Alexander City, Alabama

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Alexander City, Alabama
City
The Alexander City Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 22, 2000.
The Alexander City Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 22, 2000.
Official seal of Alexander City, Alabama
Seal
Nickname(s): Alex City
Motto: Hope. Courage. Pride.
Location of Alexander City in Tallapoosa County, Alabama.
Location of Alexander City in Tallapoosa County, Alabama.
Alexander City, Alabama is located in the US
Alexander City, Alabama
Alexander City, Alabama
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°55′59″N 85°56′10″W / 32.93306°N 85.93611°W / 32.93306; -85.93611
Country United States
State Alabama
County Tallapoosa
Founded 1872
Government
 • Mayor James Nabors (R)
Area [1]
 • Total 42.28 sq mi (109.50 km2)
 • Land 41.99 sq mi (108.76 km2)
 • Water 0.29 sq mi (0.74 km2)
Elevation 705 ft (215 m)
Population ( 2010) [2]
 • Total 14,875
 • Estimate (2016) [3] 14,773
 • Density 349.41/sq mi (134.91/km2)
Time zone CST ( UTC-6)
 • Summer ( DST) CDT ( UTC-5)
ZIP code 35010-35011
Area code(s) 256
FIPS code 01-01132
GNIS feature ID 0112981
Website www.alexandercityonline.com

Alexander City, known to locals as "Alex City", is a city in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States, with a population of some 14,875. It is known for Lake Martin with its 750 miles (1,210 km) of wooded shoreline and 44,000 acres (180 km2) of water. Lake Martin stands on the Tallapoosa River and offers boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, and camping. Many neighborhoods and luxury homes are located on the lake.

The city's economy was traditionally based on the textile industry, but in recent times its economic base has become more diversified as textile jobs have gone elsewhere.

History

Alexander City was incorporated in 1872 as Youngsville, after its founder James Young. In 1873, the Savannah and Memphis Railroad came to the city. The city was renamed in honor of the railroad's President Edward Porter Alexander, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg for the Confederate States. [4]

On June 13, 1902, at 1 pm, a fire broke out in the Alexander City Machine shop and destroyed much of the town. At the time, Alexander City did not have a water system and all buildings, including the telegraph office, post office and three banks were burned. [5]

"Municipal Debtors' Prison"

The Southern Poverty Law Center reached a $680,000 settlement in March, 2017, in its lawsuit against the Alabama city of Alexander and its police Chief Willie Robinson. The settlement was for depriving 190 of its residents their rights to due process (6th Amendment) and the unlawful seizure of their property (4th Amendment). Chief Robinson has even been asked to resign by lawyers representing their client, and was effectively fired by the City Council in January 2017.

Each one of the 190 individuals will receive $500 cash from the city for jailing them for being too poor to pay the fines imposed on them by the town. As reported by AL.com, “Hundreds of impoverished residents have faced unconstitutional and unjust treatment in Alexander City simply because they were too poor to pay fines and fees,” said Sam Brooke, in a press release. Brooke is the SPLC’s deputy legal director. He added, “The shuttering of this modern-day debtors’ prison, along with the monetary award, brings justice to many of the people who were unfairly targeted for being poor.” A resident would receive a speeding ticket, for example. If they were unable to pay, they were arrested, taken to jail, and forced to remain there. While in jail, they would earn $20 a day for just being in jail, and $40 a day for doing laundry, cleaning, or washing police cruisers, until the total sum of the fine was paid in full. Each person was NOT allowed to go before a judge, nor to have a lawyer present to help in aid in their defense. [6]

Geography

Alexander City is located at 32°55′59″N 85°56′10″W / 32.93306°N 85.93611°W / 32.93306; -85.93611 (32.933157, -85.936008). [7]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.0 square miles (101.0 km2), of which 38.8 square miles (100.5 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) (0.44%) is water.

