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.
See a bit more early pioneer information at Orangeburgh Migrations – Alabama
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.
Autauga County Alabama Map
Autauga County population is 54,571. Its county seat is Prattville Alabama.
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.
Autauga County Alabama Cities:
Millbrook is a city in Autauga and Elmore counties. The population was 14,640 at the 2010 census. Millbrook includes the former village of Robinson Springs within its boundaries. Numerous eras delineate Millbrook’s past.
Prattville is a city in Autauga and Elmore counties. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 33,960.
Autauga County Alabama Towns:
Autaugaville is a town in Autauga County. At the 2010 census the population was 870. William Thompson, the first settler in what is now Autaugaville arrived around 1820 and built a gristmill and sawmill on Swift Creek, about three miles upriver from the Alabama River. One source says that the town incorporated in 1839, but another cites 1907. A cotton mill opened in 1849 on the banks of Swift Creek, and following upon the model of industrialist Daniel Pratt, the owner constructed housing for its employees, expanding the town. It grew further when many citizens from nearby Vernon relocated here to escape the floods and diseases to which that town was prone. By 1851, the town had a population of 351 and claimed four stores, two churches, and two schools.
Source: Wikipedia contributors, “Autaugaville, Alabama,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
Billingsley is a village in Autauga County. At the 2010 census the population was 144.
Autauga County Alabama Communites:
Booth is an unincorporated community in Autauga County. It was named after the Booth family. Booth lies along U.S. Route 82 8 mi northwest of the city of Prattville, the county seat of Autauga County. US 82 also runs northwest 29 mi to Maplesville.
Jones, originally Jones Switch, is an unincorporated community in Autauga County. The name was officially shortened on May 1, 1903. The community has a post office, with postmasters appointed from 1878 to 2006.
Kingston, also known as Old Kingston, is an unincorporated community in Autauga County, Alabama. Kingston served as the county seat of Autauga County from 1830 to 1868, when it was moved to Prattville. Kingston became a ghost town, until a new community was formed around the home of Edmund Meredith Shackelford, an officer who served in the War of 1812. A post office was operated in Kingston from 1830 to 1908.
Marbury is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Autauga County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,418.
Pine Level Alabama
Pine Level is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Autauga County, north of Prattville and west of Deatsville. As of the 2010 census, its population was 4,183.
Autauga County Alabama Ghost Towns:
There are many Native American 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. 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.
History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 1:
Created by the legislature, November 30, 1818. It was formed from Montgomery County; by act of December 13, 1820, the boundaries in the north and northwest, were enlarged; and January 12, 1827, the line between Autauga and Shelby Counties was more definitely fixed. In 1868 part of its territory was taken to establish the new counties of Chilton (first Baker) and Elmore on the north and east. It was named for Autauga Creek, a bold stream running through the county. The creek received its designation from the Indian village of that name, situated below the point where the creek runs into the Alabama River. (See Atagi.) Its area is 584 square miles, or 373,760 acres.
The act creating the county provided that for the time being court should be held “at Jackson’s* mill, on the Autauga Creek,” but, for the want of necessary buildings, might “adjourn to such other place contiguous thereto as may seem most proper.” The legislature, November 22, 1819, named Robert Gaston, Zachariah Pope, Alsey Pollard, Alexander R. Hutchinson, and Zaccheus Powell, as commissioners to “fix on a site for the public buildings” in the county, and to contract for and superintend the building of “a suitable courthouse, jail, and pillory.” They were paid the modest sum of $15 each for their services. The town of Washington was chosen. It was located on the Alabama River at the mouth of Autauga Creek, and on the site of the Indian village of Atagi. It was one of the first settled portions of the county. The first houses were erected in 1817. For about 15 years it held a position of importance in the political, social and business life of the county.
