Early county meetings were held in Sauta cave. Sauta did not survive after the courthouse was moved to Bellefonte in Since Bellefonte had better access to the Tennessee River than Sauta, more settlers started moving to the area. They were also attracted by it being the county seat. Scottsboro's founder, Robert Thomas Scott, served in the Alabama Legislature  for almost 20 years and later ran a hotel in Bellefonte. Since he and his wife, Elizabeth, wanted a place to call their own and were not very fond of Bellefonte, they moved to Scottsboro around — In , the newly formed Memphis and Charleston Railroad a stretch of railroad that starts at Memphis, TN, and ends in Charleston, SC decided to build a station at Scottsboro and did so in On January 20, , Scottsboro was incorporated by the Alabama Legislature.
Snodgrass was the first mayor.
Bellefonte citizens rejected the railroad because they did not want train travel to interfere with the town's thriving river trade. In addition, its low riverside land was not suitable for tracks. The area was heavily damaged during the U. Civil War. Selection of the new county seat began in by having a contest to see which towns were suitable. Many of the county's towns pushed for their selection, but the leading candidates were Hollywood , Stevenson , Larkinsville, and Scotts-borough Scottsboro.
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To narrow consideration, the county council decided that:. The second requirement eliminated Stevenson and Larkinsville,  and the County Commissioners ultimately selected Scottsboro as the county seat. This led to the rapid decline of Bellefonte, which also suffered from no railroad access. Courthouse construction began in with the jail following two years later.
The 20th century brought great changes to Scottsboro. In , two cases of smallpox were found but the disease did not spread more widely.
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In , the first car that came to the town drove through the square en route from Ohio to Florida. In , local blacksmith H. Payne built Scottsboro's first homemade automobile, which was made with a wooden frame, four sprocket wheels and hand-powered cranks. In , the courthouse was set ablaze and was rebuilt. In , the courthouse was demolished and an election was held to determine whether the courthouse would be moved to Stevenson or stay in Scottsboro some Stevenson residents did not think Scottsboro deserved the role of county seat.
Scottsboro won the vote and the present courthouse was built It was later renovated and expanded in The Scottsboro Boys case was among the most important civil rights cases in the history of American jurisprudence. It was twice appealed to the United States Supreme Court and established the principles that, in the United States, criminal defendants are entitled to effective assistance of counsel  and that people may not be de facto excluded from juries due to their race. In nine black youths, ranging in age from twelve to twenty, were accused in Scottsboro of raping two white women, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, one of whom would later recant her accusation.
The victims and accused alike had all hitched rides on a passing train on the Southern Railroad freight route from Chattanooga to Memphis on March 25, It happened to stop in Jackson County, Alabama where these women made their accusations to local officials against these black youths. During the course of four trials, most of the youths were convicted and sentenced to death by all-white juries , although witnesses provided weak and contradictory testimonies.
The case is now widely regarded including in Scottsboro as one of the worst travesties of justice perpetrated against blacks in the post-Reconstruction South. Only the first trials were held in Scottsboro. Of the original nine young black defendants some of them minors at the time of arrest , accused of gang raping two fellow hobo white women on a freight train, eight were quickly convicted and sentenced to death by all-white juries in trials occurring in a mob atmosphere in Scottsboro.
The only two local attorneys who were willing to take the cases had few qualifications for criminal defense work. They were unable to put up much of a defense when the judge gave them no time to prepare their defenses before the trials. He started the first trial as soon as they agreed to take the cases, and then began each case as soon as the jury had gone out on the previous one. In its two reviews of appeals from the case, the United States Supreme Court overturned their death sentences and convictions, saying that the convictions had been obtained by improper procedures.
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Those convicted spent at least six years and as many as nineteen years incarcerated in harsh local jails and state prisons. The Scottsboro Boys had served long prison sentences when Governor George Wallace partially mitigated this widely accepted injustice by issuing a pardon in for the one remaining Scottsboro defendant still imprisoned.
He applauded the town's move to install the plaque on the courthouse yard. The Scottsboro Boys Museum was opened in this city in February In , Scottsboro was home to about 1, residents. Beginning in , a ferry began transporting passengers and automobiles to and from Sand Mountain. Comer Bridge, a long steel bridge that now connects the county seat to Sand Mountain , almost tripling the town's population. The bridge entered use in July, Construction of a replacement bridge commenced in October, , and was expected to be complete by In , a couple were wed on top of the bridge.
The newlywed wife commented, "I wanted to be married where the light-blue water touches and meets with the light-blue sky…"  In the s, a second bridge was built to increase travel and reduce traffic on the B. Comer bridge. The first electric lights in Scottsboro became operational on January 21, Scottsboro's first hospital was established in In , aviator Charles Lindbergh performed stunts in his famous plane the Spirit of St. Scottsboro's population at the time was about 2, In , the courthouse was starting to deteriorate, so it was renovated and all the wooden walls were replaced with marble.
Because of the growth in population and demand, more rooms were added to expand offices for services such as automobile tags and land records. Since the early s to the late s, Scottsboro has seen substantial population growth and an economy moved away from its rural agrarian past to a more diversified one. According to the U.
Census Bureau , the city has a total area of The water areas are the Tennessee River and its backwaters. As of the census  of , there were 14, people, 6, households, and 4, families residing in the city. The population density was There were 6, housing units at an average density of The racial makeup of the city was There were 6, households out of which The average household size was 2. In the city, the population was spread out with The median age was 40 years. For every females, there were For every females age 18 and over, there were About 9.
As of the census  of , there were 14, people, 6, households, and 4, families residing in the city.
There were 7, housing units at an average density of Subject Resource Pages. General Database Links. Databases by Name Electronic Journals. Subjects last updated on Nov.
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Cullman County. Baptists of Cullman County, : abstracts of the minutes of the Cullman County Baptist associations Counting our blessings at Mt. Boniface's Church, Hanceville, Alabama; St. Bernard, An historical overview of St. John's Church records, Cullman, Alabama, to St.