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Lamar County History
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1872 History  - Sanford County by Willis Brewer.

1887 History - Alabama As It Is - by Benjamin Franklin Riley

1888 History - by Smith and DeLand - 1888

1891 - History of Lamar County - Vernon Courier, August 27 and Sept 3, 1891

1872 History - from Alabama, Her History, Resources, War Record...Published by Barrett and Brown 1872, pg 517 - transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney

The County of Sanford or Jones

Sanford was first established in 1866, and called in honor of Hon. E. P. Jones of Fayette.  The de facto convention of 1867 abolished it, but it was re-established Oct. 8, 1868 by its present name, to compliment Hon. H. C. Sanford of Cherokee.  The territory was taken from Fayette and Marion, and it lies in the northwest quarter of the State, on the Mississippi line, north of pickens, south of Marion, and west of Fayette and Marion.

The population in 1870 was 7,330 whites, and 1,563 blacks.  The area of Sanford is about 600 square miles.  The assessed value of property is about $750,000.  The farm lands - 42,465 acres improved, and 231,537 acres unimproved - had a cash value of $304,250 in 1870.The value of live stock - 1,462 horses, 496 mules, 6,848 neat cattle, 6,784 sheep, 11,463 hogs - was $301,749 in 1870.  In 1869 the productions were 219,437 bushels of corn, 16,145 bushels of wheat, 14,128 bushels of oats, 32,664 bushels of potatoes, 1,144 gallons of wine, 72,157 pounds of butter, 6,407 gallons of sorghum, 4,000 pounds of tobacco, 1,825 bales of cotton, 9,924 pounds of wool; the value of animals slaughtered was $64,083; and the value of farm productions was $643,049.

The surface is hilly and broken; the soil light to a large extent, but with fertile valleys.  There is a great abundance of iron ore, and a smeltling and casting furnace is in operation three miles west of Vernon.  The Buttahatchee flows through teh northern part, but there are no navigable streams.  The projected railway form Columbus to Decatur is surveyed through the heart of the ocunty.  There are a number of flour and lumber mills, and the material interests of othe ocunty are rapidly improving.

Vernon, the seat of justice is a village, and there are no towns.  The county has no general history and is not yet represented separately in the general assembly.

1887 History - Alabama As It Is - by Benjamin Franklin Riley, D. D., 1887 - transcribed by Christina Anthony

This county was formed in 1866, and named Jones; in 1868 the name was changed to that of Sanford, and in 1877 its present designation was adopted. Remote from transportation, the county of Lamar has been placed at great disadvantage, notwithstang its rich stores of mineral and the productiveness of its soils. It covers an area of 550 square miles.

Population in 1870, 8,893; population in 1880, 12,142. White, 9,967; colored, 2,175. Tilled Land—62,141 acres. Area planted in cotton, 15,245 acres; in corn, 28,303 acres; in oats, 4,139 acres; in wheat, 5,627 acres; in rye, 75 acres; in tobacco,46 acres; in sweet potatoes, 626 acres. Cotton Production—5,015 bales.

Like the most of this section of Alabama, the surface of Lamar is hilly and unbroken, with many productive valleys. The soil along the oak uplands is superior, while that along the pebbly ridges is barren. The general character of the soils of Lamar is that of red loam. The best lands in the county are those found along the uplands, or table-lands, and those along the banks of the streams. But there is a mixture of sand in all the lands of the county. The soil is easily tilled under all circumstances.

The chief productions of the county are cotton, corn, wheat and oats. Nearly, or quite one half, of the tilled lands of Lamar are devoted to the production of cotton. Grasses grow here spontaneously, and afford rich pasturage for stork. Better grasses are cultivated, and much attention is devoted to stock-raising, and, with commercial outlets, this would be one of the chief industries of the county. The forests of Lamar are heavily timbered with short-leaf pine, the various species of oak, hickory, ash, chestnut, and sassafras.

The drainage of Lamar is secured through Buttahatchie River and Luxapalila, Beaver, Coal Fire, and Yellow Creeks, all of which have large branches or tributaries. Along these streams nourishing lumber and flour mills are met with. The River and Creeks are finely suited to machinery by reason of their immense water-power.  The mineral products of the county are iron, coal, and valuable stones for building purposes.  The county now enjoys railroad transportation since the passage of the Georgia Pacific and the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham through its territory. The completion of these great lines has greatly facilitated the development of the county.

