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


Merrick's Woodshop Ozark

Location: Located on Dale County Courthouse lawn, Ozark, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: June 24, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dale County Historical Society, 1979.

In the 1820's pioneers, including John Merrick, began settling in vicinity of present-day Ozark, first called "Merrick's." Dale County formed December 22, 1824. In the 1830's wooden stores and cotton gin were built about one mile north of present court house. In 1841 the west half of Dale County became Coffee County. First Post Office, June 7, 1843, called "Woodshop." In 1859 postmaster Elijah T. Matthews petitioned for the name "Ozark" after Indians who inhabited the mountains of Arkansas and Missouri.

Ozark - Fourth County Seat of Dale County
In 1868, southern one-third of Dale County became part of Geneva County. In 1869 courthouse in Newton burned; an election on January 17, 1870, selected Ozark as county seat. A "new Ozark" was surveyed on 70 acres centered on courthouse. The Southern Star and other businesses moved from Newton to Ozark in 1870. Courthouses on this site were built in 1870, 1885 (replacing one which burned in 1884), 1901, and present building, 1968.



Location: 3797 County Road 333, Skipperville, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2014
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Morgan Baptist Church

Organized in 1913, Morgan Baptist Church traces its origins to nearby Beersheba Primitive Baptist Church (ca. 1850) and its successor, Englewood Church. The congregation began meeting in the Morgan Schoolhouse, which stood across the road from the current church, before purchasing land for a new facility from T.G. and M.L. Loftin and the County. Joe Phillips, the first pastor, furnished much of the lumber for the church from his sawmill. Church members constructed the building over the course of about two years. The church has undergone several additions and renovations.

(1913-2014) Joe Phillips, Sebe Hunt, Joe Shields, Taylor Morris, John Bowden, Jim Baxter, William Pugh, T.M. Shirah, W.M. Dean, J.D. Willingham, B.J. Marshall, D.C.H. Fuller, Gene Todd, I.R. Hicks, Hohn Griffin, M.J. Walding, William A. Baker, A.M. Glover, Dowling Woodham, Edwin R. Walter, Larry Phelps, James A. Whitt, C.H. McKnight, George Dubose, John Payne, Darryl Hammonds, Jim Booth, Jim Strength, Bill Weed, Kyle Robertson.


Newton Town on the Hill - 1843

Location: Located on Alabama Highway 134, Newton, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 27, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dale County Historical Society, 1979.

Newton was hub of Dale County activities from 1843 until 1870. During War Between the States (1861-1865), Newton was center of recruiting, including the Home Guards. In March 1865, local militia repulsed attack by band of irregulars. Board of Physicians established 1856 to issue licenses. The Southern Star first published here in 1867. Newton was port for river boats (until railroad built in 1890), home of Killebrew's Mill, Kill Kare Kamp, Methodist Academy, and Baptist Collegiate Institute (operating 1898-1929).

Newton - Third County Seat of Dale County
In 1841, the west half of Dale County became Coffee County, thereby making the county seat at Daleville off-center. Five commissioners were appointed and they selected this site south of the Choctawhatchee River, which the legislature named "Newton" and designated the county seat on February 9, 1843. In this “new town” a wooden courthouse and a log jail were built. The courthouse burned March 22, 1869, and the county seat was changed to Ozark in 1870.


Ozark Baptist Church

Location: Located on the grounds of the church, 314 South Union Avenue, Ozark, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 1998
Erected by The Ozark Baptist Church and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1998.

This church was organized August 23, 1848, under the leadership of Reverend U. H. Parker at the home of William Andrews, two miles east of Ozark, and was called Andrews Church. It was renamed Union Baptist Church in 1852 and Ozark Baptist Church in 1902. The original building was erected in 1852 on land donated by Moses Matthews, near the church's present site. In 1882 a larger facility was built and another in 1902 to meet the growing membership’s needs. The present sanctuary was constructed in 1955 and the multipurpose building in 1988. Two major mission efforts have been the sponsorship of Ridgecrest and Logan Baptist Churches in Ozark.

Church Pastors
Served between 1848 and 1899: U. H. Parker, L. R. Sims, Daniel Cumby, T. S. Due, W. H. Howell, Caswell S. Smith, Zachariah Harris, Pitt M. Calloway, James M. Poyner, Ransom Deal, P. L. Moseley, H. C. Hurley, J. W. Dickerson, Ransom Deal. Served between 1900 to the present: J. J. Haygood, 1900-03; J. S. Yarborough, 1905-06; J. L. Thompson, 1907-08; J. M. Anderson, 1909-10; A. L. Blizzard, 1910-11; M. L. Harris, 1912-17; J. B. Lasseter, Jr., 1919-22; R. W. Langham, 1923-24; T. W. Talkington, 1924-27; H. O. Hughes, 1928-29; Noble Y. Beall, 1930-32; C. W. Milford, 1932-40; John B. Johnson, 1940-47; Charles H. Landers, 1948-56; L. Don Miley, 1957-70; Ronald J. Heddle, 1971-79; James C. Wayne, 1980-86; P. T. Bailey, 1987-90; John F. Lindsey, 1991-95; Gregory Aman, 1995 to present. Erected by The Ozark Baptist Church and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1998.




