“Interview” with Daniel Pratt

Our Prattville publisher imagines what it would be like to converse with Prattville's founder

Posted by on May 6th, 2009 and filed under History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Heritage Park in Prattville - Photo by Marc Parker

Heritage Park in Prattville - Photo by Marc Parker

The date is July 20, 1870 and Daniel Pratt is 71 years old on this day. The location is 147 South Court Street, the site of Prattville’s first courthouse:

Q: We are so honored to interview Alabama’s First Industrialist. I’d like to thank you, Mr. Pratt, for taking the time to be with us today. Happy Birthday wishes also!

A. Thank you. I’d like to express my gratitude to you for wishing to speak to me. (1)Currently, I’m watching the progress of the construction of our first courthouse in Prattville. It is a glorious sight, with two stories and windows all around. As you know, I have a carpentry background and dabbled years ago in architecture and design. This courthouse is an example of the Italianate style of architecture, as evidenced by the wide eaves that are supported by paired scrolled brackets…a magnificent structure indeed. The courtroom will have very high ceilings and below that floor will house the county offices.

Q. Sounds like it will be a centerpiece when it is finished. Tell us about your extreme interest in art.

A. One of my favorite artists was George Cooke. As a matter of fact, I built a gallery to exclusively house his paintings and the paintings of other famous artists. A personal preference of mine was Cooke’s Interior of St. Peter’s Rome and it hung inside the gallery. It is the largest framed oil painting in the world, measuring 17 by 23.5 feet. However, I’m sure you heard what became of my gallery…what a profound pity. The floors and walls began to decay in such a manner that the structure could not be saved and had to be torn down. This happened only recently, in 1867, shortly after the Civil War. I sadly had to donate Cook’s most well-known painting to the University of Georgia. It is now hanging in the University’s Chapel, so I am gratified, at least, that others may enjoy this masterpiece.

Q. Mr. Pratt, if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask some questions about the Civil War. What interested you so much in the South? You were born in New Hampshire, correct?

A. Yes, I was born on this day 71 years ago in Temple, New Hampshire. My father’s name is Edward and my mother’s name is quite unusual. It is Asenath and some think it is of Egyptian origin, meaning “she belongs to her father.” Others say that it is Aramaic meaning “thorn bush.” I’m sure it is quite rare in any case. They both passed away many years ago in my birth city; my mother a mere 48 years of age, my father a young 64. He was a farmer by trade and my five siblings and I were obliged to work on our family farm together. It was the kind of experience that developed an honorable character. I was sixteen years of age when apprenticed to John Putnam, a family friend, in order to learn the building trade. I suppose I wanted to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps of a sort, as he made his fortune as a joiner.

I have five siblings and my beloved sister, Eliza, came to our fair town to live on December 8, 1850. She traveled from New Hampshire with her husband, Daniel Holt, and their six children; Abigail, Melissa, Sarah, Frances, Daniel, and Esther. The children married here and had many offspring which helped to increase the population in our lovely village.

My brother, Edward, died many years ago in 1838 back in New Hampshire. His son, Merrill Edward Platt, was only a lad of ten when that event occurred. Eager to prosper in commerce, he made his way to the south at fourteen to live with me. As I formally adopted him some twenty-nine years ago, I have depended greatly upon Merrill to assist in overseeing the daily operations of the Pratt Gin Company. He possesses superb leadership qualities and it is my good fortune to have taken advantage of them. (2)Merrill was, as well, a war veteran and courageously faced unpleasant hardships in a Prisoner of War Camp in Ohio. Thankfully, he was returned to us physically unharmed.

When I pass onto that last station in life, I am certain that Merrill will ably control the operations of my company. (3)I am also trusting that one of Merrill’s sons will take over the family tradition of gin manufacturing upon the death of his father.

But, I digress greatly, I am sorry.

Q. Absolutely no worries. Please talk about anything that suits you. I’m sure the readers will find all of your personal accounts of utmost interest.

A. (laughs) You may get much more than you yearned for asking me to merely speak aimlessly with no subject in mind. (short pause here while the interviewer laughs also, then return to Pratt’s answer)

You inquired about the war and of the South, of which I have named the extraordinary land of opportunity! Well, I settled in Georgia before coming to Alabama; first in Savannah for about two years, next in Milledgeville for about ten years building plantation homes, and then we moved to Clinton where I partnered with a man named Samuel Griswold to manufacture cotton gins. So, I already had a taste of the South before I moved to Alabama, and I dearly loved it. That was a hard trip of over 200 miles from Clinton to Autauga County, but I was searching for the ideal place to build a cotton gin that could be located on water to easily operate my machinery and would also be accessible to a major river.

