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In April 1886, railroad prospectors were traveling up the Butahatchie Valley in Lamar County, Alabama, Moscow beat, and securing right of way for a railroad to be built that would connect Birmingham, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee. In November 1886, resident engineer Thomas of the Kansas City Railroad made headquarters, taking care of railroad business, at G. Bankhead's popular old southern home. His home was situated about one-half mile away, overlooking the site of a future town on Colonel G.E. Brown's farm. In August 1887, a depot was established on the Brown farm and Elliot was chosen as the name in honor of Major R.H. Elliott, general superintendent of construction at Bessemer, Alabama. In September 1887, the first through train passed through Elliot with high officials of the railroad on board and Colonel G.E. Brown began to lay off property lots for the town and the towns name was changed in September 1887 to Sulligent in honor of Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Sargent, two railroad employees.
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One of Sulligent's main attractions was an artesian well located on Front Street, near the depot. It was declared as one of the best mineral waters in the south. Property lots in the embryo town
were bought by: Rev. G.L. Hewitt, Samuel Loggain, Ogden & Son, Dr. R.J. Redden, R.F. Bankhead, W. Mirk Stone, Wesley Clearman, Murray Cobb and G.W. Rush and construction of the town began to get underway. In the beginning, a train from Birmingham, Alabama passed and stopped at 11:00 a.m. each day and a train from Memphis, Tennessee arrived and stopped at 4:30 p.m. each day, thus becoming the lifeline of the town. Cotton was hauled to Sulligent, bought by merchants and shipped by rail. In January 1888, the name of the Sulligent depot and town changed back to the first name of Elliot by railroad officials. In February 1888, the name changed back to Sulligent again. Sulligent citizens voted to become incorporated in October 1889. Alex Wall was chosen as mayor in November 1889.