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County sentiment supported having the seat in a community served by the railroad.In the late 1880s, Fort Payne experienced explosive growth as investors and workers from New England and the North flooded into the region to exploit coal and iron deposits discovered a few years earlier.The son of a Cherokee adoptee of the Mohawk people, Norton grew up among Native Americans and traveled extensively throughout the region in the early 19th century. During the 1830s prior to Indian removal, the US Army under command of Major John Payne built a fort here that was used to intern Cherokees until relocation to Oklahoma.Their forced exile became known as the Trail of Tears.
According to Major John Norton, a more accurate transliteration would have been Titsohili.
This period is called the "Boom Days", or simply as the "Boom". This was the beginning of decades of hosiery manufacture in Fort Payne.
By the 1860s, Fort Payne and the surrounding area were still sparsely settled.
It had no strategic targets and was the scene of only minor skirmishes between Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War.
About the time of the Second Battle of Chattanooga, a large Union force briefly entered the county, but it did not engage substantial Confederate forces.In 1878 Fort Payne became the county seat, and in 1889 it was incorporated as a town.