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City of Lipscomb
Lipscomb city seal.png
Incorporated 1910
Population 2,175
Mayor Brenda Renz
School district Jefferson County Schools

Lipscomb City Council
Lipscomb Fire Department
Lipscomb Police Department

Web site
Lipscomb locator map.png
Locate with Google Maps

Lipscomb (incorporated June 30, 1910) is a city of 2,175 on 1.17 square miles in southwest Jefferson County bordered by Bessemer and Birmingham.

The area was first settled by Vincent Loveless, son of pioneer John Loveless in 1832. He purchased land from the family of William Sadler on a branch of the Huntsville Road (now Eastern Valley Road, Dartmouth Avenue, Avenue K and Jefferson Avenue). The Union Baptist Church was organized there in June 1834 and built a log church building.

The Woodward Iron Company set up a company-owned spur of the Birmingham Mineral Railroad nearby, naming its new community Wheeling, for Wheeling, West Virginia, where Woodward also had business interests. By the 1880s the company had laid out a 3-by-10 block grid of streets between the Alabama Great Southern Railroad and the Mineral Railroad.

Three brothers from Epes in Sumpter County, L. Y., S. W. and H. P. Lipscomb settled near Loveless' farm in 1885. After the Birmingham, Powderly, and Bessemer Railroad, a dummy line, began passenger service in 1888, L. Y. opened a general store at the stop which quickly became the center of the community. The line was electrified in 1891 as the No. 1 South Bessemer streetcar line and the community grew to well over 200 residents by 1906, many working for the Woodward Company. The town was incorporated and named for L. Y. Lipscomb in 1910. The streetcar is featured in the city's present seal. Wheeling was annexed into the city in the 1940s.

Once an active small-town, the city's business sector has nearly vanished and the number of residents and housing units has declined sharply over the last few decades. Lipscomb does not have its own Post Office or ZIP code, instead sharing 35020 with the city of Bessemer. The Lipscomb City Hall is located at 5512 Avenue H.

Lipscomb adjoins Birmingham on two sides. In June 2008 Birmingham mayor Larry Langford proposed that Lipscomb and Brighton should both consider merging with the city as a "business decision" to improve services and open the door to development. The city celebrated its centennial in 2010 with the unveiling of a historical marker at City Hall and a parade along 5th Street and 9th Avenue.


The Mayor is Tonja Baldwin, who was elected in 2020.

Former mayor Jimmie Johnson resigned in 2005 and was succeeded by Council member Simon Speights. Speights resigned on July 26, 2007 when a 1994 burglary conviction was publicized. He was succeeded by Mayor Pro Tempore Gaston Randle until Governor Bob Riley appointed Deborah Miller to fill the vacancy. Miller was defeated by Melanie Bouyer in the 2008 election.

Randle and councilor/fire chief David Horn have also been investigated and charged for impersonating police officers. Randle stepped down as police commissioner, but remained on the council pending the outcome of his trial.

The 5-member Lipscomb City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Lipscomb's Chief of Police is Mareshah Moses. David Hobdy Jr serves as Lipscomb's municipal judge.

Mayor McDade laid off the entire Lipscomb Police Department in April 2013, but his actions were reversed by the City Council the next day. He fired Fire Chief John Lawrence and his wife, Janet in September, but they were also reinstated by the Council. McDade was arrested in September of that year after arguing with a Brighton police officer. He was arrested again in March 2014 following a domestic disturbance call at his home on 5th Street North. His wife, Pamela was also charged.

In July 2018 Police Chief Scott Martin was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency searched his home in Odenville. He was subsequently fired and Lamar Lackey appointed to serve as interim chief. Martin was charged in December with sodomy, rape, and incest.

In May 2023 former city manager Jacquelyn Robertson was arrested and charged with embezzlement, with prosecutors alleging she stole more than $200,000 from the city between August 2020 and May 2021.


As of the census of 2010, there were 2,210 people residing in the city's 950 housing units, for an average household of 2.3 persons. The population density was 1,881.8/mi², with housing units at an average density of 808.9/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 61% African American and 22% White. 20% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2000, there were 901 households, of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.4% were married couples living together, 23.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.35.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,865, and the median income for a family was $35,556. Males had a median income of $26,908 versus $21,150 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,582. About 15.9% of families and 16.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.7% of those under age 18 and 16.4% of those age 65 or over.

The Jefferson County Board of Equalization evaluated 712 homes in Lipscomb and determined that the average market value for 2007 was $54,950, a 13.9% increase since 2006.


  • White, Marjorie Longenecker (1981) The Birmingham District: An Industrial History and Guide. Birmingham: Birmingham Historical Society ISBN 9990230099
  • Foscue, Virginia O. (1989) Place Names in Alabama. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 081730410X
  • Gordon, Robert K. and Rahkia Nance (June 29, 2007) "Lipscomb mayor's 1994 burglary conviction eyed." The Birmingham News
  • Nance, Rahkia (July 29, 2007) "Residents fight for their beloved city." The Birmingham News
  • Bryant, Joseph D. (June 4, 2008) "Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford proposes city annex Brighton, Lipscomb." The Birmingham News
  • "Lipscomb, Alabama" (June 24, 2010) Wikipedia - accessed June 24, 2010
  • Norris, Toraine (August 12, 2010) "Lipscomb to celebrate centennial." The Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (April 29, 2013) "Lipscomb mayor on city turmoil : "It's a hot mess."." The Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (April 5, 2014) "Lipscomb Mayor Lance McDade and wife arrested during fight over marital assets." The Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (August 21, 2018) "Lipscomb police chief fired after weed, bong found in cruiser, home." The Birmingham News
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