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Petrey

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Petrey is located in northeastern Crenshaw County in the south-central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
History
George Petrey and his first wife, Martha Ann Blackwater, settled in the area known now known as Petrey about 1850 after the couple moved west from the Carolinas. The town originally was called Forkland, but the name was eventually changed because so many Petreys were living in the area. George Petrey, by several accounts, fathered 24 children with two wives; 12 children with Martha, and another 12 with his second wife, Cinderella Huss. Several of his descendants still live in the town. Located on a branch of the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) Railroad, Petrey was a stop on the ACL circuit that serviced Sellers Station, Lapine, Bradleyton, Patsburg, and Luverne until the company ended passenger service.
Early schools in Petrey reflected the overall population boom, with as many as 250 children in attendance. Businesses in Petrey included cotton and grist mills, a blacksmith, and a hotel. It was a farming community throughout most of the early twentieth century. The Petrey Company, established in 1898 as a retail mercantile business, was one of the largest in town. Today, the company is called W.L. Petrey Company, is headquartered in Luverne, and serves eight states in the southeast. Although a number of Petreys still live in town, many of the younger generations have left the small town for better economic opportunities.
Demographics
Petrey's population according to the 2010 Census was 58. Of that number, 91.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as white and 8.6 percent as African American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $30,417, and the per capita income was $22,912.
Employment
According to the 2010 Census, the workforce in Petrey was divided among the following occupational categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (56.3 percent)
· Wholesale trade (18.8 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (12.5 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (12.5 percent)
Education
Students in Petrey attend Crenshaw County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
Transportation
County Highway 30 (aka Beaver Pond Road) bisects Petrey east-west, then turns sharply to the south as it exits the town's eastern border. County Highway 59 bisects Petrey running north-south.
Events and Places of Interest
Petrey holds an annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Petrey Community Center. It includes live music, food, and fireworks.
Additional Resources
Crenshaw County Heritage Book Committee.The Heritage of Crenshaw County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
Published:  November 29, 2016   |   Last updated:  November 29, 2016