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Elmore County, Alabama [film and photographs] was home to many Native American towns

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Elmore County created 1866

Elmore County was created by the Alabama State Legislature February 15, 1866. Its territory was originally a part of Autauga, Coosa, Montgomery and Tallapoosa Counties. It includes within its boundaries the rich lands at the junction of the Coosa and the Tallapoosa Rivers.


The county was given the name of John Archer Elmore, a native of Virginia, a soldier of the Revolution in the Virginia Line, afterward a member of the legislature of South Carolina, an early settler of Alabama, and a member of the legislature and a general in the militia of this State. His home was in that part of Autauga, now included in Elmore, and his remains rest in the old family burying ground at “Huntington,” his family seat.

Located just south of Wetumpka where the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers meet to form the headwaters of the Alabama River, visitors will find over 6,000 years of history at Fort Toulouse-Jackson National Historic Park.

French founded Fort Toulouse

The Fort was also referred to as the Post of the Alabama, named after the Alabama Tribe of Upper Creek Indians, who resided just below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers on the upper reaches of the Alabama River.

The French founded the fort in 1717, naming it for Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, Comte de Toulouse.

In order to counter the growing influence of the British colonies of Georgia and Carolina, the government of French Louisiana erected a fort on the eastern border of the Louisiana Colony in what is now the state of Alabama.

Elmore County is in east central Alabama

Elmore County is situated in the east central section of the state. It is bounded on the north by Chilton, Coosa and Tallapoosa, east by Tallapoosa, south by Macon and Montgomery, and on the west by Autauga and Chilton Counties. Its eastern boundary is the Tallapoosa River. On the south, it is divided from Macon and Montgomery by the Tallapoosa and the Alabama Rivers.

Falls of the Tallapoosa ca. 1863 by photographer Gutekunst, Frederick, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Alabama Department of  Archives and History

falls of the tallapoosa ca, 1861 Gutekunst, Frederick, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Large part of the county is in the coastal plain region

Along the Tallapoosa is a marginal strip of alluvial soil from one to three miles in width. A large part of the county on the south is included within the coastal plain region. The topography of the Piedmont plateau in the north and northeast is rolling and hilly with ridges and hills east of Wetumpka.

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Along the upper Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers are steep hills and bluffs, affording extensive variety. The Coosa and Tallapoosa unite on the lower border of the county, and form the Alabama. The principal tributaries of the Tallapoosa are Kialiga, Channahatchee, Wailahatchee, Tumkeehatchee and Chubbahatchee Creeks.

When steamboats came up to Wetumpka ca. 1930 from Alabama Department of  Archives and History

Steamboats to Wetumpka

Elmore County was densely populated with Creek Indians

The drainage from the east to the Coosa River is through Welona, Town, Weoka, Pinkston and Sofkehatchee Creeks. The drainage to the west into the Coosa is through Cargal, Shoal, Pigeon Roost and Calloway. In the southwestern section of the county Mortar Creek drains into the Alabama River.

The county is rich in the territory, and was perhaps more densely peopled than any other section of the Creek Nation. Practically all of its many village sites can be identified.

This Tukabahchi plaque was erected May 13, 1929 by the Alabama Anthropological Society.

Tukabahchi Monument, close-up of plaque

 

  • Tuckabatchi, the capital of the Upper Creeks, was located at the present Tuckabatchee station of the Birmingham and Southeastern R. R., on the Tallapoosa River, and opposite the Influx of Eufaube Creek;
  • Hoithlewall, the Ulibahali of DeSoto, was on both sides of the Tallapoosa River at the mouth of Chubbahatchee Creek, the town house being just above the mouth of the creek on the Elmore County side;
  • Fusihatchi, just above the present Ware’s ferry;
  • Kulumi, just below Ware’s ferry, the fields and a mound of the town being on the Montgomery County side;
  • Ikan Hatki, about opposite the influx of Eight Mile Creek;
  • Tasklgi, just below the old French Fort Toulouse, later Fort Jackson;
  • Witumka, up the Coosa River somewhere near the present town of that name, probably just above;
  • Oktchayudshi, just above Taskigi town, between it and Odshi-apofa, with the houses adjoining those of the former;
  • Odshi-apofa, or Hickory ground, in a plain on the eastern side of Coosa River below Wetumpka;
  • Little Talisi, on the eastern side of Coosa River seven miles above Wetumpka, by some early writers confused with the Hickory ground below;
  • Wiwuxka, a town of 40 warriors in 1799, on Wewoka Creek, up stream from its evidences of Indian life. It is situated in the Southwestern part of the Upper Creek junction with the Coosa River;
  • Kailidshl near the present Prospect Church;
  • Woksoyudshi. an Upper Creek town, mentioned in the Census list of 1832, as on Coosa River below Witumka.
  • The Alabama towns of Koassati and possibly others, on the Alabama River below the junction,
  • Oktchayi on a western tributary creek of the Tallapoosa River, were all located in the county. DeSoto passed through its bounds on September 1, 1540, entering it near Central, and after visiting Ulibahali, crossed the river just below the present Ware’s Ferry.

