Days Gone By - stories from the past

Bell’s Landing, Monroe County, Alabama – home to many forgotten cemeteries



Sherry S. Johnston

Several weeks ago, I took a tour of Vredenburg, Hybart, Franklin, Bells Landing communities in Monroe County, AL. It was quite interesting to visit the historical sites, old cemeteries, churches and Rikard’s Mill as we drove along curving, winding roads with trees dripping in Spanish moss.

Jacob Rikard’s old mill in Monroe County, Alabama 3 ½ miles from Beatrice on Flat Creek ca. 1930s (ADAH) Q1817

Jacob Rikard’s old mill in Monroe County, Alabama ca. 1930s 3 ½ miles from Beatrice on Flat Creek ca. 1930s (Alabama Writers’ Project – Alabama Department of Archives and History)

Rikard's mill, Monroe County, Alabama (2010 photograph by Carolyn Highsmith)Rikard’s mill, Monroe County, Alabama (2010 photograph by Carolyn Highsmith)

Picturesque churches

The picturesque churches and old, forgotten graveyards were quite interesting with their stone memorials to some of our earliest settlers along river towns of the river that bears the name of our state. A few weeks before I’d had the opportunity to drive northward into Wilcox County and visit McWilliams community, an en route to that area, had found some familiar family surnames that I would again see later on around Bells Landing.

Historic cemetery in Monroe County by Carolyn Highsmith 2010 Library of CongressHistoric cemetery in Monroe County by Carolyn Highsmith 2010 Library of Congress

Hutto families first settlers

According to the history of Bells Landing, one of the first settler families was the Hutto family, from Orangeburg, SC. Charles Hutto, born circa 1792 and his wife, Sarah, also from SC, moved to Bells Landing around 1810. Their son, Charles Luther Hutto married Ida Mae Riley, the daughter of Capt. Thomas Riley. Charles L. Hutto fought with the Monroe Guards, 5 th Alabama Infantry, CSA.


McCants Family

The McCants Family is another early settler family to Bells Landing, and many of them originated in Darlington District, SC prior to moving to the MS Territory which would become Alabama, primarily Monroe & Wilcox counties. The McCant families settled in and around Bells Landing, and today, in the cemetery located at Bells Landing, you will find Posey, McCants, Nettles, Holloman, & Stallworth as some of the names interred.

Survey of Bells Landing Cemetery

In November of 2001, a survey of Bells Landing Cemetery was taken. The Dunn family listings include one John Eades Dunn, born 1845 & died 1922. Another Confederate Soldiers website gives the following information about Pvt. John E. Dunn, born May 28, 1845, enlisted in TN with Company “I”, 3 rd Alabama Cavalry, died 1922 and is buried at Bells Landing Cemetery. Other Dunn family members include Margaret McArthur Dunn, b 1854 & d 1920; Fleetwood Marie Dunn b 1833 & d 1947; Mary McCants Dunn, b 1884 & d 1977. John Eades Dunn married Margaret McArthur in 1874, and in the 1900 Census she had had 4 children and only 3 were living.

Bestselling novel RIBBON OF LOVE: 2nd edition – A Novel of Colonial America (Tapestry of Love Book 1) is the story of a first family  in colonial America who eventually migrated to Alabama.

About Donna R Causey

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 All her books can be purchased at 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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  1. McCants/Hybart descendant here. I remember going there several times when i was young. “Camden one way, and d**n kin the other way.”

  2. Did Marie Dunn, named in Bells Landing Cemetery above, really live to be 114 years old?

  3. I really enjoy your stories of old Alabama as I can relate to some .

  4. Hello, is there Anyone with info pertaining to the Stallworth lineage (pictures) perhaps …they would be from Vrendenburg or Bells Landing areas. BETWEEN 1820”s and 1900.

  5. I would like to know more about Bells Landing. My family was from there also.

  6. My family is from the Conner but in this area..anyone know

  7. Bell’s Landing also at one time had Masonic Lodge, No. 370, August 1870-1899, it later merged with Monroe #485 in Dec of 1899.

  8. Melanie Stickler Falconer

  9. My grandfather was James Colin Dunnam from Bell’s Landing. Anybody know any Dunnam’s?

  10. I am a descendant of the Macants, Nettles and Conner Family. Would love to know more! IG @conner828

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