The Bank of Brewton

Photo courtesy Flicker
Erected: 2010 by Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Brewton

     Recognized as "Alabama’s Oldest Bank," the Bank of Brewton opened for business on Monday, January 7, 1899. Brewton, Alabama was a prosperous town in the late 1800s. A local resident, Charles Sowell, participated in the flourishing times. A native of Monroe County, Alabama and a wounded veteran of the Civil War, Sowell settled in Brewton. After a brief stint as a railroad station agent, he began a timber industry that produced a sizeable fortune. In 1880 Sowell commented, "If I take all my gold and silver and put it on a wagon, two mules could not pull it. We need a bank." Sowell started organizing the bank that would be the first bank in Escambia County, Alabama and the first bank between Mobile and Montgomery.
     The Bank of Brewton was initially a private bank in 1889, but received a state charter in 1891. Its original location was a few doors from this spot. In 1912 the bank moved into a building at this site, acquired an adjacent building known as the Lovelace Hotel in 1957 and constructed a new building in its place in 1964. The Bank of Brewton had only 11 presidents in the first 119 years of its existence. The quality of labor of its early leaders and the support of local citizens is what has established the historic value of the institution.


Boykin Rosenwald School

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2016
Photos courtesy Darryl N Searcy

In the early 1900’s, Julius Rosenwald, the President of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Chicago philanthropist became friends with Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee Institute. A supporter of the Institute, Rosenwald later became a director. The partnership of Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington worked well. Rosenwald was impressed by Washington’s idea to build rural schools to educate African-American youth in the south. From 1912 - 1932 over 5,000 schools were built in fifteen southern states. Washington and Rosenwald stipulated that local communities, both black and white, contribute funding along with support from the local school boards. The Charitable Aid Society of Boykin,, President Mrs. Richard (Lizzy) Shaw, purchased the property for the Boykin School and donated it to the Escambia County School Board. In 1914, Rosenwald donated funds for the building of over 100 schools in the State of Alabama. Four of these schools were in Escambia County: Boykin, the Escambia County Training School in Atmore, Mason, and Pollard. This is the site of the Boykin School. Principals were Prof. Richard Shaw, Mrs. Maude Calhoun, and Mr. Joseph W. Green. Among the teachers were Mable Johnson, Leona Woodson, Alice R. Smith, Bessie C. Hails, Edsel Etheridge, Lillian Powell, Arthur Williams, Albert Nolen, and Willie M. Spears. Our thanks to Mrs. Gloria Marshall for her help with our research and development of this historical marker.


Canoe Station

Erected by William Caney Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Settled by A.J. Hall in 1852 and occupied by Confederate troops because of its value as a railroad stop during the War Between the States (1861-65), Canoe was the site of a March 27, 1865 encampment of Union forces. The 1870s brought expansion through the A.M. Lowery sawmill. The Farrar, Lowrey, Stanton, Watson, and other stores prospered (1890s-1950s). Schools educated the young and the L&N Railroad provided passenger service (1890-1960s).
The mineral springs was a social center and water was bottled and shipped from the site (early 1900s). WPA employed residents during the Great Depression (1930s). Local sons fought in WWII (1941-45). Many businesses had closed by the mid-1960s as larger commercial centers attracted Canoe’s residents.


Burnt Corn Park Cistern

Erected in 2012 by The City of Brewton

This tank was used to hold water for the City of Brewton Electric Light and Water Works Fire Protection System and was built circa early 1890's. This location was originally the Blacksher Miller Lumber Company, which became Foshee & McGowin Lumber in 1899. The Lovelace Brothers bought the mill in 1900. There were other tanks and wells within the site used to support fire control as well. Fire was a huge issue for lumber mills as many of them in the area had fires over the years which destroyed their facilities. There were at least three wells dug and were used to constantly feed the water level in this tank. One well is just down the embankment from the back wall of the tank structure and it still flows today out of a vertical cast iron pipe. There would have been a host reel house close by the tank. Notice the old brick foundation across the walk path from this location. The Sanborn Map of 1898 shows a small hose reel house, possibly housing a pump as well. The tank is shown at this particular location with three springs feeding it.


