Historic Markers Across Alabama

Furman National Historic District

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: on Freedman Farm Rd, south of route 21, Furman, AL
County: Wilcox
Coordinates: N 32° 00.018    W 086° 57.750
  32.0003    -86.9625
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMHYTT


Side 1:
Furman was designated a National Historic District in 1999 and has many antebellum homes and structures still standing. The town has a fascinating history beginning circa 1802 when the first settlers came to the area from South Carolina. Most of the Wilcox County towns were settled by Scotch, Irish, and English settlers, and Furman also to some degree. However, some of the early settlers of Furman came from the South Carolina low country and were of French ancestry. The William Snow family settled on a high hill north of present day Furman, now the site of Old Snow Hill Cemetery around this date. Thus, the early community was known as Snow's Hill. It was renamed Furman in 1872 after the town of Furman, South Carolina, and a new community was founded a few miles to the west - and named Snow Hill. Furman Academy was a popular school in the late 1800's.

Side 2:
Most of the earliest settlers came from the Carolinas. These extended family groups included among others the Albrittons, Carters, Lees, Palmers, Purifoys, Gulleys, McCondiches, Bursons, Hearsts, Simpsons, Stablers, and Powells. Some fascinating persons came from this small town, including Elkanah Burson, an attache' to General Robert E. Lee and John Purifoy, a member of Company C. Mr. Purifoy later served Alabama as Secretary of State. Mr. Burson, an original member of the Wilcox True Blues Company, delivered the Confederacy surrender papers to General Ulysses Grant at Appomattox. He then returned home to Furman and later served in the Alabama House of Representatives. One of his great granddaughters is now the owner of Wakefield, one of the historic antebellum homes still standing in Furman. Another great granddaughter is married to the great grandson of D.W. Ramsey, the second commandant of the Wilcox True Blues! Other direct descendants of these original settlers still own homes and property in Furman.

Some of the standing landmarks are Patience Plantation, Wakefield Plantation, Fox Hill Plantation, Palmer-Britt Home, McCondiche-Stabler Home, Purifoy-Lipscomb Home, Purdue-Estes Home, Watson-Moorer Home, Burson-Rushing Home, Robbins-Kennedy Home, Bethsaida Baptist Church, and Furman Methodist Church.

End of Furman National Historic District