Morgan County Alabama

Morgan County Alabama

Morgan County Alabama Map

Morgan County Alabama Map

 

Morgan County Alabama, in the north-central part of the state, has a population of 119,490 and comprises approximately 575 square miles. The county seat is Decatur, Alabama.

The county was created by the legislature on February 6, 1818 from land acquired from the Cherokee Indians in the Treaty of Turkeytown, and was originally called Cotaco County.

Morgan County Alabama History

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

THE county of Morgan was established in the year 1818, and named for General Daniel Morgan, of Pennsylvania. It lies directly south of the Tennessee River, and is one of the most important counties in North Alabama. Its area is 700 square miles.

Population in 1880, 16,928; population in 1890, 24,089; white, 18,015; colored, 6,076.

Area planted in cotton, 23,628 acres; in corn, 38,048 acres; in oats, 6,395 acres; in wheat, 968 acres; in rye, 52 acres; in tobacco, 7 acres; cotton production, 6,241 bales.

Proceeding southward from the Tennessee River, which forms the northern boundary of Morgan county, there are met four terrace-like plains, each with characteristics peculiar to itself. The first of these would be the bottoms, which lie in close proximity to the Tennessee River. The soils here are porous and productive, but liable to overflow. For this reason they are planted almost altogether in corn. Occasionally, however, where the soil is not so much exposed to overflow, there is cotton planted.

Then comes the land of the Valley of the Tennessee proper. This is elevated above the bottoms about seventy-five or one hundred feet, and possesses the red or brown soils, which mark the great valley from limit to limit. Because of the generous soil possessed by this valley, the lands are almost wholly cleared. The valley in this county varies very greatly. In some parts it is but a mile or two wide, while in others it is fully eight.

Ascending to the next natural formation one is from seventy-five to one hundred feet above the valley, and is upon the summit of a range known as Little Mountain. The lands ‘along this broad, natural shelf are not so fertile as those in the valley for purposes of farming, but are superior in their pasturage qualities. Grasses in the greatest variety and luxuriance grow along this lofty plateau. Here we find the stock-producing section of the county. Of course, from this, it will not be understood that the soils of this section are incapable of producing only grasses. In this portion of Morgan are found many thrifty farms, surrounded by all the comforts of life. It is more distinctively adapted, however, to stock-raising than to agriculture.

From this elevated plain, which commands the view of the Tennessee Valley, and going southward there is a perceptible descent to the foot of Sand Mountain. This is the fourth distinct division of the county. The width of this terrace varies from one to twelve miles. Along this we find a great variety of soil, the fertility or thinness of which is indicated by its peculiar hue. In some portions the lands are black, while in others they are red and gray. That part of the county which is now being described is a portion of the great Warrior Coalfield. Thus it will be seen that Morgan possesses, to a greater or less degree, all the advantages, agriculturally and otherwise, which are possessed by the surrounding counties of the great Tennessee Valley. All the grains are produced here that are produced elsewhere in this North Alabama region. And the hardy fruits, such as apples, peaches, pears, and the various berries are grown abundantly and are usually of superior quality. The water supply of the county is superior. The Tennessee River forms the whole of the northern boundary of the county, while Flint Creek and its two forks, Cataco, No Business, Cedar, Shoal, Six Mile, Main, Scrouge and Gandy’s Fork, penetrate every portion of it, and not only supply it with water, but contribute greatly to the enrichment of the soils. The county is also well watered with superior springs. In the northeastern portion are the Valhermoso and Lacey Springs, which enjoy a local reputation. The different streams afford excellent fish.

There is an abundance of wood for all purposes in the county. Vast districts of the county have scarcely been touched by the woodman’s axe. Principal among the timbers which throng the forests are the post-oak, blackjack, hickory, poplar, walnut, maple, sour-wood, cherry, cedar, and short-leaf pine. There are large milling interests which are engaged in the conversion of much of this timber into lumber for home consumption and for shipment to distant markets.

