WSFA 12 On Tour: Prattville Cotton Gins

Cotton is a major part of Prattville's history. Many of the machines that process cotton in the country are made in Prattville, thanks to Daniel Pratt's cotton gin.

In 1833 Daniel Pratt moved his family to Autauga County where he began to build his cotton gin business.

Tommy Brown of Continental Eagle says, "He was introduced to a man named Samuel Griswold in Clinton, Georgia and he was into the manufacturing of cotton gins. He taught Daniel Pratt and other manufacuturing this trade of making a cotton gin"

He purchased land on Autuaga Creek in order to use the water source to operate his machinery.

"It was tremendous growth in the cotton industry."

And growth to a town that bears his namesake. Everything in Prattville at the time centered around the cotton gin industry.

"We are Prattville I guess. It was a small town, many families of this county worked here. Other indutries came in but we were the beginning of the area, of what was a swamp."

Through the years Pratt's business also grew. By the year 1860 he was manufacutring about 1500 cotton gins per year and making over 500 thousand dollars from various other enterprises. Today, what Daniel Pratt built still stands. Now known as Continental Gin Company, it continues to build cotton gins in Prattville.

"What we see now is just a progression and changes of the mill for industrial use. Mainly we just build cotton gins and we sell them all over the world."

Today Continental Eagle Corporation is home to the world's largest gin manufacture. And, the Prattville plant has produced more cotton gins than any other manufacturer in the world.