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Alabama Corps of Cadets Defends Tuscaloosa
Early on the morning of 4 April 1865, Union Gen John T. Croxton’s Cavalry Brigade of 1500 veteran troopers entered the town after fighting the home guard and capturing the covered bridge connecting Northport and Tuscaloosa across the Warrior River. While a detachment of Federals proceeded to capture two pieces of artillery stored at the Broad St. livery stable, Pat Kehoe of the Alabama Insane Hospital hurried to the University of Alabama to warn of the soldiers’ approach. University president Landon C. Garland ordered the guardhouse drummers to “beat the long roll” to awaken the 300 sleeping cadets. Quickly forming into ranks, the three companies began their march from campus into town. A platoon from Co. C, under Capt John H. Murfee, formed as skirmishers and forged ahead to the corner of Greensboro Ave. and Broad St. (University Blvd.) where they encountered the enemy from the 6th Ky Cav Regt. In the ensuing firefight, Capt Murfee was wounded along with three cadets, W.R. May, Aaron T. Kendrick and William M. King. The Union pickets then retreated down the hill back toward the bridge.
Alabama Corps of Cadets Defends Tuscaloosa
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Delta Pi, the first college secret sisterhood, was organized at Wesleyan Female College, Macon, Georgia, the first women's college to grant academic degrees. Originally identified as Adelpheans, the group had three thousand alumnae and sixty active members in 1905 when it changed its name to Alpha Delta Phi (Pi in 1913) and began to expand nationally. Eta Chapter at the University of Alabama was the first chapter established in the state. Pi Kappa Kappa, the first local sorority at the University, had organized February 6, 1904 and became affiliated with Alpha Delta Phi (Pi) as the Eta Chapter on March 21,1907. Installation ceremonies were held in the rooms of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Eta Chapter went into inactive status in 1909-10 because of the scarcity of eligible women students. Reactivation followed on February 14, 1931.
Bethany Baptist Church
Constituted 28 Dec. 1832 by Elders Thomas Baines (ancestor of President Lyndon B. Johnson), Holland W. Middleton and Medey White, first Pastor. First Deacons were Henry Fox, Thomas Fox, and David Denton. One of 13 churches organizing Tuscaloosa Baptists Asso. in 1834. Bethabera Church was organized as a mission in 1843. Rev. Basil Manley, Second President of the University of Ala., often filled the pulpit. He donated a Bible and a set of hymn books in 1851. First two buildings were of log, on land donated by Jesse Hughes in 1838. Present site acquired 1883. Present building constructed 1953.
Bethel Baptist Church
Organized May 10, 1834, as Buck Creek Baptist Church. Presiding Clergy: Robert Marsh, Medey White, Thomas Norris and Job Wilson. Building erected in 1836 and renamed Bethel Baptist Church. Larger structure erected 1907. Destroyed by lightning and rebuilt in 1877. In 1890 Mary Jane Thornton from Bethel was the first Baptist missionary from Tuscaloosa County. Served with Lottie Moon in the China Mission. Gov. Lurleen Burns Wallace, as a youth, attended Bethel Church. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Morgan Burns, are buried in the Bethel Cemetery. Marker unveiled April 29, 1984.
Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
Organized in 1881 with Rev. Delaware Jackson first pastor.
Bethel Presbyterian Church
Originally organized (1818) as Bethel Baptist Church by three ministersNathan Roberts, James Baines and Thomas Bainesat home of Jeremiah Jeffery near falls of Black Warrior River. Log building erected at this site (1822) as first church house. Later moved to present site and frame building erected. Church discontinued (1870) because of membership loss.
