Native American marker has arrived

Published 2:44 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Pam Nolan

Special to the Greenville Advocate


Email newsletter signup

The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society (BCHGS) is pleased to announce that the historical marker honoring Butler County’s Native American history has arrived.

Production issues delayed the marker’s scheduled completion, but now everything is in place for a special dedication ceremony on Thursday, May 16 at 1 pm.

Walter Parmer, BCHG vice president of programs, urged community members to join in memorializing the county’s rich history. 

“Everyone is invited to join us to mark this occasion,” Parmer said. “We know there’s a lot of interest in our community in Native American history and we expect a great turnout.”

Native Americans lived in the land that would become Butler County for thousands of years before settlers arrived. An historical map from 1795 has a notation about south central Alabama which reads “these parts are little known.” 

The dark interior of what was later Butler County may have been little known to map makers at that time, but it was an integral part of Native American life, heavily traveled and highly valued.

One side of the historical marker details early Native American history in Butler County. These native cultures left ancient mounds, projectile points, pottery and other artifacts.​

The marker’s other side is about the two trading paths which crossed Butler County. One was an ancient trail that later became the Federal Road. Another path found on historical maps ran between Persimmon and Pigeon Creeks in eastern Butler County. 

The dedication ceremony will be held at the historical marker site, located on U.S. Highway 31 near mile marker 128 between Solomon Hill and Firetower Roads in Chapman. The location is very near the site of the original marker to the Creek Confederacy placed in January 1953.

Six historical markers were placed at that time across Butler County documenting its early history with dignitaries from across the state and hundreds of locals attending the impressive dedication ceremonies. Over time, the markers deteriorated, were destroyed by traffic, or were stolen.

In recent years, BCHGS has succeeded in replacing five of the original six markers through grants and fundraisers including the markers preserving history the Butler Massacre, Fort Bibb, Fort Dale, Gary’s Stockade, and the Ogly-Stroud Massacre. The most recent marker is the last piece needed for the restoration project. 

A reception will be held immediately following the dedication at the Brushey Creek Baptist Church Fellowship Hall at 211 Brushey Creek Road.

Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of Fort Dale Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and other donations to BCHGS.

Annabel Markle, vice regent of the Fort Dale Chapter, said, “We are honored to be sponsoring this particular historical marker and look forward to visiting with everyone at the reception.”