Skip directly to content

Fulton

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Fulton is located in northeastern Clarke County in the southwest part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
History
European settlers migrated to the Fulton area when Clarke County was part of the Mississippi Territory. Bassett's Creek, which flows through present-day Fulton, was the site of a Baptist Church that first congregated in 1810. The town of Fulton grew up along a line of the Mobile to Birmingham Railroad in the 1880s. It was known early on as Wade's Station after a settler in the area, then Behrman after the owner of the first lumber mill in the area, Marcus B. Behrman of Mobile. He opened the Virgin Pine Lumber Company in 1888, and it proved a profitable business venture.
In September 1896, the name of the post office and the town was changed to Fulton, reportedly after a town in New York. The lumber industry prospered in the area because of northern investors, and it was the primary industry sustaining Fulton for years. In addition to the investors, many northern lumberjacks and mill workers from other parts of Alabama moved to Fulton in the first decade of the twentieth century, when the population of the municipality nearly tripled. In 1890, a group from London, Ontario, Canada, bought a large parcel of land in the area and opened a competing mill, the Scotch Lumber Company. This company was sold to a group of New York investors in 1896 and continues to operate today, although it has changed hands. Mechanization has reduced the number of jobs the mill provides, but it has remained important in the local economy.
The first school in Fulton was a private academy opened in the late 1890s for the children of the officials of the Scotch Lumber Company. In 1906, a public school was established on the northeast side of Fulton on the road heading toward the Liberty community. This school relocated to the southern part of town in 1916, and the county sold the original building to the Woodmen of the World, a fraternal organization and later insurance company, which renamed the facility Woodmen Hall. Fulton was also home to a Rosenwald school for African Americans. That building, which has since collapsed, was known as the North Fulton Junction School. In 1975, the Thomasville Bank opened a branch in Fulton which is still in operation today, though under the name of First United Security Bank.
Demographics
Fulton's population according to the 2010 Census was 272. Of that number, 84.9 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 11.0 percent as African American, 3.3 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 1.8 percent as two or more races, and 0.7 percent as Asian. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $49,000, and the per capita income was $18,746.
Employment
According to the 2010 Census, the workforce in Fulton was divided among the following occupational categories:
· Manufacturing (40.3 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (20.9 percent)
· Construction (13.7 percent)
· Public administration (9.0 percent)
· Retail trade (6.2 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (4.7   percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (3.8 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.4 percent)
Education
Students in Fulton attend Clarke County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
Transportation
Fulton is bisected roughly east-west by State Highway 178; U.S. Highway 43 passes through western Fulton going north-south. The Norfolk Southern Corporation operates a rail line through Fulton.
Events and Places of Interest
The Fulton Fire Department is well-known for its choral ensemble. On the first Saturday of October, it holds an annual singing competition.

Additional Resources

Clarke County Heritage Committee. Heritage of Clarke County, Alabama Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2001.
Clarke County Historical Society. Historical Sketches of Clarke County, Alabama: A Story of the Communities of Clarke County, Alabama. Huntsville, Ala.: Strode Publishers, 1977.
Published:  May 4, 2017   |   Last updated:  May 4, 2017