The New International Encyclopædia/Montgomery
MONTGOMERY. The capital of Alabama, and the county-seat of Montgomery County, 180 miles northeast of Mobile; on the Alabama River, at the head of navigation, and on the Mobile and Ohio, the Central of Georgia, the Seaboard Air Line, the Louisville and Nashville, the Atlantic Coast Line, and the Western of Alabama railroads (Map: Alabama, C 3). The city is built on the high river bank, and has many spacious old-fashioned residences and large gardens. Its principal buildings are the State Capitol, a United States Government building, the city hall, court-house, Masonic Temple, and the Carnegie Library. A fine Confederate monument is located on the grounds of the Capitol. Among the charitable and educational institutions are the city infirmary, an orphanage, and a home for widows, a State normal school for colored pupils, and public, State, and Supreme Court (31,000 volumes), and State Board of Health libraries. There are about fifty acres of public parks.
Montgomery has a large cotton market, its annual trade being about 150,000 bales. Owing to its accessibility to timber and deposits of coal and iron, it has developed also into a manufacturing centre of considerable importance. By the census of 1900 it held second rank among the cities of the State, with an invested capital of $2,930,782 and a production valued at $5,035,190. Besides the various establishments representing the cotton industry, there are railroad car and repair shops, foundries and machine shops, carriage and wagon works, confectionery factories, fertilizer factories, marble works, cracker factories, barrel factories, etc.
Under a revised charter of 1897 the government is vested in a mayor, biennially elected, and a city council, which elects or confirms the executive's nominations of all administrative officials. The various municipal departments, with the exception of that of schools, are governed by single heads. The city spends annually in maintenance and operation more than $400,000, the principal items being about $105,000 for interest on debt, $55,000 for the water-works, $40,000 for the police department (including police courts, jails, reformatories, etc.), $30,000 for schools, $30,000 for the fire department, and $20,000 each for municipal lighting and street expenditures. The water-works are owned and operated by the municipality, having been acquired in 1898. The system, which includes 53 miles of mains, cost about $580,000. Population, in 1890, 21,883; in 1900, 30,346.
Montgomery was founded in 1817 as ‘New Philadelphia,’ and in 1819, with a population of 600, it was consolidated with ‘East Alabama Town’ as Montgomery. Incorporated in 1837, it supplanted Tuscaloosa as the State capital in 1847. The famous ‘Alabama Platform’ was adopted here, February 14, 1848, and Montgomery was the seat of the Confederate Government from February to May, 1861. It was occupied by the Union Army April 12, 1865. Consult Powell (editor), Historic Towns of the Southern States (New York, 1900).