The area that includes present-day Lipscomb was first settled in the 1830s and a Baptist Church was established in that decade. In the later nineteenth century, the area came to be known as Wheeling, in reference to former Wheeling, West Virginia, resident Stimson Harvey Woodward, who established coal mining and blast furnace operations in the area and spurred the construction of a local railroad connection around which Wheeling further developed. In 1885, three brothers, S. W., Lawrence Y., and H. P. Lipscomb, settled there, and Lawrence Lipscomb opened a general store. A rail line connecting the area with Bessemer and Birmingham was established by 1890, and the town became known as Lipscomb Station after Lawrence Lipscomb. The town was incorporated in June 1910 as Lipscomb, also in honor of Lawrence. He would operate a law practice in Bessemer and serve several terms in the Alabama legislature. In the 1940s, Lipscomb incorporated the nearby communities of Gordon Heights and Crescent Heights. In recent decades, however, the city has experienced a severe drop in population, has filed for bankruptcy, and in the 2010s curtailed city services due to funding shortages. City officials have so far fended off suggestions to incorporate Lipscomb into Birmingham. The city celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Lipscomb recorded a population of 2,055. Of that number, 66.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 18.0 percent as white, 14.9 percent as Hispanic, 1.6 percent as two or more races, and 0.7 as American Indian. The town’s median household income was $35,417, and the per capita income was $17,078.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Lipscomb was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (15.9 percent)
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (13.8 percent)
- Retail trade (13.1 percent)
- Manufacturing (12.7 percent)
- Construction (12.1 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (8.0 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (7.1 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (6.3 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (6.2 percent)
- Public administration (2.1 percent)
- Wholesale trade (1.4 percent)
- Information (1.0 percent)
Public education in Lipscomb is administered by Jefferson County Schools. The town has one elementary school.
Lipscomb is accessed by U.S. Highway 11 and State Highway 7 and lies just east of Interstates 20 and 59 and to the west of Interstate 65. The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport is approximately 20 miles to the northeast of Lipscomb.
Events and Places of Interest
The city often holds an Easter egg hunt and a May Day celebration. It also is convenient to the many activities and attractions available in Birmingham.
White, Marjorie Longenecker. The Birmingham District, An Industrial History and Guide. Birmingham: Birmingham Historical Society, 1981.