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History of Commerce

The City of Commerce began as the community of Harmony Grove which was founded in 1818. The Community incorporated in December 1884 and officially changed its name from Harmony Grove to Commerce in 1909.

Early on, the city flourished as a cotton market and eventually became synonymous with textiles when local businessmen launched Harmony Grove Mills in 1893. In addition to having roots in business, Commerce also has a rich cultural history. Most notably, the Harmony Grove Female Academy was the first school for girls in the state and was established in 1824. Later, the city would serve as the setting for the novel “Cold Sassy Tree” written by Olive Ann Burns but before that Commerce contributed to state politics when local Larmartine G. Hardman served two terms as governor from 1927-1931. Mr. Hardman was a well respected physician who built a mansion in downtown Commerce known today as "The Hardman House."

Many things have changed throughout Commerce’s history but one thing remains the same. Commerce is a great place to live and do business!