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Jemison

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Jemison is located in Chilton County in the central part of the state.
History
Jemison Train Station, 1906
Jemison arose along a stagecoach route between Birmingham and Montgomery. The first stagecoach line based in the town itself was established in the 1840s by its namesake, Col. Robert Jemison Jr., who would become one of the wealthiest men in the state prior to the Civil War. In the 1860s, the town was known as Langstonville or Langston Station, for an inn operated by R. J. Langston. In 1870, the South and North Railroad (later absorbed into the Louisville and Nashville Railroad) established a station in the town in 1870, and railroad engineer John T. Milner suggested that the town be named Jemison in honor of Robert Jemison. The first post office opened there in 1871, and the railroad built a depot in 1872. The town was known as Jamison until 1888 because of a U.S. Post Office misspelling. In 1890, a campaign to change the town's name to Bristol failed.
The city was incorporated in 1907. Because of the railroad, Jemison became a market center for local farmers to sell their produce and cotton; in 1910, Jemison's population was about 400. After the city's charter was allowed to lapse, it was reincorporated in 1919. A new high school opened in 1925, succeeded by another in 1965.
Demographics
According to 2016 Census estimates, Jemison recorded a population of 2,618. Of that number, 71.9 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 19.3 percent as black, 8.3 percent as Hispanic, and 1.0 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $39,722, and the per capita income was $18,685.
Employment
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Jemison was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Construction (23.5 percent
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (19.5 percent)
  • Retail trade (11.4 percent)
  • Manufacturing (9.1 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (7.9 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (7.2 percent)
  • Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (5.7 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (4.6 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (4.4 percent)
  • Public administration (4.4 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (1.6 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (0.9 percent)
Education
Public schools in Jemison are part of the Chilton County School District; the town has one elementary school, one middle school, one intermediate school, and one high school.
Transportation
Jemison Municipal Complex
U.S. Highway 31 runs north-south through Jemison, County Road 42 east-west, and State Highway 191 southwest from town.
Events and Places of Interest
The Tomlinson House is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
The Jemison MayFest is held on the first weekend of May and features live music, entertainment for children, food vendors, and product vendors. Jemison holds a Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony in early December. The Municipal Auditorium may be rented for special events.

Additional Resources

Chilton County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Chilton County. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000.
Published:  March 21, 2012   |   Last updated:  October 10, 2019