Historical records indicate that the first white settlers came to Dale County around 1814.Others followed, entering the southern section by way of Henry County and the northern section through Barbour and Pike Counties.
Most came from VA, NC, SC, & GA. Some of my relatives were among those early settlers. Chelley C. Journigan (later they went by Jernigan).She was b. 1825 as her parents were preparing to cross the Chattahoochie River. Her mother, a Warr, preferred to have the baby in the wagon but settlers Mr. & Mrs. Beaman insisted she take refuge in their cabin. In that cabin, Chelley was born and named after Mrs. Beaman, whose first name was Chelley. The Journigan family then moved on to Dale Co., and settled near Post Oak.Chelley married John McPhadgen on Dec. 15, 1844 and were the parents of nine children.
For several decades after its creation the population of Dale fluctuated. In 1835 it was 2,031; 1840, 7,397; 1850, 6,382; and in 1860, 12,195.
Wiggins, near Grimes, is said to be the first County seat, then Daleville, Newton, and finally Ozark (1850).
The early settlers of Northen Dale County were the founders of present day Arguta (pronounced Are-goo-taa!)
They included the Keaheys, McGills, McCalls, McLains, McDonald, and McEachins, who had purchased land by 1836.
They named the community Arguta in honor of the community in NC from which they came.That community in the mountains of Eastern NC and present day Jackson County, NC was named Argura.The second "r" was changed to "t" and thus became Arguta.
Most of those earler settlers were buried at Union Cemetery.
Others came to this community before the civil war (about 1855) and in 1856 established the Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church and cemtery. Those settlers were my Browns, Phillips, Mesick, Munn, McFadden, McCall, Payne, Trawick, Childree, and Cox families. Some of my Browns married Childree and Munn.
Judy creek lies between Arguta and Skipperville and that creek hosted a "Corn grinding mill" and water powered sawmill known as "Metcalf's Mill".
Cotton was delinted by hand (seeds removed) before cotton gins were invented. Children were required to help and had to filled their shoes with delinted cotton before going to bed.
The Union Presbyterina Church of Arguta was established by early setters and its cemetery records are sometimes confused with Pleasant Ridge Baptist church cemetery, located nearby.
One researcher has been confused for years over this and I had to clarify for him as he is about ready to publish a book on AL CSA burial locations. A well respected website has all of the CSA soldiers buried at Pleasant Ridge listed as buried at Union. It is these type of errors we must always be on the lookout for and when those in error are confronted, they rarely listen or make the changes.
Most of my Browns and related families are buried at Pleasant Ridge and most of the families who helped establish the church were the Phillips, Brown, Stubbs, Pippins, Flowers, Tillman, Jackson, and Loftin. Many of these families came out of Barbour Co., around Louisville and are closely related to families who remairred in Barbour Co.
If anyone has stories of early Dale Co. I would appreciate receiving them. The above is a portion revealed from my manuscript on a new book I am doing on Early Dale County and many surnames. If interested let me know and I'll put you on my wait list for the book.