Luverne


A volunteer stirs boiling peanuts while high school World's Largest Peanut BoilLuverne, the county seat of Crenshaw County, is located on the East Gulf Coastal Plain in south-central Alabama along the Patsaliga River. The city is named after Luverne LeGrand, wife of M. P. LeGrand, one of its founders. Luverne refers to itself as the Friendliest City in the South and has been ranked among the top 10 small towns in the United States by ePodunk.com. Luverne has a city council form of government, with a mayor and five council members.

History 

Crenshaw County was created by act of the state general assembly on November 24, 1866, and was formed from parts of Butler, Coffee, Pike, and Lowndes counties; it is bordered by Montgomery, Pike, Coffee, Covington, Butler, and Lowndes counties. Rutledge, located west of the Patsaliga River, became the first county seat in 1867.

In 1886, the Montgomery and Florida Railroad company began purchasing land in Crenshaw County for a right-of-way for its railroad that would run from Sprague Junction in Montgomery County to Crenshaw County. It was anticipated that this railroad would terminate in Rutledge. Through the efforts of M. P. LeGrand, S. D. Hubbard, George A. Folmar, and other early settlers of the town, however, the railroad was rerouted to terminate east of the Patsaliga River in Luverne. In 1888, J. O. Sentell surveyed and platted a parcel of George A. Folmar's land lying east of the Patsaliga River and consisting of 33 blocks that would become the town of Luverne. In 1889, the railroad proved to be a successful venture; more than 5,000 tons of fertilizer had traveled the rails into Luverne, and more than 13,000 bales of cotton had been shipped from Luverne. Added to this were shipments of timber, various items of freight plus a great number of passengers.

Luverne, the Crenshaw County seat, is located in Crenshaw County CourthouseIn 1893, amidst railroad expansions mandated for shipping cotton and timber products, the residents of Crenshaw County voted to move the courthouse from Rutledge to Luverne, which was rapidly becoming the most populous city in the county. By 1891, Luverne had almost 1,000 inhabitants. Nineteen businesses employed approximately 100 people; these included two planer mills, two grist mills, two cotton warehouses, law offices, a newspaper, and a fertilizer company.

Demographics 

The 2010 U.S. Census records a population of 2,800 in Luverne. Of that total, 62.6 percent reported themselves as white, 29.6 percent as African American, 5.5 percent as Asian, 1.9 as Hispanic or Latino; 1 percent as two or more races, and 0.3 percent as Native American. he city's median household income was $40,602, and per capita income was $18,869.

Employment and Economic Development 

The workforce in present-day Luverne is divided among the following occupational categories:

· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (33.2   percent)
· Manufacturing (22.0 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (10.3 percent)
· Retail trade (9.8 percent)
· Wholesale trade (6.1 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services   (5.8 percent)
· Construction (3.5 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (1.8 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (1.8 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (1.8 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (1.7 percent)
· Information (1.2 percent)
· Public administration (1.0 percent)

Education 

The City of Luverne has one public school, Luverne High School, which serves 1,040 students in K-12 instruction and employs 63 teachers. Crenshaw County Area Vocational School serves students in grades 7-12 and offers training in vocational and technical areas. Crenshaw Christian Academy is a private religiously oriented K-12 school. Lurleen B. Wallace Community College offers certificate and two-year associate degrees.

Transportation 

U.S. Highway 331 runs south from Montgomery through Luverne, and U.S. Highway 29 runs west to Luverne from Troy and then joins with 331 to the south of the city. The city is served locally by State Road 10, State Road 97, and State Road 106. Luverne Municipal Airport provides general aviation services in the area.

Events and Places of Interest 

Luverne residents can enjoy recreation opportunities at the Person to Person Sports Complex and the E. L. Turner Recreation Park, both of which offer ball fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, and several lakes for boating and fishing. Annual events in Luverne include the Crenshaw County Rodeo, the World's Largest Peanut Boil, a Christmas parade, and an Independence Day fireworks display.

Additional Resources   

Heritage of Crenshaw County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2002.

William Sanford
Troy, Alabama


Published June 2, 2009
Last updated July 3, 2013