Luxapallila DAR Chapter History

Luxapallila Daughters of the

American Revolution

Chapter History

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The Luxapallila Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was organized on October 30, 1952, by Mrs. Alva McGriff Grimsley, Sr. Mrs. Grimsley was well-known in the community for her love of history and community service. She took a lot of pride in her ancestors and was very active in other lineage organizations such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Colonial Dames. She was born Adylise Sherrod on July 27, 1891, at Moulton, Alabama, to Charles Morgan Sherrod and Mary Helen Gates. She married Alva McGriff Grimsley, Sr., on May 10, 1916, at Courtland, Alabama. Their descendants still live in Fayette County. Mrs. Grimsley's Revolutionary Ancestors were Gideon Morgan, II, and John Foster, among others.

Gideon Morgan, II, was a Corporal in Captain Crouch's Co., Col. Andrew Ward's Reg. of Connecticut. He enlisted from New Mulford, Connecticut.

     John Foster was a Sergeant from Virginia. According to "The History of Alabama and Her People," John served with his father in several difficult campaigns in the Revolutionary War. He soon distinguished himself by his cool and intrepid bravery and his striking fidelity to every trust reposed in him. He was in the detachment that so successfully surprised and captured "The Holland Settlement of Tories." These prisoners were marched at night to a county jail where, for easier and surer safety, they were incarcerated. Each prisoner walked before an armed man, who was expected to guard him. The others were imprisoned and John was appointed Sergeant of the Guard detailed to keep them secure. While he had charge, the daily efforts to escape were all detected in time to render them futile. But he was soon sent in command of a detachment to re-capture "Big Jimmy." His successor was not so vigilant and the prisoners escaped. Later John and his brother, James, were on a small colonial vessel under command of Capt. Olney. Suddenly a large British ship appeared, bore down upon them, and ordered their surrender. They could neither escape nor resist and were all captured. They were transported to one of the Islands of Bermuda, where after long detention, they were regularly exchanged. They reached home just in time to find their father and their brother, Sterling, in Washington's army, at the siege of "Little York" (Yorktown), engaged in that hard and decisive struggle which resulted in the capture of Cornwallis and the termination of hostilities.

Alabama was established in 1819, and settlers rushed in to claim lands. The name Luxapallila is Choctaw Indian.  It is from "Luksi," and "a," and "balali," and means "turtle there crawls."  This locality is as old as Alabama history.  Black bears roamed the forests and the Indian name "Luxapallila" was given to the "creek where the terrapin crawls." It is said that DeSoto's expedition passed this way in late November of 1540.  The chroniclers speak of a small river on the journey and a short distance before they reached the "river of the Chicasas" (Chickasaws), meaning the Tombigbee, which they called the "Pafalaya," and sometimes "Apafalaya."  This term means "long haired."  The Spaniards called the Choctaw Indians "long-haired people."  So they were still in the country of the Choctaws and had not arrived at the Tombigbee where they shortly thereafter encountered some Alabamos and next arrived among the Chickasaws.  The Fayette, Marion, and Lamar area of the state is largely in the Choctaw Country closely contiguous to the Chickasaw Nation, but there is no evidence of any fact that either of these peoples lived there at least for any length of time.  It is more probable that the area was a hunting ground a frequented as such. 

White people settled in the area between the Luxapallila and Sipsey Rivers in Northwest Alabama. So many settlers came that it became necessary to establish a local government. Fayette County was created December 20, 1824, from portions of Tuscaloosa and Marion counties. It is located in the northwest-central section of the state. On December 24, 1824, the Alabama General Assembly passed a joint resolution praising General Marquis de LaFayette and inviting him to visit Alabama. In 1825 Lafayette entered Alabama from Georgia, traveled through Creek Indian territory along the Federal Road to Montgomery, to the state capital in Cahaba, and down the Alabama River to Mobile.

Fayette County was named for General Lafayette who was touring Alabama at the time of the county's formation.