Days Gone By - stories from the past

The south is known for front porches, but Brantley, Alabama has been dubbed “the front porch capital of the south”

Brantley was established on 40 acres of property purchased from Thomas H. Wyatt by the Brantley Land Company. It was first called Sasserville, then Marcus and finally renamed Brantley after T. K. Brantley.


Brantley, Alabama is 25 miles southwest of Troy, and about 10 miles south of Luvern in Crenshaw County, Alabama. Population in 1910—-803; in 2010 —-809. Brantley has been nicknamed, “The front porch capital of the South,”  with some lovely old homes and several second hand stores and craft shops just begging to be explored. Brantley, Alabama

The town was incorporated by the legislature in February, 1895, It was named for Hon. T. K. Brantley of Troy, one of its promoters.

Brantley welcome sign (Waymarking.com)

Front porch captail

Brantley historic district (Rivers Langley; SaveRivers -Wikipedia)
Brantley historic district

front porch

The town was first dubbed Sasserville by the train depot manager after the owner of the local grist mill. At some later point, it was renamed Marcus, and finally Brantley after the initial founder.

The town plot was surveyed by Judge William Sanford and Matthew Downer Pace of Troy, Alabama.

Other early citizens names include, Buster Wyatt, Bob Tisdale, Math Wright, Joe Rainer, Hyram Sacks, Mittenthal, Rubenstein, Freeman, Bill Howard, Ziegler, Bennett, Simmons, Bogan, Dave Payne, J. R. Caton, Johnson, Oliver Morgan, Judge Morgan, Henry Morgan, W. M. Knox, John Beard, Joe Rowe, Mamie Payne, Chapman, Henderson, Raines, Marvin Dodson, Terry, Adams, O. P. Smith, Summerlin, Smith, H. C. Wiley, J. D. Gardner, Hyram Moody, Sherman Johnson, Griffin, Frank Hinton, Nathan Morgan, Bill Johnson, Byrd Sasser, Junior Richards, Joe Raines, Pleas. Tisdale, Dick Summerlin, Gid Tisdale, Heath, Rubye Richards, Bettye Lord, Henry Wyatt, Bud Morgan, Rich Golchrist, Colquett, Claudie Anglican, Tom Cooper, Mosley Crosby, Mack Bentley, Mariah Wyatt, Charlie Hilton, Gladys Stephenson, Donnie Lynn, John Payne, Beckie Sasser, Bradwell, Hughes, Thigpen, Rev. Murrell, Jim Sorrell, H. H. McNeil, Rev. Yarborough, D. S. Hogg, E. C. Penn, Bob Chapman, Dan Stephens, Dr. Knight, Dr. Holt, Dr. Abercrombie, Dr. Hugh McKinnon, Dr. Belser, Moxley, Coston, May, Horn, Tranum, Gilchrist, Pruett, Davidson, Nickson, Malouf, and R. F. Dodds.Brantley map

Brantley carried on a considerable trade with the surrounding rich agricultural region. The Brantley Booster, a Democratic weekly, was established in 1914. The Crenshaw County Historical Society has its headquarters at Brantley.

 

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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73 comments

  1. Gene Hocutt

    Brantley is the SPEED TRAP capital of the South!

    1. Screw Brantley Alabama. A damn speed trap. I will never go through there again and any time I hear about Brantley al. I will think about the speed trap

    2. Please avoid Brantley–as the other writers indicated it’s a speed trap. My daughter was leaving the Gulf because of Hurricane Nate on Oct 7 and was cited. No leniency because of the impending storm.

  2. My grandparents lived in Brantley, and I made such wonderful memories there!

  3. Sure do miss Brantley, Alabama and my grandsons. Still hoping to move back one day.

  4. My dad was police chief of Brantley in the late 50s/early 60s and my grandfather owned a restaurant and dry cleaners there many years ago. Neat little town.

    1. My grandfather owned a dry cleaners in Brantley and he was a Williamson. We are probably related

      1. Of course we are Suzanne! I remember uncle Bobby and aunt Becky well and you, Angie and Andy. My parents were Willie and Hazel Williamson. Your mother and my dad were siblings.

  5. Claudetta Walker Morgan

    beautiful homes. I was down there in Jan

  6. Tommy Kervin

    And people sit on them and report your every move! At least they did when I was young.

