Reference has already been had to the settlements at Bellville and Hampden Ridge. Between the years of 1817 and 1823 the population of both these points was steadily increased.
Several brothers, whose name was Bell, came to Bellville, then called "The Ponds," about 1818 or 1820, and having commenced an enterprising life in this region, they called the
village after their own name—Bellville. At Hampden Ridge, the home of Mr. Autrey, as at every advance post in this uncivilized region of country, there was a nucleus formed,
around which the elements of growth would accumulate as the stream of immigration would continue to flow. As has already been said, by the permission of Mr. Autrey, and partly
by his direction, the first court house of the county had been built on Hampden Ridge during the year 1817. After this there came, in rapid succession, and settled hereabouts,
the families of Savage, Charlton, Thompson, John and Duncan Mclntyrc, Dr. Houghton (who soon after died), Major Bowie, Stringer, Causer, Thomas Hodge and Jesse Baggett, the father
of Richard Baggett, of Castleberry, who was the first white child born in the county of Conecuh.
This church was built circa 1840. It is a two story frame building with portico and external stairs leading to a slave gallery. All of the building material, lumber, brick, pews and pegs were hand made by members of the community. This Church was organ …