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Chambers County History | Historic Chattahoochee Trace | Alabama Historic Areas | Georgia Historic Areas
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Chambers County

BLUFFTON-LANETT, ALABAMA

  Lannet  |   Chambers County

Location:  Located in the Triangle Area, Lanett, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 9, 1980

Side One:  

Known as Bluffton from about 1835-1893. Bluffton was incorporated in 1865. Name changed to Lanett, town of Lanett incorporated 1893. Its charter was approved in 1895. Early records mention academies, two near this site. The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1837 at the home of Thomas S. Reese. Bluffton tanyard produced leather for the Confederacy. Lanett Cotton Mills incorporated in 1892, Lanett Bleachery & Dye Works incorporated 1895, Subsidiaries, later Divisions of West Point Manufacturing Company. Lanett's early mayors were George Newton Croft, Sr., E. B. Reid, and James D. Norman.
 

Side Two:

Forrest "Fob" James, who was elected Governor of the State of Alabama on November 7, 1978, was born in Lanett and resided here through young manhood, receiving his early education in this city's public school system. In October 1798 Benjamin Hawkins journeyed through present Chambers County near the Chattahoochee. His path led across the present city of Lanett. Hawkins' journal is a record of the first known journey through this area.

 

Botsford School 1923 – 1950

  Cusseta  |   Chambers County

Location:  Located at the corner of US Highway 280 and Alabama Highway 147, Auburn, Al.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2015
Erected by the Auburn Heritage Association, Farmville Community Club and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission

Side One:
The Botsford family came to the Farmville area, then Chambers County, in 1839. Later, Robert and Ida Botsford donated land for a new school. In 1923,the white wood frame structure with white siding was built. It had three classrooms housing grades one through three, four and five, and six and seven. Each room had a pot-bellied stove for heat. Two of the classrooms could be joined by moving folding doors to create an auditorium. The first principal was Mrs. Elizabeth Bradley. Families attending through the early years include the Bradleys, Woods, Clements and Coopers. Today, Botsford School is the oldest standing school building in Lee County.

Side Two: Farmville Community Club Mr. P. I. Washington offered a resolution on July 16, 1958 to form the Farmville Community Club for the purpose of promoting knowledge and establishing places of public recreation. On July 18, 1958, the Club was incorporated and purchased the Botsford School building and property from the State of Alabama for $500. Initial trustees were Milligan Earnest, Ward T. Bryant, and Louis Lyman Pittman. Mrs. A. C. Carter was Secretary. The By-Laws Committee was composed of Mrs. Mable Bryant, J. O. Helmes, and Mrs. Wilda Pittman. The Farmville Community Club continues to nurture a community of caring families involved in improving and enjoying this area of Lee County.

CHAMBERS COUNTY, ALABAMA-FREDONIA

  Fredonia  |   Chambers County

Location:  Located at the Cross Roads, Fredonia, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: September 24, 1978.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

From its foundation, Fredonia was the educational and trade center for northeast section of Chambers County. "The Southern Military Academy" was established in the village by the State Legislature and forced to close by the civil strife. Sixteen businesses existed, including a "jug" factory, hotels, taverns, blacksmith shop, tan yard, the "Temperance House," and the incorporated "Fredonia Trade House." The first established Methodist Church in the county was the Fredonia Methodist Church. The town was incorporated September 29, 1853. Many direct descendants of early settlers still live in this area.

CHAMBERS COUNTY, ALABAMA-PROVIDENCE BAPTIST CHURCH

  Lanett  |   Chambers County

Location:  Located at the Church on Chambers County Road 36, five miles west of downtown Lanett, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: July 8, 1979.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1979.

Side One:
Providence Baptist Church was organized before 1836 by Elder Francis Calloway. It was one on the ten charter churches of the East Liberty Baptist Association. The small white frame church was built during the ministry of Reverend George E. Brewer, who served Providence 1883-1889. It has served some of the best known families in all this section including the: Askews, Harringtons, Wolfes, Calloways, Barrows, Meadors, Slaughters, Shealeys, Wallaces, Lancasters, Burdetts, Meadows, and others.

Side Two:
Providence has been served by many noted pastors: W. D. Harrington, 21 years; W. C. Bledsoe, W. E. Lloyd, George E. Brewer, C. J. Burden. A. S. Brannon, W. P. Cofield, J. P. Hunter, C. B. Martin, Earle Trent, Oley C. Kidd, Albert Strozier, Carl Burke, Ralph Williams, U. M. Starnes, Jimmy Auchmuty, J. H. Carroll, James Coleman, Robert Crowder. Several early members left Providence Church to go out and form other Baptist churches.

 

FAIRFAX FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH

  Valley  |   Chambers County

Location:  302 Boulevard, Valley, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: August 25, 1996
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Fairfax First Christian Church, 1996.

