Brewton, Alabama

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Brewton, Alabama
Location of Brewton in Escambia County, Alabama.
Location of Brewton in Escambia County, Alabama.
Coordinates: 31°7′3″N 87°4′16″W / 31.11750°N 87.07111°W / 31.11750; -87.07111
CountryUnited States
StateAlabama
CountyEscambia
Government
 • MayorYank Lovelace
Area
 • Total11.45 sq mi (29.65 km2)
 • Land11.22 sq mi (29.05 km2)
 • Water0.23 sq mi (0.60 km2)
Elevation
82 ft (25 m)
Population
 • Total5,408
 • Estimate 
(2017)[2]
5,236
 • Density466.83/sq mi (180.24/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
36426-36427
Area code(s)251
FIPS code01-09208
GNIS feature ID0157900
InterstatesI-65 (AL).svg
U.S. RoutesUS 31.svg US 29.svg
Websitehttp://www.cityofbrewton.org/

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).[3]

History[edit]

Sign for Brewton on State Route 41

In May 1861, the city of Brewton began as a train station under Edmund Troupe Bruton. The settlement was originally known as Newport when barges made runs to and from Pensacola, Florida on Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek before the installation of rail.

During the Civil War rail lines were severed, and small lumber mills were damaged or destroyed. However, after the war those who returned or arrived 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 the Gulf.

Brewton became a town on February 13, 1885, and later was designated as the seat of Escambia County, Alabama.

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," as they are remembered. They had come at the end of the last century to harvest the pine forests, and, with their profits, stayed to build extraordinary homes along Belleville and Evergreen avenues. These 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 Jefferson Davis Community College and T. R. Miller High School. The latter was named for Thomas Richard Miller, a local timber baron and town father who donated money toward the building and opening of the school.

In October 1934, Claude Neal, a 23-year-old African-American man arrested for the murder of a local young white woman in Greenwood, Florida, was moved to the jail in Brewton for safekeeping. After a lynch mob learned where he was being held, about 100 men came to Brewton in 30 cars and kidnapped him from the jail. He was smuggled back into Jackson County, Florida, where announcements of his planned lynching were broadcast on the radio. Neal was tortured, shot and hanged by a small group near the Chattahoochee River before his body was taken before a crowd of thousands. His body was later hanged from a tree in the Marianna courthouse square. Whites later rioted in Marianna, prompting the Florida governor to order more than 100 troops to town to put down the violence. More than 200 people were injured, mostly black, but including two police officers. Black-owned houses were looted and burned in the riots.[4]

Geography[edit]

Brewton is located at 31°7′4″N 87°4′16″W / 31.11778°N 87.07111°W / 31.11778; -87.07111 (31.117706, -87.071164).[5]

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[edit]

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).[6] The hottest temperature ever recorded in the city was 109 °F (43 °C) on June 18, 1933,[7] and the coldest temperature ever recorded was 3 °F (−16 °C) on January 21, 1985.[7]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18901,115
19001,38223.9%
19102,18558.1%
19202,68222.7%
19302,8185.1%
19403,32317.9%
19505,14654.9%
19606,30922.6%
19706,7476.9%
19806,680−1.0%
19905,885−11.9%
20005,498−6.6%
20105,408−1.6%
Est. 20175,236[2]−3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2013 Estimate[9]

As of the census[10] 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.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[11] 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.

Government[edit]

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[edit]

Streetlight banner proclaiming Brewton as “Home of the Alabama Blueberry Festival”

The annual Alabama Blueberry Festival is held at Jennings Park and downtown Brewton. Prior to 2006 it was held on the campus of Jefferson Davis Community College.

The Thomas E. McMillan Museum is housed on the campus of the Jefferson Davis Community College.[12] 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.

Notable people[edit]

Historic sites[edit]

Brewton has one site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Brewton Historic Commercial District.[14]

Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church Oct 2014 2

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.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "Brewton Chamber of Commerce". brewtonchamber.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "Brewton, Alabama Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.com. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "NowData — NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  12. ^ "Museum". Museum.jdcc.edu. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  13. ^ http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2544
  14. ^ National Park Service (July 9, 2010). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  15. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°07′04″N 87°04′16″W / 31.117706°N 87.071164°W / 31.117706; -87.071164