James W. Carroll
"Reluctant" Hero of World War II)


     James William Carroll never considered himself a hero. "Never have been, never will be," he said. "I was just doing my job." But to the people of Peruwelz, Belgium he was perhaps the greatest hero of world War II.
    On the morning of September 3, 1944, German tanks were rumbling through the streets of Peruwelz as they were fleeing the Allied advance. At noon, as the tanks were just reaching the edge of town, another sound echoed through Peruwelz - the roar of a Harley-Davidson motor cycle carrying Pvt. James W. Carroll, a scout with the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He had the dangerous job of riding ahead of the battalion to assess enemy positions, and thus became the first Allied soldier to enter Peruwelz.
    His arrival meant one thing to the people of Peruwelz: liberation. The four years of oppressive Nazi occupation were over. Grateful citizens poured into the street and began to celebrate, showering Carroll with wine, flowers, and kisses. He was proclaimed a national hero and his name became a legend in Peruwelz. In time, the photo of Carroll on his Harley became a national symbol in Belgium.
    A short time after Carroll had departed Peruwelz, the town received word that he had been killed in combat. In 1994, on the 50th anniversary of the town's liberation, the people of Peruwelz thought it fitting to locate Carroll's grave and lay a wreath on it. They were surprised and overjoyed to find that he was very much alive and living in Brewton, Alabama. What had been envisioned as a solemn memorial evolved into an annual festival (Remember Day) with costumed reenactments of the liberation including, at the town's expense, Carroll himself riding a motorcycle up the street. He returned many times to Peruwelz to participate in the festival, visit with friends, and speak in local schools.
     Carroll was born in Castleberry, Alabama but later made his home in Brewton. He continued in the Army after the war, retiring in 1964 as a sergeant first class. He was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Heart medals.
    A granite plaque was sent to the City of Brewton by the people of Peruwelz to show their appreciation for James W. Carroll and all his comrades-in-arms.
    Sgt. Carroll passed away June 28, 2005 and is interred at Fort Crawford Cemetery, East Brewton, Alabama.

Narrative compiled by Charlie Ware, Atmore, Alabama


Damascus Travelers Well

Marker Erected by Citizens of the Damascus Community in 2017
Photo courtesy Perry Watson

Damascus Travelers Well construction (date unknown) was originally a public water well offering refreshment and rest for travelers and their animals passing through this area. The Damascus community also benefited from this well. Mr. and Mrs. N. W. Watson purchased this land in 1905. The land passed to Watson Family heirs after Mr. Watson’s death. After the well was no longer in public use, many young people dropped good luck pennies down in the well and made wishes for love, prosperity, and success. Due to vandals, the well has been filled up with dirt. Current and former citizens of Damascus still share many fond memories of this well.

Listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.


Dixon Home Place

Marker placed by the Alabama Historical Commission

     Four generations of Dixons, each promoting the management of trees as a renewable resource, made their living in forestry on this ground thereby contributing significantly to Alabama’s economy and forest industry.
Jeremiah Dixon II, the son of Revolutionary War Private Jeremiah Dixon, was the first Dixon family member to settle here sometime between 1815 and 1830. This land was passed down through four successive generations: Jeremiah to his son, Wiley Dixon; Wiley to his son, Napoleon Bonepart Dixon; and Napoleon Bonepart’s son, Solon Dixon, eventually inherited the property.
     Napoleon’s sons, Solon and Charles Dixon, both raised in this home, became successful forest products industrialists and recognized conservationists.
In 1978, Solon and his wife, Martha, donated the land and a gift to Auburn University to build the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center. Solon Dixon stated at the Dedication in 1979, "Standing on the very ground which our ancestors homesteaded many years ago, we see the beginning of a learning and research center which will last far beyond our lifetimes."
     The Dixon home, built in the 1850’s and moved to this site in the 1870’s, is framed with locally milled pine and was originally constructed as a two-room "dogtrot" with an open porch in front and rear. The home features hand-planed boards on the walls and ceilings and pegged window sashes in the two main rooms.
The rear porch and center breezeway were enclosed to create interior rooms sometime after 1900. Also, a separate two-room kitchen structure was built at the rear, perpendicular to the main home and connected via a covered porch. The home features two riverbank limestone chimneys built with bricks cut from the banks of the nearby Conecuh River.
     Originally surrounded by outbuildings related to the Dixon’s forestry operations, the Dixon home is now the center of the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center.
     The house was added in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 2005.


