During the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War, a freedmen’s community was established in this area called Averyville, named for the Pennsylvania minister and successful businessman Charles Avery, a longtime and faithful champion of Negro education. Wilmer Walton, a Quaker missionary, moved to Stevenson and Averyville as early as 1865, opening a school financed by the Quaker “Friends’ Association for Aid and Elevation of the Freedmen”. Soon, some seventy-five students, both adults and children, were enrolled in Walton’s school. Another teacher and Quaker missionary, Henrietta Starkweather, succeeded Wilmer Walton at Averyville. This noble and pioneering effort to educate freedmen was short-lived; Ku Klux Klan violence, threats, and intimidation drove the teachers away by the early 1870s, and the school closed.
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Averyville School’s most notable student was William Hooper Councill (1848-1909), a former slave brought to Alabama in 1857. He attended Averyville School as a freedman, becoming a teacher himself by the end of his third year here. He moved to Huntsville in 1869 and opened the Lincoln Normal School to train black teachers. In 1873, Dr. Councill founded Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, using funds appropriated by the Alabama Legislature to train black teachers. Dr. Councill rose to state and national prominence, becoming an influential leader alongside Booker T. Washington and others. His only formal education was here at the Freedman’s School at Averyville. Here the seeds of learning were planted which grew into Alabama A&M University, educating thousands of students to this day.
[2014: Is currently in storage. It will be erected at the corner of Old Mount Carmel Road and Ohio Ave, Stevenson]
Vital Memphis-Charleston railroad, "backbone of Confederacy," spanned Tennessee River here. Bridge burned several times, 1862-63. General Mitchell (U.S. Flag), occupying Huntsville after Battle of Shiloh, seized Bridgeport in April 1862 and held it until August. Federals recaptured town in July 1863 as Rosecrans (U.S. Flag) took Chattanooga (upriver). As end of usable railway from Nashville, town became key base of operations in U.S. victory at Chickamauga and lifting siege of Chattanooga.
[1965: AL 227 at Busbey Avenue 34.946467 N 86.725392 W]
One of the Five Lower Towns established by the Chickamauga Cherokees in 1782 under the leadership of Dragging Canoe. Territorial Governor William Blount reported to the Secretary of War in 1792 that: "Crow Town lies on the north side of the Tennessee [River], half a mile from the river, up Crow Creek, 30 miles below the Suck. [It] is the lowest town in the Cherokee Nation and contained 30 huts in 1790. The Creeks and Northward tribes cross [the river] here."
All of the Five Lower Towns were on the extreme Cherokee frontier. Running Water was near Chattanooga and Nickajack was near Haletown, Tennessee. Long Island Town was twenty miles below the Suck, east of Bridgeport, Alabama. Lookout Mountain Town was near Trenton, Georgia.
Sponsored by the Jackson County Historical Association
Crow Town encompassed an area of several miles by the early 1800s as increasing numbers of Cherokee families settled here. With the creation of Jackson County in 1819, many of the Cherokees moved to the south side of the river - some 19th-century maps placed Crow Town near the southeast end of Snodgrass Bridge which takes Highway 117 across the Tennessee River east of Stevenson. The 1782 site of Crow Town, one-half mile from the confluence of Crow Creek and the original channel of the Tennessee River, was flooded with the closing of the spillway gates at Guntersville Dam in 1939.
Sponsored by the Jackson County Historical Association
[2008: Near 40447 US 72 (John T. Reid Parkway), Stevenson. In site of the Bridge over Crow Creek.
34.838922 N 85.832448 W]
Created by an Act of the Legislature on December 7, 1821, Decatur County was comprised of portions of Madison and Jackson Counties. "Old Woodville," two miles north along County Highway 7, was designated as the County Seat. An 1823-'24 completed survey revealed that it did not contain the constitutionally required number of square miles. The county was abolished by an Act of the Legislature on December 28, 1825, and the territory was returned to Madison and Jackson Counties.
[1991: US Hwy 72 at County Road 7, Woodville 34.60728 N 86.26658 W]
First Baptist Church, Scottsboro, Alabama
In September 1868, J. J. Beeson, a missionary for the Tennessee River Association, organized First Baptist Church. At the time, it was affiliated with Center Point Baptist Church. The congregation initially met in a building used by several other denominations. The church’s first sanctuary was built on this site in 1878. A fire destroyed the structure in November 1949. The present building was completed in 1953, with additions thereafter. Many congregants have been sent from this mission-minded church to proclaim the Gospel. Dedicated September 2018 on the occasion of the church’s 150th anniversary.
