The City of Leeds was incorporated in 1887 as the primary population center of an area known as the Cahaba Valley, a region of fertile bottomland nourished by the Cahaba and Little Cahaba rivers. At first, the War of 1812 and its politics brought families to the Cahaba Trail at Leeds. By 1820, the Cahaba Trail became a road and a major stagecoach route through three counties.

The discovery of rich and valuable natural resources accelerated the region’s growth in the mid- to late-1800s. The discoveries of ore and minerals and the arrival of the railroads brought the Industrial Revolution to Leeds’ doorstep. In fact, as a newly incorporated city, Leeds was named for the noted industrial city of England where a bricklayer invented the Portland cement process.The mineral findings brought Leeds Standard Portland Cement Company as well as population growth to Leeds. Known today as Lehigh, this company has continuously operated since 1906.

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