As to my early politics, I would say that I was a Bell and Everett man; moderate and steadfast for the Union, a Whig in every respect. But, I’ve always been an advocate for southern industry and published a newspaper years ago, The Southern Statesman, which addressed these matters. I certainly opposed Alabama’s secession from the Union in the beginning only because I believed that the South could not sustain itself without the North. But, once the secession occurred, I could plainly envision the need for state’s rights.

Regarding public political life…in 1855, I was a Democratic candidate for the Senate to serve Montgomery and Autauga counties, but it was not meant to be. A few years after that in 1861, a majority of the voters elected me to serve as “Intendant of Prattville.” Intendant, I believe, has its roots in France under the ancient regime and is defined as a government official or an administrator who was generally sent to enforce the King’s will. In modern day its definition is similar to that of a town’s Mayor. I served in the Alabama House of Representatives for the years of 1861 and 1862.

Q. You have had quite the career in the political arena! You are a scribe also, correct?

A. I have published a few articles on southern industry for the newspapers, just sharing my ideas on the importance of manufacturing and calling on the planters to help by investing their surplus capital in industry instead of more land. Perhaps an impetus to my writings was the fact that I was the honored recipient of a degree of Master of Mechanical and Useful Arts from the University of Alabama. Dr. Basil Manly presented this honorary gift to me. Of interest, Dr. Manly later served as Chaplain when Mr. Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America.

Q. I believe the more accurate statement is that not only did you receive this special distinction, but you were also the first recipient of the honorary degree.

A. Yes.

Q. That was quite an accomplishment. I’d like to hear how the Prattville Dragoons began. But, first, I’d like to preface that in a way by mentioning some kind remarks that were made about you; one in particular from Captain W. F. Mims, Co. H. Third Cavalry, Prattville Dragoons: (4)”Many not being able to furnish their mounts were greatly discouraged. That great and good man, Daniel Pratt, so well known for deeds of charity and generosity, supplied the deficiency at a cost of many hundred dollars.” I’d say that truly speaks volumes of your benevolence and noble-mindedness.

A. I truly just saw a need and fulfilled it and am so thankful to have been blessed to have the resources to accomplish the tasks at hand. (5)I simply presented the company with the necessary mounts and uniforms. Capt. Mims was indeed a brave soldier and a gracious gentleman. The concept for a fighting unit in Autauga County arose from another daring cavalryman, Samuel D. Oliver. He came from Robinson Springs and formed his company in the home of George Littlefield Smith. Of interest, Mr. Smith is the builder who is handling the construction of our courthouse. He is a remarkable son of an old lodge brother of mine, Amos Smith.

Ah, that reminds me of the time I met Amos back in 1837 or so. His machinery skills were of great interest to me so I employed him to deliver and install various machines at the factory. Our friendship and collaboration grew so favorably that I offered him a partnership between myself and my two brothers-in-law. (6)Amos has since moved up north to Pennsylvania, but George and his family still live in his handsome plantation home just up the road there.

Q. What an entertaining anecdote. Can you tell us more about the Prattville Dragoons?

A. I can relate to you what I personally have knowledge of. Mr. Samuel Oliver, the gentleman whom I have previously mentioned, called for available young men to meet at the Smith house, even before the announcement of the secession took place. The citizens felt that it would be inevitable for Mr. Lincoln to attack and invade the south. So Mr. Oliver wanted to protect the county from the marauders and to be fully prepared to ward off any such invasions. (7)This plan was further discussed at Alida Hall, an expansive room in my factory and a volunteer group was formed. Many of these same men later formed the company known as the Prattville Dragoons. I commend all of them on their tenacity and courage.

Q. As do I. I know that our readers are curious about the cotton gin business. Would you mind taking us through the years and relaying just how it actually began?

