your beacon light
Over hills and mountain valley clear
Let our hearts go forth and show thy love and might.
Dear EBH, thou name and fame 
Shall ever live and flourish through the ages.
Our school so dear, All hail to thee!
Our Alma Mater, All Hail!
[2015: Ala. Highway 50, Camp Hill]  


The First Baptist Church 
1872


In the summer of 1872 a few residents in the village of Youngsville gathered for a revival held on the hill later occupied by Mistletoe Bough. Alexander City's First Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church trace their origins from that union revival held under a bush arbor. 


On August 3, 1872 eleven men and women guided by Rev. A.K. Tribble met under the bush arbor and organized the Youngsville Baptist Church. J.T.P. Christian and B.B. Reams were elected deacons and T.S. Christian, Sr. was elected clerk. Following the town's name change the next year, the church became the Alexander City Baptist Church. Sunday services were held once a month until 1879. 


On this site in 1877 the congregation erected its first house-of-worship, a wood-frame structure valued at $1,000. The church erected new sanctuaries on this site in 1906 and in 1967. 
[2001: 64 Court Square in Alexander City 32.94331 N     85.95393 W ]


First United Methodist Church 
1872


Following a fire in June 1902 that destroyed the Methodist Episcopal Church of the North Alabama Conference, along with most of downtown Alexander City, the church leadership chose to relocate to this site. 
Construction began in 1903 on the neoclassical Romanesque style house of worship. The foundation stones were collected from a nearby farm, and the bricks and timbers were fabricated by local craftsmen within walking distance of the site. The first service in the completed structure was held in May 1906. 
The church traces its origin to a small group of Methodists led by Rev. William T. Patillo, who joined with people of other denominations for a union revival held under a bush arbor in the village of Youngsville in the summer of 1872.
[2001: 310 Green Street at Semmes Street in Alexander City 32.94745 N    85.95496 W ]


First Presbyterian Church


First Presbyterian Church was organized March 2, 1893. The church was made up of 17 members at the home of Robert Clinton Sandlin, who was installed as the First Ruling Elder. The church constructed their 1st building on this site in 1895. The church was the only buildng in the business district not destroyed by the fire on Friday, June 13, 1902. 


The postmaster used the church's basement for his office until the new Post Office was rebuilt. In the mid-1900s, the building was renovated by the law firm of Morris, Haynes, and Hornsby.
[1999: S. Main Street at Tallapoosa Street in Alexander City 32.94356 N    85.95324 W]


Side one
First Universalist Church of Camp Hill


The First Universalist Church of Camp Hill was the largest Universalist church in the southeastern United States in the first half of the 20th century.  With its roots in the European Enlightenment, Universalism was transplanted to the American colonies by religious sojourners and was flourishing in this country by the time of the Revolutionary War.  A Christian denomination, the defining tenet of Universalism was ‘universal’ salvation, the belief that a gentle God would not condemn any soul to literal hell.  The Universalist Church of America merged with the American Unitarian Association in 1961, forming the Unitarian Universalist Association.
___________________________________________


Side two
First Universalist Church of Camp Hill


The First Universalist Church of Camp Hill was established in 1846, as Liberty Universalist Church.  The name was changed in 1909.  The original meeting place was a brush arbor on the present site of Mt. Lovely Baptist Church.  A simple cabin soon replaced the arbor and served until 1884, when a larger wood-frame church was built on this site.  Membership burgeoned, and the striking brick sanctuary was completed in 1907.  Designed by Daniel A. Helmich, a Birmingham architect, the church was built with local labor using mostly indigenous material. 
[2013: 21620 Sen. Claude Pepper Drive, Camp Hill 32.80416 N    85.652217 W]


Fletcher Napoleon Farrington, Sr
1902 – 1968, County Agent and Civic Leader


Fletcher Farrington, after graduating from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), came to Tallapoosa County as a county agent for the Agricultural Extension Service in 1932.  Concluding that soil erosion was the local farmers’ most pressing problem, he launched a cooperative program that loaned small farmers the large tractors needed to introduce the newly developed “Nichols terrace” method of plowing hillside cropland. With the support of the county judge and commissioners, the program was widely emulated as an effective soil conservation tool during the Great Depression.

In 1934, Farrington organized the Dadeville Kiwanis Club and served as its first president.  As county agricultural agent and Dadeville community leader, he embraced the idea of “Farm-City Week,” a program that brought agricultural and business leaders together to share ideas.  Soon after it was introduced to and adopted by Kiwanis International in 1955, Farrington became one of the program’s national spokesmen.  He retired from the Extension Service in 1961 and began working for the Alabama Farm Bureau’s Rural – Urban Relations Division.  There, he initiated the Agribusiness Career Day program to encourage youth to stay in farming as a business.
[2015: Dadeville]


Fort Okfuskee


6 mi. west. Built in 1735 by British from Carolina in futile attempt to gain trade of the Creek Indians from the French, located at Fort Toulouse, 40 mi. S. Okfuskee was the largest town in Creek Confederacy.
[1953: US 280 near mile marker 75 between Alexander City and Dadeville 32.88294 N    85.85427 W ]


Grafenberg Medical Institute


1852-1861. Alabama's first medical school. Trained physicians who rendered great service to the State and Confederacy. Closed by war and death of its founder, Phillip M. Shepard, M.D.
[1951: AL Hwy 43 (N. Broadnax St.) at Lafayette Street in Dadeville 32.83307 N    85.76374 W ]


