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Pell City is a city in St. Clair Countymarker, Alabamamarker, United Statesmarker. The city is the county seat of St. Clair Countymarker along with Ashvillemarker. At the 2000 census the population was 9,565.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.2 square miles (70.4 km¬≤), of which, 24.6 square miles (63.6 km¬≤) of it is land and 2.6 square miles (6.7 km¬≤) of it (9.57%) is water.Pell City, situated on Interstate 20 between Birmingham, Alabamamarker and Atlanta, Georgiamarker is the largest city in St. Clair County, Alabama. The city is located on the shores of Logan Martin Lakemarker, created by the construction of Logan Martin Dam in 1964 to provide hydro-electric power to the central region of the state. The city is surrounded by the unincorporated communities of Wattsville to the north, Cropwell to the south, Seddon to the east,and Chula Vista and Cook Springs to the west.


As of the census of 2000, there were 9,565 people, 3,830 households, and 2,772 families residing in the city. The population density was 389.3 people per square mile (150.3/km¬≤). There were 4,275 housing units at an average density of 174.0/sq mi (67.2/km¬≤). The population of the city is hard to pinpoint due to a large number of second residences, lake homes, and summer population influx. The racial makeup of the city was 83.41% White, 15.38% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 1.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,830 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was of residents were high school graduates or higher, and 17.1% held a Bachelor's degree or higher.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median household income in the city was $48,300. About 7.5% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over. However, these figures provide an incomplete picture of the area. Many of the affluent neighborhoods along the lake shore that are often considered part of Pell City are actually just outside the city limits in unincorporated areas. These neighborhoods constitute a sizable population and income level, but are not reflected in official city census data.


It was founded in 1890 by railroad investors and named after George H. Pell of the Pell City Iron and Land Company, one of its financial backers.The city was incorporated on May 6, 1891, but it nearly completely failed during the Panic of 1893. However, it was revived in 1902 when Sumter Cogswell built the Pell City Manufacturing Company, which subsequently became Avondale Mills which was a major landmark of the town until Thunder Enterprises, a Tennessee company, bought the building and began dismantling the factory in 2008. During the process, however, it was destroyed by an accidental fire. The mill was the economic and social center of the town during its development and early growth. Besides the textile mill, other economic endeavors included agriculture and mercantile establishments. Large cotton, soybean, and cattle farms were located in the area. Pell City increased its size in 1956 when the nearby towns of Eden and Oak Ridge were merged with the city.

The residences of Sumter Cogswell and Green Evans (Pell City’s first mayor) are two of the earliest structures, dating from the late nineteenth century. The majority of the historic structures date from 1902 to 1905.

Ashville, Alabamamarker in the northern part of the St. Clair County, was the only county seat from 1821 to 1907. A constitutional amendment in 1907 established Pell City as the second county seat. For many years, St. Clair County was the only county in the country with two full-service county seats. Both county seats remain operational to this day although Pell City has far outstripped Ashville in growth thanks in no small part to the convergence of both I-20 and Logan Martin Lake.The construction of the Logan Martin Dam in 1964 changed the geography of the town by creating a large lake. This also created a large recreational area which brought new businesses, temporary summer residents and tourists and hundreds of new permanent residents building new homes along the new lake.

On April 8, 1998, an F2 tornado struck north from here after the F5 tornado expired in western Jefferson Countymarker. This windstorm killed two people in a mobile home. It remained for 14 miles (22 km) but this F2 rotation partially damaged a church, twenty-six homes and mobile homes including other buildings in Coal City. Ninety other homes and mobile homes suffered minor to major destruction. An additional twelve people were injured.


After a period of growth in the 1980s Pell City voted to split its school system off from the county system, becoming independent. The system has over 4500 students spread across Pell City High Schoolmarker, Duran Junior High School, Duran South, Iola Roberts Elementary, Walter M. Kennedy Elementary, Coosa Valley Elementary, Eden Elementary, and Elouise and Harold Williams Intermediate School. The system also operates a Trade School as an alternative to college prep courses.

In 2005 Jefferson State Community Collegemarker opened a new campus location in Pell city offering a wide variety of community college courses. The school announced in 2009 that it will begin offering nursing programs to support the recently confirmed Veterans Nursing Home and County Hospital.


In the Mid 2000's, Pell City experienced a period of rapid residential and commercial growth (estimated population around 16,000, excluding the unincorporated residential areas just south of the city along the lakefront) spurred, partly, by the opening of the Honda Plant in nearby Lincoln, Alabamamarker, a new industrial park on its northeastern border and by a new retail area on the north side of I-20 anchored by a Super Wal-Martmarker, Home Depot, several fast food and casual dining restaurants and a planned movie theater.

The city has been selected to be the new location of a Veterans nursing home and a new Hospital serving the entire county. The Veterans home will be an 80 bed facility built in a neighborhood style of several small cottage clusters instead of one large institution. The new hospital operated by the St. Vincents Health System will serve the entire county but be located within the city limits. It will replace the aging St. Vincents East formally known as St. Clair Regional.

The economic downturn that began in 2008 slowed development. The city has been selected to be the new location of a Veterans nursing home, but the planned movie theater has been put on hold. Several business have also been closed including the Bruno's Food World that for thirty years was the major grocery store in town.


Pell City, and all of St. Clair County, is located in Birmingham's designated market area for local news and weather coverage. The city has one dedicated AM radio station, WFHKmarker.

Pell City is served by two daily and two weekly newspapers. The Birmingham News serves the county, and The Daily Home, which also represents Talladega County, maintains an office in the city. The weekly St. Clair News-Aegis and St Clair Times offer more local coverage. The latter is an offshoot of The Anniston Star and is owned by the Star's parent company, Consolidated Publishing, Inc.


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