Big Creek Cemetery
William Prude, 15 October 1774-8 January 1833, was the earliest marked burial. Nancy George, died March 26, 1834, was the earliest female burial. Nancy Doughty, March 14, 1747- November 15, 1834, had the earliest marked birth date in the cemetery and probably of all females buried in the county. 24 persons with markers were buried before 1852. 253 persons were buried with markers and 47 unmarked graves as of March 16, 1995. The "Alabama Stone" was found at the mouth of Big Creek 3 miles from this site in 1817, a 204-lb. sandstone rock with carved inscription "HISPAN AT IND REX 1232," presently at AL Dept. of Achieves and History.
Big Creek Cemetery
Cemetery of Big Creek Baptist Church, the county's third oldest Baptist Church. Organized in 1820. First meeting house at this site adjacent to Bluff Branch School on land donated by James Hendricks. July 1861, "Tuscaloosa Plough-boys" Co. (later Co. "G" 38th Tenn. Regt.), under command of James J. Mayfield (father of AL Supreme Court justice of the same name), met, received uniforms, and entered service here. 10 Civil War, 1 Spanish-American War veterans buried here. Final resting place for many noble men and virtuous women of God. Dedication of markers in July 1995 commemorates 175th Anniversary of this hallowed ground.
Big Hurricane Missionary Baptist Church
Church meetings were first held on this site sometime between 1827 and 1832, and oral tradition holds that meetings began in 1831. Named for nearby Big Hurricane Creek, the church was officially constituted in September 1838 by 24 members of the Sardis Baptist Church. The church was admitted to the Tuscaloosa County Baptist Association in 1839 and joined the Pleasant Grove Baptist Association in 1941. Through its history, the church has built several buildings in this vicinity to serve the Lord and people of the Brookwood community. Current sanctuary dedicated September 15, 2002
The Black Warrior River
Plied for thousands of years by Indians, then by early explorers and American settlers, this river extends 169 miles from the Sipsey and Mulberry Forks near Birmingham to its confluence with the Tombigbee at Demopolis. It drains 6228 square miles of one of the world’s most ancient watersheds and has 130 species of fish and many rare plants and animals. Part of a navigable waterway system, this point is 339 river miles above Mobile. About 5 billion gallons of water flow past here each day. In the past it was designated as two rivers, the “Black Warrior” upstream and the “Warrior” downstream since Federal funds were appropriated on a per river basis. In the Choctaw language “Tuscaloosa” means Black Warrior.
Black Warrior's Town
One-half mile north was the Creek Indian village known as Black Warrior's Town, of which Oce-Oche-Motla was chief. After Tecumseh's visit in 1811, these Indians became hostile to white settlers. In 1812 Little Warrior brought Mrs. Martha C. Crawley of Tennessee to this Indian Village as a captive. She was rescued by Tandy Walker, a blacksmith, and taken to St. Stephens. This was one of the incidents which led to the Creek War. The village was destroyed in October 1813 by Colonel John Coffee and his Tennessee Volunteers, one of whom was Davy Crockett.
Bridging the Black Warrior River
On this site in 1834, John Godwin and Horace King built the first river bridge utilizing a wooden lattice truss designed by Ithiel Town. It was damaged by a tornado in 1842, rebuilt in 1852, and destroyed by Union troops in 1865. Horace King built a new wooden bridge in 1872 that was replaced with a 3-span iron bridge in 1882. A higher bridge with a swing span was built in 1895 to allow river traffic. A drawbridge was built in 1922. All of these bridges were approximately 600-feet long and utilized the original 1834 brick piers. In 1974 the Hugh Thomas Bridge was built slightly downstream.
Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church
Oldest existing Black Presbyterian Church in Alabama. Organized by Dr. Charles A. Stillman as Salem Church in December, 1880. First church building erected 9th Street and 30th Avenue in 1882. First pastors were Reverend B. M. Wilkinson (1889-90) and Reverend I. C. H. Champney (1894-98). In 1915 relocated at 11th Street and 25th Avenue. In 1931 moved to present site. Name changed to Brown Memorial (1932) honoring Dr. R. A. Brown, Superintendent of Home Mission Work, PCUS. Present sanctuary built 1959 under leadership of Reverend Charles H. Williams. Earlier structure converted to Educational Building in 1961.
