Downtown Thomasville in 2008.
"Southwest Alabama's Success Story"
Location of Thomasville in Clarke County, Alabama.
|• Mayor||Sheldon Day|
|• Total||8.73 sq mi (22.62 km2)|
|• Land||8.73 sq mi (22.61 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||381 ft (116 m)|
|• Density||439.35/sq mi (169.64/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0153683|
|Website||City of Thomasville|
Thomasville is a city in Clarke County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,209.Founded as a late 19th-century railroad town, it has transitioned over the course of more than a century into a 21st-century commercial hub. It is the childhood hometown of author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham.
Thomasville was founded in 1888 and incorporated on November 24 of that year.The former community of Choctaw Corner, dating back to the antebellum period, was a settlement west of what would become Thomasville, but when the merchants there learned that a railroad was going to bypass their town to the east, they decided to move their stores to be near the railroad. The former community is now inside the city limits. The tracks between Mobile and Selma were completed the same year that Thomasville began. First referred to as "Choctaw", the town was named after railroad financier and former Union Civil War general, Samuel Thomas, after he donated $500 for the construction of Thomasville's first school. The town had expanded by the end of the 19th century with numerous stores, several hotels and boarding houses, and a depot station. In 1899, what is now downtown was destroyed by a fire that burned several blocks of the wood frame buildings. Thomasville quickly rebuilt, this time in brick, and was once again flourishing by the start of World War I.
Over the next century, Thomasville continued to grow and expand. Over the years, many businesses came and others left. These included garment factories, sawmills, and cotton gins.The railroad discontinued its use of the town's depot by the 1950s, but that time also saw the opening of Thomasville's FPS-35 radar base, part of the Air Defense Command's Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, bringing in servicemen and their families. The prototype for the FPS-35 radar was developed at the Thomasville Aircraft Control and Warning Station. The 1950s also saw the planting of roses along Highway 43, the main highway through Thomasville, earning it the nickname of The City of Roses. The 1960s and 1970s saw the opening of numerous paper mills in the area, an industry that continues to be important to the economy of Thomasville today. This time also saw businesses begin to relocate from downtown to the main highway. The Thomasville Historic District was designated in 1999 by the National Register of Historic Places.
Thomasville is located at coordinates Coordinates: . It is the northernmost incorporated settlement in Clarke County and is situated on an elevated area between the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers. The elevation is 381 feet (116 m). The terrain is gently rolling hills, covered primarily in pine forest. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.8 square miles (23 km2), all land.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Thomasville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,209 people, 1,737 households, and 1,128 families residing in the city. There were 1,983 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 51.7% Black or African American, 47.2% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, and 0.5% from other races. 1.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,737 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 22.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the city, the population was spread out with 29% under the age of 20, 45.3% from 20 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.4 years.
The economy of Thomasville is largely based on retail trade and the service sector, with the city serving as a regional commercial hub. Its trade area is much larger than is indicated by its small population.
In 2000, the U.S, Census Bureau recorded that 58.5% of the population was in the work force with 20.6% of families and 23.5% of the population living below the poverty line, including 31.9% of those under age 18 and 25.2% of those age 65 or over. The median income for a household in the city was $26,549, and the median income for a family was $32,476. Males had a median income of $32,212 versus $21,319 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,916.
Thomasville has its own public school system, the Thomasville City School System, that includes Thomasville Elementary with an enrollment of 676 students, Thomasville Middle with 535, and Thomasville High with 448.
Thomasville Elementary School is one of three schools that make up the Thomasville City School System. It is located at 300 Quincy Ingram Street in Thomasville, Alabama. TES was established in its current location in 1988. The gymnasium and lower wing were added in 1990. Then in 1997, the kindergarten wing was added. Thomasville Elementary teaches Pre-K through fourth grade. It serves approximately 500 students on a daily basis. There are currently three pre-k classes, four kindergarten classes, five first grade classrooms, four second grade classes, five third grade classes, and four fourth grade classrooms. It has fifty four faculty/staff to best meet the needs of our students.Thomasville City Schools meet 100% of Alabama's accountability goals in all three schools.
Thomasville is also home to a campus of Coastal Alabama Community College.Coastal Alabama Community College is a state-supported, fully accredited, comprehensive two-year college serving southwest Alabama with its main campus in Atmore, The Academy at the Fairhope Airport, Bay Minette, Brewton, Fairhope, Gilbertown, Gulf Shores, Jackson, Life Tech Center, Monroeville and Thomasville.
Thomasville had one acute care hospital, Southwest Alabama Medical Center, with 50 licensed beds.In 2009 the hospital's owner, Anne Thompson, and city leaders announced plans for a new hospital facility near Thomasville's South Industrial Park, the first new rural hospital in Alabama in 30 years. The new facility was projected to cost $35 million and employ roughly 200 people. However, the facility permanently closed its doors on August 16, 2011. Despite generating revenues in excess of $24.3 million for the year ending in March 2010, the facility lost more than half of a million dollars during the same period. A statement released to the public after closing stated that the hospital had not made enough money to cover operating expenses. The director of the Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed that the facility had turned in its operating license on August 16. In 2020, it was announced that due to the presence of asbestos, the old hospital building would be demolished and the old property redeveloped.
Thomasville Nursing Home is a 70 bed long-term care facility located on Mosley Drive.
A new 68,300 square foot, 29-bed acute care hospital, Thomasville Regional Medical Center, opened on March 3, 2020.
