The Old Russell County Courthouse
|Elevation||341 ft (104 m)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||153358|
Seale is an unincorporated community in Russell County, Alabama, United States. It was the county seat from 1868 until 1935, and is currently home to Russell County High School and middle school. The former Russell County courthouse, built in 1868, is located in the town.
Before the town of Seale was ever established, settlers from Georgia began to build settlements in this area of Russell County due to its proximity to the Old Federal Road. As early as 1842, there was a community present here which attended a "preaching place" known as Glenn Chapel. Seale itself was originally an unincorporated community known as Silver Run, established sometime in the early 1850s. The town was formed, in part, to facilitate a railroad being built between Girard and Mobile. The station in Silver Run was named Seale's Station, in honor of Captain Arnold Seale. Accordingly, the town eventually changed its name to Seale.
Seale was initially an incorporated community, by an act of the state legislature in 1872, and also the third county seat, succeeding Crawford during the Reconstruction Era in 1868. After the merger of Girard and Phenix City in the 1920s, there was pressure to relocate the county seat to the much more populous Phenix City. In 1926, Phenix City served jointly with Seale as the county seat. Less than a decade later, around 1935, the seat was moved permanently to Phenix City.
By 1950, its main product was turpentine. The turpentine business is no longer in operation. From its establishment to present day, it is a rural farm and cattle community. At some point after 1950, Seale either disincorporated or lost its charter, and has remained unincorporated since.
During the 1960s a lot of military personnel assigned to Ft. Benning and deployed to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War settled there and brought with them a new generation. The small school of Chavala swelled with students during that period. The Court House that is of historical value, lay unoccupied and in bad need of repair during that period. In the years since, it has been restored and remains the centerpiece of the community, hosting events and weddings. Every Labor Day, a fair is organized at the old courthouse to help raise money for its upkeep.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
From 1880-1950 Seale appeared on the U.S. Census records. It had a fairly stable population for most of the period, reaching a zenith of 386 residents in 1900 when it was the county seat. After 1950, it either disincorporated or lost its charter, and has not appeared on the census since.
The population for ZIP Code 36875 as of 2010, which includes Seale and environs, was 4,622.
Seale is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431 and Alabama State Route 26 in the rural central portion of Russell County approximately 15 mi (24 km) southwest of Columbus, Georgia and 28 mi (45 km) north of Eufaula.
Below are photographs taken in Seale as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey:
- "Seale". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer (1952 text) p. 1724
- "Seale United Methodist Church - History". Seale United Methodist Church - Seale, Alabama. Starketech. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- "Early Russell County and the Town of Seale". Latitude 34 North. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- Alabama (1872-01-01). Alabama Laws and Joint Resolutions of the Legislature of Alabama. Allen & Brickell, State Printers.
- "Old Seale Russell County Courthouse". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "The Drive-Thru Museum". Atlas Obsura.
- "30 Amazing Hidden Gems in Alabama". The Crazy Tourist.
- "The Museum of Wonder". Atlas Obsura.