“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Athens in Limestone County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)


Fort Henderson and Trinity School

Reconstruction Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 18, 2020
1. Reconstruction Marker
Inscription.  “Trinity School founder Mary Fletcher Wells and the American Missionary Association forged the path for reconstruction in Limestone County's African American population in an approach based on the belief that education and religion – in equal parts – were necessary if freedmen were to claim the full benefits of citizenship.” — Charlotte Fulton, author of Holding the Fort: A History of Trinity School in Athens, Alabama 1865-1970

Veterans of the 110th United States Colored Troops returned to a home forever altered by war. Some elected to build a future in Limestone County; others decided to make their own way in the post-bellum world. Doctor Peete enlisted in the 38th U.S. Infantry. Peete served in Kansas as a guard for stagecoaches. He mustered out at Fort Richardson, Texas, in 1870. Peete moved to Dallas and worked as a laborer. He died there on February 2, 1923. Unlike their former comrade, George Allen, John Jackson and John Roberts remained in Limestone County. Allen bought land from his former owner and with his wife Martha raised twelve children. He passed away on May 1, 1896.

Reconstruction Marker on extreme right side of circle. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 18, 2020
2. Reconstruction Marker on extreme right side of circle.
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Jackson returned to Elkmont and adopted the surname Dawson. He died in 1905. Roberts became a farmer and was married three times. In 1911, Roberts purchased a tract of land from a Mr. Jack Grisham for $1601.52. Roberts passed away on May 19, 1943, in Athens at the age of 105. By then, his old post at Fort Henderson served a different and important purpose. Founded by Mary Fletcher Wells, the site was now a school for African Americans.

[Photo captions:]
Middle: A native of Michigan, Wells founded Trinity School in the battle- damaged white Baptist church near the Athens railroad depot in May 1865. Wells also established Trinity Congregational Church in 1872. This is the only known surviving image of Wells, found in a book published in 1893, a year after her death. Frances E. Willard and Mary A. Livermore, A Woman of the Century

Right: Sammie Dawson Mason holds a photograph of her father, 110th USCT soldier John Jackson Dawson. Mason attended and taught at Trinity School where her father fought and became a prisoner of war. As a young girl, Sammie often searched the school grounds for bullets during recess. Courtesy of the Decatur Daily
Erected 2020 by American Battlefield Trust & Paul Bryant Jr.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans

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EducationWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is February 2, 1923.
Location. 34° 47.86′ N, 86° 58.828′ W. Marker is in Athens, Alabama, in Limestone County. Marker is on Trinity Circle north of Browns Ferry Street (County Road 29), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 606 Trinity Cir, Athens AL 35611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trinity School (a few steps from this marker); Coleman Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); Prisoners of War (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battles of Fort Henderson and Sulphur Creek Trestle (within shouting distance of this marker); The United State Colored Troops (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Henderson / Trinity School - 1865-1970 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Coleman Family (approx. 0.3 miles away); Governor George S. Houston Home (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 18, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 170 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 18, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Mar. 30, 2023