Historic Markers Across Alabama

Lucy's Branch/Legacy of The Little Elk Community

Marker ID:  
Location: on Snake Road, Athens, Alabama
County: Limestone
Coordinates: N 34° 46.783    W 087° 13.145
  34.77971666    -87.21908333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMJ814


Lucy's Branch

This site is named for Lucy Bedingfield, daughter of a slave and a Cherokee Indian. She was born 1832, and her Indian name was Finch. She married Meredith Bedingfield, a slave and had 9 children. Lucy was an astute and avid storyteller. She purchased 170 acres in June 1888, for $600, recorded by U.S. Paten #43463. One of the last known Indian Chiefs in the area formerly occupied this land. Lucy mortgaged the farm several times by making her mark. She used "Gold Coins of the present standard of weight and fineness" to make payments. Lucy and her descendants farmed this land until the TVA purchased it in 1935 for the creation of Wheeler Lake. Lucy relocated to Oklahoma in later years and is buried there.

Legacy of the Little Elk Community

This was Chickasaw Indian land until it was ceded to the United States in 1816. Existing Earthen mounds give testimony of earlier Indian presence. The land was then settled by a heterogeneous society of Blacks, Whites and Indians. African-American children were educated at Little Elk M.B. Church est. 1874 until a school was built on Snake Road in 1930. Located nearby are some old home sites and Lucy's cemetery containing over 60 graves. The descendants of these early settlers have spread the unique culture and strong principles of the Little Elk community through but the U.S. Lucy's legacy span the acts of slavery, Indian removal, Civil War, reconstruction, segregation and women's right to vote.

Erected by Erected by Limestone County Historical Society and Friends of Lucy's Branch.


Two sided marker.

End of Lucy's Branch/Legacy of The Little Elk Community