The town of Baileyton was incorporated on January 31, 1973 with a mayor-council form of government. Mr. A. R. (Rolfe) Burks, a Baileyton native, served as mayor from 1973 until his death in 1990. Members of the first town council included: Bobby Martin, Burl Shedd, Ralph Walker, James Howell and Leon McElroy. Others serving on the council down through the years include: Robert Roper, Troyce Hadley, Roy Shedd and Greg Hendrix. Billy John White served as town clerk from 1973-1990.
Following Mayor Burks' death, Dr. Paul C. Bailey, great-grandson of Baileyton's founder, Robert Bailey, was to fill the remaining two years of Mr. Burks' unexpired term. Mayor Bailey was elected to a four-year term in 1992, re-elected in 1996 and again in 2000. Council members for the term 1996-2000 included Bobby Martin, James Fulmer, Joe Golden, Wendell Guthrie and Joe Hendrix were elected for the 1996 – 2000 term. The Town of Baileyton recently elected its government officials to include: Wendell Guthrie, Bobby Martin, Sandra Parker, Donald VanZandt, and Joe Golden. Mrs. Ruth Walker Rodgers has served as town clerk since 1990.
The present town hall was purchased from Walker Brothers Building Supply in 1975. Two years later the Town purchased 43 acres of land from the Sam Guthrie estate and began developing a park.. It was officially named the A. R. Burks Recreational Park in honor of the town's first mayor. One of the first official acts of the new town council under the leadership of Mayor Rolfe Burks, was to purchase a brand new fire truck. Lige Ryan owned the first cotton gin in the area, followed by Robert Bailey. Both were operated by mules and required a whole day to gin one bale of cotton.
Some accomplishments of the residing government include the new Post Office that was moved into in 1998, Peoples bank opened a branch in the Baileyton SuperMarket, the Baileyton Pharmacy opened in 1999, Baileyton Medical Clinic opened its doors in 1996 and 23.5 acres of land was purchased by the town for an Industrial Park to be established. At the present time, three businesses reside on this land. The businesses include: Custom Impressions, Accu-pak and Parkside Restaurant. Plans are in the process for growth at the Industrial park and also Peoples Bank is building at the intersection of Alabama Hwy 69 and Fire Station Road across from the Post Office.
The name of Baileyton was bestowed upon the Post Office established on August 21, 1882, with John Tilley as postmaster. It was discontinued to Ryan on April 6, 1883 and re-established six months later with Gilbert C. Cordell as postmaster. The Post Office was located in Cordell's general merchandise store just west of the present Post Office on the Baileyton-Fairview road (adjoining the old Loda G. Burks property.) The two-story frame building is believed to be Baileyton's first store. Old photos with the Post Office sign out front show that it was later owned by W. H. Martin whose daughter, Marietta, was postmistress from 1899 to 1907.
John B. Burks contracted for a Star Route from Cullman to Warrenton in 1891 and established headquarters at Baileyton. The route to Warrenton in Marshall County by way of Joppa, May Apple, Arab and Grassy, and a second route to Cullman by way of Welcome, Etha, Lloyd and Simcoe established the first daily mail service between the two-points. Carriers were Loda G. Burks and F. E. Burks who carried the mail in saddlebags on horseback.
Two rural routes were established in 1904 with L. G. Burks and J. L. Taylor as carriers. Within a year, two routes served by T. B. Hodge and J. H. Smith had been added. Early transportation was by horse and buggy. The routes were later consolidated and L. G. Burks served as carrier. Both E. W. Tipton (1905-1938) and E. M. Hancock (1938-65) have the distinction of serving this route for three decades.
The Baileyton Post Office was moved into the first Post Office building on the main highway in 1936. It was a fourth class station until July 1944, when it became a third class facility, which is the present status. A new building on the original site (Hwy. 69) was opened in 1968. The one rural route covered 59 miles daily in 1972.
In 1998, Baileyton Post Office was modernized when we saw the doors of our new Post Office open for the first time. The Post Master is Patty Harbaugh. The facility is centrally located at the intersection of Alabama Hwy. 69 and Fire Station Road.
Local citizens built a subscription school around 1885. The one-room unpainted frame building was located across the road north of the cemetery on land donated by Gilbert C. Cordell. Professor Doggett taught the school in 1888-89. Prof. B. C. Burks, P. P. McAnnally, Miss Daisy Ryan and Miss Ollie Burden were among the teachers in the 1890's. Fifty students were enrolled during the winter session of 1900.
In 1916, a two-story, four-room school was built east of the present post office (on property now owned by Howard Burden.) The school went to the eleventh grade but was reduced to nine grades around 1927. Two additional rooms were added when Mt. Pisgah and Eidson Chapel schools were consolidated with Baileyton in 1930-32.
