Foley, located in the gulf coast region of Alabama, is in the fastest growing county in
the state, Baldwin County.
Foley was named for its founder, John B. Foley of Chicago, who was primarily responsible for the development of South Baldwin County. As Foley was traveling to President McKinley's funeral in 1901, he met a railroad agent who told him of the area in South Baldwin County. Foley came down the following year, and he liked what he saw and bought up to between 40,000 acres and 50,000 acres of land. He then returned to Chicago and formed the Magnolia Land Company. As he began to sell off acreage, he realized the need for a better way for the people to come to Foley. He convinced his St. Paul prep school friend, Cornelius Vanderbilt, to put a railroad station in Foley.
Foley used some of his own money to lay the rails so the train could come from Bay Minette. The first railroad station was built in 1905. The original station burned in 1908 and was replaced the following year by the station that is now the City's museum. John Foley donated parcels of land for a school and churches. These included the current Catholic Church, Saint Margret of Scotland, the Baptist church and the Methodist church.
The first train to service Foley was a wood burner called the "Pine Knot Special." It would leave Foley in the morning and make a return trip in the afternoon. As people cleared the land, they would place lighter knots in a wood box for the engineer to use as was needed. Foley was incorporated in 1915 with G. I. Weatherly serving as its first mayor.
For you college football fans, Foley is also the hometown of Ken "The Snake" Stabler and more recently known football player Julio Jones.