In the last few days of 1847, the Alabama State Legislature formed the county where I was born, Choctaw County. According to the 1850 census, Choctaw County had a population of 8,000. My maternal ancestors were part of that population of early settlers. Prior to this, they lived in Mt. Sterling, KY… named after Sterling, Scotland per http://www.uky.edu/KentuckyAtlas/ky-mount-sterling.html.
I come from a warm, loving, boisterous clan named Findley (Gaelic/Irish/Scottish for “White Warrior”). I don’t know much about their history, but I do know that Gihon Springs was mostly Findleys. Please don’t think that I’m bragging on my family name. We weren’t Rockefellers or Kennedys by any stretch. There was just a lot of us, and Gihon Springs is where we were planted.
Gihon Springs set at the crossroads of two roads, Highway 17 and County Road 11. In fact, Gihon Springs was once called Lincoln Crossroads before the name changed.
Highway 17 was the main road that went past our store, Jachin Grocery. It went north, up to Florence and beyond.
To the South, it went all the way through Butler and then on down to Mobile. It had yellow lines. The other road took you west to Meridian and east to Pennington. I don’t know if it went past Pennington or if it just stopped right there. This was a county road and it never got painted, if my memory serves me right. It was a rough road, patched with rectangles of patches.
I lived here, behind Jachin Grocery, for the first 18 years of my life.
* Some names changed to protect privacy.