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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Kimberly is located in north-central Jefferson County in the central part of Alabama. It has a mayor/council form of government.
The city of Kimberly developed around a stagecoach station built in the 1830s; it remained in service until 1865. At this time, the settlement was known as Kennelsville. The city then became known as Jefferson, probably after the nearby Old Jefferson coal mine, until the late 1880s. In 1888, the town's post office was relocated to nearby Morris. In 1905, the town voted to change its name to Kimberly because another Alabama town had already claimed the name Jefferson. The town had a population of around 900 by 1910. Local coal mines were primary employers in Kimberly and were active through the 1940s, gradually closing down during the 1950s. Another significant employer in Kimberly was the Dixie Firebrick Company, founded in the 1930s; it was later bought out by A. P. Green Refractories Company. This facility shut down sometime in the mid-1970s. The city officially incorporated in 1952. Many city records and history were lost in a fire at the city hall in 1989.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Kimberly recorded a population of 2,840. Of that number, 94.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 2.7 percent as two or more races, 2.6 percent as black, 1.0 percent as Hispanic, 0.4 percent as Native American, and 0.3 percent as Asian. The town's median household income was $71,161, and the per capita income was $25,869.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Kimberly was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (26.2 percent)
  • Retail trade (10.2 percent)
  • Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (9.6 percent)
  • Manufacturing (8.9 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (8.5 percent)
  • Construction (6.6 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (6.2 percent)
  • Public administration (5.9 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (5.7 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.0 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (3.8 percent)
  • Information (2.6 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.9 percent)
Schools in Kimberly are part of the Jefferson County School system; the town has one middle school and one high school.
U.S. Highway 31 runs north-south through Kimberly, and Interstate 65 also runs north-south just west of downtown.
Events and Places of Interest
The Down Home Southern Festival is held in Kimberly in March and features vendors, food, and music for three days. The city also holds a Fall Festival/Labor Day celebration in early September.

Additional Resources

Jefferson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jefferson County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
White, Marjorie Longenecker. The Birmingham District: An Industrial History and Guide. Birmingham, Ala.: Birmingham Publishing Company, 1981.
Published:  May 31, 2012   |   Last updated:  September 1, 2020