Historic Markers Across Alabama

William Leigh - Founder of Leighton

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: 3036 Old Hwy 20, Tuscumbia, AL
County: Colbert
Coordinates: N 34° 42.003    W 087° 36.62
  34.70005    -87.61033333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Side 1:
The town of Leighton was named in honor of the Reverend William Leigh, son and grandson of Revolutionary War veterans. He was born in Amelia County, Virginia, Oct. 4, 1790 and moved to Alabama about 1823. Leigh settled nearby at "Jeffers Cross Roads" and became a large landowner, pioneer merchant, postmaster, and La Grange College trustee. He was a charter member of Leighton Masonic Lodge No. 43 and served as Grand Master of the Alabama Masons (1833-1835). Leigh was a Missionary Baptist preacher for 63 years and served as pastor and leader in the Muscle Shoals Baptist Association. In 1836, he donated land and helped build a brick meeting house in Leighton for joint use by the Masons, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Cumberland Presbyterians, and others.

Side 2:
William Leigh was the first postmaster of Leighton (1824-1847) and, with William Gregg, operated a storehouse at the cross roads under the firm name of William Leigh & Company. He ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature on the Whig ticket in 1840. In 1847, Leigh sold his store, 1800-acre plantation, livestock, and 30 slaves and moved to Kentucky. He soon returned to Alabama, living in Moulton a few years before moving to Florence where his wife served as matron at the Florence Synodical College. Leigh died there in Florence, July 31, 1873, and was buried here in the Leigh family graveyard. The Masons erected a monument at his unmarked grave in 1931. The old brick church that he helped build a century earlier was razed about 1948.

Sponsored by the Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation

End of William Leigh - Founder of Leighton