Days Gone By - stories from the past

There is a connection with this old plantation mansion and Auburn University. [old photographs film]

The beautiful plantation mansions of Glennville, Alabama have a connection with Auburn University.

Glennville was named for Rev. James E. Glenn who came to Alabama as a Methodist missionary around 1833. He and his brother Thompson Glenn arrived in Glennville in 1835, only to have to evacuate during the Indian uprisings of 1836 at which time all buildings were destroyed and the remaining settlers killed.

The town of Glennville which was originally a part of Barbour County is now in Russell County, Alabama. At one time it was referred to as the “Athens of the South”

Glennville Plantation was built 1842-44 by Col. Americus Mitchell who came to the town of Glennville, known then as the “Athens of the South”. These photographs in the film below are from the 1930s reveal the beauty of this mansion.

At its Apex this town had collegiate institutes, finishing school, a military academy, classic churches, and stately homes

In 1854, John Bowles Glenn, nephew, left Glennville to establish a school at Auburn and became its first President of the board of trustees. This school in successive changes became Auburn University.

Chromolithograph Print below shows a front view of the main building of Auburn College around 1850 from Library of Congress

A list of members of the “Executive Committee”, “Agents”, and “Building Committee”, with “Revd. A. A. Lipscomb D.D. Chairman, Montgomery, Ala.” as chairman of the Building Committee.

Auburn college postcard 1850

Names of many early residents

In speaking of Glennville’s former greatness the names of Dr. J. M. Raiford, Col. Americus C. Mitchell, Brown, George Thompson, T. H. B. Rivers,Graves, Dr. Evans, dentist; Sanford, Tyson, John Treutlen, Judge Cochran, Mac Glenn, Dosh Glenn, Colonel William Ivey, Malichi Ivey, Walker Richardson, Douglass, Howard, Foster, Captain Griffeth, Screws, E. C. Perry, Sam Eberhardt, Raiford Logan, John McGough, John Bass, Dr. Burke, Dr. W. A. Mitchell, Dr. J. B. Henry, Dr. A. W. Barnett, Dr. Joseph Jones, Dr. Dawson, Dr. Lomax, Dr. Dave Johnson, and many others formed a part of the great commonwealth of Barbour County and were known far and wide in the South.

These men owned an cultivated the broad acres of the Cowikee and the Hatchachubbee, and were professional men, or mercantile businessmen whose wealth was used to beautify and elevate.

House  below is near Glennville, Alabama ca. 1917

(Alabama State Archives)

House near Glennville, Alabama.

Two headstones in Glennville, Alabama The following note is written on the back: “Graves of the two settlers murdered by the Indians in 1835, on the old stage road near Marvyn.

(Alabama State Archives)

J. H. Bass’ beautiful home and plantation was probably the first place paper shell pecans were grown in Alabama.

House on the Dixie Overland Highway in Glennville, Alabama. House is on Stage Road, later named Dixie Overland Highway near where the murdered settlers were buried in 1835 (Alabama State Archives)

House on the Dixie Overland Highway in Glennville, Alabama

Stone home in Glennville, Alabama March 23, 1917 The house was built by Burnett and Johnson in 1848-9 (Alabama State Archives)

Stone home in Glennville, Alabama. The house was built by Burnett and Johnson in 1848-9

Glennville town marker

The earliest settlers of Glennville community were A.C. Mitchell, Massimilon Glenn, Eugene Herndon Glenn, J. M. Raiford, George Thompson, Dr. Evans Dent, John Treutlen, Judge Cochran, MacGlenn, Dosh Glenn, William Ivey, Malichi Ivey, Walker Richardson, Douglass, Dr. T. C. Johnson, John Bass, Dr. Burke, Dr. A. W. Barnett, Dr. Darwin, Dr. Lomax, Railford Logan, Dr. Anslem Evans, and Aber Bessey.

