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UPDATED WITH PODCAST -The first Home built in Eufaula, Alabama – Hotels, Bowie Knives, Pistols & Fighting

In early frontier Eufaula, Alabama, there were but few stores in the town, and not many dwellings, all of them were constructed of rough logs. Up to the winter of 1834 there was not a frame building in the place. (Continued below)

First Home Built in Eufaula, Alabama – The house was built in 1827 and was later the Confederate hospital – in the 1930s the home belonged to Mrs. T.[?] A. Washburn, Riverside Drive, Eufaula, Alabama  (ADAH Q1190)

First_home_built_in_Eufaula_Alabama (1)

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Two public houses

There were two public houses; one of them was built of hewed logs, and was called the crack hotel of the village—the landlord’s name was Slatter. The other house, a less pretentious one, was constructed of rough round logs, and was known as Morgan’s hotel.

Chaotic State of Society

Many were the adventurers who visited the village, and many settled themselves here. This naturally brought all kinds of people together, and many of them not of the best character; hence, lawlessness, drunkenness, and immorality ruled the hour.

Bowie Knives, Pistols and Fighting

A great many of the male inhabitants carried pistols and bowie knives, made almost imperative for self-protection, and upon almost any provication (sic) were ready to make free use of them.Bowie Throwing knife 2

Many were the fights and bloody rencounters (sic) that were witnessed on the streets of Irwinton (later named Eufaula). But there were a few good men who, true to every manly instinct, with courage undaunted, stood up like polished “marble shafts” amid all the moral corruption that surrounded them, and by their efforts and examples (and as population increased) open wickedness was toned down; bad men and their evil practices began to be overcome and order took the place of confusion; crime was arrested and punished by the strong arm of law—then Irwinton began her career of progress.

The First Saw Mill—1835

It was now about the summer of ’35 when a saw mill was erected on the Chewalla creek, about one mile from town, on the Columbus road; facilities were, thereby, secured for building better houses, which was duly improved. The mill was owned by Mr. John M. Moore.

Irwinton Hotel

Several new store houses were built, and also a two-story hotel, which was called the Irwinton Hotel, and kept by a Mr. Birch. Next door to this building was the then imposing two-story building, owned and occupied by Capt. John M. Moore and Mr. J. G. L. Martin, as a drinking and eating establishment; the upper rooms being used as a billiard saloon and ball room, and known as “Social Hall.” It was an immensely popular resort.

Irwinton Inn

FRONT AND SIDE VIEW, S.W. irwinton inn


In those days the dance was the only pastime in which ladies and gentlemen indulged together, so the building of Social Hall was hailed with delight by the ladies, of whom there were a good many in the town and surrounding country.

The gentlemen, when to themselves, very freely patronized the gaming table and the horse races; the latter was held in the streets of the town, and inasmuch as the clearing did not extend far, the principal street had to be used, and all business was generally suspended to witness the races. But a year or two after this a splendid course was constructed, about four miles from town, at a cost of ten thousand dollars, and the turf was liberally patronized for many years, but finally neglected, and now, not a vestige of it remains.

Some Men Trying to Make Money.

While some were indulging in pleasure and dissipation, many others were laying the foundation of their fortune and independence, and helping to develop the rich and fertile land surrounding Irwinton.

Irwinton Inn today 105 Riverside Drive (courtesy of Zillow) 

Irwinton Inn Eufaula, Alabama - zillow


  1. Transcribed from History of Eufaula, Alabama: the bluff city of the Chattahoochee By J. A. B. Besson – 1875

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS- Pioneers – A Collection of Lost and Forgotten Stories

Stories include:

  • The Yazoo land fraud;
  • Daily life as an Alabama pioneer;
  • The capture and arrest of Vice-president AaronBurr;
  • The early life of William Barrentt Travis in Alabama, hero of the Alamo;
  • Description of Native Americans of early Alabama including the visit by Tecumseh;
  • Treaties and building the first roads in Alabama.

