|City of Talladega|
|School district||Talladega City Schools|
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Talladega, incorporated on January 9, 1835, is the county seat of Talladega County. Its 23.9 square miles is located in north central part of the county, about 50 miles east of Birmingham and 10 miles south of I-20 at Lincoln. To the northwest of Talladega is Lake Logan Martin, and to the southeast is the Talladega National Forest.
Talladega is located in territory ceded by the Creek Indians in 1832. It was founded on land granted to Joseph Bruner, an African American who served as an interpreter in the Creek Indian War. Bruner sold his half-section to Jesse Duran who donated it to the state as the site of a town in return for half the proceeds from the lot sales. It became the seat of the county courthouse by a margin of 1 vote in an 1835 referendum. Construction of the Talladega County Courthouse, completed in 1838, was financed by a special tax on gambling establishments.
In 1858 Talladega was selected as the home for the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. During the Civil War volunteers from the area formed the Talladega Rifles. Uniforms and nitre were produced in Talladega for the war effort, and the city was home to a Confederate hospital and prison. The town was invaded in July 1864 by Union troops tasked with destroying the Western Railroad which was taking supplies to Atlanta. The depot in Tallageda and its associated stores were burned. Wilson's Raiders under General Croxton returned to Talladega burning buildings and looting stores shortly after Lee's surrender.
The Reconstruction period saw the town's economic base in ruins. Local African Americans founded Talladega College, but the city remained a relatively lawless frontier settlement until Mayor William Skaggs established the Talladega Police Department in the late 1880s. Skaggs also oversaw the construction of a water works, a prison, and the establishment of the Talladega City Schools system.
Horace Ware's Clifton Iron Company brought the first new industry to the area, later joined by marble quarries and textile mills. The Bemis Bag Company spurred the growth of an entire community, called Bemiston. The Brecon community on the outskirts of Talladega became home to numerous World War II-era plants. The construction of the Talladega Superspeedway in 1968 put the city firmly on the auto-racing map.
year pop. %change 1850 | 1,320 | - | 1870 | 1,933 | +46.4% | 1880 | 1,233 | -36.2% | 1890 | 2,063 | +67.3% | 1900 | 2,063 | 0% | 1910 | 5,854 | +183.8% | 1920 | 6,546 | +11.8% | 1930 | 7,596 | +16.0% | 1940 | 9,298 | +22.4% | 1950 | 13,134 | +41.3% | 1960 | 17,742 | +35.1% | 1970 | 17,662 | -0.5% | 1980 | 19,128 | +8.3% | 1990 | 18,175 | -5.0% | 2000 | 15,143 | -20.0% | 2007 | 16,991 | +12.2% | estimate
As of the 2000 census, there were 15,143 people, 5,836 households, and 3,962 families residing in the city. The population density was 634.4 people per square mile. There were 6,457 housing units at an average density of 270.5/sq mi. The racial makeup of the city was 56% White, 42% Black or African American. 1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,836 households out of which 30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 85.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,617, and the median income for a family was $36,296. Males had a median income of $27,951 versus $21,326 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,733. About 14.1% of families and 19.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.4% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65 or over.
- The Heritage of Talladega County, Alabama (2000) Clanton, Alabame: Heritage Publishing Consultants
- White, Walter Belt (2003) Talladega: Pathways to the Past. Images of America series. Charleston, South Carolina: Acadia Publishing'
- Lewis, Herbert J. (December 10, 2009) "Talladega" Encyclopedia of Alabama - accessed February 11, 2010
- City of Talladega website
| Talladega County|