Early settlers were attracted to the Midfield area because of its natural springs, one of which, Hawkins Spring, can still be seen in the Midfield Municipal Park. Williamson Hawkins was the earliest white settler in the area, arriving prior to 1830. The spring was named for his son David, who built a house beside it.
The land around the spring was sold after the Civil War to the Hawkins Spring Land Company, and the spring became a popular recreational area for people from Birmingham and Bessemer, who traveled there on two separate streetcar lines. The Allendale Land Company of Birmingham tried to develop the land, laying out streets and subdividing lots, dubbing the town Midfield. Unfortunately this project began in 1929, right as the Great Depression hit and development was halted until 1941, when the Belcher Building Corporation purchased 700 acres and constructed and sold 450 houses.
World War II once again put a halt to development. After the war, Belcher again spearheaded a housing boom in the town. In 1952, Midfield became part of the Jefferson County School System, which constructed an elementary school there in 1952. After overtures from the city of Fairfield to annex Midfield, city leaders decided to pursue incorporation, which they achieved in 1953. The city has since left the Jefferson County school system and established its own system. Midfield grew by annexing the McDonalds and Wilkes communities in 1961 and the Rutledge Heights and Fairfield Highlands communities in 1967.
According to the 2010 Census, Midfield had a population of 5,365. Of that number, 81.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 16.4 percent as white, 1.4 percent as Hispanic, 0.9 percent as two or more races, 0.2 percent as Asian, and 0.1 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 Census estimates, was $37,138, and the per capita income was $16,496.
According to the 2010 Census, the work force in Midfield was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (24.5 percent)
· Retail trade (13.3 percent)
· Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (9.0 percent)
· Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (8.1 percent)
· Professional, scientific, and administrative and waste management services (7.9 percent)
· Construction (7.2 percent)
· Manufacturing (6.1 percent)
· Public administration (5.8 percent)
· Wholesale trade (5.7 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation and accommodation and food services (5.6 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (5.3 percent)
· Information (1.7 percent)
Midfield schools are part of the Midfield City School System. They serve approximately 1,230 students and employ 61 teachers in one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school.
Midfield is bisected by U.S. Highway11/State Highways 5 and 7, which run northeast-southwest through the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Midfield maintains one city park that features playground equipment, tennis courts, and a covered pavilion. The City of Midfield
Community Center has exercise and meeting areas and a basketball court.
Jefferson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jefferson County. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
James P. Kaetz
Published September 28, 2012
Last updated November 1, 2012