Alabama State hospitals inspired by Dorothea Dix in 1849. Opened 1861. Peter Bryce, J. T. Searcy, and W. D. Partlow were the superintendents during the next 87 years. (Located at Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa)
The remains of Burns’ Shoals now lie nearly 40 feet underwater. This rock outcropping was the first of the shoals known as the “Falls of Tuscaloosa” and represents the “Fall Line” or contact point of the Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Plateau, which extends nearly 2000 miles to Canada. From here upstream the riverbed is primarily rock while downstream it is sand, silt and gravel. It was head of navigation on the river and thus a primary reason for the founding of Tuscaloosa. It was used as an early ford and bathing site, and later provided a solid foundation for a succession of bridges. During construction of Old Locks One, Two and Three (1888-1895), it was channelized to allow the passage of river traffic.
One-half mile east is a portion of the original Byler Road. Legislation authorizing construction signed into law December 1819, by Alabama's first governor, William Wyatt Bibb. Built by John Byler, it was Alabama's first public road. Opened November 1822, operated as a toll road until 1834. Twelve feet wide, it connected Northwest Alabama and the Tennessee River to the Warrior River at Northport.
Canaan Baptist Church
Jefferson County's oldest Baptist ChurchOrganized September 5, 1818 in home of Isaac Brown 3 miles west of Elyton. Met in homes and schoolhouse near Old Jonesboro until 1824. First building erected on site now the 14th Street entrance to Cedar Hill Cemetery. Canaan Association (now Birmingham Baptist Association) was organized there in 1833. Hosea Holcombe, pioneer preacher and historian, was pastor 1822-41. The congregation has worshiped at this present location since 1856.
Captain Benjamin F. Eddins
Born in South Carolina in 1813, Benjamin Farrar Eddins raised and led a company of volunteers that served in the 41st Alabama Infantry Regiment. Retired due to ill health, he returned to lead the Home Guards, a militia made up of old men and young boys. While trying to render the covered bridge impassable to Federal troops on the night of April 3, 1865, he and 15-year-old John Carson were wounded in a skirmish with Croxton's Raiders. Later that evening, Mayor Obediah Berry and Catholic priest William McDonough surrendered the city on this site. Carson was disabled for life. On April 10, 1865, Capt. Eddins became the only local citizen to die defending the city. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery.
Castle Hill-Daly Bottom Community
In 1883 the Castle Hill Real Estate and Manufacturing Company began the first eastern expansion of the original 1821 Tuscaloosa city limits. Hoping to stimulate development in the area, the company created a popular amusement park centered around an artificial lake. Portions of this property had belonged to Delaware Jackson, a freed slave who had been given the land for courage and loyalty. In 1881 Jackson organized the Bethel Baptist Church and, in 1917, he donated nearby land for the Baptist Academy, a community school. The name was changed to the Tuscaloosa County Training School for Negroes and later to the Castle Hill Elementary School. "Daly Bottom," the area at the base of the hill closest to the University of Alabama was named for landowner Rafe A. Daly. The Castle Hill/Daly Bottom neighborhood gave birth to Bethel Baptist, Tenth Street Baptist, and two Methodist churches including Tabernacle AME Zion. Many of its residents later distinguished themselves in many walks of life.
Christ Episcopal Church
The second oldest Episcopal Church in Alabama. Construction begun 1829, completed 1830 at cost of $1700. Enlarged and remodeled in 1880 from original Greek Revival design to present Gothic lines. First pews sold to highest bidder; made free in 1849.
Built by James Shirley, early Tuscaloosa County builder who in the 1850's erected first brick commercial buildings in Northport. Home of William L. Christian (1824-1899), Confederate soldier and local merchant, George W. and Lula Rice Christian, community and church leaders. Federal raised cottage of handmade brick, hand hewn beams and wooden pegs, it is listed in National Register of Historic Places.