Side One:

Built 1916 by West Point Manufacturing Company and called Fairfax "Union" Church as it was shared by Disciples of Christ, Methodist, and Baptist groups. It was purchased by the Disciples of Christ after the others left to build their own churches and renamed Fairfax First Christian Church. White clapboard exterior built in shape of cross. Windows-hammered glass in shape of Moses' tablets. Original features in use: pews designed to match windows, windows, pulpit, exposed hand-hewn interior beams, interior design. Addition built in 1952. Designated a historic landmark by the Alabama Historical Commission in 1992 and the Valley City Council in 1993.

Side Two:

Founding ministers: Reverend S. P. Speigel, Pastor West Point Christian Church; Reverend Dan Joiner, Pastor Lanett Christian Church. Charter Members: Mr. and Mrs. R.E. Smith, Sr.; Mrs. R. V. Combs; Mr. Charlie Floyd; Mr. and Mrs. Joe Norred; Mrs. Donzell Norred; Mr. and Mrs. H. Pigg; Judge Marion Brown; Mr. Walter Williams; Mr. Watkins; and Mrs. Pearl Dunn. The church building is part of the original Fairfax mill village design which included worker houses, general store, school, water-sewage system, railroad passenger and freight service.

FAIRFAX KINDERGARTEN

  Valley  |   Chambers County

Location:  Located at 300 Boulevard, Valley, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: March 30, 2003
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and The Charter Foundation 2003.

Built in 1916, the kindergarten was one of five original public buildings in the Fairfax Mill Village. Each mill village had an efficient,attractive, and well kept kindergarten for children ages four to six. LaFayette Lanier, Sr. was the inspiration for the kindergarten system that was put into operation. In his newsletter of July 16, 1917, William Teagin, Alabama Superintendent of Education,commended West Point Manufacturing Company for its commitment to education. The kindergarten was in operation until 1983 and is now privately owned.

FIRST COURTS-CHAMBERS COUNTY

  Lanett  |   Chambers County

Location:  Located on the front lawn of the Chambers County Museum.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: September 24, 1978.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

About 150 yards north of this marker at Captain Baxter Taylor's home on the Chapman Trail, the first Commissioners' Court in Chambers County, Alabama was held April 1833. At this same place, under the shade of a large oak tree, the first Circuit Court was held on April 20, 1833. Earlier in the spring of 1833, election of county officials was held at the home of James Taylor. Courthouse Commissioners elected were Honorable Thomas C. Russell, James Taylor, and Baxter Taylor.

FORT CUSSETA-CHAMBERS COUNTY

  Cusseta  |   Chambers County

Location:  Located on Chambers County Road, 55, Cusseta, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: April 18, 1978.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

Following the signing of the Creek Treaty in 1832, the early white settlers constructed a 16 by 30 foot hand hewn log fort for protection against a possible Indian uprising from Cussetaw Indian Village on Osanippa Creek just north of here. Walls of the fort were 4 and 6 feet high, with portholes at height of 4 feet, still visible after 140 years. Last known fort of its kind in Southeast.

HOPEWELL METHODIST CHURCH

  Valley  |   Chambers County

Location: 3161 Hopewell Road, Valley, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 1, 1993
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Hopewell United Methodist Church, 150th Anniversary, 1993.

Side One:

The origins of Hopewell M.E. Church date to religious meetings held by Reverend James M. Spear soon after coming to Chambers County in 1839. An 1841 Class Paper names 48 white and 6 black members. The oldest written record entitled "Hopewell M. E. Church" is dated April 1843. It lists 44 members and names trustees, James M. Spear, Hardy Hancock, Robert B. Everitt, Osborne Robinson and Micajah Wardlaw. A house of worship erected near the Spear home was destroyed in a storm shortly after Reverend Spear's death in November 1852. Both he and his wife, Margaret Everitt Spear are buried at this first location.

Side Two:

In 1853, James E. Chambers donated 3 acres of land on the Collins Ferry-Oakbowery Road for Hopewell Church and Cemetery. The first building here was crude with split log benches. It was replaced in the 1880's by one built by James B. Chambers & J. R. P. Chambers. It serves today as the sanctuary. Trustees in 1880 were John T. Holladay, Ivey Morris and William Barnes. Early preachers included: James H. Laney, W. P. Miller, John W. Laney, John Matthews, C.D. Oliver, S. H. Dimon, R. W. Anderson, F. P Culver, H. S. Hamilton, Z. A. Dowling, G. E. Driskill, R. M. Archibald, J C. Craig, C. W. Seale, H. M. Hurst, H. S. Mathews, V. W. Hamner, S. A. Swindell, W. T. Holderidge, W. M. Treadaway, J. H. Hearn, I. M. Sewell, J. O. Weathers.

LANIER HIGH SCHOOL

  Valley  |   Chambers County

Location: Located at L. B. Sykes Junior High School, 1302 Cherry Drive, Lanett, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: February 27, 2003.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission And The Charter Foundation 2003.

