Youngsville did not exist until after 1837 when James Young III inquired 320 acres. The earliest record we have of the Youngsville area is from 1698 when Captain Thomas Welch marked out the Okfuskee Trail through Tallapoosa County, Alabama. There were trading posts that had been established near Young's Ferry, Flint Hill, and Kowaliga, but the government did not have control of this area until March 27, 1814 when Andrew Jackson's men defeated The Creek Indians in The Battle of Horseshoe Bend. In 1832 the Creek Indians relinquished this territory to the United States and this gave way for white settlers to set roots in Tallapoosa County.
There are records stating that an unknown pioneer set up a trading post near the present day site of the Russell Corporation's main office, in Alexander City but there are also records stating that it was James Young, III who was the unknown pioneer. I have found more records stating that it was James Young, III. This trading post was known as the "Georgia Store" and as the "Georgia Trading Post". In 1837 when James Young III purchased his property it sat a half-mile west of the former Creek Indian Nation and near the Georgia Trading Post. It comprised a large portion of present day southwest Alexander City, including the Russell Corporation and much of the land along Highway 280.
We can start dating the community life of Youngsville in 1837 when Rueben "Griffin" Young opened Youngsville's first post office inside his store and when eight women and men called "The Baptist brethren settlers of Youngsville" organized the Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church. The store and church were both within view of the present day Youngsville historical marker on Washington Street; it is on the left hand side just before you get to North Central Avenue. One could call this the heart of Youngsville.
Youngsville was a small settlement of scattered farms with only a store-post office and church for the first thirty five years of existence. Griffin Young had ambitious plans to promote a "town" on his property but those plans were delayed along with the construction of the railroad due to The Civil War.
With the anticipation of the railroad in 1860 Griffin Young hired W. H. Whatley to survey a portion of his property and to lay it out in 48 town lots and in this plan two acres were to be reserved for the use of a public square and in 1872 the town of Youngsville was incorporated. The corporate limits were set one-half mile in every direction from the center of the public square. The public square location is at the present day City Hall in Alexander City, at the intersection of Church Street and Main Street. There is a historical marker in this location "Court Square" that was erected in 1999 by the Alabama Historical Association.
In 1872 the community had a revival on Herzfeld Hill, present day Hillabee Street that invoked the first two congregations of the community and they were The First Baptist Church and The First United Methodist Church.
S&M Railroad president Edward P. Alexander brought the Savannah and Memphis Railway to Youngsville in 1873. The towns boundaries were extended to one mile in all directions from the public square and the town was renamed Alexander City in his honor. This becomes the end of Youngsville and the Beginning of Alexander City.
Written by April Lynn Wood Holdridge, August 2016