Coker Baptist Church
Constituted as Big Creek Baptist Church on July 22, 1820 by Daniel Brown and Thomas Baines (ancestor of President Lyndon B. Johnson) with Phillip May as first pastor, Joseph Barrett and Charles Pate as first deacons. As the third oldest church in the county, it was one of the 13 organizing the Tuscaloosa Baptist Association in 1834. Prior to 1864 church records show 148 slaves as members. First located adjacent to Bluff Branch School and Meetinghouse, next to Big Creek Cemetery; moved to its present site in 1944. The name changed to Coker Baptist in 1956. Setting of the marker in July 1995 commemorates the 175th Anniversary of the Church.
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Psi Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity first Greek letter fraternity at the University of Alabama. Organized by Louis J. DuPré, chapter installed June 20, 1847. First members initiated at Indian Queen Hotel by Charles Foote of Phi Chapter at Yale College.
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Psi Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity installed at The University of Alabama June 20, 1847. The charer members were: Edward G. Baptist, James I. Bonner, Louis DuPré, Charles F. Henry, Edward L. Jones, John H. Lee, Richard B. Owen, Charles A. Pegues, Thaddeus H. Perry, George W. F. Price, Peyton W. Reynolds, Milford F. Woodruff.
This tower which has been a symbol for The University of Alabama was built to honor longtime University President George H. Denny who served as president from 1911 to 1936 and again briefly in 1942.
Druid City Hospital School of Nursing
Constructed in 1923 through gift of J. T. Horne, this building occupied by Druid City School of Nursing from 1923 to 1947. Used by University of Alabama from 1951 to 1954 to house first state supported collegiate school of nursing in Alabama.
First African Baptist Church
Organized November 1866, with 144 members. The Reverend Prince Murrell, first pastor, served until 1885. A church building located at corner of 4th Street and 24th Avenue was purchased and became place of worship during pastorate of the Rev. James Maston, 1885-1891.
First Baptist Church
Organized 1818, oldest church in Tuscaloosa County.
First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa
Organized 1820. Moved to this site 1830. Present structure erected 1921. Under the leadership of Dr. Charles A. Stillman, minister 1869-1895, it sponsored the founding of Stillman College in 1876. Its bell was the subject of a poem by Samuel Minturn Peck, poet laureate of Alabama.
Geological Survey of Alabama
Established by legislative mandate in 1848, the Geological Survey of Alabama is the oldest scientific agency of the State. In fulfillment of its mission to evaluate the State's mineral, energy, water, and biological resources, the scientists and staff of the Survey document the distribution, abundance, and importance of these resources for the people of Alabama.
State Geologists of Alabama
Seven geologists have served Alabama as State Geologist during the Survery's 150-year history. Michael Tuorney [1805-1857] served from 1848 to 1857; Eugene Allen Smith [1841-1927], 1873 to 1927; Walter Bryan Jones [1895-1977], 1927 to 1961; Philip E. LaMoreaux, 1961 to 1976; Thomas J. Joiner, 1977 to 1981; Ernest A. Mancini, 1982 to 1996; and Donald F. Oltz, 1996 to present. Beginning in 1939 with Walter B. Jones, all State Geologists served concurrently as Oil and Gas Supervisor for the State Oil and Gas Board.
Built 1829 as University dining hallRemodeled as a residence in 1840Occupied by Gorgas family 1879-1953.
Gorgas-Manly Historic District
Twelve acres of the campus on the University of Alabama including eight buildings designated in the National Register of Historic Places as the Gorgas-Manly District.
Grant's Creek Baptist Church
Grant's Creek Baptist Church was constituted April 5, 1828, with Rev. Medey White and Robert Marsh (the first pastor) as presbytery. Lewis Stovall was first Church clerk, and James Foster was ordained as the first deacon. The Grant's Creek Sunday School Union was organized Dec. 1827, as the oldest Sunday school in Alabama. In 1832, a building was constructed by member John W. Bealle for $500 which served the Church until 1968, when the present building replaced it. In August 1833, the Baptist State Convention met here and took action leading to the founding of Howard (now Samford) and Judson Colleges.
