History of Macon County

by Louise Frederick Hays


The History of Macon County
by Louise Frederick Hays

Chapter I
The First Inhabitants

Just when the first man set foot in Macon County is problematical.
There are evidences that a prehistoric race was in possession before the Indians claimed it as their own. There are along the banks of the Flint the same form of mounds which are found in Northern Mexico, Illinois, Mississippi, Arizona, along the Ohio River, and at Macon, Ga., on the Savannah River opposite Silver Bluff, and in Bartow County, around Cartersville.
These mounds are considered by a learned antiquarian as the most ancient sepulchral monuments. They are called Tumuli or the Indian name Teocalli-Teo, God; Calli, house, meaning Great Temple, and were supposed to have been erected over the bodies of deceased heroes or persons of distinguished character.
The Euchee, the Cherokee and the Muscogee Indians were ignorant as to when and by whom they were raised, and claim that they were here when their tribes came in the 16th Century.
Another form of mound or Tumulus, much larger than the burial mound, is found in the lowlands close to the rivers, in many places in Georgia.
In 1778, Wm. Bartram was sent from England, to this country to discover rare and useful productions of nature, chiefly in the vegetable kingdom; and he has left a most interesting record of his travels. He journeyed through Florida and Georgia, and very probably his journey led through Macon County, but no one can state positively. On reaching one of the mounds, Bartram thus describes it:
"It is altogether unknown to us, what could have induced the Indians to raise such a heap of of earth in this place, the ground for a great space around being subject to inundations, at least once a year, from which circumstances we may conclude they had no town or settled habitations here.
Some imagine these tumuli were constructed for lookout towers. It is reasonable to suppose, however, that they were to serve some important purpose in those days, as they were public works, and would have required the united labour and attention of a whole nation, circumstances as they were, to have constructed one of them almost in an age. There are several lesser ones around about the great one, with some very large tetragon terraces on each side, near one hundred yards in length, and their surface four, six, eight and ten feet above the ground on which they stand.
"We may, however, hazard a conjecture; that as there is generally a narrow space or ridge in these lowlands, immediately bordering on the river's bank, which is eight or ten feet higher than the adjoining low grounds, that lie betwixt the stream and the heights of the adjacent main land, which, when the river overflows its banks are many feet under water, when at the same time,the ridge on the river bank is above water and dry, and at such inundations appears as an island in the river; these people might have had a town on this ridge, and this mount raised for a retreat and refuge in case of inundations which are unforeseen and surprise them very suddenly, spring and autumn."
There is a mound on the farm of John Dykes about four miles below Montezuma which follows this description. It is on the left bank of the Flint, about a quarter of a mile from the stream, in the swampy lowlands.
Covering about four acres, and rising to a height of twenty feet or more, it appears to have been the work of a vast army of workers and like the Tumulus described by Bartram it does not seem to be a burial mound but a refuge in times of river flood for not only the people, but for their cattle as well.No doubt is has lost much of its height and size in the years, and it is now covered with a growth of large swamp forest trees. Almost a mile from that mound, are two smaller mounds, in a cultivated field, and removed from the overflow of the river. These two eminences were no doubt burial places.
On the top of these mounds were found arrow heads, altho they have been in cultivation for many years.
On the Murph and Baldwin Place above Marshallville, is another mound, in a lowland, which gives every appearance of being a burial mound, being too small for a refuge mound. Shaped like a crescent, it is about 100 yards from tip to tip and rises about thirty feet above ground. On the old Wilson Collins Place, now owned by the Witt Estate, several miles above Oglethorpe, there is a field called the Old Indian Field and in its center is a knoll.
This seems to have been a great meeting place for the Indians, as old citizens say that more arrow heads have been found there than any other place known to them. On Buck Cree, on the Robinson Place and on the Helvingston Place adjoining it are six mounds and a couple of miles above this on the old Cloud Place is a spring. As far back as the oldest inhabitants knew, this walled up spring has been known as "The Indian Spring."
In the "Cut Off," there is an Indian mound near the river called "Potato Hill Mound."
On a very old map, marking a location on the East Bank of Flint River is this sentence,"Indian Battle in 1708---- 1700 Indians Killed." It has been impossible to get any information about this battle, either as to location or participants. This reference to it is made merely because it might have been in Macon County, but more likely it was further south.
Historians can only conjecture as to this earlier race who inhabited these lands and left their history in mounds, but who knows but that it might have been the lost tribe of Judah, who, when captured by the King of Assyria, went into Asia, and crossed Bering Straight and came into North America!
With no written language, the Indians only knew their own origin by tradition and they had many versions. Tussekiah Mico, Chief of the Cowetas, claimed that they came from two mounds in the forks of the Red River, Wechote-Hatche. All their traditions agree, however, that the country west of Mississippi was their original habitat. This is confirmed by Drs. Protz, Bernard, Romans, Adair, Bartram and Hawkins.
When Hernando Cortez, with his Spanish troops landed at Vera Cruz in 1519, he found the Aztecs, with Montezuma, as their King, living in a luxurious though idolatrous and barbaric splendor. The Muscogee Indians, who later were the Creek Indians of Georgia, were living in Northwest Mexico and they rallied to the assistance of the Aztecs to repel the Spanish Invader, and to defend the greatest of the aboriginal cities. Cortez was successful; Montezuma, and thousands of the red warriors perished. The discouraged Muscogees determined to seek other lands and directed their course northeastward to the Red River where they remained until 1527 when they moved on to the Wabash.
There is a prehistoric cliff dwelling called Montezuma Casete on the right bank of Beaver Creek, a tributary of Rio Verde, three miles from Old Camp Verde in Central Arizona, popularly supposed to have been once occupied by the Aztecs, and there is a large depression in the form of a tank or well in the summit of a low messa on Beaver Creek, about nine miles north of old Camp Verde, called Montezuma Well.
Montezuma on Beaver Creek sounds so familiar that one is obliged to feel that there must be some connection; perhaps the association remained and the names in Macon County of Montezuma and Beaver Creek come in this way.
From the Wabash they moved to the Ohio where Pickett in his History of Alabama states that DeSoto found them in 1540 and declared they were like the Indians seen by him in Mexico; coming eastward they conquered the maritime tribes, including the Alabamas, the Toockabatches, the Shawnees and Yamasees and incorporated them into their Confederacy. Crossing the Alabama, Coosa and Tallapoosa, they settled below the falls of the Chattahoochee, then moved on to the Ocmulgee, the Oconee and the Ogeechee.
On reaching the Savannah River, they encountered the Euchee Indians, who claimed to be the most ancient inhabitants of the country. They were superior in intelligence but not in numbers and soon fell before the war-like Muscogees.
When the English came to explore this country, they gave all the inhabitants collectively the name "Creeks" on account of the beautiful rivers and streams which flowed through their domain. In 1786 the whole number of Creeks amounted 17,280 of whom 5, 860 were fighting men.