Downing-Shofner School

East Brewton, 1906-1943

Dr. J. M. Shofner (1863-1926) founder, dedicated his life to -"Give boys and girls a chance."
Dr. Elisha Downing-Humanitarian First building erected named in honor of Mrs. Esther Downing.
Trustees-1906: J. M. Shofner, D. Gillis, J. E. Finlay, W. W. Hinote, J. M. Davidson, J. F. Jones, James K. Kyser.


Elim Baptist Church (Silas Creek Baptist Church)

Presented by the Escambia County Historical Society 2014

Organized in 1825 by early settlers John, Samuel, Peter, and Noah Parker with the aid of their first pastor, Alexander Travis, who was a South Alabama Circuit Rider, the Church was a small log cabin located along Silas Creek approximately two and one half miles NE from this present site. The second building was a frame structure circa 1840 with a balcony where Negro slaves are said to have worshiped. No records remain prior to the Civil War but in 1865 Rev. John Cook served as pastor. The present building was erected in 1920 with Rev. William Murray as pastor. The name Elim was chosen because of the excellent source of fresh spring water nearby, similar to the second campsite of Moses and the Israelites. This Church was part of the historic Bethlehem Baptist Association.


Escambia County High School

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2011

This is the site of the Escambia County High School from 1909 to 1960. Established in 1903, the school is the oldest public county high school in Alabama and was unique in that it was not located in the county seat. In 1902, County School Superintendent W. S. Neal led a movement to establish the school. Lacking sufficient public funding, Superintendent Neal sought private funding and asked the towns of Atmore, Pollard, Brewton, Canoe and Flomaton to solicit private donations. The school would be located in the town raising the most money. Because of the generous donation from Mr. William Carney, the school was established in Atmore. Between 1903 and 1909 the school was located at various sites. The first building on this site was occupied in 1909 until it burned in 1923. This building was occupied in 1924. The school remained here until 1960 when it was relocated to a new site in Atmore.


Escambia County Training School

In 1920, a wooden building was constructed as the Atmore Colored School and operated until 1975. In 1976, a new wood and a brick building was erected with assistance from the Rosenwald School Fund and it was renamed the Escambia County Training School. The current school buildings date from 1959, 1980. and 1981. Located on what was once 8th Avenue, the school offered instruction in academic and industrial education, and students also participated in many extracurricular activities. The girls’ basketball team won the State Championship in 1950-1951. The boys’ football team went undefeated and were regional champions in 1965 and 1968. The first principal was Robert L. Bradley and Woodrow McCorvey was principal when the high school closed in 1970 due to integration. The campus became the Escambia County Middle School for the next 30 years.

Listed in the Alabama Register of Landmark and Heritage Markers erected by the Atmore Historical Society in 2016.


Flomaton, Alabama

     As railroads were reconstructed following the Civil War, a junction of north-south and east-west lines was established along the Alabama-Florida border near the confluence of Big Escambia Creek and the Conecuh-Escambia River. A settlement followed which became known as Reuterville, for Major Reuter, the contractor who on April 9, 1872, drove the last spikes joining the different railroads. The community also became known as Pensacola Junction, or simply the Junction, as well as Whiting, after the railroad station master. Following several years of confusion due to the three names, the Post Office requested a permanent name from the citizens. The result was the first three letters of Florida and the last two letters of Alabama being joined to make the name Floma. To avoid confusion with Florala, the Post Office added "ton," meaning town, and the name became Flomaton. The Town of Flomaton later became incorporated on May 18, 1908.
     As an important rail junction, Flomaton has seen the famous and the infamous. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, President Calvin Coolidge in 1930, and a campaigning future President Lyndon Johnson in 1960 all visited by train. The outlaws Rube Burrow, Railroad Bill, John Wesley Hardin and Brown Bowen also came through at various times. During World War I, a Flomaton resident, Corporal Sidney E. Manning, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism displayed while fighting in France. Named by General Pershing as one of his "Immortal Ten", Manning refused to accept a monument in his hometown while he lived, saying only "I did no more than those who came back and a lot less than those who did not."  Over the years, Flomaton commerce has benefited from its status as a rail center, as well as the development of its natural resources, namely timber, sand, gravel, oil, and natural gas. Flomaton continues to progress as a transportation gateway, not only because of the railroad, but also due to the junction of three four lane highways leading from Interstate 65 to the central Gulf Coast.