Facilities for transportation are found in the Tennessee River, which forms the northern boundary line of the county, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, which runs entirely through, and the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, which penetrates the northern end of the county and crosses the Louisville & Nashville system at Decatur. Other railway lines are in contemplation which are expected to pierce other portions of the county and thus greatly enlarge facilities for the shipment of products, but sufficient outlet for transportation is already afforded in the lines which now penetrate the county. Unusual advantages for the shipment of produce is afforded the inhabitants of Morgan, as the competing lines of railway cross at Decatur, and there also cross the Tennessee River, the navigation of which will soon be open in both directions.

The county is being rapidly peopled and correspondingly developed. Minerals exist in different parts of the county. These are chiefly coal and limestone, though there is the evident presence of gold, and the indications are that it is in large quantities. Asphalt also exists, being the first trace of it discovered in America. No direct effort has been made to develop these mineral resources, the investigations hitherto being directed only to ascertain the extent of their prevalence. The moral tone of the population of the county is healthy, and excellent school and church facilities abound in town and county alike.

Of the towns, Somerville is an interior village with a population of several hundred, and has a flourishing school.

Decatur.

For many years Decatur was content to be a quiet town of 1,200 inhabitants, lying favorably at the junction of the Louisville & Nashville and Memphis & Charleston Railroads. These two great thoroughfares meet upon the banks of the Tennessee River, and at this point is located the city of Decatur. Catching the spirit that was astir throughout the entire North Alabama region, Decatur began to take a new and vigorous growth, and within the last two years its population has increased to more than 6,000.

The chief feature of the city is that portion which is designated as New Decatur. Its new and spacious streets and avenues, lined with residences and business houses, some of which rival in attractiveness those of the largest cities, its mammoth and splendid hotel—The Tavern—and its numerous industries, serve to show the life and spirit of this city of the Tennessee. Chief among the industries are these:

   1. The United States Rolling Stock Company has removed their immense plant from Urbana, Ohio, to this place. Cost, $1,000,000.

    2. The Louisville & Nashville Railway Car Works. Cost of buildings, $300,000. Employs 750 men.

    3. Charcoal Company’s plant, costing $120,000.

    4. A 70-ton Charcoal Iron Furnace, costing $100,000.

    5. The Decatur Iron Bridge & Construction Company. Cost, $100,000.

    6. The Car Wheel & Manufacturing Company, capacity 140 wheels per day. Cost of plant, $60,000.

    7. Southern Horseshoe Nail Factory, 60 mechanics. Capital, $100,000.

    8. The American Oak Extract Company’s plant, costing $60,000.

    9. Ivens & Son’s Steam Boiler & Engine Works, costing $100,000.

    10. Morse’s Cotton Compress plant, costing $60,000.

    11. Decatur Lumber Company, Saw & Planing Mills, costing $50,000.

    12. Berthard & Co., Sash, Door & Blind Factory, costing $15,000.

    13. The Decatur Street Railway.

    14. The Telephone Company.

    15. Brush Electric Light Company.

    16. Howlaod & Company’s Water Works System, costing $200,000.

    17. Bleymeyer Artificial Ice Company, cost $10,000.

    18. One mammoth brick yard. •

    19. Arantz Brothers’ Mills & Lumber Yards.

    20. Hoy’s Furniture Factory.

    21. H. S. Freeman’s Mills & Lumber Yards.

    22. Natural Gas Company. Capital, $200,000.

    23. First National Bank. Capital, $100,000.

    24. The Exchange Bank of Decatur. Capital, $100,000.

    25. Decatur Building Association. Capital, $300,000.

    26. Buchheit’s Bottling Works.

    27. The Decatur Plumbing & Supply Company. Capital, $25,000.

     Located so near the great mineral fields, and destined to enjoy marked advantages when the Muscle Shoals works are completed, Decatur will become one of the great cities of the State. Excellent school and church facilities abound in the favored city. It is now the seat of justice.

    Falkville, Trinity, Hartselle, Somerville, Leesburg, Danville and Valhermoso Springs are points of chief importance, and possess valuable educational interests.

    Lands in this county may be purchased at prices ranging from $5 to $40 per acre.

    Considering the competing lines which cross each other in the county, its superior soil, its climate and medicinal waters, together with its numerous social advantages, Morgan county is the peer of any other in the great Cereal Belt. The people regard with favor and encouragement the settlement of men of studious, industrious and frugal habits, in their midst.

