Henry County, Alabama was created by the legislature on December 13, 1819. Its territory was nominally taken from Conecuh, established in 1818, but it was originally a part of the Creek cession of August 9, 1814.
After 1814, the colonial settlers’ developed Franklin as the first white settlement in the Creek territory. The former river port served Abbeville on the Chattahoochee River. Much of the original Henry County was part of the original Alabama wiregrass region.
The act of Creation named William C. Watson, John Fannin, Joel T. McClendon, Johnson Wright, Captain S. Smith as commissioners for the location of the seat of justice and establishment of the boundaries of Henry County.
The first commissioners were directed to superintend the erection of a courthouse and jail, and to levy taxes not exceeding one-half the amount of state taxes to defray all expenses incident to put into effect the act to set up the machinery of government for the county. On December 18, 1821, the Legislature named William Beauchamp, Robert Irvin, William Irvin, Stephen Matthews and James Rabb to be county commissioners and fix a county site.
Irwin-McAllister House, Fort Gaines Highway, Shorterville, Henry County, AL
Chitley House on River Road County Road 97 Shorterville, Henry County, Alabama December 12, 1934, W. N. Manning, Photographer FRONT AND SIDE VIEW, S.E. + S.
Henry County was of vast extent, including what is now Covington, Dale, Coffee, Geneva, Henry, Houston, parts of Pike, Crenshaw, Bullock and Barbour.
It was reduced by the establishment of Covington and Pike, both on December 7, 1821, Dale, December 22, 1824, Barbour, December 18, 1832, and Houston, February 9, 1903. In the 2010 census, its population was 17,302.
Chitley House on River Road County Road 97 Shorterville, Henry County, Alabama – December 12, 1934, W. N. Manning, Photographer REAR AND SIDE VIEW, WEST AND NORTH
Henry County was first proposed to be called the Choctawhatchee County for the river in that section of the State, but the name finally given on the passage of the act was Henry, in honor of Patrick Henry, the noble Virginia patriot.
They named the county site, Richmond remembering Patrick Henry’s speech there. “Give me Liberty or give me death”
At Richmond they immediately elected a representative to State Legislature, Benjamin Harvey. Precincts were located at homes of William C. Watson, John Fannin and Captain S. Smith.
The first court was held in the home of John G. Morgan, the sheriff, by Judge Reuben Saffold, a judge of the second district Circuit Court in 1820.
Chitley House on River Road County Road 97 Shorterville, Henry County, Alabama – December 12, 1934, W. N. Manning, Photographer HALL AND STAIRWAY, TOWARD WEST FROM FRONT DOOR
Henry County is situated in the southeast corner of the State. Barbour lies to the north, Houston to the south, and Barbour and Dale Counties on the west. Its eastern boundary is the Chattahoochee River, which is also the State boundary.
Chitley House on River Road County Road 97 Shorterville, Henry County, Alabama – December 12, 1934, W. N. Manning, Photographer FIREPLACE IN S.E. BED ROOM
Along the Chattahoochee River are found numerous evidence of primitive settlement. The Lower Creek towns extended into the territory now occupied by the county, and it is also possible that the Seminole villages did as well. Wi-Kai Lako was one of these towns. Domicilliary mounds are found near Purcell’s Landing. In sec. 4, T. 6, R. 28, on property that Will Culpepper, owned was a mound four feet high. On the Elbert Mooring place was an Indian cemetery. Pattayabba Creek may take its name from Ataphalgi (meaning Dogwood), a Seminole town of southwest Georgia. The latter no doubt had settlements on the Alabama side of Chattahoochee River.
Abbeville was designated as the county seat in 1833. Part of Dothan is in the Henry County, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Bethune -Kennedy House in Abbeville, Henry County, Alabama
This rare, dual front door, double pen Creole cottage was constructed circa 1840 on the military three-notch road, now Kirkland Street. It is the oldest remaining structure in Abbeville. Earliest known owner was Confederate Colonel William Calvin Bethune, M.D. Last owner-dweller was Mollie Kennedy. To avoid immediate demolition, it was purchased in 1976, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and initially restored by the Henry County Historical Society. It is presently owned by the Abbeville Chamber of Commerce.
W. N. Manning, Photographer, December 11, 1934, FRONT AND SIDE VIEW, S.W. – Oates-Danzey House, West Washington & Trawick Streets, Abbeville, Henry County, AL
Historic American Buildings Survey W. N. Manning, Photographer, December 11, 1934, HALL AND REAR DOOR, N. END OF HOUSE – Oates-Danzey House, West Washington & Trawick Streets, Abbeville, Henry County, AL
General Bartlett Smith (January 23, 1792 — December 16, 1843) was among the earliest settlers of Henry County settling in the area around Ezekiel M. Attaway’s Store near the Emmassee Indian Village on the Emmasse Creek where it enters the Chattahoochee River. He was a native of Tennessee.
W. N. Manning, Photographer, December 12, 1934, MANTEL IN S. FRONT ROOM – Bartlett Smith House, River Road (County Road 97), Shorterville, Henry County, AL
W. N. Manning, Photographer, December 12, 1934, MANTEL IN N.E. BED ROOM – Bartlett Smith House, River Road (County Road 97), Shorterville, Henry County, AL
W. N. Manning, Photographer, December 12, 1934 SMOKE HOUSE – Bartlett Smith House, River Road (County Road 97), Shorterville, Henry County, AL
Col. Bartlett Smith was an officer in the 25th Regimental Division, 11th Brigade of the Alabama Militia beginning July 27, 1829. Alabama Governor John Gayle raised Smith to Brigadier General of the Militia during the last Creek Indian Wars in 1836.
George Jones and Peter Simmons filled vacancies in the court caused by the death of Benjamin Harvey and the resignation of Bartlett Smith on June 27, 1827.
Ca 1828 – The next legislature appointed commissioners: Moses Kirkland, Joel T. McClendon, Sion Smith, Moses Weems and Andrew Gamble.
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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Removal: Lost & Forgotten Stories
includes the following stories
- Plan for Indian Removal Started With President Thomas Jefferson
- Intrigue and Murder After Treaty At Indian Springs
- President Adams And Governor In A Stand-off
- Gold Causes Expulsion Of The Cherokees
- Cherokee Chief Ross Became Homeless