Hart Station

(At the intersection of St. Joseph Ave. and Deer Street, Brewton, Alabama)

Erected by his friends and the Escambia County Bar Association in memory of James Edward Hart, Jr. (1942 - 1992), who contributed much to his community, his church and his profession. He loved trains. Due to his efforts, passenger service was reestablished in Brewton.


McCullough Schools
McCullough, Alabama

Photo courtesy Charlie Ware

Although the two schools are no longer standing at this location, a marker has been placed by the McCullough Friendship Club to denote their historical significance in this thriving community.


Old Federal Road
5376 Butler Road, Atmore, Alabama

1998 by the Monroe County Heritage Museums and J. L. Bedsole Foundation

Coley Chapel is the present day site of the former Town of Hadley. MacDavid's Hotel was also located here and was recorded by travelers in the 1830's as a hotel which had "plenty of nice pork, which in some shape or other is the food generally used in this thinly peopled country ..."


September 11, 2001 Memorial Rock
Burnt Corn Creek Park, Brewton, Alabama

Erected by Escambia County Leadership Class VI
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

"This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time." President George W. Bush


Sidney Earnest Manning (1892 - 1960)
Congressional Medal of Honor

Sidney E. Manning, Corporal, U.S. Army at Flomaton, Alabama. He was assigned to Company G, 167th Infantry, 42d Division, near Breuvannes, France, 28 July 1918.

Citation:  When his platoon commander and platoon sergeant had both become casualties soon after the beginning of an assault on strongly fortified heights overlooking the Ourcq River, Cpl. Manning took command of his platoon, which was near the center of the attacking line. Though himself severely wounded he led forward the 35 men remaining in the platoon and finally succeeded in gaining a foothold on the enemy's position, during which time he had received more wounds and all but 7 of his men had fallen. Directing the consolidation of the position, he held off a large body of the enemy only 50 yards away by fire from his automatic rifle. He declined to take cover until his line had been entirely consolidated with the line of the platoon on the front when he dragged himself to shelter, suffering from 9 wounds in all parts of the body.

Corporal Manning, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism displayed while fighting in France. Named by General Pershing as one of his "Immortal Ten", Manning refused to accept a monument in his hometown while he lived, saying only "I did no more than those who came back and a lot less than those who did not."


Pilgrims' Rest Cemetery

This cemetery was established in 1854 when Pilgrims' Rest Baptist Church was founded across the road on September 17 in that same year. The cemetery remained prominent in Alco even though the original congregation moved and Alco Methodist Church took possession of the property in 1889. Thirteen victims of an 1883 yellow fever eidemic are buried here. Also buried here is Edmund Troupe Brewton who came to this area in 1861 as a railroad agent and is believed to be the namesake for the City of Brewton.

Listed in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Reguster
Marker Erected in 2009 by The City of Brewton



The Catawba Springs
Baptist Church

On October 7, 2018 the Catawba Springs Baptist Church celebrated its 200th anniversary.

Pastor Jeff Edwards welcomed several hundred guests and members to commemorate this historic milestone. A representative from the Alabama Baptist Historic Association recognized the Church with a framed certificate. Escambia County Historical Society President, Sally Finlay, spoke on the historical contributions of the pioneer families who helped found this Church and the significant role these Christian families played in the founding and success of our County. State Representative, Alan Baker, presented a proclamation from Gov. Kay Ivey. The Escambia County Historical Society presents this historic marker, during the Alabama State Bi-Centennial Celebration, with sincere appreciation to Catawba Springs Baptist Church for over two hundred years of service to this area.

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2019

Pollard Methodist Church

Erected 2010 by the Escambia County Historical Society
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

A pre-Civil War structure, this is the oldest church building remaining in Escambia County, Alabama. Confederate veterans related stories that mules and horses were sheltered inside during harsh winter months. Circuit riders served the church in the early days and in 1869 Robert F. Mountain was pastor. The bell was a gift from a riverboat captain named Kelley in gratitude for the aid church members gave his crew and passengers when his vessel wrecked and burned on the nearby Conecuh River. Methodists were in this area as early as 1830. In 1984 Pollard hosted the Methodist bicentennial celebration for Brewton, East Brewton, Cedar Hill, Zion AME, Flomaton and Century, Florida.


