Powell was founded in 1905 by merchant “Doc” Powell, who purchased 500 acres of land in the area and built a store. A school quickly followed as other families settled the area, with Powell’s store as the center of the community. The town today remains much as it was when founded.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Powell recorded a population of 1,071. Of that number, 87.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 6.1 percent as African American, 5.3 percent as two or more races, 3.1 percent as Hispanic, 1.0 percent as American Indian, and 0.2 percent as Asian. The town’s median household income was $50,172, and the per capita income was $19,586.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Powell was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Manufacturing (28.0 percent)
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (24.7 percent)
- Public administration (13.1 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (9.0 percent)
- Retail trade (8.7 percent)
- Construction (4.4 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (4.4 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (3.6 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (2.3 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (1.0 percent)
- Wholesale trade (0.8 percent)
Students in Powell attend DeKalb County Schools; no public schools are located within the city limits.
State Highway 35 runs northwest/southeast through Powell, and County Road 47 runs northeast/southwest.
DeKalb County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of DeKalb County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.