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

Center (Centre) Star

Center (Centre) Star Marker Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, April 1, 2015
1. Center (Centre) Star Marker Side 1
(side 1)
Center Star was spelled Centre Star into the 1900s. The name evolved from the US Postal Service, which served remote areas by "star routes." The Post Office here, which existed from 1850 to 1914 (except between 1902 and 1913), was the center of a star route for this section of the county, thus Centre Star. This area is one of the oldest settlements in Lauderdale County. Settlers arriving in the early 1800s found both Chickasaw and Cherokee Indians. At one time, their dividing line overlapped here. Remains of Indian villages were found southwest of this location. The land south of Center Star was fertile and was sought by cotton planters desiring the "old fields" cleared by the Indians. Plantations established throughout the area included: Phillips/Taylor, Cunningham, Douglas, and Williams. Communities near here were Bellview, Big Oak and Houstontown. The Bellview Road ran from the mouth of the Bluewater Creek to Center Star. Center Star has the oldest active Methodist congregation in Lauderdale County: it was organized near the mouth of Bluewater Creek in June 1818. It later move near Center Star and was named Driskill's
Center (Centre) Star Marker side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, April 1, 2015
2. Center (Centre) Star Marker side 2
Click or scan to see
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Chapel about 1893. In later years, it was renamed Center Star Methodist Church.
(Continued on other side)
(side 2)
(Continued from other side)
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized at the Goodsprings Campground in 1839; it divided in April 1861, and a church was organized at Center Star. Center Star was a rallying point where Captain Edward A. O'Neal, on May 26, 1861, organized his "Calhoun Guard," later designated Company 1, 9th Alabama Infantry Regiment. O'Neal was promoted to Brigadier General and became Governor of Alabama after the War. On May 9, 1864, this was the scene of a two-hour skirmish between Colonel William A. Johnson's Confederate Fourth Alabama Cavalry and a combined Union force from the 7th Illinois Cavalry and the 9th Ohio Regiment under Colonel Richard Rowett. The Center Star Voting Beat was created in 1870. Masonic Lodge 25 was activated here in 1888. Community schools were in the area prior to 1916 when land was purchased by the County Board of Education for the Center Star Elementary School about ¼ mile north of the Old Huntsville Road. The school was relocated to near the intersection of CR 33 and Highway 72 in 1949 and closed in 1965. The Allen Thornton Trade School opened in that building in August 1967. Early commercial activities at Center Star included: general
Allen Thornton Trade School image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, April 11, 2015
3. Allen Thornton Trade School
merchandise stores, sorghum mill, blacksmith shop, gristmill, cotton gin, and doctors' offices.
Erected 2015 by East Lauderdale Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1861.
Location. 34° 51.678′ N, 87° 27.292′ W. Marker is in Center Star, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. Marker is at the intersection of Lee Highway (U.S. 72) and Big Oak (County Route 107), on the right when traveling east on Lee Highway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6620 US 72, Killen AL 35645, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Earliest Methodist Congregation in Lauderdale County, Alabama (approx. ¼ mile away); Mitchell Town Community (approx. 0.9 miles away); Jesse James Gang Canal Payroll Robbery/Trial of Frank James (approx. 1.2 miles away); Gabriel “Old Gabe” Butler (approx. 2.2 miles away); Cherokee Chief Doublehead's Village Around 1800 (approx. 2½ miles away); Daniel White (approx. 2½ miles away); Elgin/Elgin Crossroads (approx. 3.7 miles away); Springfield Community 1810/Springfield Church and School (approx. 4.2 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on March 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2015, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 606 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 13, 2015, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 25, 2021