The Sadler House is one of eight historic houses in the North Main Street Historic District of Tuskegee, Alabama, included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Charles W. Hare had this home constructed in 1895. The residence is described as a two-story, Queen Anne-style frame house with a corner turret, a hipped roof, and extended cross gables in the National Register of Historic Places nomination form. Two smaller one-story Neoclassical columned porches have been constructed in place of the house’s original porch, which was a single story and simultaneously surrounded two sides of the building. In the 1980s, the façade and interior of the house were meticulously restored. The interior features all original woodwork, an unusual stair with a circular landing at the first-floor level, original very early electric light fixtures, and all original pine carpeting. In addition, the exterior features all original masonry. All the windows are original, including single panes, diamond glazing, and stained-glass panels.
Portrait of Charles W. Hare, Tuskegee College’s trustee and Tuskegee News’s editor, 1915.
On September 20, 1857, Charles Woodrolph Hare was born. By the 1890s, he had become an established attorney and political player in Macon County, in addition to serving as editor of The Chilton View. After purchasing the Tuskegee News in 1895, Hare relocated to Tuskegee. He founded the Screws Monument Association after recommending in 1913 that Alabama editors honor the late William Wallace Screws, a Confederate soldier, Secretary of State for Alabama, and editor of the Montgomery Advisor. When Hare passed away in May of 1930, he had been a member of the State Democratic Executive Committee for two years, worked as an assistant director of munitions during World War I, and was the director of sales for the state’s war department.
C. W. Hare Residence on a vintage postcard of Tuskegee, Alabama.
According to the form sent to the NRHP, the house was rebuilt inside and out with great care in the 1970s. When it was written in 1985, the house was owned by James Harvey Sadler, who then-Governor George Wallace appointed as sheriff of Macon County in 1964 to complete Preston Hornsby’s term as sheriff of Macon County after Hornsby resigned to become a probate judge. Sadler was living in the house at the time the article was composed. Harvey Sadler was a successful industrialist who founded Sadler’s Grocery & Market and the Sadler Oil Company. In 1962, he served as Wallace’s campaign director in Macon County.
Alabama Historical Commission, July 1984
Alabama Historical Commission, July 1984
Soon after taking office as sheriff, Harvey Sadler and Tuskegee found themselves in the national spotlight. Samuel Younge Jr., a black student at Tuskegee Institute who was 21 years old at the time, stopped at a gas station on January 3, 1966, to use the restroom. The attendant at the gas station, 67-year-old Marvin Segrest, refused him admission because it was only for white people, which sparked an argument. According to some witnesses, Younge approached Segrest and asked to use the restroom. Segrest responded by telling Younge he could use the restroom behind the building. Younge said he would use the restroom in the station rather than the one in the rear because it was more convenient. After Segrest ordered that the man leave, the two started yelling curses at each other while he held a revolver to his head. At some point in the proceedings, Younge was seen removing a golf club from the bag of one of the witnesses. From a distance of about 80 feet, Segrest attempted to shoot but was unsuccessful. When Younge heard another gunshot, he ran down an alleyway, was struck by the bullet, and collapsed to the ground. According to the postmortem findings, Samuel Younge Jr. was shot in the face.
Instead of calling the matter “one of these civil rights cases,” Sheriff Sadler referred to it as a “dispute.” Marvin Segrest was arrested and charged with second-degree murder after almost 2,000 Tuskegee students and teachers protested on the town square, where there is a monument to the Confederacy. His attorney and Sheriff Sadler petitioned to relocate the hearing to predominantly white, neighboring Lee County. An all-white jury was chosen for the trial in Opelika in December 1966 after Judge L. J. Tyner authorized the venue change.
During the trial, Segrest gave a statement that lasted three hours. In it, he said that he and the victim had a lot of differences of opinion. The victim once did not pay an ample level for his gas. The subject claimed that when he asked the victim for more money, the victim threw some cash on the ground and said, “There’s the goddamn money. You can lick my goddamn ass.” On another occasion, the victim could not get the type of gas she desired because the location was out of stock. As soon as the victim heard this, they became angry and accused the subject of being an older man and promising physical harm. The attorney representing him in the case claimed that the golf club could have been mistaken for a weapon and referred to the shooting as an “unfortunate accident.” Tom Young, the prosecutor, pointed out that there was a distance of 80 feet between the two persons and added, “I’ve never seen any kind of golf stick that has the range of a.38 pistols.”
The jurors found Marvin Segrest not guilty of murder after deliberating for only 71 minutes. In retaliation, students from Tuskegee University participated in a disturbance in the city’s downtown area, during which they threw rocks and bricks through the windows of white-owned businesses. Black paint was poured over a Confederate monument in protest, and leaves and trash were lit on fire in the city square. Later, in 2008, as part of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007, the FBI conducted another evaluation of the case. However, the investigation was ultimately closed because Segrest passed away in 1986. The case signaled the beginning of the end for local white power. Soon after the trial, Lucius Amerson, a black man of 32 years of age, a former paratrooper, and a veteran of the Korean War, was elected sheriff of Macon County, defeating Sheriff Sadler and becoming the first black sheriff in the South after Reconstruction. Amerson was also the first veteran of the Korean War. Many members of the community were dissatisfied with the results. Some white people believed that Amerson’s primary opponents were other black people. Reverend K. L. Buford, a prominent civil rights movement figure and city council member, spoke out against Amerson and argued that Sadler should have been reelected. After receiving much pushback from the black community, Buford eventually withdrew. The Sadler House has been empty for a long time, despite the building being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Sadler House in January 2023
The Sadler House was covered by foliage in September 2019.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your support. Please share the blog with your friends.
Find More Articles 👇 👇 👇