HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF MACON COUNTY
By H. M. King
Written in 1881
Published in The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 02, Summer Issue 1956
Eight Years Without Record-White Settlers, And Indian Settlements—Gen. T. S. Woodward-Organic Act, Etc.
For the eight years intervening between the Treaty of Fort Jackson and the Creek Treaty of Cusseta, this territory was occupied by the Indians, who at peace with their white neighbors, hunted, fished, trapped, or tilled their com patches, with little interruption.
The first white settlements were made in the Western part of the county, about Line Creek and the old Federal Road.
Drawing of Lewis’ Tavern Macon County – The tavern was on the Federal Road 1815-1828 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)
Judge L. B. Strange had an Indian store at Fort Decatur; Gen. T. S. Woodward settled in Little Calebee, near the old Calebee battle ground, and about the spot where Mr. John Motley built the house now occupied by Mr. Reid Smith.
The Cornells, half-breeds settled down near Persimmon, in Section 16, Township 16, Range 24, about the site of the old Tuskegee Town. This family owned slaves and other property. Zack McGirth lived across the persimmon from old Tuskegee. — Gen. William Walker, Indian Agent lived at Fort Hull; he was a man of great influence among the Indians; who regarded him as a brave and honorable man; from his great firmness and decision of character, the Indians called him Wakah-Chula (Old Bull.)
Among all the early settlers, none were better known or more prominent than Gen. Thomas Stokes Woodward. He was born in Elbert County, Georgia, about 1796, and inherited a strain of Indian blood from his great-grandmother. Gen Woodward came to Alabama as early as 1808 or 1809. He spent the greater part of his life among the Creek Indians, and perhaps had a more extensive knowledge of them than any man of his day, or since. He was among the first settlers of the county and of the town of Tuskegee.
He remained here until 1848, when he moved to Arkansas to find a new country. From Arkansas, after a few years residence, he removed to Winn Parish, Louisiana, where he died in 1862.
Gen. Woodward was a man of great energy and enterprise, and of strong native intellect, but his life among the Indians unfitted him for the humdrum routine of civilization.
During the year 1858, while living in Louisiana, he wrote a series of letters to the old Montgomery Mail; which letters were afterwards published in book form and entitled “Reminiscences of T. S. Woodward.“ This book contained much valuable information concerning the times of which it treats; with many facts about the Indians not to be found elsewhere. But few copies of the book are now to be found.
In stature, Gen. Woodward was very tall, muscular and erect in carriage. He was known among the Indians as Chula-Tarleh (old Pine Tree.)
Settlements along the old Federal Road
Along about the period of which we were speaking, some settlements were also made Eastward, along the route of the old Federal Road.
The Big Warrior lived at Warrior Stand. George Stone settled at Creek Stand, and near by at the first white house, in the county, lived Enoch Lewis. This house known as Choke-hatke (white house), was afterwards occupied by Edward Cook and Nathaniel F. Collins, who kept a store there.
Of the location of the Indian towns, we have written in a previous number.
County of Macon established December 18, 1832
In 1830, the General Assembly passed an act extending jurisdiction over the Indian Territory which provoked discussion with the General Government heretofore mentioned; and which reached its climax under the Act organizing the Creek Purchase into counties.
Section 8 of the Act of the General Assembly, “To establish certain counties therein named”, approved December 18, 1832, reads as follows: That all that tract of country bounded as follows, to-wit: Beginning at the North-East corner of Township 19, Range 26; thence West along said line, until it intersects the Range line dividing Ranges 23 and 24; thence South along said line until it reaches the Township line, between Townships 18 and 19; thence West along said line, until it intersects the Township line, dividing Townships 17 and 18; thence West along said line until it reaches the Tallapoosa River, thence down said river until it intersects the Montgomery line, at or near the mouth of Line Creek; thence South-East along said Montgomery line until it reaches the Township line dividing Townships 13 and 14; thence East along said line until it reaches the three mile stake in Range 26; thence North through the center of Townships 14, 15, 16, and 17, until it reaches the Township line dividing Townships 17 and 18; thence East along said line, until it intersects the Range line dividing Ranges 26 and 27; thence North along said line to the beginning; which shall constitute and form one separate and dis~ tinct county to be called and known by the name of Macon. (From THE MACON MAIL, Vol. VI, No. 1, Tuskegee, Alabama, Wednesday, March 16, 1881. (Page 2, Col. 3.)