Location: 2710 County Road 41, Skipperville, Alabama, at the intersection of Dale County Roads 41 and 68
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: June 13, 2004
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Peniel Baptist Church, June 13, 2004.

Listed below are the known pastors of Peniel Baptist Church since its establishment about 1852. Middleton Brooks, S. Hargrove, W. A. Cumbie, Ransom C. Deal, Sr., R. Cass Deal, R. B. Arnold, J. W. Phillips, F. M. Shirah, M. A. Smith, A. J. Renfroe, A. M. Glover, B. J. Marshall, J. E. Plant, M. J. Walding, Charles C. Baker, Gary Carter, L. D. Woodham, Sr., Bobby Andrews, A. T. Arnold, W. A. Baker, John Payne, Bruce Cooper, John W. Helton, Jr., Ray Wren, and Timothy McCraney.

On June 13, 1854, William A. Stanford deeded land to the Missionary Baptist Church at Peniel. The deed was granted to Starkey Stuckey, the deacon authorized to represent the church for this transaction. According to the originaldeed, a lightwood stake, near the graves,marked the eastern boundary of the property, consisting of one acre, and ninety-nine 23/25 hundredths of an acre. The first split-log church was torn down in 1876 and a second church was built at a cost of $50. A third church was built in 1901. M. J. Walding was the pastor when the present church was builtin 1954, using lumber and materials salvaged from the 1901 church building.


Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church

Location: West Broad Street near Carroll High School in Ozark, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2000
Erected by the Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 2000.

Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church, first called Zion Hill, was organized on August 28, 1841 on a site two miles east of here on land given by the Carroll Family. Most of the charter members were settlers from the Carolinas who brought their church letters with them. The Carroll Cemetery is still located at the old site. In 1878, James and Nancy Bottoms gave the land where the church now stands. During its existence, the church has been served by 20 pastors with Elder S. W. Etheredge serving the longest, 1929-1985. Services have been held continuously since its founding, excluding the Civil War years, 1861-1865. The church is a member of the Choctawhatchee Association.

Elders of Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church
C. Curry 1841-1845 Joel Pate 1846-1849 N. M. Pellum 1854-1854 (8 months) D. S. Hood 1855-1857 Jesse Tomlin 1867-1868, 1872-1873 C. S. Pellum 1873-1875 A. Pellum 1874-1875 J. W. Parker 1875-1897 Lee Hanks 1888-1894 J. E. W. Henderson 1898-1910 Jesse Brown 1910-1916 J. J. Byrd 1915 (6 months) W. J. Hull 1916-1918 J. J. Byrd 1918-1919 A. H. Henderson 1919-1920 W. J. Hull 1920-1921 J. J. Turnipseed 1921-1923 T. E. McGown 1923-1926 J. J. Turnipseed 1926-1929 S. W. Etheredge 1929-1985 Freddy A. Averett 1985-


Richmond - First County Seat - Henry County

Location: Located near Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Alabama Highway 134, two miles northeast of Midland City, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: April 29, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dale County Historical Society, 1979.

Henry County was created December 13, 1819; David Caldwell first Probate Judge, held court in homes of early settlers. Richmond was selected in 1822 for first county seat. Creation of Dale County (in 1824, from western part of Henry County and other lands), resulted in removal of Henry County seat to Columbia. In 1826, Henry County was authorized to levy a tax to help pay Robert Irwin and Pelatiah Whitehurst for building a "courthouse and jail" at Richmond.

Richmond - First County Seat - Dale County
Dale County, created December 22, 1824, had Lewis Hutchinson appointed September 24, 1825, as first Probate Judge replacing Pelatiah Whitehurst who lived in Henry County. Richmond was annexed to Dale County in January, 1826, with Dale to share cost of "Courthouse and jail." Dale court was held in “Old Courthouse” at Richmond until new site selected. On January 12, 1830, records show, “The seat of justice of Dale County is hereby permanently established at Daleville.”


Salem Baptist Church

Location: 3336 CR 23 at the Dale/Barbour County line south of Blue Springs
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: April 14, 1996
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Salem Baptist Church, 1995.

