Population: 4,348 (2022)
County: Winston County
About: Haleyville, AL, is in the northwestern portion of the state. Most of the city is in Winston County, but there is a small portion that crosses into Marion County. The area now known as Haleyville was initially settled by the Cherokee Nation. In the 1830s, rather than be forced off their land, many of the Cherokee elected to hide instead of leave. As a result, some of Haleyville’s residents have a Native American heritage. The first permanent settlement was established in Winston County by Richard McMahan in 1820. In 1863, the citizens of Winston County met and elected to remain neutral in the Civil War. This decision was made because less than five percent of the population owned enslaved people. In 1885, the town was known as Davis Cross-Roads. It is told the name changed to Haleyville when Bucky Davis, an influential landowner in the area, entered the Haley establishment to purchase a suit. Davis exchanged the price of a suit for the name of the town, and the name Haleyville has remained since. In the early 1900s, the railroad provided jobs and attracted doctors, dentists, and blacksmiths. Coal mining was an important industry for Haleyville residents and for Winston County. Mining, however, was a dangerous profession. In the Warrior Coalfield, Haleyville miners faced cramped conditions, dim lighting, and controlled explosions in the mines. Despite this, the mines attracted individuals looking for work and helped stimulate the development of the town. In the 1950s, a radio station and newspaper were created, and Main Street saw continued growth. The late 1980s saw production centers close, jobs disappear, and the elementary school succumb to a fire. Despite this, the “Haleyville sprit” has allowed the town to recover and continue to prosper. Today, about half of the working population is employed in either manufacturing, educational services, health care, social assistance, or retail trade. Feldman’s Department Store and a nearby archaeological site are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Haleyville residents aspire to “reside in these quiet hills of North Alabama with good jobs, raising good families with good values.”
Fun Fact: America’s first 9-1-1 call was made from Haleyville.
Meet the Haleyville Community Liaison, Neina Middleton
ENI is a community-focused, community-shaped initiative. Community Liaisons act as a resource to help communities shape ENI to fit their needs and wants. If you want to learn more or get involved with ENI, reach out to your Community Liaison.
For the past 24 years, Neina has been the Finance/Marketing teacher and student co-op coordinator at Haleyville Center of Technology. Prior to her teaching career, she was the controller for a large company. In 2005, Neina became an instructor for a youth leadership program in her community with the mission of developing leadership in young people and to equip them to become servant leaders in the community they choose to live in.
Since 2000, she worked with her Advisory Committee to enhance the curriculum incorporating necessary skills businesses and industries require in their employees. During the same period, she has contacted employers throughout North Alabama, placing all 10th grade students in a job shadow experience. Throughout her tenure in her current position, she has developed a strong network of parents, students, business leaders and elected public officials. Neina resides in Haleyville, with her rescue animal Lily.