Wills Valley Railroad

Between 1827 and 1832 a rail line had been established from Baltimore to Ohio. In the late 1840’s, William Overton Winston began practicing law in the state of Alabama. His life long passion would become a desire for a railroad line. A rail line running right in front of his newly acquired home in Northeast Corner of Alabama. A little place called Valley Head. On February 3, 1852, his ambition was realized with the Charter for The Wills Valley Railroad and he became the first president. During 1861 to 1863, the War Between the States slowed, but did not deter the building of the rail line. By 1868 the construction of the railway began in earnest. The Improvement Act of 3 Feb 1870 issued bonds to complete the railroad. By the fall of 1870 tracks had been laid from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Birmingham, Alabama. In 1877 Control of the Wills Valley Railroad was granted to Alabama Great Southern Railroad. A very small town became a very big deal.