Georgiana was founded in 1855 by Reverend Pitt S. Milner, who moved to the area from Pike County, Georgia, after the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad constructed a line through it. Milner first opened a post office and named it Georgiana, a combination of his daughter's name and the name of his home state. Milner opened a general store in 1858, and other stores and a saloon soon followed, as did a steam-powered saw mill and grist mill. Several roads were cut to Georgiana from nearby communities. The L&N built a depot in the town after the first train rolled through in 1859, and executives urged Milner to rename the town Pittsville in Milner's honor, but he insisted that it remain Georgiana. The first school was built in 1856, and a second grist mill was constructed in 1867. The driving force in the town's economy was the cotton industry. In 1868, the town erected a large school building and named it Georgiana Academy. Georgiana incorporated in 1869 as a town and in 1872 as a city.
According to the 2010 Census, Georgiana had a population of 1,738. Of that number, 65.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 33.1 percent as white, 0.8 percent as two or more races, 0.3 percent as Hispanic, 0.3 percent as Native American, 0.1 percent as Asian, and 0.1 as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. The town's median household income, according to 2010 Census estimates, was $20,139, and the per capita income was $11,181.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Georgiana was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (39.4 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (17.6 percent)
· Retail trade (15.0 percent)
· Professional, scientific, and administrative and waste management services (5.2 percent)
· Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (5.2 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (3.9 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (2.6 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (2.6 percent)
· Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (2.3 percent)
· Construction (2.1 percent)
· Wholesale trade (1.6 percent)
· Public administration (1.6 percent)
· Information (1.0 percent)
There is one K-12 public school in Georgiana. It is overseen by the Butler County Public Schools and enrolls approximately 600 students and employs approximately 55 teachers.
Interstate 65 runs north-south through the northwest corner of Georgiana, State Highway 106 runs east-west through the center of the town, and U.S. Highway 31 runs northeast-south through the eastern edge of the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Each spring, Georgiana hosts the Hank Williams Festival to celebrate its most famous native son. His birthplace is now the
Hank Williams Sr. Boyhood Home and Museum and houses exhibits and memorabilia relating to his life and career. The Milner-Boone
House (c. 1858), J. C. Watson House/Watson Hospital (c. 1913), and Hank Williams Sr. Boyhood Home are listed on the Alabama
Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Butler County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Butler County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2003.
Little, John Buckner. The History of Butler County, Alabama, from 1815 to 1885. Cincinnati, Ohio: Elm Street Printing Company, 1885. Rpt. 1971.
Claire M. Wilson
Published November 16, 2012
Last updated November 19, 2012