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Hamilton, Alabama
Location of Hamilton in Marion County, Alabama.
Location of Hamilton in Marion County, Alabama.
Country United States
State Alabama
County Marion
Area
 • Total 38.08 sq mi (98.62 km2)
 • Land 38.06 sq mi (98.58 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2)
Elevation
489 ft (149 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 7,042
 • Density 185.01/sq mi (71.43/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
35570
Area code(s) 205, 659
FIPS code 01-32848
GNIS feature ID 0119627
Website City of Hamilton

Hamilton is a city in and the county seat of Marion County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1896 and, since 1980, has been the county's largest city, surpassing Winfield. It had previously been the largest town in 1910. At the 2020 census, the population was 7,042.

Geography

Hamilton is located at 34°8′7″N 87°59′20″W / 34.13528°N 87.98889°W / 34.13528; -87.98889 (34.135305, -87.988980), along the Buttahatchee River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.1 square miles (93 km2), of which 36.1 square miles (93 km2) is land and 0.03% is water.

History

Hamilton was founded in the early 19th century by settlers who moved to the Alabama Territory from Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. It is built upon lands that once served as “hunting grounds” for the Chickasaw Indians. The city was first called Toll Gate, but its name later changed in honor of one of its distinguished citizens, Captain Albert James Hamilton (known as A.J. Hamilton), who had represented Marion County in the state legislature in the sessions of 1869, 1874 and 1875. Captain Hamilton donated forty acres of his land to the town. The same forty acres were then divided into lots and sold to help defray the cost of building the courthouse. The Toll Gate community was elected in 1881 to be the next county seat, and by 1883 the Marion county courthouse in Pikeville had ceased to be functional. When the courthouse was moved from Pikeville to Toll Gate, the town's name was then changed from Toll Gate to Hamilton. On March 30, 1887, the newly built county courthouse was destroyed by fire. It was again rebuilt with wood, but replaced in 1901 with native sandstone quarried from the State.

During the Civil War, Union forces passed through the town in search of goods and horses. A detachment of Wilson's Cavalry destroyed by fire the plantation belonging to the Helvingstons on the Military Ford, south of Toll Gate (Hamilton).

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 235
1910 422 79.6%
1920 487 15.4%
1930 695 42.7%
1940 1,002 44.2%
1950 1,623 62.0%
1960 1,934 19.2%
1970 3,088 59.7%
1980 5,093 64.9%
1990 5,787 13.6%
2000 6,786 17.3%
2010 6,885 1.5%
2020 7,042 2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate

At the 2000 census there were 6,786 people, 2,695 households, and 1,800 families living in the city. The population density was 188.0 people per square mile (72.6/km2). There were 3,065 housing units at an average density of 84.9 per square mile (32.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.41% White, 7.59% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. 1.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 2,695 households 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 30.6% of households were one person and 14.4% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.81.

The age distribution was 19.8% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% 65 or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.6 males.

The median household income was $27,489 and the median family income was $34,485. Males had a median income of $26,362 versus $18,681 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,505. About 12.0% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.7% of those under age 18 and 19.6% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 6,885 people, 2,717 households, and 1,793 families living in the city. The population density was 190.7 people per square mile (73.6/km2). There were 3,096 housing units at an average density of 85.8 per square mile (33.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.3% White, 7.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. 3.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 2,717 households 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 30.9% of households were one person and 13.7% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.83.

The age distribution was 19.9% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% 65 or older. The median age was 43.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.2 males.

The median household income was $31,297 and the median family income was $42,361. Males had a median income of $31,112 versus $30,542 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,442. About 12.1% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.1% of those under age 18 and 15.5% of those age 65 or over.

Education

HHS al.png

Hamilton is a part of the Marion County School District. Hamilton Elementary School, Hamilton Middle School, and Hamilton High School serve the Hamilton area. Hamilton High School is currently a class 4A school. Hamilton also has a community college known as Bevil State Community College.

Athletics

Hamilton High School is very competitive in its athletic teams.

The Hamilton Aggies have won state championships in: (7):

  • Women's basketball (1) - 1990 (runner-up, 1991)
  • Men's cross country (5) - 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
  • Men's power lifting* (9) - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011

*Power lifting championships are not awarded by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, and are hosted by Hamilton High School.

The Hamilton Aggie Football team is ranked eleventh in the state for overall wins (809-328-36), and has a winning percentage of 62.3%. The Aggies have had eleven region championship seasons, and seven undefeated regular seasons (in bold). Hamilton appeared in the 2010 3A State Championship Game at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, where the Aggies fell to the Leeds Greenwave, 42–32.

  • 1929 (7-0-1)
  • 1930 (6-0-1)
  • 1978 (10-1; Class 3A R15)
  • 1982 (11-1; state champs)
  • 1985 (10-2; Class 5A R16 ;State Playoffs Second Round)
  • 1990 (10-3; Class 5A R14)
  • 1991 (9-2; Class 5A R14)
  • 1994 (6-5; Class 4A R14)
  • 1996 (9-2; Class 4A R15)
  • 2008 (12-1; Class 3A R7)
  • 2009 (11-2; Class 3A R7)
  • 2010 (14-1; Class 3A R5; State Runner-Up)
  • 2012 (10-0

Notable people

  • Bookie Bolin, former NFL player
  • Roger Brown, artist
  • Clay Dyer, professional bass fisherman
  • Rankin Fite, Alabama State Legislature (Senate & House of Representatives)
  • Rex Frederick, first head coach of the University of South Alabama men's basketball team
  • John Dabney Terrell, Sr., planter and legislator
  • Karen Wheaton Christian Music Artist, Minister, founder of the RAMP.
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