A. Quite a story indeed and fortunately most of the story is retained in memory. Bear with me, though, with the incidents that are not. (short pause here while both the interviewer and Mr. Pratt laugh)

In Clinton, Georgia, Samuel Griswold and I manufactured cotton gins. It was such a favorable investment that my wife and I decided to build an extension in Alabama. I bought Mr. Griswold’s share of our material inventory and that consisted of about fifty gins. The year was about 1833 when I arrived in this captivating place. (8)Some Indians and some white men were here. I settled on Mortar Creek and quickly sold the fifty gins I had brought with me from Georgia.

I began to look for a more permanent location for water power and found Autauga Creek, utilizing the water power at McNeil’s Mill. In 1835 I purchased approximately 1,000 acres from Joseph May at $21.00 per acre. There, again, was availability of water power for the mills and also was an abundance of yellow heart pine for the manufacture of the gins. After clearing the land, I built a saw mill, a grist mill, and a flour mill. A few years after that the Pratt Gin Factory, my pride and joy, was constructed at its location here where we could produce gins, cotton clothes, sash doors, and blinds. The factory has a capacity of 1,500 gins annually. My goal has always been to make the machinery simple and durable. Prattville Manufacturing Company No. 1 was incorporated by the Alabama Legislature in 1846.

Q. Are the gins made to a standard pattern?

A. Some are and some are made to order. Often, the planters of the Mississippi River Valley order gins of special construction with extras. Many are elegant and resemble even the loveliest pieces of parlor furniture, rather than an ordinary machine for the plantation. We proudly sell to Russia, the British Empire, France, Cuba, Mexico, Central and South America, as well as here in the South. But, all of the materials used in the construction of the gins, except the sheet steel for saws, are southern. We import the sheet steel from Naylor’s Steel Works in Sheffield, England, as it is a better grade of steel than we could have secured here in the United States.

Q. Interesting indeed. I heard that you and Amos Smith wanted to name this location “Pratt’s Mill.”

A. Yes, that was a thought. But, a beloved Christian brother of mine, Shadrack Mims, suggested the name “Prattville” and I found that name to be agreeable. Before the war, Shadrack was employed by me for about fifteen years at the factory. (9)After he served so brilliantly in the conflict, he returned to my employ, acting as bookkeeper for two years at the store. A few years after that, he bought out my interest in the store to become the sole proprietor. He would rival no one in the quest for his admirable goals.

To continue, the very pleasing waters and banks of the Autauga Creek reminded me of my home in New England so I knew that I had come home again. I envisioned the shops surrounding my factory in the vein of a village so close to my heart.

Q. I must mention here that southern gin manufacturing was one of the few machinery industries that successfully competed against Northern firms. Also, after the Civil War, you almost single handedly eased the state’s economic recovery during the reconstruction. You should be commended for that.

A. I am humbled at the high praise. I was fortunate enough to have kept many Northern contacts and could call on them for aid during that period of southern suffering and restoration. Those particular accounts enabled us to rebuild and to raise the operational criteria back to pre-war standards.

Q. Tell us more about your family if you don’t mind.

A. Not at all, I am quite prideful of the Pratt family. As I have previously addressed my parents to you, I will begin with my wife. (10)Several of her close family members have resided with us over the years. I wed the former Esther Ticknor of Columbia, Connecticut on September 6, 1827 and we are forthcoming upon our 43rd year of marital happiness. (11)There was a time, though, when my dearest wife’s heart filled with sorrow upon losing our two girls just past their infancy; Mary and Maria were simply the sweetest images of Esther. We were left with only one child, as our precious Ellen survived to full adulthood and married the aforementioned Henry Fairchild Debardeleben on February 4, 1863. (12)They have richly blessed us with the gift of grandchildren.

Q. What special attributes did you detect in Henry Debardeleben?

A. At the tender age of ten, Henry’s father passed away and he worked in a mercantile, earning only a few dollars but assisting in his family’s debt payments nonetheless. Henry was a marvel, exhibiting superb management skills and vision when just a young lad of sixteen. I recognized those talents and made him my ward. (13)He resided with us until he and my daughter wed. I must say that her mother and I would have wished her to wait to be wed so the young couple eloped. However, Henry is a fine son-in-law and has proven himself of great merit and character in the business world. (14)The young man also excelled in valor as he gallantly fought in the Pensacola and Shiloh campaigns, serving as a member of the Prattville Dragoons.

