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Coosa County
County History




The county of Coosa derives its name from the beautiful river of the same name which forms its western boundary. In admiration of the sparkling water of the stream, the Indians named it rippling which is the translation of Coosa. The county was organized in 1832. It partakes largely of the characteristics which prevail in the adjoining counties. Both as a mineral and agricultural county, Coosa is greatly favored. It has an area of 670 square miles.

Population in 1870, 11,945; population in 1880, 15,113- White, 10,050; colored, 5,063.

Tilled Land; 80,791 acres. Area planted in cotton, 26,468 acres; in corn, 29,990 acres ; in oats, 5,325 acres; in wheat, 9,735 acres; in tobacco, 28 acres; in sweet potatoes, 412 acres.

Cotton Production: 8,411 bales.

The face of the country is uneven, being diversified with precipitous hills, deep valleys, beautiful terraces, with broad districts of undulating surface. The character of the soils is varied. The dominating lands are the red and gray, with occasional belts of thinner soils, which are mostly found along the hills and ridges. There are also many broad and beautiful valleys iu the county, the productiveness of which exceeds that of any other lands. Upon the lands which skirt the streams are found the splendid cotton fields of Coosa, as well as upon the best red and gray uplands. These valleys have a considerable depth of rich soil, mixed with vegetable matter—the accumulations of ages. The principal crops are cotton, corn, oats, wheat, sweet potatoes, and sorghum. The three crops first named grow to rank luxuriauce when planted upon lands favorable to their production. The soil is capable of producing valuable grasses, and the fine stock in which the county abounds shows what may be accomplished in this branch of industry.

Near the center of the county, between two of its principal streams, are found many high ridges which are clad in the noblest specimens of yellow or long-leaf pine. This district of valuable timber extends to the Talladega line. The other timbers comprise several kinds of oak and hickory, together with occasional patches of short-leaf pine.

Embosomed in the numerous high hills, already mentioned, which prevail between Weoguffka and Hatchet creeks, are deposits of iron ore which seem inexhaustible. A granite belt of value exists between the towns of Bradford and Rockford. Tantalite, copper, tin, asbestos, emery, soapstone, corundum, kaolin, with traces of gold and silver, are also found.

At Kellyton is a thriving cotton-mill, known as the Bradford Factory. Water-power is abundant in the multitude of streams that flow through Coosa, chief among which are Coosa river, Hallet, Weoguffka, and Paint creeks. Rockford, Kellyton, Bradford, Nixburg, and Goodwater are the principal towns. The Columbus and Western railroad terminates, at present, at the last-named place. The road is projected to the vast Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia railroad. The Anniston and Atlantic railroad is also being built to this point.

School and religious facilities abound throughout the county, and at several of the towns named are schools of more than ordinary grade. The people are hospitable, and favorably disposed toward strangers seeking homes in their midst.

Lands vary in price from $2 to $12 per acre, their value depending upon their grade and location. Coosa is a county of radiant promise, and, when its internal wealth shall be known, it will be brought up alongside the most progressive counties in the State. It deserves high consideration at the hands of those seeking a favorable location for settlement. In the county are found 33,800 acres of government land awaiting occupation.

Source: Alabama As It Is by Benjamin Franklin Riley, D. D., 1887 , Transcribed by C. Anthony