[215 South Andrews Street]
The Jones House was constructed in 1907 in the second subdivision recorded in the Scottsboro City Plat in 1889. The steep Pyramidal-roof, thin wooden columns, large interior chimney, and veranda that surrounds three sides exhibit overtones of the French Colonial Style. The house was purchased in 1909 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Jones, Sr. who maintained the residence until the death of Mrs. Jones in 1966. Their children were Rudolph, Cecil, and Ruth Jones, Sydie Jones Snodgrass, and Robert E. (Bob) Jones, Jr., who was born in this house on June 12, 1912. A graduate of Jackson County High School and the University of Alabama School of Law, Robert E. Jones, Jr. was admitted to the bar on January 20, 1937. After practicing law in Scottsboro, he was elected judge of Jackson County in 1940. He served in the U. S. Navy from December 1943 to February 1946, in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters, and as a member of the legal staff of General Douglas MacArthur.
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Robert E. Jones, Jr.
In 1946, Robert E. Jones, Jr. was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives to fill Alabama's 5th Congressional District seat vacated by John J. Sparkman's election to the U.S. Senate. Elected to 15 consecutive terms, 1946-1976, Congressman Jones became Alabama's longest-serving Representative. The Robert E. Jones Bridge that spans the Tennessee River east of Scottsboro was dedicated in his honor in September 1985. Congressman Jones is remembered for his ardent support of legislation leading to the expansion of the Tennessee Valley Authority, construction of the nation's interstate highway system, development of the U.S. Space program, protection of the environment, and construction of major public works that included the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Museum of History and Technology, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Madison Annex to the Library of Congress. He retired to Scottsboro in 1977 where he lived until his death in 1997.
[2014: 414 Scott St., Scottsboro 34.66829 N 86.03144 W]
Robert Thomas Scott, 1800-1863
Planter, tavern operator, newspaper editor, legislator, and land developer, he sought in vain to have the Jackson County Seat moved from Bellefront to the settlement that bore his name. After his death in 1863, his widow reached an agreement in 1868 with the county government whereby the site for the courthouse and jail was deeded to Jackson County on condition that Scottsboro become the county seat.
Incorporated by the state legislature on January 20, 1870, the town became an important commercial center and shipping point on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
[1989: Courthouse lawn, East Laurel St., Scottsboro 34.67251 N 86.03403 W]
1760-1843. Inventor of system of characters representing syllables in Cherokee language. This give them the only written Indian language. Adopted here at Sauta in 1822, Cherokees used new written language to print the Bible, hymns and a newspaper namedCherokee Phoenix.
[Before 1965: U.S. Hwy 72, 5 mi. west of Scottsboro. Marker has been removed.]
Union Civil War Encampment in Scottsboro
In late December 1863, Union Maj.-Gen. John A. Logan established his Fifteenth Army Corps headquarters in Scottsboro, Alabama. On January 11, 1864, by command of Gen. Logan, Brig. Gen. Hugh Ewing, commanding the Fourth Division, was ordered to guard the railroad and telegraph line from Scottsboro to Stevenson. Gen. Ewing sent his First Brigade under the command of Col. Reuben Williams to Scottsboro, and it set up four separate regimental camps on either side of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, adjacent to or within one block of the Scottsboro Depot. The regiments under Col. Williams’ command included some 3000 men of the 26th Illinois, the 70th Ohio, the 12th Indiana, and the 97th Indiana, as well as an Illinois artillery battery.
Union Civil War Encampment in Scottsboro
After the war, Col. Williams returned to Indiana and established the Warsaw Daily Times. In his 1904 Civil War memoir he included an in-depth description of the facilities created within the Scottsboro encampment and his troops’ military and social activities between December 26, 1863 and May 1, 1864. In the early spring of 1864, Col. Williams coordinated a successful dance in a building located on Main Street (now Maple Ave.) that served as Scottsboro’s first school and church. He wrote that the site was “large enough for the waltz and gavotte.” The dance was attended by his officers and their visiting wives, enlisted men, and local ladies who were transported by “military ambulances” to the Scottsboro encampment.
[2013: At Depot, Corner of N. Houston and E. Maple St. Scottsboro 34.6751665 N 86.0368858 W]