Coosada


Coosada is located in the southwest corner of Elmore County in the east-central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government. Creek leader William Weatherford (ca. 1781-1824) was born near the present-day town.

History 

Prior to non-Indian settlement, the territory on which present-day Coosada was built lay in the territory of the Coushatta tribe (now the Alabama-Coushattas) near or on the site of the town of Koasati. The name Coosada is an Americanization of this Muskogean word.

After the Creek War of 1813-1814, white settlers began to move into the area. Georgian William Wyatt Bibb, first governor of the Alabama Territory and then of the state, bought land where Koasati had stood and divided it into 116 lots to sell. He built his own home in Coosada and is buried there.

By 1818, Coosawda (as it was then spelled) had a school and a sawmill. The post office was established in 1821. A railroad came through in 1872. According to town histories, the town's name gained its current spelling in 1889, when a railroad sign painter accidentally left the "w" out of the name on the station sign.

Demographics 

Coosada's population according to the 2010 Census was 1,224. Of that number, 57.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 40.0 percent as African American, 2.9 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 0.7 percent as two or more races, 0.4 percent as Native American, and 0.2 percent as Asian. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $47,904, and the per capita income was $18,636.

Employment 

According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Coosada was divided among the following industrial categories:

· Retail trade (26.6 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (17.5   percent)
· Manufacturing (10.3 percent)
· Construction (8.9 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (7.7 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (7.2 percent)
· Public administration (5.7 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services   (5.5 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (5.4 percent)
· Wholesale trade (2.7 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (1.8 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.7 percent)

Education 

Schools in Coosada are part of the Elmore County Public Schools; the town has approximately 586 students and 36 teachers in one intermediate school.

Transportation 

State Highway 14 runs through Coosada northeast-southwest. Interstate Highway 65 is located approximately 10 miles southwest of the town.

Events and Places of Interest 

Gov. William Wyatt Bibb's gravesite is located in the Bibb family cemetery just outside the town and is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage; also listed are the Corn Dance Farm two miles outside of Coosada, and The Elms, a Greek Revival-style house built in 1836.

The Town Hall houses exhibits of artifacts relating to Native American life in the area as well as artifacts from early settlers.

The Coosada Heritage Festival is held the third Saturday of each September. It features arts and crafts vendors, a car show, live music, a children's play area, and concessions.

Additional Resources 

Elmore County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Elmore County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants Inc., 2002.

James P. Kaetz
Auburn University


Published October 24, 2012
Last updated March 20, 2013