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Ranburne

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Ranburne High School
Ranburne is located in south-central Cleburne County, in the east-central part of the state. It has a mayor-city council form of government.
History
The present-day town of Ranburne sits on the site of the oldest settlement in Cleburne County, dating back to around 1814. The territory that encompassed Ranburne lay within Cherokee Territory, and thus white settlement was sparse until the Cherokees were forced from their land by the U.S. government in the 1830s. During this early period, the town originally was called Lost Creek, after an incident in which a young boy wandered off down a creek in the area and was never found.
Farming was the mainstay of the local economy, but unlike other farming areas in Alabama, it was not cotton-based. In addition, raising cattle became a part of the farm economy. Land was donated for a school in 1850, but it was not built until 1860. As in most farming communities, school was in session three months in summer and three months in winter to accommodate the planting and harvest months.
In 1894, the town was renamed Ranburne, a combination of the names of Randolph County and Cleburne County. The community opened a post office in 1899, but it soon closed and was not reopened until 1931. In addition to farming, businesses that served the area in the early to mid-twentieth century included grist mills, a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, and dry-goods stores.
Ranburne incorporated in 1957, and it built a town hall in 1959. The town constructed a municipal park and a baseball field in the mid-1980s.
Demographics
According to 2016 Census estimates, Ranburne recorded a population of 455. Of that number, 94.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 3.7 percent as African American, and 1.5 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $48,393, and the per capita income was $25,032.
Employment
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Ranburne was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Manufacturing (20.3 percent)
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (19.3 percent)
  • Retail trade (9.4 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (8.4 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (6.9 percent)
  • Construction (6.9 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (5.9 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (5.4 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (5.0 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (4.5 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (3.5 percent)
  • Information (2.5 percent)
  • Public administration (2.0 percent)
Education
Schools in Ranburne are part of the Cleburne County school system; the town has one elementary school and one high school.
Transportation
State Highway 46 runs east-west through the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Ranburne maintains one city park and a baseball field.

Additional Resources

Cleburne County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Cleburne County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 1998.
Published:  May 9, 2013   |   Last updated:  October 28, 2020