Thomasville is home to one newspaper, the Thomasville Times . It was established in 1921.The Thomasville News , established in 1996, ceased publication in 2006 when it merged with the Democrat-Reporter , based in Linden.
Thomasville has two licensed FM radio stations, WDLG and WJDB-FM.
The Thomasville campus of Alabama Southern Community College is home to the Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum.The Thomasville Public Library has an annual operating budget of $88,761 and has a collection of 15,206 books, 455 audio materials, 418 video materials, and 33 serial subscriptions.
Clarke County is a county located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,833. The county seat is Grove Hill. The county was created by the legislature of the Mississippi Territory in 1812. It is named in honor of General John Clarke of Georgia, who was later elected governor of that state.
Tuscaloosa County is a county in the northwest-central portion of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, its population was 194,656. Its county seat and largest city is Tuscaloosa, the former state capital from 1826 to 1845. The county is named in honor of Tuskaloosa, a paramount chief of the Mississippian culture, who are considered ancestors of the historic Choctaw people of the region.
Gulf Shores is a resort city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 9,741.
Elba is a city in Coffee County, Alabama, United States. At the time of the 2010 U.S. census, its population was 3,940. Elba is part of the Enterprise micropolitan statistical area. Elba is the official county seat of Coffee County, though there are two county courthouses, with the other one being located in the town of Enterprise.
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. 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. It sometimes is referred to as "the City of Senators" 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.
Newton is a town in Dale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census its population was 1,511. Once the county seat of Dale County, Newton lost this distinction to nearby Ozark in 1870, and is now a small farming community. It incorporated in 1887. The city currently forms a part of the Ozark micropolitan statistical area.
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 9,107 in 2019. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Monroeville is the county seat of Monroe County, Alabama. At the 2010 census its population was 6,519.
Willimantic is a census-designated place located in the town of Windham in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. It was a former city and borough. Known as "Thread City" for the American Thread Company's mills along the Willimantic River, it was a center of the textile industry in the 19th century. Originally incorporated as a city in 1893, it entered a period of decline after the Second World War, culminating in the mill's closure and the city's reabsorption into the town of Windham in the 1980s. Heroin use, present since the 1960s, became a major public health problem in the early 2000s, declining somewhat by the 2010s. Though the city was a major rail hub, an Interstate Highway has never passed within ten miles, despite early plans to connect it.
Thomasville is the county seat of Thomas County, Georgia, United States. The population was 18,413 at the 2010 United States Census, making it the second largest city in southwest Georgia after Albany.
Evanston is a city in and the county seat of Uinta County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 12,359 at the 2010 census. It is located near the border with Utah.
Thomasville is a city in Davidson County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 26,757 at the 2010 census. The city is notable for its furniture industry, as are its neighbors High Point and Lexington. This Piedmont Triad community was established in 1852 and hosts the state's oldest festival, "Everybody's Day". Built around the local railway system, Thomasville is home to the oldest railroad depot in the state, just a few hundred feet from the city's most notable landmark, "The Big Chair".
Tomball is a city in Harris County in the U.S. state of Texas, a part of the Houston metropolitan area. The population was 10,753 at the 2010 census. In 1907, the community of Peck was renamed Tomball for local congressman Thomas Henry Ball, who had a major role in the development of the Port of Houston.
Huntingdon College is a private Methodist liberal arts college in Montgomery, Alabama. It was founded in 1854 as a women's college.
Kathryn Tucker Windham was an American storyteller, author, photographer, folklorist, and journalist. She was born in Selma, Alabama, and grew up in nearby Thomasville.
13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey is a book first published in 1969 by folklorist Kathryn Tucker Windham and Margaret Gillis Figh. The book contains thirteen ghost stories from the U.S. state of Alabama. The book was the first in a series of seven Jeffrey books, most featuring ghost stories from a Southern state. Jeffrey in the book's title refers to a ghost that allegedly haunts Windham's home.
The Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum is a biographical museum located on the campus of Coastal Alabama Community College in Thomasville, Alabama. It is dedicated to preserving the works of native author, storyteller, and journalist Kathryn Tucker Windham. Windham spent much of her life recording Alabama's history and folklore. The museum was dedicated on June 1, 2003, Windham's 85th birthday.
Coastal Alabama Community College is a public community college with nine campuses in southern Alabama: Bay Minette, Fairhope, Gulf Shores, Atmore, Brewton, Gilbertown, Jackson, Monroeville, and Thomasville. It is a member of the Alabama Community College System. Coastal Alabama was formed through the consolidation of Alabama Southern Community College, Faulkner State Community College, and Jefferson Davis Community College.
William "Bill" Sketoe, Sr. was a Methodist minister from the south Alabama town of Newton, whose lynching there on December 3, 1864 gave birth to one of Alabama's best-known ghost stories. While locally-told stories of his life usually say that he was hanged on trumped-up charges of desertion from the Confederate Army, other sources show that he was killed for allegedly aiding pro-Union renegades in the area. Whatever the reason for his murder, a shallow hole dug beneath Sketoe's feet during the hanging ultimately led to stories about "the hole that won't stay filled." According to witnesses, this hole never disappeared—even after being filled numerous times—retaining its original dimensions for the next 125 years.
Choctaw Corner was a former town in Clarke County, Alabama, United States. It is named for the nearby Choctaw Corner, which marked the border between the native Choctaw and Creek peoples prior to the Indian removal. The community was one of the earliest settlements in the county.
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