|Town of Steele|
|School district||St Clair County Schools|
|Locate with Google Maps|
The Mayor of Steele is John McHugh. The five-member Steele Town Council, which meets on the 1st and 2nd Mondays of each month at Steel Town Hall, is made up of J. Wayne Smith, Jody Free, Robert Barnes, Roger Adams and Denny Wilcox. The Steel Police Department is led by Jim Clay II. The Steel Fire Department is headed by Robert McHugh. Judge Rodney Ward presides over the town's municipal court. The town operates its own water and sewer service.
The first family to settle within the present boundaries of Steele was named Whisenant. They sold their log cabin and surrounding property to Joshua Toliver Steele in 1855. The route of the Tuscaloosa to Huntsville stage coach passed through the community, which soon boasted a log church. Pink Shahan built a mill in the area which combined grist and flour milling with sawing logs and ginning cotton. Abie Steele operated a tannery nearby during the Civil War.
In 1870 the Alabama Great Southern Railway began serving the community. Toliver Steele donated land for a depot and acted as station master and Steele was named in his honor. Bill Trotter was named postmaster of the new Steel Post Office. Luke Buffington operated the post office's first rural route on horseback beginning in 1903.
The community incorporated in 1900 with Bob Little as Mayor and Buffington, J. W. Moore and G. G. Wright as Aldermen. It was later determined that the incorporation was invalid under state law. Peach orchards were planted around the area that year, supplying a short-lived basket works and packing business operated by two northerners, Sloat and Bush, at the depot.
Though teachers had operated small schools before, the first school building, known as Valley Grove College, opened around that time, sharing space with a Masonic lodge. A movement to change the name of the town to Valley Grove in the early 1900s was abandoned when the railroad refused to rename the depot. The school was replaced by the rock-built Steele School in 1928.
The town of Steele, with a population of 641, was incorporated again in December 1952. W. E. Pope was elected Mayor and Afred O'Donnell, Paul Pope, Clyde Morrow, Hoyt Hammonds and Tom Wood served as the Board of Aldermen. The town's major industry was the Pope & Free Lumber Company.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,093 people, 430 households, and 323 families residing in the town. The population density was 167.9 people per square mile. There were 471 housing units at an average density of 72.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 97.5% White. 3.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 430 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.5% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.7% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the town the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $32,941, and the median income for a family was $37,885. Males had a median income of $31,346 versus $20,385 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,380. About 9.6% of families and 10.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 16.3% of those age 65 or over.
- Qualls, Vivian P. (c. 1953) "History of Steele". typescript at Pell City Library - accessed May 27, 2014
- Alabama League of Municipalities Municipal Directory - accessed June 4, 2011
- "Steele, Alabama" (April 7, 2011) Wikipedia - accessed June 4, 2011