Warrior is located in both Jefferson County and Blount County in the north-central part of the state. It has a mayor/council form of government. It is named for its proximity to the Warrior Coal Field, which was itself named for its location on the Black Warrior River.
Coal Train The area on which Warrior now stands was opened for settlement after the Creek defeat at Horseshoe Bend in the Creek War of 1813-14. The first school was built in the area even before Alabama achieved statehood.
Warrior remained a sparsely populated farming community until 1872, when J. T. Pierce established mining operations in the Warrior Coal Field and a post office was opened. The South and North railroad (later the Louisville & Nashville Railroad) soon built a line through the area so that the nearby mines could get their coal to market. The town that grew up around the main line became known as Warrior Station and was soon a booming rail center. The company shifted the main line to the east around 1915, and the line through Warrior remained as a spur. The first public school building was constructed around 1884 and the first high school in 1893. The town was incorporated in either 1889 or 1899, though most records cite the 1889 date. Like many of the mines in the area, those in Warrior made liberal use of the convict-lease system and discouraged the formation of unions. In addition, the town had a thriving brick manufacturing business.
During the Great Depression, Warrior’s mining economy suffered a severe downturn, leaving many in the area without work. Citizens in Birmingham held events to raise money to help out the miners and their families, and land was donated on which they could grow vegetables. A volunteer fire department was established in 1937.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Warrior recorded a population of 3,197. Of that number, 68.3 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 30.8 percent as African American, and 0.9 percent as Asian. The town’s median household income was $34,620, and the per capita income was $20,751.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Warrior was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (19.5 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (14.7 percent)
- Manufacturing (13.6 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (13.6 percent)
- Retail trade (9.0 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (7.1 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (6.2 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (6.1 percent)
- Public administration (6.1 percent)
- Wholesale trade (4.1 percent)
Public schools in Warrior are part of the Jefferson County School District; the town has one elementary school.
Interstate 65 runs north-south through Warrior, as does U.S. Highway 31. County Road 140 runs east-west through the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Warrior features several parks and a baseball complex that also includes a playground and pavilions. The Warrior Community Center is located downtown. Rickwood Caverns State Park is located a few miles north of the city.
Jefferson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jefferson County. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
Sloan, Cathy Borden. The Early History of Warrior Alabama. Hayden, Ala.: Blazer Printing Inc., 1990.