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Eldridge

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Eldridge is located in northwest Walker County in the north-central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
History
Eldridge was originally called Camp Springs because travelers in the area often stopped to replenish their water supplies from the natural springs in the area. The first state road from northwest Alabama to Tuscaloosa passed through Eldridge; it was completed in 1822. The town took its name from Eldridge Mallard, reportedly the first tollgate keeper on the new road. The town's first post office opened in 1857, and the first Baptist church was established around 1870. The Frisco Railroad completed a line through Eldridge in 1887, bringing new residents and businesses, including a depot and an inn. The first school, the Eldridge Baptist Academy, was built in 1890, and the Eldridge Normal School opened in 1897. The town prospered until the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. The Eldridge Baptist Academy became a junior college in an attempt to remain open but eventually failed. Eldridge incorporated in 1972.
Demographics
Eldridge's population according to the 2010 Census was 130. Of that number, 97.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 1.5 percent as two or more races, and 0.8 percent as African American. The town's median household income, according to 2012 estimates, was $33,750, and the per capita income was $12,850.
Employment
According to 2012 Census estimates, the work force in Eldridge was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Construction (24.1 percent)
· Retail trade (18.5 percent)
· Manufacturing (13.0 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (11.1 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (9.3 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (7.4   percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (7.4 percent)
· Public administration (5.6 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (3.7 percent)
Education
Students in Eldridge attend Walker County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
Transportation
State Highway 118 runs east-west through Eldridge, and State Highway 13 runs north-south, connecting the town with U.S. Highway 78/State Highway 4 about two miles north of town. The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad Company operates a line through Eldridge.
Events and Places of Interest
The Bankhead National Forest lies about 12 miles northeast of Eldridge. The town holds an annual Eldridge Day to celebrate its founding. Each December, the town holds the Eldridge Toy Run, during which motorcycle and antique car enthusiasts gather to raise money for the Freewill Baptist Children's Home in Eldridge.
Additional Resources
Hicks, Emily McGowan. Proud Heritage: The Story of Eldridge, Alabama, 1819-1893. N.P.: N.P., 1984.
Walker County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Walker County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
Published:  July 23, 2014   |   Last updated:  September 3, 2014