Nestled in the Tennessee River Valley, the city of Decatur boasts a rich and colorful history.
Originally a river crossing for settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains, the town became known as Decatur on June 16, 1820. A few years later, in 1826, the Alabama Legislature incorporated the City of Decatur. Settlers were drawn to the community at this time by its fertile river valley soil and relatively easy river access to other cities.
The year 1836 would prove to be a turning point in Decatur’s history, since at that time it was chosen to become the eastern terminus of the first railroad line west of the Appalachian Mountains. This new outlet provided a boost to the city’s economy and a rapid growth in population ensued. With two major outlets for industry – the Tennessee River and the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad – Decatur became an important industrial hub in Alabama. This increased industry brought with it the need for new business, including a branch of the State Bank of Alabama, which opened its doors in 1833. Although the bank would be closed in 1842, the building in which it was housed still stands today.