Q. Finally, Mr. Pratt, what are your plans for the future?

A. I will continue to serve this incredible city as Intendant and will possibly seek the nomination of Governor. I fear the voters will see my age as a deterrent, however. I would desire to live long enough to witness iron being made in Alabama mines, but I rely on Henry Debardeleben to assure that this venture is successful. I am proud that Prattville, now the county seat, is indeed the centerpiece of the county, excelling in wealth and business activity. Just to name a few, we have a library, two schools, several churches, and a town hall to be proud of. Structures are continuously being erected here just as the gin continuously separates the seed from the cotton…and on and on it goes.

Q. You are quite a renaissance man. Thank you for sparing the time for us today.

A. You’re welcome, God Bless.

Interview Followup:

In 1872, Daniel Pratt, the wealthiest man in the state (and Alabama’s first millionaire), turned his attention toward north Alabama, undertaking the construction of the Oxmoor furnaces and development of the Helena Mines. He appointed Henry Debardeleben the manager of this effort and Henry and his family moved to Birmingham. Henry continued to flourish in the coal and iron business. After several years, Henry and his sons explored new fields and started mining in St. Clair County, Alabama, and in the Acton Basin, southeast of Birmingham. He built the first coal road in Alabama and attracted other affluent men to Birmingham, influencing the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to spend $30 million on the Mineral Railroad there. He induced J. W. Sloss, one of the most active iron-masters in the state, to build furnaces and Debardeleben was called “King of the Southern Iron World.”

Daniel Pratt died on May 13, 1873, almost three years after this interview was made. His wife, Esther Ticknor Pratt, died on February 14, 1875 of pneumonia. Daniel and Esther, as well as other family members, are buried in Pratt Cemetery in Prattville, Alabama. “Blessed are the Dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them,” is inscribed on the north face of the monument and on the west side of the monument facing Esther’s grave is inscribed, “Even so Father, for it seemeth good in thy Sight.” (15)This “Eulogy of Daniel Pratt” appeared in The Advertiser and Mail, May 14, 1873:

“The announcement of the death of this singularly pure and upright man will be received with emotions of profound sorrow throughout the entire State. For several years past he has been in declining health, but with the Indomitable will which was one of his characteristics, he continued to transact an amount of business under which many of younger years would have given way. His last illness was of about three weeks duration and terminated fatally at haft past four o’clock yesterday morning.

Mr. Pratt was born at Temple, New Hampshire, in the year 1799, and was nearly seventy-four years of at the time of his death.– More than forty years ago he located at what is now the flourishing town of Prattville, but which then contained not a single habitation. He soon utilized the fine water power afforded by the beautiful stream on which he first fixed his hopes of future usefulness to himself, family and State. From an humble beginning in the manufacture of cotton gins he soon realized sufficient means to enable him to erect one of the most extensive establishments of the kind In the United States, and his name to connection with that special branch of manufacturing is known almost wherever cotton is planted and raised. He established on the same stream a splendid cotton factory, woolen factory and other branches of Industry.

He was a man of unbounded liberality. His magnificent donations were confined to no sect or creed, no place or people. It descended upon and blessed the needed everywhere within the bounds of its beneficence. But there were no orientation in his gifts. His right hand knew not what the left did. Had he boarded all the earnings of his long and useful life he would have left behind him an estate worth a million instead of thousands.

Hs was a patriot too, in the highest and widest sense of the word. He loved his country for herself alone, and not as latter day patriots do, for what could be made out of her offices of trust and profit. He was no office seeker. Content to fill the sphere to which he reigned supreme, the world had no recompense of reward sufficiently tempting to lure him away from the hearts and homes of his family and friends. Had those friends commanded his services he would have held them, as he did his purse, at their service; but he sought no man’s vote for the sake of a promotion which he neither needed nor coveted.

A Northern man by birth, he was in life a standing refutation of the charge that Northern men are not respected at the South. The universal esteem of all who knew him, was the chiefest jewel in the crown of Honor, which formed the pride and ornament of his riper years. His death, therefore, is a severe blow, not only to his family, but to his country. It is a greet public calamity; and while we tender his family our sympathies in this hour of trial and deep gloom, we cannot refrain from extending to each and every citizen of Alabama a similar recognition of the loss which in this instance we have one and all sustained.”

