White Hall is located in Lowndes County in the central part of the state, just west of the capital at Montgomery. It has a mayor/city council form of government. Ben Wallace, a long-time player in the National Basketball Association, was born in White Hall.
The town of White Hall was established during the Great Depression as a New Deal Project under the Resettlement Administration (similar to the town of Skyline, Jackson County, and the Prairie Farms Resettlement Community in Macon County). In 1935, the Resettlement Administration purchased the land of the former White Hall plantation and divided and sold the plots to black families through low-interest loans. Three-quarters of the families became self-supporting, and the community maintained the name White Hall.
White Hall, with its large number of by African American landowners, became a center of activity during the civil rights movement, including the drive for registering African Americans to vote. The town was incorporated in 1979.
In October 2009, civil rights activist and long-time mayor of White Hall, John Jackson, pled guilty to a misdemeanor and resigned his position after depositing a check intended for the town into his personal account. In 2010, the Southern Star Casino in White Hall was shut down after being open only a month as part of Gov. Bob Riley's crackdown on illegal gambling machines. The casino reopened in May 2012.
According to the 2010 Census, White Hall had a population of 858. Of that number, 95.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 2.4 percent as white, 1.7 percent as two or more races, 0.9 percent as Hispanic, and 0.2 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 Census estimates, was $30,000, and the per capita income was $15,497.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in White Hall was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (29.3 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (21.2 percent)
· Construction (9.7 percent)
· Public administration (8.1 percent)
· Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (8.1 percent)
· Retail trade (5.3 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.6 percent)
· Professional, scientific, and administrative and waste management services (4.4 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (3.1 percent)
· Wholesale trade (2.8 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (1.6 percent)
· Finance and insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing (0.9 percent)
Students in White Hall attend the Lowndes County Public Schools. There are no schools in the town itself.
White Hall is served by U.S. Highway 80, which runs east-west through the southern portion of the state, County Road 40, which runs east-west through the northern portion of the state, and County Road 23, which runs north-south through the town. Jack Edwards Airport serves general aviation.
Holy Ground Battlefield Park, located at the northeastern-most point of White Hall commemorates one of the significant battles of the Creek War of 1813-1814. It is located on the former site of a major Creek town and offers visitors interpretive panels about the battle, walkways through the landscape, and an overlook above the Alabama River.
The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail traverses the southern portion of the city along U.S. Highway 80, and the Selma to Montgomery Trail
Interpretative Center is located in White Hall. The facility houses exhibits relating to the civil rights movement and the
Jeffries, Hasan Kwame. Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama's Black Belt. New York and London: New York University Press, 2009.
James P. Kaetz
Published January 10, 2013
Last updated March 13, 2013