On January 25, 1883 the county seat was moved from Pollard to
Brewton. The County Officials moved into a vacant building until such time
as a courthouse could be built.
The new courthouse, now known as "The Leigh Place" was completed and received by the county commissioners on September 10, 1885. Mr. Rudolph Bundey of Mobile was the architect, Mr. Charles Scheider was the contractor and Mr. J.B. McGovern was the plasterer. The lumber for the framing and interior of the building was shipped here from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The brick building consisted of two story's. The first floor housed county offices and the second floor consisted of a large courtroom with a jury and witness rooms.
This courthouse served Escambia County for 17 years until the growing county saw need for a larger building. A notice for sale appreared in The Pine Belt News on June 19, 1902 by N.R. Leigh, Sr. Judge of Probate. Although the courthouse and lot were on the market, it did not remain empty. In November 1902, the Brewton Rifles occupied the building and it also served as an armory for awhile. The courthouse was taken off the market on August 25, 1904 and remained empty for some time. Mr. E.M. Lovelace, President of the Escambia Tobacco Co., later bought the building and lot and the old courthouse served as a tobacco warehouse in August 1909.
On August 1, 1910, Mr. C.H. Conoley, a native of North Carolina purchased the property and converted it into one of Brewton's most attractive Colonial style homes. After the death of Mr. Conoley, his widow sold the property on August 8, 1919 to Mabel C. Leigh. The property later the came into the possesion of Mr. Thomas McMillan. The 1969 The Leigh Place was remodeled and is currently being used as an office building. It seems to me that The Leigh Place has come full circle. It's beginning was as a Courthouse, a place with offices and for taking care of the business of Escambia County and it presently serves Escambia County as an office building.
Seen in this photograph, taken in about 1890, are, left to right, Milford F. Brooks, circuit clerk, Edward S. McMillan, sheriff, Allen Johnson, tax collector, T.M. Stevens, county attorney, Norville R. Leigh, Judge of Probate, Mr. Hodges, tax assessor, and James Herrington, county treasurer. The child seen on the steps is Ed Leigh McMillan of Brewton.
This is The Leigh Place pretty much as it is today. This photo was taken about 1973 several years after the restoration of the building by Thomas E. McMillan
Source:AL Room at JDCC Library:Vertical file:The Leigh PLace.
©2007 Kellie Crnkovich