Sheffield, Alabama

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For the city in England, see Sheffield.
Sheffield, Alabama
Sheffield Downtown Commercial Historic District
Sheffield Downtown Commercial Historic District
Motto: "Center of the Shoals"
Location in Colbert County and the state of Alabama
Location in Colbert County and the state of Alabama
Coordinates: 34°45′35″N 87°41′41″W / 34.75972°N 87.69472°W / 34.75972; -87.69472
Country United States
State Alabama
County Colbert
 • Total 6.4 sq mi (16.7 km2)
 • Land 6.4 sq mi (16.5 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 515 ft (157 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 9,039
 • Density 1,419/sq mi (547.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 35660
Area code(s) 256, 938
FIPS code 01-69648
GNIS feature ID 0153401

Sheffield is a city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States, and is included in The Shoals metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,039.[1] Sheffield is the birthplace of "country-soul pioneer" and songwriter Arthur Alexander, French horn player Willie Ruff, notable attorney, actor, former senator and presidential contender Fred Thompson, Watergate committee U.S. Senator Howell Heflin and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, whose father was working in nearby Athens when he was born in Sheffield. It sometimes is referred to as "the City of Senators" from due to the births of Heflin, McConnell and Thompson within its borders. Col. Harland Sanders worked in the Sheffield depot for Southern Railway in the 1900s. It is also home to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where many popular 20th century musicians recorded their work, including Alexander and Ruff. It is the site of historic Helen Keller Hospital, formerly known as Colbert County Hospital and originally constructed in 1921. It was changed to Helen Keller Hospital in 1979, and Keller's birthplace Ivy Green is located less than one mile southwest of the hospital in adjacent Tuscumbia.


Sheffield is located in eastern Colbert County at 34°45′35″N 87°41′41″W / 34.75972°N 87.69472°W / 34.75972; -87.69472 (34.759721, -87.694592),[2] on the south bank of the Tennessee River. Sheffield is bordered to the south by the city of Tuscumbia, to the southeast by Muscle Shoals, and to the north, across the river, by Florence.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.4 square miles (16.7 km2), of which 6.4 square miles (16.5 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 1.39%, is water.[1]

Sheffield was one of the Colbert County sites of embarkation by riverboat and barge on the Tennessee River during the forced relocation of Eastern and Southern United States Indian tribes, known as the Trail of Tears. The embarkation site was at what is now the Spring Creek boat launch and park area.


In 1940, Reynolds Metal Company set up its first aluminum smelting facility in Sheffield, paving the way for wartime expansion of aircraft production in the country.

Sheffield was the home of Muscle Shoals Sound Studios at 3614 Jackson Highway and later at 1000 Alabama Avenue. Cher, The Rolling Stones, The Osmonds, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simon & Garfunkel, The Staple Singers and many others recorded the biggest hits of their careers in this small studio, that remains well known and respected throughout the music industry.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 2,751
1900 3,333 21.2%
1910 4,865 46.0%
1920 6,682 37.3%
1930 6,221 −6.9%
1940 7,933 27.5%
1950 10,767 35.7%
1960 13,491 25.3%
1970 13,115 −2.8%
1980 11,903 −9.2%
1990 10,380 −12.8%
2000 9,652 −7.0%
2010 9,039 −6.4%
Est. 2013 9,107 0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[3]
2013 Estimate[4]

As of the census[5] of 1990, there were 9,071 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 70.9% White or European American, 27.61% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. 2.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 9,652 people, 4,243 households, and 2,711 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,471.4 people per square mile (568.1/km²). There were 4,760 housing units at an average density of 725.6 per square mile (280.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.21% White or European American, 26.21% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.57% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 1.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,243 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 85.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,673, and the median income for a family was $33,877. Males had a median income of $30,378 versus $18,033 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,022. About 16.5% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sheffield city, Alabama". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "THOMPSON, Fred Dalton, (1942 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°45′35″N 87°41′41″W / 34.759721°N 87.694592°W / 34.759721; -87.694592