Downtown Dadeville Dadeville was named for Maj. Francis Langhorne Dade, who died in the Second Seminole War. Granted a charter in 1837, it was named county seat in 1838. First incorporated in 1858, Dadeville lost this status during the Civil War and was incorporated a second time in 1871.
Dadeville has the distinction of being the location of Alabama’s first medical school, the Graefenberg Medical Institute, which operated from 1852 until the outbreak of the Civil War; attempts to rehabilitate the school after the war failed, and the building burned in 1873. That same year, the Memphis and Savannah Railroad completed the first railway line to the town from Columbus, Georgia. U.S. congressman and state judge William Bismarck Bowling chaired the city’s board of education for 12 years in the early twentieth century. Completion of the Thomas Wesley Martin Dam on the Tallapoosa River in 1926 and the subsequent creation of Lake Martin had and continues to have a strong economic impact on Dadeville.
On April 27, 2011, a massive storm, causing numerous powerful tornadoes, struck the southeastern United States. More than 250 people were killed in Alabama, including one person in Dadeville.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Dadeville recorded a population of 3,165. Of that number, 54.8 percent identified themselves as white, 44.9 percent as African American, 3.4 percent as Hispanic, 0.2 percent as American Indian, and 0.1 percent as two or more races. The city’s median household income was $26,350 and the per capita income was $21,441.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Dadeville was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Manufacturing (23.8 percent)
- Educational services, and health care and social assistance (15.8 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing and utilities (12.1 percent)
- Construction (10.2 percent)
- Public administration (9.9 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (7.4 percent)
- Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (7.0 percent)
- Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (4.7 percent)
- Retail trade (4.1 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (2.5 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.3 percent)
- Information (1.1 percent)
Schools in Dadeville are part of the Tallapoosa County School District; the city has one elementary, middle, and high school and one alternative school.
Dadeville is intersected by U.S. Highway 280 (north-south) and State Highway 49 (south).
Events and Places of Interest
Lake Martin Dadeville first appeared on the national scene as the home of Johnson Jones Hooper‘s popular fictional character Simon Suggs, who appeared in a number of Hooper’s stories. The town is also the birthplace of Bozeman Bulger, who became a nationally known sportswriter. Dadeville is located near Lake Martin, one of the prime recreational lakes in Alabama, with fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking trails. The Dadeville Parks and Recreation Department has a large indoor recreation center that hosts a number of public programs. The city’s parks provide picnic areas, outdoor basketball courts, a softball complex, and tennis courts. The recently added Keebler Park is home to a community-built playground called “Creation Plantation.” The Tallapoosee Historical Museum houses exhibits on the county’s early history and economy.
The Heritage of Tallapoosa County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000.