Fayette County, Alabama
~ History of Bluff ~
Bluff Community Was Early Settlement - 1854
by Mavous Dubose
Some of the early settlers of the Bluff Community around 1854-1860 were
Tilliman SOUTH, Lewis Edward CORBETT, Ruben POWELL, George THOMAS,
Robert McCARVER, John M. THOMPSON, Thomas M. MONTGOMERY, N.J. DYER,
J.M. CAMPBELL, John BARNES, and Bill TURNER. [In] 1898-1908; Some
living in Bluff Community [were Jimmy MOBLEY, William J. DUBOSE, Nero
B.D. KIRKLAND, John SIMS, Marcellis SOUTH, William (Bill) ROBERTS, O.A.
WHITE, John P. CORBETT, Jim MOSLEY, Joe CUNNINGHAM, Taylor FOWLER,
Jim BENTON, George THOMAS, Jackson KIRKLEY, and Arthur
Descendants of some of these families are
living at this time in the Community.
Most of the
early settlers owned land joining each other. The land had virgin
timber on it and had to be cleared out in order to build houses.
were log houses. They split rails for fences, rived boards to
buildings and spun thread from cotton and wool, wove the thread on
looms to make cloth for clothing. They raised sheep for wool, and
and geese for feathers for beds and pillows. They used home
raised gourds to
drink water from and buckets made from cedar to hold water.
done on the open fire place and after stoves became available the Dutch
oven was still used to cook on the fire.
early days and for several years to come they had open stock law; each
person who owned cattle and hogs had a certain brand so as to be able
to identify their own stock.
At first oxen were used
for work animals. Later on horses and mules were in use.
buggies were used for transportation.
In about 1902
a post office was built near the head of Hell's Creek about 12
miles North west of Fayette. Mrs. Molly HOLLIMAN named it Bluff
large rocks on what is now called Bluff
Mountain. [See map of area here.]
In 1904 the post office was moved about
one half mile from where it was originally built.
Fannie MOSLEY was the keeper of the first post office. The first
this community was owned and operated by John BARNES. The Cotton
was pulled by mules. He also had a saw mill and a Mill pond where
was ground into meal.
In 1904 a grist mill and a
cotton gin were erected at Bluff. About a year later two more
were built. After a few years two of the stores went out of
and were torn down. The other store remained in business for
In 1931 another store was built but [is] not in
operation at present. A few years after this store was built
warehouses were built by two JONES brothers. T.J. JONES became
of the gin about this time, installing all new modern equipment.
1968 the gin burned and has not been rebuilt.
community has lived the county doctors Dr. MADDOX, Dr. MILLER, and
Dr. John ROBERTS who had his first office at Bluff about 1908-10.
moved to Vernon Ala. in 1919 and still resides there.
early days entertainment was a kind of working – The quilting Bee's for
the ladies and log rollings or house raisings for the men. The
would cook up food and get everything in order while the men carried
the logs to be placed in huge piles for burning later. The square
was popular as entertainment for the young folks as well as old.
beds were taken down in one room and carried out so there would be room
to square dance.
They also had corn huskings and
preaching at different homes in the community as opportunity
The first school to be built in this community
was about one mile north of Bethel Church. It was in the latter
the nineteenth century and was known as the Old South School.
1900 school was taught in Bethel Church house.
the teachers were Willis TAYLOR, Pervie LUCAS, Lee MOSLEY, Willard
DYER, Hester OTTS, Alexander SMITH, Gurley BENTON, and Charles
WHITEHEAD. School was in session 3½ months in winter and
1½ months in summer.
About 1912 a two room school
was built a little way north of the church. It was called Bethel
Some of the teachers were Lamply NORTHAM, Wilma KIRKLAND, Bess
ANTHONY, Ora REESE, Thomas LOLLAR, Docia HAWKINS, Florence MUSGROVE,
Newburn PATTERSON, Connie BALLENGER, Lewis ACKERMAN, Juliett GREEN,
and Charles WEEKS.
In 1927 Bluff, Shady Grove, Bethabra, Center,
Bethel consolidated and built a larger school called Kirkland Jr.
It was named for B.D. KIRKLAND.
Our community has
been outstanding in schools. Kirkland School furnished many
ball players to the Fayette High School each year while school was
taught there. Valedictorians and Salutatorians, and outstanding
Kirkland had a large enrollment at first,
about 300 pupils with 7 teachers. But as people moved away from
community, enrollment decreased over the years. In 1967 the
closed and the students now go to Fayette. The community has no
The teachers and parents had much pride in Kirkland School and took
much interest in the school. It was the main center of interest
for the community.
We regret the loss of the school in our
community. The building is now being used for a community
There have been a number of churches in Bluff
Community. Trinity Methodist, Shady Grove Nazarine, Bethel
Baptist, Mt. Olive Church of Christ, and Spring Hill
Some of the charter members of Mt. Olive
Church are Mr. and Mrs. Burt BARNES, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor FOWLER,
Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy MOBLEY, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy COLLINS, Mr. and Mrs. Doc
HYDER, Mr. and Mrs. Hardy HOUSH, and Mr. and Mrs. Murray V.
Bethel Church charter members were Mr.
and Mrs. _______, and Mr. and Mrs. Dan HAWKINS.
who have served Bethel Church since 1891 are J.P. DICKINSON, 1891; J.F.
WILLIS, 1903-1905; W.K. PENNINGTON, 1905-1906; C.D. STEWART,
1906-1912; W.F. GILPIN, 1925-1926; W.H. HAMILTON, 1926-1927; and A.M.
We have plenty of water in the
community fish ponds. Turkey Creek heads south east of Bluff and
flowing on toward Luxapallia. Hell's Creek also heads near
soil is very fertile in the lowland near the
A sentimentalist once said something about
God piercing the blue canopy of heaven to make peep holes through which
to look upon his children; that the holes we see at night are the
stars; that the fragments [p]ierced by Him fell to the earth in a heap
and made Alabama, a little "heap" fell around Bluff, Alabama and
there's no other place on earth so grand!
who forget their past have no future."
Source: Clipping from
unknown Fayette County newspaper (probably circa 1970).
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19 Nov 2006 | 19