Population: White, 10,050; colored, 5,063 Area -670 square miles. Woodland, all.
Acres - In cotton 26,468; in corn, 29,990; in oats, 5,225; in wheat, 9,735; in tobacco,---- ; in sweet potatoes,---- . Approximate number of bales of cotton, 9,000.
County Seat - Rockford: population 1,000.
Newspaper published at County Seat - Enterprise (Democratic).
Post offices in the County - Bentleysville, Crewsville, Dollar, Equality, Gantt, Gold Branch, Good Water, Hanover, Hissop, Iwana, Kellyton, Lauderdale, Marble Valley, Mount Olive, Nixburgh, Pentonville, Rockford, Salter, Stewartsville, Traveler's Rest, Weogufka.
Coosa County was established by an act of the State Legislature dated December 1832, out of a portion of the territory ceded by the Muscogee Indians by the treaty of Cusseta in March 1832. The original area of the county was much larger than its present size, as it comprised a considerable portion of that part of Elmore County which lies east of the Coosa River, which territory, with the County Seat, Wetumpka was taken from Coosa on the organization of Elmore County, in 1866.
Coosa County receives its name from the Coosa River, which in turn perpetuates the name of the beautiful and fertile valley which so charmed the eyes of De Soto and his cavaliers when their gaze first rested on it and its bosom was for the first time pressed by the foot of the white man.
The surface of the county is uneven and is marked by mountainous elevations, valleys, broad ridges containing beautiful stretches of level tablelands and sections of slightly rolling lands. The general character of the soils is red and gray, but along the hills and ridges some sandy lands are found, while in the valleys and along the bottoms of the numerous creeks, a black soil of wonderful productiveness is found, which yields cotton, corn, wheat or oats equal to the best lands of the State. These, with sweet potatoes and cane, form the principal crops raised, and while Coosa County is not regarded as one of the banner agricultural counties of the State, it is a safe county and its soil returns a yield which will average up, year in and year out, with some of the counties which stand higher than it in the agricultural scale. The red lands of this county are specially adapted to the culture of wheat and other small grain, and the yield of these articles per acre will compare favorably with the production of like crops in any other portion of the State.
The hills of Coosa County are clothed with a rich forest of long-leafed pine, with considerable oak, hickory, gum, and some short-leaf pine. Owing to the fact that this county is only entered by a railroad on its border, this forest has scarcely been touched.
Besides its agricultural features and its timber wealth, Coosa County can lay claim to distinction on account of the extent and variety of its mineral deposits. Like the county of Tallapoosa, which joins it, Coosa has gold within its borders, but none has yet been discovered in quantities which would pay to work. North of Rockford there lies a belt of granite of a superior character, which will be quarried and used largely, as soon as transportation facilities are provided to convey it to centers where it will be in demand. There is an extensive deposit of iron ore some miles north of Rockford, which at present is unavailable for the reason that it is locked in by the absence of the means of conveying it to points where it could be utilized. The other minerals, which are found in this county in greater or lesser quantities, are copper, tin, asbestos, corundum, emery, kaolin, and mica.
The principal streams of the county are the Coosa River, which forms its western boundary, Hatchett, Weogufka, Paint, Socapotoy, Pintlocco and Futtegal Creeks. These streams all furnish water-power of almost unrivaled extent. The Coosa River, where it borders this county, is rendered impassable by obstructions and rapids, and should the movement now on foot cause it to be opened to navigation, the benefit to Coosa County will be inestimable. At Bradford, on Socapotoy Creek, there is a cotton mill known as Bradford's Factory, which has been idle for some years. The building is a substantial stone structure, and, but for the fact that it is situated so far off of the line of railroad, the property would be very valuable and the mill might be worked to advantage.
Rockford, a little town of about 1,000 inhabitants, is the County Seat. It possesses excellent schools, good society, and has several churches. Kellyton and Good Water are the only railroad stations in the county. For some years the latter has been the terminus of the Columbus & Western Railroad. This road is now being extended to Birmingham, and will be completed at an early date. The other towns of Coosa are: Nixburg, Bradford, Mt. Olive, Stewartsville, Hanover, Equality, Lorraine, Traveler's Rest, Hissop, Weogufka and Marble Valley.
The price of land ranges from $2 to $15 per acre- The county contains a large body of public land, open to homestead settlement or purchase. The future of Coosa County is most promising, and with increased railroad facilities, and the Coosa River open to navigation, it would come to the front as one of the wealthiest counties of the State.
Source: Northern Alabama - Historical and Biographical by Smith & De Land, Birmingham, Ala 1888 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney