Coosa River Project

William Patrick Lay & Alabama Power Company

A story that I find in an old newspaper will often lead to another more interesting story. That is the case with the William Patrick Lay item that I found in a 1968 Gadsden, Alabama newspaper.

I found this item when I was looking at the Gadsden Times newspaper that was in the Google News Archive list. I picked this particular newspaper because the dates that Google had for the collection did not seem correct.

Whenever I see a collection that starts in 1867 and goes through to 2007 I get suspicious and take a closer look at it. I was correct about this collection, the dates were wrong.

The Gadsden Times editors were running special issues of older front pages and the photo copy titles gave the older date for the newspaper and not the actual date of the newspaper.

Newspaper Collection
Newspaper Collection
Old Front Page
Old Front Page

I wrote about this photocopy problem (wrong date used in title of collection) in: Owosso, Michigan – The Argus Press, January 27, 2013

As I was looking at the dates I noticed an item with a picture of a person (William Patrick Lay) and went on to read the article.

William Patrick Lay
William Patrick Lay

Capt. William Patrick Lay

Gadsden, Alabama
Gadsden, Etowah, Alabama, USA

born 1853 at Cedar Bluff
Cedar Bluff-Gaylesville, Cherokee, Alabama, USA

1870 moved to Gadsden
purchased lumber business

1876 married Laura Josephine Hollingsworth
dau of Maj. W. P. Hollingsworth.

1902 built a dam and power plant at Wesson Mill on Big W— Creek near Attalla

with son Earl Lay he organized Alabama Power Co. in Etowah Co.

died 21 Nov 1940

[The screen prints here are just for reference; the complete articles must be read in the newspaper .]

Whenever I see a picture in the newspaper I figure it would be a nice addition to some family tree so I review the article to see if there is enough information within the article to allow me to find a family tree for the item. In this case there was enough information and I did find family trees for it but there was also a more interesting story within the William Lay article.

That new story was about the development of the Coosa River and Alabama Power Company. It seems that Capt. Lay had always looked at the Coosa River as a viable commercial waterway and in 1968 there would be a large development project on the Coosa River.

1968 Project
1968 Project
Coosa River
Coosa River

The whole purpose of this posting is to show that one story may lead to another story and can lead to a larger audience. All stories big or small are important to someone and if you have the opportunity to document a story, do so because you never know what other story may come from it and you never know who will be interested in reading the story.

Thank You

To View the Original item,
Select Gadsden Times in box below:

Gadsden, Alabama
Gadsden Times
1867 (1968)

6 thoughts on “Coosa River Project

Add yours

  1. Thank You. There are so many good stories out there it is hard to pick which one to write about.
    Take Care.

  2. My husband’s great grandfather was William Patrick Lay! Thank you so much for this article. We are just getting interested in chasing our genealogy, and this article was such an exciting, wonderful way to start. Thank you!
    -Catherine Lay

    1. Catherine Lay, thank you for stopping by my blog. I am glad that I was able to give you a little piece of history from your family. I look forward to seeing your progress on your tree and hope that I can help you in the future.
      Take Care.

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