This historical marker is located beside Commerce Street in front of the James E. Arrington City Hall Complex near downtown Jackson (GPS coordinates 31.507745, -87.895886). The marker was erected by the Alabama Tourism Department and the city of Jackson in November 2010. Following is the inscription on the marker:
CITY OF JACKSON
First home of Creek and Choctaw Indians, Jackson’s first pioneer settlers arrived about 1800. The little village was first called Republicville, then Pine Level, before its incorporation by an act of the Mississippi Territory Legislature in 1816. It was then named Jackson, after President Andrew Jackson, who was also a popular general. A plat of the town was drawn up and plots were advertised all over the South. Some of the street names, notably Commerce, Florida, Carrol and Broad, are still in existence. The town sprang up overnight and had a population of 1,500. The town made a brief decline before the coming of the railroad, in 1888, spurred Jackson’s second growth. A drawbridge span was built over the Tombigbee River when the Mobile to Birmingham Railway was constructed. With the railroad came the timbermen. The Bigbee Lumber Co., C. W. Zimmerman Manufacturing Co., Bolen Brothers, Hemphill, McGowin and Slayton, McCorquodale Brothers, and M. W. Smith were all sawmill concerns.
Ochre Mining was another big business in Jackson. The clay material was used for pottery, bricks, paint, fertilizer and more. The name of Ochre Avenue is the last remnant of Sample-Williams Clay and Color Company, which shipped ochre all over the U. S. Jackson was selected as site of the First Congressional District’s Agricultural College in 1896. The street that runs north and south through a large part of Jackson is named “College Avenue” in honor of the school. A building that became Jackson High School was built on the site in 1935. That building burned in 1984.
Visit EncyclopediaOfAlabama.org/Jackson_Alabama for additional details about the history of Jackson, Alabama.