Attalla is a city in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the 2005 U.S. Census estimates, the city had a population of 6,474.
The first electric generator operated by water was built in September 1882, at Appleton, Wisconsin. The first hydro electric plant for lighting a whole town was invented on a stream in Etowah County near Attalla by W. P. Lay in 1887. This invention in Attalla led to the creation of the Southern Company and Alabama Power.
The town occupies the site of an Indian village which was of considerable importance during the Creek War. It was in Attalla that David Brown, a Cherokee, assisted by the Rev. D. S. Butterick, prepared the "Cherokee Spelling Book".
Attalla was incorporated as a city government on February 5, 1872, and was founded in 1870 on land donated for the site of the town by W. C. Hammond, a plantation owner. The town was officially named "Attalla" in 1893. "My Home" is the most generally accepted meaning for the name Attalla. Attalla was prosperous until the railroads that it depended on went into bankruptcy.
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