(16)Daniel Pratt wrote his sister in New England in 1847 that his aim was to “build a respectable village such as will compare with your northern towns in point of good morals and good society. In fact I am not afraid now of a comparison with any village in New England of the same population.” This is indeed what he accomplished. In Prattville he built a print shop, window factory, carriage factory, tin factory, foundry, textile mill, woolen mill, grist mill, the sash, door and blind factory, a horse mills factory, machine and blacksmith shops, a flouring mill, a Methodist church building at a personal cost of $20,000, a vineyard, had interests in banking, and was responsible for the 1858 construction of the (17)Prattville Male and Female Academy.

The Pratt Gin Factory became the largest Gin Factory in the world. You can truly see his vision when you gaze upon the steeples and chimneys of the Continental Eagle Factory along the white waters of Autauga Creek. When you look at downtown you can almost hear him saying that he feels right at home amidst his Alabama “New England” surroundings. Daniel Pratt – visionary, carpenter, manufacturer, architect, industrialist, civic leader, noble humanitarian.

Disclaimer: This interview is, of course, a fictional dramatization, although it is essentially accurate regarding Daniel Pratt’s history.

Sources/Footnotes:

(1)Editor’s Note – The first courthouse was located at 147 South Court Street, across from the creek. This courthouse and jail were sold for $5,000 in about 1905, and the interior of it was gutted and now serves as a warehouse. A service station was added to the west side of the building in about 1924. The second and present Prattville courthouse is located at 134 North Court Street.

(2)Source – Alabama Department of Archives and History website: Merrill E. Pratt, 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment, Co. K., 1st Lieutenant of Co. K, 1st Regt. Ala. Inf., CSA, was elected to take rank 1862/03/08. Muster roll for 1863/11 and 12/31, last roll on file, shows him absent, “Imprisoned at Johnson’s Island Lake Erie.” Union POW records show that he was captured 1863/07/09 at Port Hudson, sent to New Orleans, Louisiana July 14, 1863, paroled at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, and sent to Fortress Monroe, VA., 1863/09/16, for exchange. Isaiah G. W. Steedman was Col. Of the 1st Ala. Inf., C. S. A., and John F. Whitfield was Capt. Of Co. K, that Regiment. Signed: C. H. Bridges, Major General, The Adjutant General.

(3)Editor’s Note – Daniel Pratt left his estate to be divided between Merrill and his daughter, Ellen. After Merrill’s death in 1889, the business continued in operation by his estate, with Daniel, his son, in charge. Pratt’s cotton gins continued to be so successful that in 1899, the companies of Pratt, Winship, Eagle, Munger, and Smith, primary gin manufacturers in Alabama, pooled their patents and formed Continental Gin Company at the site of Daniel Pratt’s factory in Prattville. Daniel, Merrill’s son, was elected vice-president of the company and manager of the Prattville plant. Several years later he resigned as vice-president and manager of the Prattville plant, but continued as a director until his death on October 7, 1949. The name of the company was later changed to Continental Eagle Corporation.

(4)Source – Wikipedia; The quote is from the book, War History of the Prattville Dragoons, author Captain W. F. Mims.

(5)Source – The book, Hon. Daniel Pratt, author Mrs. S. F. H. Tarrant. She quotes, “Mr. Pratt presented to every member of this cavalry company a uniform, made of black broadcloth, trimmed with gold braid. No other company in the State had a uniform so handsome.” As a matter of fact, the uniforms that Pratt gave them were so elaborately adorned, officers of other units would salute the Dragoon privates! Daniel Pratt also purchased hundreds of thousands of Confederate bonds to help his cause of promoting states’ rights.

(6)Editor’s Note – The house discussed here is now the Prattaugan Museum, 102 East Main Street, Prattville, Alabama.

(7)Editor’s Note – This group of volunteers are most likely the men who formed the Prattville Guard, registered as part of the Alabama Volunteer Corps. They could be called out at any time and became the first Autauga County Unit to volunteer to fight for southern rights. After a few months, many of these same men formed the Prattville Dragoons. They formed for their send-off to battle at the school yard of the Prattville Academy and were presented a beautiful silk flag that was sewn by hand by several young ladies in Prattville.

(8)Editor’s Note – The Autauga (or Tawasa) Indians (part of the Alibamu Tribe) were inhabited in the soon to be named Autauga County. The state of Alabama was named for the Alibamu tribe who lived on the Alabama River. Many warriors from this tribe fought Andrews Jackson in the Creek War. When the Treaty of Fort Jackson (also known as the Treaty with the Creeks) was signed on August 9, 1814, Autauga County was part of the territory ceded by the Creeks. Autauga County was named for the Indian town of Atagi, which was located on the western bank of the Alabama River where Atagi (now Autauga) Creek joined the river.

