Dred Scott, a slave who served as the hostler in Peter Blow’s Florence Hotel, waged a 14-year legal fight for freedom that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision of 1857, a pivotal event in American history.  Scott has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.

The Code of the City of Florence was amended several times between incorporation and 1858.


President of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis spoke in Tuscumbia in 1861.

Future President James A. Garfield fought in the Battle of Shiloh and was stationed in Tuscumbia.

Andrew Jackson visits in 1869.

A new charter was written in 1873 and amended in 1879 and again in 1901.

Lawyer and statesman James T. Rapier, a son of free African-American parents in Florence, holds the distinction of being just the second African American from Alabama to be elected, in 1873, to the U.S. Congress.  Rapier has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.

Presidential family member, Robert Todd Lincoln, visited in 1887.

Mayors of the City of Florence from 1850-1899:

1839-1852            John Simpson

1853-1860            George W. Snead

1861-1867            James Brook

1868-1869            James Bennington Irvine*

1869-1870            Neander H. Rice

1870-1871            William D. Hamner

1871-1873            Neander H. Rice

1873-1874            B.P. Joiner

1874-1879            William T. Brock

1879-1888            Zebulon P. Morrison

1888-1897            Robert Andrews

1897-1901            John Bedford Weakley, Jr.

*Son of James B. Irvine


Governors from Florence/Lauderdale County from 1850-1899:

1865-1867            Robert M. Patton serves as Governor

1874-1878            George H. Houston of Gravelly Springs serves as Governor

1882-1886            Edward Asbury O’Neal serves as Governor


Alabama Legislatures & other offices from Florence/Lauderdale County 1850-1899:

1886                       Miss Gem Weakley is appointed by the Alabama Legislature as Senate enrolling clerk – the first woman to hold public office in Alabama.

1873                       Neander H. Rice – Secretary of State Alabama


US Congressman from Florence from 1850-1899:

1873                       James Thomas Rapier is elected to the U.S. Congress


National and International Appointments from Florence/Lauderdale County from 1850-1899:

1891                       George Washington Goethals serves as Chief Engineer for the Panama Canal.