Bethel History

From the Advertiser-Journal, August 4, 1938:

This community was originally named Ebenezer, for the Methodist Church there that later sold its property to the Baptist and later moved to Delmar. The name was then changed to Bethel, and Bethel it is today. The first grave in the now large cemetery was that of the daughter of Mr. Henry McNutt. She was buried there in February 1881. During the days following the Civil War, Mr. Henry McNutt owned a store, a gin, and a tan-yard here – the only ones in this territory. His goods he hauled from far away Leighton in a steer wagon. Salt sold for one dollar a pound. To obtain the necessary tan bark for his tannery, Mr. McNutt purchased much wooded land in the community for 12 1/2 cents per acre. His industries were located at a point about one-fourth of a mile southeast of where Bethel Church now stands. The pioneers of this community were the McNutts—upright people of strong stock. Their progenitors of the many McNutts scattered over this section – fine people. Today, this neighborly community is composed of some of the finest people of our state. They are the families of Mr. Tank McNutt, Mr. Elvin McNutt, Mr. Ed Shook, Mr. E.N. Garrison, Mr. John Cummings, Mr. Pete Hicks, Mr. G.B. McNutt, Rev. Hugh Barnett, Mr. Bud McNutt, Mr. Jim West, Mr. C.I. West, Mr. Bert Aderholt, and Mr. Will Bridgeman. Many of the old-timers remember the historic wrestling match between John Brymer and Perry Henson at Bethel, in the early [1880s]. Elon and Will McNutt, sons of Benton, were raised here. Luther Aderholt also raised a fine family near Bethel. This was also the home of the late John Brogden – a good man. Bethelites do all their trading in Haleyville. Their children attend public school at Delmar and high school at Haleyville. These sober, hardworking, Christian people are a distinct asset to our county. And as such, we gladly pay them tribute.