The location of Glennville is lovely; situated on one of the highest points in southeast Alabama, and surrounded by rolling lands with high ridges on either side, it is quite picturesque. “No wonder the children of those grand old residents often turn their thoughts to the lovely old place with beautiful memories.”

Dr. Cicero Stovall’s office in Glennville, Alabama. March 23, 1917 – built ca. 1867

Dr. Cicero Stovall's office in Glennville, Alabama. march 23, 1917 - built ca. 1867

School building in Glennville,  constructed from timbers from one of old hotels, photo taken March 23, 1917

(Alabama State Archives)

School building in Glennville, Alabama March 23, 1917

The Glennville Female College and the Glennville Military College were two of the finest in the South. The St. Stephen (Episcopal) Mission at Glennville was a branch of St. James Church at Eufaula. It was conceived and organized by Rev. C. M. Murry, Rector of St. James Church.

 Weyman home in Glennville March 23, 1917 Taken from the cemetery (Alabama State Archives)

Glennville, Weyman home March 23, 1917

Mr. Douglass was president of the Glennville Female College. Mrs. Douglass taught in the musical department. (Mr. And Mrs. Douglass were grandparents of Mrs. E. C. Motley (Nellie Ballowe) and Mrs. John A. Des Portes (Katie Ballowe, first wife of Mayor R. A. Ballowe of Eufaula).

Gamble home in Glennville, Alabama. March 23, 1917 (Alabama State Archives)

Gamble home in Glennville, Alabama. march 23, 1917

The homes in Glennville before the War Between the States were said to be the finest in the state. Many have gone to decay or have been destroyed by fire, while some have been moved away, but their grandeur still lives in the memory of the children scattered far and near, many being residents of Eufaula today.

F. H. Elmore was remodeled and the home of Mr. Mac Mitchell, and called ‘Elmoreland.’ To Mr. and Mrs. Elmore are due credit for the St. Stephens Mission which was built largely through their efforts.

Dr. John B. Henry’s home was moved to Pittsview and became the home of Mr. Sam Pitts.

Main street in Glennville, Alabama, looking west. Note on back – the street was formerly thickly housed. March 23, 1917

Main street in Glennville, Alabama, looking west. Note on back - the street was formerly thickly housed. March 23, 1917

William Lee and William Smith were the owners of the first Stage Coach through Barbour County. Some other early residents were William Ingram, Edward Ingram, Dr. O’Neal, Scotts, Johnson, Thigpen, Jelks, Scarborough, Long, McGough, Dawson, Williamson, Evans, and  Williams.  Many of the Glenns became Methodist ministers.

Cato Home in Glennville, Alabama March 23, 1917

(Alabama State Archives)

cato plantation in Glennville, Alabama

Judge Logan and Captain E. C. Perry lived longest in this spot so dear. A company of young men marched from the city with Captain Perry as their leader and did valiant service in the War Between the States.

Mrs. E. C. Perry’s home in Glennville, Alabama, below. According to a note on the back, the house was “formerly occupied by father of Maj. W. W. Screws. March 23, 1917

 (Alabama State Archives)

Mrs. E. C. Perry's home in Glennville, Alabama According to a note on the back, the house was

Glennville was the home of the only known Lynch mob that brought a newspaper advertisement acknowledged the deed and published the names of the victims.  The failure to accept a railroad, seen as ‘An intrusion on their way of living’ proved to be the herald of the town’s demise.

Two men and two women holding tennis racquets and standing on a court in Glennville, Alabama ca. 1917 (Alabama State Archives)

Two men and two women holding tennis racquets and standing on a court in Glennville, Alabama ca. 1917 state archives


  1. History of Barbour County, Alabama. Eufaula, Alabama 1939 by Mattie Thomas Thompson
  2. Hidden History of Auburn By Kelly Kazek The History Press, 2011
  3. Smartt, Eugenia Persons.History of Eufaula, Alabama. Birmingham, Ala.: Roberts & Son, printers, 1930, c1933.