This church was organized August 3, 1868, under a brush arbor, by Elias John McLendon and John Bradley. The first building was a log house near the cemetery west of the Edd Dykes's place. First known an "Antioch" the church was later named Salem. On September 6, 1871 one acre of land for the church was purchased and another two acres adjoining this property was donated by Reverend John Bradley, the first pastor. Construction on the present church was begun in 1903 and various modifications have been made over the years.

Salem Baptist Church Pastors
John Bradley, Hargrove D. Cumbie, R. B. Arnold, J. E. Smoots, C. C. Kirkland, J. Alfred Phillips, J. W. Phillips, H. Gunter, R. C. Deal, R. W. Stuckey, J. E. Franks, J. R. Byrd, F. M. Shirah, Eddie Johnson, W. S. Dean, C. W. Stutts, W. C. Henson, A. B. Conant, J. B. Johnson, A. O. Martz, Kiedell Thomas, Harvey W. Beasley, William A. Baker, Bobby Andrews, Johnny B. Spurling, Clyde Hancock, Jim Mitchell and present pastor, Dean Gatch.


The Block House 1814

Location: Located on U.S. Highway 231, near mile marker 34 ,four miles east of Newton, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dale County Historical Society, 1979.

The first public structure in what later became Dale County was erected one mile east of this marker at the confluence of the East and West Choctawhatchee Rivers. Called The Block House, it was built of logs by a contingent of Jackson's army in 1814. This post was not fortified; it provided shelter for militia and settlers driven into it by fear of the Indians. The site of a ferry across the River, it was occupied as a store and was designated a post office from 1833 to 1841; first postmaster was John Whitehurst.

River Port - Fort - Ferry
The Block House was the center of a settlement which included Thomas Obadiah Dick, ferry operator, and John Beverett, who purchased the site in 1836. In 1823 this area was surveyed by Robert D. Harris of the Sparta Land Office, headquarters of the Conecuh Land District. In 1824 Elisha Matthews taught school in the home of William Mills, for which he was paid $10.00 per month and board. In 1827 Seaborn Ledbetter, a local merchant, launched a "pole" boat named the “Choctawhatchee Hornet.” Nearby John Huccaby operated the first grist mill.


Union Presbyterian Church

Location: Located off Dale County Highway 15 at 3925 County Road 13, in the Arguta Community, nine miles southeast of Ariton, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 1978
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

Organized by John Warnock, East Alabama Presbytery, September 1843, its mother church being Pea River Presbyterian (Barbour County). Founders, who migrated from Scotland to Argura, North Carolina, and then to Union (Dale County), 1820-1840's, called the community Arguta. The Church was housed in log or frame buildings 1859, 1886, 1909 (burned 1910), 1910-1915. A Fellowship Hall was added in 1977.

Founders included George B. Keahey, Elijah Keahey, William Keahey, Neil Munn, Norman Cameron, John Keahey, James Keahey, Sr., Hugh McDonald, Archibald McEachern, Dougald McFadden, John Munn, Sr., Nancy Campbell, Margaret Keahey, Sarah Keahey (1), Sarah Keahey (2), Mary Keahey, Eliza Keahey, Martha Keahey, Margaret McDonald, Catherine McEachern, Mary McFadden, Eliza McGill, Mary Munn, Catherine Munn, Ann McFadden, Catherine McDonald. Early Pastors: Elon Martin, Duncan McCormick, Arthur Mooney, M. A. Patterson who served 15 years.


Veterans Memorial Bridge - 1921

Location: Located on U. S. Highway 231 at Pea River Memorial Bridge, twelve miles northwest of downtown Ozark, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 11, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dale County Historical Society, 1979. 

This reinforced concrete river bridge, thought to be the first in Alabama, was erected over Pea River in 1920-21 at a cost of $92, 108.97. It was dedicated on August 3, 1921, as a memorial to the 57 men from Dale County who lost their lives in World War I. Engineers were Mitcham, Keller, Smith and Land. County officials were Windham, Sessions, Roberts, Ziglar, Mullins and Archer. In 1977, through the efforts of the Dale County Historical Society, the Veterans Memorial Bridge was placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage by the Alabama Historical Commission.

Grist Mill - Indian Battle - Recreation
This land was purchased in 1832, by Henry Black who erected the first grist mill. In 1837 Creek Indians, who escaped from the Battle of Hobdy's Bridge, were routed here by Dale Militia. Subsequent mill owners were Hough, Frazier, Munn, Fleming and Beck. A post office called Scroggins Mill was established in 1844 with Edmund Black, postmaster; re-established as "River Mills” in 1877 with Daniel Munn, postmaster. The mill was used to operate wool carding machines during the War Between the States. This site was popular as an area recreation center from 1875 to 1950.