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Albertville

Christopher Maloney, Auburn University
Albertville is located in Marshall County, near Lake Guntersville, in northeast Alabama. It has a mayor/council form of government. John Hannah, a Hall of Fame professional football player and two-time All-American from the University of Alabama, grew up in Albertville and graduated from Albertville High School. Dramatist William Berney was raised in Albertville, as well.
History
Marshall County Courthouse in Albertville
Albertville, located near the border of the former Cherokee and Creek nations, arose at the juncture of several Native American trails. Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his forces are believed to have passed through the area on one of these trails in 1540. Settlers from eastern states first reached the area in the 1840s and 1850s. The town was named for Thomas Albert, one of its founders, and was incorporated on February 18, 1891. A train depot was constructed in the early 1890s by the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway (it would remain busy until the 1940s, when passenger traffic was phased out). The state constructed a secondary experiment station and agricultural school in Albertville in 1894. Hard hit by the Great Depression, it was turned over to the Albertville City Board of Education in 1936.
Albertville Tornado Damage, 1908
The town was devastated by a tornado on April 24, 1908, and some 35 residents were killed. Reconstruction efforts included adding water service and electricity. Beginning around 1909, the town began hosting court sessions twice a year for the section of the county surrounding Albertville and constructed a large wooden courthouse in 1911; it was torn down in 1935.
In the post-World War II era, Albertville became a hub of the poultry-processing industry. After the war, the Alabama legislature selected the town as the site for the first commercial poultry processing plant in north Alabama; thereafter, the industry grew and helped transform the region.
Fire Hydrant Monument in Albertville
Raising poultry appealed to cotton farmers who faced a shortage of farm labor and who could raise chickens and sell them all throughout the year, unlike their cotton crop, which they sold only once a year. The industry brought to Albertville feed mills, hatcheries, and additional processing plants as well as a large influx of immigrant labor from Mexico and other Latin American countries. The relocation of Mueller Company's fire hydrant manufacturing operations from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Albertville in 1975 has since prompted the town to be called the "Fire Hydrant Capital of the World." Mueller celebrated the production of its one millionth fire hydrant in Albertville by erecting a 4,800-pound nickel-plated hydrant in the town.
Demographics
According to 2016 Census estimates, Albertville recorded a population of 21,434. Of that number, approximately 91.9 percent identified themselves as white, 26.9 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 2.7 percent as African American, 1.3 percent as two or more races, and 0.8 percent as Native American. The median household income in Albertville was estimated at $32,042 and the per capita income was $18,023.
Employment
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Albertville was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (22.3 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (16.9 percent)
· Retail trade (13.4 percent)
· Construction (8.0 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.7   percent)
· Other services, except public administration (6.7 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (6.0 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (5.6 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (3.9 percent)
· Wholesale trade (3.7 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (2.8 percent)
· Public administration (2.5 percent)
· Information (1.5 percent)
Education
Public education is administered by the Albertville City School System, which oversees one kindergarten, a 1st-2nd grade primary school, one 3rd-4th grade elementary school, a 5th-6th grade elementary school, one 7th-8th grade middle school, and a 9th-12th grade high school. Collectively, the schools serve about 4,000 students and employ approximately 230 teachers. An aviation center of Enterprise State Community College is located at Albertville Regional Airport.
Transportation
U.S. 431 runs just to the north of the center of Albertville, and the city center is bisected by State Route 205, which runs roughly east-west. The Albertville Regional Airport southwest of town provides general aviation services. The Alabama & Tennessee River Railway operates a line through Albertville.
Events and Places of Interest
Lake Guntersville Resort State Park
Lake Guntersville State Park lies north of Albertville and provides fishing, swimming, boating, camping, convention facilities, and overnight accommodations and hosts fishing tournaments. Also nearby is the Albertville Golf and Country Club, a private 18-hole facility. Albertville Recreation Complex has numerous athletic facilities and fields.
In early August the city holds a two-day music festival and hosts a Christmas parade during the holiday season. In 1975, the train depot became the first building in Marshall County listed on the National Register of Historic places; it has seen many uses since being phased out as a train stop. The Albertville Museum is housed in the former Little Branch Primitive Baptist Church. Listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage are the East Main Street Historic District, Albertville High School (ca. 1912), and Christ Episcopal Church (ca. 1882).
Published:  August 10, 2011   |   Last updated:  September 19, 2018