Butler County, Alabama

Manningham, Alabama
written by: Mildred Stinson Brown


It was near the Manningham community that the Ogly massacre took place in 1818. It was about 4 miles from there that Elijah Manningham, in 1818, brought his black slaves from Georgia, pitched a tent in the dirt for shelter, and established his homestead. In 1819, he returned to his home state to bring his family and his cousin, Benjamin, back to Alabama soil. A mill was built on Wolf Creek by both Elijah and Benjamin.

Benjamin Manningham opened a store in 1820. A post office followed where he served as postmaster. The Postmaster General for the United States named the community Manningham in honor of Benjamin, the settlement's first postmaster.

It is believed that Greg Thigpen, Sr. moved to the area in 1820 and settled about a quarter miles west of the present day Manningham. Judge Anderson Crenshaw built the Crenshaw place in 1821. He opened another store shortly after Elijah Manningham opened his establishment.

Several other stores sprang up, after which Thigpen removed himself to Cedar Creek, about 2 miles from the community. There he raised a large family of young men to include Dr. Job Thigpen who took up practice in Greenville; William J., Grey, Gibson, John, and George. It has been said that Greg Thigpen erected the county's first frame house. The planking was cut from native timber with a whipsaw. At the time of his death in 1877, Thigpen was a man of wealth and intergrity.

Mrs. Ogly, survivor of the Ogly Massacre (named for her slain husband), remained in the area. She remarried, her second husband being John Dickerson. She died in 1854 and he in 1866. William Ashcraft and James Brown moved into the Manningham area about 1830.

In 1885, Jerry Simpson is said to have been one of the more prosperous residents. he owned a large mercantile. There several other stores at that time. These include a blacksmith shop and a shoe shop. The town afforded two doctors. Dr. J. D. Simmons who had been in practice for several years. Dr. Harvey E. Scott was fairly new to the area but had a large number of patients. The postmistress was Miss Mary Shell. A school offer a limited about of education to the rural children.


courtesy of Jerry Simmons

Dr. W. C. Simmons and Family

Left to right, front - James Simmons, Dr. Simmons, "Mollie" Simmons, Laura Simmons. Back - Unknown grandson and his son and wife, Bulah (probably Buelah Beatrice Simmons Luckie). Location likely near Manningham, Alabama. [photo courtesy of Jerry Simmons.]


©2000-2003, Rhonda Smith