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Covington County
Alabama

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Water Mills for Covington County in 1886

History of Covington County from Alabama As It Is by B F Riley 1887

Covington County Ala from Northern Alabama by Smith and DeLand - 1888

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HISTORY OF COVINGTON COUNTY ALABAMA

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

Established in 1821, this county took its name from General Leonard W. Covington, of Maryland. It is noted for its streams, grazing lands, and superb regions of timber. Like other sections of Alabama, Covington has failed of appreciation, because of its remoteness from lines of transportation.

The development of its abounding resources will follow in the wake of transportation facilities. The county has an area of 1,030 square miles.

Population in 1870, 4,868; population in 1880, 5,639. White, 4,968; colored, 671.

Tilled Land: 19,326 acres.—Area planted in cotton, 4,176 acres; in corn, 10,558 acres ; in oats, 2,114 acres; in rice, 47 acres; in sugarcane, 147 acres; in sweet potatoes, 466 acres.

Cotton Production: 1,158 bales.

The entire surface of Covington, is for the most part, level, and yet with undulation sufficient in many portions of the county for thorough drainage.

In the northern end of Covington, are found the red uplands which have become justly famous to planters in the adjoining counties. These, however, are not extensive, and for fertile soils, the people have to resort to the lands in the bottoms. Lands of more than average quality, are found in different districts throughout the county of Covington. Where they have been properly fertilized, the pine uplands have produced well.

It will be remembered by the readers of agricultural journals, that it was on just such level pine lands, as those which prevail in Covington county, that Mr. David Dickson had such a wonderful yield in Hancock county, Georgia, in 1868. According to the statement of the Southern Cultivator he gathered from two to three bales from each acre, after proper tillage.

The lands are susceptible of a high degree of enrichment by manures, are easily tilled, and capable of producing, not only a great variety of crops, but several in rotation every year. In some instances, the lands of Covington county have been made to yield from forty to sixty bushels of corn per acre; from thirty to seventy bushels of oats; from forty to eighty bushels of rice, and from one hundred to three hundred bushels potatoes. The best lands in Covington are the mulatto soils and those of a flowery gray. They each have a capital subsoil, which begins from ten to sixteen inches from the surface.

The bottom lands, as has before been intimated, are of excellent quality. There flourish upon the lands such farm productions as cotton, corn, oats, rye, rice, sugar-cane, millet (in many varieties), sweet and Irish potatoes, pumpkins, peas, and peanuts. Where the land is enriched these grow rapidly, and are easily produced by reason of the general looseness of the soil. Improved implements of agriculture upon these level tracts would prove valuable and remunerative. The productions of the lands have been gathered from the shallowest surface, while the subsoil, but a few inches beneath, has been largely untouched.

Fruits grow in variety and profusion. These include melons, apples, peaches, grapes, figs, pears, plums, quinces, strawberries, raspberries, and pecans. With transportation, these productions would find a ready market, and be a source of great revenue to the county.

The timbers of the county are yellow or long-leaf pine, oak, hickory, elm, beech, and poplar. The county is noted for its forests of towering pine. Districts of this magnificent timber extend for many miles in all directions through the county. Beneath these lofty pines, there flourish the greenest grasses and leguminous plants, which afford superior range for herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. Great quantities of lumber are hewn from the forests every season, and floated along the principal streams to the markets of the Gulf.

The county has some of the largest and deepest streams known to the southern section of the State. Among these, may be named Conecuh, Patsaliga, Sepulga, and Yellow rivers, and Pigeon, Limestone, Five Runs, and Forks of Yellow river, besides many others of less value. These great streams are quite serviceable to lumber men during the fall and winter season, as furnishing the channels of commerce for their superior, yellow, pine timber. They are also noted for their abundance of fish. With little difficulty, superior trout, bream, and perch, are caught from the streams. As in the forests adjoining, there are many deer still to be found, rare sport is here afforded, both for hunter and angler. Specimens, both of iron and marl have been found in Covington.

The chief pursuits, are timbering and farming. Wool-growing is becoming one of the industries of the county. Vast quantities of honey are every year produced.

The county is without transportation, except by means of wagon, to the railroads which penetrate the adjoining counties. The South Alabama railroad is projected through Covington, and is expected to run via Andalusia to Evergreen, in Conecuh county. The Conecuh river is navigable for light boats at certain seasons. They ascend as high as the nearest landing to Andalusia. But for the obstructions in the river, it would be a valuable waterway to this section of Alabama. The points of interest are Andalusia, the county-seat, with a population of 200, Rose Hill, Fairfield, Red Level, Lakeview, and Shirley. The leading schools of the county are at Andalusia, Rose Hill, and Red Level, though the public school system reaches every precinct. Churches, mainly of the Baptist and Methodist denominations prevail, both in the county and in the villages.

