Maplesville was originally established in the early nineteenth century at the crossroads of two routes going from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery and from Selma to Birmingham; it was named after the first postmaster, Stephen Maples. It soon included inns and taverns that catered to the stagecoach traffic and boasted a population of 809 by the 1850 Census. Maplesville also had two horse-racing tracks, which brought visitors to the town. The original town center was located about three miles from the site of the current town.
The Selma, Rome, and Dalton Railroad completed a line near the town in 1850, and the Alabama and Tennessee Rivers Railroad followed in 1853. That same year, a depot was constructed at the current location of the town. Residents and businesspeople began moving closer to the railroad, especially after the post office moved there in 1856. The original town site gradually became deserted, with only a cemetery remaining today. Because of the several railroad lines, Maplesville became a shipping point for cotton and other goods from the surrounding area. The depot was destroyed during the Civil War in a raid by Union general James H. Wilson in 1865 and was replaced soon after the war. The Mobile and Ohio Railroad came through in 1897, further solidifying the town's status as a shipping center.
A lumber mill opened near the town in 1901, and the town population grew as people relocated to the area to work in the mill. The depot burned in 1911 and was replaced the following year by the current depot. Maplesville incorporated in 1914, but the incorporation soon lapsed because the town failed to hold elections after the initial round. It reincorporated in 1947 and had established a telephone system, garbage pick-up, and a water system by 1951. A new town hall was completed in 1975.
Maplesville's population according to the 2010 Census was 708. Of that number, 68.9 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 28.5 percent as African American, 1.7 percent as two or more races, 1.1 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.1 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $46,094, and the per capita income was $18,718.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Maplesville was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (22.4 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (19.8 percent)
· Construction (14.2 percent)
· Retail trade (7.4 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (6.5 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (6.5 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.7 percent)
· Wholesale trade (4.8 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (4.2 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (4.0 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (2.5 percent)
· Public administration (2.0 percent)
Schools in Maplesville are part of the Chilton County school system; the town has approximately 1,235 students and 81 teachers in two high schools.
State Highway 22 runs northeast through Maplesville; U.S. Highway 82/State Highway 6 runs through town northwest; and County Road 10 bisects the town going east-west.
Events and Places of Interest
The Maplesville Depot, the Maplesville Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Maplesville Railroad Historic District are listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. The Walker-Klinner Farm, located three miles east of Maplesville, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The town celebrates Maplesville Heritage Days annually in April and also has a Christmas Parade in early December. Maplesville
maintains two municipal parks that have athletic fields and a walking track. The town also has a senior center.
Chilton County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Chilton County. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants Inc., 2000.
LeCroy, Lorene, and Blanche Dennis. Maplesville: The Town and the People, 1820-1989. Montevallo, Ala.: Times Printing Company, 1989.
James P. Kaetz
Published February 7, 2013
Last updated February 7, 2013