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Midway

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Midway is located in eastern Bullock County, in southeastern Alabama. It has a mayor-city council form of government.
History
Old Merritt School in Midway
The earliest settler in Midway, originally located in Barbour County, was likely Samuel Feagin, who became a land broker and the first postmaster. He also built a small inn, ran a store, and operated a stagecoach stop. Feagin's son, James Madison Feagin, organized the Midway Guards during the Second Creek War (1836-37) when many homes in the area were burned and settlers were driven off their land by the Creeks. The outfit would become the Midway Southern Guards and join the Fifteenth Alabama Infantry Regiment, which fought in many important Civil War battles in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. By 1838, the first post office had been established, and the area apparently was already called Midway. The Battle of Pea River, a conflict during the Second Creek War (1836-37), took place in the area in 1837.
By 1855, the town had grown enough to support four physicians, three churches, and a school. The town became part of Bullock County when it was formed in 1866. In 1870, the town incorporated, and the Montgomery and Eufaula Railroad came through in the early 1870s. In the mid-1870s, much of the business district was destroyed by fire, but the area was rebuilt by 1878. Midway's population peaked at around 800 in 1880.
Demographics
According to 2016 Census estimates, Midway recorded a population of 702. Of that number, 97.3 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American and 2.7 percent as white. The town's median household income was $24,722, and the per capita income was $15,968.
Employment
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Midway was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Manufacturing (49.1 percent)
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (14.4 percent)
  • Public administration (10.3 percent)
  • Retail trade (9.2 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (6.6 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (3.0 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (2.6 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (2.6 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (2.2 percent)
Education
Schools in Midway are part of the Bullock County School District; the town has one elementary school.
Transportation
Midway is bisected by U.S. Highway 82 (east-west) and State Highway 51 (north-south). The Montgomery Regional Airport is located 40 miles to the northwest of Midway.
Events and Places of Interest
The Merritt School, a Rosenwald school, is located near Midway. Built in 1921 on two acres of land donated by Mary Elizabeth Merritt, it was founded as an elementary school for African American children. The school is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. The much-renovated building now serves as a community center. Also on the Alabama Register are the First Baptist Church (ca. 1912), the Old Parsonage of the United Methodist Church (ca. 1888), and the St. James C.M.E. Church (ca. 1883).

Additional Resources

Bullock County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Bullock County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2004.
Published:  August 9, 2011   |   Last updated:  September 30, 2020