The City began as a private business venture. In 1872, Samuel Noble and General Daniel Tyler founded the Woodstock Iron Company. Noble, an iron master, was the son of an iron master who brought his family from Cornwall, England in 1855 and settled in the South. General Tyler, an industrialist, was interested in both railroads and iron. For almost a decade, the city existed as a private company town called Woodstock. It was closed to outsiders who had no link with the company. The first public lots were sold in June 1883 and the town was officially opened to the public on July 3, 1883. It was renamed "Annie's Town" in honor of Annie Scott Tyler, wife of Gen. Tyler's son, Alfred. The seat of county government had been in Jacksonville since the creation of the county in 1832. After years of local controversy and finally a ruling by the State Supreme Court in June 1900, Anniston was established as the new home of county government.

(Source: The Model City of the New South by Dr. Grace Hooten Gates)

To advertise the young town's land for sale, Samuel Noble made the decision to engage the services of an artist to paint a "portrait" of the young town. It was the desire of the founders that the "portrait" should enkindle the imagination of the country, and people from all walks of life should come to Anniston. Early in 1882, Noble contacted Mr. Christopher H. Shearer, an outstanding landscape artist in Pennsylvania, and persuaded him to come to Anniston. Upon Shearer's arrival, a small home was built on the Noble estate, and orders to give the artist any materials he needed accompanied his arrival. Shearer's first request was for canvas.
The "portrait" is 13th and Woodstock looking Southwest, about where Samuel Noble's house was located. The child in the foreground is Josephine Noble (Keith) daughter of Samuel Noble. Far background: Coldwater Mountain. The original painting is hanging in the Alabama Room at the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County.

(Source: Annie's Town, by Tee Morgan, available for purchase from the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County)