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Location of Brewton in Escambia County, Alabama.
|• Mayor||Yank Lovelace|
|• Total||11.45 sq mi (29.66 km2)|
|• Land||11.22 sq mi (29.06 km2)|
|• Water||0.23 sq mi (0.60 km2)|
|Elevation||82 ft (25 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||464.39/sq mi (179.30/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0157900|
Brewton is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 5,408. The city is the county seat of Escambia County. Brewton is located in south central Alabama, just north of the Florida Panhandle.
Brewton was ranked as one of the 100 best small towns in America in Norman Crampton's book, The 100 Best Small Towns in America (1995). Brewton has a unique combination of wealth, natural resources and good public schools that are unusual for rural South Alabama.
The settlement at this site was originally known as Newport; barges made runs to and from Pensacola, Florida on Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek, before the railroad was constructed. In May 1861, Brewton was established as a train stop by Edmund Troupe Bruton. The area's lumber began to be harvested by industrialists.
During the Civil War, rail lines were severed, and small lumber mills were damaged or destroyed. After the war, the people rebuilt the Brewton economy, began a school, and established small businesses. Into the 1870s a new European demand for lumber stimulated the founding of numerous timber and lumber operations. The Conecuh-Escambia river system became a timber artery to ports on the Gulf of Mexico.
Brewton was known in past times as "the richest little town in the South." Brewton's high per capita income was based on the profits enjoyed by a small number of "timber barons." They had come at the end of the 19th century to harvest the pine forests. With their profits, they had extraordinary homes built along Belleville and Evergreen avenues. Such families include the McMillans and the Millers, many of whose descendants still reside in the town.
Over time the county erected a series of courthouses. Brewton developed an education system that included public and private institutions, including T. R. Miller High School. It was named for Thomas Richard Miller, a local timber baron and town father who donated money toward the building and opening of the school. Jefferson Davis Community College was established here in 1964; it has been renamed as Coastal Alabama Community College Brewton.
In October 1934, Claude Neal, a 23-year-old African-American man, was arrested as a suspect in the murder of a young white woman in Greenwood, Florida, over the border. Police transferred him to the jail in Brewton for protection. But after a lynch mob learned where he was being held, about 100 men came in 30 cars to Brewton. They kidnapped Neal from the jail, taking him back to Jackson County, Florida, where they announced his planned lynching on the radio.
A small group of white men tortured Neal before shooting and hanging him near the Chattahoochee River. They then took his body to the county seat, Marianna, to display before a crowd of thousands. His body was hanged from a tree in the county courthouse square. Whites later rioted throughout Marianna, attacking other blacks and destroying their property. The Florida governor to order more than 100 state militia troops to town to put down the violence. More than 200 people were injured, mostly black, and including two white police officers. Black-owned houses were looted and burned in the riots.
Brewton is located at (31.117706, -87.071164).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.5 square miles (30 km2), of which 11.3 square miles (29 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (1.22%) is water.
Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification sub-type for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate). The hottest temperature ever recorded in the city was 109 °F (43 °C) on June 18, 1933, and the coldest temperature ever recorded was 3 °F (−16 °C) on January 21, 1985.