    1. Hahaha! Tommy, you know that I have lived in Brantley my entire life & I still do! I don’t think that part will EVER change! Lol

  7. June Persons

    Takes me back to my younger years, the gathering place, the porch and fun chatting with neighbors walking down the street. Had a lot of sidewalks then also.

  8. Gene Hocutt

    Brantley is the SPEED TRAP capital of the South! Drivers beware!

    1. You won’t have to worry about it if you stay within the legal speed limits.

    2. You made this comment twice. It must mean it is important for you to convey. Brantley folks appreciate your slowing down as you pass through so we can see your smiling face.

      1. Hahaha! Robert Hudson, you are correct!

      2. Robert, he has now made that statement FOUR TIMES!!!

    3. Gene, Brantley is not a speed trap at all. Speed limit signs are posted where they can clearly be seen, if you drive within the speed limit the only thing you will get from our Law Enforcement Officers is a wave. Children walk and ride their bikes on the sidewalks of our little town..someone traveling at a higher rate of speed than is posted would not have time to stop if one of the children or one our beloved pets ran out in the road. It’s really not a problem..just simply obey our speed limit for maybe a mile or mile and a half..if you are in that big of a hurry that you can’t slow down we assume you have an emergency..please call 911 and there will be help there for you within minutes.

      1. You are absolutely correct, Kathy! Not to mention people in town crossing the streets or backing out of parking places.
        This sounds like someone from about 10 miles north of us that posted in the local newspaper a couple of years ago, remember?

    4. my opinion brantley is just a greasy spot in the road with a speed trap

  9. Brenda Odom

    Beautiful lil town!!!!

  10. Gala Wheat

    Julia does papa’s place have a porch 🙂

  11. Connie Parnell Beverly

    When I was growing up, we would visit the town of Greensboro, Alabama. We had friends who lived in an antebellum home, with a huge front porch. When I think of front porches, I always think of this one. We could play on it, rain or shine. It was so wide, the rain never touched us, and it was so cool, the sun didn’t bother us. Now that was a front porch. I loved it. I don’t know if that house is still there or not, but we loved playing on that porch.

  12. Lori Chaykowsky

    Love these front porches!

  13. I use to walk to school from downtown near the railroad track to the other side of town to school. That was a walk let me tell you. I loved that little town and there are some really nice old homes there. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Massey such a sweet lady!!!!! My teacher that I didn’t like to see was Mrs. Hattaway not because she was mean but, because she swung a mean paddle… she tore my butt up a lot and so did Mrs. Pinkard…. awe those were the days… lol

    1. I also had Ms. Massey, Hattaway and Pinckard! I loved all my teachers that were from Brantley! I guess everybody knew my Daddy (Hootie), the mechanic so they all knew me! They also knew me because most of them had my brother, Mike and my sister, Rhonda as students before me. I have always loved to see all the older houses and porches down Main Street and still do every time I go to town!!!

  14. Al Davenport

    Absolutely lovely little town.

  15. Denise Blue

    my daddy was born in Brantley in 1918.

    1. My Daddy was born here in 1928. I’m sure they probably knew each other! Cool!!!

  16. Jan Cox

    I love porches…so I would like Brantley.

  17. Jo Stillwell

    lived in Brantley as a kid ,,,went back Labor Day to visit ,,,its still a good place to live

  18. Lillian Coffey Crow

    Beautiful town. You better go slow thru Brantley !

  19. Gene Hocutt

    Brantley is better known as a SPEED TRAP!

  20. Frances Nichols Noble

    I was born and raised in Brantley….proud to call it home!!

  21. Jack Kane

    My aunt Billie and uncle “Hot” had an amazing porch. I spent many an hour on that porch, shucking corn and shelling pecans…..

  22. Sue-Richard Wheeler

    Beautiful little town. I always loved riding through.

  23. A lot of my descendants lived in or near Brantley. A lot are buried at Mt. Ida. Williamson, Jordan, Stough, Deloach, were some of their names. YES .. I do remember all the “Big Ole Porchs”. 🙂

  24. Brantley is a beautiful lit town. I live in Luverne, have friends and family in Brantley. Always love to drive thru, especially Hollidays. Always beautifully decorated. By the way, Brantley is not a speed trap just obey the law. There are speed limits and plenty of signs.

  25. I’m proud to have been a part of Brantley for most of my life!! So many memories were made there and even though I’ve moved away, it will always be Home Sweet Home.