The prices of land vary from $1 to $5 per acre. Covington county has a larger district of government land than any other in the State, there being 255,800 acres.

Viewed as a whole, the water of Covington county is abundant, the climate salubrious, and the health unsurpassed. In addition to its remarkably favorable climate, it has all the other conditions which are conducive to a rapid rotation of crops, and of easy accumulation of the comforts of home. No more inviting region is found in the State.

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Source: Northern Alabama - Historical and Biographical by Smith & De Land, Birmingham, Ala 1888 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

COVINGTON COUNTY

Population: White, 5,000; colored, 600. Area, 1,030 square miles. Woodland, all undulating pine lands, 720 square miles: lime-hills and pine uplands, 310 square miles.

Acres -  In cotton (approximately), 4,200; in corn, 10,558: in oats, 2,114; in rice, 47; in sugar-cane, 147; in sweet potatoes, 400,

Approximate number of bales of cotton, 1,358.

County Seat - Andalusia: population, 625; located 90 miles south of Montgomery.

Newspaper published at County Seat - Covington Times, Democratic.

Postoffices in the County - Andalusia, Cameron, Conecuh River, Beda, Dannelly, Fairfield, Green Bay, Hallton, Hamptonville, Hilton, Lake View, Loango, Opine, Rat, Red Level, Rome, Rose Hill, Sanford, Shirley, Vera Cruz, Wiggins, Williams' Mill.

Established in 1821, this county took its name from Gen. Leonard W. Covington, of Maryland. It is noted for its streams, grazing lands, and superb regions of timber. Like other sections of Alabama, Covington has failed of appreciation, because of its remoteness from lines of transportation.

The timbers of the county are yellow or long-leaf pine, oak, hickory, elm, beech, and poplar. The county is noted for its forests of towering pine. Districts of this magnificent timber extend for many miles in all directions through the county.

Beneath these lofty pines, there flourish the greenest grasses and leguminous plants, which afford superior range for herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. Great quantities of lumber are hewn from the forests every season.


WATER MILLS OF COVINGTON COUNTY IN 1886 

Source: Bulletin, Geological Survey of Alabama, by Truman H. Aldrich, 1886 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

 

The following is a list of the water powers that are utilized.  The most of these powers are small,

but they make a large aggregate, and they represent only an insignificant part of the power

that is capable of development.

 

COVINGTON COUNTY................................................................................... ....... H.P.

A. J. Fletcher. Andalusia, flour and grist mill ............................................................ 10

Uatu Grist Mill. Andalusia, flour and grist mill ........................................................... 10

William Sharp. Ealums. flour and grist mill ................................................................ 10

Davis B. Gantt, Gantt, flour and grist mill................................................................. 12

C. E. Rawls. Gantt. flour and grist mill ..................................................................... 10

Dorsey's Mill, Glasiasko, flour and grist mill ............................................................. 10

James Aplin, Green Bay. flour and grist mill............................................................. 20

William Watkins. Liberty Hill, flour and grist mill ........................................................ 8

Kearsey's Mill, Redlevel. flour and grist mill ............................................................... 5

Ephram F. Lassiter, Rosehill, flour and grist mill ....................................................... 10

Thomas Saw Mill, Redlevel. lumber and timber mill ................................................. 25

Simmons Mill. Beck, lumber and timber mill ............................................................ 40

J. A. Prestwood. Jr., Andalusia, lumber and timber mill............................................ 40

George W. Lee. Rat. lumber and timber mill............................................................ 20

Buck Creek Mill, River Falls, lumber and timber .................................................. ... 80

J. F. Guthrie, Vera Cruz, lumber and timber mill...................................................... 25

Gunter's Mill, Andalusia, lumber and timber mill....................................................... 40

Gunter's Saw Mill. Gantt. lumber and timber mill...................................................... 15

Gantt's Mill. River Falls, lumber and timber mill ........................................................ 70

Pollard Gantt. Searight lumber and timber mill .......................................................... 35

Davis B. Gantt, Gantt, lumber and timber mill.......................................................... 40

N. B. Dixon. Mason, lumber and timber mill............................................................ 60

Bartlett & Barker, lumber and timber mill ................................................................ 60


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