Submitted by Harriett Fuquay


History of Macon County Georgia by Louise Frederick Hays

 

     Timothy Barnard was the first white man known to be a resident of the lands now called Macon County.  He was a man of unusual intellect.  Marrying into the Euchee Tribe of Indians, he became a member of the tribe and as such, he gained influence over the Indians, controlling their politics and holding them ever loyal, not only to the white man but to the United States Government. Barnard's Settlement, on the Flint, was a popular place between 1790 and 1820.

 

     He was of English descent and of gentle blood.  His grandfather, Sir John Barnard, was a English Baronet and at one time Lord Mayor of London; was prominent in the House of Commons and had a distinguished judicial career.  His son, Col. John Barnard, married Jane Bradley in London in 1743.  She was the daughter of Wm. Bradley of Lee Street, Red Lyon Square, County of Middlesex, Gentleman. Wm. Bradley, at the time of his death, owned lands in Georgia, South Carolina and Spanish Bonds of over a million dollars.  Col. John Barnard settled his family on Wilmington Island, which had been granted him by King George II.  There he reared a family, descendants of whom are among the leading families of Georgia today, including the Adams, Chisolm, Demere and Screven families of Chatham County.  Timothy, the oldest son of Col. John Barnard and Jane Bradley, filled with the youthful spirit of adventure and lured by the stories  of untold wealth, left his Wilmington Island home, brav!

