History Of Opp, Alabama

Opp’s history presumably starts about the year 1880, when Walker W. Patrick moved from Coffee County to the region of the old Dr Pepper Bottling Plant, at the northeast area of the present city. Patrick homesteaded 160 acres of land there and built a home and a store in the area of where the old Mrs. Frances Cameron home is located. Walker Patrick was the son of Dr. Thomas Patrick, who homesteaded the land  acknowledged as Patrick’s Hill close to Onycha on Florala highway. Dr. Patrick is buried in a small cemetery beside the highway near his old home. Walker Patrick operated a small store regarding his cultivating interest. He would often accept gophers in trade for merchandise. His sons Dabner and Bertie would trap gophers around the farm. When a large number had been collected, they would be loaded into a wagon and hauled off to Pensacola where they would be sold. On the return trip the wagon would bring a load of merchandise that could be sold in the store.

Hand Drawn Map of Hallton (Opp) 1885-1900
Hand Drawn map of Opp, AL 1901-1903

He was appointed the first postmaster and operated the office in a corner of his store building. Business was good at Hallton and it was not long before Dr. Whaley built another store across the road from his first one. This one was soon rented to B. Redmon, who became the second merchant to operate in Hallton. He was followed by T.M. Campbell, who operated a saloon in the same building after Redmon had vacated it. Campbell was followed by the firm of Galloway and Sons, who were the last known to have conducted a business at this location. Andrew Wallace succeeded Dr. Whaley as postmaster of Hallton on October 12, 1899, and was serving in that capacity when the name of the office was changed to Opp on October 1, 1900, and moved to a new lolcation on the railroad. After the railroad cleared its right-of-way through what is now Opp, some of the residents of Hallton, as well as other nearby communities, realizing the possibilities of a new town, began to congregate at the railroad and to build homes, stores and churches. Hallton was soon nothing more than a found memory.

 

 

Meanwhile, Dr. John A. Whaley of Troy had been looking over this section for a location. He arranged to trade his farm in Pike County for Patrick’s farm and store, and what was later to emerge as Hallton which was formerly and sometimes now called “Cool Springs.”

When he moved there no post office was available nearer than Opine, four miles north across Lightwood Knot River with Dr. George Harper, postmaster. Green Bay, South, was nine miles, and some others farther away. Whaley built a larger store in 1885 when he succeeded in getting a post office established there for the convenience of the settlement, which was granted upon condition that he make provisions at his own expense, for transporting the mail twice each week. Tuesdays and Fridays, from Opine to the new post office which the Washington authority named Hallton.

 
L & N Railroad Depot in Opp
Henry Opp

The City of Opp is named after Henry Opp, a lawyer of German descent who worked for the L & N Railroad. Opp lived and practiced law in Andalusia, Alabama in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and also served as Mayor of Andalusia from 1899 to 1906. In 1901, the Central of Georgia Railroad tried to prevent the L & N Railroad from surveying a right-of-way into Covington County; however, Mr. Opp successfully defended the L & N’s case in court, thereby enabling the railroad to complete the survey and ultimately establish the railroad line which now passes through the city of Opp. The railroad forked, with one arm traveling south and the other continuing east. Because this provided a good “turning around” place for trains, and because it was already inhabited to a small degree, a little town was laid out on the site with the encouragement of the railroad. In appreciation to Mr. Henry Opp for being directly responsible for the railroad’s existence through the area, the L & N encouraged the people to name the town after Mr. Opp.

Cited from the following published work:

Covington County History 1821- 1976 By: Gus J. and Ruby R. Bryan First Edition Second Printing Covington Publishing Co., Inc. Copyright 1976 by The Opp Historical Society, Inc. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 85-233514. First Edition Published 1976 Second Printing 1999 “Covington County History: 1821-1976” by Gus J. and Ruby R. Bryan Published by The Opp Historical Society, Inc. Printed by Covington Publishing Co., Inc. Printed in the United States of America