Pollard Oil Field

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society, 2017
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

On Sunday, January 23, 1952, Humble Oil and Refining Company of Houston, Texas hit oil at approximately 5,944 feet. It was a gusher! The largest oil discovery in Alabama at the time, it was located in Escambia County, Township 1N, Range 8E, Section 18, and named The Pollard Oil Field. The first well was named the Allen Moye No. 1. The flurry of excitement and increased exploration activity which began with the discovery continued, and by October of 1981, there were fourteen producing wells with an output of 4,522 barrels of oil per month. State Geologist and Oil and Gas Supervisor, Dr. Ernest Mancini, stated, "Escambia County has played a significant role in the development of oil and gas resources for the State of Alabama, It is one of the leading gas producing counties in the state, with production exceeding 300 billion cubic feet or 60 percent of Alabama’s cumulative gas production." With additional discoveries, Escambia now ranks second in the state with regard to oil and gas production.


Pollard Station

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2018
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

William Henry Chase, a Massachusetts born captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came to Pensacola, Florida in 1826 to supervise the construction of the network of harbor fortifications for the defense of the newly authorized Navy Yard. His interest in establishing a railroad to provide a more dependable source of transportation from the South to Northern textile mills began as early as the 1830's with the 1834 charter of the Florida, Alabama, and Georgia Railroad. Mobile, protective of shipping interest at the Mobile Harbor and fearing competition from Pensacola, blocked efforts to grant permission for a Montgomery to Mobile line. Alabama cotton planters strongly supported a railroad, because rivers frequently ran low during shipping season and a more dependable mode of transportation was needed. The two railroads formed were the Alabama and Florida in Florida and the Alabama and Florida in Alabama with Chase as President of the first and Charles T. Pollard as President of the second. The Pensacola Gazette, April 12, 1856 edition, tells how "surveyors mapped the road from its bay front wharf and depot site on Tarragona Street northwest along the Escambia River forty-five miles to join Alabama rails being laid from Montgomery to Pollard Station just north of the state boundary." Planned and laid out by the Alabama lines President, Charles T. Pollard, and his chief civil engineer, Samuel G. Jones, the town was named for Pollard and lay 114 miles south of Montgomery. It was a key link in the connection to Pensacola and would become a Confederate line of defense, with the establishment in 1861 of Camp Pollard (Tattnall). Author Samuel Clements, better known as Mark Twain, was once stranded here when a wreck on the rails ahead prevented his going on to New York. It was hot and there were probably mosquitoes causing the elderly Clements to declare, "I'd rather die in vain than live in Pollard!" Years later a native son of Pollard visited Twain's boyhood hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, and repaid the "compliment" in kind. Longtime Mayor Curtis Finlay loved to tell visitors, "to us the air is fresher, the water tastes purer, the grass grows greener and the birds sing sweeter in Pollard, Alabama than any place else on earth." The first telegraph operator for Pollard Station was C. H. "Charlie" Edwards.


Francis B. Bonifay Law Office

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2018
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

This is the site of Francis B. "Frank" Bonifay's law office. Bonifay was the first Probate Judge of Escambia County Alabama 1869 - 1870. Jesse Howard was elected in 1871 and served for a short time but resigned and Bonifay served from 1870 - 1874. Pollard was the first seat of government. Escambia County was created December 10, 1868 from the southern portion of Conecuh and the eastern portion of Baldwin Counties through Act 34 of the Alabama Legislature and signed into law by Gov. William Hugh Smith who served the State of Alabama from July 1868 until November 1870. The 1868 Acts appointed George P. Weaver, Joseph J. Jackson, and Thomas Jernigan to prepare for and hold an election to select county officials. The County Commissioners held their first meeting in Pollard on February 22, 1869, said body including Judge Bonifay, George P. Weaver, Samuel M.C. H. Parker, John Dixon, and E. H. J. Mobley. A Pensacola native, Bonifay worked for the Alabama & Florida and later the Louisville & Nashville Railroads. He moved back to Pensacola in the early 1880's where he was subsequently elected Probate Judge of Escambia County Florida.

The Rosenwald Schools

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2016

In the early 1900’s Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Company and Chicago Philanthropist, became friends with Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee Institute. A supporter of the Institute, Rosenwald later became a director. The partnership of Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington worked well. Rosenwald was impressed by Washington’s idea to build rural schools to educate African-American youth in the South. From 1912 - 1932 over 5,000 schools were built in fifteen southern states. Rosenwald and Washington stipulated that local communities, both black and white, contribute funding for the construction. Support from the local school boards was required. In 1914 Rosenwald donated funds for the building of over 100 such schools in the State of Alabama. Four of these schools were located in Escambia County: Boykin, Escambia County Training School in Atmore, Mason, and Pollard. This is the site of the Pollard Rosenwald School. Principals were Mr. Burns and Mr. Lett. Teachers were Mrs. Percy Black, Mrs. Fanny Howell, Mrs. Essie Lock, Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Lovelace.


