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Wilcox County
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Wilcox County in "Alabama As It is" by B F Riley 1887

Wilcox County in "Northern Alabama" by Smith and DeLand 1888

 


WILCOX COUNTY

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

This county derived its name from Lieutenant Joseph M. Wilcox. It was created as early as 1819, and has steadily maintained a reputation as one of the leading agricultural counties of the State. It is highly favored, both with respect to the character of its lands and the abundant supplies of water. Most of its lands, and especially its most tillable soils, lie well for cultivation. Its favorable climate, its diverse soils, its varied crops, make it a most desirable home for the man of limited means, as well as for the more extensive planter. Its area embraces 960 square miles.

Population in 1870, 28,377; population in 1880, 31,828. White, 6,711; colored, 25,117.

Tilled Land; 161,228 acres.—Area planted in cotton, 77,076acres; in corn, 40,053 acres; in oats, 7,011 acres; in sugar-cane, 251 acres; in rice, 14 acres ; in tobacco, 15 acres; in sweet potatoes, 1,597 acres.

Cotton Production: 26,745 hales.

The general surface of Wilcox is uneven, though it has much level land. Most of the land of even surface, whether found in the prairie districts, along the streams, or upon the table lands amid the hills, has been brought into cultivation. In the palmy days of the past, there could have been seen, in the most fertile sections of the county, especially upon its prairie and bottom lands, some of the most splendid and extensive plantations of the Far South. There is a variety of soil to be found in different parts of the county, and sometimes a variety in the same section. For instance, along the northern end of Wilcox, there are to be found all the varieties of black and red, with gray or white lands, with an occasional intervention of mulatto soil. All of this land is productive, however. This is a fair index of the diversity of soils prevalent throughout Wilcox. The gray and mulatto uplands are valuable for farming purposes, while the black prairie soils, and the rich alluvial bottoms which lie along the large creeks and Alabama river, sometimes embracing leagues of land in the great curves of that stream, are remarkable for their productiveness. Upon these, grows to rank luxuriance, the cotton of Wilcox, the yield of which, under favorable circumstances, is immense In portions of the county, notably in the southern part, the lands become thinner, being overlaid with a surface of dark sands. But beneath this sandy surface, there is usually a deep red, or yellowish clay subsoil, which proves an invaluable adjunct to the upper soil in the production of crops. Cotton, corn, oats, sweet and Irish potatoes, millet, sorghum,. sugar-cane, and rice, are the principal products of the farm.

In some portions of Wilcox, the breeds of stock are beiug vastly improved, and this is leading to the cultivation of useful grasses, which flourish with only partial attention.

Apples, peaches, pears, and plums are produced in great abundance every year. All the domestic berries, such as raspberries, and strawberries, produce quite satisfactorially, and quantities are annually grown. All the wild fruits known to our southern latitude, grow in the waste places and through the forests of Wilcox.

The timbers of the county are long and short-leaf pine, the different varieties of oak, hickory, ash, elm, poplar, cedar, mulberry, beech, magnolia, sycamore, and walnut. Some of the most splendid specimens of timber found in Southern forests can be obtained in Wilcox. Perhaps no county surpasses it in the abundance of its cedar growth. There is also quite a quantity of excellent cypress timber. Wheu this is removed, and the land upon which it grows is thoroughly drained, it has been found to equal any other in its capacity of production.

The Alabama river, Pursley, Pine Barren, Cedar, Gravel, Bear, Turkey, and Chilatchee creeks, are the chief streams flowing through the county, but like all large streams, they are fed by many smaller ones, which drain different parts of the county. These and others afford a sufficiency of water. The water of the springs and wells is either of the coolest freestone, or purest limestone. Green sand marl has been found at different points in Wilcox. Between Coal Bluff, on the Alabama river, and the mouth of Pursley creek, not a great distance above Gullett's Landing, there are several occurrences of green sand along the banks of the river. These extend to within a short distance of Yellow Bluff, at McNeill's shoals. Evidences of green sand prevail near Lower Peach Tree. The productiveness of the lands which are embraced in the great curves of the Alabama, is no doubt largely due to the prevalence of these marls. The presence of green sand is also reported from the neighborhood of Snow Hill. At Coal Bluff, on the Alabama river, are traces of coal.

