Historical Marker Program
A County Older Than the State-Blount County
Created Feb. 7, 1818 by Alabama Territorial Legislature from lands ceded by the Creek Indian Nation. Named for the Tennessee Governor W. G. Blount, who sent militia under Andrew Jackson to punish the Creeks for Fort Mims massacre. Jackson fought and won the Creek War. Creeks gave up half of their lands in Treaty of Ft. Jackson, 1814. Some of Jackson's men were first settlers of Blount. County seat moved here in 1889.
[Before 1965: Oneonta]
1893 - 1951
William M Bailey (born 1859 in Cherokee Co.; died 1909 in Blount Co.) settled 40 acres on what became Co. Rd 36 to the west and New Home Church Rd to the east in 1893. He brought three small sons from Cherokee Co. after the death of his first wife and their mother, Julie Law Bailey. Remarrying in 1887, Bailey had ten more children with Ollie McMillan Bailey. He deeded one acre on SW corner for a school and an adjoining acre on E for a church. The first school on the site, Bailey himself built of logs; the second - with two rooms, high ceilings and belfry-capped roof - was built by the state. The third, built in 1934, had three rooms in the shape of a T and served a bustling community. The institution strived to guide children and youth toward literacy and character building to enrich their lives and those of others.
May 1, 1863-Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked Colonel Streight's column as it crossed Locust's swift waters, causing the Federal troops to make tremendous exertions to complete the movement, contributing thereby to Streight's eventual surrender of his entire command to Forrest some forty hours later and seventy-five miles from Battle Royal.
[Before 1965: Ala. Hwy 26 at Royal near Blountsville]
Famous Health Resort from 1843-1914. Here fashionable ladies and gentlemen of the South vacationed with their families.
[Before 1965: U.S. Hwy 31]
1820-1889-Seat of Blount County, a county older than the State. Named for Tennessee Governor W. G. Blount who sent Andrew Jackson to aid Alabama settlers in the Creek Indian War, 1812-1814. Indian Chief Bear Meat lived here at the crossing of old Indian trading paths. 1816-Tennesseans began trading post here and called the village Bear Meat Cabin. 1820-Name changed to Blountsville and made county seat. 1819-County seat moved to Oneonta.
[Before 1965: U.S. Hwy 231]
John Hanby came in 1817 and found a rich seam of brown iron ore. Named Champion in 1882 when Henry DeBardeleben & James Sloss bought land and brought L & N Railroad causing county seat to be moved from Blountsville to Oneonta in 1889. Most ore was mined by Shook and Fletcher 1925-1967 from Champion & Taits Gap mines under E. N. Vandergrift, superintendent. Ore was shipped to Woodward, T.C.I. & Sloss furnaces in Birmingham and Republic in Gadsden.
Ebenezer Hearn 1794-1862
Methodist Missionary. First minister assigned to Alabama Territory by Tennessee Conference. Hearn preached his first sermon two blocks west at Bear Meat Cabin (present Bountsville), April 18, 1818. He later organized churches in Shelby, Saint Clair, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, and Cotaco (present Morgan) counties; this is the beginning of Methodism in central Alabama.
Exploit of Murphree Sisters
Incident of May 1, 1863 during Streight (Union flag)-Forrest (Confederate flag) Campaign. Three prowling Union soldiers invaded the home of sisters-in-law Celia and Winnie Mae Murphree taking food and drink and killing two colts. When soldiers fell asleep, these two young girls took rifles and marched the soldiers to the headquarters of General Forrest, bivouacked at Royal Crossing on Warrior River.
[Before 1965: Ala Hwy 26 at Royal near Blountsville]
May 1, 1863, 1 mile south of marker. General N. B. Forrest captured a wagon train and supplies of Colonel Streight's raiders. Forrest continued his relentless pursuit eastward toward final capture of Streight.
[Before 1965: U.S. Hwy 231 north of Blountsville]
Other Blount County pages: