All About Atmore: History & Beginnings
Atmore is a true southern gem that we feel proud to call home. As your local real estate resource for all things Atmore, Southern Real Estate is launching a bi-weekly “All About Atmore” series on our blog! We will be highlighting everything you may need to know about Atmore, including the families, businesses, residential neighborhoods, schools, recreational fun, and more! The first post in our series begins with our history and beginnings, dating all the way back to the mid 1800’s.
The history of Atmore starts with the Creek Indians who resided in the area before settlers moved to Alabama. The Poarch Creek Indians are descendants of a segment of the original Creek Nation that once covered almost all of Alabama and Georgia. Unlike many eastern Indian tribes, the Poarch Creeks were not removed from their tribal lands and have lived together as a federally recognized Indian Tribe for almost 200 years in and around their reservation in Poarch, Alabama, just eight miles northwest of present day Atmore.
Following the civil war, workers of the Mobile and Great Northern Railroad began to lay track heading toward the Tensaw River near Mobile, Alabama. The workers quickly noticed the fertile farmland and abundance of timber due to the longleaf pine forests in our area. The land that is now known as present day Atmore started to attract both residents and workers alike, and we quickly built our first structure in 1866, a supply shop known as Williams Station.
The mall city he making quickly became known as Williams Station, as residents started building on the land and calling it home.
By the late 1870s, the area of Williams Station had a railroad station, a store with a post office, and a sawmill built by William Marshall Carney. Local folklore holds that he hitched a mule to a boat and set claim to most of the area. The mall city he making quickly became known as Williams Station, as residents started building on the land and calling it home. Mr. Carney eventually became known to locals as the “Father of Atmore,” because his business attracted a larger population of inhabitants to Williams Station, especially from the surrounding areas of Wilcox and Monroe counties.
Mr. Carney’s generous philanthropic gifts also helped build a school and three local churches. The early social culture of Atmore centered around those churches. Young people would walk to and from church with their friends and siblings. Courting couples would pick wild violets in the fields, congregate on the church steps, or gather at the depot to see who arriving or leaving that day. Water lilies, which could only be collected in alligator infested ponds by daring young suiters, were valued prizes to bestow upon the young ladies.
As the town began to grow into a thriving community that revolved around the lumber and turpentine industries, Williams Station had enough residents to have its own polling place by 1885 and votes were first cast in a county election. Our citizens decided to change the name from Williams Station to something that represented the growing area better. The residents here dabbled with a few different names such as “Carnegy” after their founder, but there was already a town named Carnegy close by. After casting a vote, the people of Williams Station ultimately landed on the name Atmore in 1897, in honor of C.P. Atmore, the general ticket agent on the Louisville Nashville Railroad.The City of Atmore was incorporated in 1907.
By 1908, the first telephone company was established in the town, along with the installation of the first electric generator by the W. M. Carney Light Company. This brought limited electrical service to Atmore, and a larger generator soon followed in 1914, rendering 24-hour service to houses in town that were wired to the system. Atmore also had a water system by about 1911, which was modernized in 1913 by the J. B. McReary Company out of Atlanta, GA. Our first hospital was established in 1915. Gulf Electric took over the Carney Lighting Company in 1926 and later became part of what we know as the Alabama Power Company today.
Escambia County’s long standing history in the agricultural and lumber industries is still apparent in Atmore today. Although cotton production in the area has become relatively small now, it was replaced by wheat and soybeans which became major crops. The city and surrounding county has furthermore attracted additional industries that include textiles, petroleum, metal fabrication, and communication companies. With the rich history, community and thriving local businesses in town, it’s no wonder the city of Atmore is a great place to live! It is one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Alabama and our citizens take pride in our history and connected community roots.
Established in 1980, Southern Real Estate was one of the first companies in Atmore and Escambia County to exclusively specialize in Alabama & Florida real estate brokerage services.
We are grateful to have served the real estate needs of Atmore residents and businesses for almost 40 years! Established in 1980, Southern Real Estate was one of the first companies in Atmore and Escambia County to exclusively specialize in Alabama & Florida real estate brokerage services. As a lifetime resident of the Atmore area, Debbie Rowell carries an in-depth knowledge of Atmore and the surrounding areas. Southern Real Estate was founded in the belief that to fully serve the real estate needs and aspirations of our community, it all comes down to connecting with each other. We believe in developing and continuing to build solid relationships, thus focusing on the goal of becoming your personal real estate agent for life! To accomplish this goal, we continually strive to have a dedicated, trained, professional and experienced staff of agents and office personnel to serve all off your Atmore real estate needs.