Madison County was formed 30 September 1836. It was named for James Madison, 4th U.S. President. Huntsville was named for John Hunt, city founder. The courthouse was designed in 1939 by architects T. Ewing Shelton and E. Chester Nelson.
Traditional American food. Good salad bar. Best chicken on Earth!
Favorite Dish: Chicken dinner. (Pecan pie's great, too, if you have room!)
After the Battle of Pea Ridge but before the Battle of Prairie Grove 25 Union soldiers escorted Isaac Murphy's daughters back to Huntsville from Pea Ridge. This is the place they were engaged by local partisans. Like the British after Lexington and Concord, they suffered heavy losses. Only 7 of the Union soldiers survived the skirmish. It's been speculated this was the reason for the later "Huntsville Massacre," where 9 unarmed prisoners without specific charges were marched out to a creekbank on 10 January 1863 and executed by Yankee soldiers.
This limestone bluff, where all these images were photographed, formed the back boundary of our property, a 142-acre farm on Bohannon Mountain, where I grew up. The bluff overlooks the site of a Civil War skirmish at Holman Creek, when local Southern sympathizers engaged an escort of Union forces. Only a handful of the Union troops survived. Due to dense foliage that site is not visible from the bluff except when the trees are bare.
The Huntsville Square has evolved frequently over the years, but the vestiges remain. For most of OUR time there was a rectangular "island" with trees on both ends, shrubbery between, and a phone booth in the middle. There were parking spots along the length of both sides of the rectangle. Smaller concrete curb islands with parking meters parallelled the length of the central rectangle on both sides and both ends of the square, directing traffic flow and allowing for additional parking along their inner sides. There were also parking spots along the sidewalks on the outer perimeter of the square. When I was a kid, a child's ticket to see the "picture show" was 10 cents; adults were a quarter. I would get a "Sugar Daddy" for a nickel, I think. That would last me the whole movie. I snuck up behind Lana Harris one time, called her name, and stole a kiss when she turned around. She sure was beautiful! The First National Bank building DID contain the bank originally. My mom had her first H&R Block office on the 2nd floor. The building on the outside corner was a tire shop. Coger's Rexall occupied the middle half of what's noe The Emporium. There was a lunch counter, and we used the get slushes there and cherry- and lime-phosphates. There was a Bargain Basement below. To the right was Coger's Furniture, where I bought a black-and-white TV for Darla and me; to the left was a gift and flower shop. Down the steps on the side of the building in the 4th photo was the Domino/Pool Hall. This is where I payed my money to learn how to shoot pool on their two wonderful old regulation pocket pool tables. We played a variation of 8-ball called "sideball," where the person who had "solids" had to put the 1-ball in the right side-pocket and the person with "stripes" had to put the 15 in the left side before you could sink the 8. You could make them in other pockets but would have to "spot" them back out and get them in the right pocket finally. Loser usually paid for the game, I forget, a quarter or 50 cents. You could also gamble with your challenger or play "9-ball" for money. They also gambled on the domino games and punch-cards. In the final photo the building on the outside corner with the yellow stripe was the Huntsville Hardware. A jeweler, law offices, and for awhile a barber shop were in the street level offices of the other building. The drama teacher Judy, who later married and divorced Tom Tice, had an apartment on the second floor to the left of the balcony, where we hung out awhile when we were Juniors.