 ing the dangers, and went into the Creek Nation some time before the Revolution.  The path into the nation led through this country but it is not supposed that he would have stopped alone in an uninhabited place.  Since we know that he married a Euchee Indian girl, we can very naturally suppose that he went direct to the Euchee (Yuchi or Uche) town on the Chattahoochee.  Here it is related he married his Euchee wife and started back eastward in search of a location for a settlement.  It might be supposed that he stopped at Intuchculgua, the Euchee town, in the northwest corner of Macon County.  Or he may have stopped at Padgeeliqua (from Padgee - a pidgeon, and liqua -sit-pidgeon roost) where there was a crossing over the Flint.  This was a large Euchee town, eighteen miles up Flint River (now Taylor County) until broken up by Benjamin Harrison and his associates who murdered sixteen of the gun-men.  But where ever he wandered with his Indian wife, we are certain that Timot!

 hy Barnard located his settlement in Macon County on the right banks o f Thronateeska (thronato, flint; eska, where it is picked up --creek--Flint) River one and one-half miles below where the Opilthlucco (Buck) Creek joins the Flint and here he remained for more than forty years.

 

     His home was located on the west side of Flint River on the present site of the town of Oglethorpe.  Sampson Kitchens, who is ninety years old, states that the Indian store was about where the Oglethorpe depot is today, and that it was known as an Indian Trading Post.  He remembers some of the Indians by name.  Among them John and Pete.  He further states that the cemetery between the railroads known as the Small Pox Cemetery was the Indian graveyard.  The Early map of Georgia, 1818, marks this home place and also the farm of his sons on the left bank of the Flint several miles north of his settlement.  The map also shows his farm in the forks of the Creek which still bears his name, Barnard's Creek (incorrectly marked Barnetts Creek on the Macon County map).  Sam Harp states that he has found Indian utensils and other relics on this place. 

 

     His farm was undoubtedly located on the lands above and including Miona Springs, which was known to be a great meeting place of the Indians.  The Indians clung to the streams and they found the tributaries of the Flint a most agreeable and alluring place to them on account of the fish, the game and the fertile soil close to the banks.

 

     Benjamin Hawkins, a graduate of Princeton and a United States Senator from North Carolina, was appointed "Principal Agent for Indian Affairs  South of the Ohio" by President Washington on November 19, 1796.  His first move was to visit Timothy Barnard and to learn from him the customs and manners of the Indian and as much or their language as possible.  He found Barnard living in great happiness with his Indian wife and children, with an abundance of everything that the soil or the herd could yield, and practicing a crude, but profuse hospitality.  He owned a number of negro slaves, had a peach orchard on the very land which the peach industry has made famous in this generation; he had a herd of cattle, many horses, owned and cultivated much of the best land of Macon County.  He had newspapers and his daughters owned silverware and silver beads.

 

     After a visit from February 5th to 21st, 1797, to Barnard, Benjamin Hawkins, accompanied by Barnard and his son, Homanhedge, started out for the Ocmulgee. After crossing the Flint at Barnard's Crossing, they turned north and soon came to the farm where Barnard's son, Timpoochee, with his Creek wife, was moving into a recently constructed house.  A little further they saw his sons, Pheloga and Yuccohpee, clearing a field and preparing logs of pine for their houses.  A friendship was formed between Hawkins and Barnard which continued through the years; Hawkins visited Barnard repeatedly, spending three days with him in April, 1798.  Recognizing Timothy Barnard's unusual ability, and his accredited standing with both the whites and the Indians, Hawkins made him his Chief Counsellor, and he was fortunate in having such a diplomat to serve between the agents of the United States Government and the Chiefs of the Indian Tribes.   He appointed him his Principal Temporary Agent !

 of the Indians south of the Ohio, and made him his Interpreter, for which he received a salary of $700 a year.

 

     In compliance with a treaty and realizing the necessity of reaching supplies for his settlement, Timothy Barnard blazed a pathway from the Uchee Town in Alabama, passing Coweta Town (later Ft. Mitchell) on the Chattahoochee, paralleling for twenty miles the Ancient Horse Path, running through Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Marion and Schley Counties, going through the Euchee Town of Intuchculgua, in Macon County, where the old road is still called the "Old Indian" road, to Barnard's Store on the Flint.  Here the path forked, one line extending from Barnard's settlement due south, joining the Indian Path which crossed the northern part of Florida from Mobile, the ancient capitol of the Creek Nation, to St. Augustine.  In this way he established a route to Mobile, Pensacola and St. Augustine.