   The county has no unappropriated Government lands.

Source: Northern Alabama – Historical and Biographical by Smith & De Land, Birmingham, Ala 1888

Population: White, 12.000: colored, 4,500. Area, 700 square miles. Woodland, all. Coal measures of sand mountains and sandy land of Little Mountain, 415; valley lands, red lands, coves and stoops, 570.

Acres – In cotton, approximately, 18,828; in corn, 35,610; in oats, 4,704; in wheat, 7,005; in rye, 135 ; in tobacco, 53; sweet potatoes, 305. Approximate number of bales of cotton in round numbers, 6,500.

County Seat – Somerville : Population, 1,000.

Post offices of the County – Apple Grove, Bashams Gap, Blue Springs, Cedar Plains, Cotaco, Crowton, Danville, Decatur, Falkville, Flint, Fort Bluff, Gandys, Cove, Hartselle, Hulaco, Lacy’s Springs, Lawrence Cove, Leesdale, Priceville. Slipup, Somerville, Stringer, Trinity Station, Whisenaut, Winter, Woodland Hills.

The county of Morgan was established in the year 1818, and named for General Daniel Morgan, of Pennsylvania. It lies directly south of the Tennessee river, and is one of the most important counties in north Alabama.

Proceeding southward from the Tennessee river, which forms the northern boundary of Morgan county, there are met four terrace-like plains, each with characteristics peculiar to itself. The first of these would be the bottoms, which lie in close proximity to the Tennessee river. The soils here are porous and productive, but liable to overflow. For this reason they are planted almost altogether in corn. Occasionally, however, where the soil is not so much exposed to overflow, there is cotton planted.

Then comes the land of the valley of the Tennessee proper. This is elevated above the bottoms about seventy-five or one hundred feet, and possesses the red or brown soils, which mark the great valley from limit to limit. Because of the generous soil possessed by this valley, the lands are almost wholly cleared. The valley in this county varies very greatly. In some parts it is but a mile or two wide, while in others it is fully eight.

Ascending to the next natural formation one is from seventy-five to one hundred feet above the valley, and is upon the summit of a range known as Little Mountain. The lands along this broad, natural shelf are not so fertile as those in the valley for purposes of farming, but are superior in pasturage qualities. Grasses in the greatest variety and luxuriance grow along this lofty plateau. Here we find the stock-producing section of the county. Of course from this it will not be understood that the soils of this section are incapable of producing only grasses. In this portion of Morgan are found many thrifty farms, surrounded by all the comforts of life. It is more distinctively adapted, however, to stock-raising than to agriculture.

From tills elevated plain, which commands the view of the Tennessee Valley, and going southward there is a perceptible descent to the foot of Sand Mountain. This is the fourth distinct division of the county. The width of this terrace varies from one to twelve miles. Along this we find a great variety of soil, the fertility or thinness of which is indicated by its peculiar hue. In some portions the lands are black, while in others they are red and gray. That part of the county which is now being described is a portion of the great Warrior coalfield. Thus it will be seen that Morgan possesses, to a greater or less degree, all the advantages, agriculturally and otherwise, which are possessed by the surrounding counties of the great Tennessee Valley. All the grains are produced here that are produced elsewhere in this North Alabama region. And the hardy fruits, such as apples, peaches, pears and the various berries are grown abundantly, and are usually of superior quality. The water supply of the county is superior. The Tennessee river forms the whole of the northern boundary of the county, while Flint creek, and its two forks, Cotaco, No Business, Cedar, Shoal, Six Mile. Crowdabout, Gaudy’s fork, penetrate every portion of it, and not only supply it with water, but contribute greatly to the enrichness of the soils. The county is also well watered with superior springs. In the northeastern portion are the Valhermoso and Lacy springs, which enjoy a local reputation. The different streams afford excellent fish.

There is an abundance of wood for all purposes in the county vast districts of the county have scarcely been touched by the woodman’s axe. Principal among the timbers which throng the forests are the post oak, white oak, red oak, blackjack, hickory, poplar, walnut, maple, sourwood, cherry, cedar and short-leaf pine. There are large milling interests which are engaged in the conversion of much of this timber into lumber for home consumption and for shipment to distant markets.

