The area that now includes Adamsville was settled as early as 1862, but families did not arrive in significant numbers until after the Civil War. In 1889, resident William Adams donated land to the Kansas City, Memphis, and Birmingham Railroad for a right of way and the construction of a depot. The railroad made the town a stop on its route, and homes and businesses soon sprang up along the rail line. The community was named Adamsville to honor Adams and his donation of land.
Adamsville became something of a boom town in 1890 after a large coal seam was discovered nearby. Coal mining and coke ovens became driving forces in the local economy, and Adamsville quickly gained a reputation as a rough mining town. The town incorporated in 1901 and boasted a population of 600 at the time of the 1910 Census.
In 1915, the town voted to give up its incorporated status during a fight over liquor licenses and general concern over the town's lawlessness and rough reputation. A fire destroyed much of the downtown area in 1918, including the original depot, which was quickly rebuilt. The city reincorporated in 1953 and built a new city hall and fire station that same year. In 1973, the 1918 railroad depot was demolished.
Adamsville's population according to the 2010 Census was 4,522. Of that number, 52.3 percent identified themselves as white, 44.9 percent as African American, 2.3 percent as Hispanic, 0.8 percent as two or more races, 0.5 percent as Native American, and 0.3 percent as Asian. The town's median household income according to 2010 estimates was $52,167 and the per capita income was $23,461.
Adamsville's work force, according to 2010 Census estimates, was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (18.2 percent)
· Construction (11.6 percent)
· Manufacturing (11.6 percent)
· Retail trade (11.2 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (10.7 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (6.9 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (6.5 percent)
· Public administration (6.1 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (4.4 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (3.7 percent)
· Information (2.3 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (2.0 percent)
· Wholesale trade (1.1 percent)
Schools in Adamsville are part of the Jefferson County School District; the town has approximately 2,379 students and 140 teachers in one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. The city lies within 15 miles of six colleges and universities, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Birmingham-Southern College.
U.S. Highway 78/Interstate 22 runs northwest approximately two miles northeast of Adamsville, State Highway 5 runs north-south through the city, and County Road 110 runs west from the city. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport lies approximately 10 miles southeast of the city.
Events and Places of Interest
Adamsville holds an annual Christmas Parade in early December.
Jefferson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jefferson County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2002.
White, Marjorie Longenecker. The Birmingham District: An Industrial and Historic Guide. Birmingham, Ala.: Birmingham Historical Society, 1981.
James P. Kaetz
Published February 16, 2012
Last updated July 13, 2012