The University of Alabama was struggling to exist on February 12, 1874, when the first ed. of Birmingham Iron Age was published

Read about more events that happened on this date in ALABAMA GENEALOGY NOTES: Volume 1 at Amazon.com

The first edition of the Birmingham Iron Age was published in Birmingham, Alabama on February 12, 1874. A subscription cost $2.00 for a year, or $1.00 for six months. It included the following transcribed news and events about the State of Alabama.


The Court-house of Pickens county is advertised for sale by the sheriff.

Col. John Forsyth is not to leave the Mobile Register as was rumored. Our State cannot spare him.

From all parts of the State the gratifying intelligence is received that farmers are sowing plenty of grain and less cotton than last year.

In a modest, well-written valedictory in the Montgomery Advertiser of 7th inst., Col. Robert Tyler, editor-in-chief, takes leave of the many readers of that excellent paper. We part with him with regret; but Cooke the “handsome man,” remains at the helm with Col. W. W. Screws. This brace of editors will keep up the interest of the Advertiser.

Thieves in Montgomery have been stealing the bridges from across the open sewers, and the local of Advertiser fears the streets will be carried off next. But that is hardly possible since they have been iron clamped.

A Lodge of the Knights of Pythias was organized in Montgomery last week and the following officers elected: J. H. Reddick, C. C.; W. P. Bell,V. C.; H. E. Day, P.; W. E. Englehardt, K. of R, And S.; J. M. Benson, M of F.; B. L. Wyman, M. of E.; W. D. Lahey, M. A.; E. Beebe, J. G.; J. H. Carew, O. G.

As the freight train on the A. & C. road was crossing Gulfcreek bridge, north of Ashville on Friday, the drawhead of the second car from the tender pulled out and struck the timbers of the bridge just as the car reached it going through the bridge and carrying six others after it, the engine barely crossing with one flat car. The bridge and the seven cars are a total wreck. Freight and passengers are now, and will be for several days, transferred at this point. – The loss will be about $20,000. Chattanooga Times

The various Granges in Alabama are organizing Councils in every county. The growth of the order is astonishingly rapid.

Col. L. R. Davis, of Limestone county, announces himself as a candidate for Congress in the 6th District. Radical J. T. Parish is also after the same office.

Flint Factory, in Madison county, owned by Thos. McFarland, was destroyed by fire a few days since. No insurance.

Mr. Geo. M. Powell married Miss Rebecca P. Carew in Montgomery last Thursday evening. Rev. Dr. Wadsworth tied the silken knot.

University of Alabama ruins ca. 1874
The University of Alabama was burned during the Civil War – ruins ca. 1874 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

The State University, at Tuskaloosa, we learn is in a languishing condition – has almost equal numbers in Faculty and students. The effects of Radical Rule – blighting and destroying everything within its poisonous influence.

The campus of the University of Alabama in 1859. View of the Quad, with the Rotunda at center and dormitories in the background. All of these buildings were destroyed by the Union army
The campus of the University of Alabama in 1859. View of the Quad, with the Rotunda at center and dormitories in the background. All of these buildings were destroyed by the Union army (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

Cullman is the name of a new town situated on the S. & N Railroad, about 53 miles above this city. It has been settled principally by Germans, and 300 families are already there and in the immediate vicinity. We learn that a paper printed in German will be established there next fall.

We gather the following items from the Opelika Observer:

The farmers in the neighborhood of Auburn have sown three times as much wheat this season as they did last. They will also sow more oats and plant more corn. This is the way, gentlemen, to become independent and keep your names from the book of conveyance in the Probate Judge’s office.

We note another fact that the farmers are reducing the area of land heretofore cultivated. A few acres thoroughly manured and highly cultivated will pay better than five times the quantity half worked and not fertilized.

Professor W. C. Stubbs, who has the Chair of Analytical and Agricultural Chemistry in the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama  (now Auburn University) is prepared to analyzed the different brands of guanos, iron ores and coal.

Auburn college postcard 1850Auburn college postcard 1850 (Library of Congress)

Our old friend Isaac Young, of Clay county, let his plantation out to freedmen last year. There were nearly thirty persons in the families, and between twelve and fifteen hands. They made six bales of cotton and haven’t corn enough to do them. Mr. Young reserved some patches about the house containing a little over seven acres. These were cultivated by his children, under his direction, having the use of a mule to do the plowing, and they produced seven bales of cotton. Here is the argument- a little more intelligence to direct, less land, better cultivation, more fertilizing, larger crops, and more clear profit. – Talladega Reporter

The Savannah and Memphis Railroad bridge across the Tallapoosa river has just been completed, and in a short time the cars will be running to Kellyville, on the borders of Coosa county. From that point to Childersburg, on the Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad, the contract for finishing the grading and laying the iron has been let to a responsible company, by whom it will be put through with all possible dispatch. – Montgomery Advertiser

Mr. G. Selig who has for some time been doing business in Dallas, Texas, has moved with his family to Auburn. He does not give a flattering account of Texas, and says many of the people who have gone from Lee county would like to return. It is better to stay where we are in this healthy country and lovely climate, and restore our lands by judicious farming, than to take the hazards of health and many other disadvantages in the far west.

Discordance: The Cottinghams Inspired by true events and the Cottingham family that resided in 17th century Somerset, Maryland, and Delaware, colonial America comes alive with pirate attacks, religious discord, and governmental disagreements in the pre-Revolutionary War days of America.


Birmingham Iron Age
February 1874
Birmingham Iron 1st edition, 1874
February 12, 1874
February 19, 1874
February 26, 1874
Birmingham Iron Age
March 1874
March 5, 1874
March 12, 1874
March 19, 1874
March 26, 1874
Birmingham Iron Age
April 1874
List of Jurors Drawn for the Spring Term 1874
April 2 1874
April 9, 1874
April 16, 1874
April 23, 1874
April 30, 1874


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