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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Goldville is located in north-central Tallapoosa County in the east-central part of the state; it is one of four towns in Alabama that has circular town limits. It has a mayor/city council form of government. Former governor John M. Patterson (1921- ) was born in Goldville.
Goldville Mine
Goldville was founded in 1842, during Alabama's peak gold-mining period of the 1840s and named for gold discovered in the surrounding area. It incorporated first on January 25, 1843, and became home to several thousand people—5,000 by some accounts—making it one of the largest towns in Alabama at the time, though many reportedly lived in tents. As the center of gold-mining in east central Alabama, Goldville boasted numerous stores, several saloons, a hotel, a mining supply house, a race track, a school, and a masonic lodge. The more settled citizens in the area turned to agriculture to make a living and cotton became a staple crop in the area.
Gold reserves in the Goldville district began to be mined out by the late 1840s, around the time for the 1849 gold rush in California, and most people abandoned the area. The town quickly went from being one of the state's largest to one of its smallest. In 1921, future governor John Patterson was born to Agnes and Albert Patterson, who would gain fame as a politician and attorney who was murdered for his efforts to end organized crime in Phenix City, Russell County. Goldville reincorporated in July 1973 after nearly a century of being dormant.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Goldville recorded a population of 27. Of that number, 100 percent of respondents identified themselves as white. The town's median household income, and the per capita income was $22,138.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Goldville was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (50.0 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (25.0 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (25.0 percent)
Students in Goldville attend Tallapoosa County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
State Highway 49 enters Goldville running from the northeast but turns and exits town running southeast.

Additional Resources

Tallapoosa County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Tallapoosa County, Alabama Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000.
Tallapoosa County Bicentennial Committee. Tallapoosa County: A History. Alexander City, Ala.: Service Printing Company, 1976.
Published:  May 4, 2017   |   Last updated:  May 4, 2017