Silas was names for early settler Silas Shoemaker, who would become the first postmaster in 1890. Prior to 1880, only four families lived in the area; between them they ran a cotton gin, a sawmill, and a dry goods store. In 1911, the Alabama, Tennessee, and Northern Railroad built a line through the area, and the center of the town shifted closer to the railroad.
As the town expanded, residents began to organize and build churches as well as a one-room schoolhouse around 1888. In 1920, a second school was built to accommodate the growing population. Roads within and leading to and from town were paved between 1935 and 1942. Silas incorporated in May 1946. A garment factory opened in 1950 and at one time employed 200 people. The city hall was built in 1959, a fire station was built in the early 1970s, and the town's first policeman hired in 1972.
Silas's population according to the 2010 Census was 452. Of that number, 71 percent of respondents identified themselves as white and 29 percent as African American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $31,875, and the per capita income was $18,135.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Silas was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (21.8 percent)
· Manufacturing (19.7 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (17.6 percent)
· Public administration (10.4 percent)
· Retail trade (9.8 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (7.3 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (5.7 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.2 percent)
· Construction (2.6 percent)
Students in Silas attend Choctaw County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
U.S. Highway 84 runs east-west through Silas, and State Highway 17 runs north-south through town.
Events and Places of Interest
The Tombigbee River Jam is held annually in Silas in October; it features live music, food and crafts vendors, and a Catfish
Rodeo and Cook-off. Bladon Springs State Park contains four minerals springs and offers camping, picnicking, and playground areas across 357 acres.
Alokoli: The Choctaw County Bicentennial Book. n.p.: Choctaw County Bicentennial Commission, 1976.
Choctaw County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Choctaw County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2001.
James P. Kaetz
Published July 3, 2013
Last updated July 3, 2013