Brindley Turnpike
Submitted by Leon Trice Hinds



The last of the toll roads established within the area during the antebellum period was the Brindley Turnpike. On January 11, 1834, Mace T. P. Brindley and his associates were given the right to turnpike two roads which ran into Blount County from the southern settlements in Morgan County. Brindley was given the right to cross any public road existent or planned. The road hat to be cleared of stumps for ten feet of its twenty feet width, and it had to be graded for convenience on hills, banks, and water courses. For their effort the group was to receive the following toll: 75¢ for each four wheeled carriage, 25¢ for each two wheeled carriage, 12 1/2¢ for a horse and rider, 61/4¢ for each loose horse or mule, and 3¢ per head for each swine, cattle, or sheep. This right was given for sixteen years. For the first eight years the citizens of Blount and Morgan Counties were exempted from paying toll; however, during the second half they were not.

Brindley's grant was later amended in 1836 to allow three more years to complete the roads granted to them. The 1856 La Tourrette Map of Alabama clearly shows that Brindley did complete his roads. The map pictures the turnpike starting at Blount Springs, continuing northward to William's at present day Hanceville, and onward to Brindley's home at present day Simcoe. At Brindley's, the road split, one branch continued north to Morgan County while the other branch turned due west to the western border of Blount, at which point the road turned northeast and ran into Morgan County. Both branches of the turnpike furnished a straight through road from settlements in Morgan County and the Tennessee Valley to Blount Springs. The western route crossed routes leading from Morgan into the mountains of Blount County. At its western-most point the road met the old Corn Road which followed the divide ridge between the Tennessee and Black Warrior water sheds.

It is important to note that the 1856 La Tourrette Map of Alabama marked the location of Williams' on the Brindley Road leading from Blount Springs to Brindley's residence near present day Simcoe. This was the residence of James Allan Williams near what is today Hanceville. Williams served as postmaster of Corn Grove Post Office which existed for a brief period in the immediate area during the late 1830s and early 1840s. Scrugg's Alabama Postal History lists the existence of the post office in 1839 and it probably endured for the traditional two year term. In addition to being postmaster, Williams also served as a postal rider, riding from Corn Grove via Blountsville to Elyton on mail runs that took two full days to complete. Corn Grove post office was short lived, but several years later another post office called Hanna was established in the area. This post office is clearly shown on the 1865 Map of Northern Alabama and Georgia which was compiled by the U. S. Coast Survey.

In all six toll roads ran through the present day Cullman County area prior to the Civil War.

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