Before Atmore was known as Atmore, it was home to the Creek Indians. They settled along the many creeks and rivers in the area. Later, in the 1860s following the Civil War, the Mobile and Great Northern railroad extended south to the Tensaw River near Mobile, bringing settlers and workers with it.
Settlers moved into the area to lay railroad tracks but stayed because of the rich farmland and abundance of timber-both of which are still a major part of Atmore's economic development today.
The first structure in what is now Atmore was a small shed meant to hold supplies for William Larkin Williams. Because it was built along the railroad, it was easy access for his logging operations ten miles south in Florida. It was later called by the name Williams Station, even though it was just a small supply stop along the railroad to Florida.
Williams Station may have been the first building, but it definitely wasn't the last. By the 1870s, several buildings were added, including the railroad station, a local store, a post office, and one dwelling. In the early 1870s, the area saw the first sawmill built. But it wasn't until the late 1870s with the introduction of a larger sawmill that the community transformed into a thriving municipality.
The Father of Atmore
According to legend, William Marshall Carney recognized the potential of the area, with its cypress ponds and forests, and set claim to most of the area. The community continued to grow and the Census Bureau counted a total of 195 citizens by 1885.
The area first called Williams Station eventually outgrew its name and was renamed Atmore, in honor of C.P. Atmore, the General Ticket Agent on the Louisville-Nashville Railroad that stretched all the way to Mobile. However, the area still recognizes its roots with Williams Station Day.
Atmore, Alabama continued to grow well into the 1900s. After it was incorporated in 1907, the town gained telephone services, electricity, a new water system, and its first hospital-major factors that contributed to its economic development. In 1914, a second railroad opened to connect the town of Pensacola, FL to Birmingham, AL.
Like most of Alabama, Atmore continued to experience growth in agricultural output. But there were other additions to the community and economic growth as well, including a natural gas plant, a chemical company, and a carpet manufacturer. By the late 1900s, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians opened their first casino in Atmore.
Modern-Day Escambia County
We continue to honor our rich history. Visitors can still experience the history of Atmore through our many museums and historical locations. We also celebrate our continued growth by revitalizing Atmore with the help of passionate citizens and visionary leaders.