Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company
The Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company was established in 1899-1900. The lumber mill by that name in northern Escambia County was built in 1901 by General Russell A. Alger and Martin H. Sullivan. The community of Century was built by the company at that time, considered as the beginning of the 20th century (hence the town's name), to house the mill's employees. The location was chosen for its proximity to the L&N railroad and the Escambia River.
The company's investors had previously purchased 220,000 acres in south Alabama for its abundance of longleaf yellow pine. They intended to clear cut the pinewood over a decade or so, after which the company would fade away "like an old soldier." However, thanks in large part to the reforestation practices of company leader Edward A. Hauss, the mill was able to prosper for over half a century.
The 90-mile Alger Railroad (much more if one counted the many miles of spurs), a common carrier officially named the Escambia Railroad, first built by the Sullivans in the late 1890s in the western part of Escambia County, Alabama, also ran from Century to the company-owned lands in Alabama. It was discontinued in 1942.