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Alabama As It Is by Ben F. Riley - 1887

Winston Cty History - by Smith and DeLand - 1888

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

WINSTON COUNTY 

The name of this county was changed from that of Hancock in 1858. Under the original name it was organized in 1850. As far as investigations have gone the county seems to have immense resources of minerals. Within the last year it has attracted considerable attention, which has been mainly due to the construction of the Georgia Pacific railroad. As soon as the road shall have been completed, Winston will become one of the chief manufacturing districts of the State. The area of the county is 540 square miles.

Population in 1870, 4,155 ; population in 1880, 4,253. White, 4,236; colored, 17.

Tilled Land: 17,767 acres.—Area planted in cotton. 2,048 acres; in corn, 8,098 acres; in oats, 579 acres; in wheat, 1,967 acres; in sweet potatoes, 172 acres.  Cotton Production: 568 bales.

The face of the country throughout Winston is generally much broken. Within the limits of the county, near its western boundary, runs the main ridge which divides the waters of the Warrior and Tombigbee rivers. This (Byler) ridge cuts the county in twain from north to south.

The farming operations of Winston are carried on mainly in the lowlands and creek bottoms, because of the fertility of these soils above those upon the uplands or higher ridges. But little of the land lying along the ridges is cultivated, owing to the thinness of the soils. It is in no sense an agricultural county, although in some portions cotton and corn are quite readily produced. The local industries are farming, stock-raising, and wool-growing. Dairy-farming is carried on to a limited extent.

As will appear from the map, Winston county is abundantly supplied with water. These numerous streams, by their confluence, form the chief waterways of the county—Black Water, Big Bear, Clear and Rock creeks, and Sipsey and Brushy forks. The Buttahatchie and New rivers have their fountain heads amid the wild hills of Winston county. Along the abounding gorges and valleys there rush the multitudinous tributaries which feed these principal streams from many quarters. Winston can not be excelled, perhaps, by any county in the State in the wildness and picturesqueness of its natural scenery. The waters in some instances have worn channels in the sandstones, and often flow through gorges with high, perpendicular sides. In some instances rapids and cataracts are found which fill the solitudes with their loud-sounding thunder. Two of these waterfalls occur in Clear creek about 300 yards apart. The falls are each about thirty feet. Below the falls the waters dash down a deep, narrow gorge. They are. objects of peculiar interest, and will one day attract many sight-seers. " Rock-houses," as they are locally named, abound along these streams. In the neighborhood of these rocky caverns are found growing in luxuriance and beauty the rarest ferns known to American florists.

The natural timber growth is composed of post, red, and Spanish oaks, poplar, beech, holly, chestnut, sour gum, and occasionally short-leaf pine. In many parts of Winston the forests are as yet untouched, and hence abound in many fine specimens of the timber already named. This is especially true of the lands which lie adjacent to creeks in the bottoms.

One of the chief attractions of the county is its abundant game.  Turkeys and deer abound in every portion of Winston, and hunters resort thither from the adjoining counties. Most excellent fish, too, are found in the numerous streams.

The county is exceedingly rich in its mineral properties. The extent of these deposits is as yet unknown, but it is believed that no portion of Alabama, of the same compass, will excel the county of Winston in its mineral resources.  Vast quantities of coal underlie the hills, and iron ore is also abundant. In some sections a superior quality of slate is found, and in large quantities. These slumbering resources only await the construction of railway lines in order to find their way into the markets of the world. The construction of the Georgia Pacific railroad has given new life to the county. This road is the main artery of communication between the cities of Birmingham and Atlanta. Another important line will no doubt cross the Georgia Pacific near the center of the county, viz: the Mobile and Birmingham railroad, which is designed to open up to the chief port of the Gulf the immense resources which lie embedded in the great Mineral Belt. In addition to these will be the Sheffield and Birmingham railroad, which will soon link the two cities together. Unusual inducements are thus presented to immigrants and investors. Lands may be purchased at moderate prices, being in proportion to the demand in different sections. They can now be bought in some portions of the county at prices ranging from $3 to $5 per acre; in other sections they will cost from $10 to $25 per acre.

