Here is an excerpt of a history of Randolph Co that I found in the Awbry Library in Roanoke, Randolph Co., AL.

Submitted by Beverly Giles Loffler



A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty In Candidacy For The Degree of Masters of Science

By Eugenie Elizabeth Smith

Auburn, Alabama

August 1938


Page 16


This area has been, and still was, occupied by the Creek Indians who

lives(sic) mostly along the creeks and rivers. These Indians had not

been inclined tp live in peace with the whites and only a few white

settlers, or white Indian countrymen, were living among the Indians

before the land was formally opened to settlement(18 Dec. 1832). A Mr.

Brock was living on the old McIntosh Trail where Graham is now located.

Archibald Sawyer lived at Sawyer's Ferry, Oakfuskoe. He


Page 17


was elected Judge of the County Court by the General Assembly. Hodgeman

Triplett had located on the Tallapoosa River about ten miles west of

what is now Wedowee. He ran a ferry and had built a house about

one-hundred yards from the ferry.


As stated above Archibald Sawyer was elected Judge of the Court, or

Orphant's(sic) Court as it was then called, by the General Assembly of

Alabama. John Camp was Clerk of the Court and William Hightower,



Page 18


The first County Seat was at Trylett's Ferry, or Triplett's Ferry, (the

present Blake's Ferry)on the west bank of the Big Tallapoosa River about

ten miles west of Wedowee.


Page 19


In November, 1832 Judge Archibald Sawyer held court under an oak tree.

This was the first county court. In this court only two cases were

docketed for trial; Ibba Taylor vs. James B. Jones and Ibba Taylor vs.

Silas Taylor: both dismissed at the defendant's cost. Archibald Sawyer,

Judge. A. C. Nix, Attorney.


Page 20


There was an Indian town at Wedowee and some white settlers. Joseph

Benton, Asa Hearn, J. W. Bradshaw, Wm. McKnight, Wm. Mullaley, James B.

Jones, Benjamin Zachary, John Rutton were among the first. The town was

surveyed and plotted by Hodgeman Triplett in Dec 1835, W. H. Cunningham

bought the first lot.


William Hightower bought two lots, on one of which, a log court house

was built in 1836.


Page 21


In September, 1839, a contract let to Isaac Baker for the building of a

new court house, to cost $2,000. A new jail costing $1,000 was built in

1839 and the County Building Commissioners Jeff Faulkner and Jeptha V.

Smith reported its completion and acceptance, December 14, 1839.


Little is known of the exact locations of the homes of the first

settlers. In 1834, Isham T. Weathers conducted a store and traded with

the Indians at Louina…

Wyatt Heflin moved to Concord Community in Louina Beat in 1836.


Page 22


He was a planter by occupation and owned many slaves, as di others who

lived in that section. Some of the other planters of Louina were Peter

Mitchell, Harrington Phillips, Franklin A. McMurray, Peter Green, and

John J. Chewning.


Wallis Wood located in the Roanoke vicinity in 1834, James and W. D.

Mickle in 1836 and James Scales, Wiley McClendon, Joseph Baker and

others before the Indians were removed. Trustees of Roanoke school,

charted in 1840, were Hawthron, Perryman, Lamb, Chiles, and Pool.


John and Stephen Reaves settled at Bacon Level in 1828. They both took

up the study of law with C. D. Hudson of Hickory Flats. Later Stephen

moved to Texas and John to Wedowee. He was appointed Probate Judge in



Jephta V. Smith settled at Rockdale in 1839. James Lovvorn, S. E.

Herringm a family named Breed and one named Traylor came to Lamax in

1837. In southwestern Randolph, across the river from Louina the

McGills, Smiths, Harrines, Hardys and others organized a Methodist

Church in the summer of 1837.


Page 24


(Concerns Louina)

John T. Heflin settled about seven miles west of Louina in 1836.


Page 25


(Concerns Louina)

Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Barber and others had stores before the war.


Concord Baptist Church near Louina was built in the fifties by J. Day

Barron, editor of the Louina Eagle.


Page 26


(Concerns Louina)

Dr. W. L. Heflin, son of Wyatt Heflin owned a wheat and a corn mill, a

wool factory, and a cotton gin on the river just west of Louina.


The first printing press in the county was used by the publishers of

Louina Eagle, a Democratic paper. This paper was established in 1853 by

W. E. Gilbert and M. M. Barron. J. Day Barron became the editor in



Page 27


(Concerns Louina)

In 1868 J. T. Cardwell rode horseback and carried mail…


Merchants after the war were J. M. Towles, who was a minister of the M.

E. Church, South, and a dentist, T. J. East, Tyler Phillips, W. A. J.

Swann, F. M. Handley and W. E. Gilbert.


About 1870 W. E. Gilbert, who planned a cotton mill, began a dam on the

river just above where the new bridge has just been completed(1938).

There was an accident in blasting. One man was killed and Mr. Bill

Welch lost an arm.


In 1902 the last store closed its doors, the post office was moved to

Mr. J. F. Cardwell's store at Concord, and named Viola.


