Founded in 1820, Columbia was originally located about a mile south, near where the Omussee Creek flows into the Chattahoochee River. It served as the county seat of Henry County from 1826 to 1833. Bordering the State of Georgia and the Chattahoochee River, Columbia was a major port-of-call for steamboats and was known to many as "Old Columbia." The town was incorporated in 1880 and was the center of education, culture, commerce, and trade. Located in the southeast corner of Alabama, Columbia was the largest town in the area during the 19th century and remains one of the area's oldest continuously operating municipalities. When the railroad came in 1889, Columbia's river trade diminished; however, Columbia sustained itself as a thriving farming community through the mid-20th century. Columbia received its first cotton textile mill in 1891 and its first electric plant in 1892. A branch of the Henry County Courthouse was located here from 1889 until Columbia became part of Houston County in 1903. Columbia got electric street lights in 1900 and its first electric utility company in 1914.