William Wyatt Bibb, 1819 Coosada is located in the southwest corner of Elmore County in the east-central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government. Creek leader William Weatherford (ca. 1781-1824) was born near the present-day town.
Prior to non-Indian settlement, the land upon which present-day Coosada was established lay in the territory of the Coushatta tribe (now the Alabama-Coushattas) near or on the site of the town of Koasati. The name Coosada is an Americanization of this Muskogean word.
After the Creek War of 1813-14, white settlers began to move into the area. Georgian William Wyatt Bibb, first governor of the Alabama Territory and then of the state, bought land where Koasati had stood and divided it into 116 lots to sell. At the time, the settlement was located in Autauga County. He built his own home in Coosada and is buried there.
By 1818, Coosawda (as it was then spelled) had a school and a sawmill. The post office was established in 1821. Coosada became part of Elmore County when it was established in 1866. A railroad came through in 1872. According to town histories, the town’s name gained its current spelling in 1889, when a railroad sign painter accidentally left the “w” out of the name on the station’s sign.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Coosada recorded a population of 935. Of that number, 59.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 28.9 percent as African American, 9.1 percent as two or more races, 4.3 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 1.4 as American Indian, and 1.1 percent as Asian. The town’s median household income was $56,058, and the per capita income was $24,821.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Coosada was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (24.8 percent)
- Retail trade (21.5 percent)
- Public administration (15.1 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (9.2 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (8.0 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (3.8 percent)
- Construction (4.7 percent)
- Manufacturing (4.0 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (4.0 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (2.6 percent)
- Wholesale trade (1.2 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (0.7 percent)
- Information (0.2 percent)
Schools in Coosada are part of the Elmore County Public Schools; the town has one intermediate school.
State Highway 14 runs through Coosada northeast-southwest. Interstate Highway 65 is located approximately 10 miles southwest of the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Gov. William Wyatt Bibb’s gravesite is located in the Bibb family cemetery just outside the town and is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage; also listed are the Corn Dance Farm two miles outside of Coosada, and The Elms, a Greek Revival-style house built in 1836.
The Town Hall houses exhibits of artifacts relating to Native American life in the area as well as artifacts from early settlers.
The Coosada Heritage Festival is held the third Saturday of each September. It features arts and crafts vendors, a car show, live music, a children’s play area, and concessions.
Elmore County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Elmore County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants Inc., 2002.