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
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
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
John T. Heflin settled about seven miles west of Louina in 1836.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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
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.
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.
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
S. W. Herring and James Lovvorn entered land in 1837. About this time
the Daniels, Taylors and Breeds moved into the community.
Among the first settlers were Jasper Clark, Captain Ford and Alf Owen.
(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).
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,..
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.
Randolph selected(for the first county school commissioners) W. H.
Spruce, Joseph Benton and Wm. E. White.
(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
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,
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.
In 1895 Professor J. L. Gregg was principal of the Farmers Academy, at
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.
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
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
The Randolph County News ..was published in Roanoke by Gibson and
Burson, Publishers and Robert R. Burton, Editor. (1875)
The Roanoke Hearld was established in 1875 by Captain B. H. Kloser.
The Randolph Reformer was purchased by Mr. O. H. Stevenson in 1893 .
Randolph was represented in the Senate(Alabama) from 1840 to 1845 by
George Resce, an Independent from Chambers County.
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.
In the State Convention of 1861 Randolph was represented by H. H. Gay,
R. J. Wood, and George Forester.
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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