Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick History of Florence, Alabama

A mound on north bank of the Tennessee River shows an advanced civilization lived in our area some 2,000 years ago.

Florence is county seat of Lauderdale County.

Seven trustees of a newly organized Cypress Land Company issued a charter to establish a town.

The company had acquired 5,515.77 acres of land for about $ 15.45 per acre for the town.

A first land sale was held in 1818, and a second in 1823.

One Hundred eighty people, including General Andrew Jackson purchased land during the sales

Florence laid out by Ferdinand Sannoner (pictured above), the Italian surveyor who named our city.

Sanonner named the city after his favorite Italian city, Florence, Italy which was built around the River Arno.

The Jackson Military Road was constructed through Florence between 1817 and 1822.

Three hundred workmen improved earlier Indian roads which passed through present day downtown Florence

The city was one of the first textile centers in this part of the country.

A cotton factory was located on a nearby creek in 1818.

Florence suffered greatly during Civil War.

The town repeatedly changed hands, part of the city was burned, and almost all industry was destroyed.

Population of the town jumped from 1,600 to 6,000 people from 1887 to 1890.

Work began in 1831, on construction of a canal to bypass Muscle Shoals. The attempt failed.

In 1875, an new effort to construct a canal was successful.

On November 10, 1890, a steamboat passed through locks on way from St Louis to Chattanooga.

Canal used until completion of Wilson Dam in 1925.

La Grange College moved from Colbert County to Florence in 1885.

La Grange College evolved to the University of North Alabama.

Florence has provided four Alabama governors: Edward A O'Neal, Emmett O'Neal, Robert M Patton, and Hugh McVay

W C Handy, the Father of the Blues was born at Florence in 1873.

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