Because of the location of Washington in the extreme southern part of the county, there was much dissatisfaction, and the legislature, December 28, 1827, authorized a vote to be taken at the general election in August, 1828, “for the purpose of ascertaining the wishes of the citizens of said county, with regard to the removal of the seat of justice from its present location, to, or near the center of said county.” The sheriff was directed to certify the result to each of the members of the legislature from the county, but what the vote was is not available. Possibly it was in favor of retaining Washington as the county seat. However, on December 2, 1830, the legislature appointed John Essel, John Hunt, Francis Baker, Enoch Islands and Henley Brown as commissioners to select a seat of justice, having due regard “to centrality, population, health and general convenience.”
The commissioners selected a site near the center of the county, which was called Kingston. The place was without other advantages than its central location, and a Wetumpka editor denominated it the “Great Sahara.” During its existence as the county seat it had only a limited population.
The legislature removed the county seat to Prattville, December 12, 1868, and Kingston became a deserted village. It is no longer a post office, and maps designate the site as Old Kingston. About two miles away the name is preserved as a station on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.
Location and Physical Description
It lies in the central part of the State, wholly within the Coastal Plain, or agricultural district, and is bounded on the north by Chilton, south by Lowndes, east by Elmore and Montgomery, and west by Dallas County. Its surface is undulating with a general trend south and east to the Alabama River. Geologically it lies upon a great pebble bed, which covers the line of contact of the metamorphic rocks and the Cretaceous formation. The northern part, more than two-thirds of its area, is hilly with a sandy and often gravelly soil. In the southern part the lands are sandy loam, with clay subsoil and are very productive. The central and western sections comprise red loam table lands, all highly productive. The lands of the southern section are calcareous. There are two outcroppings of rotten limestone in the county, one in township 17, the other below Dutch Bend on the Alabama River. Yellow ochre has been mined and marketed in limited quantities, but the supply is not commercially important. There is a bed of phosphatic greensand, a formation which is more extensively shown in Greene County. The entire area of the county is wooded, with long-leaf pine as its principal forest growth. Other trees are the various species of oak, hickory, short-leaf pine, magnolia, gum, walnut, beech and poplar. The Alabama River forms the southern boundary and Big Mulberry Creek, a part of its western boundary. Aside from these, its watercourses are Autauga, Bear, Beaver, Bridge, Buck, Ivy, Little Mulberry, Mortar, Nowlands, Piney Woods, Swift, Whitewater and Yellow Creeks.
In the early years of the eighteenth century, the French found the territory of the county inhabited by the Alibamo Indians, whose villages were located along the Alabama River. But on an ancient French map there is an Alibamo town (Halbama), apparently in the western part of the county. Altogether, the county has no important aboriginal history.
Along the Alabama River are found some evidences of aboriginal occupancy, but they are not numerous. Autauga (Atagi), an Alibamo town, was situated below the mouth of Autauga Creek, which enters the river just above the present Washington ferry on the Montgomery and Prattville public road. Opil ‘Lako, an Upper Creek town, possibly Alibamo, was located in the county, but its site has never been determined. Arrow and spearpoints of flint are found in several sections, but at no place in sufficient quantities to suggest the existence of workshop sites, as on the opposite side of the Alabama, and on the Tallapoosa River, some miles to the east.
During the Creek War, 1813-14, Dutch Bend became a place of refuge for the Creeks after their defeat at the Holy Ground. Here Weatherford’s wife, Sapoth Thlanie died, two days after the battle. Weatherford had a plantation on the west bank of the river, about a mile and a half below the mouth of Pintlala Creek
Settlement and Later History
Settlers entered its borders from the stream of migration through old Fort Jackson in 1814, immediately following the close of the Creek War. Its permanent settlers date from 1816, 1817 and 1818, the number in the latter year being sufficient to call for the setting up of a reparate county. Within the first fifteen years of its history, almost all of its best lands had been occupied, its population had become stable, and migration had set in from among its people to other parts of the old Southwest.