Side One:
The school was located at three different sites on Cherry Drive. Its beginning was in The Blue Hall Building adjacent to Goodsell Methodist Church. Later it was moved to the Dallas/Jackson Home and became the Jackson Hill School. In 1921, George H. Lanier provided funds to annex high school space. It became a part of Lanett City Schools, and the name changed to Lanier High. Lanier High was accredited in 1935 and six students constituted the first graduating class. The Darden family donated land and in 1937 a new school was built for grades 3-12 on the present site. Later, the Home Economics Building and Shop were added.

Side Two:
Until 1959 Lanier High was the only school in The Greater Valley area that conferred highschool diplomas on Black students. Reuben Dallas, S.Q. Bryant and L.B. Sykes were the principals who served from the early 1920s-1969. System-wide restructuring resulted in Lanier High losing grades 7-12, and in 1970 it became L. B. Sykes Lanett Jr. High with grades 6, 7 & 8. L. B. Sykes was accredited in 1974-75. The Lanier High building was demolished during the Summer of 1991, leaving the Home Economics Building as the only remnant of the school.

 

OAK BOWERY-SETTLED 1828

 Oak Bowery  |   Chambers County

Location:  Located near Oak Bowery United Methodist Church on U. S. Highway 431, Oak Bowery, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: August 6, 1978.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

Settled 1828
Near this site stood the Oak Bowery Female Institute, opened in 1849 under auspices of the Methodist Church. Masons established the East Alabama Masonic Institute for young men. Among Oak Bowery's noteworthy citizens:

William J. Samford, Alabama Governor; James F. Dowdell, U. S. Congressman; James Render Dowdell, Chief Justice, Alabama Supreme Court; William H. Thomas, Alabama Supreme Court Justice; General Robert Lee Bullard, U. S. A.; Captain Leckinski Ware Spratling, Surgeon, U. S. N.; Dr. William Philip Spratling, founded Craig Colony for Epileptics; The Reverend Sam P. Jones, renowned Methodist Evangelist

PAT GARRETT, "THE MAN WHO SHOT BILLY THE KID"/PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID

  Cusseta  |   Chambers County

Location:  5496 County Road #388, Cusseta, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 1, 2006.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission.

Side One:
Pat Garrett, "The Man Who Shot Billy the Kid"
One of six children, Patrick Floyd Jarvis Garrett was born near Cusseta, Alabama on June 5, 1850 to John Lumpkin Garrett and Elizabeth Ann Jarvis. The Garrett family moved to Claiborne Parish, Louisiana in 1853. In 1869 Pat Garrett left the family plantation to become a buffalo hunter in Texas. In 1880, following the death of his first wife Juanita Gutierrez, he married her sister Apolonaria in Lincoln County, New Mexico. They were the parents of nine children. In November 1880 Garrett was elected Lincoln County Sheriff. Lincoln County was then embrolied in a struggle for political and financial control of the county. Billy the Kid, also known as Henry McCarty or William H. Bonney, was the focus of this feud after he murdered Sheriff William Brady on April 1, 1878.

Side Two:
As sheriff of Lincoln County, Pat Garrett was charged with tracking down and arresting Billy the Kid, a friend from Garrett's saloon keeping days in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. He was captured in December 1880 and was subsequently convicted of murder. However Billy the Kid escaped from jail on April 18, 1881. Garrett tracked him to Fort Sumner on July 14 where he was shot and killed. In 1889 Garrett moved to Uvalde, Texas where he was elected county commissioner. He was appointed sheriff of Dona Ana County, New Mexico in 1896. On December 20, 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him U.S. customs collector in El Paso, Texas, a position he held for five years. Garrett was murdered by Jesse Wayne Brazel on February 29, 1908. He was buried in the Old Fellows Cemetery in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

WARD'S MILL

  Ward"s Mill  |   Chambers County

Location:  The Ward's Mill marker has been stolen. The Sheriff's Department is trying to locate the marker.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: August 25, 1985.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, The Chambers County Commission, The Leonard B. Blanton Family 1985.

 

Side One:

Where Oakfuskee Trail crosses Oseligee Creek: Nimrod Doyle, first white settler in present day Chambers County, built a trading post and grist mill here in 1816-1818. Doyle was in the Great Lakes Indian Wars under General St. Clair. He knew Indian leader Tucemseh at Detroit, and was the only white man Tecumseh would talk with at Tukabachi. Doyle was sub-agent under Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins. Nimrod Doyle married daughter of Coweta Indian Joseph Islands and fathered two sons and two daughters.

Side Two:

Children of Nimrod Doyle, first white settler of present day Chambers County: Daughter Muscogee Doyle's land from 1832 treaty became site of Fredonia. Amanda Doyle married James Callahan at Asbury Mission near Fort Mitchell in 1829. Callahan was last survivor of the Confederate Congress. Son Jackson married a Creek woman and owned Ward's Mill site 1832. Son Winchester married a white woman. Doyle's family went with Creek Indians to Oklahoma. Since then many whites have owned this place, including Revolutionary Veteran Stephen Nolen, and later, Solomon Ward.