Prichard, Alabama

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Prichard, Alabama
City
Official seal of Prichard, Alabama
Seal
Nickname(s): "The City Of Champions", "The Crossroads of Mobile County"
Location in Mobile County and the State of Alabama
Location in Mobile County and the State of Alabama
Coordinates: 30°44′53″N 88°6′1″W / 30.74806°N 88.10028°W / 30.74806; -88.10028
Country United States
State Alabama
County Mobile
Founded 1925
Government
 • Mayor Troy Ephriam (D)
Area
 • Total 25.4 sq mi (65.8 km2)
 • Land 25.3 sq mi (65.5 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 30 ft (9 m)
Population (2012)[1]
 • Total 22,416
 • Density 896/sq mi (346.1/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 36610, 36617
Area code(s) 251
FIPS code 01-62496
GNIS feature ID 0125275
Website http://www.thecityofprichard.org

Prichard is a city in Mobile County, Alabama, United States.

Prichard borders the north side of Mobile, as well as the Mobile suburbs of Chickasaw, Alabama, Saraland, Alabama, and the unincorporated sections of Eight Mile, Alabama. As of the 2010 Census, the population of the city was 22,659. It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan statistical area.

History[edit]

Prichard began as a settlement in the 1830s bordering Telegraph Road (known now as U.S. Highway 43) It remained largely unsettled until the Clotilde landed in Mobile Bay prior to the Civil War. Africatown evolved into a greater part of the Plateau/Magazine area which developed along Telegraph Road, and eventually, Plateau and Magazine had their territory split between Mobile and Prichard.

After 1900, Prichard began a slow and steady development. In 1925, Prichard was incorporated as a city. During World War II Prichard became a company town as many Mobile shipbuilding companies built homes for their workers in Prichard. During the 1950s and 60's, Prichard annexed historic Whistler as well as parts of Eight Mile, Alabama and Kushla. The 40's and 50's saw phenomenal growth in the Mobile area, and Mobile, Prichard and Chickasaw all recorded their highest city-proper populations in 1960. Following the Civil Rights Movement however, Prichard's rigid system of segregation collapsed, and many blacks who had previously lived in the Bullshead/Neely/Trinity Gardens area of Prichard began moving into East Prichard (downtown Prichard) causing a dramatic white flight to occur.

In 1960, Prichard recorded a population of 47,371. In 1970, the population had decreased to 41,000 and by 1990 it had decreased to approximately 34,000. In 1970, Vigor High School on Wilson Avenue, which had been Prichard's white high school during segregation was 70% white, by 1980, it was 80% black, even considering the fact that most of Prichard's remaining white areas were in its district. In 1994, construction of Interstate 165 was completed, and it has produced some economic benefits in East Prichard. The 1980s downtown vacancy rate was near 80%, as of 2000, it was closer to 30%. In 2004, the Prichard Housing Authority began demolition of the Bessemer Avenue Housing Project in Bullshead.

In December 2006, the city of Prichard was selected as the site of the future Alabama Motorsports Park, a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Speedway and theme park. This complex of racetracks and entertainment venues is planned to be on nearly 3,000 acres (12 km2) of land near the intersection of Industrial Parkway (Alabama State Route 158) and US Highway 45 in the northern section of Prichard.[2][3]

Recent political history[edit]

In 1972, while still a majority white city, Prichard elected its first black Mayor, Algernon Johnson (A.J.) Cooper, who would serve 2 terms as Prichard's mayor, and would eventually serve in the administration of President Bill Clinton. In 1968, Cooper founded the Black American Law Students Association at New York University. While Mayor Cooper was popular with both blacks and whites, however, he engaged in many battles with the Prichard City Council during his tenure.

In the 1980s and 1990s problems with crime, drugs and middle class flight were elevated when the area's major financial and employment base left with the closing of factories operated by Scott Paper Company and International Paper. This devastated the area and the city struggled to recover. In 1999, the city declared bankruptcy.[4]

In November 2004, Mobile County voters narrowly (500 votes out of 100,000 cast on the issue) defeated a local amendment which would have allowed Prichard to set up a special trade zone. The measure passed by a 2/3s vote in Prichard, and also passed by smaller margins in Mobile and Chickasaw, but was defeated by the rest of Mobile County.


City government[edit]

The current mayor of Prichard is Troy Ephriam. Ephriam was elected mayor in the 2012 municipal elections, defeating incumbent mayor Ron Davis.

The city is served by a five-member city council, which is composed of five districts of equal size. The city council is responsible for establishing the policies of the city of Prichard. The current council president is Earline Martin-Harris. The Prichard City Council meets every Thursday at 4:30 pm in the Council Chambers at Prichard City Hall.

Mayor Troy Ephriam
Current City Council Membership
District Representative Position
I Lorenzo Martin Councilman
II Earline Martin-Harris Council President
III Derrick I. Griffin Councilman
IV George E. McCall, jr Councilman
V Ossia Edwards Councilwoman

Geography[edit]

Prichard is located at 30°44′53″N 88°6′1″W / 30.74806°N 88.10028°W / 30.74806; -88.10028 (30.748038, -88.100384)[5].

