Sunday, June 19, 2011

Begetting a Community

“It was over a century and a half ago that James Lewis Kendrick, with his wife, children and several other relatives, left South Carolina to beat a path through the wilderness to the new Alabama Territory. Today, descendants of this little band of pioneers are scattered throughout Shelby County in the heart of the State of Alabama. There is, in fact, a thriving rural community along about the center of the county which was named for the Kendrick family.

“‘Kendrick Springs’ the place was first called when early settlers would meet at springs located on property purchased by a Kendrick widow at an 1873 tax sale, to do the family wash, bathe the kids, and carry home buckets of water for other household uses. (The springs were located down the hill behind the little white church building where St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church meets.) The name (of the community) has now been shortened to “K-Springs” but the Kendricks and their descendants still make up a large portion of the community’s population. It is the Kendricks of Kendrick Springs -- and other pioneers who helped to carve out of the wilderness a loving, caring community -- that we wish to share on these pages.”


This is the beginning of a book of local history that I wrote around thirty years ago. Over 100 people came to the first book signing on the day it came off the press. Since then it has sold to people across the country and in Australia. It is now in its third printing.

Since there still seems to be an interest in the story of these early settlers, and since the woods, hills and hollows surrounding the community are now filled with sub-divisions full of people who may know nothing about the people who once lived where they live, I thought I would tell a little of their stories in future blogs. I’ll take most of the stories from the book, and maybe a few from a play script I wrote several years ago about the history of the K-Springs church and community people.

I hope you find their stories as interesting as I did as I wrote and put them together.


by Shelba Shelton Nivens
(email for permission to quote or copy

No comments: