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A County Older Than the State-Henry County


Created in 1819 by Alabama Territorial Legislature. Named for Patrick Henry of Virginia, colonial statesman and orator: "Give me liberty or give me death." This area ceded by Creek Indian Nation in 1814 under Treaty of Ft. Jackson. Had been part of Lower Creek Confederacy. Abbeville made county seat in 1833. Abbe an Indian name of nearby creek. 
[Before 1965: Henry Co. Courthouse, Abbeville 36.5713 N 85.2501 W]

Alabama's First Peanut Oil Mill

On this site stood the Henry County Peanut Oil Mill, the first of its kind in Alabama.  It was built in July 1916 by two entrepreneurial Abbeville businessmen – Robert Newman and Mike Sachar, a Russian Jewish immigrant. Owners of the new Abbeville mill were Robert Newman, W.T. Dawkins, and Mike Sachar, who also served as manager and operator. By 1918, the mill was producing an excellent grade of peanut oil and peanut meal. With the need for expansion, the mill’s leaders partnered with the wealthiest man in the Wiregrass, Abbeville’s M.V. Capps, who became its largest shareholder. The mill changed its name in 1918 to the Pioneer Peanut Oil Mill. Robert Newman remained president and Mike Sachar as head of mill operations. M.V. Capps died in 1921. Three months later, a fire destroyed the $75,000 mill. Thereafter Robert Newman built a peanut-crushing mill south of Abbeville called the Southeastern Peanut Company. In failing health, he later moved to Tampa, Florida, where he died in 1926. Mike Sachar worked at the F&M Bank in Headland and at Dothan’s Peanut Oil Mill Company. Among the last surviving pioneers of the southeastern peanut industry, he died in 1951.

Erected by the Henry County Historical Group, Steve Hardwick, great-grandson of Mike Sachar, and the Henry County Farmers Federation. 
[268 Alabama Highway 27, Abbeville]


Henry County Training School, Established 1914


Founded by Laura L. Ward. Building designed and constructed by Jim McCauley on land given by Glass Maybin. Classes began Sept., 1917. Principals who served school were: J. H. Jackson, W. R. Rosser, Felix Blackwood, Sr., and William B. Ward, Sr. First teachers were: Laura L. Ward, Bertha Matthews and Mattie Belle. 

School operated for 53 years until closed June 30, 1970. During this time it served as principal educational center for black citizens of Henry County, graduating a total of 1297 students.
[Co. Rd. 25 off Ala. Hwy 10 east of Abbeville 31.5782 N 85.3167 W]

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