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.4 square miles (66 km2), of which, 25.3 square miles (66 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.31%) is water.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 4,580
1940 6,084 32.8%
1950 19,014 212.5%
1960 47,371 149.1%
1970 41,578 −12.2%
1980 39,541 −4.9%
1990 34,311 −13.2%
2000 28,633 −16.5%
2010 22,659 −20.9%
Est. 2012 22,416 −1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2012 Estimate[7]

As of the census of 2010, there were 22,659 people, 8,240 households, and 5,659 families residing in the city. The population density was 896.0 people per square mile (346.1/km²). There were 9,891 housing units at an average density of 391.1 per square mile (151.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.80% Black or African American, 12.47% European-American, 0.38% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.004% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 0.75% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,240 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.8% were married couples living together, 33.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 21.6% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.8 years. For every 100 females there were 85.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,894, and the median income for a family was $29,100. Males had a median income of $29,664 versus $21,969 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,137. About 28.7% of families and 33.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 49.5% of those under age 18 and 22.6% of those age 65 or over.

City Pensions Controversy[edit]

In 2004, the city hired an actuary to analyze and summarize their employees’ pension plan. He told the city the plan would run out of money by the summer of 2009. In September of that year, the city's pension fund ran out of money and stopped paying pensions.[8] The city filed for bankruptcy again in October 2009.[9]

In 2010, Councilwoman Earline Martin-Harris suggested dissolving the city and offered an alternative budget which would make all city employees part-time employees. As of April 2011, pensioners had not received their pension checks nor had a budget been passed in eighteen months.

The dispute continued into 2013, as the city did not reach an agreement with soon-to-retire employees. In response to these developments, four of these employees requested that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William Shulman dismiss the city's bankruptcy.[10]


Education[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The Mobile County Public School System serves Prichard. Elementary schools in Prichard include Collins-Rhodes Elementary School,[11] Grant Elementary School,[12] Indian Springs Elementary School,[13] Robbins Elementary School,[14] and Whitley Elementary School.[15]

Students are zoned to North Mobile County Middle School.[16]

Vigor High School is in Prichard.[17] Blount High School is in an unincorporated area in Eight Mile, adjacent to Prichard.[18] Faulkner Vocational School, a magnet school, is in Prichard.[19]

The current Collins Rhodes school opened in 2007,[20] replacing Eight Mile Elementary School.[21] On September 7, 2010 North Mobile County Middle School opened, replacing the role of Adams Middle School in Saraland, because residents outside of Saraland are no longer zoned to Adams Middle.[22]

Colleges and universities[edit]

The University of Mobile is also located within the city.

Public libraries[edit]

The city operates the Prichard Public Library and the Mitchell Public Library.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". 2012 Population Estimate. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ Finch, Bill (2007-06-13). "Racetrack site: Questions surround environmental survey, but developers say they are minimizing damage". Press Register (Mobile). 
  3. ^ "The Project". Alabama Motorsports Park. February 27, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  4. ^ Schrenk, Jeb (October 6, 1999). "Prichard files for bankruptcy". Mobile Register. pp. 1A. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ Cooper, Michael; Mary Williams Walsh (December 22, 2010). "Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ Ferrara, David (October 28, 2009). "Prichard files for bankruptcy protection again". Mobile Press Register. 
  10. ^ Kirby, Brendan (25 August 2013). "Old problem, new twist: This time pension dispute with current workers threatens Prichard bankruptcy". Press-Register. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Home. Collins-Rhodes Elementary School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "5110 St. Stephens Rd Eight Mile, AL 36613"
  12. ^ Home. Grant Elementary School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "535 Easterling Street Prichard, AL 36610"
  13. ^ Home. Indian Springs Elementary School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "4550 Highpoint Blvd Eight Mile, AL 36613"
  14. ^ Home. Robbins Elementary School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "2416 West Main Street Prichard, AL 36610"
  15. ^ Home. Whitley Elementary School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "528 Capt Leon C Roberts St Prichard, AL 36610"
  16. ^ "Welcome to North Mobile County Middle School." North Mobile County Middle School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "The North Mobile County Middle School serves students living outside the Saraland City Limits and includes students from Satsuma, Creola, Axis, and Prichard. We will be located at the current Lee Intermediate Building and will be located here until a new facility is completed on Salco Road."
  17. ^ Home. Vigor High School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "913 N. Wilson Avenue, Prichard, AL 36610"
  18. ^ Home. Blount High School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "5450 Lott Rd. Eight Mile, AL 36613."
  19. ^ Home. Faulkner Vocational School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "33 Elm Street Prichard, AL 36610."
  20. ^ "About The School." Collins-Rhodes Elementary School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010.
  21. ^ "State Board of Education School Report Card for 1999-2000." Eight Mile Elementary School. Retrieved on October 22, 2010.
  22. ^ Phillips, Rena Havner. "Video: North Mobile County Middle School opens its doors in Axis." Mobile Press-Register. Tuesday September 7, 2010. Retrieved on October 22, 2010. "North Mobile County Middle School students 6th grader Derrick Boykin, 12, and 7th grader Amanda Daniels, 12, walk down a sidewalk on the first day of classes at the school Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. The newly completed $14 million school was built to accommodate students displaced by Saraland's split from the Mobile County system. "
  23. ^ "Prichard Public Library." City of Prichard. Retrieved on October 22, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°44′53″N 88°06′01″W / 30.748038°N 88.100384°W / 30.748038; -88.100384