Post office and county seat of Henry County, in the central part of the county, 28 miles south of Eufaula, 14 miles west of the Chattahoochee River, and the terminus of the Abbeville Southern Railway, a branch of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company. It is situated on the high red hills of the pine region of the county, at the junction of two historic stagecoach roads—the Eufaula and Columbia road and the road to Ft. Gaines, Georgia.
The name of the town is taken from Abbey Creek (Indian name, Yatta Abba), which is not far distant. It is one of the oldest settlements in southeastern Alabama. It became the county seat in 1833, but was a fairly populous community long before that date. Part of the town is located on land formerly belonging to Henry A. Young, who donated several streets through his property on the north side of the public square. Population: 1888—600; 1890—465; 1900—889; 1910— 1,141. Altitude: 49 9 feet. The town has an electric lighting plant; and artesian water supply. There are Methodist and Baptist churches. The Third District Agricultural School, with its equipment of substantial, modern brick buildings, is located near the town, on 40 acres of good, arable land. The Bank of Henry (State), and the First National Bank are located there. The Abbeville News, a Democratic weekly newspaper, established in 1900, is published at Abbeville, and there are also several sawmills, gristmills, cotton ginneries, and cottonseed mills.
Among the early settlers or residents were Alexander C. Gordon, merchant and planter, who served his State and county in the militia, in the Creek Indian disturbances of 1836, and as a captain in the Sixth Alabama Infantry Regiment; James Ward, State senator and representative; George W. Williams, lawyer and legislator; James N. Lightfoot; and Gov. William C. Oates.
- Brewer, Alabama (1872), p. 279.
- Northern Alabama (1888), p. 236.
- Polk’s Alabama gazetteer , 1888-9, p. 65.
- Alabama Official and Statistical Register , 1915.