Demopolis Library

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211 East Washington Street
Demopolis, AL 36732
Tel : (334) 289-1595
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History & Genealogy

Genealogy & Family History | Luke Bragg Collection | Winston Smith Collection
Demopolis History | Suggested Reading on Demopolis History | Online Resources

The Demopolis Public Library is proud to offer special collections reflecting the history of the Alabama, Marengo County, and particularly Demopolis. The collection consists of books, microfilm, newspaper clippings, and family files. Included in the department's holdings are the Luke Bragg collection and the Winston Smith collection.

Our special collections are available during regular business hours. Staff are available to assist you with your research if notified in advance. Laptop computers are also available to checkout and use while in the library. Please call (334) 289 1595 or email

Genealogy & Family History
The Gwyndolyn Collins Turner Reading Room houses the genealogy collection at the Demopolis Public Library. Our collection is limited to use within the library. In addition to a number of books on genealogy in Marengo County, Alabama, and the South, we also have files of family histories and bible records available for public access within the library.

The Wallace Harper Conference Room houses our collection of microfilm including census records and historic newspapers. We also have a microfilm reader and printer available to those doing research. Please call in advance if you need assistance.

The Marengo County  Genealogical Society Newsletter 1989 - 2003 (with Index) offers valuable information which may not be found in our other sources. Genealogists and those interested in family history are also encouraged to consult the index of the Demopolis History Collection, as well as our on-line catalog and guide to sources available in our library. 

A register is kept at the main circulation desk on the first floor so that others researching the same families might leave contact information in order to share research. Please sign the register when you visit the library.If you would like assistance with a genealogy request, but are unable to visit our library, please email We can do a cursory search of our resources with a small fee for postage and copies if necessary. We may also refer you to local genealogists for more in depth research.


INDEX to Marengo County Genealogical Society Newsletters
MCGS Newsletter Volumes 1-2
MCGS Newsletter Volumes 3-4-5 (Vol. 6 - Missing)
MCGS Newsletter Volumes 7-8-9
MCGS Newsletter Volumes 10-11-12
MCGS Newsletter Volumes 13-14


Luke Bragg Collection

Luther Franklin Bragg, Jr., who created the collection of genealogical and local history records which bears his name and which is now on deposit in the Demopolis Public Library, was born in a mill in Myrtlewood, Marengo County, Alabama on November 13, 1922.

The Luther Franklin Bragg, Jr. collection is a 22 linear foot body of genealogical and local history records focusing upon the town of Myrtlewood, Marengo County, Alabama but also including information on other areas of that county. The information on Myrtlewood includes data on persons and families who were, in one way or another, associated with the town; data on "places" (streets, roads, and structures) in and around the town; and historical data about the town, plus photographs of people and places. This data is available through the research cards which Bragg produced and through notebooks in which the information contained on the cards was organized.

In 2002, Dr. Daniel Meador used portions of the Luke Bragg collection to write a book, "Rembert Hills and Myrtlewood".

Currently, we are working to catalog the Luke Bragg collections. You may Search For A Book to see the catalog records for the Luke Bragg Collections. We have also digitized the records that have been cataloged. The following are PDF files of portions of the Luke Bragg collection. If you would like to use portions of this or any other collection in your publication, please read our Archival Policy.

Winston Smith Collection

Winston Smith, a Demopolis native, earned his doctorate in history at Vanderbilt University where he also taught English. He became an English professor at the University of Alabama in 1966 and remained with the school until his illness forced him to retire in 1975. Smith's love of Demopolis history is documented in his many articles and books published about the city. His first, "Days of Exile," published in 1967, explores the days when French exiles settled in Marengo, Hale, and Greene counties. In 1990, he finished "The People of His Pastures" about the First United Methodist Church in Demopolis. His last work, "The People's City: The Glory and the Grief of an Alabama Town, 1850-1874," was published posthumously in 2003 by the Marengo County Historical Society.

Winston Smith donated some of his files on the history of Demopolis and Marengo County to the Demopolis Public Library. These are available by appointment. The notes and research pertaining to his books has been placed on permanent loan with the Hoole Library at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Dr. Smith also donated a large portion of his personal library to the Demopolis Public Library. These books have been added to our collection. Use the Search For A Book page to do a keyword search for Winston Smith to find all books authored and donated by him.

Demopolis History
The overall scope of the Demopolis History Collection (DHC) will include the history of Demopolis and her people. Certain subjects within the DHC necessitate a more regional outlook, such as historic homes, historic church buildings, historic school buildings, and regional waterways and bridges. The DHC is limited to those materials which can be encapsulated. Pamphlets and lengthy documents are cataloged and located in the vertical files.

The DHC consists largely of newspaper and magazine articles. Please consult the index below for a list of included articles. Because we do not hold copyright to these items, we cannot publish them. We can, however, make copies for general use to be mailed for a small fee. For local history requests, please email

Demopolis History Collection Cumulative Index MAR. 2009 - excel

Architecture Box - List of Articles
Bluff Hall Box - List of Articles
Christmas on the River Box - List of Articles

Demopolis History Box - List of Articles

Demopolis Public Library Box - List of Articles
Gaineswood Box - List of Articles
Natives Box - List of Articles
Vine and Olive Colony Box - List of Articles
Waterways and Bridges Box - List of Articles


-Marengo County History and Archives Museum

-History of Demopolis

-Demopolis Times Newspapers

-Riverside Cemetery Index

-Yesterdays of Demopolis

The site is devoted to preserving the memories of growing up in Demopolis and attending Demopolis High School.  The web site is built on the memories and pictures of people who either attended or were associated with DHS.

Suggested Reading on Demopolis History

  • Days of Exile. Winston Smith. ALA 976.1392 SMI
  • The People's City: the glory and the grief of an Alabama town, 1850-1874. ALA 976.1392 SMI
  • Trinity Parish History.L. P. Long. ALA 262.761392 LON
  • The People Of His Pasture. Winston Smith. ALA 262.761392 SMI
  • From Gaineswood And Other Whitfield Kitchens.Mary Augusta Whitfield. ALA 641.5 WHI
  • Life On The Tombigbee River Oral History Project. T. M. Culpepper, III. ALA 976.1 CUL
        • Once Upon A Time In Demopolis. William H. Traeger, Jr. and John J. Caldwell, Jr. ALA 976.1  TRA


Online Resources

Illinois Newspaper Project

Family Tree Maker

Family Search

Alabama Genealogical Society

Genealogy Bank

Family History Archive

Genealogy Abbreviations

Genealogy Basics

Digital Newspapers - Coming Soon

Hours : Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm Closed Saturday & Sunday