Thorn Hill History

Thorn Hill is one of the oldest communities in the county. The Thorn Hill Post Office was established on April 18, 1836, with the first postmaster being Thomas Thorn, who the community was named after. This was the first post office to open in what is now Winston County. It was discontinued sometime in the 1880s, and a school opened in the town in 1856. The town appeared on the state map in 1842, at the junction of a road from Moulton to Pikeville and another from Thornhill to Jasper. It was last listed on the map in 1878. Other postmasters were Jeremiah Walker, Thomas Cord, George Cleere, and the slave-owning Orrin Davis, who was probate judge in Hancock/Winston County.

The following article appeared in the Moulton Democrat on December 12, 1856. Courtesy of Don Campbell and Hoyt Cagle: "W.J. Roberts, A.B., late of North Carolina, has opened a select school for young ladies at Thorn Hill, Hancock County, Ala., the residence of Judge Davis. All the English branches will be taught; also the Classics and Modern Languages. Except in school hours the pupils will be under the immediate superintendence of Mrs. Davis, and all the possible care will be taken for their comfort and advancement. The health and morality of the location are well known to the people of North Alabama; in fact in the Summer season it is one of the most delightful places in the State. Terms of Tuition: primary branches, per session: $10.50; second class, per session: $15.00; senior class, per session: $30.00?; board, rooms, fuel and lights per month: $10.00.

Indeed, the town moved toward the county line of Marion County toward the later 1800s and actually became part of Marion. The community itself still exists.

From a "Winston Whirl-Around" article in the Advertiser-Journal, September 8, 1938: "WINSTON WHIRL-AROUND By W. H. S. THORNHILL ---- This community came into existence about 1860. The pioneer settlers were Ahaz Caudle, Ancel Hyde, J. R. Phillips, Andrew D. Mitchell, M. M. Cox, Jessie Wood, Cob Chastain, Martin Turner, L. J. Craft, and Paul Tidwell. The first school house was about one and a half miles south of where the church now stands, which was built on government land. The pioneer preachers were Simeon Putnam, George Weaver, Green Haley, and Joe Holdbrooks. Bro. Green Haley was the father of Walker Haley. Mr. J. R. Phillips owned and operated a general store and a gin where Mr. Dave Hulsey now lives. Mr. Phillips moved to Bear Creek about 48 years ago. His son-in-law, Mr. C. L. Haley, succeeded him in the business. Mr. Andrew Mitchell was a U. S. soldier during the Civil War. After the war he returned home and married Miss Lurilda Cagle. He pitched his tent near the old home place where Mrs. Minday O’Barr, a daughter, now lives. To this union was born four boys, William Thomas, who graduated from Peabody College in 1896; Charlie E. Mitchell, lawyer of Hamilton; A. Jack Mitchell, prominent citizen of Haleyville, and Dr. L. A. Mitchell, of Texas, LA, who took a post-graduate course in Hoboken, N. J., about 1906 and served two years as hospital surgeon. Later he went to Panama Canal Zone and thence to Frederick, Okla. The daughters of Mr. Andrew Mitchell were Belle, who married Mr. Andrew Wigington, of Hackleburg. They reared a large family, among whom were lawyers, teachers and doctors. Mr. Wigington’s daughter married Mr. Arthur Lann of Haleyville. Ella married Prof. W. H. Dickinson, who died in 1911. Mindy married Euguene O’Barr and now resides at the old home place. Layra married Nathan Hulsey and lives nearby. Susie married Mr. A. B. Crow. She died on August 25 of this year. Mr. Ancel Hyde operated a store where Mr. Nathan Hulsey now lives. He died about 1890. Mrs. William Gilbert is a daughter of Mr. Hyde. Mrs. Gilbert has a daughter, Mrs. Australia Doss, mother of Mr. Forbis Doss of Haleyville. Another daughter of Mr. Hyde, Martha, married Mr. Off Tittle. Miss Florida Hyde married Mr. J. W. Brock. Miss Margaret Ann married Mr. Wylie Adkinson and they moved to Tennessee. A son, W. C. Hyde, was blown a half a mile away in a cyclone. He recovered and later operated a store about 30 miles north of Florence. He later died there. Mr. Cob Chastain has only one descendant left in the community, Bill. Jim Chastain now lives on Wylie Branch. Mr. Ahaz Caudle has 5 boys. Paul, Jeremiah, Stephen, Floyd, and Noah. Six girls, Melissa, Mary Bethsheba, Forbie, Flora, and Martha. All the boys are living. All the daughters are dead except Forbie, who married Mr. Reuben Wood. Paul lives in Texas, Stephen in Boston, Ala., Lloyd in Guin, and Noah on the old home place. Mr. Larkin J. Craft had four children. One is still living, Isaac P. Craft, who still lives at the old place. Martin is the father of Middleton Turner of Haleyville. Martin Turner’s daughter, Mrs. Dave Hulsey still lives in the community. M. M. Cox is the father of Julius Cox, who also lives here. The Craft Consolidated School was built here in 1936. Mr. Craft and Mr. Stultz donated all the land. Mr. J. O. Black, and Mr. A. C. Craven donated most of the framing. Mr. A. C. Craven moved here in 1933. He is the son of Mr. Andrew Craven of Spruce Pine, Ala. Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Craven moved to Spruce Pine from Carroll County, Georgia in 1898. They were of the earlier settlers of Spruce Pine. When the new school building was built, the old church building was torn down, and the old church and school buildings were remodeled into a new church building. Mr. A. B. Putnam gave liberally of his money and his labor in the remodeling. The present residents and their families, of Thornhill, are: George Burleson, Paul Burleson, Spence Thrasher, Filo Doss, Billie John Whitworth, Sid Daniels, J. O. Brock, George Thrasher, Mrs. Australia Doss, Mrs. Dona Gentles, Herman Cole, A. C. Craven, A. B. Dickerson, Olen Davis, L. G. Farley, Miss Jenny Hitchcock, Carl Hicks, Oscar Hicks, Mrs. Thelma Burleson, F. Herron, Clarence Hicks, Noah Caudle, Millard Caudle, A. B. Putnam, John Burleson, Wes Batchelor, Tom Jones, Dossie Stone, Almis Farley, Dan Farley, C. O. Postell, Otto Postell, Neil Postell, Doc Poor, Irvin Chastain, Bill Chastain, Claude West, Warner Harper, Joe Barnett, Mrs. Nancy Garrett, Floyd Dickerson, A. L. Shaffer, Miss Jessie Wood, Howard Hulsey, Dave Hulsey, Nathan Hulsey, W. Oliver Hulsey, Marvin Hulsey, Tommie Forester, G. L. Stanley, Eugene Riley Cox, John Lawrence, Mrs. Ella Dickinson, Troy Hulsey, Charlie Greer, Johnnie Edmonds, Charlie Edmonds, Andrew Moore, Buster Craft, Pete Craft, Mr. Downey, Tom Guined, Elton Franks, Tom Jones, Mrs. Dollie Dodd, Hugh Foster, Mrs. J. J. Milligan, and Buford Dodd. These people are customers of the merchants of Haleyville and these merchants appreciate them by giving them the best of values."