Thorsby is a town of 1,820 in Chilton County. It was first settled in 1896 by four Scandinavian immigrants. It was named for Theodore Thorson, a Swede, who was one of the settlers and founders of the Concordia Land and Improvement Association which marketed the area as a "utopia" of rich farmland and warm climate. It was incorporated in 1901.
The Mayor of Thorsby is Dearl Hilyer. The Thorsby Town Council consists of Jean Nelson, Tara Jewell, Neal Benson, Willis Britt and Marvin Crumpton. The town operates its on police and fire departments, as well as departments of building inspection, law, parks and recreation, and the Thorsby Water Works. The Chilton County School System operates the K-12 Thorsby School in the town.
The town operates a historical museum in the former Helen Jenkins Chapel and provides a guide to the town's Scandinavian Cemetery. An annual Thorsby Swedish Fest celebrates the town's heritage at Richard H. Wood Memorial Park. Town leaders are actively seeking ways to strengthen the town's historical ties to Scandinavia and have approached the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce about initiating a sister-city relationship with the Swedish city of Torsby.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.2 square miles.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,820 people, 714 households, and 527 families residing in the town. The population density was 355.5 people per square mile. There were 780 housing units at an average density of 152.4/sq mi. The racial makeup of the town was 92% White and 6% Black. 2.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 714 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26% were non-families. 24% of all households were made up of individuals and 11% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $36,635, and the median income for a family was $46,328. Males had a median income of $31,667 versus $23,810 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,956. 9.4% of the population and 5.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 14.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.8% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
- Foscue, Virginia O. (1989) Place Names in Alabama. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 081730410X
- "Thorsby, Alabama." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 20 Jun 2009, 21:44 UTC. 20 Jun 2009 .
- "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". (May 3, 2005) United States Census Bureau
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau
- "4 killed, 4 hurt when van hit by train". (February 8, 2007) Birmingham News
- Averette, Justin (July 27, 2009) "Thorsby tries to strengthen Swedish ties." Clanton Advertiser
- Mims, Scott (October 19, 2009) "Thorsby approves coat of arms." Clanton Advertiser
- Thorsby official website