Earliest evidence of habitation of the region now called Florence and Lauderdale County Alabama in northwest Alabama is from archaeological sites dating from the Woodland Period, approximately 2,000 years ago.  Native lands were ceded to the United State government.  The Alabama Territory was created from a portion of the Mississippi Territory in 1817.

Photos of the Indian Mound and artifacts from the Florence Indian Mound and Museum.


The Cypress Land Company purchases land which is named Florence in 1818. A principal founder of the Cypress Land Company, General John Coffee had led Andrew Jackson’s cavalry in the Battle of New Orleans and became a celebrated hero.  Coffee has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.

The City of Florence is incorporated on March 12, 1818 and the Code of Ordinance and the charter were created to define the organizational structure.

Article from the Nashville Whig, Saturday, April 18, 1818. pp.4, pt.1.

The U.S. Congress passes the Land Relief Act in 1820.

Future President James K. Polk visits in 1820.

James H. Weakley is appointed first postmaster for Florence Alabama in 1821.

Numerous Presidents and future Presidents visited Florence during this period.  Andrew Jackson made numerous visits and accounts described those early visits noted that Andrew Jackson was a popular man in Lauderdale County.  In June 1823, about 500 citizens gathered at the Lauderdale County Courthouse and Andrew Jackson was nominated for President with 300 votes of the 500 votes cast for Jackson.

The Cypress Land Company is liquidated in 1825.

The charter names the Mayor and Alderman structure, boundaries are define and rules of election and re-election are established, the authority and responsibility to report to the citizens in 1826 at the time of incorporation.

In early 1828, a fire destroyed all of the paperwork belonging to the Cypress Land Company among other properties.

Article from the Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, PA), Wednesday, February 6, 1828. pp.2

Justice John A. McKinley first served as a member of the U.S. Senate (1826-1830), and was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1837 by President Van Buren, becoming the first justice from Alabama.  McKinley has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.


Mayors of the City of Florence from 1826-1849:

1826-1828            Alexander Hamilton Wood

1829-1830            George Boggs, Jr.

1831-1832            James Irvine

1832-1833            William W. Garrard

1834-1837            Alexander Hamilton Wood

1837-1838            George W. Snead

1839-1852            John Simpson


Governor from Florence/Lauderdale County from 1826-1849:

1837       Hugh McVay succeeds Governor Clement C. Clay who resigns to serve in U.S. Senate


Alabama Legislatures & other offices from Florence/Lauderdale County 1820-1849:

1820-22                John McKinley is elected to Alabama House of Representatives from Madison County

1820-25                Hugh McVay served in the Alabama House of Representatives

1825-44                Hugh McVay served in the Alabama State Senate