July 5, 1810
Then part of the Mississippi Territory, Madison County was established by territorial governor Robert Williams in 1808. With an influx of settlers, and land sales getting underway in earnest, it was necessary to establish a local home for government. The Twickenham community near Big Spring was selected on this day in 1810, but few were happy with the name. Less than 18 months later, the town was renamed for the original settler of the area, John Hunt. And it has remained Huntsville ever since.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Map of Mississippi and Alabama territories, c. 1817. (Francis Shallus, Library of Congress Geography and Map Division)
Robert Williams, Governor of Mississippi Territory, c. 1917. (Dunbar Rowland, Wikipedia)
Big Spring (now Huntsville) in Madison County is seen during a flood in 1862. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library)
A lagoon at Big Spring Park in Huntsville, Madison County, is part of Indian Creek Canal that was used to transport cotton during the nineteenth century. The settlement that would become Huntsville was founded in the area around Big Spring by pioneer John Hunt in 1805. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department)
The city of Huntsville, Madison County, in north Alabama is a center for technology and aerospace development in the South, being home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and other high-tech government and corporate operations. Huntsville was the site of Alabama’s first constitutional convention in 1819. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Huntsville Times, Photograph by Dave Dieter)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.