Home Guard Defended Covered Bridge
3 April 1865 – Brig Gen John T. Croxton’s Cavalry Brigade departed camp at Johnson’s Ferry (Old Lock 17 area) to the Watermelon Road ending in Northport. As the Union troops entered Northport, the Methodist Church bell was rung as a prearranged warning alarm. Armed with 7-shot carbines, 150 troopers of the 2nd Michigan Cav Regt rushed the covered bridge which was defended by about a dozen old men and young boys led by 53-year-old Capt Benjamin F. Eddins. This Home Guard removed 30 feet of the bridge’s flooring in a delaying action as they retreated, returning fire with their single-shot weapons. Capt Eddins was seriously wounded and died a week later; 15-year-old John Carson was crippled for life by a bullet. Union casualties of the 2nd Mich Cav Regt numbered 23.
Bridging the Black Warrior River
At this junction for all roads converging from the north, east, and west, seven bridges in succession have connected Northport and Tuscaloosa across the Black Warrior River. The first was built in 1834 by then-slave Horace King. Damaged by a tornado in 1842, it was replaced in 1852 by a second bridge – the one defended by the Tuscaloosa Home Guard before its destruction in April 1865. In 1872 a new wooden span was erected, again engineered by King, who had been freed in 1846 and who had become famous as a bridge builder in Alabama and Georgia. A 3-span iron bridge was built in 1882, then replaced in 1895 with a swing-span type to allow the passage of river traffic. A drawbridge was constructed in 1922, standing until the Hugh Thomas Bridge was built slightly downstream in 1974.
Home of Hudson & Therese Strode
Dr. Hudson Strode (1892-1976)author, scholar, teacher, and world travelerand his beloved wife, Therese (1900-1986) lived here from 1941 until their deaths. Professor of English at the University of Alabama (1916-1961): he was renowned for his courses in Shakespeare and Creative Writing, his students publishing 59 novels and innumerable short stories; his authoring of 13 books including a 3-volume biography of Jefferson Davis and editing a volume of Mr. Davis' letters.
Hopewell Baptist Church
Constituted October 22, 1830 under leadership of Thomas Baines, Medley White and Robert Marsh of Ebenezer (First) Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa. Robert Marsh served as first pastor 1830-1833. John Meek was first minister ordained December 23, 1838. First met at Liberty in log meeting house on this site. Wooden structure built in 1860. Replaced by present building in 1960. Tuscaloosa Baptist Association organized here March 28, 1834.
Born a slave in South Carolina in 1807, Horace King became a master bridge builder while working with John Godwin. With the aid of Tuscaloosan Robert Jemison, King was freed by act of the Alabama legislature in 1846. He went on to build many bridges and other structures across the South. Revered and respected for his organizational abilities, building skills and personal integrity, he formed the King Brothers Bridge Company with his family after the Civil War. After serving two terms in the Alabama legislature during Reconstruction, he died at LaGrange, GA in 1885. John Godwin and Horace King built the first bridge across the Black Warrior River on this site in 1834.
Organized 1866, the first Black Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa. First house of worship, a rented building, was located where Denny Stadium now stands. First structure built by the church completed 1878. Present structure erected 1881, exterior brick added 1910. This church, often called the "father" of Negro education in Tuscaloosa, included a school for children of freed slaves during Reconstruction Era of 1870's. Church named for Rev. E. H. Hunter, who served with distinction as pastor during 1880's. Rev. Felix Sylvester Anderson, pastor, 1933-1936, elected 1960, to office of Bishop, A M E Zion Churches of America and served until retirement, 1972.
