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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Autaugaville is located in southeast Autauga County in the central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government. Noted blues musician George "Wild Child" Butler was born in Autaugaville.
Autauga Place
The first settler in what is now Autaugaville arrived around 1820 and built a gristmill and sawmill on Swift Creek, about three miles upriver from the Alabama River. One source says that the town incorporated in 1839, but another cites 1907. A cotton mill opened in 1849 on the banks of Swift Creek, and following upon the model of industrialist Daniel Pratt, the owner constructed housing for its employees, thus expanding the town. It expanded further when many citizens from nearby Vernon relocated to Autaugaville to escape the floods and diseases to which that town was prone. By 1851, the town had a population of 351 and claimed four stores, two churches, and two schools.
Additional businesses opened in Autaugaville during this period, including a cloth factory, a buggy and wagon factory, and a gristmill, making it a thriving manufacturing center. The downtown area was seriously damaged by a fire in 1853 but quickly rebuilt. Autaugaville's first and only newspaper, the Autauga Citizen, also began publication in 1853, existing until 1873.
The Civil War and Reconstruction resulted in the closing of Autaugaville's factories, including the cotton factory, which saw its shipments seized by the U.S. government. The war and its aftermath essentially ended Autaugaville's status as a manufacturing center. The town incorporated in 1907, and the Alabama Central Railroad built a branch through town in 1911. At least one of several lumber mills operated periodically until the 1930s. In 1936, an Alabama Forestry Commission nursery opened near town. Crystal Lake Manufacturing Company makes brooms, mops, and handles in Autaugaville.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Autaugaville recorded a population of 1,023. Of that number, 75.3 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 23.2 percent as white, 1.5 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.3 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $29,327, and the per capita income was $17,926.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the work force in Autaugaville was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (18.9 percent)
  • Manufacturing (18.2 percent)
  • Construction (14.1 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (9.6 percent)
  • Public administration (9.6 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.8 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (6.6 percent)
  • Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (5.7 percent)
  • Retail trade (5.5 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (4.8 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (0.5 percent)
Schools in Autaugaville are part of the Autauga County school system; the town has one K-12 school.
State Highway 14 bisects Autaugaville running roughly east-west, County Road 165 runs northeast from the center of town, and County Road 19 runs northwest from the center of town.

Additional Resources

Autauga County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Autauga County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2001.
Gray, Daniel S. Autauga County: The First Hundred Years, 1818-1918. Prattville, Ala.: Autauga County Prattville Public Library, 1972.
Nobles, Larry M. Old Autauga: Portrait of a Deep South County. Brierfield, Ala.: Cahaba Trace Commission, 2000.
Published:  February 8, 2013   |   Last updated:  July 24, 2019