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A community in Greene County, Alabama was first know as “Mesopotamia.” Do you know which one?

A community in Greene County, Alabama was first known as “Mesopotamia.” This name is perpetuated in the title of “The Mesopotamia Female Academy.” In 1838 the county seat was moved from Erie, on the river, to the high ground near “Mesopotamia,” the land being donated by the citizens.


Eutaw Female Academy, also known as the Mesopotamia Female Seminary, Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama 1939 by photographer Frances Benjamin JohnstonEutaw Female Academy, also known as the Mesopotamia Female Seminary,  Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama 1939 by photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston

Name changed to Greene in honor of Gen. Nathaniel Greene

Capt. John Nelson, of the commission to select the new site, changed the name of the community from “Mesopotamia” to Eutaw, to correspond with the naming of the county for Gen. Nathaniel Greene, who won the victory over the British at Eutaw Springs, S. C., in September, 1781.

Eutaw Female Academy, also known as the Mesopotamia Female Seminary, Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama2 1939 by photographer Frances Benjamin JohnstonEutaw Female Academy, also known as the Mesopotamia Female Seminary,  Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama 1939 by photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston

Community was settled in 1818

The community was settled as early as 1818, when Dr. J. T. Creswell, William McAlpine, Elihu and A. S. Steele, and J. W. Womack acquired lands and began to plant. They were followed in 1819 by John Dunlap, Willis Crenshaw, S. McAlpine, also planters. From 1820 to 1823, J. Cockrell, R. Ridgway, James Willis, Duncan Dew, S. R., James and Dr. S. R. Murphy, and Brown Stewart settled there.

Eutaw Female Academy, also known as the Mesopotamia Female Seminary, Main Street & Wilson Avenue (moved from original site), Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama 2010 by Carolyn HighsmithEutaw Female Academy, also known as the Mesopotamia Female Seminary,  Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama 2010 by photographer Carol Highsmith (Library of Congress)

Below is the whole silent film from 1942 from johnacraft’s channel on YouTube

Eutaw is county seat of Greene County, Alabama

Later arrivals were the Jones, Johnston, P. H. Jack, Horn, Hill, Hatfield, Kirksey, Coleman, Gordon, Judge, Webb, Gibson, Ellis, Elliott, Edwards, and Clark families.

Eutaw, is the county seat of Greene County, in the east-central part of the county. It is situated on a high plateau, 3 miles west of the Warrior River, 40 miles northwest of Marion, 20 miles northwest of Greensboro, 25 miles north of Demopolis, 35 miles northeast of York, and 34 miles southwest of Tuscaloosa. At the 2010 census, the population was 2,934.

Greene County Alabama Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Eutaw Highlighted” by Arkyan – My own work, based on public domain information. Based on similar map concepts by Ixnayonthetimmay. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Eutaw map Greene_County_Alabama_Incorporated_and_Unincorporated_areas_Eutaw_Highlighted

Greene County Alabama Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Eutaw Highlighted” by Arkyan – based on public domain information. Based on similar map concepts by Ixnayonthetimmay. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

 

 

The city of Eutaw as it was in early 1900’s

The town was incorporated by the legislature, December 26, 1868, and an amended charter issued by act of December 9. 1896. In June, 1908, it adopted the municipal code of 1907. In the early 1900’s, it had privately owned waterworks and electric light plants, and a volunteer fire department.

In 1913 bonded indebtedness was $14,000, issued for school purposes. Its banks were the First National, and the Merchants & Farmers Bank (State). The Eutaw Whig and Observer, established in 1837, and the Greene County Democrat, established in 1879, both Democratic weeklies, were published there. Its industries were a cotton compress and ginnery, 2 cotton warehouses, cottonseed oil mill, wagon and blacksmith shops, a sawmill, and a planing mill and lumber yard, besides the public-service enterprises mentioned above.

Smith House 220 Main Street Eutaw 1939 by Photographer Frances Benjamin JohnstonSmith House 220 Main Street Eutaw 1939 by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston

 

Kirksey house in Eutaw, Alabama 1939Smith House 220 Main Street Eutaw 1939 by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston

Important town in Cotton Belt

Eutaw is surrounded by lands of great fertility, and it was one of the important towns of the Cotton Belt. Among some early distinguished citizens of the town were Chancellor Thomas W. Coleman, Judge William C. Oliver, Judge Edward deGraffenreid, Hilliard M. Judge, Foster M. Kirksey, Sydenham Moore, Rev. Stephen Smith, Hon. Stephen F. Hale, for whom Hale County was named, A. H. Falconer, and Harry Herndon, Joseph Pickens, John McQueen and R. F. Inge.

