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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Powell is located in north-central DeKalb County in the northeast corner of the state. It has a mayor/council form of government.
Powell was founded in 1905 by merchant "Doc" Powell, who purchased 500 acres of land in the area and built a store. A school quickly followed as other families settled the area, with Powell's store as the center of the community. The town today remains much as it was when founded.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Powell recorded a population of 1,127. Of that number, 94.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 2.6 percent as African American, 1.9 percent as American Indian, 0.3 percent as Hispanic, and 1.0 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $37,837, and the per capita income was $17,465.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Powell was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Manufacturing (37.8 percent)
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (17.2 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (12.8 percent)
  • Construction (9.4 percent)
  • Retail trade (8.5 percent)
  • Public administration (6.1 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (2.7 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (1.7 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (1.2 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (1.2 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (1.0 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (0.5 percent)
Students in Powell attend DeKalb County Schools; no public schools are located within the city limits.
State Highway 35 runs northwest/southeast through Powell, and County Road 47 runs northeast/southwest.

Additional Resources

DeKalb County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of DeKalb County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.
Published:  June 23, 2017   |   Last updated:  October 9, 2020