The educational advantages of Winston are moderately good, and are improving. Church facilities abound in the populated sections.

The places of greatest interest are Double Springs (the county-seat), Houston, Littlesville, and Larissa. Double Springs derives its name from the remarkable springs which issue from the hillsides in the locality where it is situated. They are famous for their great number, their purity, and boldness.

In the county there are 205,760 acres of government land.


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

WINSTON COUNTY.

Population: White 4,236; colored l3. Area 540 square miles. Woodland, all. All coal measures, but in western part of county these rocks are covered with drift.

Acres - In cotton (approximately 2,000: in corn 8,098; in oats, 579; in wheat 1,967; in sweet potatoes 172.  Approximate number of bales of cotton, 655.

County Seat - Double Springs; population 325.

Newspaper published at County Seat - Winston Herald, Democratic.

Post offices in the County - Ark, Biler, Brown's Creek, Clear Creek Falls, Collier Creek, Double Springs, Houston, Larissa, Motes, Pebble.

The name of this county was changed from that of Hancock in 1858. Under the original name it was organized in 1850.

As far as investigations have gone the county seems to have immense resources of minerals. Within the last year it has attracted considerable attention, which has been mainly due to the construction of the Georgia Pacific Railroad. As soon as the road shall have been completed, Winston will become one of the chief manufacturing districts of the State.

It is in no sense an agricultural county, although in some portions cotton and corn are quite readily produced. The local industries are farming, stock raising and wool growing. Dairy-farming is carried on to a limited extent.

This county is abundantly supplied with water. These numerous streams, by their confluence, form the chief water-ways of the county - Black Water, Big Bear, Clear and Rock Creeks, and Sipsey and Brushy Forks. The Buttahatchie and New Rivers have their fountain heads amid the wild hills of Winston County. Along the abounding gorges and valleys there rush the multitudinous tributaries which feed these principal streams from many quarters. Winston can not be excelled, perhaps, by any county in the State, in the wildness and picturesqueness of its natural scenery. The waters in some instances have worn channels in the sandstones, and often flow through gorges with high, perpendicular sides. In some instances rapids and cataracts are found, which till the solitudes with their loud-sounding thunder. Two of these waterfalls occur in Clear Creek about 300 yards apart; the fall of each is about thirty feet. Below the falls the water dashes down a deep, narrow gorge. They are objects of peculiar interest, and will one day attract many sight-seers. "Rock-houses," as they are locally named, abound along these streams. In the neighborhood of these rocky caverns are found growing in luxuriance and beauty the rarest ferns known to American florists.

The natural timber growth is composed of post, red, and Spanish oaks, poplar, beech, holly, chestnut, sour gum, and occasionally short-leaf pine. In many parts of Winston the forests are as yet untouched, and hence abound in many fine specimens of the timber already named. This is especially true of the lands which lie adjacent to creeks in the bottoms.

One of the chief attractions of this county is its abundant game. Turkeys and deer abound in every portion of Winston, and hunters resort thither from the adjoining counties. Most excellent fish, too, are found in the numerous streams.

The county is exceedingly rich in its mineral properties. The extent of these deposits is as yet unknown, but it is believed that no portion of Alabama, of the same compass, will excel the county of Winston in its mineral resources.

Vast quantities of coal underlie the hills, and iron ore is also abundant. In some sections a superior quality of slate is found, and in large quantities. These slumbering resources only await the construction of railway lines in order to find their way into the markets of the world.

There are several railroads contemplated, some of which are under construction, which will add greatly to the market facilities and general improvement of the county. Among them may be mentioned, as most prominent, the Georgia Pacific.

The educational advantages of the county are fairly good; church facilities good. Land may be purchased at from $3 to $30 per acre.

Government land in the county, 20,760 acres.

The people of the county of Winston are social, industrious, thrifty, law-abiding, hospitable, God-fearing and serving, and will gladly welcome all good people who may come to make their home with them.


 
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