  26. Joyce N Billy Lambert

    Liked the article, don’t like a town known for speed traps. Nope.

  27. My great-aunt, Tina Butler, was a home economics teacher in Brantley. Her hobby was restoring antiques. My mother and my daughter both inherited her first name, and were/are blessed with her culinary and restorative talents.
    I’m having trouble remembering her address….have only been through Brantley since her death.

  28. My dad had a distant cousin, Lomax Norman, who lived in Brantly. We would drive down from Montgomery to Partridge hunt around Brantly / Luverne. I have wonderful memories of the little community.
    At daybreak people would gather down by the train station and “hunker” around barrels with a fire burning / smoking and await being hired for a days work.
    Lomax’s wife was called “dooty”. She was wonderful. She always insisted on cooking me a large breakfast prior to going out on the days hunt.
    Had not thought of mthose wonderful days in late 1940, early 1950 for a long time. Thanks for conjuring up those fond memories.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  29. Denise Blue

    my daddy was born there in 1918

  30. Wm Flake Joiner

    T. K. BRANTLEY was from Troy, AL. He was my wife’s great grandfather.

  31. Mary Newton

    I love a big front porch.

  32. Gene Hocutt

    Brantley is more like the SPEED TRAP capital!

    1. Wrong ! It must be that you are a chronic speeder !

  33. David Clements

    When I was a kid, there was a gas station in Brantley that had a huge cage full of squirrels behind it. Anyone else remember this?

    1. Giles Bryan

      yes i remember that as well

    2. David Clements

      Those squirrels in Brantley and the Dairy Queen in Opp were the highlights to us kids on the many trips my family made to PC Beach back then. Lots of dear memories.

  34. Chuck Kilcrease

    My family is from Brantely. I like to stop and eat at the chicken shack in Luvern on the way to Brantely.

  35. Melanie Peck McDuff

    Such a neat town, but lesson learned watch your speed in Brantley!!!!

  36. Douglas S. Gulsby

    Always been a speed trap, I don’t go that way anymore

  37. That lil town IS a speed trap folks. 331 going south to Florida. Don’t be fooled!

  38. Claudetta W Morgan

    I travel thru there going to visit my stepson and grands

  39. Mickey Hudson

    Go the speed limit an u b ok

  40. Oh how I remember my childhood days at Brantley..so many memories..it has always been such a neat little town…don’t get back anymore, but my heart will always be there.

  41. Mary Nichols Locklier

    My Dad was born in Brantley in 1915. His name was Oliver Cecil Nichols. We spent many weekend visits sitting on some of those beautiful porches. A beautiful little town with sweet memories.

  42. Jim Lambert

    Tucker Park Jordan McDaniel James Guiler Jay Dalziel Jonathan Young

  43. Love drivng through your little town of porches. Makes me think of my childhood . Our front porch was a gathering place for neighbors to relax and enjoy simpler times.
    Elgin, Il.

  44. Informative article!! The front porch looks amazing and it’s not a wonder that Bradley got a nickname. The house in the picture is very beautiful.

  45. Class of 92..I have some fond memories of that place…But I went back some years later when mom and dad still lived there out of state plates…nabbed for 2 over..now growing up there never once had an issue. The kicker is I grew up with the cop still got a ticket…out of state plates 1 mph over ticket because they know you are not coming back to fight it chiefs orders ..his words it is there bread and butter…But lots of memories back in the day.

    1. The speed traps in Oklahoma got so bad the state enacted a law that a town could only collect a certain percentage of its income from speeding tickets.

      This sure seems like one of those places.

      1. Hold on for a second, i have been going through Brantley on my way down 331 to our summer cottage at Seagrove Beach sense 1953 and sometimes a couple times each summer,and have been stopped for speeding one time by a very nice officer who just told me to slow down a bit, and just received a warning. I was going over the posted speed limit. I guess i have been through Brantley 80 times or more over the years and can say Brantley is no speed trap! Just slow down a bit for about a mile and enjoy the town, and you will be just fine, and yes i also recall the changed critters at the Union 66 station ,it was on the left of 331 south just outside town. Robert hodge Huntsville Al

  46. Man this is funny, I come there often, I grew up there but I hardly see anyone when I come Home. John Salter

  47. […] of quaint, whitewashed homes in Brantley — self-dubbed “the front-porch town” — lined its main street in watercolor […]

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