Indian Mound at the town of Taskigi near Fort Toulouse ca. 1910 from Alabama State Archives

mound elmore county ala

Town site was at junction of Tallapoosa and Coosa

Large mounds and town site at the present junction of Tallapoosa with Coosa Rivers (the site of Taskigi); mounds and town site on west side of Coosa River one mile above the junction (probably site of Woksoyudshi; mounds on Parker’s Island in dense swamp near the junction; large burial mound on Jackson’s Lake and near the present course of the Alabama River; 2 mounds and burial site on Jackson’s Lake. 400 yards southeast of the clubhouse; mound on Alabama River, about 5 miles above city of Montgomery, near the toll bridge on Montgomery and Birmingham road; burial mound and extensive town site on Jackson plantation, just above Coosada Ferry (site of Koassati); mound on Cbubbahatchee Creek, above the site of Hoithlewalli (probably old site of the town); mound and village site on Dozier plantation, on north side of Tallapoosa River from Ware; mound at site of old Tuckabatchi; large mound and town site on plantation of L. G. Dawson of Ware, one mile due northwest of Merritt’s station on the Western of Alabama R. R.; and extensive sites along Tallapoosa River, below Ikanhatkl and opposite the several mounds on the Montgomery County side.

Painting of covered bridge over Coosa in Wetumpka ca. 1847 Alabama State Archives by Adrian E. Thompson Original in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass.

painting covered bridge coosa wetumpka 1847 ala state archives

Delegates to Constitutional Conventions

  • 1867—Charles M. Cabot, Benjamin W. .Norris.
  • 1875—William C. Bulger, Jr.
  • 1901—John H. Parker, A. E. Williams.

 

Senators

  • 1868—J. A. Farden.
  • 1872-3—C. S. G. Doster.
  • 1873—C. S. G. Doster.
  • 1874-5—W. G. M. Golson.
  • 1875-6—W. G. M. Golson.
  • 1876-7—W. L. Johnson.
  • 1878-9—W. L. Johnson.
  • 1880-1—W. P. Oden.
  • 1882-3—W. P. Oden.
  • 1884-5—Jefferson Falkner.
  • 1886-7—Jefferson Falkner.
  • 1888-9—J. H. Parker.
  • 1890-1—John H. Parker.
  • 1892-3—A. T. Goodwin.
  • 1894-5—A. T. Goodwin.
  • 1896-7—G. B. Deans (of Shelby).
  • 1898-9—G. B. Deans.
  • 1899 (Spec.)—G. B. Deans.
  • 1900-01—W. R. Oliver.
  • 1903—William Lycurgus Lancaster.
  • 1907—J. W. Strother.
  • 1907 (Spec.)—J. W. Strother.
  • 1909 (Spec.)—J. W. Strother.
  • 1911—O. J. Jurtice.
  • 1915—Thomas L. Bulger.
  • 1919—R. L. Huddleston.

 

Representatives

  • 1870-1—B. F. Benson.
  • 1868—Wm. V. Turner.
  • 1869-70—Wm. V. Turner.
  • 1871-2—B. F. Benson.
  • 1872-3—J. B. Hannom
  • 1873—J. B. Hannon.
  • 1874-5—M. L. Fielder.
  • 1875-6—M. L. Fielder.
  • 1876-7—R. G. Welch.
  • 1878-9—Thomas Williams.
  • 1880-1—W. T. Lary.
  • 1882-3—L. F. Loree.
  • 1884-5—J. E. Patterson.
  • 1886-7—A. T. Goodwin.
  • 1888-9—George H. Parker.
  • 1890-1—G. H. Parker.
  • 1892-3—H. C. Ellis.
  • 1894-5—Henry C. Ellis.
  • 1896-7—W. H. Huddleston.
  • 1898-9—Eli Haynie.
  • 1899 (Spec.)—Eli Haynie.
  • 1900-01—W. E. Striplln.
  • 1903—Andrew Wooley Rucker, Owen Calvin Swindall.
  • 1907—W. L. Lancaster; Lamar Smith.
  • 1907 (Spec.)—W. L. Lancaster; Lamar Smith.
  • 1909 (Spec.)—W. L. Lancaster; Lamar Smith.
  • 1911—R. L. Huddleston; J. M. Johnson.
  • 1915—A. C. Rogers; Dr. O. S. Justice.
  • 1919—H. C. Ellis; J. A. Holmes.

 

 

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.

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8 comments

  1. I was born in Wetumpka and lived in Eclectic. Enjoyed the article on Elmore County and its formation.My family research is in Elmore, Tallapoosaa, Perry, Bullock, Barbour, Chambers Counties and many others in Alabama. Thanks for your research and publications. Eleanor

  2. I was born in Wetumpka in 1937 and left In 1948, My uncle had a dry cleaners there and my father worked there for a while. I would like to hear from someone from that time. Thanks

  3. […] is the Indian town above Montgomery, Coowersartda, that is called by the whites Coosada; also the town ThIeawalla, where Soto fought the Creeks, it is called by the whites Cuwally, and […]

  4. Linda Dunn Gold

    Boyer, Lewis, Gant, many other families settled in Coosa County & are buried there.

  5. Charlotte Doster

    Everyone should visit Fort Toulouse for Frontier Days!! It is important in our states history and is a great event. My brother, Richard Cumbie is a re-enactor each year. Much to learn and fun as well.

  6. Wetumpka, Deatsville and Holtville are my old childhood stomping grounds. My grandparents and extended family are from there. Surnames of Richardson and Blankenship.

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