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John G. Cullman

John G. Cullman (1823-1895) was born Johann Gottfried Cullman in what was then the Kingdom of Prussia. Prior to emigrating to the United States in 1866, Cullman earned a degree in engineering and founded an export business. Participation in failed revolutionary efforts against the monarchy and losses from bad investments during the Dano-Prussian War left him in dire financial straits, prompting him to emigrate. He originally settled in Ohio, but in 1871 he acquired a large parcel of land in what was then Blount County to establish a town. He convinced other families to settle there, and the town grew so rapidly that it sparked the creation of Cullman County, named for him, in 1877 to encompass the town, which was officially named Cullman as well.
Photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History