Verbena United Methodist Church was the first church constructed in Verbena, Alabama in 1877.
Verbena, also known as Summerfield, is an unincorporated community in southeastern Chilton County, Alabama, United States. Named for the indigenous flower, Verbena developed into a popular resort location for the more affluent citizenry of Montgomery, the state’s capital, during the yellow fever outbreaks of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many stately homes, some of which have undergone recent renovation and restoration, line the streets of the town as a reminder of this historic past.
The town was built beside the railroad currently owned by CSX Transportation. In its heyday, Verbena had two hotels, a bank, a post office, and a general store. Many of those buildings are gone or boarded up today, but the Verbena United Methodist Church still stands on County Road 59 near the town’s center.
According to the U.S. Census in 1890, Verbena showed a population of 756, making it the largest community in Chilton County at that time.
Clanton, Alabama was founded by Alfred Baker in 1868, when Chilton County was formed. Clanton was named in honor of General James H. Clanton, a brigadier in the Confederate States Army, and was incorporated on April 23, 1873. Baker was also elected first mayor of the town. Nearby Lay Lake Dam and Mitchell Dam became Alabama Power’s first two dams in the state, bringing economic improvements to the area. Immigrants played a part in starting the county’s peach industry more than a century ago. Today, the peach industry is the number one industry in Chilton County, not only bringing fame to the county, but also millions of dollars to the local economy. The city of Clanton constructed a water tower in the form of a peach in 1993, becoming a landmark for travelers along Interstate 65.