Side 1Williams Station, Alabama
Creek Indians lived in these parts some 200 years before trains began stopping here in 1866 to leave supplies for a farmer, William Larkin Williams, who lived nearby. Workers, who came first to build the railroads, were attracted by the vast forests of longleaf pine and rich farmland. As the settlement grew around Mr. Williams' supply stop, it became known as Williams Station. Saw mills sprang up in this timber-rich area. Abundant resources for lumber and turpentine meant there was money to be made in Williams Station well before the land was cleared for cotton. In 1876, North Carolinian William Marshall Carney moved to the area from Mobile. During the next two decades, Williams Station grew in proportion to Carney's various business interests. His generous philanthropic gifts helped build a school and three local churches. Because of Carney-generated growth and enthusiasm, residents thought the town deserved a name more refined than that of a mere railway whistle stop. In 1897, the town was renamed Atmore in honor of Charles Pawson Atmore.
In 1897, town leaders wanted to change the name of Williams Station to Carney, in honor of William Marshall Carney, the man who had contributed greatly to the town's growth. However, Mr. Carney's brother had already started a settlement in Baldwin County and given it his family name. Having two towns with the same name so close together would create confusion. Determined to honor W.M. Carney, the leaders asked him to select the town's new name. He honored his good friend, Charles Pawson Atmore, general passenger agent for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in Louisville, Kentucky. According to the New York Times, C.P. Atmore died at age 66, on May 29, 1900. There is no record that he ever visited the little town named for him.
On May 23, 1907, Atmore became an incorporated municipality. The town celebrated this centennial milestone at Heritage Park in May 2007.