Autauga County Alabama
The word “Autauga” comes from the Indian village Atagi, located on the Alabama River at the mouth of Autauga Creek.
Autauga County Alabama Location
Autauga County is located in central Alabama. Its county seat is Prattville. The county was named after the Tawasee Indian town of Atagi, whose location is its southeastern corner. Autauga County is part of the Montgomery, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county was created in 1818 from lands forcibly ceded by the Creek Confederacy in 1814 at the Treaty of Fort Jackson.
Autauga County Alabama History
As established, Autauga County included present-day Autauga County, as well as Elmore County and Chilton County. At the time, Autauga (aka, Tawasa) Indians lived here, primarily in a village named Atagi (meaning “pure water”) situated on the banks of a creek by the same name (called “Pearl Water Creek” by settlers). Autaugas were members of the Alibamu tribe. They sent many warriors to resist Andrew Jackson‘s invasion in the Creek War. This county was part of the territory ceded by the Creeks in the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814. The first county seat was at Jackson’s Mill, but the court only met there long enough to select a permanent seat at Washington, built on the former site of Atagi in the southeast corner of the county. In 1830 the county seat was moved to a more central location at Kingston and the town of Washington dwindled until it was completely deserted in the late 1830s.
Daniel Pratt arrived in Autauga County in 1833 and founded the new town of Prattville, north of Atagi on the fall line of Autauga Creek. His cotton gin factory quickly became the largest manufacturer of gins in the world and the first major industry in Alabama. It was at his factory, and with his financial backing, that the Prattville Dragoons, a fighting unit for the Confederacy was organized in anticipation of Civil War. Other units formed in Autauga County included the Autauga Rifles (Autaugaville), The John Steele Guards (western Autauga Co.) and the Varina Rifles (northern Autauga Co.). None of the fighting of the Civil War reached Autauga County and Pratt was able to secure payment of debts from Northern accounts soon after the war, lessening the disabling effects of the Reconstruction period in the county.
Autauga County Alabama Native American History
There are many Native American archaeological sites in Autauga County, especially along the Alabama River. Early settlers reported seeing many mounds along the Alabama River. Today, many of these mounds are no longer visible because of 20th century development. In addition to the large Native town of Atagi, during the early 1800s there were towns Halbama and Atoba. Halbama was possibly the origin of the name of the Alabama River.