The city has twenty-seven antebellum structures on the National Register of Historic Places. The Greene County Courthouse Square is a historic district in the heart of town.

First Presbyterian Church Eutaw 1939 by Photographer Frances Benjamin JohnstonFirst Presbyterian Church Eutaw 1939 by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston

The city has twenty-seven antebellum structures on the National Register of Historic Places. The Greene County Courthouse Square is a historic district in the heart of town.

SOURCES

  1. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, written by Thomas McAdory Owen, was published in 1921 by the S.J. Clarke Publishing Company
  2. Wikipedia

A Collection of PERRY COUNTY ALABAMA PIONEERS BIOGRAPHIES, GENEALOGY REPORTS VOLUME I

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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22 comments

  1. John H. Allen

    Really, really enjoyed this slide show of old, ante bellum homes.

  2. Lucy Jackson

    Love the homes in Green county

  3. Lucy Jackson

    Jackie Jackson Broughton

  4. Sharon Salter Pruett

    My Dad was born in Eutaw! His name is Glenn French Salter, Sr. He will be 89 years old in August. His parents were Robert Pearson & Elsie French Salter. William French was my great grandfather and Robert Young Jr. and his wife my other great grandparents. They are all buried in Mesopotamia Cemetery.

  5. Mike Stark

    My Mom was born in Eutaw at Kirkwood mansion in 1912. Mrs Kirksey whom the house was built for in 1860 was still alive and living there when my grandparents lived there.

    1. I would really like to get in touch with you. Did you know my father, Robert Kirksey?

  6. Great blog! I have wonderful memories of several days I spent in Eutaw in 2009. During a professional development workshop at Carver Middle School, I mentioned an old friend who had influenced my life. I said, “I’m sure she’s dead by now.” I was assured she was not. A teacher called the friend and made arrangements for me to visit her home that afternoon. It was a touching reunion after so many years.

  7. Anne Chancey Dalton

    Great information. I have wonderful memories of time spent in Greene County.

  8. Thank you so much for this article. I loved looking at the pictures of the homes. I could just imagine what the home of my 2nd great grand aunt(Eliza Jane Greer, daughter of Robert and Eleanor Diane(Sadler) Greer) was like. She is the wife of Samuel Rainey Murphy(Dr.S.R. Murphy mentioned in the article).
    Eliza Jane(Greer) Murphy and her son, Dr. Robert Greer Murphy are buried in Mesopotamia Cemetery in Eutaw. Eliza’s Father, Robert Greer is also buried in Mesopotamia Cemetery.

  9. I was born in Eutaw in the 1970’s and I grew up there. I have many fond memories of Eutaw & Greene County, and I really enjoyed your blog.

  10. […] by the County. Possibly the most interesting picture in the library is the pretty old print of the Eutaw Mesopotamia Female Seminary that Mr. and Mrs. Owen Meredith, Sr., of Tuscaloosa found, had framed and presented to the Greene […]

  11. Does anyone have an idea where the “old swimming hole” was? I found with a little research a potential location to the right, off present day hwy 11 just north of Eutaw. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  12. I was born in Tuscaloosa, lived in Jena, Al; when I started school, I rode the bus from Jena to Eutaw. Can remember the wonderful memories. Had an aunt who lived in Eutaw for several years, till she moved to Akron,Al.

  13. My wife and I just make a quick visit to Eutaw this past Saturday. It’s a fun little town. Just wish I’d had this information before I went. There’s more info about historic buildings in the area at http://greenecountyhistoricsociety.org. After the visit we drove north to Ralph, Alabama and ate lunch at Robertson’s Barbecue, Catering and gas station. Delicious!

  14. I have spent many days in Eutaw Court House researching my ancestors who were there in mid-1800’s. Also spent days in all the cemeteries in the area. My ancestors, Coleman,
    Bonds, Horton, &Thompson. In reading the articles on Greene County I see two homes,
    both listed as the Smith House at 220 Main Street, Eutaw and both photos made in 1939,
    however, they can not be the same house as the roof is different, the columns are not the
    same and windows are not the same. Can you identify both?

  15. Kay Doyle White

    The William McAlpin mentioned in the article is my husband’s ancestor. William and sons established a plantation in Eutaw. We have discovered several descendants of slaves and William’s sons using DNA matching. These slave/McAlpin descendants are scattered though-out the US.

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