Tallapoosa County, Alabama Genealogy Trails

TOWN OF REELTOWN

In about 1814 Indians lived along Saugahatchee creek that flows from the north to the west of Reeltown, and only a few dwellings existed at the cross roads in Reeltown. This is also about the year two brothers James Patrick O'Reel and Phillip O'Reel came from Ireland to Tallapoosa County to homestead six sections of land. They were the first merchants of Reeltown. They opened a farm tool shop, wagon shop, blacksmith shop, grist mill, saw mill, cotton gin, as well as a general store. In 1880 they opened a charter for a post office and it was granted, making Thaddeus T. Webster Reeltown's first Post Master. In the mean time the brothers Patrick and Phillip O'Reel drop the O' off of their name and became the Reels.

Reels store was located at the southwest corner at Reeltown cross roads and Joe Huey owned a barroom that sat on the opposite corner. Both stores are now gone and all that is left are a few old stumps and wells. The first gin was owned by a man with the last name Merchant. Mr. Merchant and the Winningham family owned the only two plantations in Reeltown at that time. The plantations have been described as the typical southern plantation.

The School in Reeltown was known as Plat School. It was your typical country school with split log benches. The school was located a mile out on the west road from the crossroads. In the late 90's a better school was built and then moved to where the current club house stands.

The first church was not built until 1882. It is possible that church was held inside the school until then. It was destroyed by a cyclone not long after it was built. The next one the built to replace the old one was not built well and they had to build it for the third time. It has change names twice but it is still standing It was first called Mt. Pleasant but the name was changed to Reeltown Baptist Church in 1930.

Reeltown Has Another Name

The postal office that issued the charter to Reeltown did not know the name of the place it was issuing charter for and decided to name it after it's first Post Master Thaddeus T. Webster.  Reeltown was called Thaddeus from 1880 until 1902.

SITE OF THADDEUS POST OFFICE

On June 20, 1880, David M. Key, Post-master General of the United States of American, appointed Thaddeus T. Webster as Postmaster at Thaddeus (now Reeltown), Alabama, which office he held with honor, ability and integrity until his death in 1889.  His family continued carrying the mail until Rural Free Delivery came into existence.  Market erected in 1975 by Hugh T. Webster, son of Thaddeus T. Webster.

 

STORE BESIDE POST OFFICE

Photos taken and submitted by April Wood James: Jan 22, 2015

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