Bear's Store, Alabama
written by: Mildred Stinson Brown
No information has been located regarding this community prior to 1830. It was that year that Thomas Burkett pitched a tent on the ground southwest of the old store and called it home. Others who soon followed were Evan Burkett, Manual Burkett, John Hood, Joab Coleman, and David Grason. Thomas Burkett built the first house in the settlement. Because of the poor quality of the soil, few people wanted to settle there for they felt it wasn't suitable for farming.
It wasn't until about 1857 that Lewis Bear, a Dutchman, opened a dram store there. He offered a few dry goods in addition. Over the next several years his business grew and became a lucative business. Even so, few settled chose to move to the community. Bear sold out to Joan Coleman in 1861 and joined the Confederate Army. Because he had the first store there, the settlement was named in his honor.
Coleman maintained the store until about 1882. It was very profitable at that time. The new owner, Joseph Sellers, continued to built up his trade.
A post office was never placed in this settlement. One of the reasons was that no roads passed through the settlement along which the mail traveled. The water supply was scattered, coming from only a few springs which run year round, and those were of poor quality. Other buildings in the community mainly consisted of a church and a school.
©1999-2003, Rhonda Smith