Alabama's population increased 142 percent during
the first decade. Large slave-holding plantation
owners quickly laid claim to the rich soil of the
river basins and small farmers from the Carolinas
and Georgia migrated further inland.
Whether these pioneering souls came as a group or
drifted in singly will never be known; but the
relatively flat area some five miles southwest of
Cullman was chosen homestead location for the
Livingstons, McMinns, Owens, Millers, Grimmets,
Hoenings, Cordeses and Hinkles during Alabama's
Mostly Baptists by faith, the pioneers established
a Missionary Baptist Church in 1842 and chose the
name of Good Hope. Chartered by fifteen members, the
first log church was originally located on the south
side of the cemetery. It doubled as a school on
weekdays for half a century, and was rebuilt in
1896. The only continuous church in Good Hope, the
present sanctuary was built in 1942.
Between the years 1875 and 1883, several German
families, including Martin Treptau, W.L. Dahlke,
Carl Hartwig, C. Weber, Mathin Tros, G. Galter,
William Thom, Carl Peinhardt, Gus Ackers, Albert
Lock, and the Reichweins, Wenzell, and Gruisnick
families, settled a few miles south of Good Hope.
They christened their new community look and in 1883
organized a Lutheran Church. A lot was donated to
the erection of a church.
No name for the new congregation had been made when
the deeds to the lot were filed, prompting the
recording officer to suggest "Eight Citizens
Lutheran Church" in honor of the first eight
settlers who were instrumental in its founding. A
small log church was built later that year. The
Hartwig Cemetery was established on a site adjoining
the church. It is now located on the Hershel Doss
farm. C. Burkart, student pastor at Garden City and
Hanceville, served this church in 1884. The
following year Eight Citizens Lutheran Church merged
with St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Cullman. However,
services were continued there by Pastor F. Englebert
because of the member's transportation difficulties
in getting to Cullman.
German Benedictine Monks founded a small Catholic
Mission in 1896. Located on the old Bremen road it
was named Loretto in honor of a famous Catholic
sanctuary in Italy.
The German colonists and the Speegle family built
the first school house in the area in 1880. Known as
Dabbs School, it merged with Good Hope School around
the turn of the century. In 1892, the school was
transferred from the Good Hope Baptist Church to a
new two-story school house. By 1926, student
enrollment necessitated a four-room school as other
schools in the area, including Valley Grove,
Trimble, and Grandview became feeder schools for the
Good Hope Jr. High Schools.
The Good Hope School, constructed in 1960, was
expanded in 1968 when it became a senior high
school. The first class graduated in June 1969, and
the school was accredited the same year. The 1970-71
enrollment was 416 high school and 475 elementary
students. Principal Dalton A. Sharpton had 31
teachers on the faculty. The Head Start program
began in 1966 having 15 preschool children to one
teacher assisted an aide. A new gymnasium and
football stadium were constructed in 1970.
Perhaps the biggest celebration ever held in Good
Hope was the Confederate Veterans Convention on July
4, 1899. There were 1500 in attendance with 53
Confederate Veterans answering the roll call.
At the time of its incorporation in April 1962, the
town of Good Hope had a land area of 640 acres and a
population of 180 people. Eight years later the
incorporated area encompassed 2890 sprawling acres
with a population of 1000. The town chose a mayor
council form of government and Mayor Ben Herman Reid
as chief executive.
Since the incorporation Good Hope as a city it has
seen several changes. Parks have been developed and
housing and commercial markets have continued to
expand showing consistent positive growth throughout