Historic Markers Across Alabama

Montgomery's First Election / Jonathan Coggswell Farley

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: at the intersection of Dexter Avenue and South Hull Street, Montgomery, Alabama
County: Montgomery
Coordinates: N 32° 22.663    W 086° 18.214
  32.37771666    -86.30356666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMDCX6


Montgomery's First Election
January 3, 1820

At this site, in Jonathan Coggswell Farley's store, an election was held to establish Montgomery's first government. The Alabama General Assembly, meeting in the capital at Huntsville, approved an act on December 3, 1819 to combine the communities of New Philadelphia and East Alabama into the new town of Montgomery. Named in the act to conduct and manage the election were Jonathan C. Farley, Walter B. Lucas, Ebenezer D. Washburn and Andrew Dexter.

Elected to the first town council were Nimrod E. Benson, William Graham, Clement Freeney, Ebenezer D. Washburn, John Goldthwaite, Rhodes L. Smith and Daniel Carpenter. They chose Graham as the first intendant (mayor).

Walter B. Lucas proposed that the new town be named for Gen. Richard Montgomery, the Revolutionary War hero.

Jonathan Coggswell Farley

Farley acquired two lots on this site in 1817. Here he build the town's first frame store and first frame two-story building, his house. In Farley's store, an election was held January 3, 1820 to create Montgomery's first governing body. Farley and three others were named in an act of the Alabama General Assembly to conduct and manage this first election.

Farley was born in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1798. About 1816, he sailed from Portland, Maine to the port of Mobile then proceeded to Ft. Jackson (Toulouse) to establish a trading post. Coming to Montgomery, he opened the town's second store. He served as foreman of the first Grand Jury and, later, moved to a plantation outside town near Cross Keys.

The town's first newspaper, The Montgomery Republican, also occupied his store.

Erected 2000 by Alabama Historical Association.

End of Montgomery's First Election / Jonathan Coggswell Farley