This ALGenWeb County is maintained by Ann Allen Geoghegan Home | Contact Us | Search

Abbeville, Alabama

Contributions to this page: Steve Elliot, Haleburg Historian, James D. Allen and Valerie Adams.

Haleburg: Settled circa 1817, Post Office was Established as Halesburgh 1885, Incorporated 1911

Alexander J. Nappier appointed postmaster 31, December 1885. Haleburg was named for Jonathan Hale (1819-1880), one of the early settlers in that place.

*Randolph Blackshear (1789-1864) was probably the first settler there. He had extensive farming interest and slaves. Built his home on a high elevation east of the present Haleburg. He lived here until his death on January 20, 1864. His 1st wife was Kathrin Anglin of Putnam County, Georgia to whom he was married in 1815; his 2nd wife, was Nancy Kirkland, sister of Sanders Kirkland, Henry County, Alabama She was born in South Carolina in 1802. Married 1st John Scott March 14, 1822 married 2nd Randolph Blackshear, October 7, 1854. He lived in this vicinity many years. He came here 1826, his first wife Kathrin Anglin came with him.

Thomas Brown was an early settler. He was born 1795, S. C. his wife, Caroline, born South Carolina in 1808. Children: Mariah, born 1841; Elmira, born 1846.

The first school stood about one mile east of Haleburg, on what is known as the Sutton plantation. It was called “Walnut Grove.” There was a church there too and fifteen graves marked flat heavy head and foot pieces hewn from soap stone with no in­scriptions. Two graves marked with marble tombstones: Martha, wife of R. E. McKissack, September 24, 1831 / August 7, 1879. Katie Jones, December 18, 1847 / December 17, 1890.

First schoolteacher was Miss Maggie McCallum. First post­master was Mrs. Jonathan Hale. Jim Skipper was the first mer­chant; Bob Grimsley was a merchant there, followed by Hardy Mills. The first gin and sawmill was operated by George Dyess, located where Ellis Gin stood.

Earliest dates on tombstone in Haleburg Cemetery: Achsah Standley, October 8, 1800 / September 9, 1900; Mandee Hunt, May 9, 1802 / July 25, 1879; Millie Jones, wife of James Grim­sley 1833/1923; James Grimsley, March 30, 1835/ May 24, 1895; Charity Sikes, January 10, 1829/ November 8, 1905: Thos. J. Merritt, May 1, 1836 / November 1, 1903; Jonathan Hale, June 15, 1819/ June 29, 1880; Rebecca, wife of Jonathan Hale, March 28, 1829/ November 14, 1899; H. C. Grace, December 22, 1822/ March 21, 1895; Permelia, wife of H. C. Grace, June 20, 1820/ February 20, 1899; M. E., wife of J. E. Smith, 1838/ 1901; Julian Margaret Bradley, July 18, 1837/ July 18, 1909; Maria, wife of Thos. J. Weems, 1817/ 1912. V Blackshear family for early settlers.

Sands Standley was living in the Haleburg area when The Randolph Blackshear family and other early settlers came. Some of the other settlers in the Haleburg area were: Penuel, Glover, McKissack, Godfrey, Weems, Hall, Davis, Skelton, Dukes, Carter, Mills, Miller, Stephenson, Mulky, Money, Skipper, and the Brown family.

*O. C. R. Book D. Randolph Blackshear died January 8, 1864 his will.

William Brown and George Gamble made the first crops near Franklin in 1817. The following year the Browns moved to near Columbia (Haleburg). Sands Stanley was ALREADY there lived in Section 16 of Township 5, Range 29.

The "Settled 1846" on the mural is a date simply pulled out of the air! It needs to be changed on the storehouse mural! - Steve Elliot, Haleburg Historian


Haleburg Mural

Men of Haleburg on the front steps of the Ben Glover Store in circa 1903 and the post office of the dorp Colbert Spann, Hurley Miller, Charlie Miller, Jim Grubbs (Black), Joe Lovett, Squire Robert Brenton Grimsley, Espy Smith, Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Carter, Oscar Mills, John Albertus "Punch" Glover, Professor Sam Davis principal of Haleburg School, Jack Godfrey, Ben Glover, and Homer Zorn. Unique is a sign over the door that reads "POST OFFICE HALESBURG ALABAMA" and an advertisement for "BATTLEAX SHOES."