Page 28


(Concerns Roanoke)

The town was settled in the early thirties by emigrants from

Georgia….The village was called High Pine. In 1840 the name was changed

to Chalafinee. J. M. K. Guinn gives Frances M. Perryman, a lawyer

residing in Rockdale credit for having the name of this and several

other post offices changed. He is supposed to have accomplished this by

sending fake petitions to the Post Office Department ar Washington. The

name was changed to Roanoke soon after 1840. John Randolph, for whom

the county was named, made a practice of signing the name of his home,

Roanoke, when he signed his name.


Page 29


(Concerns Roanoke)

Possibly, the first white man to live where Roanoke is was James

Furlong, who built a store, in 1835, on land belonging to James and Hugh

Hawthorne…..After Hugh Hawthorne's death, James sold out and moved to

Mississippi. Wallis Wood located in the vicinity in 1834 and James and

W. D. Mickle in 1835. James Scales, Wiley McClendon, and Joseph Baker

were others who came into the vicinity before the Indians left….Miss

Lisa Wood was the first white child born in Randolph County. She

married Fletcher Haynes and lived in Roanoke about 1860.


There was no saw or grist mill near. One was built about this time at

Dickson's, the Old Joacob Eichelberger, and now(1938) James McCosh mill

in the extreme southeast corner of the county.


Page 30


(Concerns Roanoke)

Pollard Modes had a tan yard….Mr. John A. Moore was a lawyer and

teacher…..A Roanoke Academy was chartered by a special act of

legislature in 1840. Trustees of it were James Hawthorne, Francis

Perryman, John Lamb, Francis Chiles, Robert Pool. A Mr. Commelley was

the teacher.


Page 31


(Concerns Roanoke)

The Dowdell Rangers, organized at Roanoke in August 1861, was company E

of the Seventeenth Infantry. It was commanded by Captain Wiley E.



The Randolph County News, established in 1875 carried advertisements of

various kinds……Drs. White and Davis, Physicians and Surgeons, Roanoke,

Alabama…B. J. Foster, Physician and Surgeon…William A. White, Dentist


Page 33


(Concerns Wedowee)

Among the first settlers were J. W. Bradshaw, William McKnight, William

Mulldley, James B. Jones, Benjamin Zachery, Ibba Taylor, Joseph Benton,

Asa Hearn, and a Mr. Freeman.


It is customary to think of the good old times as times when everyone

was good but such us not always the case. Robert Casky, sheriff in

1842-1843, by some means came into


Page 34


(Concerns Wedowee)

possession to a large sum of money and defaulted leaving his bondsmen to

pay the bill. Jeramish Stallings left 3 or 4 negroes valued at $1,000

each, John Y. Kerr, a $3,000 farm, and James Saxon paid $2,500 and

employed Judge John T. Heflin to beat the rest at law….


In 1844 Judge Jefferson Falkner's first act as Probate Judge was to

declare the name of the town, Wedowee.


When Mrs. Murphy moved to Wedowee in 1861 she was 10 years old. At that

time there were only a few houses. The Guinn, Pittman, Stalling,

Reaves, Saxon, and Kerr families were residents.


In the fifties, Mr. John Reaves built the Reaves home, which is in the

eastern part of Wedowee, and was, at that time, the finest house in the



Page 35


(Concerns Wedowee)

Wae times were hard in Wedowee. The situation was aggravated by the

fact that many on its most prominent and influential citizens were

staunch Unionists. William H. Smith, Robert S. Heflin and others sought

safety behind the Union lines….


In 1895, Bob Black's old store, one of the first to be built in

Wedowee…was torn down on August 25, by Billy Dobson to make room for a

larger one….The brick court house, built in 1857, by McCord of

Talladega, was destroyed by fire in 1896.


Page 36


(Concerns Wadley)

This region was settled in the thirties by the Harris, Hardy, Smith

McGill, Roberts, Danniley, and Noel families…


In 1907, Mr. Bob Harris and Mr. Radney built brick stores.


Page 38


(Concerns Graham)

Graham was first known as Brookville, as a family by the name of Brook

first settled there, on the Old McIntosh Trail, while Alabama was yet a



Page 39


(Concerns Lamar)

S. W. Herring and James Lovvorn entered land in 1837. About this time

the Daniels, Taylors and Breeds moved into the community.


Page 40


(Concerns Rockstand)

Among the first settlers were Jasper Clark, Captain Ford and Alf Owen.


Page 40


(Concerns Rock Mills)

Some of the early settlers were the Bradshaw, Foster, Hearn McClendon,

Thomason, Sharman, Striplin, Hendricks, and Taylor families…


Fountain P. Randle, for many years superintendent of the mill(Rock Dale

Manufacturing and Lumber Company), was a distinguished Confederate

soldier, being made adjustant(sic) of his regiment for gallant conduct

in the Battle of Chicamanga(sic).


Page 42


Rockdale Academy was incorportated March 1, 1848 and located in Ranolph

County. The trustees of this school were George W. White, George

Quadlebum, Jeptha V. Smith,..


