Legends of Lamar County, Alabama
Bone Yard was the name given to the lot where virgin pines grew next to the Methodist Church in Vernon. In the years after the Civil War, people brought horses and mules to town to swap and trade. Most of these animals were sorry looking creatures so they called the lot the “Bone Yard”.
Thomas Hankins said “There are a lot of strange things I remember, when Mrs. Peeks was “lying -a-corpse” there were some people sitting up. It was about midnight when we heard a sound like a baby crying that came from under the house. It went on for about an hour, and we never went under the house., but we took up some planks and shined a light. We’d put the planks back down, and it would sqawl again. We never did find what it was. I’d never tell that but WilliamCollins was there and he heard it too. That happened about where you turn off to go to Liberty Church. They call that Thunder Hill, because you can hear it thunder there in the daytime, when the sky is clear.
And, well there was always something mighty peculiar about where I used to live. It just happened once in a while, but sometimes somebody would holler ‘Hello’. We couldn’t tell who it was. I don’t guess anybody would ever believe this, but folks said it was a ghost.”
Hell’s Creek Community got it‘s name from a disgusted circuit riding parson. He held a revival under a brush arbor near the creek, but not many of the brethren came or were revived. As he was leaving one of the natives asked, “Parson - when are you coming back?” The Parson pointed toward the creek saying’ After hell has burned that creek dry.” .
Mr. E. A Powell recalled that a man on Hell’s Creek in Lamar County claimed to have killed 18 panthers as well as numerous wildcat and bear.
Four Legged Chicken
In April of 1888, Bob Lawrence reported that he owned a four-legged chicken with no wings.
In 1890, a huge flock estimated as 2,000 hawks passed over Lamar County and roosted in Luxapallila Swamp.
Black Bear in Vernon
The big black bear seen in Vernon in April of 1894 turned out to be a big black dog.
In December of 1895, a five-foot catamount was spotted on the farm of W. J. Johnson.
Gold Mine near Bedford
In 1894, the Nathan Gold Mine was still being worked. Mr. Nathan, whose mine was near Bedford, shipped out several carloads of ore from the mine.
On September 3, 1893 a meteorite fell in south Lamar County. The noise was heard county wide and the incident brought back memories of the 1830’s when the stars fell on Alabama.
Old Coins Found in Outhouse
In May of 1888, Mrs. S. L. Mordecai instructed her family just before she died, that they should dig in the outhouse. When they did they found a pitcher containing a gallon and a half of silver and $240 in gold. In all there was $700, all in very old coins.
Money Hidden in Wheat
Hattie Redus recalls “ I remember that my Grandpa Taylor hid $400 in the wheat in a side room. After Pa carried the wheat to the mill, Grandma thought of the money. Grandpa rode a horse and got to the mill before the wheat was ground into flour, and he found the money.
Best Rifle Ever Made
Jesse Barnes, a settler of Fayette County, came from North Carolina. Barnes who never sent any of his 18 children to school, believed he owned the best rifle that had ever been made. He boasted that he had killed hundreds of deer and a large number of bears.
Military Bill Wilson
Mr. E. A. Powell recalls a pioneer character named Military Bill Wilson. “Military Bill Wilson was so named because he was the William Wilson who lived on Military Road. A clock peddler who came to Lamar County was probably the first of his kind in the country, and when he learned that Military Bill was the richest man around, he is set to find him. “The peddler encountered a stranger on the road and asked the whereabouts of Military Bill Wilson, saying that he wished to sell the man a clock. The stranger told the peddler that he had never seen a clock. The stranger told the peddler that he had never seen a clock and asked what kind of thing it was. So the peddler set one of his clocks upon a stump and let it strike for the poor dumb fellow. Each time the clock struck, the country fellow danced around it with glee. Then the peddler continued on his way to the home of Military Bill Wilson, and discovered -- much to his dismay-- that the poor dumb country fellow who danced around his clock on the stump, was Military Bill Wilson himself. Military Bill took great pleasure in his little joke and made the clock peddler welcome in his home.
Died While Shouting
Thomas Hankins recalls, “When I was about eight years old, a woman died shouting at Blooming Grove. That was the worst excited I’ve ever been. We were in a grove meeting, The ladies and the men were separated, you know, and some of the ladies came running over to where the men were and they said Old Aunt Louisa Barnes had died shouting. Some of them said she had just fainted, but there was a doctor there and pronounced her dead, It’d be my guess she was 60 or so!”
Handsomest Boy I Ever Saw
Hattie Redus recalls, “The first time I saw Charlie Redus he was leading a song, ‘The Unclouded Day,’ I thought he was the handsomest boy I ever saw, and we kept company that summer. Charlie and I married November 6, 1889, by my Grandfather Springfield. To get cloth for my wedding dress I rode horseback from three miles east of Vernon to Sulligent. From Pennington’s and Lampkin’s store , I bought ten yards of gray cashmere, a card of buttons, thread, print lining and wiggling, and three yards of braid trimming for $4.95.
Legend of the Woman's Face on Tombstone at the Sandlin's Cemetery in Lamar County Alabama near Sulligent, AL.
There is a tombstone in the Sandlin Cemetery that appears to have the image of a woman on it. Years ago, it was noticed that this marker had an image that looked like the face of a woman. At one time people came to the cemetery just to see the tombstone with "the face". On Sunday afternoons, folks drove by for a look.
After talking to descendants of T. L. Kittrell, I am updating the legend. It seems that Thomas Lumpkin Kittrell who was married to Sarah Wallace Kittrell at the time, was planning to move his family to Lamar County, in 1904, by covered wagon from somewhere near Birmingham.
The night before the family was to leave, Sarah left, going to a neighbor's to buy chickens, and never returned. Kittrell remained there for about 30 days and searched for her. No clue was found as to what happened to her. He gave up the search and began his journey to this area.
Hettie Duke, mother of the missing woman, and her daughter, Martha W. Seawell, sister of the missing woman, moved with Kittrell and his three sons, Ed, Luther and Joe Kittrell to Lamar County. The women moved with him to help take care of the boys.
Several years later, Kittrell married Martha Jane Carden Paul, who had three children by a previous marriage. T. L. Kittrell died July 23, 1927 and Mary Jane Carden Paul Kittrell Hankins died July 14, 1941. The missing woman's mother, Hettie Duke died November 23, 1927. George W. Seawell brother-in-law of the missing woman died April 3, 1945 and his wife, sister to the missing woman, Martha Ann Seawell died April 16, 1945.
About eight years after Mary Jane's death, what appeared to be the "face " of a woman appeared on her tombstone. People thought that it was the face of Sarah Wallace Kittrell trying to tell what had happened to her. . . . . . which is an unsolved mystery.
Information for this article taken from Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith and The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama, newspaper articles and by word of mouth.
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