Business and economic development continued in all sections of Florence and Lauderdale County. Factors included active participation by the citizens to attract business and industry. One early event included Factory Day, with a parade led by bands and featuring mayors, judges, county and city officials, railroad officials, visiting newspapermen, Merchants association floats, and citizens in surreys, Phaetons and buggies which paid tribute to businesses in the area, a special train which made the rounds of factories.
Efforts by the citizens to support business and economic development is illustrated by descriptions of a Good Will Tour which was organized by members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1928, which brought together 103 Florence merchants, the Florence Concert Band, professional men and officials to form a caravan to promote the identity of Florence as a trade center.
Lauderdale County has about 700 square miles or about 448,000 acres of territory. In 1900, the United States census listed 3,210 farms, embracing 321,513 acres of ground of which 127,490 were in a state of improvement, leaving the county all told 320,510 acres still open for cultivation.
Mills and Textiles
The textile industry, closely tied to cotton production continued to grow and an example is that by 1903, the Ashcraft Cotton Mill employed two hundred fifty people and the Cherry Cotton Mills had four hundred employees.
Cherry Cotton Mill
An overview of business and economic development in Florence and the region has several components that are interconnected. The Tennessee Valley was by 1914 relying on cotton as its main money crop, with forage crops and livestock production as well.
Florence Alabama was considered to be a hub of the textile and tanning industry.