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The Alabama AlGenWeb Archives

Articles from 1976 Journal-Register Newspaper

Submitted by Monya Havekost.

Bear Creek/Allens Factory

The Journal-Record Bicentennial Edition Thursday, July 1, 1976 Section C, Page 3 BEAR CREEK WAS ONCE CALLED ALLEN'S FACTORY BEFORE WAR Bear Creek was first call (sic) Allens Factory. It was operated by Langdon ALLEN, and he represented Marion County in the Secession Convention at Montgomery in 1860. The factory was burned during the closing years of the Civil War but was rebuilt in 1868. It was known as L. C. Allen and Company. It was capitalized at $20,000 and was run by water power from Bear Creek. The Factory make cotton yarn and operated 640 spindles with 30 hands employed and used 280 bales of cotton each year. The second factory was known as the Fall Mills Manufacturing Company. It was two and one half miles from Allen's Factory and also used water power to operate. It was capitalized at $15,000 and started operation in 1877. It used 6000 pounds of cotton per day and 600 bales each year. Bear Creek also had a flour mill to which farmers from 25 to 50 miles away carried their wheat and had it made into flour. No definite date can be fixed as to when it was established, but some of the old buildings were standing in the late 1920s. The original Bear Creek was about one mile down the creek west of the present town. This was during the Civil War, and just prior to the starting of the present town of Bear Creek. Thee was one store one mile south of Bear Creek at that time [known] as Goddard, and was operated by James DONALDSON. then in the late 1880's and early 1900's a railroad known as the Northern Alabama was built to Parrish, Alabama and to Sheffield, Alabama. J. R. PHILLIPS moved from Thorn Hill to the present town of Bear Creek and built a nice rock building and went into the merchantile (sic) business with good success. He reared a large family of boys and girls. Other early settlers were Cpt. FLIPPO, who operated a grist mill, Mr. HULL, Mr. John DUNDAN, who built a cotton gin, Mr. BARKER, who operated a blacksmith shop and Mr. HATCHER, who put up a hotel. Capt. SMITH was a section foreman. So with all these early settlers the town grew rapidly. A Methodist Church was built and soon after the Church of Christ. Col. BROCK went into the merchantile (sic) business. Dutch PHILLIP in the grocery business. Dutch John LOGAN was appointed postmaster, and I. B. JOHNSON was rural carrier for years. All these citizens and many more with large families called for a school. A two story frame building was erected but only rooms on the ground floor were used for some years. it was a two-teacher school. About this time there were hundreds of acres of level land north and west of Bear Creek. They wee thought to be of little value, craw-fishy and not fertile. A number of families began to settle this land purchased from $1.00 to $10.00 per acre. As they improved the soil and increased the average yield and built nice homes more people moved in. The town became a flourishing little place. It was a trade center for miles around. Since there was no I. C. Railroad in this area at this time, Hackleburg, Wiginton, and even as far down as Hodges used Bear Creek as their trade and shipping center. The GODDARDS and TOBYS who operated a livery stable carried passengers to various places. The prosperity of those in town and the farmers around, such as MARROWS, MANNS, HOWARDS, FAULKNERS, PARTIANS, VICKERYS, COALSONS and WOODS and a number over in the fork of the Creek, demanded a bigger and better school, so an application was made and now one of the county high schools is there. It is one of the best in the county.

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