Lisman is located in northwestern Choctaw County in the southwestern part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
Allen Plantation Long before Lisman was founded and incorporated, cotton plantations dominated the land the town now occupies. One such plantation was founded by the Allen family, which encompassed more than 8,000 acres in and around present-day Lisman. In addition to the plantation home that still stands, the Allen property once featured a schoolhouse, a grist mill, a cotton mill, and a general store; the family also owned a gin company.
In 1912, the Alabama, Tennessee, and Northern Raiload (AT&N) built a branch line from Mobile, Mobile County, to Reform, Pickens County. The rail line was projected to run through part of the 600-acre plantation of Charles Ezell, who laid out and sold lots for businesses and residences along the proposed route. John T. Cochran, the AT&N official responsible for overseeing construction of the line, ran out of funding in the middle of the project, and for a time the work on the railroad ended. Frederick Lisman, an investor from New York, loaned Cochran money so that the line could be completed with a stipulation that one of the towns that sprung up around the railroad be named after him. The town was incorporated in 1913, then reincorporated in 1978.
In the early 1910s, Mattye Ezell opened a school was in an old plantation cotton. Various church services were also held in this building until a Methodist and a Baptist church were erected between 1914 and 1916. Lisman is located in an area of dense pine forests, and several lumber mills sustained the town’s economy during the early twentieth century. The town’s population peaked in the 1960s, when almost 1,000 people lived there.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Lisman recorded a population of 467. Of that number, 92.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American and 7.3 percent as two or more races. The town’s median household income was $40,556, and the per capita income was $24.306.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Lisman was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (44.5 percent)
- Manufacturing (23.2 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (9.7 percent)
- Retail trade (7.1 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (4.5 percent)
- Public administration (3.9 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (3.9 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (3.2 percent)
Students in Lisman attend Choctaw County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
State Highway 10 skirts Lisman’s southwestern town limit, running northwest-southeast. County Highway 9 dead-ends into State Highway 10 within the Lisman town limits.
Events and Places of Interest
The Allen Plantation (ca. 1897) near Lisman is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Choctaw County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Choctaw County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2001.