Wetumpka's history traces its roots back to the Indian, French, and British inhabitants of the area. Originally settled by the Creeks, an Indian village known as Taskigi occupied the area until the French established Fort Toulouse in 1714. Wetumpka was considered part of the French colony of Louisiana and thus was subject to French authority. As British power increased, so did tensions between England and France, resulting in the withdrawal of the French in 1763. No longer a part of Louisiana, Wetumpka was incorporated into the British province of Illinois until 1798. In 1800, the town was considered a part of the Mississippi Territory, and white settlers arrived in increasing numbers. The area came under U.S. control after forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the Creeks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend; Jackson moved into Fort Toulouse, renovated it, and renamed it Fort Jackson.
Before the Civil War, Wetumpka imported and exported goods on steamboats plying the Coosa River. After the war, the city was devastated, but unlike other areas, the buildings had not been burned. Wetumpka citizens, however, were left with no money and few possessions. Many were forced to sell their land to pay taxes. Left with nothing but the soil, they had to rely primarily on agriculture. In 1897, the 5th District Agricultural School was built, establishing agriculture as the main economic resource for the city. The school, which would later become Wetumpka High School, provided free scientific instruction in agriculture. In 1906, the L&N Railroad constructed a new depot in Wetumpka, allowing goods to flow in and out of the city more easily. Growth and economic development slowed during WWI but picked up again with the construction of a post office in 1923 and the paving of a road between Montgomery and Wetumpka the following year. Progress halted again during WWII, but in 1950, the city established a planning board to develop more economic diversity and independence.
Wetumpka's population was 6,528 at the time of the 2010 Census. Of that number 67.9 percent were white, 26.1 percent African American, 3.8 percent Hispanic, 1.8 percent two or more races, 1.1 percent Asian, 0.6 percent Native American, and 0.4 percent Asian, and 0.1 percent as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. The city's median household income was $36,585, and per capita income was $16,868.
The workforce in present-day Wetumpka is divided among the following occupational categories:
· Manufacturing (13.3 percent)
· Public administration (12.0 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services (9.7 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (9.3 percent)
· Retail trade (8.3 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (7.2 percent)
· Construction (6.0 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (6.0 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (4.2 percent)
· Wholesale trade (4.1 percent)
· Information (0.6 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.2 percent)
Public schools in Wetumpka are part of the Elmore County School System and include two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school, serving approximately 3,080 students with 177 teachers. Three private schools also serve the area.
Only 12 miles from Wetumpka, Interstate 65 and Interstate 85 provide easy access to Birmingham and Atlanta, respectively. U.S. Highway 231, mainly used by commuters, runs north-south through the city. Wetumpka is also served by state highways 9, 14, and 111. The Wetumpka Municipal Airport serves general aviation.