Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Old Wagon Road Out of Eastern Monroe During Pre-County Days: Part III

When the Federal government surveyed the Chickasaw lands acquired by the Treaty of Pontotoc (1832), only two roads were mentioned in the survey field notes in what later became Itawamba County. They were listed as the Old Natchez Road (Natchez Trace) and the Wagon Road. The Wagon Road entered what is now Itawamba County near the site of the State Highway 25 running north out of eastern Monroe County into present-day eastern Itawamba County. From reading the survey field notes from 1833, it is evident the road ran northward basically along present-day State Highway 25, the veering basically onto present-day Clay-Tilden Road running northward into the Clay community (nearly 13 miles).

The surveyors documented four white families in the area along this old road. The Benjamin Wise family living north of Bull Mountain Creek on the line between Sections 29 and 30 was discussed in Thursday’s post and the Eliba Allen family living on the line between Sections 11 and 14, Township 10 South, Range 9 East was discussed in yesterday’s post.

Less than one-half mile west of the Eliba Allen farm, the Walter Maxey family lived west of the old wagon road. Walter Maxey was probably related to Eliba Allen, being his wife was an Allen. Research indicates that his wife Sarah, was Nathaniel N.G. Allen’s sister. This would make Walter and Sarah Maxey the uncle and aunt of Eliba and Zachariah Allen.

Walter Maxey, the son of Jessee and Elizabeth Loving Maxey, was born September 12, 1775 in Washington County, Tennessee. He grew up near Gallatin, Tennessee and married Sarah Allen on September 26, 1795 in Sumner County, Tennessee.

Like his father, Walter was on the move. He was listed in the 1804 tax list of Wilson County, Tennessee with 140 acres of land. Walter and Sarah were in Lauderdale County, Alabama during 1817 when their son Henry was born and it was in this county during 1818 that their son Edward, served as a lieutenant in the militia. On May 8, 1818 Walter assigned all his interest in 159 acres of land in Township 1 of Lauderdale County to his brother-in-law, Henry D. Allen.

A letter from Walter to his brothers in Illinois dated October 6, 1820 stated that he had settled at last on Sipsey Creek, Marion County, Alabama. However, Walter and Sarah’s youngest child John, was born in adjoining Monroe County, Mississippi the following year.

Walter Maxey later appears in 1828 on a tax list of the area that later became Pulaskie County, Missouri, and it was here that four of his children were later to settle. By 1830 Walter and his family appear back in Marion County, Alabama and are enumerated on the 1830 census there. By 1833 the Chickasaw Cession surveyors found Walter and family in the Chickasaw Nation cession lands (later Itawamba County) west of the wagon road.

Walter Maxey died in Itawamba County on August 17, 1839 and was buried along the west side of the old wagon road on his farm. A monument marking his grave is found in the dense woods. The old Maxey settlement of pre-county days continued to be a settlement in Itawamba County until the early 1900’s. The old Maxey cemetery is located on the original lands and at one time the Maxey Schoolhouse was located adjacent to the cemetery.

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