Vernon, Moscow, and Millport are towns of local importance, the first mentioned being the county-seat. Schools and churches are found in every part of the county.

Immigrants desiring cheap lands will do well to examine the merits of the lands of this county. It has a quantity of public or government land. The prices of land vary from $2 to $8 or $10 per acre.   Because of its climate, healthfulness, mineral resources, and location, Lamar will, one day, be one of the most progressive regions of Alabama. It contains 30,000 acres of government land.

1891 - Vernon Courier, August 27, 1891

 

LAMAR’S HISTORY

                The history of Lamar County is part of the history of Fayette and Marion.

                Lamar County is composed of the territory lying east of Range 13, south of Township 11, east of the Mississippi line, and north of Township 18, and covers an area of 13 full townships and 5 fractional townships.  The line that divided Fayette and Marion formerly was from east to west two miles north of the township line between 14 and 15.  This township line has for a long time been known as a District line.  The land north being subject to entry at Huntsville and that south of it at Tuscaloosa and Montgomery now.  Sections 1, 2, 11 and 12 in township 12 range 14 belong to Marion county.  The old town of Pikeville being situated on that parcel of land, and was the country site when this county was established under the name of Jones in 1866.  The county was called Jones in honor of Hon. E. P. JONES, of Fayette who was then State Senator from the counties of Marion and Fayette.

                The convention of 1867 abolished the county, but before that date an election had been held and the place where Vernon now stands was chosen for the county site and named Swain.

                On the 8th day of October 1868 the county was re-established and this time given the name Sanford, in honor of H. C. Sanford, a senator from Cherokee County.

                A great deal of bitter feeling prevailed in the counties of Fayette and Marion for several years after this county was on a solid footing. The new county divested both the old counties of their best territory at that time.  The rich coal lands of those counties were then considered worthless.  A muzzle loading shotgun or a milk cow were easily exchanged for a quarter-section which is now worth up in the thousands.

                The county was attacked on ground that it did not have 600 square miles of area, the constitutional area. The area of square miles is said to be only 599 with every inch measured, which substantially fill the requirements of the constitution.

                The best agricultural lands of Marion were cut off to this county.  Marion had been trimmed so often before that it had become a rule for the people to vote for no men whom they considered lacking in a knowledge of “county boundaries”

                Marion was formed on the 18th day of February 1818 from territory taken from Tuskaloosa and composed largely the territory now embraced in the counties of Walker, Winston, Fayette, Lamar, and Lowndes and Monroe in the State of Mississippi. And in 1832 the Chickasaws made their last cession, a large part of what is now Marion county.

                The State Senators from Marion down to 1825 were: JOHN D. TERRELL, 19 – 21; WM METCALFE 22 – 25; and from that date they were same in both Fayette and Marion and are as follows:

JESSE VANHOOSE                       1825 – 27

RUFUS MOORE                             1827 – 29

RUFUS K. ANDERSON                 1829 – 34

HENRY BORROUGH                     1834 – 37

BURR WILSON                              1837 – 43

ELIJAH MARCHBANKS               1843 – 47

DANIEL COGGIN                          1847 – 50

E. P. JONES                                    1850 – 61

A. J. COLEMAN                             1861 – 65

E. P. JONES                                    1865

 

Marion had the following Representatives from 1819 to 1844

            SILAS MCBEE

            JAMES MOORE

            LEMUEL BEENS

            JOHN D. TERRELL

            JAMES MOORE

            JAMES MOORE

            GEORGE WHITE

            WM H. DUKE

            WM H. DUKE

            WM. H. DUKE and JAS. METCALFE

            DE FAYETTE ROYSDON, JAS METCALFE

            THADEUS WALKER, JAS METCALFE

            THADEUS WALKER, D. U. HOLLIS

            GEORGE BROWN and D. U. HOLLIS

            DERRELL H. HOLLIS

            HIRAM C. MAY

            JOSHUA GANN

            JOSHUA GANN

            DERRELL U. HOLLIS

            THOS. C. MOORE

            THOS. C. MOORE

            JOSHUA BURLESON

            LEROY KENNEDY

            JOHN L. MCCARITY

1845 – LEROY KENNEDY, 2 year terms

           WOODSON NORTHCUTT

           KIMBROUGH T. BROWN

           WILLIAM A. MUSGROVES

           KIMBROUGH T. BROWN

           K. T. BROWN and LEROY KENNEDY

           K. T. BROWN and W. A. MUSGROVES

           M. L. DAVIS and J. W. LOGAN

1865   J. H. BANKHEAD and W. STEDHAM

 

(Vernon Courier Sept 3, 1891)

                Fayette County was established on the 20th of December 1824, and was made of territory coming from Marion and Tuskaloosa.  At the time General La Fayette was the nation’s guest, and the new county was named in his honor.

