The Camp Hill area began to be settled by the early 1830s, just before Creek Indian Removal. The community initially was referred to as either Burnt Bull or Ashbank. The name Camp Hill most likely came from the area's popularity as a camping place.
Camp Hill remained primarily a farming community throughout the 1850s and 1860s. The Savannah and Memphis Railroad came through in 1870, bringing with it increased settlement. Camp Hill incorporated in 1895, and its economy at this time was fueled primarily by cotton gins and a brickyard. In 1898, Universalist minister Lyman Ward founded the Southern Industrial Institute to educate underprivileged rural youth. In 1948, it was renamed the Lyman Ward Military Academy.
According to the 2010 Census, Camp Hill had a population of 1,014. Of that number, 88.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 10.2 percent as white, 0.8 percent as two or more races, 0.7 percent as Hispanic, 0.1 percent as Asian, and 0.1 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 Census estimates, was $18,663, and the per capita income was $12,627.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Camp Hill was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (30.1 percent)
· Manufacturing (27.3 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (14.9 percent)
· Professional, scientific, and administrative and waste management services (9.2 percent)
· Construction (5.7 percent)
· Retail trade (5.0 percent)
· Public administration (4.3 percent)
· Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (2.8 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (0.7 percent)
Camp Hill is located within the Tallapoosa County School District. It has one public high school that serves approximately 183 students and employs approximately 25 teachers.
Camp Hill is served by U.S. Highway 280, which runs northwest-southeast through the southwestern corner of the town, and State Highway 50, which runs northeast from the center of town.
Events and Places of Interest
The First Universalist Church (c. 1907) and Tallapoosa Hall at the Lyman Ward Military Academy are listed on the Alabama Register
of Landmarks and Heritage. The town hosts the annual So-Phi Block Party held in mid-summer at City Park.
Tallapoosa County Bicentennial Committee. Tallapoosa County: A History. Alexander City, Ala.: Service Printing Company, 1976.
Tallapoosa County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Tallapoosa County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000.
Claire M. Wilson
Published March 8, 2013
Last updated March 8, 2013