Reform was sparsely settled in the decades after Alabama became a state in 1819. A post office was established there in 1841. The arrival of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad in the 1890s, linking Columbus, Mississippi, with Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, and eventually Montgomery, Montgomery County, sparked additional growth in Reform, which lies about equidistant from these Alabama cities. Reform was incorporated on March 2, 1898, and several churches were established about this time, including the First Baptist Church and the First Presbyterian Church. The lumber industry was important in the area and that legacy has continued. By 1920, the town boasted of a population in excess of 1,000, compared with fewer than 200 in 1900. Later in the twentieth century, Westinghouse Corporation operated a plant in Reform, but it was closed toward the end of that century. Several other manufacturing firms operated plants there as well. The public library opened in 1971.
The population in Reform at the time of the 2010 Census was 1,702. Of that number, 50.6 percent reported itself as white, 48.2 percent as African American, 0.9 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 0.7 percent as two or more races, and 0.1 percent as American Indian and Alaska Native. The median household income according to Census estimates is $15,833 and per capita income, $14,036.
According to Census estimates, the Reform workforce is divided among the following major industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (32.1 percent)
· Retail trade (18.3 percent)
· Manufacturing (11.7 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (8.4 percent)
· Construction (6.5 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (6.2 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (5.9 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.2 percent)
· Finance and insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing (2.0 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (2.3 percent)
· Public administration (1.4 percent)
Public education in Reform is overseen by Pickens County, which administers an elementary and a high school that collectively serve approximately 750 students and employ approximately 75 educators.
Reform is accessed by U.S. Highway 82 and State Highway 6 that run east-west and State Highway 17 that runs north-south. The Alabama Southern Railroad operates a rail line through Reform. The North Pickens Airport, a general aviation facility, is located in Reform.
Events and Places of Interest
To the northwest of Reform is the Melrose Plantation (ca. 1840), which is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Published May 15, 2013
Last updated May 20, 2013