Phenix City, Alabama
Aerial view of Phenix City
Location in Russell County and the state of Alabama
|• Mayor||Eddie N. Lowe|
|• Total||24.8 sq mi (64.1 km2)|
|• Land||24.6 sq mi (63.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||243 ft (74 m)|
|• Density||1,139.7/sq mi (469.06/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0155193|
Phenix City is sometimes called a Hub City,[clarification needed] as it lies immediately west of Columbus, Georgia, which is a much larger city. It is included in the Columbus, Georgia-Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area, but a section is located in Lee County, and is, therefore, in the Auburn, Alabama metropolitan area in Alabama.
Currently, the mayor is Eddie N. Lowe, the city's first black mayor elected by the public. The city manager, who holds the task of organizational matters, is Wallace Hunter.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.8 square miles (64 km2), of which, 24.6 square miles (64 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.61%) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Phenix City has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|Climate data for Phenix City, Alabama|
|Average high °F (°C)||57
|Average low °F (°C)||36
|Precipitation inches (mm)||4.1
|Source: Weatherbase |
In the late 19th century, Girard made up most of current downtown Phenix City, while Phenix City was mostly in Lee County. In the early 20th century, the two towns consolidated into the present Phenix City as county lines were redrawn to account for population shifts involved in the Auburn University opening and expansion.
Phenix City was notorious during the 1940s and 1950s for being a haven for organized crime, prostitution, and gambling. Many of its customers came from the United States Army training center at Fort Benning, Georgia. The leaders of the crime syndicate in Phenix City were Jimmie Matthews and Hoyt Sheppard. Albert Patterson, from Phenix City, was elected to become attorney general of Alabama on a platform of reforming the city, but was brutally shot down outside his office on 14th Street. As a result, the city had a negative reputation, and many people still associate this legacy with Phenix City. The Tragedy and the Triumph of Phenix City, Alabama by Margaret Ann Barnes chronicles these events, which led the small town to be known as "Sin City, USA". The bordertown was the subject of an acclaimed film, The Phenix City Story, made in 1955.
Phenix City is home to many Christian churches. The denominations are as follows:
- Roman Catholicism
As of the census of 2000, there were 28,265 people, 11,517 households, and 7,566 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,149.1 people per square mile (443.6/km²). There were 13,250 housing units at an average density of 538.7 per square mile (208.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.94% White, 44.97% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 1.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 11,517 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% 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 2.99.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,720, and the median income for a family was $33,740. Males had a median income of $28,906 versus $21,348 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,619. About 18.8% of families and 21.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.5% of those under age 18 and 20.6% of those age 65 or over.
Although Alabama is legally in the Central Time Zone, Phenix City's proximity to the larger city of Columbus, Georgia causes Phenix City (including its municipal government) and areas within a 10-15 mile radius (such as Smiths Station) to observe Eastern Time on a de facto basis.
Phenix City also receives all major television networks and radio stations from nearby Columbus, Georgia. There are, however, three radio stations licensed in Phenix City: WURY-LP (97.1 FM), WGSY (100.1 FM), and WHAL (1460 AM).
In popular culture
- The character "Maggot" from E.M. Nathanson's novel The Dirty Dozen was from Phenix City.
- The 1955 film The Phenix City Story (directed by Phil Karlson) is a biopic film noir focusing on the rampant crime and corruption in the city (then called "the wickedest city in the United States") and the 1954 murder of newly nominated Alabama Attorney General candidate Albert Patterson.
- Ska saxophonist Rolando Alphonso of the Skatalites had a 1960s hit titled "Phenix City"
- The town gained attention in 1999 when Phenix City National Little League advanced to the final of the Little League World Series.
- The city is mentioned in the film Driving Miss Daisy.
- The city is mentioned in the book The Silence of the Lambs in Chapter 12.
- The city is mentioned as a former bootlegging city by the character played by Robert Mitchum in the film Thunder Road.
- The 2008 novel Wicked City by Ace Atkins is set in Phenix City.
- Jo Jo Benson, former R&B singer
- Hugh A. Bentley, helped reform Phenix City in the 1950s
- Ralph J. Bryant, The first black graduate of Columbus State University & C.E.O of Decatur Capital Management
- Simeon Castille, former NFL cornerback
- Wally Chambers, former NFL defensive tackle
- Harvey Glance, a track and field star in the 1976 Summer Olympics and 1979 Pan Am games
- Aidan Gould, child actor
- Nolan Gould, child actor
- Bishop Harris, former head coach of the North Carolina Central University football team
- Freddie Hart, a country singer who wrote and recorded "Phenix City."A section of 13th Street was named Freddie Hart Parkway in his honor early in the 21st century.
- Tim Hudson, Major League Baseball pitcher
- Billy Jackson, former NFL running back
- Van Jakes, former NFL cornerback
- James Joseph, former NFL running back
- Kasey Kiker, Major League Baseball player
- Boise Kimber, American Baptist minister and civil rights activist
- Herm Lee, former NFL offensive tackle
- Eddie Lowe, former Canadian Football League linebacker
- Woodrow Lowe, Former NFL player, College Football Hall of Fame member, holds record for most tackles at the University of Alabama
- Triandos Luke, former NFL wide receiver
- Joe Meriweather, former NBA player
- John Malcolm Patterson, Governor of Alabama from 1959–63
- Colby Rasmus, center fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays
- David Ray, former NFL placekicker
- Jimmie Spheeris, singer-songwriter
- Rob Spivery, former basketball player and current head basketball coach at Southern University
- Rufus Stokes, inventor
Phenix City Post Office (ZIP Code: 36867)
The Brooks-Hughes House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1983.
The Floyd-Newsome House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1983.
The Morgan-Curtis House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1983.
The Shapre-Monte House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1983.
- "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Best Affordable Suburbs 2007". BusinessWeek. December 13, 2007. Retrieved February 11, 2008.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "EXTREME SETTLEMENTS: A COMPREHENSIVE LIST". Weekend Roady. 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
- Climate Summary for Phenix City, Alabama
- "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on September 28, 2013.
- The Last True Battle
- Churches in Phenix City, Alabama
- Adventist Church Connect - Phenix City
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved May 26, 2014.
- "northamerica". tzdata. IANA. 2012c. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
- "A time zone can be a state of mind". The Huntsville Times. 2005-08-26. p. 2A.
- Grubman, Cathy (1994-10-27). "What Time Is It Anyway? It Depends on Your Location & the Season". The Washington Post.
- "Exceptions, Oddities, and Notes". OnTimeZone.com. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
- The Fall and Rise of Phenix City from The Malefactor's Register
- Up from the Ashes: The Rebirth of Phenix City, a public TV documentary