Jasper

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City of Jasper
Jasper logo.jpg
Incorporated 1840
Population 14,109
Mayor Sonny Posey
School district Jasper City Schools
Government

Jasper City Council
Jasper Fire Department
Jasper Police Department

Web site jaspercity.com
Jasper locator map.png
Locate with Google Maps

Jasper (incorporated in 1840) is the seat of Walker County and, with a population of 14,109, its largest city.

The area was first settled in 1815 by E. G. Musgrove who laid out a town plat and named the community after William Jasper, a Revolutionary War sergeant from South Carolina remembered for replanting the U. S. colors after they were shot down by the British at the Battle of Fort Moultrie in 1776. Musgrove gave the city over to Walker County in 1824 for use as its seat of justice.

The town saw its first significant growth with the arrival of the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham Railroad and the Sheffield & Birmingham Railroad in 1886. When the railroads first arrived, the community had around 200 residents, but the population mushroomed to over 3,000 by 1890.

Located among some of the Birmingham District's most productive coal fields, Jasper became a center for coal mining and coke production. In 1891 the Mountain Eagle reported that Jasper had 400 coke ovens in operation as well as six mines, a foundry, a machine shop, two sawmills, a brick works, two sandstone quarries, four hotels and two banks.

The current city limits enclose a total area of 26.9 square miles, virtually all land. The city is the home of the Walker County Courthouse and Walker Baptist Hospital.

Downtown Jasper in 2010

Government

Jasper is a "Class 6 municipality" under Chapter 11 of the Code of Alabama and is led by a mayor-council form of government.

The current mayor is Sonny Posey. The City Council, representing five districts, is made up of Morris Studdard, Johnny Rollins, Gary Cowan, Lee Swann and Sandi Sudduth. The council meets at the Jasper City Hall.

The city maintains its own police and fire departments, as well as separate departments for cemeteries (Oak Hill Cemetery, Gay Reed Cemetery, and New Prospect Cemetery), streets and sanitation. The Jasper Municipal Court is part of the Alabama Unified Judicial System.

Jasper has numerous appointed boards, including the Jasper Board of Education, the Jasper Industrial Development Board, the Jasper Library Board, Jasper Waterworks and Sewer Board, Jasper Parks and Recreation Board, and the Jasper Planning and Zoning Commission.

Notable residents

Demographics

As of the census of 2010, there were 14,352 people residing in the city's 5,760 occupied housing units, for an average household of 2.5 persons. The population density was 533.5/mi², with housing units at an average density of 222.4/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 81.3% White and 13.4% African American. 4.4% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2000, there were 5,728 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were |married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33, and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,044, and the median income for a family was $43,674. Males had a median income of $35,182 versus $22,868 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,491. About 10.2% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.

References

  • Foscue, Virginia O. (1989) Place Names in Alabama. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 081730410X

External links

Walker County seal.png Walker County
Topics

Communities | County Commission | Schools | Sheriff

Cities

Carbon Hill | Cordova | Curry | Dora | Eldridge | Jasper (seat) | Kansas | Nauvoo | Oakman | Parrish | Sipsey | Sumiton