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Center Hill

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

Center Hill is located on County Road 64 southeast of Green Hill. It has a commanding view from the center of a large hill overlooking Blue Water Creek. Perhaps this is why it was named Center Hill. Its earliest landowners were John Gresham, John and Daniel McDougal, John Richardson, and Joseph Robinson (or Robertson). Robinson purchased land here in 1818, and is buried in the nearby Robinson-Stutts Cemetery. John Robinson, perhaps a son of Joseph, built his home at Center Hill in 1842. Carved in one of the chimney stones were these words: "J. Robinson 1842 by J. Chism." John W. McDonald, a son of Archibald McDonald from North Carolina, sold his farm just west of Center Hill in 1854. He was married to Catherine Wright Stewart whose father and mother were Duncan Stewart and Ctherine Wright Stewart. The Stewarts are buried in the Scott Cemetery. Also buried here are Duncan and Ann Campbell McDougals who were born in Scotland.

The Ebenezer Methodist Church was erected at Center Hill about 1880 by Hiram I. Richardson and his wife, Julia Ann Young Richardson. It was torn down sometime afer 1936. Richardson was teaching at North Carolina school in 1861 when he entered the Confederate Army.  The Richardsons later moved to Waterloo where they built a hotel and gave the community the Richardson Chapel Methodist Church.  

Early court records indicate that Center Hill may have originally been called McGhee; if not, McGhee was in the proximity of this community.  In 1832, Alexander McDougal, James A. Smith, and Allen Stewart received appointments as judges to preside over the voting place at McGhee. In 1836, these appointments were given to Jacob McGhee, Hiram Kennedy, and John Richardson. Perhaps the community took its name from the family of Jacob McGhee. Descendants of this family have changed the spelling of their name to McGee.

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