Historic Markers Across Alabama

Town of Wadley

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: Highland Ave at Highland Cir, Wadley, AL
County: Randolph
Coordinates: N 33° 7.288    W 085° 33.901
  33.12146666    -85.56501666
Waymark: None


Town of Wadley

Side 1:
Wadley is a charming small town located on the west bank of the Tallapoosa River in Southwest Randolph County.

It was born about 1901 with the advent of the new Atlanta Birmingham and Atlantic Railroad and named for George Dole Wadley who was V.P. and General Manager of the railroad construction work. It was incorporated Sept. 15, 1908 with a population of 333, and the first store was owned by first mayor Minus H. Radney who supplied materials for the construction of the railroad. Still standing today is the railroad's unusual depot, costing more than $12,000.00 to build, and described as"one of the handsomest along the line”, in the October 06, 1908 Roanoke Leader newspaper supplement.

Wadley, conceived and designed as a Model City by the Callaway Development Co. of LaGrange, Georgia of which Fuller E. Callaway was president, is one of few planned communities. It then featured a main street of businesses and a central park bordered by three beautiful churches: Christian, Baptist and Methodist.

Side 2:
First Bank, still conducting business today, was one of few that did not close during the depression. The first major industry occurred in 1946 when W.P. Clegg organized Clegg Manufacturing which grew from 4 employees to 180. Wadley is home to Southern Union State Community College which began as Bethleham College supported by the Congregational Christian Church. The college became state owned Oct. 1, 1964. Plantation Patterns is Wadley's current largest manufacturing plant producing wrought iron furniture.

The current mayor and council members are respectively Jim Dabbs, Steve Battle, Toni Gay, Lynn Newsome, Frank Reaves, and Mattie Staples.

Visiting the town of Wadley is as near to a"Mayberry” experience as one can get. The town and citizens have an old world charm and visitors are welcomed with old fashioned hospitality. When a man speaks lovingly of his"home town” he isn't thinking so much of the place where he earns his living, but the spot where his heart longs to be -"The Little Town by the River”.

End of Town of Wadley