Page 43


Archibald Sawyer and Francis Perryman.


Chulafinaee Academy was incorporated February 8, 1861 and located in

Randolph County, with the following persons as trustees: Wm. H.

McReynolds, C. P. Pittman, J. H. McClintook, A. W. Denman, I. H. Hall,

W. T. Wood, J. J. Loagon, Henry Blake and C. W. Gay.


Page 44


Randolph selected(for the first county school commissioners) W. H.

Spruce, Joseph Benton and Wm. E. White.


Page 46


(Students at the Katewood Seminary at Louina, taught by Miss C. W.

Barber. circa 1856)

Missouri P. Barron, Fredonia A. Barber, Mary C. Barber, E. A. Barber, M.

W. Barber, Mattie Caruthers, Amanda E. Corley, Mary C. Carpenter, Laura

E. Carpenter, C. Carpenter, L. Carpenter, Sara Clarady, Marietta

Clarady, Mary Crane, D. Crane, M. Crane, Rhoda Dannielly, Penelope

Dannielly, Martha Forester, Emily Forester, Georgiana Forester, Julia



Page 47


Sophia Gay, Alice Gilbert, Ladora Gilbert, Emma Gilbert, Artemicca

Gilbert, Narcissa Gilbert, Abbie Hardanet, Mary L. Hooper, Mary Kelly,

Martha Kelly, Sara H. Mitchell, Martha Melton, Samantha Melton, Mary

Melton, Edna Pinkard, Sarah Pool, Martha Pool, Mary Stephens, Rebecca

Thrift, Elizabeth Taylor, Mary Taylor, Susan Tomlinson, Winnie Wood,

Elizabeth Young.


Page 51


In 1875, Joseph Swint, J. I. Murray, J. L. Swann, J. F. Morgan, W. J.

Jeter, G. V. Avery, white men and Henry Cantrel, colored, were paid some

from the inexpended fund of the scholastic year, 1872.


White teachers paid partly with state funds(1876) were G. W. Hurst, K.

S. Landers, Joseph Swint, J. Whitaker, T. C. Halpin, J. L. Murray, J. W.

Swann, M. W. Smith, W. N. Connelly, J. J. Caston. G. B. Avery, W. J. P.

Coter, W. L. Massey, C. F. Henderson, J. F. Morgan, W. V. Thomaspn, W.

H. Durton. Colored teachers were J. W. Brown, H. Cantroll, and J. W.



Page 53


In 1895 Professor J. L. Gregg was principal of the Farmers Academy, at



Page 58


In 1840 the Rev. James P. McGehee was sent to Randolph Mission. He was

followed by Rev. Abel Pearce, 1841, Rev. John Hunter, 1842, Rev. J.

Kuykendall, 1843, Rev. James M. Welles, 1844, Rev. Wiley White, 1845.


"According to data in hand McGill's Church, located in Randolph County,

near and on the west side of the Tallapoosa River, a little north of

Hutton's Ford, now Louina, was organized by the Rev. John Hunter on a

week day in the summer of 1837. The principal members who constituted

that Society were the Hardys, Harrises, McGills, and Smith. Spencer

Smith, who had just settled where Daviston has recently sprung up was

appointed class leader at McGill's Society upon its

organization….Spencer Smith became a local preacher and died in 1883 at

Rockford, Coosa County, at the age of 100 years….His son George R. W.

Smith was received into the conference in 1840 and died while serving

the Apalachoola, Florida church, in 1843." Anson West, "A History of

Methodism in Alabama" page 369.


Page 59


In the counties of Chambers and Randolph in 1836, desperate and unlawful

measures were sometimes adopted to eject the missionary elements from

the churches. In Randolph the chief leaders were James Boquomore and

John Blackmon.


Page 75


The Louina Eagle was started in 1855 by W. E. Gilbert and H. H. Barron

with the later was editor. He retired in 1856 and J. Day Barron

succeeded him.


Page 77


The Randolph County News ..was published in Roanoke by Gibson and

Burson, Publishers and Robert R. Burton, Editor. (1875)


Page 78


The Roanoke Hearld was established in 1875 by Captain B. H. Kloser.


The Randolph Reformer was purchased by Mr. O. H. Stevenson in 1893….


Page 81


Randolph was represented in the Senate(Alabama) from 1840 to 1845 by

George Resce, an Independent from Chambers County.


Page 82


Wyatt Heflin was a member of the House(Alabama)….In 1846, Jefferson

Falkner of Randolph was elected Senator.

(1850) John T. Heflin went to the Senate(Alabama) and his brother Robert

Still Heflin to the House(Alabama). Both were Democratic, John T. a

rabid secessionist and Robert S. a strong Union man.


Page 85


In the State Convention of 1861 Randolph was represented by H. H. Gay,

R. J. Wood, and George Forester.


Page 93


The First Alabama Regiment of volunteers fro the Mexican War, was

organized at Mobile, June, 1846 for twelve months. William Reaves, son

of Judge John Reaves, died of fever soon after reaching Texas. Travis

Stalling died on the boat on route to Texas.

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