Historic Downtown Abbeville, Alabama
Location in Henry County and the state of Alabama
|• Mayor||James Giganti Jr.|
|• Total||15.6 sq mi (40.4 km2)|
|• Land||15.5 sq mi (40.3 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2) 0.32%|
|Elevation||449 ft (137 m)|
|• Density||192/sq mi (74.1/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Abbeville is a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population was 2,688. The city is the county seat of Henry County. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. It is home to two high schools: Abbeville High School and Abbeville Christian Academy. It holds chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.
Abbeville is located at Coordinates: (31.566367, -85.251300). The city is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431, Alabama State Route 10, and Alabama State Route 27 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Dothan and 23 mi (37 km) south-southwest of Eufaula.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.6 square miles (40 km2), of which, 15.6 square miles (40 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.32%) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
Abbeville is the oldest remaining colonial settlement in East Alabama from Florida to the Tennessee line. Its older than the county of Henry and the State of Alabama. The city was named for "Abbe", a local Muscogee Indian man at the time of the town's settlement. The name means "a grove of dogwood trees". An active trading post was located in Abbeville in Alabama Territory early in 1819. The first settler gateway to the wiregrass was at Franklin located fourteen miles west of Abbeville.
In 1937, an African-American young man named Wes Johnson was accused of attacking a white woman and arrested. He was then removed from the Henry County jail and lynched by a mob of white men, his body found "bullet marked" and "swinging from a tree." None of the members of the mob were charged with a crime. A case did appear in front of the Alabama Supreme Court over impeaching the sheriff who was supposed to have been protecting Johnson. While the Alabama Attorney General openly declared that Johnson was innocent, the sheriff avoided impeachment.
In 1944, an activist African-American woman, Recy Taylor, was gang-raped by six white men. Even though the men admitted the rape to authorities, two grand juries subsequently declined to indict the men (as documented in the book, At the Dark End of the Street). From a historic point of view, "The Recy Taylor case brought the building blocks of the Montgomery bus boycott together a decade earlier."
In 1950 Abbeville had a population of 2,162.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,987 people, 1,172 households, and 787 families residing in the city. The population density was 192.0 people per square mile (74.1/km²). There were 1,353 housing units at an average density of 86.9 per square mile (33.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.65% White, 39.94% Black or African American, 0.07% Asian, 2.85% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. 3.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.
There were 1,172 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 22.1% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 23.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 82.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,266, and the median income for a family was $37,917. Males had a median income of $26,250 versus $20,603 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,215. About 17.3% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.1% of those under age 18 and 29.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,688 people, 1,077 households, and 699 families residing in the city. The population density was 192.0 people per square mile (74.1/km²). There were 1,255 housing units at an average density of 80.4 per square mile (31.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.4% White, 41.4% Black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 2.0% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. 3.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.
There were 1,077 households out of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 21.3% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 23.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.3 years. For every 100 females there were 85.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,533, and the median income for a family was $39,167. Males had a median income of $36,630 versus $25,302 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,756. About 16.2% of families and 18.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 17.8% of those age 65 or over.
Abbeville is governed via a mayor-council government. The mayor is elected at large. The city council consists of five members who are elected from districts.
Abbeville is served by one radio station, WESZ-LP.
Abbeville is a part of the Henry County Public Schools system.
- James R. Belcher, survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis CA-35. Aboard when key parts of first atomic bomb were delivered to Tinian Island. Served in US Navy in WWII, Korea, Vietnam.
- Leroy Cook, former defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys
- William Calvin Oates Civil War and Spanish–American War veteran
- Chris Porter, former Auburn University basketball player and professional basketball player
- Al Richardson, former American football linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons
- Recy Taylor, an African-American woman whose gang-rape in Abbeville by six white men provided an early organizational spark for the nationwide Civil Rights movement.
The Henry County Courthouse is located in Abbeville.
Abbeville Post Office (ZIP code: 36310)
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot in Abbeville.
- "Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Alabama". United States Census Bureau. 2008-07-10. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data for Abbeville city, Alabama". U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Climate Summary for Abbeville, Alabama
- "Suspect Lynched by Alabama Mob". The Washington Post. 3 February 1937.
- "No Indictments on Alabama Lynchers; Impeachment?". Atlanta Daily World. 12 February 1937.
- "Alabama Sheriff Saved by Court". The Pittsburgh Courier. 3 July 1937.
- "Book Discussion on At the Dark End of the Street". www.c-span.org. C-SPAN. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- McGuire, Danielle L. (2010). At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance- A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power. Random House. pp. xv–xvii. ISBN 978-0-307-26906-5., page 39
- Encyclopædia Britannica Atlas, 1959 Edition, p. 298.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, p. 39.
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