Ritz Theatre

Erected 1996 by Alabama Historical Association

The Ritz Theatre opened its doors on this site September 14, 1936, and for more than fifty (50) years prided itself as the "Hub of the Brewton Community." Between its first feature, "YOURS FOR THE ASKING," and its last, "CROCODILE DUNDEE," shown January 22, 1987, the Ritz served as stage for fashion shows, beauty pageants, dances, and various other community events. Stars of the "Grand Ole Opry" and "Hollywood" made live appearances at the Ritz. The Ritz was the community's prime source of reliable news from the battle-front during World War II. With a seating capacity for 761, the Ritz was the place to be on Saturday afternoon for generations of children. This legacy of the Ritz Theatre has been perpetuated with the construction of this community message center in March 1996.


The Robbins & McGowin Building

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2012
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

Truly an Escambia County landmark, Robins and McGowin Co. organized in March 1897 with the consolidation of the J. I. Robbins and J. G. McGowin Stores, the millinery of Miss L. A. Cunningham, the Blacksher-Miller Commissary, and the J. E. Finlay Co. The J. E. Finlay Co. began February 1892. Finlay learned the retail business from his father, W. A. Finlay, who owned and operated the Finlay Mercantile in nearby Pollard, Al. John Edward "Ned" Finlay bought the controlling interest in Robbins & McGowin Co. in 1906. Shortly after acquiring control, he purchased the two-story Harold Bros. Commissary (Foshee Bldg.) which became the Hardware store. This was the first brick building built in Brewton circa 1878 of hand-made bricks shipped from Montgomery. The first depot was located in front of this store, which accounts for the recessed parking area. Fifteen year Henry Scott hauled the brick in a small wagon from the depot for the construction. Robbins & McGowin originally operated with gas lighting but had some of the first electric lights installed in 1887. Robbins also had the first passenger elevator (1929) in Brewton. During its heyday, Robbins & McGowin was one of the largest stores of its kind in the southeast. Even wild mustangs, shipped from Texas by rail, were sold here. During WW II the store’s buyers traveled to New York City for the latest fashions. Their catalog later replaced by the Brewton Trade Record newspaper, served the areas of south Alabama, northwest Florida, and eastern Mississippi. For many years prominent historian and attorney Ed Leigh McMillan had his law offices on the third floor. J. E. Finlay died in 1946. His sons John David Finlay, Sr. and Norvelle Robertson "Bob" Finlay and later his grandson, J. D. Finlay, Jr. continued operating Robbins & McGowin, serving this area for over 100 years.


Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church

Centennial Marker Erected 2010

On November 5, 1909, a group of worshipers gathered in the Congregational Church on the corner of St. Joseph and Evergreen Streets and organized the Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church. On June 10, 1910, the Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church congregation moved into this building at the corner of East and North East Streets.

The congregation credits Reverend William Franklin, the church's first pastor, with visualizing the church's unique architectural design, which is based on the cruciform plan and features a three-sided balcony, cathedral ceilings and a bell tower.

The first deacons were Peter Blankenship, P. J. Johnson, Johnny Robbins, Alex Allen and Alex Hamilton. The first trustees were S. W. Mills, Chairman; R. T. Thompson, Secretary; Jim Dean, L. L. Ingraham, Charlie Smith, Josh Feagan, J. H. Mills and Walker Dacus.

The Alabama Historical Commission included the Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in April 2010.


East Brewton
Site of Fort Crawford

Erected by The Alabama Historical Association

Fort Crawford was established in 1816 by elements of the 7th U.S. Infantry under order from Major General Andrew Jackson. Purpose was to monitor Spanish activities in West Florida and curtail hostile Creek Indian activities.

Named after Second Lieutenant Joel Crawford, the fort was occupied by units of the regular U.S. Infantry and the Alabama Territorial Militia.

It was abandoned in 1819 after the United States purchased Florida from Spain and the Indian menace abated.


