Hartford (pop. 2,656) is in Geneva County in southeastern Alabama, just about 8 miles north of the Florida state line. It is at the junction of State Highways 52, 123 & 167, only 12 miles east of Geneva (the county seat), and 21 miles west of Dothan.
Transportation is provided by an excellent highway network that connects with I-10 only 30 miles south of Hartford.
Geneva County has an airfield that accommodates small jet planes, and a commercial airport is located in Dothan. A number of motor freight lines service Hartford and the county. A port on the navigable Chattahootchee River is 40 miles away at the Columbia State Dock.
Geneva County was created in 1868 and named after Geneva, its county seat, which was named for Geneva, Switzerland, by Walter H. Youge, a native of Switzerland, who served as the town's first postmaster.
There is always something to do and see in Geneva County. Hartford is proud of its Hometown Holiday Festival, a time of entertainment and the display of arts and crafts. Samson is the site of the Geneva County Fair complete with parade, carnival, exhibits and contests. Slocomb features an annual Tomato Festival and its Heritage House Museum is well worth a visit.
Geneva is a fascinating place during the last weekend in April, when it celebrates its popular Festival on the Rivers at the confluence of the 2 rivers that flow through the county. People come from all over the country to share in the excitement that includes canoe and road races, a beauty contest, sky diving and professional entertainment.
The county provides a fine educational system from kindergarten through high school. Several 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities are within commuting distance, and more are within 125 to 200 miles of the county.
Ample medical facilities are provided by the Hartford Health Care Center, Hartford Retirement Village, Wiregrass Nursing Home and Wiregrass Hospital, which offer the latest in technology and services.
Hartford was incorporated in 1896, and the railroad arrived in 1900, which helped the town become known for its pine timber and turpentine industries. Many fine homes built from the yellow heartpine remain standing today.
The first major cash crop was cotton, followed by peanuts, soybeans, corn, oats, wheat, vegetables, cattle and calves, hogs and poultry. Agriculture remains the primary industry contributing to the economy of the county, with poultry now the leading moneymaker. Many farmers diversify. The traditional crops are augmented by several local mills busily processing peanuts and peanut products, fertilizers, and feeds.
Aquaculture and bait farming are also rapidly growing sources of revenue for the area. Other industries include Van Heusen and Dale Sportswear, both producing quality men's shirts.
Geneva's industrial products include wholesale foods, clothing, tools, printed materials, bleachers, and ready-mix concrete.
Samson has several industries, including a plastic pipe company. Also adding to employment advantages are city and county government offices, utility companies, and educational facilities, among others.
Hartford is the sports center of Geneva County. Three of its hometown athletes have achieved fame: famed pitcher Early Wynn, Football Hall of Famer Millard "Dixie" Howell and Tennessee Sports Hall of Famer Emmett Strickland. Hartford is also proud of its recreational park with 3 softball fields, 3 tennis courts, basketball court, playground, picnic pavilion, concession stand, conference room and equipment room.
Fishermen will enjoy nearby rivers and lakes that provide the best in both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Party boats can be chartered at Panama City or Destin, Florida, for deep sea fishing excursions on the Gulf of Mexico. Hunters are amply rewarded almost anywhere in the region with abundant deer, doves, quail, ducks and turkeys.
Here also are 75-acre Lake Geneva, the historic Big Oak Tree, a fine new golf course, and other places and sights of interest.