Parrish is located in central Walker County in the northeast region of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
A coal mining town, Parrish was first known as Hewitt, the name assigned to the first post office established there in 1878. The community also was referred to as Jonesboro, after the first post master, at the same time. The post office closed in 1888, and the town was generally referred to as Hewitt thereafter.
In 1890, the Sheffield, Birmingham and Tennessee Railroad completed a rail line through the area that intersected with a branch of the Georgia Pacific Railroad. The Sheffield, Birmingham and Tennessee Railroad opened a telegraph office at the intersection in an unused boxcar. The name of the first telegraph operator was Parrish, and his name was adopted officially by the community as its name on January 1, 1891.
The town developed slowly until 1918, when coal mines began operating nearby and new residents moved to the area for the job opportunities. Parrish was incorporated in October 1922. A new school building was constructed in 1925.
According to the 2010 Census, Parrish had a population of 982. Of that number, 70.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 26.0 percent as African American, 2.2 percent as two or more races, 0.5 percent as Hispanic, 0.5 percent as Asian, and 0.5 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 Census estimates, was $24,844, and the per capita income was $16,254.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Parrish was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (29.1 percent)
· Manufacturing (11.1 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (10.7 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining (8.2 percent)
· Public administration (5.3 percent)
· Retail trade (4.9 percent)
· Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (4.9 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (3.7 percent)
· Professional, scientific, and administrative and waste management services (3.7 percent)
· Construction (3.3 percent)
· Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (3.3 percent)
Parrish is part of the Walker County Public Schools. The town has one high school that serves approximately 200 students and employs approximately 20 teachers.
Parrish is served by State Highway 269, which runs north-south through the easternmost section of the town, and County Road 20, which runs roughly east-west through the northern section of the town.
Events and Places of Interest
The town hosts a Christmas Party in December. Parrish has a public splash pad that is open to children during the summer.
Parrish also maintains a Senior Citizens Center. The town is currently constructing a new recreational venue that will include
an athletics field, basketball and tennis courts, hiking and walking trails, and playgrounds.
Dombhart, John Martin. History of Walker County: Its Towns and Its People. Thornton, Ark.: Cayce Publishing Company, 1937.
Walker County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Walker County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
James P. Kaetz
Published April 3, 2013
Last updated April 3, 2013