Site of Pollard

Erected by Alabama Historical Association

Located 1½ miles south, town of Pollard established in 1861 at juncture of Alabama & Florida and Mobile & Great Northern railroads. Named for Charles T. Pollard, builder of Alabama & Florida Railroad.
One of the largest military training camps of Confederacy located here during Civil War. Also site of major Confederate stores depot. Town suffered much destruction in Federal raids of December 1864 and March 1865.
Served as first county seat of Escambia County from 1868 until 1883 when county government moved to Brewton.


Franklin Cemetery Escambia County

Marker Erected in 2014 by Georgia-Pacific Brewton LLC
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

Franklin Cemetery was established in the mid-nineteenth century and was originally located on land where the existing Georgia-Pacific Brewton LLC containerboard mill stands off of Highway 31 in Brewton. The cemeytery served as the primary burial location for local members of the Franklin, Harold, and Jernigan families. The cemetery was infrequently used after the 1920s. Ida Mae Grant was the last person laid to rest in Franklin Cemetery in May 1976. In 2014, sixty-seven burials were relocated here in Union Cemetery. All original markers were refurbished during the relocation procdess. This marker is displayed as directed by the Alabama Historical Commission to commemorate the relocation of Franklin Cemetery to Union Cemetery. This cemetery was listed in the Aklabama Historic Cemetery Register by the Alabama Historical Commission on April 7, 2006.


Southern Normal and Industrial Institute

The school was listed to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1997
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

The Southern Normal and Industrial Institute was established on September 18, 1911, by James A. Dooley, Sr. The first black school in the Brewton area, it offered an academic and vocational education program. When Mr. Dooley arrived in the area, he found limited educational opportunities for blacks such as inadequate facilities and materials combined with an exceptionally short school term. With his personal funds, Mr. Dooley purchased an existing school for disadvantaged boys and established a co-education day and boarding school, the Southern Normal and Industrial Institute.

In an effort to raise money for the school, Mr. Dooley visited a number of Reformed Churches in the East and Midwest. The churches became interested in the school and supported it as a mission center. In 1919, Southern Normal and Industrial Institute was transferred to the Board of Domestic Missions of the Dutch Reformed Church of America of New York City. The church provided funding for building construction and operation. In 1930 the name was changed to Southern Normal School. The only black secondary school in a fifty-mile radius, it was accredited by the State Board of Education in 1938. James Dooley, Sr. died in 1930 and was buried in the center of the campus under an oak tree. His grave is marked with an eternal flame, symbolic of Mr. Dooley’s legacy for educational excellence that is continued by the Southern Normal School staff, alumni and community.

A complex of 15 buildings, Southern Normal School was acquired by Alabama State University in June 1997. It is currently being developed into a multifaceted university campus serving the Brewton area and surrounding rural counties of the region.


Southern Pine Electric Membership Corporation

Erected 1986

The Southern Pine Electric Membership Corporation was energized at this site on September 12, 1939, sending electric power flowing into 75 homes and businesses in rural areas of Escambia, Conecuh, Monroe and Baldwin Counties for the first time. The Cooperative was organized under an Executive Order signed by President F. D. Roosevelt on May 11, 1935. The organizing directors were Ben L. Martin, Jack McGowin, H. W. Pruett, A. M. Coley, C. B. Moore, E. M. Amos and Alvin Mixon. Corporation attorney was Thomas McMillan. Manager was Joe Larkins. The Cooperative's name was changed to Southern Pine Electric Cooperative on September 25, 1940.


The Leigh Place

(315 Belleville Avenue, Brewton, Alabama)

The Leigh Place
The First Escambia County Courthouse
in Brewton
Used as the County Seat from 1885 to 1890. After
various other uses, remodeled as an office in 1969.