 

     The other fork of Barnard's Path crossed Flint River at Barnard's Crossing, later known as Travelers Rest, following the old River Road along the banks of the Flint, through old Drayton in Dooly County, through Crisp County, lower corner of Turner County, through northern Dougherty, crossing the Ocmulgee  Town Path, turning eastward, it passed through Worth, Tift and Berrien Counties, crossing the Alapaha River, passing through northern part of Clinch, Central Ware, crossing Hurricane Creek and Satilla River in Pierce County down through southern part of Wayne, crossing the St. Marys River, passing through two sections of Charlton and Traders Hill, following the St. Marys River by Colerain through Camden County to the town of St. Marys.

 

     Barnard's Path was the main thoroughfare from the Chattahoochee to the ocean and was in general use in the first of the last century.  It is shown in "Carey and Lea's Complete Historical, Chronological and Geographical American Atlas of 1823 Plate 25" and in "Farmers New American Atlas."  Tradition says that one of Barnard's camping grounds on this trail was just west of Isabella, later called San Barnard.  This was a famous camp and hunting ground as late as 1850.  San Barnard served as the first County site for Worth County.  The Daughters of the American Revolution in Sylvester named their Chapter "Barnard Trail."

 

     In more recent years, a trail known as Hathorn Trail followed the first part of this fork from Barnard's Path to Dougherty.  Mr. I. F. Murph of Marshallville used Hathorn Trail in 1863 during the War between the Sttes, when he went to Goose Creek. Fla., below Tallahassee, with six wagons for a supply of salt for the community.

 

    There was a trail called "Old Slosheye Trail" which led from Hartfort (Hawkinsville) to Drayton connecting there with Barnard's Path.  This trail is shown on original Land Grant No. 184 of 7th District, Dooly County, made to Robert Jemison of Bledsoes District, Putnam County, on August 16, 1824.  The land surveyed, September 1, 1821, original plat and grant in possession of Carl L. DeVaughn,.  For this trail also see Fleming History Crisp Co. Vol. I.

 

     These paths were the first established trails in South Georgia and did much toward the development of Georgia.  They linked Indian Villages in the western part of the state to the English settlements  in Southwest Georgia and to the Spanish settlements in Florida.  They were constantly used by Indians and white settlers and each year brought pioneers seeking suitable lands for farms and homes.  It developed into  a great thoroughfare and brought the isolated traders into close connection with the important trading posts at Traders Hill, Colerain, Centervillage and St. Marys.  These trails were used later as the stage coach routes.

 

     During the years Benjamin Hawkins was in the Creek Nation, he and Timothy Barnard kept up a continual correspondence.  Many of these letters are preserved in the American State papers.  Mr. Barnard was conducting a rural free delivery mail system of his own,.  He had a well known mail route between 1796 and 1807, and mail was carried by his own runners, his sons or his nephew, John Cloudy.  His mail went along Barnard's Path and Barnard frequently stopped for the night at Trader's Hill on his way to St. Marys.  He sent his mail by boat up and down Flint River, particularly when writing to Mr. Hawkins.


 

Submitted by Harriett Fuquay


From: "History of Macon County" by Louise Frederick Hays Pg. 729

DR. ALLEN DELONIA SMITH

Listed, beginning on Page 727, are CSA Veterans that are buried in the "Montezuma Cemetery" which was FELTON CEMETERY.

Dr. Allen Delonia Smith, born May 3, 1835, died January 5, 1872. Mason, Major and Surgeon, 62nd Reg. Ga. Inf., 8th Reg. Ga. Cavalry. First May or Montezuma.
[One account says he died October 3, 1871]

On page 552 of History of Macon County, there is a picture of Major Allen DeLonia Smith in his uniform. Beginning on Pg. 551, there is an entry by Mrs. W. T. [ Cora Smith] Christopher, Sr. on the family.

Allen DeLonia Smith was born in Randolph Co., Ga. May 3, 1835, when he was 21, he married Miss Missouri Quinn who died June 13, 1861. He married 2nd Martha Ann Haugabook on July 12, 1864 [Macon Co., Ga. Marriage Bk. A/64 by Jas. A. Spivey, MG.

[Note: Major Allen DeLonia Smith is buried in Section A - Row 1 in the UPDATED Felton Cemetery Survey - No dates on the marker but he was Born May 3, 1835 - Died October 3, 1871 or January 5, 1872]

CHAPTER II  continued page 30

 

 

 

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