Among the early residents of the county were, Gov. Wm. W. Bibb, John A. Elmore, Sr., Bolling Hall, Sr., James Jackson, Robert Gaston, Jacob P. House, Francis Lewis, Bent Pierce, Philips and Byrd Fitzpatrick, Nicholas Zeigler, Edmund Gholson, Isaac Funderburg, Levi Kelly, William Hester, Jesse Gay, Josiah Rice, Thomas Harris. James Goss, Thomas Tatum, George Jones, Edmund Foreman, Joseph Riley, Mackey Johnson, Archibald Graham, Richard Bibb, Job Calloway, William Lewis, Joshua Marcus, William Futch, Isaiah Thacker, Aaron Moore, Hiram Bishop, Abram Chancellor, Lewis C. Davis, Thomas C. Smith, William R. Pickett, Mark Howard, Seaborn Mims, Lewis Tyus, Richard Mouton, Wm. Hightower, Jeremiah Jackson, Robert Motley, Robert Broadnax, Edmund Shackleford, John G. Stoudenmire, William N. Thompson, John Mathews, James Mathews, William Peebles, Benjamin Averett, James and Nehemiah Howard, Eli Ely, Lazarus Parker, William Nunn, Thomas Hogg, Dr. N. S. Jones, Benjamin Davis, Dr. A. R. Hutchinson, Organ Tatum, Berry Tatum, S. McGraw, B. Mason, John Lamar, L. Houser, S. Stoudenmire, John McNeel.
The county has been the birthplace or home of several persons of distinction. Gov. Wm. W. Bibb, first governor of Alabama, made his home in the vicinity of the present Coosada, there he died, and his remains lie in a private cemetery on his old home place. In the same community resided John A. Elmore, Sr., a soldier of the Revolution, Bolling Hall, Sr., a former Representative in Congress from Georgia, James Jackson, who represented Autauga County in the first constitutional convention of the State in 1819, and Capt. Albert T. Goodwyn, representative in Congress. Daniel Pratt founded Prattville and the great gin manufacturing interests which have rendered his name and county famous. In the county also resided for a time Gen. Thomas Woodward, noted Indian fighter; also William R. Pickett, father of Col. A. J. Pickett, the historian; Gen. E. Y. Fair, minister to Brussels; Elder Lewis C. Davis, popularly known as “Club Axe” Davis. The county was the birthplace of Rev. Dr. Samuel S. Harris, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan; and of his niece, Miss May Harris, prominent as an author.
The county is properly classed as agricultural, although it has important manufactures. Its agricultural statistics appear in full below. One of the earliest manufacturing plants, the Pratt Gin Co., was established long before the War. It was one of the very first of the purely distinctive manufacturing plants using water as power, although there were many gristmills and sawmills supplying local demands, erected on the streams of the State.
There are three railroad lines in the county: Louisville & Nashville, main line, 8 miles main track, and 1.85 miles side track; Montgomery & Prattville branch, 4.82 miles main track, and .74 mile side track; Mobile & Ohio, 29.68 miles main track, and 3.01 miles side track; and Alabama Central Ry., 8.75 miles main track.
REFERENCES.—Toulmin, Digest, 1823; Acts, 1818, p. 60; 1820-21, p. 72; 1826-27, p. 36; 182728, p. 40; 1830-31, p. 419; 1868, p. 115; Brewer, Alabama, p. 107; Berney, Handbook (1892), p. 287; Riley, Alabama as it is (1893), P, 165; Northern Alabama (1888), p. 180; Alabama, 1909 (Ala. Dept. of Ag. and Ind., Bulletin 27). p. 71; U. S. Soil Survey (1910), with map; Aladama land book (1916), p. 26; Ala. Official and Statistical Register, 1903-1915, 5 vols.; Ala. An. thropological Society, Handbook (1910); Geol. Survey of Ala., Agricultural features of the State (1883); The valley regions of Alabama, parts 1 and 2 (1896, 1897), and Underground water resources of Alabama (1907); John Hardy, “History of Autauga County,” in Daily State Sentinel, Montgomery, Aug. 10, 1867.