The first settlement on the site was a village named Bennet (spelling varies depending on the source), but it came to be known as Loxley around 1900, when Michigan native John Loxley established a lumber camp among the virgin pine forests of southern Alabama. The camp included a sawmill and a small-gauge railroad to haul the timber. Many of the workers who were drawn to the camp remained as citizens of the town. When the lumber in the area was depleted, Loxley and his family left, possibly moving to Louisiana. In 1906, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad ran a line through Loxley, originally to end at Fort Morgan, but it was never finished.
They first schoolhouse in Loxley was built in 1908, followed by a three-room building in 1911. High school-age students in Loxley had to travel by train to Bay Minette for their education in the early part of the century. The train came to be known as the Pine Knot Special because it would stop every few miles and passengers would disembark to gather pine knots to fire the engine. The abundantly available wood along the line was the product of a 1906 hurricane that blew down many of the nearby pine groves. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad switched to wood-burning engines to take advantage of the free fuel.
By 1920, a number of businesses had been established in Loxley, ranging from an egg shop to a cement block plant. During WWII, Loxley was home one of several prisoner of war (POW) camps housing German and sometimes Italian soldiers. Prisoners in Loxley were used for labor in nearby sawmills. Loxley was incorporated in 1957. In 1965, a fire destroyed the old train depot and surrounding storage sheds, marking an end to the railroad era in Loxley.
Loxley's population according to the 2010 Census was 1,632. Of that number, 84.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 9.4 percent as African American, 5.1 percent as Hispanic, 1.5 percent as two or more races, 0.7 percent as Native American, and 0.6 percent as Asian. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $36,042, and the per capita income was $19,796.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Loxley was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (20.6 percent)
· Retail trade (15.7 percent)
· Construction (12.3 percent)
· Manufacturing (11.4 percent)
· Wholesale trade (8.2 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.1 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (5.5 percent)
· Public administration (4.7 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (4.7 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (4.3 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (3.2 percent)
· Information (2.2 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.0 percent)
Schools in Loxley are part of the Baldwin County School System; the town has approximately 355 students and 21 teachers in one elementary school.
County Road 64 runs east-west through Loxley, and U.S. Highway 90/State Highway 59 runs north-south. Interstate Highway 10 runs east-west through the extreme northern part of town. Summerdale Nolf Airport is located 12 miles to the southeast and serves general aviation.
Events and Places of Interest
Loxley has two municipal parks that feature baseball fields, walking trails, children's playground, pavilions, and a horseshoe pit.
The Baldwin County Strawberry Festival is held on the second weekend of April each year. It includes such events as car and tractor shows, a Little Miss Strawberry Pageant, arts and crafts booths, and food vendors.
St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Loxley is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Baldwin County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Baldwin County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2001.
Nuzum, Kay. A History of Baldwin County. Fairhope, Ala.: Page and Palette, Inc., 1971.
James P. Kaetz
Published August 31, 2012
Last updated September 4, 2012