An appearance at this school in 1936 by an unknown entertainer named Sarah Ophelia Colley of Centreville, Tenn. led to the birth of one of the (Nashville) Grand Ole Opry's most famous and beloved stars who related the story on a national television program, "This Is Your Life," in 1957.
It all began when a local couple, Jim and Matilda Burden, went up to Miss Colley after the show and invited her to spend a few days with them. During the visit, Mrs. Burden entertained her guest with many homespun tales told in a pure southern style. When Miss Colley later repeated the stories to her friends in Tennessee, they were delighted and kept urging her to repeat them at every opportunity. Gradually, Miss Colley created a comedy act which she made famous as Minnie Pearl. After joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1940, Miss Colley (now Mrs. Henry Cannon) returned for a show date at Minnie Pearl's birthplace.
The Hulaco School was consolidated with Baileyton in 1947. Two years later, a modern brick and glass with eight classrooms and a combination-auditorium was constructed on the site of a former air strip across the road west of the cemetery. A lunchroom was added in 1953, followed by a library and additional classrooms in 1964. The gymnasium was severely damaged when a tornado ripped through the area in 1977. Extensive renovations were made along with repairs.
The 1970-71 enrollment was 228 students. James W. Meherg was Principal over eight faculty members, a librarian and one Head Start teacher with twelve preschoolers.
Following a tornado on February 16, 1994, which completely destroyed the Joppa school, the faculty and 80 students were transferred to the Baileyton school and housed in temporary classrooms for the remainder of the 1993-94 school year. The Joppa faculty and students officially consolidated with Baileyton at the beginning of the 1994-95 school year under the leadership of Edward Dahlke, principal at Baileyton.
Due to a countywide mandate by the State Board of Education, the ninth grade of all Jr. High Schools in Cullman County were transferred to area high schools at the beginning of the 1996-97 school year. Baileyton thus became a kindergarten through eighth grade facility with a student enrollment of 251. There are currently sixteen teachers and one aide in nine classrooms in the main building and four portable classrooms. Other staff members include a part-time librarian, two part-time custodians and five full-time lunchroom workers.
A new school for grade kindergarten through eight has been constructed and moved into during January 1998. Dr. and Mrs. Myron McEachern of Tampa, Florida donated forty-two acres of land for the new school in memory of Mrs. McEachern's father, Jesse Smith, whose father originally settled the property. The entire tract of property, located across from Baileyton Methodist Church at the junction of Highway 69 and Grandiflora Road, was deeded by the Town of Baileyton to the Cullman County School Board as the site for the new school. The C. D. Walker family of Baileyton (owners of Walker Brothers LTD., ) made a contribution of $2,000,000 toward the construction of the new school.
Parkside School was moved into in February of 199 with Mr. Edward Dahlke at the helm. After a successful start to a new school, Mr. Dahlke retired in the summer of 1999 and now enjoys farming and traveling. Mr. Ronald Barnes was hired in 1999 to take over as Principal of Parkside School. Mr. Barnes is a Graduate of Jacksonville State, Alabama A&M and the University of Alabama. Parkside presently has 335 students. Some folks say that Parkside has the best lunches in Cullman County.
The Baileyton Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1881, in the home of Robert Bailey. As attendance outgrew the small quarters, services were moved to the Bailey cotton gin located just south of the present Post Office.
The Methodist congregation transferred worship services from the cotton gin to the school house after its establishment in 1885. Fifteen years later, a handsome clapboard church with a tall steeple was built west of the general merchandise store/Post Office building on the Baileyton/Fairview road. The land was purchased from J.W. Holmes and trustees W.M. Ward, J. B. Burks and John Ogletree signed the deeds, dated August 21, 1900. Witnesses were A.H. Holder, R. M. Biggers, and S. A. McClarty.
The Rev. G. C. McGlathery (1885) and the Rev. George W. Green (1887) are the first pastors of which there is a record. A parsonage was built behind the Elrod cotton gin on land donated by Jacob Elrod sometime during this period. For several years the Baileyton Charge was made up of the Baileyton, Fairview, Pleasant Grove, Pleasant Ridge, Holly Pond, Joppa and Higgins Chapel (Brooklyn churches. Fairview and Holly Pond were removed when their parsonages were built. Union Hill was added in 1943. Pleasant Ridge, located in the edge of Morgan County was discontinued in 1949.
A storm severely damaged the Baileyton Methodist Episcopal Church, South in 1946. The following year a block church with full basement was erected at the present site on the Cullman-Guntersville Hwy (69) north of the Post Office. Brick veneer, a completely remodeled sanctuary, classrooms, kitchen facilities and central heat and air conditioning were added in 1966. A parsonage home next to the church was purchased in 1950. It was sold in 1971. A new brick parsonage located on the Brooklyn-Holly Pond road was built in 1981 on property originally owned by the son of the church's founder.