Hoover, which lies in both Jefferson and Shelby counties, is the second largest city in Jefferson County and the sixth largest in Alabama. The city is named for William H. Hoover, a businessman who moved his insurance company to the area from Birmingham in the 1950s. Recording artist Taylor Hicks, winner of the 2006 American Idol competition, hails from Hoover. The town has a mayor-council form of government.
In 1953, William H. Hoover, owner of Employers Mutual Insurance of Alabama, Inc., bought land along Highway 31 near the community of Bluff Park when the Alabama Highway Department began widening the road. Hoover, who already lived in the Bluff Park community, relocated his company from Birmingham to the area in 1958 and sold land to his employees. A home tour sponsored by the Birmingham Association of Homebuilders in 1959 sparked residential growth and led to the development of a golf course and the establishment of a fire department. The city was incorporated on April, 22, 1967, with a population of slightly more than 400 residents. A city hall was constructed two years later on land donated by Hoover.
Present-day Hoover grew over the years as a result of economic expansion after World War II and the increase in car ownership during the era. The town also benefited as families left Birmingham's industrial expansion, and some white families fled Birmingham after the passage of civil rights legislation outlawing segregation in public schools and discrimination in housing sales and rental practices.
Hoover's early economy centered on retail, with the opening of the Hoover Mall, a shopping center with 21 stores, in 1972. Hoover has since annexed several nearby communities and has become known for its retail facilities, most notably the Galleria Mall, its award-winning school system, and its recreational facilities.
Hoover’s population at the time of the 2010 Census was 81,619. Of that number, 75.1 percent identified themselves as white, 14.8 percent as African American, 6.0 percent as Hispanic, 5.1 percent as Asian, 1.5 percent as two or more races, and 0.2 percent as Native American. The city's median household income was $69,359, and per capita income was $33,192.
The workforce in present-day Hoover is divided among the following occupational categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (24.5 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (12.3 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (10.7 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (10.5 percent)
· Retail trade (9.7 percent)
· Manufacturing (6.1 percent)
· Construction (5.7 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (4.9 percent)
· Public administration (4.9 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (4.8 percent)
· Wholesale trade (4.1 percent)
· Information (3.9 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.7 percent)
Hoover schools are administered by the Hoover City Schools. The city has 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools, one of which has a separate freshman campus. The Hoover school system serves approximately 12,500 students and employs approximately 950 teachers; it is known for its academic achievements and state athletic championships, most notably in high school football.
Hoover is served by Interstate 65, which runs north-south through the city, and Interstate 459, which runs northeast-southwest through the city bypassing Birmingham to the north. In addition, U. S. Highway 31 runs north-south through the city, U.S. Highway 280 runs east out of the city, and State Highway 150 links Hoover with Bessemer. General aviation is served by the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, and rail transportation in the area is provided by CSX Transportation, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, and Norfolk Southern.
Events and Places of Interest
Just outside Hoover are the award-winning 18-hole public golf course at Ross Bridge on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and seven additional private golf courses. Regions Park in Hoover is home to the Birmingham Barons baseball team and the
annual Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament. The city also features Aldridge Gardens, formerly a private 30-acre estate
that is now open to the public, and the Moss Rock Preserve, which has more than 250 acres of trees, wildlife, and natural
rock formations. Various outdoor activities and facilities are available at the city's numerous community and sports parks and lakes. Historic
districts include Park Avenue, which has 51 structures built during the early twentieth century and the post-World War II
period, and Shades Crest Road Historical District. Hoover hosts many annual events throughout the year, including the Bluff
Park Art Show, Celebrate Hoover Day, and Pet-A-Palooza, a festival for pets and pet-owners.
Barefield, Marilyn Davis. A History of Hoover, Alabama and Its People. Hoover, Ala.: Hoover Historical Society, 1992.
Jefferson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jefferson County. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
Faye L. Doss
Published December 9, 2010
Last updated March 15, 2013