Newville Town Hall The Newville area was first settled in 1882. By 1889, a one-room schoolhouse had been constructed in the community. When word came that the Alabama Midland Railroad was building a line through the area, two local entrepreneurs, James Wells and T. J. Bond, bought 80 acres in the railroad’s proposed path; Wells donated part of his land for the railroad’s right-of-way with the proviso that the train depot remain named Wells Station for 50 years. After the line was finished in 1890, Wells offered free land to encourage settlement. The town at that time also was called Wells Station. Wells also built the first store in town, and several others followed as people took advantage of his offer of free land.
After mail and freight intended for Well’s Station began ending up in the town of Wills in Dale County, the citizens of Wells Station realized that a name change was needed. They renamed the town Newville and incorporated in 1906. In 1909, the town built a two-story school to replace the one-room structure.
The town had grown enough in the 1920s to support three cotton gins, and a telephone system and electricity were available by the middle of that decade. The town also was the location of a Rosenwald school, built in 1922 and closed in 1968. The Great Depression hit the town hard, but its streets were paved in 1934-1935 with the help of several New Deal programs.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Newville recorded a population of 411. Of that number, 57.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 37.0 percent as African American, 5.4 percent as two or more races, and1.5 percent as Hispanic. The town’s median household income was $30,714, and the per capita income was $17,425.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Newville was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Manufacturing (22.1 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (13.6 percent)
- Construction (12.9 percent)
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (12.1 percent)
- Retail trade (11.4 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (7.1 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.4 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (5.7 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (4.3 percent)
- Information (1.4 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (1.4 percent)
- Wholesale trade (1.4 percent)
Students in Newville attend schools in the Henry County school system; no public schools lie within the town limits.
State Highway 173 bisects Newville running roughly northeast-southwest, and County Road 12 runs southeast from the center of town. U.S. Highway 431 passes just east of town, running northeast-southwest. Headland Municipal Airport is located approximately six miles to the southeast.
Scott, Eva Clyde. History of Henry County, Alabama. Pensacola, Fla.: Frank R. Pankhurst & Son Printing, 1961.
Warren, M. Hoyt, Ed. Henry’s Heritage: A History of Henry County, Alabama. Abbeville, Ala.: Henry County Historical Society, 1978.