The places of interest, are Camden, a beautiful town of 1,400 people, and the county-seat, Snow Hill, Allenton, Pine Apple, and Rehoboth. Most of these places have superior educational facilities. All of them have excellent church organizations. Camden has been long noted for the superiority of its social advantages. It is a center of controlling influence in that section of the State in which it is located. Besides an excellent male High School, Camden has a Female Institute, which has long been established. Both at Snow Hill and Pine Apple, are schools of superior grades. An excellent school is also sustained at Oak Hill. Wilcox is not excelled, perhaps, by any other county in Alabama, in educational institutions of superior order.

Facilities for religious worship also abound throughout the county. There are many local industries, such as ginneries, grist and sawmills, and the number of these is annually increasing. For transportation, the people of the county rely mainly upon the Pensacola and Selma railroad, which at present, extends from Selma to Pine Apple.

The Alabama river is an important channel of commerce to a large section of Wilcox county. This is regarded one of the finest waterways in the South, and in more prosperous days, supported some of the most magnificent steamers found upon American rivers.

A telephonic line links together Camden and Snow Hill, where it connects with the Western Union Telegraph Company. The Vicksburg and  Brunswick railroad is projected through Wilcox, and is expected to pass the town of Camden.

Lands may be purchased in the county at prices ranging from $2 to $25, depending, of course, upon the locality and the fertility.

So eager are the people to have thrifty and energetic settlers locate in their midst, that they are willing to offer extraordinary inducements in the sale of lands and homes.

There are 3,380 acres of government land in Wilcox still untaken.


WILCOX COUNTY.

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

Population: White, 6,911; colored, 25,000. Area, 960 square miles. Woodland, all. Oak and hickory uplands with long-leaf pine, 600: central prairie and flatwood, 360 square miles.

Acres - In cotton (approximately), 77,000, in corn, 40,053: in oats, 7,011: in sugar-cane, 251; in rice, 14; in tobacco, 15; in sweet potatoes, 1,597.

Approximate number of bales of cotton, 28,201.

County Seat - Camden; population, 1,500: near Alabama River, 40 miles southwest of Selma.

Newspapers published at County Seat - Home Ruler and Wilcox Progress (both Democratic).

Postoffices in the County - Allenton, Awin, Bethel, Black's Bluff, Boiling Springs, Caledonia, Camden, Canton Bend, Clifton, Dumas' Store, Fatama, Furman, Geesbend, Lower Peach Tree, Pine Apple, Pine Hill, Prairie Bluff, Rehoboth, Rosebud, Rowell, Sedan, Snow Hill, Yellow Bluff.

This county derives its name from Lieut. Joseph M. Wilcox. It was created as early as 1819, and has steadily maintained a reputation as one of the leading agricultural counties of the State. It is highly favored both with respect to the character of its lands and the abundant supplies of water. Most of its lands, and especially its most tillable soils, lie well for cultivation.

The timbers of the county are long and shortleaf pine, the different varieties of oak, hickory, ash, elm, poplar, cedar, mulberry, beech, magnolia, sycamore and walnut. Some of the most splendid specimens of timber found in Southern forests can be obtained in Wilcox. Perhaps no county surpasses it in the abundance of its cedar growth.

There is also quite a quantity of excellent cypress timber. When this is removed and the land upon which it grows is thoroughly drained, it has been found to equal any other in its capacity of production.

Lands may be purchased in the county at prices ranging from $2 to $25, depending, of course, upon the locality and the fertility.

So eager are the people to have thrifty and energetic settlers locate in their midst, that they are willing to offer extraordinary inducements in the sale of lands and homes. There are 3,380 acres of Government land in Wilcox County still untaken


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