Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lorena Royster, born in 1885, was the first female child born in Repton, Ala.

Downtown Repton, Ala. 
(In February and March 1982, The Evergreen Courant newspaper in Evergreen, Ala. published a three-part article called “The History of the Town of Repton” by Mrs. Marjorie M. Dees. What follows is the first installment in that series, which was published in the Feb. 18, 1982 edition of The Courant. No changes or corrections have been made to the original version.)

"History of the Town of Repton" by Mrs. Marjorie M. Dees

(Editor’s Note: The Courant wishes to thank Mrs. Dees for this history of Repton. Due to its length and space limitations, the article will be published in several installments. The first installment follows.)

Pioneer residents of the small town of Repton in Conecuh County left their lasting impressions upon the level, longleaf pine covered forest as they ventured into the unsettled area to become small mill operators, cattlemen, sheepherders, farmers and eventually varied businessmen in the later part of the 1800s.

The first log camp, known as Hinderson Grove, was set up about a mile north of the present site of Repton. Neil McMillan, Mr. Davison and John Hinderson lived near the camp. Later, Larkin Allen married Fannie Henderson and moved into the new settlement. He built the house on Jones Street which has recently been remodeled into the beautiful modern brick home owned by the Carl Ryals family. Carl is president of The Union Bank in the stately, classic bank building built several years ago at the junction of the West end of Jones Street and Highway 84 West. The Union Bank of Repton has established and is operating branch banks in Castleberry and Evergreen.

Everett Martin and George Holman moved into the settlement and had a big sheep and cow business on the open range nearby. They also operated the first cotton gin and grits mill in the area. Everett Martin also built his house on Martin Street, which is still owned and occupied by his granddaughter, Miss Evelyn Nadine Dees.

Mrs. Octavia Martin operated the first millinery store in the early 1800s. Her husband, Everette Martin, operated a log camp about two miles down the famous “Old Stage Road” west of town. Rube Burroughs, a famous outlaw, worked at this mill months before moving on to Linden, Ala. where he was captured and killed.

Among the other early settlers to move into the community was Dick Ellis, who lived in the original house on Martin Street presently owned by Mrs. Bess Stacey and Miss Annie Lou Straughn.

T.F. Royster settled in the original house which was remodeled in 1910 and still stands at the corner of Jackson and Belleville Streets. Mrs. Royster ran a boarding house there in the early 1900s. Their daughter, Lorena Royster, was the first girl child born in Repton. She was born in 1885. She married T.B. Campbell and lived in the family house until her death, Aug. 18, 1978. Mr. Royster was one of the first school teachers.

Miles Jackson built the house presently located on Highway 84 at the end of Jackson Street.

Andrew Straughn, Charles F. Carter Sr., Carl Stallworth and Sam Kelly moved into the area from various outlying posts and established businesses here. Henry Lee Dees and Richard Dees from Drewry established one of the first mercantile businesses near the Carl Stallworth home on the corner of Belleville and Main Streets. Bill Hinderson was one of the first barbers, and Mr. Faulkner had the first shoe shop on the present site of the George Dees home. The first railroad section house was located where the N. Allen house (now owned by A.L. Harris) now stands. The latest business established in the town is the antique furniture business owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ronson English in the former Kelly Drug Store building on Main Street and in their home at the junction of Highways 41 and 84. They also refinish and restore furniture.

(Continued next week.)

1 comment:

  1. Mrs. George Dees was a substitute for my class many times while I was attending school at Repton. Her daughter, Martha Carolyn Dees was a classmate and a friend of mine. What neat memories.