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Water Mills of Lowndes County in 1886

Lowndes County in Northern Alabama by Smith and DeLand -1888

Lowndes County in Handbook of Alabama - 1892


Source: Handbook of Alabama, by Saffold Berney, 1892, Transcribed by C. Anthony

Established by act approved January 20,1830. Territory taken from Montgomery, Dallas and Butler counties. Named for William Lowndes, the South Carolina statesman.

Lies near the centre of the State. Area, 720 square miles; all prairie (rotten limestone and rolling or hill prairie); woodland, all, except a few square miles of open prairie. In the prairie region a large area of the uplands are brown sandy soils. Principal soil varieties are the sandy loams of the table lands, the dark loams of the bottoms, and the calcareous soils of the prairies and lime hills. Soils very productive. Bottom lands particularly adapted to corn, of which crop forty bushels to the acre are often made. Principal crops, cotton, corn, oats, potatoes, millet and sugar cane. Lowndes is situated in what is known as the "black belt" of Alabama, and is one of the richest agricultural counties of the State.

Population, white, 4,466; colored, 27,084; total, 31,550.

County seat, Hayneville; population, 355. Other towns, Lowndesboro, Benton, Fort Deposit and Mount Willing.

Acres in county, 442,514. Assessed value of property in 1891, real,$2,155,- 959.00; personal, $1,739,189.00; total, $3,895,148.00.

Newspapers, Examiner, weekly, and True Citizen, weekly, Hayneville.

Railroads, miles of main track, Western of Alabama (Selma division), 22.42; Louisville & Nashville (Mobile & Montgomery division), 21. Telegraph, miles of poles, 64.42.

The Alabama riverónavigable throughout the year, forms the entire northern boundary of the county. County watered by several large creeks.

Climate and health good, and school and church facilities superior.

Crops in 1889 (census of 1890)ócotton, acres, 113,341; bales, 40,430; value, $1,847,206.00; corn, acres, 51,080; bushels, 1,063,793; oats, acres, .4,591; bushels, 60,608. Lands, $3.00 to $20.00 an acre. There are no unappropriated government lands in this county.


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

LOWNDES COUNTY.

Population: White 5,645; colored 25,531. Area 740 square miles. Woodland, all, except a few square miles of prairie.

Acres - In cotton (approximately) 28,200; in corn 41,169; in oats 3,630; in sugar-cane 201; in sweet potatoes 1,000. Approximate number of bales of cotton, 30,000.

County Seat - Hayneville; population 500; located 23 miles southwest of Montgomery.

Newspapers published at County Seat - Examiner (Democratic); True Citizen (Independent Democrat).

Post offices in the County - Benton, Burkville, Braggs, Calhoun, Collirene, Farmersville, Fort Deposit, Gordonsville, Hayneville, Letohatchee, Lowndesborough, Morganville, Mount Willing, Saint Clair, Sandy Ridge, White Hall.

Established in 1830, this county was named in honor of Hon. William Lowndes, of South Carolina. It has long been known for the productiveness of its lands, and is regarded one of the best agricultural districts in the South. Prior to the war the planters of Lowndes made immense fortunes from farming upon its fertile cotton fields. Though in use many years, the lands remain unimpaired in their productiveness. The county needs only the hands of system and diligence to direct and urge the industries suited to the capabilities of its soil, to place it alongside the most advanced sections of our planting interests. Like all other localities of the famous cotton belt, Lowndes County has shared in the shrinkage of the valuation of lands. This is mainly due to the destruction of an organized labor system consequent upon the emancipation of the slaves. Its lands are well adapted to the employment of improved implements of labor.

The surface of Lowndes is rolling. The whole of the county lies within the prairie belt, still there is a fair proportion of upland soils. Along the table-lands are found sandy loam soils; in the extensive bottoms which prevail along the river and numerous streams are found dark loam soils, while upon the prairies proper, and the flanks of the lime-hills, exist the soils which have a great admixture of lime. While the prevailing surface of Lowndes is rolling, there are many precipitous hills in the southern portion. The presence of lime in the clay makes the roads miry during the wet seasons. This feature, connected with that extreme southwestern portion, has won it the local name of "Little Texas." But this constitutes but a fractional part of this magnificent agricultural region. A feature belonging largely to the first bottom soils is that they are sandy, but they derive vast benefits from the underlying formations of lime. Here, as elsewhere in the prairie region, there are occasional interventions of sandy knolls, which furnish locations for houses and settlements, and also an abundance of good water.

The main crops grown in Lowndes are cotton, corn, oats, sweet and Irish potatoes, millet and sugar-cane. The black lands are usually devoted to the production of corn, while the sandy lands are employed for raising cotton; but the red lands produce equally well. Many of these lands are well adapted for pasturage purposes. Numerous grasses flourish, some of which are indigenous and others imported. These, together with the varieties of clover and the dense brakes of cane which prevail along the streams and in marshy lowlands, makes this one of the most desirable sections for stock-raising.

This consideration is enhanced by the fact that the winters in this latitude are brief and mild, and stock does not have to be cared for so tenderly as in sections farther north. Pintlala. Big Swamp, Manack, Cedar and Dry Creeks, with numerous tributaries, flow across the county. It is along these streams that much of the richest land in the county is found.

Scattered throughout Lowndes are broad belts of valuable timber, comprising several varieties of oak, hickory, long- and short-leaf pine, elm, ash, poplar, walnut, sycamore, gum, beech, cedar, mulberry and chestnut. Points of interest are Hayneville, the county seat, with a population of several hundred, Lowndesboro, Benton, Fort Deposit and Letohatchee. Good schools are found in almost all the centers of population, while a common-school system provides educational advantages for all classes.

Transportation is afforded by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, the Montgomery & Selma, and the Alabama River.

Lands may be purchased from $3 to $20 per acre.

There are no government lands in the county.


 WATER MILLS OF LOWNDES 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.

 

LOWNDES COUNTY.................................................................................. ... H.P.

G. B. Holley. Lowndesboro, flour and grist mill ........................................... 10

W. N. Bozeman. Benton, gin and mill                                                                


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