First settled in 1818, the area that would become Uniontown was initially called Woodville after the first family settling there; the town was incorporated in 1836. Woodville was the terminus of one of the earliest plank roads (a road literally paved with wooden planks) in the state, which was constructed in 1848 and connected Woodville with Demopolis. The Alabama and Mississippi Railroad came through the town in 1857. By 1860, the town had grown enough to support educational facilities for both boys and girls. In addition to the schools, the town had a number of businesses on its main street, including two department stores, and the town's economy was tied closely to the surrounding plantations. The town became known as Uniontown in 1861 at the suggestion of a local planter, Philip Weaver, whose hometown was Uniontown, Maryland. Uniontown sent a number of men to fight with the Canebrake Rifle Guards during the Civil War, a unit named after the geographical region in which Uniontown is located, as well as in another unit known as the Independent Troop of Uniontown.
The area remained tied to the agricultural economy after the war. In 1897, the Uniontown Cotton Oil Company was established in the town, one of the first facilities of its kind in the state and one of the first industrial businesses in Perry County; it manufactured cotton seed oil and cotton seed meal. By 1900, the town had cotton gins, cotton warehouses, and a cotton mill. The city also had electricity and telephone services by this time. Less than two decades later, however, Uniontown began to lose population as more people moved off of plantations because of the boll weevil's ruinous effect on the cotton crop, among other factors. The town remains largely dependent on agricultural activities, including livestock farming, in the surrounding area.
According to the 2010 Census, Uniontown's population was 1,775. Of that number, 90.6 percent identified themselves as black, 9.1 percent as white, 0.5 percent as Hispanic, and 0.3 percent as two or more races. The city's median household income was $15,054, and per capita income was $9,452.
The workforce in present-day Uniontown is divided among the following occupational categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (31.1 percent)
· Manufacturing (20.4 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (9.1 percent)
· Retail trade (9.1 percent)
· Public administration (7.0 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (6.1 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services (4.4 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (4.2 percent)
· Construction (3.7 percent)
· Wholesale trade (3.5 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (1.2 percent)
Schools in Uniontown are part of the Perry County School District; the town has approximately 977 students and 64 teachers in one elementary school and one high school.
U.S. Highway 80 runs east-west through Uniontown, and County Roads 53, 1, and 12 all run to the city. The closest major airport is Montgomery Regional Airport, 66 miles to the east.
The Uniontown Historic District, Pitts' Folly (a Greek Revival house built in 1852), the Westwood Plantation (built between
1836 and 1850), and the Fairhope Plantation (a Gothic-style house built in the 1850s) are all listed on the National Register
of Historic Places.
Perry County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Perry County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
James P. Kaetz
Published September 16, 2011
Last updated June 7, 2013