The Reprint Company Publishers, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, has recently reissued its earlier printing of History of Pickens County, Ala. From Its First Settlement in 1817 to 1856 by Nelson F. Smith. This classic work was originally published in 1856 in Carrollton and was reprinted by the Spartanburg publisher in 1980. That 1980 reprint has been out of print for a number of years. This latest reprint is a hardback book printed on archival quality paper and is now in a Print On Demand format.
The book gives a brief but informative survey of the history of Pickens County from the explorations of Hernando DeSoto in 1541 to the middle of the nineteenth century. The author pays tribute to the original inhabitants of the area, the Chickasaw Indians.
Pickens County was created by the Alabama Legislature in 1820, the year after Alabama was admitted to the Union.
Information is drawn from early public records and names the first settlers of the area as Josiah Tilly and Jonathan York. Further details of the earliest settlers show that most of them migrated from the upper districts of South Carolina.
The author discusses living conditions, activities, crops, and the first corn and grist mills. By 1823 settlement was “complete” (from the vantage point of 1856); election precincts were established; and Pickens County had developed the beginnings of the villages of Pickensville, Bridgeville, Yorkville, Love’s Settlement, and King’s Store. In 1823 there were 5,000 inhabitants of the county.
Information on county officials is given from public records. Biographical sketches of judges, county court clerks, sheriffs, commissioners, circuit court clerks, and representatives from the area are included.
One chapter deals with a “General View of Pickens County,” under the headings of rivers and water courses, towns (Carrollton, Bridgeville, Yorkville, and Franconia), geography and land, agriculture and crops, roads, religion, manufactures, character of the inhabitants, minerals, and educational facilities.
An appendix includes miscellaneous anecdotes and accounts of some murders committed in the county.
A new index to this interesting early history was prepared by Aliceville resident, Mary Bess Paluzzi, and included in the reprint edition.
This hardback book of 300 pages is priced at $40.00 and is available from The Reprint Company Publishers, (www.reprintcompany.com), Post Office Box 5401, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29304.