in a Pecan Shell|
The town was once known as Zollicoffer's Mill after Alabaman Edwin
Zollicoffer settled here around 1848 and built a cotton gin and grist mill. He
was joined by fellow Alabamans after the Civil War - and one of these built the
town's first store. A post office was granted in 1878 and the name of a prominent
citizen's daughter was submitted - and approved. A school was built in the late
1870s, and by 1884 the town had four separate businesses. By 1896 there was a
population of 100 with ten businesses. The railroad (I.& G.N.) arrived in 1903.
The Smith Land and Improvement Company, a subsidiary of the railroad,
replaced many of the town's wooden buildings with fire-resaistant brick buildings.
The population increased from 132 to 400 between 1900 and 1920. From 1930 to the
mid-1950s the towns population was reported as 267. Businesses decreased by 33%
and by the late 60s there were only 100 Ireneans. The estimate has remained at
160 since the 1970s.
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