The Town of Gainesville, a designated Tree City USA, was founded in 1832. The land on which the town is located was originally owned by John Coleman, husband to a Choctaw Indian of the area. He sold the land to Colonel Moses Lewis, who had the town divided into lots. The town was named for Colonel George Strother Gaines, who was an American agent to the Choctaw Indians and helped negotiate the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Gainesville grew very rapidly and by 1840 had become the third largest town in the state of Alabama, with a population of more than 4,000. Gainesville was also a major port, shipping 6,000 bales of cotton to Mobile each year by steamboats on the Tombigbee River. The town's Confederate Cemetery is the final resting place of 250 Civil War soldiers who were injured in the Battle of Shiloh and brought to the hospital in the Female Academy in Gainesville. In addition to Civil War History, Gainesville offers an abundance of pioneer history and features many historical homes and churches.