Prior to its incarnation as Samson, the town was known as McKinkleyville and Morristown. Three landowners in the area combined their property to create a 160-acre plot that they then divided into residential and town lots that they then sold. By 1904-1905, the town had grown enough to support two retail stores. Samson incorporated in 1906, and one of the first acts of the new town government was to contract with someone to remove stumps from Main Street. A fire on April 16, 1909, destroyed much of the downtown area.
On March 11, 2009, disgruntled worker Michael McLendon massacred ten people in Samson and nearby Geneva; the event sparked a controversy when soldiers from nearby Fort Rucker were deployed to patrol the local streets, usurping local law enforcement.
Samson's population according to the 2010 Census was 1,940. Of that number, 73.3 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 17.9 percent as African American, 8.3 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 2.1 percent as two or more races, 1.1 percent as Native American, and 0.4 percent as Asian. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $18,768, and the per capita income was $11,606.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Samson was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Retail trade (30.8 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (22.4 percent)
· Manufacturing (16.7 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (7.6 percent)
· Public administration (6.0 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.0 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (3.5 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (2.9 percent)
· Construction (2.3 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (2.3 percent)
· Wholesale trade (0.6 percent)
Schools in Samson are part of the Geneva County School system; the town has approximately 750 students and 41 teachers in one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school.
State Highway 52 bisects Samson running east-west, and State Highway 87 runs north-south through the center of the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Each October, the city of Samson hosts its Falling Leaves Intertribal Gathering Powwow, which celebrates the region's Native
American heritage with traditional dance and dress, food vendors, and a campout.
Geneva County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Geneva County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
James P. Kaetz
Published October 25, 2012
Last updated March 15, 2013