By comparison Pell City’s status as a county seat is far less storied. Pell City was founded in 1890 and a year later it was designated the second county seat in St. Clair County. The reason for this was simple logistics. The distance between Pell City and Ashville is small but rather treacherous due to the mountainous terrain between them. There was a short false start when Pell City was removed as a county seat in 1905 by the Alabama Supreme Court, and then restored two years later by an amendment to the Alabama Constitution. And thanks to that decision people didn’t have to travel around or over the mountain to reach Ashville’s courthouse. Of course, now that we have a paved road in-between them the trip would be a lot easier.
The biggest surprise to me is mostly in the differences between Ashville and Pell City. Pell City is a big city with several thousand people while Ashville only has a couple thousand in total. Despite that Ashville is the one with the deeper history. Ashville was constructed a little over 70 years earlier than Pell City but remains the smaller of the two. I guess I shouldn’t look down on this little town considering it holds the oldest courthouse in the county, and I much prefer county living to city living.