Blount County History

Source: Alabama: Her History, Resources, War Record, and Public Men. From 1540 To 1872.
pages 138-139, Copyright 1872




Blount was established by an act passed Feb. 7, 1818, and originally embraced the present county of Jeferson, and that part of Walker east of the Sipsey Fork of the Tuskaloosa river. It was soon after cut down to its present limits.
 
It lies in the north centre of the State, south of Marshall and Morgan, west of Marshall and St. Clair, north of St. Clair and Jefferson and east of Winston and Walker.
 
It was named to honor Gov. Blount of Tennessee, for whose timely aid in 1813 in sending troops against the Creeks the people of Alabama owe such a debt of gratitude.
 
It's area is about 990 square miles.
 
The assessed value of property is $757,893; of which $614,522 is real estate, and $143,341 is personal property.
 
The population is exhibited as follows:
                 1820...1830...1840...1850....1860....1870
Whites......2415.. 4233.. 5570.. 7367.. 10,885.. 9945
Blacks....... 176..... 351... 345.... 426....... 672.... 682
 
The farm lands in 1870 - 56,349 acres improved, and 186,927 acres unimproved - were valued at $649,291.
The value of live stock - 1651 horses, 633 mules, 9558 neat cattle, 9507 sheep, 15,983 hogs - was $435,315.
In 1869 the productions were 266,553 bushels of Indian corn, 47,275 bushels of wheat, 12,779 bushels of oats, 36,347 bushels of potatoes, 83,055 pounds of butter, 5682 pounds of tobacco, 950 bales of cotton, 14,088 pounds of wool; the value of animals slaughtered was $109,330; and value of farm productions was $572,045.
 
The profile of the county is rugged and mountainous, with beautiful valleys, where -
"Freshness breathes from each silver spring,
Whose scattered streams from granite basins burst,
Leap into life, and sparkling woo your thirst."
 
These valleys are alluvial and very productive, but the larger portion of the county has a light soil, often comparatively sterile.
 
The Tuskaloosa flows through the county, but is not navigable, and there has been no railways. Now, however, the reilroad that connects Decatur and Montgomery traverses the western portion of the county, and the development of the magnificent mineral resources and advantages of Blount will begin.
 
The coal and iron of this county make it one of the richest in the State. Coal measures cover a very considerable portion of the surface, and iron ore is wondrously abundant. And yet these indispensable and valuable minerals lie undisturbed in the womb of Nature. They afford to the people of the county however, a mine of wealth that insures the prosperity of the county for all time to come.
 
Silver has been successfully sought in Brown's Valley, and lumber will eventually be produced in large quantities.
 
The greatest variety of mineral waters is found in Blount. At Blount Springs, in the southwestern part, sixteen springs, differing in a greater or less degree, rise through the rock within a circle a few hundred feet in diameter. Black, red, white, and sweet sulphur, limestone and chalvbeate waters, are all to be found at the place.
 
Blount is famous for its apples, and many are exported. They have no superior as fruit.
 
Blounts, the seat of justice since the county was formed, has about 350 inhabitants. There are no other villages of importance, though Blount Springs is being laid out as a town.
 
There are numerous caverns in the county, some of which contain saltpetre. One belongs to that class called "blowing caves," in which the air takes an opposite course at different seasons of the year: blowing outward in summer, and inward in winter. Some of these caves were used by the aborigines as burial places, and their remains are yet found in them, with fragments of lead, nuts, shells, and trinkets. There are many other picturesque scenes and curiosities in Blount.
 
In 1819, John Gilbraity, William Rino, Stephen Box, Moses Burleson, and Henry McPherson were appointed to fix the seat of justice; and, a year later, John Gilbraith, John Fowler, Richard Yeelding, Lewis Johnson, and Joseph H. Mead were appointed to superintent the erection of public buildings.


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This page was last updated April 24, 2016.

2015-2016 by the Blount County Coordinator for the ALGenWeb Project