Arkdell / Arkdale

The following community description is quoted/excerpted from A Walk Through the Past: People and Places of Florence and Lauderdale County, Alabama by the late William Lindsey McDonald (copyright 1997) with permission of the book's editor Robert Torbert and with the utmost honor and respect for Mr. McDonald's research and dedication to preserving the history of Lauderdale County.  If you have additional historical information about this community, please email lauderdalealgenweb@gmail.com.

"Arkdale is the location of the modern Allen Park alongside the east bank of Blue Water Creek, about four miles east of Green Hill. This was where Captain Henry D. Allen built his log cabin on Indian lands before Alabama became a state. Born in 1782 in Edgecomb County, North Carolina, he was a son of Rhody and Mary Emily Ranson Allen.  Rhody was descended from Robert Allin who came to America from Ireland in 1690 on the ship Charles.

"Captain Henry Allen's first wife, Polly, has been heralded as a pioneer heroine.  She was home alone with her children when the federal troops arrived in the spring of 1811 with orders to evict the white settlers from Indian lands.  Through kindness she saved her home by cooking a sumptuous meal for the hungry men. Although they set fire to her cabin, two of these well-fed soldiers slipped back to extinguish the flames.  Born as Mary Barnes in 1787, she was a daughter of Joseph and Deloach Barnes.  Following Polly's death, Captain Allen was married to Marcy Mayfield Robinson, widow of John Robinson.  One of the Allen daughters, Mary, was married to William Washington Pettus who served as a First Lieutenant in company E, 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment, CSA.  He died in 1882 and is buried in the Pettus Cemetery west of Lexington. Another daughter, Margaret, was married to Benjamin Franklin Chisholm, a Second Sergeant in Company A, 35th Alabama Infantry, CSA.

Both Captain Allen and his first wife, Polly, are buried in the Allen Cemetery at Arkdale.  His second wife, Marcy, rests in the Granny Richardson Cemetery (now called Richardson Chapel Cemetery). Arkdale in earlier times had its own general store.  Among its storekeepers were: John Davis, Jesse Minton Wilcoxson, and William Pettus."