Ragland

Ragland is located in northeast St. Clair County in the east-central part of the state. It has a mayor/council form of government. Rudy York, a major league baseball player from the late 1930s to mid-1940s, was born in Ragland.

History

Ragland Cement Plant Originally known as Trout Creek, the community that would become Ragland sprang up around several coal mines in the decade before the Civil War. The mines supplied coke to the Brierfield Furnace, which manufactured weapons for the Confederacy. The mines closed briefly until the railroad came through in 1882. The town then expanded around the railroad stop that served coal mines in the area owned by George Ragland.

In September 1899, citizens of the town petitioned for incorporation under the name Ragland. Coal mining and the timber industry were the main economic drivers during its early years, in addition to a cement plant and a brick manufacturer. Cotton was a main cash crop until the land became depleted from overuse. Ragland's first school was constructed around 1907. A new city hall and jail were built in 1913, and a fire company was organized in 1916 in response to several destructive blazes in the business district. Brick manufacturing remains an essential part of the Ragland economy today, as does the production of cement.

Demographics

According to 2020 Census estimates, Ragland recorded a population of 1,795. Of that number, 86.5 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 9.7 percent as African American, 4.1 percent as Hispanic, 2.8 percent as two or more races, 0.3 percent as Asian, and 0.1 percent as American Indian or Alaska Native. The town's median household income was $37,422, and the per capita income was $18,895.

Employment

According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Ragland was divided among the following industrial categories:

  • Manufacturing (29.1 percent)
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (19.1 percent)
  • Retail trade (13.2 percent)
  • Construction (8.4 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (7.4 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (5.3 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (4.7 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (4.2 percent)
  • Public administration (3.7 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (3.0 percent)
  • Information (1.2 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (0.7 percent)

Education

Schools in Ragland are part of the St. Clair County School System; the town has one high school.

Transportation

County Road 26 runs east-west through Ragland, and State Highway 144 runs north-south. Interstate Highway 59 is about 10 miles northwest of the city.

Events and Places of Interest Ragland Depot Museum

Harkey's Chapel Methodist Church (ca. 1829), located west of Ragland, is on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. The Ragland Depot Museum is open by appointment and houses railroad history artifacts as well as artifacts from the town's history. Ten Island Park near H. Neely Henry Dam offers fishing, boating, and swimming.

Additional Resources

Sisson, Rubye Hall Edge. From Trout Creek to Ragland: A History of Ragland, St. Clair County, Alabama. Cullman, Ala.: The Gregath Company, 1889.

St. Clair County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of St. Clair County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.

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