Town Creek’s First African American Business Owner Gets a Historical Marker

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TOWN CREEK, Ala. – Town Creek’s first African American business owner and longest running business owner will be remembered forever thanks to his family. Today they honored Reverend O.C. Stanley with a historical marker.

Tons of O.C. Stanley’s family and friends showed to First Missionary Baptist Church Town Creek for the ceremony. Stanley was a pastor of two churches, he owned O.C. Stanley Grocery and City Cleaners, was a farmer, and a taxi driver.

He opened his store in 1921. “Not only was he an African American, but he was 17-years-old in 1921”, O.C. Stanley’s grandson Wayne Stanley said. He was able to do this even with people saying he couldn’t.

His store was in business for six decades. “He started with two boxes of cookies and a case of drinks. He would sell those and go back and get some more. He borrowed $50 for a gas pump to sell gas,” Wayne Stanley explained.

The gas station is no longer around and O.C. Stanley died in 1987, but his legacy lives on through his family. Town Creek will always be reminded of Stanley too, since a marker is now permanently placed where O.C. Stanley Grocery City Cleaners once stood.

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