(9)Editor’s Note – This would be the Pratt Company Store or Prattville Mercantile. Shadrack Mims’ old home place, now known as Plantation House, is a bed and breakfast facility. It is located at 752 Loder Street in Prattville and is the oldest Bed and Breakfast in the Greater Montgomery Area. Also, little did Daniel Pratt know but in 1885 at the age of 81, Shadrack wrote an account of his recollections covering 65 years in his History of Autauga County. In 1976 the County Commission published the first transcribed version of his old hand-written manuscript. Hundreds of copies of the book were distributed, but every year the Heritage Association receives more orders for the booklet (soft cover, 29 pages).

(10)Source – 1850 Census of Autauga County, Alabama: (household 273) Daniel Pratt, head of household, 57, gin manufacturer, $82,500 in real property, born in NH; Esther Pratt, wife, 48, born in CT; Ellen Pratt, daughter, 6, born in AL; Edith Kingsbury, mother-in-law, 70, born in CT; Harriett Ticknor, sister-in-law, 38, $2,500 in real property, born in CT; Thomas B. Avery, 32, bookkeeper, born in NH; M. E. Pratt, nephew, 21, carpenter, born in NH; N. Cameron, 20, overseer, born in GA; J. Welch, 38, gardener; Samuel T. Ticknor, brother-in-law, 38, mechanic, $2,000 in real property, born in CT; Esther Ticknor, wife of Samuel, 34, born in CT; Mary Ticknor, daughter of Samuel and Esther, 12, born in AL.
Editor’s Note: In the 1860 Census of Autauga County, Daniel Pratt’s real property amount increased to $92,319.

(11)Editor’s Note – Daniel and Esther’s daughters, Mary and Maria, died very young; Mary was born December 5, 1842 and died September 21, 1843 at the age of 9 months and 16 days and Maria was born September 22, 1847 and died May 14, 1849 at the age of 20 months.

(12)Sources – Debardeleben family, Rootsweb; also Debardeleben Men in Gray website. Henry and Ellen had 8 children: Alice, born September 20, 1864; Jenny, born 1866; Mary Pratt, born April 15, 1872; Henry Ticknor, born January 2, 1874; Charles Fairchild, born July 4, 1876; Arthur Hillman, born 1879; Julia Belle, born July 20, 1885 (also her grandfather’s birthdate); Sam Brittle, born March 4, 1887. Henry was married a 2nd time to Katherine McCrossin in 1899, but had no children with her. Henry F. Debardeleben (July 22, 1840-December 6, 1910) is buried alongside his wife, Ellen Pratt Debardeleben (March 27, 1844-February 12, 1894) in Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama.

(13)Editor’s Note – Henry, his mother, and two brothers were listed in Daniel Pratt’s house in the 1860 Autauga County Census.

(14)Source – Autauga at War website: Henry Fairchild DeBardeleben – Prattville Dragoons, attached to the 7th Alabama Infantry Regiment as Co. I, subsequently Co. H of the 3rd Alabama Cavalry Regiment; enlisted on September 1, 1861 at Pensacola, Fl., age 20, private; later elected as Ensign & Commissary; son of Henry DeBardeleben, adopted by Daniel Pratt; founded the town of Bessemer, Al., after the war; buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama.

(15)Source – Pratt Cemetery website.

(16)Source – Pratt History website.

(17)Sources – Alabama Department of Archives and History website; Dictionary of Alabama Biography – Charles Springer Graves Doster served as President of the Prattville Male and Female Academy. The bell which hung above the second floor now may be seen in the school yard on Washington Street. This school was also the site of where, in April of 1861, the Prattville Dragoons mustered before departing for encampment and were presented a silk flag by the women of the Academy. In 1927 the original building was replaced by the present structure, one of several in Alabama built on the same plan (Italianate-style brick). The architect is unknown but the design has been attributed to Frank Lockwood.

Article by Melissa Parker

© 2009 Our Prattville. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written consent of the publisher.

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2 Responses for ““Interview” with Daniel Pratt”

  1. garyj says:

    Nice job . One of the best gatherings of Pratt history I have come across !

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