Sulligent is a city in Lamar County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 2,151. The name is derived from railroad personae.
Sulligent was first called "Elliott" named in honor of the chief engineer of the Kansas City-Memphis-Birmingham Railroad, renamed one month later, “Sulligent”, in honor of Sullivan, the superintendent of the railroad, and in honor of Sargeant, the passenger agent of the railroad.
The town was incorporated October 1887.
S. F. Pennington owned the first general store and Dr. R. J. Redden owned the first drugstore.
The production and processing of cotton was an important industry. The primary business in Sulligent in the mid 1890’s was cotton with over 2500 bales ginned each year and shipped by way of the railroad. At one time Sulligent Cotton Oil Company was known as the largest cotton gin under one roof.
Sulligent is the birthplace of former Auburn University and NFL running back Joe Cribbs and home to former University of Alabama All SEC and All American Safety, Arizona Cardinals Safety Rashad Johnson. Sulligent is also the home of current Troy University Safety, Caleb Massey.
Three local artists claim Sulligent, Alabama as their home. Annette Otts is a local artist who paints fine art on canvas and rocks. She has an exhibit at the local library. Virginia Wadsworth paints realistic abstract with brilliant colors on canvas. She painted "Blackout- Bama style" in honor of Alabama's victory over Georgia in the 2008 football game. Chris Griffin realized his artistic talent while still in high school. Some of his artwork is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
John Hollis Bankhead
Confederate War Hero, Congressman, Statesman
John Hollis Bankhead, lifelong resident of Alabama, was born in 1842 on his father's farm near Moscow in that part of Marion County which is now Lamar County. The modern town of Sulligent was built upon part of the Bankhead farm. He became a farmer, a legislator, a hero in the Confederacy and a member of both the House and Senate of the United States.
Reared upon his father's plantation in pioneer country, he supplemented his meager formal education by avid reading and contact with the issues and the world. He enlisted in the Confederate Army at age 19. He served from the beginning to the end of the conflict, participating heroically in many battles. As Captain he led the 16th Alabama Regiment in a successful charge at Chickamauga, where he was wounded. In spite of one useless arm, he saved the life of John Custer. After the close of the war he married Tallulah Brockman of Wetumpka.
Captain Bankhead served in the Alabama legislature in both houses. In 1880 Governor Rufus Cobb offered him the wardenship of the State penitentiary. Under his regime as head of the prison system, he initiated many reforms, among which was the establishment of the Boys Industrial School. This was later developed at Roebuck Springs, under the leadership of club women.
From 1887 to 1907, Bankhead served in the US Congress and was active in the establishment of the Library of Congress. He was instrumental in the development of waterways including the deepening of Mobile Bay. Lake Bankhead was named for him.
In 1907 he was elected to fill the vacancy in the US Senate left by the death of Sen. John T. Morgan. He concentrated his efforts on establishing a national system of highways and despite opposition, was successful. In appreciation, the grateful public named the transcontinental highway from the "Zero Stone" in Washington, DC the "Bankhead Highway". Senator Bankhead continued to work on the highway system at the request of President Roosevelt.
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