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Geraldine

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Geraldine is located in south-central DeKalb County in the northeast corner of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
History
The Geraldine area was settled sparsely prior to the Civil War but did not become a town until the early 1880s. Originally called Lee, possibly in honor of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, Geraldine's current name is of uncertain origin. When the soon-to-be postmaster filed an application to establish a post office in 1882, he entered the town's name as "Lee." At some point in the process, however, that name was crossed out and the name "Geraldine" substituted. Thus the town became known by that name.
Early businesses in town included a mill where wheat and corn were ground, a tanning yard, a cotton gin, and two general stores. Early schools in the area merged in 1910 to form Geraldine school; a building for the new school was opened in fall of 1911. Geraldine had the first accredited high school in the county, and the first vocational school. Geraldine was incorporated in February 1957.
Demographics
According to 2016 Census estimates, Geraldine recorded a population of 793. Of that number, 97.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 2.0 percent as two or more races, 1.9 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.4 percent as Native American. The town's median household income was $38,990, and the per capita income was $23,548.
Employment
According to 2016 Census estimates, the work force in Geraldine was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (26.1 percent)
  • Manufacturing (14.0 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (11.7 percent)
  • Retail trade (11.2 percent)
  • Construction (7.2 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (7.2 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.6 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (4.9 percent)
  • Information (4.0 percent)
  • Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (3.2 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (2.6 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (1.7 percent)
  • Public administration (1.7 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (0.6 percent)
Education
Schools in Geraldine are part of the DeKalb County school system; the town has one K-12 school.
Transportation
State Highway 75 bisects Geraldine running southwest-northeast, and State Highway 227 runs north-south through the center of town.
Events and Places of Interest
Taylor's Emporium (Horton and Bryant General Store) is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. Geraldine sponsors an annual Fourth of July Picnic and a Christmas Parade.

Additional Resources

DeKalb County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of DeKalb County, Alabama. Vol. I. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 1998.
Landmarks of DeKalb County, Inc. Landmarks: A Pictorial History of DeKalb County, Alabama. Collegedale, Tenn.: The College Press, 1971.
Published:  April 12, 2013   |   Last updated:  November 12, 2020