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 3) (Paperback)
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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 3) (Paperback)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

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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. Please note that in the photos of sharecropper families some are correctly identified as being by Walker Evans, and some are incorrectly identified as “Evans Walker.” Walker Evans was a photographer who was employed by the Farm Security Administration of the U.S. Government to document the lives of the Hale County sharecroppers. His work went past the level of documentation however, and became art. He is a very famous and celebrated photographer. He collaborated with writer James Agee to produce the book “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.”

    1. They you for clarifying that and providing the additional information. I believe I’ve corrected the errors.

  2. Many of the family members in my wife’s Pless and Mann line were from Eufaula, Tallapoosa Co, Alabama. Just wondering if this is the same town is your article.

    1. The town described is in present day Barbour County, Alabama. There was an Native America tribe called Eufaula and other early small Indian towns with that name.
      Here is some additional information about the area that may guide you from this website.

      The area surrounding Eufaula Lake has a colorful history, recalling such notorious characters as Belle Starr and the James-Younger Gang, who used the area north of the dam as their hideout. The name “Eufaula” comes from the Eufaula tribe, part of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy, whose tribal jurisdictional area the town falls under today. As early as the year 1800, the Muscogee Creeks had a town of that name, on Eufaula Creek, near the present site of Talladega, Alabama. It was one of their early Upper Creek towns. Pickett’s History of Alabama mentions an Indian town, belonging to the Creeks, which he calls Eufaulahatche. Little Eufauly is mentioned by one of the historians as early as 1792. Another upper creek town called Eufaula, was located on the Tallapoosa River, near the present town of Dadeville, AL. Another Eufaula, known as a lower creek town, was located on the east bank of the Chattahoochee River, within the limits of the present County of Quitman in the State of Georgia. In 1799 some of the Indians of this settlement went down to the mouth of Flint River and established another town of the same name. And still another lower creek town, called Eufaula, was located on the Chattahoochee River, in Henry County, Alabama.

  3. There was a Eufaula in Tallapoosa County also small community

    1. She mentioned it in the statement about the various places with the same name.

  4. There was a Eufaula in Tallapoosa County also small community

  5. My GGG Grandfather’s home similar to this is still standing and in excellent condition. I wish I could post a pic. They also called these split homes Dog Trots. The design helped with air flow in the hot summers.

  6. My GGG Grandfather’s home similar to this is still standing and in excellent condition. I wish I could post a pic. They also called these split homes Dog Trots. The design helped with air flow in the hot summers.

  7. And riverboat gamblers!

  8. Here you go Beth Cotton Vereb and Sam Lindsey DeFee.

  9. Haaawwww! Call that rough? Alta Utah had a saloon called the “bucket of blood” for obvious reasons.

  10. Judy I dont know about the New Jersey thing but I am still in pville

  11. my great grandfather built a dog trot cabin near clear creek falls (now covered by smith lake) in what use to be falls city alabama in winston county in 1907.

  12. Many of my ancestors were in the Eufaula area as early as the early eighteen hundreds.
    There is a companion book to the Walker Evans book called “Cotton Tenants” which can be found online. It is a complete explanation of share cropping in that period is very revealing. I grew up the son of a sharecropper and can vouch for it’s accuracy.

  13. Sounds like a typical Saturday night

  14. Sounds like LA and Vegas!!!

  15. Bill Simpson Allen Davis Kylee Grimes James

  16. Eufaula is a beautiful quaint town ,,,love main street ,,best Mexican food I ever ate

  17. I like Alabama history. Times was tuff but people was better people then.

  18. My Great Great Grandfather, Dr. Henry Middleton Kaigler , was a surgeon in the Confederate Army and served his last assignment as a surgeon in the hospital pictured in Eufaula. He was from Sandy Run, SC , but setteled in Quitman County , Georgetown, Georgia after the war . . I graduated from Eufaula High School , but lived in Georgetown, GA as did some o fmy classmates ….1956 .
    Enjoyed reading the history of Eufaula

    1. Hello, cousin!

      Henry Middleton Kaigler is my great, great grandfather also. His daughter, Barbara Kaigler married H.G. Purcell of Columbia, Georgia. Their son, Harry Purcell (professional baseball player from 1914 to 1927) was my mother’s father. I live in California and have only recently begun to research the family tree. Fascinating.

