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Geiger

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Geiger is located in northwest Sumter County in the west-central part of the state close to the Alabama-Mississippi border. It has a mayor/city council form of government. Some sources claim that country and western star Jimmie Rodgers was born in Geiger.
History
In 1909, the Alabama, Tennessee and Northern Railway was built through the area that now includes the town of Geiger. It's founders, W. L. Waller and John H. Pinson, married sisters in the Geiger family and thereafter formed a corporation called Pinson and Geiger to sell land in the area. Some plots were sold and others were given away as a promotion in an effort to draw settlers. In 1910, Geiger High School was formed from three smaller schools in the area. It became the first school in Alabama to offer free transportation to and from school. The Geiger Times newspaper was established that same year and was published until 1918. The Yellow Front store opened in Geiger in 1911 and would go on to become a major west Alabama chain. In 1912, African American politician and educator Arthur Wergs Mitchell established a school for the children of local black residents; it operated until 1915, when it burned under mysterious circumstances. A variety of businesses opened in the area including a bank, hotel, bottling works, brick kiln, barber shop, hotel, livery stable, saw mill, and more. Geiger's agricultural economy suffered along with other Black Belt towns dependent upon cotton culture when the boll weevil began decimating crops around 1919. The town's population thereafter steadily declined. On April 15, 2011, Geiger was struck by an EF-3 tornado, which damaged more than 100 structures and left several families homeless.
Demographics
According to 2016 Census estimates, Geiger recorded a population of 296. Of that number, 54.1 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 44.9 percent as African American, 1.0 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 1.0 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $44,583, and the per capita income was $16,574.
Employment
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Geiger was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Construction (43.2 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (15.9 percent)
· Manufacturing (13.6 percent)
· Retail trade (8.0 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (5.7 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (4.5   percent)
· Public administration (4.5 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (2.3 percent)
· Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (1.1 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (1.1 percent)
Education
Students in Geiger attend Sumter County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
Transportation
State Highway 17 runs north-south just inside the eastern town limit in Geiger, while County Highway 32 runs northwest from the eastern edge of the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Geiger Day takes place the fourth Saturday in May of every year; activities include food and drink vendors, live music, sporting events, and board games. Geiger High School (ca. 1910) on Broadway Street is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Additional Resources

Sumter County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Sumter County, Alabama Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2005.
Published:  May 4, 2017   |   Last updated:  May 4, 2017