“The Indian Fires Are Going Out”
The Trail of Tears led thousands of Creek Indians through Tuscaloosa, capital of Alabama in 1836. Chief Eufaula addressed the legislature with these words:
Jennings Chapel United Methodist Church
Organized 1847 as first and only Methodist Protestant Church established in Tuscaloosa Co. On this site were first two structures used by Jennings Chapel. The first, a log house built circa 1850 and a clapboard building erected November 1890. Brick structure completed 1956.
Zeta Chapter of Kappa Delta first national Greek letter sorority at the University of Alabama. Chapter installed March 12, 1904. First members initiated in the Sigma Nu Hall by Katherine Lovejoy of Theta Chapter at Randolph-Macon Woman's College. First sorority to have Chapter in State of Alabama. Now oldest continuous Kappa Delta Chapter.
The M & O Railroad Trestle
This wooden and steel truss bridge was constructed for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad in 1898 by civil engineer Benjamin Hardaway, an 1887 graduate of The University of Alabama and former Tuscaloosa City Engineer. Originally 135-feet high with a 110-foot clearance, it was once considered by many to be the country’s longest trestle at 3600 feet. This bridge, along with Old Locks One, Two and Three, greatly improved transportation in West Alabama and heralded an era of economic development in the early 20th century. In later years the M&O Railroad became successively the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio; the Illinois Central Gulf; and the Kansas City Southern.
Located on original land grant to the State of Alabama 1819 to establish a University of Alabama. Named for William M. Marr, Marr's Spring was the water supply for the University for over 75 years.
Navigation and Shipbuilding On the Black Warrior River
Navigation improvements to the Black Warrior River (1888-1895) spurred marine commerce throughout the 20th century. Local shipbuilders included the Perkins Brothers, Herman & Son, Corps of Engineers Boatyard, and Baker Towboat. Vessel types included barges, government workboats and towboats. Some of the boats built here were the Black Warrior, Dixie, Gold Bug, Mary, Nelma and R.G. Parker. Numerous navigation companies served the area, six had terminals on the river between Tuscaloosa and Holt in the 1930s. Companies based here included Findlay Towing, Perkins Towboat and Parker Towing.
Northport Baptist Church
Organized 1838 with 41 charter members. The first minister was the Rev. A. K. Atkins. First deacons were J. S. Reynolds, A. R. Pool, and N. Lloyd. Originally named North Tuscaloosa Baptist, changed 1854, to Northport Baptist. A wooden structure erected at this site 1858, the present brick building 1923 and education annex 1969.
Northport First United Methodist Church
Organized 1837, moved to present location, 1849, where churches have been rebuilt in 1855 and 1913. The bell of this church sounded the tocsin at the approach of Gen. John T. Croxton's Union Troops in their raid in Tuscaloosa, April 3, 1865.
Northport's first public school located on the site one-half block west. Original structure of wood, built in cruciform shape in 1901 by Arthur Laycock. Served grades 1-11 until 1922 when two-story brick school erected three blocks north. Original school property and building purchased by Dr. Sam Cooper in 1922 and converted into two residences. The Snider House at 2309 Ninth St. is part of original structure.
Old Lock One
The remains of Old Lock One are now submerged. Authorized by Congress in 1884, the Army Corps of Engineers began work on one of Alabama’s first locks in 1888. It was built upon Peg Leg Shoals, second of the “Falls of Tuscaloosa,” using local sandstone at a cost of $233,234. It was part of a 1.2-mile, 3-lock system that allowed passage over a series of shoals or waterfalls The opening of Old Lock One allowed access to the Warrior coalfields and shipment of coal, stone, iron, steel, lumber, cotton, and other products to distant markets. Also it was the site of a government boatyard. In later years it was renamed Lock Ten and remained in service until replaced by Oliver Lock and Dam in 1939.
Built in 1827 three blocks east on Broad Street. Stage stop and inn frequented by many political leaders while Tuscaloosa was State Capital. Moved to Capitol Park, 1966.
