The early settlers of Alabama found themselves surrounded but the dense forest had to be felled and the fields cultivated. From History of Conecuh County, Alabama 1881 by Rev. B. F. Riley, we learn that in Conecuh County, the farmers did not have the implements to make the task easier. They had a few axes, grubbing hoes, few shovels, spades and an occasional scooter plow that were brought with them from their distant homes to conquer the vast forest land.
Farm implements 1772 (Library of Congress)
To cultivate the land, the only implement used by even the wealthiest farmers for several years was a sharply-flattened hickory pole, made somewhat in the shape of a crowbar to make holes for the seed to be planted. At first, there was even an absence of a Blacksmith which greatly hindered the farmers. Finally, in upper Conecuh County, Alabama, Joshua Betts was in possession of a few blacksmith tools and when his brother Isaac Betts joined him in Conecuh County with his complete set of blacksmith tools, they opened a Blacksmith shop.