Horseshoe Bend Battleground


Twelve miles north, there on March 27, 1814, General Andrew Jackson, commanding U. S. forces and friendly Indians, broke the power of the Creek Confederacy.
[1957: Hwy 49, just north of Hwy 280 32.84615      85.77972]


Lyman Ward Military Academy


Lyman Ward Military Academy was founded in 1898 as the Southern Industrial Institute by Dr. Lyman Ward, a Universalist minister from New York. Dr. Ward established SII to educate the poor children of Alabama, many of whom had few opportunities due to the devastation caused by the Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction. With donations received from the citizens of Camp Hill and assistance from fellow reformers like Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute, Ward began his school with the goal of preparing young men and women for what he felt was "the work of life."
[2007: AL Hwy 50 @ Cadet Drive in Camp Hill 32.80204 N    86.65855 W]


Johnson J. Hooper


1815-1861. Author, Editor, Lawyer, Secretary of Congress, C.S.A. As a writer he created Captain Simon Suggs of the Tallapoosa Volunteers, fictional character whose humorous, rascally escapades of pioneer days in Alabama became world famous. 
[1953: AL Hwy 49 (N. Broadnax) at Cusseta St. in Dadeville 32.83141 N    85.76361 W]


Menawa, War Chief


About 1766-1837. Indian farmer-merchant chose to resist whites' advance on Indians' lands. In Creek War he led Creeks at battle of Horseshoe Bend. His warriors were beaten by Jackson's superior force but Menawa escaped.
[1953: AL Hwy 63 at CR 30 (Walker Ferry Road) south of Alexander City near Wind Creek State Park entrance 32.85722 N     85.95994 W ]


Needmore 
1873


Freedmen moving to the new market town of Youngsville in the early 1870s occupied homes along a street they called Needmore Street. They relocated their house of worship from near the present junction of South Central Avenue and Cherokee Road to the Needmore neighborhood where Methodists and Baptists shared a building. 


Missionaries from the Methodist Episcopal Church formed a congregation in Alexander City and, in 1873, Bishop Gilbert Haven appointed Rev. George Scott pastor of the new church. In 1876 the church became a charter member of the Central Alabama Conference. In 1895 the Bethel Baptist Church congregation constructed a separate house of worship. Great Bethel Baptist Church attained distinction in the 20th century for its religious and social outreach programs under the leadership of its pastor of 45 years, Rev. Milton Nunn. 
[2002:692 Jefferson Street in Alexander City 32.95174 N    85.94711 W ]


Rousseau's Raid


Along Stow Ferry Road on July 16, 1864, a column of five federal cavalry regiments led by Major General Lovell H. Rousseau passed on their way to destroy the railroad at Opelika. Captain Thomas A. Elkin of the 5th Kentucky Cavalry in the lead detachment rode into Youngsville about 6:00 P.M. on the 16th. The Yankees scavenged and burned four tax-in-kind warehouses containing grain, cornmeal, and bacon. 
Crossing the Tallapoosa River in the darkness on the 16th, Col. William D. Hamilton of the 9th Ohio recalled: "Ever after we referred to the crossing of that river in the night with shudders. . . unpleasant as that of any battle."
[1999: Hillabee Street at Scott Road in Alexander City 32.94441 N    85.93542 W]


The Savannah and Memphis Railroad


The transformation of Youngsville from a country hamlet to a market town can be traced from the arrival of the railroad. The Savannah and Memphis Railroad was completed from Opelika to teh east side of the Tallapoosa River at Sturdivant in 1872. Anticipating the extension of the railroad to Youngsville, the grateful citizens in 1873 renamed the village's name to Alexander City in honor of Edward Porter Alexander, president of the S&M. On June 24, 1874 an excursion train pulled by an engine christened Simon Suggs steamed into Alexander City bringing dignitaries and visitors who joined thousands of residents to celebrate the inauguration of rail service. 


A passenger-freight depot erected in 1874 and rebuilt after the 1902 fire stood on the opposite side of the railroad from this site until relocated to Court Square in 1955.
[1999: AL Hwy 63 at Main Street in Alexander City 32.94491 N    85.95342 W ]


Sidney Z. Mitchell, 1862-1944 
Industrialist and Electrical Pioneer


Born in Tallapoosa County, reared in Coosa County by his grandmother, Ann Jordan; educated at the United States Naval Academy. 


A pioneer in the generation of electricity throughout the world, his engineering and financial knowledge provided many of the guidelines for the production of the electric power we take for granted today.

[AL Hwy 119 at County Road 65 near Kellyton 32.95194 N    86.05046 W]


Youngsville


Following the Creek Cession of 1832, settlers, mostly from Georgia and the Carolinas, occupied this section of the former Creek Nation. Among the first settlers was James Young who purchased land a half-mile west near a trading post called Georgia Store. 


Community life can be dated from 1837 when Griffin Young opened a post office in his store and eight men and women, "The Baptist bretheren settlers of Youngsville" organized Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church. The store and the church were within view of this site. 


For the first thrity-five years of its existence, Youngsville was a country hamlet of scattered farms, a store-post office and a church. The Civil War delayed the construction of a railroad and an ambitious plan by Griffin Young to promote a "town" on his property. 


Anticipating the arrival of the railroad, the Town of Youngsville was incorporated in 1872 and, the next year, the town's name was changed to Alexander City in honor of E. P. Alexander, president of the Savannah and Memphis Railroad.
[1999: AL Hwy 63 at Russwood Street in Alexander City 32.94236 N    86.95786 ]