Saturday, June 21, 2008

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

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.

Eight miles north of the Wise settlement, along the wagon road deeper in Indian territory the surveyors found the Eliba Allen settlement on the line between sections 11 and 14 of Township 10 South, Range 9 East. The survey map shows the old road drawn by the surveyors.

Eliba Allen was born in Tennessee on November 10, 1799. Zachariah, his brother was born December 12, 1805 also in Tennessee. They were the sons of Nathaniel N.G. (born February 7, 1775) and Celia Bloodworth Allen. Research indicates Eliba and Zachariah were the grandsons of Rhody and Mary Allen.

Nathan N.G. Allen and family immigrated from Tennessee into Alabama and later into Monroe County, Mississippi, where they were living before 1824. The first license to a preacher to perform a marriage ceremony in Monroe County was issued to Nathaniel N.G. Allen in 1823. Research indicates he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Allen family was from the Sumner County, Tennessee area and had moved to Monroe County by 1820. Eliba Allen had moved to the Chickasaw territory in what is now Itawamba County before the survey of 1833 where he lived on the present-day Clay-Tilden Road (the old wagon road). Zachariah, his brother, soon followed him after Itawamba County was created in 1836. Eliba and his brother are found on the 1836 through 1840 Itawamba County tax lists. Eliba and his wife, Nancy Walden Allen are found on the 1850 Itawamba County census where they are listed along with their daughter, Mary (born 1833 in the Chickasaw territory of present-day Itawamba County).

After the formation of Itawamba County in 1836, Eliba Allen was elected to the first board of police and by 1838 was serving as president of that body. On October 4, 1847 Eliba registered in the county as a minister of the Gospel.

Eliba and his family had left Itawamba County and moved to Lavaca County, Texas by the 1860 census.

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