Florence State Teachers College

Florence State Teachers College historical marker
Marker located on the campus of the University of North Alabama in front of Weslyan Hall

Oldest state-supported teachers college south of Ohio R.

1830 – opened as LaGrange college (Methodist) at nearby Leighton. First chartered college in state.

1855 – moved here and re-named Florence Wesleyan University. Flourished until closed by war in 1865.

1872 – deeded to State by church; became Florence State Normal School.

1926 – present name adopted

Locust Dell Academy – 1834-1843

Locust Dell Academy - 1834-1843 historical marker
Marker located on the University of North Alabama campus in front of what is now called Willingham Hall

On this site Nicholas Marcellus Hentz conducted a girls’ school. Native of Metz, France, Hentz was a painter, entomologist, author, and was once a professor at University of North Carolina. Experimenting with silkworms, he planted groves of mulberry trees around this section of town. His wife, Caroline Lee Whiting Hentz, native of Massachusetts, assisted in the academy. She also wrote plays, poems, stories, popular novels, and a significant diary of her years in Florence.

Locust Dell Academy - circa 2010
Locust Dell Academy (now Willingham Hall) - circa 2010

Edward A. O’Neal Home

Edward A. O'Neal Home historical marker
Marker located on the Northbound side of Court Street across from Coby Hall

Home of the Father-Son Governors

Built in the 1840’s, acquired by Edward Asbury O’Neal. Occupied various times during the Civil War by Federals and Confederates. Edward A. O’Neal (1818-1890) attended LaGrange College; lawyer, Colonel of the 26th Alabama Regiment, C.S.A.; appointed brigadier general. Governor, 1882-1886. Emmet O’Neal (1853-1922), lawyer; Governor, 1911-1915; lived in nearby Courtview.

Sannoner Medical Arts Building

Sannoner Historic District Medical Arts Building historical Marker
Marker located on the southbound side of N. Court Street at Hermitage Drive intersection

Built in 1926 in the Spanish Revival architectural style, this is the first structure in Florence erected with a steel skeleton supporting the floors, walls, and roof. The framework is strong enough to support two more stories than were actually built. This building was individually listed in The National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Sannoner Historic District Medical Arts Building historical marker
Sannoner Historic District Medical Arts Building circa 2010.

Sannoner Historic District

Sannoner Historic District historical marker
Marker located on North Court Street

Named for Ferdinand Sannoner, who surveyed the town of Florence for the Cypress Land Company in 1818, the district contains twenty-five structures of historic and architectural significance on North Court and North Pine Streets. Wealthy planters, lawyers, and merchants occupied the six fine antebellum homes: Courtview (1855), Governor Edward Asbury O’Neal House (1840’s), Irvine Place (1843), Conner Place (1854), Wakefield (1820’s), and Hickory Place (James Irvine House, 1832). Other structures date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Northbound view on Court Street
The northbound view on Court Street circa 2010