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Location in Franklin County and the state of Alabama
|Incorporated||November 27, 1819|
|• Total||13.5 sq mi (35.0 km2)|
|• Land||13.4 sq mi (34.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)|
|Elevation||764 ft (233 m)|
|• Density||733/sq mi (283.2/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0126047|
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, up from 8,971 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County.
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 served as the first county seat from 1818-1849 before it was removed to Frankfort (which served from 1849-1879). After the fire at the courthouse in the third county seat of Belgreen in 1890, the seat was returned to Russellville in 1891.
Russellville is located in northeastern Franklin County at 34°30′37″N 87°43′42″W / 34.51028°N 87.72833°W / 34.51028; -87.72833 (34.510344, -87.728248). U.S. Route 43 passes through the eastern side of the city, leading north 18 miles (29 km) to Muscle Shoals on the Tennessee River and southwest 31 miles (50 km) to Hamilton. Alabama State Route 24 passes through the south side of the city, leading east 47 miles (76 km) to Decatur on the Tennessee River and west 26 miles (42 km) to Red Bay at the Mississippi border.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Russellville has a total area of 13.5 square miles (35.0 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (34.7 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.79%, is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census
At the 2010 census, 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.
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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 Theatre is located at 208 North Jackson Avenue in downtown Russellville. The theater once was home to current released movies but saw major decline in the early 1980s. It now has been revitalized as an entertainment venue due to the efforts of The Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council and the support of local citizens. The theatre is primarily used for musical events, including a yearly benefit concert by Ronnie McDowell and his band. Movies are shown once again in the theatre during special holidays or events. The restoration movement that began by the Arts Council has seen the theatre brought back to its original glory. It is now a main attraction for the area. A benefit concert called Rockin' at the Roxy with The KGB (The Kerry Gilbert Band) is held on the second Saturday of each month with proceeds going into renovation efforts. Musicians from North Alabama and Southern Tennessee frequently are guests at the Rockin' at The Roxy show, which is now considered one of the longest running shows in the state of Alabama. Current concert schedules can be found at the Roxy's website and Facebook page. Other yearly events include participation in the W.C. Handy Festival with "The Great Pretenders Show" where local performers pretend to be a famous singer/musician. The Roxy has also been home to the Country Showdown Talent Search Contest for several years. As one of three performance sites in the state, performers vie for a chance to advance in the competition to the state finals and then on to regional and national competition which ends at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee.
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 soundtrack 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 having 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.
RHS stadium - Russellville High School Stadium is a place where local residents watch the high school football team play. Russellville's football team ranks as one of the most successful teams in Alabama and ranks as one the most attended stadiums in high school football.
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.
- Lee Clayton, rock and country musician and composer
- Luther Duncan, pioneer of 4-H youth development, a director of the Alabama Extension Service (now Alabama Cooperative Extension System) and president of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University). Born near Russellville.
- Junius Foy Guin Jr., federal judge
- Gustav Hasford, writer and screenwriter. His semi-autobiographical novel The Short-Timers (1979) was the basis of the film Full Metal Jacket (1987)
- Sonequa Martin-Green, television actress
- Madeline Mitchell, Miss Alabama USA 2011
- Chucky Mullins, collegiate football player
- Terry Nelson, disc jockey
- John Langcuster, Senior Vice President State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
- T. Ray Richeson, former professional football player and head coach of Livingston State College (now the University of West Alabama) from 1953 to 1956
- Thomas William Sadler, U.S. congressman from 1885 to 1887. Born near Russellville.
- Arron Sears, professional football player
- Chamintney Stovall Thomas, writer, musician, educator
- '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)
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Russellville city, Alabama". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Announcements". Times Daily. Oct 20, 1932. p. 3. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "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.
- http://www.historicroxytheatre.com Roxy Theatre
- 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.
- RussellvilleGov.com (2004). "History of Russellville". Archived page of 22 March 2004.
- City of Russellville official website
- Russellville Police Department
- Russellville page of Franklin County Chamber of Commerce
- Downtown Russellville Strip (unofficial "fan" site)