                Fayette has had the following Representatives since the year 1828:

SAMUEL J. PARKER

JOHN SHIPP

JAMES K. MCCOLLUM

CASWELL C. THOMPSON

WM. S. TAYLOR

W. S. TAYLOR and C. C. THOMPSON

W. S. TAYLOR and BURR W. WILSON

W. S. TAYLOR and C. BOYD

W. S. TAYLOR and L. BRASHER

W. S. TAYLOR and R. J. MORROW

W. S. TAYLOR and WILSON COBB

WILSON COBB and E. MARCHBANKS

W. S. TAYLOR and E. MARCHBANKS

J. M. MORRIS and ALLEN HARRIS

ALVIS DAVIS and WM. W. BELL

ALVIS DAVIS and ELZER WILLIAMS

ALVIS DAVIS and J. R. KIRKLAND

A. J. COLEMAN and J. K. MCCOLLUM

A. J. COLEMAN and J. K. MCCOLLUM

E. W. LAWRENCE and A. M. REYNOLDS

J. C. KIRKLAND and T. P. MCCONNELL

A. J. COLEMAN and JAMES BROCK

A. J. COLEMAN and JAMES SEAY

JAS MIDDLETON and A. COBB

THOS MOLLOY and A. COBB

E. W.LAWRENCE

W. H. KENNEDY

                Lamar (then Sanford) county had no separate Representative until 1876, when D. W. HOLLIS was elected Representative.

                The Senators and Representatives of the county have been as follows:

SENATORS

J. F. MORTON, died Jan. ‘71

J. M. MARTIN                  71

J. H. BANKHEAD            76 to 78

W. A. MUSGROVES        78 to 82

A. L. MOORMAN            82 to 88

GEO C. ALMON              86 to 90

R. L. BRADLEY                90 to 94

 

REPRESENTATIVES

E. W. LAWRENCE            68 – 70

W. H. KENNEDY             70 – 72

W. A. MUSGROVE          72 – 74

J. C. KIRKLAND              74 – 76

D. W. HOLLIS                   76 – 78

I. H. SANDERS                  78 – 80

J. H. BANKHEAD              80 – 82

T. B. NESMITH                  82 – 84

T. B. NESMITH                  84 – 86

R. L. BRADLEY                  86 – 88

R. L. BRADLEY                  88 – 90

M. L. DAVIS                       90 – 92

 

                The first county officers were: B. L. FAULKNER, Judge of Probate; G. E. BROWN, Clerk of the Circuit Court; WILLIAM BOYD, Sheriff; M. V. BREWER, Tax Collector.  The Commissioners were WM. BROWN, WESLEY C. YORK, JASON GUIN and NEWTON F. MORTON.

                After the re-establishment of the county under the name of Sanford, THOMAS MORTON assumed the office of judge of probate on the 9th of November 1868, and held the same until his death in 1872, when B. L. FAULKNER was a gain appointed judge of probate.  Judge FAULKNER held the office until the election in 1874, when he was succeeded by Judge ALEXANDER COBB, who was again re-elected in 1880, and also in 1886, and died on the 21st of November 1887.