|Climate data for Brewton, Alabama (Brewton 3 SSE), 1981–2010 normals|
|Record high °F (°C)||87
|Average high °F (°C)||61.6
|Average low °F (°C)||35.7
|Record low °F (°C)||3
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||5.89
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||8.5||7.6||7.0||5.8||7.4||10.0||11.7||11.2||7.6||5.4||6.5||7.4||96.1|
|Source: NOAA (extremes 1926–present)|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
Brewton first appeared on the 1870 U.S. Census as a Beat (Precinct) 5 of Escambia County. It appeared as Beat (Precinct) 3 in 1880. The population listed here for 1870-80 was the entire precinct, also including the area outside the town. Beginning with the 1890 U.S. Census, it appeared separately as an incorporated town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,498 people, 2,216 households, and 1,471 families residing in the city. The population density was 485.2 people per square mile (187.4/km2). There were 2,543 housing units at an average density of 224.4 per square mile (86.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 57.60% White or Caucasian, 40.23% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.53% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 1.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,216 households, out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 17.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.8% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,234, and the median income for a family was $43,548. Males had a median income of $37,348 versus $20,212 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,185. About 12.6% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.3% of those under age 18 and 18.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,408 people, 2,171 households, and 1,412 families residing in the city. The population density was 474.9 people per square mile (182.1/km2). There were 2,522 housing units at an average density of 221.2 per square mile (84.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 54.1% White or Caucasian, 42.6% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. 2.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,171 households, out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 19.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 32.0% 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 2.36 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 22.4% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,390, and the median income for a family was $49,554. Males had a median income of $35,233 versus $28,879 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,467. About 19.6% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
Former Town of Alco (c1885/1888-1897)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
Within Brewton is the former incorporated town of Alco. It existed from the mid-to-late 1880s (exact incorporation date uncertain) until it was dissolved as a town in 1897. The name was derived from the Alabama Lumber Company. It was located just southwest of Brewton & the junction of Burnt Corn & Murder Creeks . The name of the town still lives on today on the names of the churches (Alco Baptist Church & Alco United Methodist Church) and Alco Road. Pilgrim's Rest Cemetery, one of the oldest in Escambia County, is located across from the United Methodist Church and mentions Alco on its historic marker. Alco was annexed into Brewton on June 31, 1945.
|1890[a]||249 (-)[b][c]||139th (-)||3rd (-)|
The city government consists of a part-time mayor elected at-large and a five-member part-time city council elected from districts. Brewton utilizes a city school system.
Culture and special events
The Thomas E. McMillan Museum is housed on the campus of the Jefferson Davis Community College. It was founded in 1979 to chronicle life in Escambia County, Alabama. The museum includes items from 10,000-year-old fossils, to a fireside popcorn popper and a display of cameras.
- Alan Baker, member of the Alabama House of Representatives
- Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, the first female federal judge appointed in Alabama
- Pamela Suzanne McLeod, University of Alabama graduate
- Johnnie Byrd, former member of the Florida House of Representatives
- Grayson Capps, singer-songwriter
- Catherine Crosby, Miss Alabama 2003
- Kristi DuBose, judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
- Wayne Frazier, pro football player, former Auburn University player
- William Lee Golden, member of The Oak Ridge Boys
- Deanna Jackson, professional women's basketball player
- Teddy Keaton, football coach, Stillman College
- Cliff Lewis, former professional football player
- Hank Locklin, country music singer
- Jonathan Bell Lovelace, founder of Capital Group Companies
- Edwin L. Nelson, former judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
- Anthony Redmon, former NFL offensive lineman
- William W. Seay, soldier during the Vietnam War, recipient of the Medal of Honor
- Fred Snowden, former men's basketball coach for the University of Arizona
- Kevin Sumlin, football coach, University of Arizona football
- Davern Williams, former defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants
- Edward O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer prize winner and biologist
- Nick DuBose, writer covering Notre Dame football for OneFootDown.com
The historic Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church was established on November 5, 1909 when a group of worshipers gathered at the Congregational Church on the corner of St. Joseph and Evergreen avenues in Brewton to organize a new church. The Second St. Siloam Missionary Baptist Church was dedicated on June 10, 1910 on the corner of East and North streets. On April 1, 2010 the church was added to the Alabama Register of Historic Places.
- 1st year Alco reported on census
- (-)Indicates no immediate prior population figure or rank
- Racial demographics not reported for places of less than 2,500 on 1890 census.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Brewton Chamber of Commerce". brewtonchamber.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
- McGovern, James R. (1992). Anatomy of a Lynching /The Killing of Claude Neal (Louisiana paperback ed., 1992. ed.). Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press. pp. 1–2, 16, 21, 22, 43–49, 52, 54–56, 59–60, 62, 64–66, 73–74, 78–82, 84–91, 141, 143–144. ISBN 0807117668.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Brewton, Alabama Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.com. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "NowData — NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- http://www.escohis.org/2008_04_echoes.pdf Pilgrims Rest Cemetery entry
- http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1890a_v1-07.pdf, 1890 AL Census
- "Museum". Museum.jdcc.edu. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
- [dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brewton, Alabama.|
- City of Brewton is the city's website.
- Chamber of Commerce is the local Chamber's website.
- Alabama Blueberry Festival is the festival website.
- Brewton Standard is the local newspaper.
- Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance