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Walter Henley

Walter Ervin Henley (born January 30, 1877 in Birmingham; died December 13, 1961 in Birmingham) was a coal mining executive and bank president.

Henley was the oldest of three sons born to John Henley and his wife, the former Annie Linn, daughter of pioneer banker, Charles Linn. John Henley worked for his father-in-law as bookkeeper for the National Bank of Birmingham, and later served as vice-president of its successor, the First National Bank of Birmingham.

Walter Henley attended Birmingham City Schools. He served two years in the Alabama National Guard just prior to the Spanish-American War, and then enrolled at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama in Auburn.

Henely followed his father into banking, first as a clerk at First National, and then as a teller at the Birmingham Trust & Savings Bank. He left banking in 1901 to co-found the Little Cahaba Coal Company at Piper, which he served as general manager and treasurer. In 1905 Little Cahaba acquired the nearby Blocton-Cahaba Coal Company at Coleanor.

Henley resumed his association with the Birmingham Trust & Savings Bank as a director. In 1925 he was elected to succeed the late T. O. Smith as president of the bank, a position he held for more than 25 years. He also served as president and chairman of the Birmingham Realty Company. Henley served as a member of the National Coal Commission, as president of the Alabama Bankers' Association, and as president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

After his father's death in 1909, Henley managed his mother's estate, and served as executor at her death in 1921. Henley died in 1961 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery. The Linn-Henley Charitable Trust, which awards grant funds to religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational organizations operating in Jefferson County, was established by Henley's will.


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