Facilities for transportation are found in the Tennessee river, which forms the northern boundary line of the county; the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, which runs entirely through, and the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, which penetrates the northern end of the county and crosses the Louisville & Nashville system at Decatur. Other railway lines are in contemplation, which are expected to pierce other portions of the county, and thus greatly enlarge facilities for the shipment of products; but sufficient outlet for transportation is already afforded in the lines which now penetrate the county. Unusual advantages for the shipment of produce is afforded the inhabitants of Morgan, as the competing lines of railway cross at Decatur, and there also cross the Tennessee river, the navigation of which will soon be open in both directions.

The county is being rapidly peopled and correspondingly developed, minerals exist in different parts of the county. These are chiefly coal and limestone, though there is the evident presence of gold, and the indications are that it is in large quantities. Asphalt also exists, being the first trace of it discovered in America. Oil and natural gas has also recently been found at Hartselle. Direct effort has been made to develop these mineral resources, and the investigations have been satisfactory beyond the expectations of the most sanguine.

The moral tone of the population of the county is healthy, and excellent school and church facilities abound in towns and country alike. The schools at Mountain Home, near Trinity, at Hartselle and at Decatur are regarded the equal of any institutions in this portion of the State.

Of the towns, Somerville is an interior village, with a population of several hundred, and it is the seat of justice of the county. Decatur, with a population of 4,000, is the point of greatest interest in the county, and is a place of growing business importance.

Trinity, Hartselle, Leesburg, Danville and Valhermoso Springs are points of chief importance, and possess valuable educational interests.

Lands in this county may be purchased at prices ranging from 85 to 8-10 per acre.

Considering the competing lines which cross each other in the county, its superior soil, its climate and medicinal waters, together with its numerous social advantages, Morgan county is the peer of any other in the great cereal belt. The people regard with favor and encouragement the settlement of men of studious, industrious and frugal habits in their midst.

The county embraces within its limits government land to the extent of 25,280 acres.

Morgan County Alabama Cities:

Decatur Alabama

Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties. The city, nicknamed “The River City”, is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.

Hartselle Alabama

Hartselle is the second largest city in Morgan County, about 10 miles south of Decatur. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,255. Hartselle was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad.

Priceville Alabama

Priceville is located in central Morgan County, in the north-central part of the state just south of the Tennessee River. It is the third largest municipality in Morgan County. The 2010 census counted a population of 2,658, up from 1,631. Priceville was incorporated in 1975.

Trinity Alabama

Trinity is a town in Morgan County. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 2,095, up from 1,841 in 2000. It was incorporated in 1901.Trinity was developed in the 1810s as area plantation owners built houses atop Trinity Mountain to escape the mosquito-infested lowlands. A post office operated at Trinity from 1848 to 1853. The post office reopened under the name “Trinity Station” in 1866. The town incorporated in 1901, and changed its name to simply “Trinity” two years later. Trinity is located across a scattered area mostly between U.S. Route 72 on the north and State Route 24 to the south.

Source: Wikipedia contributors, “Trinity, Alabama,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

Trinity Alabama Website

Falkville Alabama

Falkville is a town in Morgan County, Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 1,279, up from 1,202 in 2000.Falkville was first incorporated in 1876 and again on June 19, 1886, and on December 13, 1898.

According to 2016 Census estimates, Falkville recorded a population of 1,288. Of that number, 93.8 percent reported itself as white, 4.0 percent as African American, 1.4 percent as two or more races, 0.8 percent as American Indian, and 0.8 percent as Hispanic or Latino Alaska Native. The median household income according to Census estimates is $36,920 and per capita income is $18,572.

Somerville Alabama

Somerville is a town in Morgan County, Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 724, up from 347. Somerville was the county seat of Morgan County from 1818 to 1891, when the seat was moved to Decatur.

Eva Alabama

Eva is a town in Morgan County. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 519, up from 491 in 2000. Originally called Cowhead, the town began to be settled in 1820, just a year after Alabama achieved statehood.

