DeBardeleben Coal Mines As is the case with many Alabama towns, Margaret was established in 1908 by a company. It was planned and constructed by Charles F. DeBardeleben for the Alabama Fuel and Iron Company, headed by his father, Henry F. DeBardeleben, and was intended for workers who managed the company’s steel plant and worked in the St. Clair County coal mines owned by the DeBardelebens. Charles DeBardeleben named the town after his wife, Margaret.
For a number of years, the mines produced around a million tons of coal a year. As other fuels replaced coal as a primary source of power, the mines in St. Clair County began to decline in profitability, and Alabama Fuel and Iron closed the last of them in 1950.
Margaret maintained its identity as a community and incorporated in 1960. A similar town built nearby by the same company and called Acmar has largely been abandoned.
Margaret’s population according to the 2020 Census was 4,905. Of that number, 69.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 29.7 percent as African American, 7.0 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 0.3 percent as Asian, and 0.2 percent as two or more races. The town’s median household income was $71,255 and the per capita income was $22,055.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the work force in Margaret was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services, and health care and social assistance (28.1 percent)
- Retail trade (13.8 percent)
- Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (11.5 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing and utilities (8.2 percent)
- Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (7.9 percent)
- Wholesale trade (7.5 percent)
- Manufacturing (7.3 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (4.6 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (4.6 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (2.1 percent)
- Construction (3.3 percent)
- Public administration (1.0 percent)
Schools in Margaret are part of the St. Clair County school system; the town has one K-5 elementary school.
County Road 12 runs northeast-southwest through the town, and County Road 6 runs northwest-southeast and connects Margaret with Interstate Highway 59 about five miles to the northwest and U.S. Highway 411 just to the east of the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Margaret holds an annual Friendship Festival in early October, featuring food and arts and crafts vendors, karaoke, and a car show.
Butler, Marie. Margaret, Alabama—and Now There’s Gold: A Brief History of a Unique Community. Birmingham, Ala.: M. Butler, 1989.
Crow, Mattie Lou Teague. History of St. Clair County (Alabama). Huntsville, Ala.: The Strode Publishers, 1973.
St. Clair County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of St. Clair County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.