Historic Downtown Abbeville, Alabama
Location of Abbeville in Henry County, Alabama.
|• Mayor||James Giganti Jr.|
|• Total||15.58 sq mi (40.36 km2)|
|• Land||15.54 sq mi (40.26 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2) 0.32%|
|Elevation||449 ft (137 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||164.90/sq mi (63.67/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
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 has two high schools: the public Abbeville High School and private Abbeville Christian Academy. Chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity operate here.
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) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (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. It is older than either the county of Henry or the State of Alabama. European Americans set up an active trading post in Abbeville in Alabama Territory early in 1819. The first settler gateway to the wiregrass region was at Franklin, located fourteen miles west of Abbeville.
20th century to present
In February 1937, Wes Johnson, an 18-year-old African-American man, was accused of attacking a white woman and was arrested. He was abducted from the Henry County jail by a mob of 100 white men and lynched: shot and hanged to death. His body was found "bullet marked" and "swinging from a tree." As was typical of lynchings, none of the members of the mob was charged with a crime.
Faye Walker Howell, a resident of nearby Dothan, Alabama, has done research on this case for 20 years. She has documented that Johnson and the white woman had a consensual sexual relationship. The white men could not live with that, and lynched the young man. Howell was featured on 60 Minutes on April 8, 2018 during an episode featuring Oprah Winfrey touring the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Johnson is among the lynching victims memorialized there. Henry County is noted as among the 805 counties where lynchings took place. It had a total of 13 lynchings during the decades when this was frequent.
In 1937 the Alabama Attorney General filed an impeachment against the Henry County sheriff for his failure to protect Johnson. An appeal was heard by the Alabama Supreme Court, which overturned the impeachment in June 1937. The Alabama Attorney General openly declared that Johnson was innocent of the charges against him.
In 1944, Recy Taylor, an African-American activist, was gang-raped by six white men. Although the men admitted the rape to authorities, two grand juries subsequently declined to indict them. From a historic point of view, "the Recy Taylor case brought the building blocks of the Montgomery bus boycott together a decade earlier" than that event.
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 served by one radio station, WESZ-LP.
Abbeville is served by a weekly newspaper, the Abbeville Herald, which has been in operation since 1915.
Abbeville is a part of the Henry County Public Schools system. It operates the Abbeville High School and the Abbeville Elementary School.
- 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 activist whose rape in Abbeville by six white men was a catalyst for renewed actions of 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.
- "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- "Decennial Census Tables". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data for Abbeville city, Alabama". U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "Abbeville, Alabama Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
- Bradberry, Denise (April 7, 2011). "Residents Get Ready for Yatta Abba Day in Abbeville". WTVY. Archived from the original on July 27, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- "Abbeville - Encyclopedia of Alabama". Encyclopedia of Alabama.
- Oprah Winfrey, "Inside the memorial to victims of lynching", 60 Minutes, April 8, 2018; accessed April 11, 2018
- "Suspect Lynched by Alabama Mob". The Washington Post. February 3, 1937.
- "No Indictments on Alabama Lynchers; Impeachment?". Atlanta Daily World. February 12, 1937.
- Lance Griffin, "Dothan resident featured in 60 Minutes segment with Oprah; set to air Sunday", Dothan Eagle, April 6, 2018; accessed April 11, 2018
- Lynching in America/ Supplement: Lynchings by County, 3rd edition, Montgomery, Alabama: Equal Justice Initiative, 2015, p. 2
- "Alabama Sheriff Saved by Court". The Pittsburgh Courier. July 3, 1937.
- McGuire, Danielle L. (2010). At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance. Random House. pp. xv–xvii. ISBN 978-0-307-26906-5., page 39
- "Book Discussion on At the Dark End of the Street". www.c-span.org. C-SPAN. September 28, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Encyclopædia Britannica Atlas, 1959 Edition, p. 298.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. 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. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Henry County School District". www.henrycountyboe.org. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- Bagley, Joseph (December 15, 2018). The Politics of White Rights: Race, Justice, and Integrating Alabama's Schools. University of Georgia Press. p. 180. ISBN 9780820354187. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, p. 39.
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