                W. L. GUIN was Sheriff under the re-organization and was succeeded by JOHN ANTHONY, who resigned and was succeeded by M. WOFFORD, S. P. KEMP was elected in 1874; D. J. LACY in 77; J. W. WHITE in 80; S. F. PENNINGTON in 84; and L. S. METCALFE in 83

(Continued next week)

 

(Vernon Courier, Sept 17, 1891)

                The Clerks of the Circuit Court have been:

JAS. M. MORTON up until 1874;

J. D. MCMULLEN until ’77;

W. G. MIDDLETON this unexpired term until 1880;

JAMES MIDDLETON from ’80 to ’86; and

R. E. BRADLEY, the present incumbent.

                The Tax Collectors have been:

S. H. JACKSON, ’68 to ’71;

JOHN R. KING ’71 to ’74;

G. W. WOODS, ’74 to ’77;

D. J. LACY, ’77 to ’80;

J. W. WHITE, ’80 to ’81;

D. J. LACY ’84 to ’88;

J. E. PENNINGTON ’88 to ’92.

                The Tax Assessors have been:

J. H. KLINE, ’68 to ’71;

J. E. PENNINGTON, ’71 to ’80;

W. Y. ALLEN, ’80 to 92.

                The County Treasurers have been:

A. A. SUMMERS, JAMES M. WILSON, D. V. LAWRENCE, L. M. WIMBERLY, and P. M. WOODS in the order named.

                The Superintendents of Education have been: Dr. G. C. BURNS, DR. M. W. MORTON, J. M. I. GUYTON, B. F. REED, B. H. WILKERSON and W. J. MOLLOY, in the order named.

                The office of Coroner has only had one who qualified and gave bond and that was B. H. WILKERSON some years since.

                The office of Sheriff and Tax Collector were combined in 1877 and remained so until 1884.

                By preserving the above lists of officers and the dates of their respective terms, you will have much to aid you in remembering the dates of transactions, and will add much to your interest in the future chapters of Lamar’s history which will be filled with many personal sketches of men, and of measurers that have passed away.  We hope merely these chapters to put into print for sake of preservation, facts that will be useful when some one in the distant future takes up the task of writing a history of Lamar County

                (Continued next week)

 

 

 

LAMAR COUNTY.

 

Population: White, 10,000; colored, 2,000. Area, 590 square miles. Woodland, all. Gravelly hills 550; coal lands, 40 square miles. Acres - In cotton, approximately, 15,245; in corn, 28,300; in oats, 440; in wheat, 5,630; in rye, 75; in tobacco, 45; in sweet potatoes, 625.   Approximate number of bales of cotton, 5,200,

 

County Seat - Vernon; population, 300; located 28 miles from Columbia, Miss.

 

Newspapers published at County Seat - Courier and Lamar News (both Democratic).

 

Post offices in the County - Angora, Anro, Beaverton, Cansler, Detroit, Fernbank, Gentry, Hudson, Jewell, Kennedy, Kingville, Millport, Molloy, Moscow, Pine Springs, Purnell, Vernon.

 

This county was formed in 1866, and named Jones; in 1868 the name was changed to that of Sanford, and in 1877 its present designation was adopted. Remote from transportation, the county of Lamar has been placed at great disadvantage, notwithstanding its rich stores of mineral and the productiveness of its soils.

 

Like the most of this section of Alabama, the surface of Lamar is hilly and broken, with many productive valleys. The soil along the oak uplands is superior, while that along the pebbly ridges is barren. The general character of the soils of Lamar is that of red loam. The best lands in the county are those found along the uplands, or table lands, and those along the banks of the streams. But there is a mixture of sand in all the lands of the county. The soil is easily tilled under all circumstances. The chief productions of the county are cotton, corn, wheat and oats. Nearly, or quite, one-half of the tilled lands of Lamar is devoted to the production of cotton. Grasses grow here spontaneously, and afford rich pasturage for stock. Better grasses are cultivated, and much attention is devoted to stock raising, and, with commercial outlets, this would be one of the chief industries of the county. The forests of Lamar are heavily timbered with short-leaf pine, the various species of oak, hickory, ash, chestnut and sassafras.

 

The drainage of Lamar is secured through Buttahatchie River and Luxapalila, Weaver, Coal Fire and Yellow creeks, all of which have large branches and tributaries. The river and creeks are finely suited to machinery, by reason of their immense water-power. The mineral products of the county are iron, coal, and valuable stones for building purposes.

 

The county now enjoys railroad transportation since the passage of the Georgia Pacific through its territory. With the completion of this great line the county will be speedily appreciated and developed.

 

Vernon, Moscow and Millport are towns of local importance, the first mentioned being the county seat. Schools and churches are found in every part of the county. Source: Northern Alabama - Historical and Biographical by Smith & De Land, Birmingham, Ala 1888 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney 



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