Oak Place Farm

OVERVIEW

Location: Huntsville, Madison Co., AL
Date Constructed/ Founded: 1840 (main house built)
Associated Surnames: Steele, Weaver, Tracy
Historical Notes: George Steele migrated from Virginia to Alabama in 1818. He was a trained architect who was commissioned to build several of the prominent houses in the Madison, AL region. During his first year of marriage to Eliza Ann Weaver Steele, he purchased ten acres of land (bounded by Clinton, Randolph, Lincoln, and Calhoun Streets). In 1824 he oversaw the construction of his first home, a brick Federal style house. George Steele enslaved a large number of people who were trained in construction to do the manual labor for his architectural contracts. He also hired-out additional enslaved persons to increase the workforce as needed. In 1840, Steele purchased 320 acres east of town and began construction of his second home, Oak Place. By that time he was serving as trustee of the Green Academy and of the local branch of the state bank. The labor of enslaved persons was used to raise vegetables, fruits, and grains; Steele was not involved in cotton farming.
Associated Pages: None


ASSOCIATED ENSLAVED PERSONS

Steele familyElizabeth “Bess” Steele (mulatto woman, age 22); Ellis (mulatto boy, age 9) – son, John Brahan (mulatto boy, age 7 or 8) – son, Charley (bright mulatto boy, age 2 or 3) – son, Emma (bright mulatto girl, age 1 or 2) – dau. [to be “set free” and “removed to a free state.. Ohio, Illinois or Michigan” with a sum of fifteen hundred dollars, 1855 Will of George G. Steele]

Information from Antebellum Census & Estate Records

1850: Group1 – Male age 71 (b.1779), Female age 65 (b.1785), Male age 60 (b.1790), Male age 52 (b.1798), Female age 53 (b.1797), Female age 4 (b.1846); Group2 – Male age 44 (b.1806), Female age 37 (b.1813), Male age 34 (b.1816), Male age 34 (b.1816), Female age 30 (b.1820), Female age 24 (b.1826), Male age 24 (b.1826), Male age 31 (b.1819), Male age 26 (b.1824), Male age 24 (b.1826), Male age 34 (b.1816), Male age 25 (b.1825), Male age 14 (b.1836), Male age 47 (b.1803), Male age 18 (b.1832), Male age 14 (b.1836), Male age 14 (b.1836), Male age 18 (b.1832), Male age 12 (b.1838), Male age 9 (b.1841), Male age 9 (b.1841), Male age 12 (b.1838), Male age 15 (b.1835), Male age 12 (b.1838); Group3 – Male age 60 (b.1790), Female age 42 (b.1808), Male age 32 (b.1818), Male age 33 (b.1817), Female age 8 (b.1842), Female age 6 (b.1844), Male age 4 (b.1846), Male age 2 (b.1848); Group4 – Female age 65 (b.1785), Female age 34 (b.1816), Female age 40 (b.1810), Female age 14 (b.1836), Female age 14 (b.1836), Female age 38 (b.1812), Female age 34 (b.1816), Female age 30 (b.1820), Female age 38 (b.1812), Female age 55 (b.1795), Female age 18 (b.1832), Female age 10 (b.1840), Female age 8 (b.1842), Female age 3 (b.1847), Female age 10 (b.1840), Female age 3 (b.1847), Female age 6 (b.1844), Female age 8 (b.1842), Female age 17 (b.1833), Female age 3 (b.1847), Female age 4 (b.1846), Female age 1 (b.1849), Female age 6 (b.1844), Female age 3/12 (b.1860); Group5 – Male age 25 (b.1825), Female age 21 (b.1829), Male age 30 (b.1820), Male age 25 (b.1825), Female age 22 (b.1828), Female age 18 (b.1832), Male age 16 (b.1834) [1850 US Federal Census (Slave Schedule), Madison Co., AL, George Steele, 69 total, no houses]

1860: Male age 75 (b.1785), Female age 62 (b.1798), Male age 60 (b.1800), Female age 58 (b.1802), Female age 58 (b.1802), Female age 48 (b.1812), Female age 42 (b.1818), Male age 41 (b.1819), Female age 25 (b.1835), Female age 45 (b.1815), Male age 47 (b.1813), Male age 29 (b.1831), Female age 26 (b.1834), Male age 24 (b.1836), Male age 20 (b.1840), Male age 18 (b.1842), Male age 16 (b.1844), Male age 10 (b.1850), Male age 12 (b.1848), Male age 8 (b.1852), Male age 9 (b.1851), Female age 5 (b.1855), Male age 5 (b.1855), Male age 1 (b.1859), Male age 22 (b.1838), Female age 18 (b.1842), Female age 14 (b.1846), Male age 10 (b.1850), Male age 8 (b.1852), Female age 6 (b.1854), Male age 2 (b.1858), Female age 5/12 (b.1860), Male age 10 (b.1850), Male age 8 (b.1852), Female age 25 (b.1835), Male age 10 (b.1850), Female age 6 (b.1854), Female age 22 (b.1838), Female age 2 (b.1858), Female age 8/12 (b.1860), Female age 25 (b.1835), Female age 4 (b.1856), Male age 1 (b.1859) [1850 US Federal Census (Slave Schedule), Madison Co., AL, Eliza Steele, 43 total, 12 houses]

ASSOCIATED FREE PERSONS

Steele family: George Gilliam Steele (b.1798-d.1855) – owner of Oak Place; Eliza Ann Weaver Steele (b.1808-d.1891) – wife (m.1823); Matthew Weaver Steele (b.1824-d.1907) – son; George Gilliam Steele (b.1828-d.1859) – son; Ellen Elizabeth Steele (b.1833-d.1868) – dau.

Steele family: George Gilliam Steele (b.1828-d.1859) – son of G.G. and E.A.W. Steele; Ada Steele (b.?-d.?) – wife;

Tracy family: Edward Dorr Tracy (b.1833-d.1863); Ellen Elizabeth Steele Tracy (b.1833-d.1868) – wife (m.?), dau. of G.G. and E.A.W. Steele; Susan Tracy (b.1858-d.1912) – dau.; Georgia Elizabeth Tracy (b.1860-d.1921) – dau.


RESEARCH LEADS AND RECORDS

  • None

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

  • Steele House (1824) – Brick Federal style house located at 519 Randolph
  • Oak Place House (1840) – Also known as the Steele-Fowler House. Outbuildings (now demolished) included a kitchen, ice house, stable, barn, and other buildings. The house is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places (ID: 74000422).

REFERENCES

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