See all books by Donna R. Causey

FreeHearts: 2nd edition A Novel of Colonial America (Tapestry of Love Series Book 3) Inspired by true events, Col. John Washington (ancestor of President George Washington), Randall Revell, Tom Cottingham, Edmund Beauchamp ward off Indian attacks and conquer the wilds of Maryland’s Eastern shore in 17th century colonial America in this historical novel.

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. Did you click on the title? It links to the site. Then there is a search box to insert your information.

  1. We need to find this place.

  2. Hi Donna, My grandmother was a Hunt from Russell County before she married. She had 6 brothers. It is said that one of her brothers went to Auburn, I don’t remember which one, but I think how exciting to be going at the beginning of it’s birth!

  3. Thank you for sharing notes and photos of the Ghost town ! Glennville. Alabama history hangs heavy in this “Gone With the Wind ” deserted site. It is treasured in the hearts & memories of only a few descendants of the former prominent & noble citizens. The lost graves only hint of the powerful & accomplished men and women who lived the short dream of Glennville’s days of glory. The founders of this dream town suffered hardship and privations and were in the end unsuccessful in establishing their cultured educated, and graceful community. They deserve our remembrance. I am a descendant of Rev Dr. Thomas Henry Dawson.

  4. Great photographs. Can one still visit the Glennville Plantation?

  5. Glennville Plantation still stands, but isn’t open to the public. You have to really look to find it because it’s hard to see from the road. It’s sits far back and there’s a lot of trees and vegetation blocking a clear view. It’s on the old 431. There is a historic marker. A cute gothic church is located to the left side of it which is no longer used. A few years back, I stopped and walked around that church to get a better view. The house appeared to be in fair to good condition, but the whole setting is a bit dreary and rather stark. Nothing around for miles.

  6. my mother misses glennville, she was born and raised there and wants to go back and see it again, it sounds like there is nothing to see, she left in 1951 her family was the daniels.

  7. Hi Donna, I’m a direct descendant of Malachi Ivey(great-great grandson) through his first marriage, to Caroline Jemima McTyeire. Does the Ivey Plantation still exist? Are there pictures of it? Is the Ivey-McTyeire cemetery still in existence and if so, is it hard to find? Thanks, John Ivey

    1. I’m sorry. I am unable to answer your questions. Perhaps someone who lives in the answer can answer them.

    2. Yes, I think the Malachi Ivey house probably is still standing, or it was in 1985 when I visited Glennville and Pittsview. It was a 1-story Greek Revival house with porch across the front and looked something like the Richardson-Comer house and others in the area. I can’t remember if it had Doric columns but think so, if not square box columns, but I don’t think Ionic. I think there are pictures in the book Pine Log & Greek Revival by William H. Davidson. I had this book (still have it somewhere) and I was thinking there were pictures of the Ivey house in it. The owners in 1985 were in their late 60s or early 70s and I believe had restored the house after their retirement. They collected antiques and books, possibly had operated an antique store or junk store because they had so many objects. They had floored the large attic and filled it with shelves and books also. They were not related to the Iveys but knew a lot of the history of the house and the Ivey family. I’m sure they must both be deceased now.

  8. Very interesting article.

  9. Wow!!!! This is amazing. My great grandmother (Martha Williams) worked for Mrs. Gertrude Thompson back in those days. Hopefully I will be able to take my mother for a visit soon. My mother has shared some interesting stories with me over the years. I would like to meet some of Mrs. Thompson relatives.

  10. […] Glennville Plantation also known as Elmoreland is truly a beautiful mansion. Click on this link and scroll to the bottom of the page to see more vintage pictures of Glennville and click to learn about the area’s connection to Auburn University. […]

  11. […] movement to establish the Auburn Masonic Female College, which opened in 1853, and Scott and the Reverend John Bowles Glenn encouraged the local congregation to establish the East Alabama Male College, a Methodist […]

  12. Enjoyed this post…..thank you…

  13. Looks like he wasn’t quite sure which end of the tennis racquet he should hold! 🙂

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