Sipsey was founded in 1912 as a company town to serve employees of nearby coal mines. It was laid out by mining engineer Milton Fies. Mine production began in 1913, and at one time Sipsey had as many as 900 residents.
Sipsey suffered direct hits by two tornadoes during the record outbreak of April 27, 2011. Two residents were killed and 84 homes were either destroyed or rendered unfit for habitation.
Sipsey's population according to the 2010 Census was 437. Of that number, 64.1 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 33.2 percent as African American, 2.1 percent as two or more races, 0.9 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.5 percent as Asian. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $34,107, and the per capita income was $17,656.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Sipsey was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (42.1 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (15.4 percent)
· Retail trade (13.6 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (12.3 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (12.3 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (3.9 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.4 percent)
Schools in Sipsey are part of the Walker County school system; the town has approximately 310 students and 20 teachers in one combined elementary and junior high school.
State Highway 5 lies about two miles southwest of Sipsey, running northwest-southeast, and Interstate Highway 22 is located about six miles to Sipsey's southwest, running in the same direction.
Events and Places of Interest
Sipsey's eastern town limit lies on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River, which offers boating, swimming, and fishing.
Walker County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Walker County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
James P. Kaetz
Published August 26, 2013
Last updated August 26, 2013