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Coosa County, Alabama had a turnpike in the early 1830s

Cusseta Treaty opened land East of the Coosa

In 1819, Alabama had been admitted as one of the States of the Federal Union. That part of its territory ceded by the Indians in 1814, was becoming fairly well settled by the whites in the middle part by 1830. Autauga was bordering Coosa at this time and was separated from it by the Coosa River.



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Few white pioneers settled on East side of Coosa River

Many people had settled on the elevated lands near the Coosa River, the Halls, Elmores, Robinsons, Jackson, House, Fitzpatrick, Grahams, Steele, Rose, Debardelabans, Tatums, McNeil, Spigeners, Zeiglers, Stoudenmires, Whetstones, and many more, from among whom a number became prominent in public life. But east of the river there were few, because the land belonged to the Indians until the Cusseta treaty, March 24th, 1832, when they ceded all that had not been ceded in 1814.

Map of Coosa and Alabama Rivers

These newly acquired lands, tho within the limits of the State, had not been organized into counties. This was done by an Act approved December 18th, 1832, making it into the counties of Coosa, Talladega, Benton (Calhoun), Randolph, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Russell, Macon, and Barbour.

The Act as it relates to Coosa says: “Be it further enacted, That all that tract of country bounded as follows, to-wit: Beginning at the Montgomery line at or near Wetumpka Falls on the Coosa River, thence running up said river to the line dividing Coffee’s from Freeman’s surveys; thence east along said line until it intersects with the township line dividing ranges 20 and 21; thence south along said line until it reaches the three mile stake of township 18; thence west to the Montgomery corner; thence west along said line to the beginning; which shall form and constitute one separate and distinct county to be called and known by the name of Coosa.”

Coosa River near Wetumpka

Courts and Officers appointed for Coosa County

By an Act approved January 12th, 1833, Washington Campbell and Archibald Downing were appointed commissioners for the county. On the same day was another Act fixing the time for holding Coosa County courts on the first Mondays in June and November. Another Act of the same day established the election precincts at the houses of Archibald Downing and Washington Campbell.

The growth of Wetumpka demanded greater limits by 1837. The boundary line between the counties was changed by Act of the legislature in 1837 to give Coosa the depth of a section southward taken from the northern part of Montgomery beginning where the line between sections 23 and 24 T 18, R 18 crosses the river and running six miles east. Then a similar strip of one mile deep and six miles long was taken from the southern part of Coosa and given to Montgomery

Coosa County lies near the center of the State and was bounded originally by Tallapoosa on the East, Montgomery on the South, Autauga on the West, and Talladega on the North. February 15th, 1866, Elmore County was formed, and the boundary was again changed. Elmore was taken from Coosa, Tallapoosa, Autauga, and Montgomery.

Only Indian trails

There were only Indian trails in the county. The Jackson Trace followed a road opened by General Jackson in 1814 to facilitate his march from Ft. Williams near Fayetteville, Talladega, to Ft. Jackson below Wetumpka; and the Chapman Road opened by him earlier, when he went from Ft. Williams to invade the Indians in Tallapoosa. It is called the Chapman road because the father of John A. Chapman was in charge of the pioneer corps under Jackson who opened it. Though there was travel along them as trails, they were not kept up as roads. The old Georgia Road must have been opened by the movers who came in so rapidly from Georgia and the Carolinas, for it was a public highway before the Commissioners began to open roads.

The Turnpike

By an Act approved January 9th, 1833, James Lindsey, Joseph B. Cleveland, and Robert W. Cleveland were authorized to open a road from the lower end of the Wetumpka Falls to the store of Joseph B. Cleveland at Sylacauga. They were allowed two years to open and complete it.

When completed and kept in order, they were allowed to collect toll; for four-wheel carriages 75 cts., two wheels 50 cts., man and horse 12 ½ cts, loose or pack-horse 6 ¼ cts., for hogs, sheep, or goats 3 cts. per head. A forfeit of three times the toll could be collected of anyone trying to evade the toll. They were to forfeit the right to collect toll if the road was not kept in order. Their franchise was to last fifteen years.

This road was known as the “Turnpike.” Historically the term of turnpike was used for a toll gate or barrier set up to collect road tolls for maintaining the road.



History of Coosa County Alabama (Hardcover)

By (author):  Rev. George E. Brewer

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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. Interesting! I would like to read more about Randolph and Chambers Counties.

    1. We have some on the site. Type in Chambers and Randolph in the search box with the magnifying glass to bring up the articles on those two counties.

    2. Thank you, I will. Keep up the good work!

    3. Thank you! , Please consider joining our community at to help us in this effort

  2. My great great grandfather served during the War of 1812 here in Madison County or “Mississippi Territory” with Andrew Jackson, he & family moved here 1817 prior to Alabama becoming a state in 1819.

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