Picture Furnished by Steve Elliot, Haleburg Historian

I think you will find that the father of James Allen Mills is Oscar Mills of Haleburg, Henry County, Alabama. Oscar Mills operated a large mercantile on Main Street in the early 20th Century that had a butcher, barber, five clerks, and anything from a hat to a bolt of cloth to a mule collar. Again I believe Mr. Mills is buried in the Columbia Cemetery. He sold out to Mr. Jim Pelham in 1927 and moved to Columbia eight miles south of Haleburg (Halesburg). Mr. Oscar's sister Ola Mills married Charlie E. Miller, another Haleburg merchant starting in the 1890s with the Carter and Mills, Inc. on Main Street. His partner in business was Jefferson "Jeff" Carter. Carter was struck by lightning while walking home from the business in 1918 and killed. He was carrying a pail of silver dollars in his hand and they welded together from the electricity. Charlie Miller sold out to William Blackshear and Mary Lou Jackson Starling in 1935 and moved to Columbia.

Picture Furnished by Steve Elliot, Haleburg Historian.
Photo December 1909 by local photographer J. Tucker.

HALEBURGH Postmasters

Alexander J. Nappier 31 December 1885; Discontinued; mail to Metropolis 21 May 1888; reestablished 31 January 1889; Robert W. Montgomery 31 January 1889; Robert B. Grimsley 26 November 1889; W. C. Mills 22 August 1894 (Appt. rescinded 10 October 1894); Robert B. Grimsley 26 November 1889; Benjamin F. Glover 29 January 1903; Charles E. Miller 2 January 1906 (Rescinded 12 March 1906; Mrs. Effie C. Glover 11 October 1926; Name was changed to Haleburg.


The present town of Haleburg was incorporated as “Halesburg” in 1910. The town also was again incorporated in 1911 as a re-incorporation. The town was named for the Jonathan Hales (1819-1880) family who was an early pioneer family in the area. Why the name has been changed to Haleburg is not fully known at this time. Two petitioners of Halesburg’s incorporation were named Hales who signed with an “S”. Halesburg had a population in 1910 of 225 people with 185 whites and 40 African-Americans. That population count was conducted in 1910 by R. B. Grimsley, B. F. Glover and G. S. Hales. Haleburg is now among the ten least populated towns in Alabama. One gets confused as to the establishment date of Haleburg. On the town entrance sign the date of 1885, is noted; however, on a wall mural the date stated is 1846. According to Haleburg’s official historian, Mr. Steve Elliott, the date of 1885 is the correct date. Haleburg has am interesting history and has produced many notable people who have served Henry County well.

October 8, 1910 — Petition for order from Probate Judge Henry County to Hon. S. B. Wood. We the undersigned qualified electors of Henry County, AL, residing in and around the village of Halesburg in the County and State above-mentioned and desiring to form a municipal corporation hereby make application for an order of incorporation. We and each of us resides within the limits of the territory to be incorporated and the name of the municipality thus incorporated shall be "Halesburg." A plat of the territory to be embraced is hereto attached and in which resides not less than 100 people. Signed by:

R. B. Grimsley - C. E. Miller - W. A. Ellis - O. Mills - J. D. Kennedy - B. F. Glover - W. J. Ward - Dr. S. B. Baird - R. W. Starling- T. J. Glover - W. B. Starling ~ J. T. Lovett - G. J. Carter - G. W. Hales - E. A. Godfrey - J. A. Gamble - J. Tucker - W. E. Brown - A. L. Stephens - G. F. McKessack - J. D. Allen - P. W. Mulkey - J. E. Murrey - V. L. Belser - C. J. Pelham - O. D. Perryman - G. S. Hales - D. R. Spann - A. S. Davis - B. T. Davis

October 8, 1910 — There is no known reason or cause as to why the petition for the village of Halesburg should not be granted so it is hereby adjudged that the same should be and is hereby granted for the purpose aforesaid in that an election of qualified electors residing within aforesaid territory is hereby called within the territory on Saturday, 29th Day of October 1910, for the purpose of determining by a majority vote thereof whether or not the said village and territory known as said Halesburg, Alabama, shall become a municipal corporation under the name and style of Halesburg, Alabama. The said election being 30 days from date of filing of said petition and plat, and it is hereby further directed that notice of said election be given in the “Abbeville News” newspaper and that notice be placed in each of three public places within said territory. Signed: Judge S. B. Wood.

