The Alabama Territorial legislature formed
Marengo County on Feb. 6, 1818. It was part of land acquired
from the Choctaw Indians in 1816.
Marengo County is named for the Battle of Marengo won by
Napoleon Bonaparte in 1800. The U.S. government granted land
to a group of exiled followers of the French emperor in
1817. They founded Demopolis, the county’s largest city.
Originally named the Vine and Olive Colony, the exiles
failed in their attempts to grow grapevines for making wine
and olive trees for olive oil.
While the exiles eventually faded away, Demopolis soon
became an important trade center for Alabama’s richest
cotton producing region. It was also an important river port
for shipping cotton. During the Civil War, it was an
important rail hub and supply depot.
Linden, named for Napoleon’s victory at Hohenlinden, was
selected for the county seat. It is located roughly in the
center of the county.
Demopolis’ is still the county’s economic hub. The city’s
economy remained mostly tied to agriculture until the 1950s
when Gulf States Paper, Vanity Fair and other major
manufacturing operations located in the town.
Other towns in the county include:
Sweet Water (234)
From The Tuscaloosa News, Living Here