Butler County, Alabama

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Butler County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of Captain William Butler, who was born in Virginia and fought in the Creek War, and who was killed in May 1818. As of 2000 the population was 21,399. Its county seat is Greenville.



Butler County was formed from Conecuh County, Alabama, and Monroe County, Alabama, by an act passed December 13, 1819, by the Legislature while in session at Huntsville. This was the first session of the Legislature of Alabama as a State. The name of Fairfield was first proposed for this county, but was changed on the passage of the bill to Butler, in honor of Captain William Butler.

The exact date of the first settlement made by white people in the limits of Butler County is not exactly known. Some records have it as early as 1814, but the earliest settler of no dispute is James K. Benson, who settled in the Flat in 1815, and built the first house ever erected in Butler County. It was built near where Pine Flat Methodist Church now stands, and was made of logs. Shortly after, William Ogly and John Dickerson came with their families and made a settlement on the Federal Road, about three miles (5 km) south of where Fort Dale was later erected. In the fall of 1816, a party from the state of Georgia came to settle in Pine Flat, including Thomas Hill, Warren A. Thompson, Captain John Watts, and Benjamin Hill. In 1817, many more settlers arrived, since the hardest work had already been done by these brave original souls.

Famous Citizens

Captain William Butler, native of Virginia, previous member of Georgia Legislature and captain of Georgia militia, came to Butler County in search of adventure, but was soon killed by native Americans near Butler Springs on the morning of 20 March 1818. While on his way from Fort Bibb to Fort Dale with four other men, Captain Butler was wounded and thrown from his horse, but attempted to make his escape. Seeing that this was impossible, he resolved to die fighting his enemy, and succeeded in killing one of Savannah Jack's bravest warriors, and after severely wounding several others who attacked him, was overcome by the number of Native Americans who were present. He was left mangled, scalped, and with his ears and privates stuffed into his mouth.

Warren A. Thompson was a noted explorer and original settler of the county, and was locally known as the strongman of the original Butler County pioneer settlers.

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