|Motto: "City of Progress"|
Location in Coffee County and the state of Alabama
|• Mayor||Kenneth W. Boswell|
|• Total||31.3 sq mi (81.1 km2)|
|• Land||31.2 sq mi (80.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||358 ft (109 m)|
|• Density||850/sq mi (328.3/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0118005|
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County and the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside of Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
Enterprise is home to Enterprise State Community College.
Founding of the Boll Weevil Monument
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
The way of life in Enterprise came under threat in 1915. An infestation of boll weevils had found its way into the region's cotton crops, resulting in the destruction of most of the cotton in Coffee County. Facing economic ruin, the nearly bankrupt area farmers were forced to diversify, planting peanuts and other crops in an effort to lessen the damage and recoup some of the losses inflicted upon them by the invading insect.
Two years later, Coffee County was the leading producer of peanuts in the United States. Enterprise was able not only to stave off disaster, but its economy was renewed by the thriving new crop base. In appreciation, the people of Enterprise erected a monument in the city center to what the monument describes as their "herald of prosperity"; the boll weevil. The Boll Weevil Monument was dedicated on December 11, 1919, as a reminder of how the city adjusted in the face of adversity. It is the only monument to an agricultural pest in the world.
March 2007 tornado
In the early afternoon of Thursday, March 1, 2007, Enterprise was hit by a devastating tornado (rated EF4) during the February–March 2007 Tornado Outbreak. The tornado caused nine deaths, injured over 121 others, and left severe damage in the city estimated at nearly $307,000,000, becoming the worst disaster in Enterprise history. The worst damage occurred at Enterprise High School, where eight students died after one hallway was almost completely destroyed. A quarter-mile (400 m) wide swath through the downtown area was devastated, with at least 370 houses damaged or destroyed. The National Guard was called into the city, and a dusk-to-dawn curfew was implemented immediately after the disaster. President Bush, who arrived the morning of Saturday, March 3, declared the county a disaster area. An AmeriCorps team was sent to the city to help organize and participate in disaster relief.
As of June 2008 the Hillcrest Elementary School which was destroyed during the tornado was being rebuilt at the site of the former Enterprise High School. The high school was to be relocated to the west end of the Boll Weevil Circle. It was due to be rebuilt by the 2010–11 school year at a cost of over $80,000,000. Until then the students were required to go to school at the local community college where they built trailers to add classrooms. The high school was rebuilt and reopened on August 23, 2010.
As of the 2000 census, there were 21,178 people, 8,533 households, and 5,973 families residing in the city. The population density was 684.2 people per square mile (264.2/km2). There were 9,641 housing units at an average density of 311.5 per square mile (120.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.62% White, 22.95% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 1.60% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 1.27% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.88% of the population.
There were 8,533 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.0% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,661, and the median income for a family was $45,510. Males had a median income of $37,131 versus $20,560 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,493. About 10.7% of families and 13.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.0% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.
Enterprise is served by Enterprise City Schools. Enterprise is also home to Enterprise State Community College, (formerly known as Enterprise State Junior College). A two-year college, the Enterprise campus is home to the Boll Weevils.
"Force Majeure", a composition for symphonic band by Rob Grice (published in 2009 by Birch Island Music Press) is dedicated to Enterprise High School "03-01-2007 – We Shall Never Forget". The piece was featured by the North Star Wind Symphony in concert on March 11, 2010, at the Lone Star College-North Harris campus.
Enterprise is home to the BamaJam Music Festival featuring multiple acts performing on different stages in three days. Attendance has reached as high as 100,000 each night. In 2008, headliners included Hank Williams, Jr., ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Trace Adkins, and in 2009, headliners included Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Charlie Daniels, Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn, The Black Crowes, and Kid Rock.
- Kendrick Adams, NFL outside linebacker
- Curly Chalker, country and jazz pedal steel guitarist
- Clint Crisher, R&B singer
- Juli Crockett, retired professional boxer, playwright, and theater director
- Jimmy DuBose, former NFL player
- Terry Everett, former representative from Alabama's 2nd congressional district
- Mark Fuller, federal judge for the U. S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
- Kenneth A. Gibson, former mayor of Newark, New Jersey
- David Howard, former NFL linebacker
- April Hunter, professional wrestler and model
- Jamey Johnson, country music artist born in Enterprise
- Jimmy McClain, NFL player
- Michael McDowell, screenwriter and author of several Southern Gothic novels
- Ben Paschal, reserve outfielder for the 1927 Yankees
- Thomas Virgil Pittman, former federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
- Cedric Smith, former NFL running back
- Aud Tuten, former NHL player with the Chicago Black Hawks (1941–43)
- Mark Wilkerson, lead singer of Course of Nature and husband of Melissa Joan Hart
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Enterprise has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Enterprise city, Alabama". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "History of Enterprise". City of Enterprise. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- Fleming, Jack; Fleming, Carolyn (2007). Thinking Places: Where Great Ideas Were Born. Trafford Publishing. pp. 275–276. ISBN 978-1-4251-2585-1.
- "Tornado Outbreak of March 1–2, 2007". National Weather Service. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- Peterson's (2009). Two-Year Colleges – 2010 (Peterson's Two Year Colleges). 978-0768926880. p. 58.
- About Us. The Southeast Sun: Site.
- Contact us. The Enterprise Ledger
- "Official site of Bama Jam". Retrieved December 21, 2010.
- Climate Summary for Enterprise, Alabama
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Enterprise, Alabama.|
- City of Enterprise official website
- Enterprise Chamber of Commerce
- Enterprise Public Library
- The Enterprise Ledger