Partlow State School and Hospital
Established 1919 as the Alabama Home for Mental Deficients; opened 1923; renamed the Partlow School for Mental Deficients, 1927, to honor the institution's founder Dr. William Dempsey Partlow (1877-1953) head of all mental facilities in Alabama from 1919 to 1949.
Running Skirmish at Romulus
5 April 1865 – Croxton’s brigade left Northport by way of the (old) Columbus Road to Coker, then camped for the night on the old Eutaw Road toward Romulus. Confederate Gen. Wirt Adams’s 1500-man cavalry brigade, traveling from Columbus Miss to reinforce Gen. Forrest at Marion Ala, learned of Croxton’s presence in the area.
Running Skirmish at Romulus
7 April 1865 – Adams’s Confederates returned westward toward Columbus Miss in the belief that Croxton was headed that way. Croxton continued on to Northport.
Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church
Erected 1845, tower and bell added 1888-1900. The first meeting of Catholics in Tuscaloosa was held in 1819. The first parochial school was opened in 1863. St. Paul's Church, Birmingham, dedicated 1872, and churches in Selma, Blocton and Reform began as missions of this church; also originating from this church: St. Francis Chapel and Holy Spirit Church and School.
James Shirley, 1835, built the first wooden covered bridge at this site. Bridges here were part of first road connecting Columbus, Miss. and Northport. A Tuscaloosa Co. company of Confederate Army, "The Plow Boys," en route to Columbus, July 1861, crossed bridge here. Union Gen. John T. Croxton, April 1865, after capturing Tuscaloosa, crossed bridge here.
Sigma Alpha EpsilonFirst Chapter, Alabama Mu and DeVotie Memorial
Founded in Tuscaloosa on the campus of the University of Alabama on March 9, 1856. Its chapter designation, Alabama Mu, identified it as the mother chapter of the national collegiate fraternity. Founding members: Noble Leslie DeVotie, Wade H. Foster, John Barratt Rudulph, Thomas Chappel Cook, John Webb Kerr, Samuel Marion Dennis, Nathan Elams Cockrell, Abner Edwin Patton. (Located on University of Alabama campus at Tuscaloosa)
Site of Alabama State Capitol 1826-1846
Tuscaloosa designated as State Capital by Legislature at Cahaba December 6, 1825. Building designed by State Architect, William Nichols, in the form of a Grecian Cross, employing both Grecian and Roman architecture in the interior. Construction began 1827. Governor John Murphy convened first session of State Legislature in this building December 13, 1829. Property deeded to University of Alabama in 1852; leased to Baptist Convention of Alabama, which operated Alabama Female College. Destroyed by fire, April 1923.
Site of Franklin Hall
Franklin Hall, an early University dormitory designed by Capt. William Nichols, was erected on this site in 1835. Was one of the buildings destroyed by the Union raid on April 4, 1865.
Site of Queen City Park Softball Field
Built on this site in 1936, Queen City Park Softball Field served as the cornerstone for the first successful community effort to promote the organized play of amateur softball in Tuscaloosa County. Its construction followed nationwide efforts to organize softball in 1933. Soon thereafter, Tuscaloosa men's and women's softball teams emerged as state and national powers, and the sport itself gained recognition as true wholesome family recreation.
Founded as Tuscaloosa Institute 1876 by Presbyterian Church U.S. under leadership of Dr. Charles Allan Stillman pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Tuscaloosa, to train Black ministers. Renamed Stillman Institute 1894 for Dr. Stillman, first superintendent. Became coeducational 1899. Past programs included seminary, high school, vocational school, junior college, school of nursing and hospital services for Blacks. Four year program begun, renamed Stillman College 1948. Accredited senior college 1953.
The Jemison Home
Built by Robert Jemison, Jr. Completed 1862, the 26 room Italian Villa style mansion is distinguished by its octagonal cupola and delicate carved fretwork. Jemison, a member of Alabama Legislature for 20 years (1840-1863), Secession Convention 1861 (he voted against secession), Confederate States Senate (1863-65), helped establish Alabama Insane Hospital.
