February 6, 1818
Blount County was created on this day by an act of the Territorial Legislature, almost two years before Alabama became a state. Sections of Blount County later became part of Jefferson, Marshall, Walker and Cullman counties. The county was named for Gov. Willie Blount of Tennessee, who sent Andrew Jackson with troops to Alabama during the Creek War of 1813-14. Many of Jackson’s men became the first settlers of the county and established a trading post at present-day Blountsville. One of the earliest settlers of the area was George Powell, who became one of the first surveyors of Alabama and later authored the first historical account of Blount County. During the first half of the 19th century, Blount Springs became a well-known vacation resort for wealthy Southerners attracted by the area’s mineral springs. The county gained notoriety during the Civil War when in May 1863 Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked Union Col. Abel Streight’s forces as they attempted to cross the Locust Fork. During the raid, two local sisters, Celia and Winnie Mae Murphree, allegedly captured three Union soldiers at gunpoint while they slept and delivered them to Forrest. In 1937, J. Breck Musgrove made history when he opened Alabama’s only underground “speakeasy” nightclub and casino at Bangor Cave in Blount County. Occupying the front of the cave, the illegal club attracted dancers, gamblers and criminals before Gov. Bibb Graves ordered it closed.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.