Cranal History

From the (Cullman) Alabama Tribune, February 8, 1894; submitted by Robin Sterling.

Please note that it is believed that the following area described as "Burkston" to actually be the "Cranal" area.

To Home Seekers. Burkston, Winston County, Ala. Ed. Tribune—If you will allow me space in your valuable paper I will give you a few dots from the Wild West—Winston County. Burkston is a small country village of less than one thousand inhabitants, and situated on the right bank of Turkey-foot creek, one-half mile west of Sipsey river. And this small hamlet, insignificant as it may seem, is destined to be, in the near future, the commercial emporium of Winston county; simply from the fact that it is in the center of a vast lumber region and has inexhaustible beds of coal underlying this adjacent hills. The lands lying west of Burkston are, to say the least, simply fine. And have an excellent soil. The soil is a fine specimen of eastern Texas. It is as black as a crow in some parts and from four to seven inches deep, and under this soil the finest kind of clay is found for several feet deep. In this part of the country there are several miles of just such land as described above. This land is within eight to twelve miles of the S&B railroad, and a great deal of it is as level as floor, while there is some that is bench, sloping towards the creeks and branches and unbroken by cross hollows which are so common in other parts of Winston; and which spoil many good farms. The beauty of it all is, this land belongs to Uncle Sam and lies in the reach of all who want a good home, and have not entered. There is a section of about twenty-four square miles in one body, and but three or four entries yet made.

So to any honest, hard-working man, who wants a home and a good one, too, we will say come to Burkston and you will be received with a hearty welcome by the citizens. Procrastination is the thief of time; so don’t delay but come at once and get as a good a home for the pitiful sum of $16.00, as can be had, on upland, anywhere in the State of Alabama. It is only a question of time when the glorious opportunity now offered to home seekers will be a thing of the past. For such a country as this, lying so near to market, having such an abundance of fine timber, and such a fertile soil, an abundant supply of fresh water, cannot long remain a wilderness.

This country also has an abundant supply of fish, playing in its everlasting streams. And the squirrels are jumping like grasshoppers in May, in the timber, towering heavenward on the hillsides and in the hollows; and chattering as though they bid defiance to the next flood.

The finest timber than can be found in the State is found here in this section. The white oaks are from one to two feet in diameter and many of them forty feet to the first limb, and the black and red oaks are excellent. The poplars are extraordinarily fine, measuring from one to three feet in diameter, and tolerably tall. Hickory in abundance.

Sheep do well here all winter without any feed, a yearling and dry cattle live through winter without feed and look better than most of the cattle in Cullman county that have been fed. No better range for hogs can be found in the state than is found here. This part of Winston has advantages that cannot be excelled—the World can’t beat it. Come and see for yourselves. You will be pleased. D.S. Holmes, J.W. Searcy.