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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Boligee is located in southwest Greene County in the west-central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
Boligee High School, ca 1930s
The first white settler, John McKee, came to the Boligee area around 1816. When the town's population had expanded enough, town leaders petitioned the Presbyterian Church in the United States, the official governing body of the denomination, for location of a church in the town. It was granted, and the Bethsalem Presbyterian Church was established in 1833. At this time, the town's center was located approximately 1.5 miles from the current center. Its economy centered largely on agriculture at this time.
The Northeast and Southwest Railroad began construction in 1853, with a rail line planned for the Boligee vicinity. Completion of the line was delayed until 1870 because of the Civil War, but soon after, the post office and businesses in Boligee relocated near the line. The old town site, known as Old Boligee, was eventually abandoned.
A line of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad was built through the area in the early 1920s, and Alabama Power brought electricity to the area around the same time. the town could support two hotels, two cotton gins, and a cooling station for milk. The town incorporated in 1927, and Highway 11 was routed through town in the 1930s.
In 1996, three African American churches were burned in Boligee, bringing national attention to town and causing racial tension. People from as far away as Europe came to help rebuild the churches.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Boligee recorded a population of 594. Of that number, 95.5 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, and 4.5 percent as white. The town's median household income was $10,326, and the per capita income was $8,831.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Boligee was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Manufacturing (26.5 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (22.4 percent)
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (18.2 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (14.1 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (7.1 percent)
  • Construction (4.7 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (3.5 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (1.8 percent)
  • Public administration (1.8 percent)
Schools in Boligee are part of the Greene County school system; the town has one junior high school.
Bethsalem Presbyterian Church in Boligee
U.S. Highway 11/State Highway 7 runs southwest-northeast through the lower third of Boligee. Interstate Highway 20/59 runs in the same direction skirting the northern town limit.
Events and Places of Interest
Boligee Hill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bethsalem Presbyterian Church and St. Mark's Episcopal Church and Cemetery are listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Additional Resources

Glass, Mary Morgan, Ed. A Goodly Heritage: Memories of Greene County. Eutaw, Ala.: Greene County Historical Society, 1977.
Greene County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Greene County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2001.
Published:  April 4, 2013   |   Last updated:  November 29, 2021