Originally called Barbers Cross Roads and then Crenshaw, Rutledge earned its present name in June 1867, when it was renamed in honor of Henry Rutledge, who served as a captain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Rutledge was named the seat of Crenshaw County in May 1867. Plots were laid out for sale around the new county courthouse also in 1867 as the town grew into its new position. Rutledge was incorporated in either 1871 or 1891, depending on the source.
When the Alabama-Midland Railroad built a line in 1888 connecting Montgomery, Montgomery County, to Luverne, Crenshaw County, and bypassing Rutledge, the town began to lose population and business to Luverne. Even a privately owned railroad built from Rutledge to Julian in the 1890s did little to stop the trend. In 1893, the county held a special election, and the county seat was moved to Luverne.
Rutledge's population according to the 2010 Census was 467. Of that number, 73.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 22.9 percent as African American, 2.1 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 1.1 percent as two or more races, and 1.1 percent as Asian. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $32,981, and the per capita income was $16,286.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Rutledge was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Construction (21.0 percent)
· Manufacturing (14.4 percent)
· Public administration (13.8 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (9.7 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (8.7 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (7.2 percent)
· Retail trade (6.7 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (6.7 percent)
· Wholesale trade (4.6 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (3.6 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (3.1 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.5 percent)
Students in Rutledge attend Crenshaw County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
State Highway 10 bisects Rutledge running east-west, and County Road 35 runs north from the center of town. U.S. Highway 331 runs along the eastern boundary of the town, also running north-south.
Events and Places of Interest
The Ivy Creek School/Community Center is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Crenshaw County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Crenshaw County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2002.
James P. Kaetz
Published July 3, 2013
Last updated July 3, 2013