Alexander City is located on U.S. Route 280. Birmingham is 60 miles (97 km) to the north, Auburn is 40 miles (64 km) southeast and Montgomery is 50 miles (80 km) south-southwest of Alexander City.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Alexander City has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. [8]

Climate data for Alexander City, Alabama
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 14
(58)
17
(62)
20
(68)
25
(77)
29
(84)
32
(89)
33
(91)
33
(91)
29
(85)
25
(77)
19
(67)
14
(58)
24
(76)
Average low °C (°F) 1
(34)
2
(36)
4
(40)
9
(48)
13
(56)
17
(63)
19
(66)
18
(65)
16
(60)
9
(48)
3
(38)
1
(33)
9
(49)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 130
(5.1)
132
(5.2)
165
(6.5)
150
(5.9)
94
(3.7)
109
(4.3)
132
(5.2)
94
(3.7)
100
(4)
58
(2.3)
100
(4)
130
(5)
1,400
(55.1)
Source: Weatherbase [9]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 796
1890 679 −14.7%
1900 1,061 56.3%
1910 1,710 61.2%
1920 2,293 34.1%
1930 4,519 97.1%
1940 6,640 46.9%
1950 6,430 −3.2%
1960 13,140 104.4%
1970 12,358 −6.0%
1980 13,807 11.7%
1990 14,917 8.0%
2000 15,008 0.6%
2010 14,875 −0.9%
Est. 2016 14,773 [3] −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census [10]
2013 Estimate [11]

Alexander City was the principal city of the former Alexander City Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covered Coosa and Tallapoosa counties [12] and had a combined population of 53,677 at the 2000 census. [13] The micropolitan statistical area was removed in 2013 by the United States Office of Management and Budget. [14]

2000 census

As of the census [13] of 2000, there were 15,008 people, 6,152 households, and 4,134 families residing in the city. The population density was 386.6 people per square mile (149.3/km²). There were 6,855 housing units at an average density of 176.6 per square mile (68.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.56% White, 28.37% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.49% from two or more races. 0.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,152 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 16.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 84.6 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 78.3 men.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,309, and the median income for a family was $38,881. Males had a median income of $30,392 versus $20,705 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,305. About 15.0% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.7% of those under age 18 and 13.6% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census [13] of 2010, there were 14,875 people, 6,064 households, and 4,050 families residing in the city. The population density was 383.4 people per square mile (148.0/km²). There were 6,834 housing units at an average density of 176.1 per square mile (68/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 62.2% White, 32.0% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 3.8% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. 4.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,064 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 26.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.8 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 90.9 men.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,782, and the median income for a family was $44,455. Males had a median income of $34,515 versus $31,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,097. About 17.0% of families and 20.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.7% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Alexander City uses a mayor-council government. The government consists of a mayor who is elected at large. The city council consists of six members who are elected from one of six districts.

The city has a police department.

In April 2013, Former Alexander City Police Officer Michael Ford was sentenced to a total of 89 years in State Prison. Ford, 49, pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to one count of incest, one count of second-degree sexual abuse, three counts of second-degree sodomy and five counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old, according to Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Duerr with the Fifth Judicial Circuit. [15]

On April 25, 2016, Mayor Charles Shaw and his wife charged with assault following council meeting brawl with a member of the city council. [16]

Randy Walters, a current police supervisor, plead guilty to tampering with evidence in the Ford sex abuse case.

Education

Alexander City Public Schools are part of the Alexander City Schools district.

Schools in the district include Jim Pearson Elementary School, Nathaniel H. Stephens Elementary School, William L. Radney Elementary School, Alexander City Middle School and Benjamin Russell High School.

Dr. J. Darrell Cooper is the Superintendent of Schools. [17]

Economy

Russell Corporation, maker of Russell Athletic, Cross Creek, Jerzees, and Country Cottons apparel, was founded in 1902 and was the largest employer in the city until around 2012. On April 17, 2006, Russell Corporation was bought by Berkshire Hathaway/ Fruit of the Loom for an estimated $600 million. Since about 1998, the number of workers employed by Russell Corporation in Alex City has been steadily declining. More than 6,500 jobs have been lost as most operations have moved offshore and management is now headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky. As of 2012, most of the manufacturing has been closed in Alex City and the majority of buildings are empty.

Transportation

T.C. Russell Field Airport (KALX), off U.S. Highway 280 adjacent to the Airport Industrial Park, is owned and maintained by the City of Alexander City. [18] KALX does not provide scheduled passenger services. The nearest major airports are Birmingham and Montgomery.

Alexander City has no railway station. The nearest rail passenger services are provided at Anniston, which is served daily by Amtrak's The Crescent to Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.

Alexander City has no scheduled intercity bus service. There is a service provided by Arise Transportation that schedules one stop rides with a 24-hour advance notice.

Media

Alexander City is served by the Montgomery-Selma Designated Market Area (DMA). Charter Communications provides cable television service. DirecTV and Dish Network provide direct broadcast satellite television including both local and national channels to area residents. Local Radio station: WKGA "Kowaliga Country" 97.5 Local Television station: WAXC-TV Channel 2 on charter

Notable people

Gallery


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