October 8, 1910 — Judge Wood appointed R. B. Grimsley, B. F. Glover and G. S. Hales as election managers and directed them to hold an election at the store or office of R. B. Grimsley within said village to determine if the village becomes incorporated. This as provided in section 1055 of the political code of Alabama.

October 29, 1910 — Election was held as ordered. The vote was 22 “for corporation” and none “against corporation”. Results filed in Probate Office Nov. 2, 1910.

November 2, 1910 — Order to appoint enumerators to count inhabitants of Halesburg. Same election mangers were appointed to count population that resided in Halesburg to wit: All of Section 9 and 16 and the east half of Section 8 and 17 and west half of Sections 10 and 10, all being in Township 5, Range 29, in said county.

January 4, 1911 — Enumerators report of population of Halesburg by R. B. Grimsley, B. F. Glover and G. S. Hales was 185 white people and 40 black people for a total of 225.

January 7, 1911 — Judge Wood declared the town and territory known as Halesburg be declared a municipal corporation under the name and style of the town of Halesburg, Alabama.

January 7, 1911 — Election was ordered for a mayor and five aldermen. R. B. Grimsley, G. S. Hales and B. F. Glover appointed to hold election.

March 18, 1911 — Election was held in storehouse of R. B. Grimsley with J. W. Gray, J. Tucker and G. S. Hales as inspectors. The first mayor of Halesburg was R. B. Grimsley with 16 votes over A. H. Davis with 12 votes. Halesburg’s first aldermen were: C. E. Miller, B. F. Glover, Dr. S. B. Baird, A. L. Stephenson and B. F. Davis.

September 27, 1911 — For some reason, Halesburg City Government did not function. Twenty-three taxpayers of Halesburg filed papers to re-instate the dormant municipality of Halesburg, Alabama containing the same boundaries as the original town.

September 28, 1911 — Papers stating that alter the original incorporation became dormant and inactive, the town requested reinstatement of its government, so Judge Wood appointed C. E. Miller, B. F. Glover, S. J. Carter, A. L. Stephenson and B. T. Davis to run the new government.

Halesburg has been apparently operating as a town ever since 1911. It is not known at this time when the name became Haleburg without the “S”.

Jonathan Hales moved his family from Barbour County to a log home on the Lower Smith's Ferry Road in Henry County in 1870. Across the Lower Smith's Ferry Road from his home would be where the first merchants would build their storehouses and the first "Halesburgh" post office by 1885. The early merchants were: Alexander Napier who married Cordelia Elliott, but was divorced from her after she abandoned him and moved to Texas with her family. This divorce was in 1893; Another merchant was W. H. "Hardy" Mills. He would amass a large amount of wealth and be proclaimed by many as the wealthiest man in Henry County before his death; Another merchant was Robert W. Montgomery. He was also a post master in the young village. He is buried at Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church in Hardwicksburg, Henry County; and merchant and postmaster Robert Brenton Grimsley, husband of Carrie Hales, daughter of Jonathan Hales. Grimsley's father was James Grimsley supposedly from the Clay or Early County area of Georgia and descendants of Richard Grimsley. Any information one could share on these early businessmen who owned stores in Halesburgh, Henry County in the 1885-1900 era would be greatly appreciated. Merchants soon to follow these were Charlie E. Miller, Jefferson "Jeff" Carter, Woody Stanley, Espy Smith, Mr. Prescott in the turpentine industry, Ben Glover, Abe Gamble and Joe Lovett, both blacksmiths. I would appreciate any information on these businessmen as well.

This Page was Created November 2007 | Last Modified Saturday, 29-Nov-2014 02:32:46 EST