      1. Hi Mark……

        I’m a baseball researcher and I think I’ve solved a bit of a mystery. It appears that there were 2 Henry “Harry” Purcell(s) Your grandfather’s career came first (1914-1919) and the other Harry (who was from Massachusetts) his career was from 1920-1927. The confusion is obvious. The second Purcell’s middle name was Edward and his father’s name was John.

  19. Thank you for share the history of Alabama.

  20. Can’t get enough of these stories about early Alabama.
    Thank you :!!

  21. Michelle Robinson share this with Mary….

  22. Truly enjoyed reading this. I live in Oklahoma and my husband was raised in Eufaula, OK. We passed through Eufaula, AL when we were on a trip. We didn’t get to stay long but could tell it was a great place. I’m hoping to visit again in the future.

    1. Eufaula, Oklahoma is Eufaula, Alabama’s sister city. Oddly enough, Alabama has “Lake Eufaula” and Oklahoma has “Eufaula Lake.”

  23. Wasn’t that technically the first house built in Irwinton (1835)? It didn’t become Eufaula until it was incorporated 1857, twenty-three years later.

    1. Technically you are correct.

  24. My mother was born there in 1939, and lived on a farm with her mother and relatives. Her maiden name is Glover. We are African American. I would love to get down there and take a look around to retrace our roots.

  25. This article is in “History of Barbour County, Alabama by Mattie Thomas
    Thompson, Chapter 14 “Historic Old Homes”: “Coming down Broad street, as you turn into Riverside drive along the old historic bluff, we come to the two-story English type home built by Mark Williams in 1827. He was one of the first settlers of Eufaula and of Barbour County, and this was the first house built in the village, other than log cabins. It was built for a home, but for several years was used as a
    hotel and called “The Tavern”. When the name of the village of Eufaula temporarily called “Irwinton”, some newspaper writer erroneously called the “Irwinton Inn” but that was incorrect. It was never the Irwinton Inn. During the War Between The States, it was used as a hospital for Confederate soldiers, under the management of Doctors F.C. Blake and Pope and Perry.

    “It was inherited by the descendants of Mark Williams. One of the (Mrs. Bathman) sold it to Mrs .T.A. Mashburn. Another article from “A Sketch of Noted Landmarks Old Houses and Modern Homes” by Jennie Kendall Dean, states that the house was built by Edward Williams (Mark and Edward were brothers) The land was deeded Edward by Seth Lore and Co. on the 6th day of December1836.(above states 1827) The property was given to Edwards daughter Cynthia who married Dr.
    Webster Rains. It was used for a hotel and called ‘The Tavern’.

    My four times great grandfather, Mark Williams, from Duplin County, North Carolina, is the man mentioned in the article written by Mattie Thomas Thompson. Mattie Thomas Thompson, who is credited as the author of the article, was a relative by marriage to Mark Williams. Mattie Thomas Thompson also wrote a history of Eufaula, which has been out of print for decades. My family has been in Eufaula since 1841. Folks down there still call that building The Tavern.

  26. Dinah Moss Estes
    Benje Estes

    1. I remember Mr.Roberts was the last resident and he owned photography business there. I tried to have him for our wedding but he was booked.

  27. Summer Smallwood Sims

  28. Love these old homes.

  29. Need to go to home show next April. I love it, do the night tour.

  30. Cathy Sloan Irvin Eufaula AL was originally known as Irwinton AL.

  31. I love this post about the Irwin House here on Alabama Pioneers. I just recently snapped a photo of it. Here’s the link.

  32. Looks like Dennis hotel in Dadeville Al

  33. URL may be a hack! Norton blocked 3 attempts.

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