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James P. Kaetz, Auburn UniversityStanley Moss, Pinson, Alabama
Pinson is located in northeastern Jefferson County in the central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government. Andrew Jackson Beard, African American inventor and entrepreneur, was born in Pinson.
Pinson Butterbean Festival
Pinson was first settled in the very early nineteenth century, purportedly by some of Gen. Andrew Jackson's men, who returned to homestead after passing through the area during the Creek War of 1813-14. The town initially was named Hagood's Crossroads, after a family of early settlers; the first post office was established in 1837. In 1952, the town was renamed Mount Pinson after a town in Tennessee, and finally simply Pinson when the first post office was established in 1837. A number of local men joined the Confederate Army in 1861, when the Civil War broke out, forming Company C of the 19th Alabama Regiment; their unit became known as the Jefferson Warriors. Beginning in 1863, the Mount Pinson Ironworks supplied horseshoes to the Confederacy until it was destroyed by Union troops under the command of General John T. Croxton.
The Louisville and Nashville Railroad ran a line through Pinson in 1889, making it a shipping center for the coal coming out of the area mines. By 1910, the city had a population of 125, ten stores, and a flour mill. During the Great Depression, as part of the Farm Resettlement Act, the federal government created the Palmerdale Homestead Community. This program too impoverished individuals from urban areas and resettled them on farms where they could learn to grow their own food and become self-sufficient. In March 2004, Pinson, Palmerdale, and other nearby communities incorporated as the City of Pinson.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Pinson recorded a population of 7,451. Of that number, 83.9 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 12.9 percent as African American, 3.4 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 1.2 percent as two or more races, 0.3 percent as Asian, and 0.1 percent as Native American. The town's median household income was $60,227, and the per capita income was $27,684.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Pinson was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (20.3 percent)
  • Retail trade (12.8 percent)
  • Manufacturing (11.2 percent)
  • Construction (8.9 percent)
  • Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (8.4 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (8.4 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (8.1 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (6.3 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (5.6 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (5.0 percent)
  • Public administration (4.2 percent)
  • Information (0.7 percent)
Schools in Pinson are part of the Jefferson County school system; the town has two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.
State Highway 79 runs through the western section of town north-southwest, and State Highway 75 runs northeast-south along the northern border of the town and then through the center.
Events and Places of Interest
Turkey Creek Nature Preserve
Pinson School and the Turkey Creek Archaeological Historic District, near Pinson, are both on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Pinson holds its Butterbean Festival annually; it features live music, food, arts and crafts vendors, and butterbeans.
The Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, which houses the remains of the Mount Pinson Ironworks, is located just minutes from Pinson. Turkey Creek itself is home to three endangered fish species; two of these fish, the Vermillion darter and the Rush Darter, are found only in Turkey Creek.

Additional Resources

Jefferson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jefferson County. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
White, Marjorie Longenecker. The Birmingham District: An Industrial and Historic Guide. Birmingham, Ala.: Birmingham Historical Society, 1981.
Published:  July 3, 2013   |   Last updated:  January 28, 2016