Randolph County - by Smith and DeLand - 1888
Handbook of Alabama by Saffold Berney - 1892
Source: Northern Alabama - Historical and Biographical by Smith & De Land, Birmingham, Ala 1888 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
Population: White 13,155; colored 3,420 Area 610 square miles; Woodland all. All metamorphic.
Acres - In cotton (approximately) 23,177; in corn 29,595; in oats 4,850; in wheat 10,156; in tobacco 44; in sweet potatoes 433. Approximate number of bales of cotton, 7,500.
County Seat - Wedowee; population 300. Has fine water power and mineral deposits.
Newspaper published at County Seat - Observer (Republican).
Post offices in the County - Almond, Blake's Ferry, Christiana, Corn House, Dingier, Gap, Graham, Handley, Haywood, High Shoals, Lamar, Level Road, Louina, Milner, Omaha, Roanoke, Rock Dale, Rock Mills, Sewell, Wedowee, Wehadkee, Wild wood.
The county of Randolph was created in 1832, and named for the famous John Randolph, of Virginia. Its natural advantages are, in a great many respects, superior. Its climate salubrious, lands good, tone of society elevated, and health unsurpassed.
During the census of 1880 the census official rendered in his report at Washington only to have it returned to him for correction, the Washington official declaring the death rate to be too small to be true. But the original report was returned to Washington unchanged, as no error had been committed.
The soils of Randolph are of average fertility, and on account of deep clay subsoil and abundant rainfall, are quite reliable for agricultural purposes. Not more than one-fourth of the magnificent forests of Randolph have been cleared, and the fine pine timber here will one day be a feature in itself. The lands are easily worked and produce remarkably well. All the crops that are congenial to the southern climate grow their best here. Fruit-growing is gradually expanding, and bids fair ere long to rival all other industries. There has been only one failure of the peach crop in thirty-five years, and the apple crop never fails. The farmers produce nearly everything they use at home, and are, as a general tiling, well-to-do.
Like other counties, the absence of railroad transportation has prevented much attention being given to the minerals of Randolph, but this want is now being supplied. The East Alabama Railway has been extended to Roanoke, in the southern portion of the county, and will soon be completed to Anniston, running right through the centre of the county, and will open up some of the finest timber and mineral lands in the State.
In gold, copper, mica, tin, graphite, kaolin and iron, Randolph is doubtless one of the richest counties in the State. All these abound in the northern portion of the county. The kaolin is of superior quality and is inexhaustible. More than one mine is now being worked to advantage.
There is scarcely a square forty acres of land in the county that is not penetrated by a rivulet, creek or river. The Tallapoosa and Little Tallapoosa rivers run through the county, and have some of the finest shoals on them that nature has ever formed. There will be large cotton factories run by them some time in the near future. As for creeks, Randolph has almost a superfluity of them. There are eight flour and grist-mills turned by the waters of Wedowee Creek. Randolph has the purest and coldest freestone water in the world, and that in abundance. This accounts for the wonderful health enjoyed here.
Wedowee, situated as it is, in rich mineral beds of kaolin and mica, will one day be a large and prosperous city. Leaving out the minerals, the large pine forests that extend for miles and miles around it in every direction will one day make it an interesting town. Brockville, in the north-eastern portion of the county, has a fine school, and is building up rapidly.Rock Mills and Roanoke, in the southern portion, are also points of interest. Rock Mills has a cotton factory, a tannery, pottery and cabinet establishment, and a fine school also. Roanoke has lately arrived at the importance of being the only railroad station in the county, and will doubtless be a flourishing village. There is a flourishing and well-established college there.
Source: Hand-Book of Alabama 1892, by Saffold Berney, Transcribed by C. Anthony
Established by act December 18, 1832. Named for John Randolph, the distinguished Virginia statesman. Lies in eastern Alabama, on the Georgia line. Area, 599 square miles; all metamorphic; woodland, all. Surface broken and mountainous, with fertile valleys. Soil varieties, gray and red uplands, with pine, oak and hickory timber, and light, sandy, bottom soils, with white oak, beech and poplar timber. County watered and drained by the Tallapoosa and Little Tallapoosa rivers and a number of large creeks. Water for domestic purposes abundant and of most excellent quality. Wells and springs of best freestone water abound.
Population, white, 13,984; colored, 3.235; total, 17,219.
County seat, Wedowee.
Acres in county, improved, 84,771; unimproved, 286,313; total, 371,084.
Assessed value of property in county in 1891, real, $1,086,616.00; personal, 8408,757.00; total, 81,495. 378.00.
Newspapers, Observer, weekly, Wedowee; Herald, weekly, Roanoke.
Railroads, miles of main track. East Alabama, 3. Telegraph, miles of poles, 3. Chief crops, corn, cotton, oats, wheat, potatoes, etc. All the fruits and vegetables adapted to the latitude come to perfection. County peculiarly adapted to the production of peaches and grapes. Stock raising profitable. Lands easily tilled and, when fertilized, yield well. Gold, copper, mica, tin, graphite and kaolin found in county. Crops in 1889 (census of 1890)ócotton, acres, 28,387; bales, 10,348; value, 8468,958; corn, acres, 27,331; bushels, 331,213; oats, acres, 5,815; bushels, 41,746. Climate salubrious. Health exceptionally good. Churches numerous and good schools throughout the county. At Wedowee, Rock Mills and Roanoke are high schools of merit. Lands, $2.00. to $15.00 an acre. Government land in county, 3,920 acres. County debt, $4,025.00.