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Cleburne County During The Civil War

An old photo showing an early jazz band gathering to play in Edwardsville
An old photo showing an early jazz band gathering to play in Edwardsville
Wayne Ruple "Images of America - Cleburne County"

Cleburne County, like the nation, was split in its loyalties during the Civil War, with deep divisions between those living in the northern end of the county and those in the southern end.

Some historians estimate there were less than 100 slaves in the whole county as there were few slave owners.

The Stone Hill community suffered some Union raids, but most of the county saw no conoflict.

In 1867 Cleburne County had its first election. The South Carolina-born Edwards brothers, who had arrived in Cane Creek in 1835, donated land on which to build a courthouse.

The first court was held the following year in the rough log structure, which had a jail, four corner offices and one large room.

Meanwhile, Edwardsville was developing around the courthouse. In 1905, following efforts to move the county seat from Edwardsville to Heflin, a county-wide election was held, and Heflin won by a small majority.

The residents of Edwardsville did not give up without a fight and a long legal battle followed with the Alabama Supreme Court ruling in 1906 to move the courthouse to Heflin.

The following year, construction began on a new facility. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1907, with an estimated 3,000 attending the ceremony.