During the Civil War, Cherokee County Alabama was a center of iron manufacturing. The famous Cherokee chief Pathkiller, who led the Cherokee in the Creek War of 1813-14, lived in Turkeytown, near the present-day town of Centre.
DeKalb County was once a part of the territory occupied by the Cherokee Indian nation. The coming of white men to the county occurred during the American Revolution when a British agent, Alexander Campbell, was sent here for the purpose of arousing the Cherokees against the southern colonies. In 1777, Campbell made his headquarters at Wills Town, a Cherokee Indian village located on Big Wills Creek near the present community of Lebanon. Campbell was successful in arousing a number of the Cherokees by promising them clothing and conquered territory in exchange for the scalps of white settlers.