The Mildred Warner House
Residence of many prominent Alabama families. Originally built by James Jenkins in 1882 as a two-room "cabin." David Scott, prominent merchant and church leader, purchased the property in 1832 and added the four-story brick structure. Occupied by the Burwell Boykin Lewis family in 1886. Rose Garland Lewis was daughter of the president of the University of Alabama and the window of a U.S. Congressman who was the first alumnus of the University to become its president. Noted historian of Tuscaloosa, Dr. George Little lived here with his family at the turn of the century.
The University of Alabama
Endowed by Congress 1819. Ordained by State Constitution 1819 and established by General Assembly 1820. Instruction begun 1831. Unofficial training school for Confederate officers 1861-65. Destroyed by Federal Army April 5, 1865. Rebuilding began 1867 and reopened 1868.
Tuscaloosa City Hall
Constructed in 1909 as U.S. Post Office. First occupied April 1910 with Mrs. Maggie Miller as Postmistress. Federal courtroom, now City Council Chamber, with magnificent design and detail, on second floor, 1910-1968. Thomas A. Jones, first Federal presiding judge.
Tuscaloosa First United Methodist Church
Organized 1818 by Ebenezer Hearn. First building on this site erected in 1834, including a church bell molded in Boston by coppersmiths Paul Revere and Sons. Present structure with marble Ionic columns was constructed 1922; Education Annex in 1953; Chitwood Hall in 1964. Edward Sims, a member and prominent local leader, in 1926 built and donated to this church, Tuscaloosa Female College. William W. Brandon, Alabama governor (1923-1927) was a member. Served by outstanding ministers; four becoming Methodist bishops; Robert Paine, John C. Keener, James H. McCoy, and Clare Purcell. This church has and continues faithfully to proclaim the compassion of Christ.
Tuscaloosa’s first port developed on the south side of the river just downstream of the present bridge. In 1816 John Click brought goods upriver to this landing while Isaac Cannon made a 36-day trip to Mobile in a 40-foot dugout canoe. Commercial barges built by Col. Gabriel Penn in 1817 made trips to St. Stephens, the territorial capital. In 1818 Hiram Cochrane began building keelboats. In 1821 the “Cotton Plant” was the first steamboat arrival. A number of early industries including a tannery, cotton factories and a foundry were located in the general area. These pioneers laid a foundation for the development of Tuscaloosa and West Alabama. Construction of Oliver Lock and Dam flooded this landing in 1939.
Skirmish at Trion
On 31 March 1865, Union Brig. Gen. John T. Croxton's Cavalry of some 1500 troops entered Tuscaloosa County with orders to destroy the State University (military school) and anything else of value to the rebel cause. Near Bucksville they destroyed Saunders Iron Works and William's Tannery (now Tannehill State Park). Learning that Confederate cavalry units under Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and Brig. Gen. W.H. (Red) Jackson were traveling near Trion, some 10-miles distant, Croxton's Brigade rode to intercept. The Union forces camped that night on the farm of Squire John White, and were attacked by Jackson's Cavalry Division as they broke camp at daybreak, 1 April. The skirmish, the first in Tuscaloosa County, occurred about a half-mile south of present-day Vance.
Built 1834 by James Dearling. Purchased by Arthur P. Bagby who occupied the house 1837-41 while Governor of Alabama and since known as the Governor's Mansion. Presented to the University of Alabama 1944 by Herbert David Warner and Mildred Westervelt Warner.
The Warrior-Tombigbe Waterway
From 1887-1915, seventeen locks and dams were constructed on the Warrior-Tombigbee Rivers. The first 3 were built on the fall line in Tuscaloosa. This was the site of #3, later #12.
Other Tuscaloosa County pages:
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Updated: January 31, 2008
Alabama Department of Archives & History
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0100
Phone: (334) 242-4435