ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gadsden, Alabama - The History, Then and Now

Updated on February 6, 2011

The City of Gadsden, Alabama, known as the " City of Champions", began as a dream. The dream began with three men who had moved to the small stage stop on the banks of the Coosa Rive, known as Double Springs.

Double Springs, was a small settlement that consisted of several log buildings, a store, a small school, a post office, and the stagecoach hotel where weary travelers could rest while traveling between Jacksonville, Ala. and Huntsville, Ala. A man named John Riley, built the first log structure in Double Springs, before he sold it to Gabriel Hughes in the spring of 1840. The coming of the Hughes brothers eventually brought about the founding of a new town. John S. Moragne, soon joined the brothers,and surveyed the lay out new town that would soon become known as Gadsden.

The new town began to grow when the first steamboat made it's voyage slowly down the Coosa River. The USM Coosa, piloted by a Caption James Lafferty, passed though the area and stopped near the site of the new town. An attempt was made to name the new town after Caption Lafferty, but he declined the offer. The name Gadsden was chosen in honor of James Gadsden, a former soldier, and statesman who had passed though the area with the legendary Andrew Jackson in the war of 1812 - 1814 during Creek Indian War. Gadsden, was at the time associated with the railroad and it was thought that this would bring in new business to the area with a major railroad line to town.

The town of Gadsden grew at a slow pace until the out break of the Civil War struck the area. It was at this time that a young girl by the name of "Emma Sansom", wrote her name in the history books. On the famous raid carried out by Gen.Abel Straight in the Union Army onApril 28 - May 3 1863. After a long running skirmish with Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest, over hills, and though open fields. Gen. Straight made it Black Creek, in the town of Gadsden. He burnt the only bridge in to town, trying to hold off the advances of Gen. Forrest. After seeing no other way to cross Black Creek, he rode off to a near by log house, the home of Emma Sansom.

Gen. Forrest ask if therewas another way to cross the creek, and she replied " Yes, just the creek a ways, ther is a cattle crossing with shallower water. Gen. Straight, thinking he had bought his army of 1500 men some time. He commenced to burning the town of Gadsden, all of it's supplies, cotton, and all of the grains.

He left about 50 men to hold the rear flakes, watching closely for Gen. Forrest. Just a short distance from the burning bridge, Forrest crossed his men, and came under fire from a hill side a hundred yards from the creek. It was here that the valor of Miss Emma Sansom shined. Under heavy fire from sharp shooters on the hill. She was shot at numerous times, having her dress riddle with bullet holes, and pointing to the direction of the ford for Gen. Forrest's men to cross safely. Giving Gen. Forrest the chance to catch up to Gen. Straight's rear guard. After almost 5 days of running battles, Gen. Straight, surrendered his army over to Gen. Forrest at the Lawrence Farmhouse, 12 miles from the town of Gadsden.

Following the end of the Civil War, the town began the to grow and rebuild at an accelerated rate. Several astute businessmen, including Colonel Robert B. Kyle, brought in some major business to Gadsden. Kyle had a hand in most of the large companies in Gadsden during the late 1800's and early 1900s.

After the turn in the century, Gadsden had many industries, including steel plants, railroad car factories, along with the many farms and orchards. Gadsden has changed, it stands the test of time. It has endured many tragedies, including several downtown fires that crippled the economy, the loss of the Republic Steel plant, the cities largest employers, the downtown business district with the invention of the Strip Mall, and many small local businesses over whelmed by the big super stores like Walmart.

Despite all of that, Gadsden continues to grow even today with new automotive manufacturing companies popping up all over the county, and brand new companies with smart GREEN ideas. Gadsden will not forget there past, nor will it loss it's hope for a brighter future.

For more information on Gadsden, Alabama, check out my website about this great city.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My own wife and I fell over here by a poles apart trap forward also contemplated I'd personally restraint points unconscious. I like exactly what I envision i really am located absolutely charting you. Look forward to ekecgfbcfecg

    • mark h. profile imageAUTHOR

      mark h. 

      7 years ago from Alabama

      There will be follow ups on the history of the region, including some of the famous people that have lived and still living here and around town. Be on the look out for more informative articles just like this one....

      Thanks for following me on


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)