Russellville, Alabama

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Russellville, Alabama
City
Location in Franklin County and the state of Alabama
Location in Franklin County and the state of Alabama
Coordinates: 34°30′37″N 87°43′42″W / 34.51028°N 87.72833°W / 34.51028; -87.72833
Country United States
State Alabama
County Franklin
Incorporated November 27, 1819[1]
Area
 • Total 13.3 sq mi (34.6 km2)
 • Land 13.2 sq mi (34.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 764 ft (233 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 8,971
 • Density 674.5/sq mi (259.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 35653-35654
Area code(s) 256
FIPS code 01-67056
GNIS feature ID 0126047
Website www.russellvilleal.org

Russellville is a city in Franklin County in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,830. The city is the county seat of Franklin County.

History[edit]

After the War of 1812, the U.S. government appropriated money to improve a route from Nashville to New Orleans. It was named Jackson's Military Road after Andrew Jackson, and it passed through what became Russellville. (Present-day Jackson Avenue and Jackson Highway, U.S. Route 43, follow portions of the original road.)

Russellville is named after Major William Russell, an early settler in the area who helped in the construction of Jackson's Military Road. The town grew at this road's intersection with the Gaines Trace.

Russellville was incorporated on November 27, 1819.[1]

Geography[edit]

Russellville is located at 34°30′37″N 87°43′42″W / 34.51028°N 87.72833°W / 34.51028; -87.72833 (34.510344, -87.728248)[1].

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (35 km2), of which 13.2 square miles (34 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.90%) is water.

Demographics[edit]

At the 2010 census,[2] there were 9,830 people and 3,556 households. The population density was 677.9 per square mile (261.8/km²). There were 3,882 housing units at an average density of 293.3 per square mile (113.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.68% White, 11.25% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 7.54% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. 12.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,556 households of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.03.

Age distribution was 24.2% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there are 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.

The median household income was $25,333, and the median family income was $35,799. Males had a median income of $27,238 versus $18,551 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,871. About 16.7% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.2% of those under age 18 and 24.9% of those age 65 or over.

Local features[edit]

Watermelon Festival - The annual "Watermelon Festival" is held each August in downtown Russellville, in which a carnival type event is held by the chamber of commerce to try to ignite interest in Franklin county and surrounding areas. Events within the festival include performances by popular local bands as well as a car and truck show.

Roxy Theater - The Roxy Theater is located in Jackson Avenue, in the downtown area, just next to Grissom Cleaners. The theater once was home to current released movies. In recent years, the once great Roxy Theater has seen major decline. No longer showing movies, the theater is primarily used for local events, including Ronnie McDowell's annual concert. Recently, a restoration movement began to bring the Theater back to being a main attraction for the area. This is being accomplished with a monthly benefit concert called Rockin' at the Roxy with host band "The KGB" (The Kerry Gilbert Band) with proceeds going into renovation efforts.

King Drive-In - The King drive in is located just north of Russellville on Highway 43. One of the few drive-in movie theaters still operating in Alabama, it plays currently released films throughout the spring and summer, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The theater features old style speakers that hang on car windows, but also offers the sound track of films through FM radio broadcasts as well. The theater is famously known for the line by the owner at the beginning of each night that states, "If you're ready, I'm ready, it's movie time!"

"The Strip" - From the 1960s until approximately 2000, "The Downtown Strip" had been a source of entertainment for local teenagers and young adults throughout Franklin County. This strip is best described as the atmosphere of George Lucas' iconic film, American Graffiti. Many local teenagers, for a number of years, drove up and down the "main drag" in downtown Russellville. The strip ended near the end of 2004 due to an increased local police presence in the area.

Local media[edit]

Russellville has its own TV station (WMTY-TV). WMTY-TV features area events about the Russellville area including news and weather, though most programming is religious. Russellville has its own local degreed and seal certified meteorologist of over 10 years. Brian Davis is the local meteorologist for WMTY-TV and recently earned the honorable seal of approval from both the American Meteorological Society as well as the National Weather Association. Brian Presley Davis has been accredited as being an important source of weather in an area that by many has been considered out of range of most weather outlets and radars. Radio stations include WKAX AM 1500, WGOL AM 920, and WPMR-LP 99.7 FM. Russellville has its own newspaper (The Franklin Free Press) and is home to the Franklin County Times.

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b A Digest of the Laws of the State of Alabama: Containing The Statutes and Resolutions in Force at the end of the General Assembly in January, 1823. Published by Ginn & Curtis, J. & J. Harper, Printers, New-York, 1828. Title 62. Chapter XXIV. Pages 812-813. "An Act to Establish and Incorporate the Town of Russelville, in County of Franklin.—Passed November 27, 1819." (Google Books)
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Smith, Jack D., “Information and Inspiration: An Early History of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service,” (Unpublished Manuscript Prepared for Alabama Extension’s 75th Anniversary), March 29, 1989.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°30′37″N 87°43′42″W / 34.510344°N 87.728248°W / 34.510344; -87.728248