McKenzie straddles the border in south-central Butler and northeast Conecuh County in the south-central part of the state; most of the town is in Butler County. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
The town of McKenzie sprang up around a branch line of the Alabama and Florida Railroad to Andalusia, Covington County, around 1899. Originally called Persimmon Creek, in 1900 the town was named after Bethune Beaton McKenzie, a Civil War veteran, a civil engineer responsible for building a number of railroad lines in Alabama, and a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1901.
By 1905 the town had a sawmill, a cotton gin, several general stores, and a drugstore. The town incorporated in 1913.
McKenzie 's population according to the 2010 Census was 530. Of that number, 67.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 29.8 percent as African American, 2.1 percent as two or more races, 0.4 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.4 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $19,271, and the per capita income was $13,318.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in McKenzie was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (34.3 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (17.5 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (10.1 percent)
· Retail trade (9.8 percent)
· Public administration (7.4 percent)
· Construction (5.4 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.1 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (3.7 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (3.7 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (2.0 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (1.0 percent)
Schools in McKenzie are part of the Butler County school system; the town has approximately 310 students and 21 teachers in one high school.
U.S. Highway 31 runs north-southwest through the eastern half of McKenzie; State Highway 55 runs from the southeast to the center of town and then merges with U.S. Highway 31 north.
Events and Places of Interest
McKenzie High School is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. Festival Park is located in the east-central
part of town.
Butler County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Butler County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2003.
James P. Kaetz
Published February 13, 2013
Last updated February 13, 2013