The story of Eva Alabama is quite interesting. Read it here: Wikipedia contributors, “Eva, Alabama,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

 

Morgan County Alabama Communities:

Apple Grove Alabama

Apple Grove is a populated place located in Morgan County at latitude 34.399 and longitude -86.61.

Danville Alabama

Danville, also known as Houstons Store, is an unincorporated community in Morgan County.

Lacey’s Spring Alabama

Lacey’s Spring is an unincorporated community in northeastern Morgan County at the base of Brindlee Mountain. 

The community was established by three Virginia-born brothers, Hopkins, John, and Theophilus Lacy. The community took on their name and became the site for a U.S. post office in February 1831. “Lacy’s Spring” became “Lacey’s Spring” when the postal seal furnished by Washington officials mistakenly inserted an “e” into the name.

Morgan City Alabama

Morgan City, also known as New Rescue, is an unincorporated community located in Morgan and Marshall counties. It is located atop Brindley Mountain approximately halfway between Arab and Huntsville along U.S. Highway 231.

Ryan Crossroads Alabama

Ryan Crossroads, also known as Ryans Crossroads, is a populated place located in Morgan County at latitude 34.342 and longitude -86.61. The elevation of Ryan Crossroads is 1,079 feet. Ryan Crossroads appears on the Hulaco U.S. Geological Survey Map. Morgan County is in the Central Time Zone (UTC -6 hours).
 

Morgan County Alabama Ghost Towns

Basham Alabama

Latitude N34 30.895′ Longitude W87 01.985′
34°30’53.7″N 87°01’59.1″W
34.514917, -87.033083

Candy Cove Alabama

Latitude N34 21.578′ Longitude W86 49.381′
34°21’34.7″N 86°49’22.9″W
34.359633, -86.823017

Cedars Alabama

Latitude N34 21.899′ Longitude W86 59.781′
34°21’53.9″N 86°59’46.9″W
34.364983, -86.996350

Center Grove Alabama

Latitude N34 23.042′ Longitude W86 38.042′
34°23’02.5″N 86°38’02.5″W
34.384033, -86.634033

Fort Bluff Alabama

Latitude N34 24.405′ Longitude W86 44.650′
34°24’24.3″N 86°44’39.0″W
34.406750, -86.744167

Lawrence Cove Alabama

Latitude N34 21.886′ Longitude W86 39.713′
34°21’53.2″N 86°39’42.8″W
34.364767, -86.661883

Massey Alabama

Latitude N34 22.222′ Longitude W87 01.334′
34°22’13.3″N 87°01’20.0″W
34.370367, -87.022233

Neel Alabama

Latitude N34 27.937′ Longitude W87 03.663′
34°27’56.2″N 87°03’39.8″W
34.465617, -87.061050

Ryan Crossroads Alabama

Latitude N34 20.524′ Longitude W86 36.621′
34°20’31.4″N 86°36’37.3″W
34.342067, -86.610350

Stringer Alabama

Latitude N34 26.134′ Longitude W86 45.382′
34°26’08.0″N 86°45’22.9″W
34.435567, -86.756367

Wilhites Alabama

Latitude N34 18.604′ Longitude W86 53.568′
34°18’36.2″N 86°53’34.1″W
34.310067, -86.892800

Wilhites Station, AL Train Wreck, Jan 1886

Winton Alabama

Latitude N34 30.702′ Longitude W86 45.047′
34°30’42.1″N 86°45’02.8″W
34.511700, -86.750783

 

Morgan County Alabama Historic Destinations

Military Order of the Purple Heart Memorial – Hartselle Alabama

Old State Bank – Decatur Alabama

Morgan County Archives – Decatur Alabama

Historic Decatur Union Train Depot – Decatur Alabama

Rhodes Ferry Park and Cherokee Trailhead – Decatur Alabama

Blue and Gray Museum of North Alabama – Decatur Alabama

Morgan County Alabama Native Americans:

Morgan County was created from land acquired from the Cherokee Indians in the Treaty of Turkeytown, and was originally called Cotaco County. On June 14, 1821 it was renamed in honor of American Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan of Virginia.

Morgan County Alabama Weblinks

Morgan County Alabama Sites Of Interest

 

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