Question: Many people do not know that Stockton was once an incorporated town. Do you know what year it was officially incorporated?
Answer: Joshua Kennedy built one of Alabama's first sawmills in Stockton in 1811. The timber industry became the life blood of Stockton and by the 1830s, it had become a very prosperous town of considerable importance, second in size to Mobile! Kennedy began the process of incorporation but died before it was completed. His son-in-law, William Kitchen, carried out Kennedy's dream and the "Town of Stockton" was officially incorporated in 1839. Streets were laid out and a post office was established. Residents could travel to Mobile by a daily steamboat and the Stagecoach made 2 stops in Stockton on its way to Montgomery. It was a lively town, having three of four large stores, three or four hotels, several saloons, a barber shop, a ten-pen alley, and a number of gambling dens. It is unclear at what point Stockton lost its incorporation, most likely when local industry and transportation changed and Stockton's commercial importance diminished.
It is possible that at some point in the future the residents of Stockton may want to re-incorporate. The protection that Amendment 3 will offer Stockton will be crucial if our residents ever pursue this possibility. Our legislators worked to write Amendment 3 for Stockton because of its unique history and its previous incorporation. Kennedy, Kitchen, and many other early fathers of Stockton were working well over 100 years ago to promote Stockton and protect it for future generations. Creating the Stockton Landmark District under Amendment 3 will honor the life's work of our ancestors and allow Stockton's citizens to continue to direct the future of this community as they have done for generations. Please vote YES!