The Lindsey-Fitzgerald House

(Intersection of Misella St and Lamosa St., Pollard)

Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2015
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

Martin Lindsey bought the Pollard Mill later known as the Lindsey Mill Company. Several hundred employees worked at the Mill during the early 1900s, among them Joe Douglas, head of the woodlands, and Percy Watson, accounting. Mr. Lindsey handled the accounting. He built this house with virgin yellow pine lumber (headboard, tongue and groove ceilings and walls) produced and milled in Pollard circa 1890. He lived here until the family moved to Mobile. Originally there were three additional rooms on the east wing. During WW II these were dismantled and the lumber sold because of a shortage of building materials. The architecture is in the Victorian style. The Queen Anne entry door is original. W.J. "Willie" McLellan, Postmaster 1901-1930, lived here until his death. Mr. Jim Pringle bought the house and his sister, Mrs. Bessie Fitzgerald, and her family lived here through the war years. Mrs. Fitzgerald, known for her hospitality, allowed her neighbors the use of her cistern, the coldest artesian well in town, to cool their milk and watermelons. In those days, everyone had a milk cow and a garden. This was prior to most families having ice boxes or refrigeration. During the 1960s the Carey Lisenby family lived here. In the early 1990s the Finlay family acquired the house and began to restore it, receiving an award from the Escambia County Historical Society in 1995. The jerk jaw roof on the west side of the house, the cupola, the porches (originally wrapped around three sides of the house) and the sand dollar (a symbol of a Christian home) were all indicative of the Victorian style.


Union Cemetery - Brewton

Marker Erected in 2007 by The City of Brewton

Union Cemetery has been an important resting place for Brewton’s loved ones since at least 1879. State officials acknowledged the historical significance of Union Cemetery for our area by adding it to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register on April 7, 2006."


Watson Cabin in Atmore Heritage Park

Photo courtesy Charlie Ware

  The Atmore Historical Society has acquired ownership of the historic Watson Cabin, which is located next to the Peavy-Webb building in Atmore’s Heritage Park, and it will become the society’s museum.

The Peavy-Webb building has been serving double duty as the society’s Welcome Center and Museum. "Having the Watson Cabin for Museum space will be an asset to Atmore, and Heritage Park," officials said in a release. "This acquisition is part of our on-going effort to increase tourism and develop historic downtown Atmore. The Peavy-Webb Building is not large enough to create displays, and we have been seeking another building to house our collections and tell the story of Atmore’s history."

The Watson Cabin belonged to the Atmore Leadership Corporation, and AHS signed agreements and a bill of sale, with the city of Atmore to officially, legally transfer ownership of the Peavy-Webb Building and the Watson Cabin to the Atmore Historical Society. The city owns Heritage Park, but the Atmore Historical Society will now be in charge of scheduling all events located in the park. The city will pay for the utilities, and maintain the park grounds, and AHS will be responsible for the upkeep of the buildings.

The plaque on the Watson Cabin reads: Watson Cabin Built in Wilcox County, 1845. This ancestral home of the Watson family was donated to Leadership Atmore in 1999 in memory of Robert Basil Watson (1905-1981).

Williams Station / Atmore Alabama

Erected by the Alabama Tourism Department,
Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Atmore, October 2010

Creek Indians lived in these parts some 200 years before trains began stopping here in 1866 to leave supplies for a farmer, William Larkin Williams, who lived nearby. Workers, who came first to build the railroads, were attracted by the vast forests of longleaf pine and rich farmland. As the settlement grew around Mr. Williams' supply stop, it became known as Williams Station. Saw mills sprang up in this timber-rich area. Abundant resources for lumber and turpentine meant there was money to be made in Williams Station well before the land was cleared for cotton. In 1876, North Carolinian William Marshall Carney moved to the area from Mobile. During the next two decades, Williams Station grew in proportion to Carney's various business interests. His generous philanthropic gifts helped build a school and three local churches. Because of Carney-generated growth and enthusiasm, residents thought the town deserved a name more refined than that of a mere railway whistle stop. In 1897, the town was renamed Atmore in honor of Charles Pawson Atmore.


In 1897, town leaders wanted to change the name of Williams Station to Carney, in honor of William Marshall Carney, the man who had contributed greatly to the town's growth. However, Mr. Carney's brother had already started a settlement in Baldwin County and given it his family name. Having two towns with the same name so close together would create confusion. Determined to honor W.M. Carney, the leaders asked him to select the town's new name. He honored his good friend, Charles Pawson Atmore, general passenger agent for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in Louisville, Kentucky. According to the New York Times, C.P. Atmore died at age 66, on May 29, 1900. There is no record that he ever visited the little town named for him. On May 23, 1907, Atmore became an incorporated municipality. The town celebrated this centennial milestone at Heritage Park in May 2007.


Memorial Escambia County Courthouse Lawn

Vietnam - Korea - World War II - World War I
Photo courtesy Darryl N Searcy

Memorial to World War I - Atmore, Alabama


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