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Guntersville, Alabama
Location in Marshall County, Alabama
Location in Marshall County, Alabama
Coordinates: 34°20′53″N 86°17′40″W / 34.34806°N 86.29444°W / 34.34806; -86.29444
CountryUnited States
StateAlabama
CountyMarshall
Government
 • MayorLeigh Dollar[1][2]
Area
 • Total42.70 sq mi (110.59 km2)
 • Land25.64 sq mi (66.39 km2)
 • Water17.06 sq mi (44.19 km2)
Elevation
650 ft (198 m)
Population
 • Total8,553
 • Density333.65/sq mi (128.82/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
35976
Area code(s)256
FIPS code01-32416
GNIS feature ID0157977
Websiteguntersvilleal.org

Guntersville (previously known as Gunter's Ferry and later Gunter's Landing) is a city and the county seat of Marshall County, Alabama, United States. At the 2020 census, the population of the city was 8,553.[4] Guntersville is located in a HUBZone as identified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

History

Guntersville was founded by John Gunter (1765–1835), the great-grandfather of American humorist Will Rogers.[5] Gunter's own great-great-grandfather, of Welsh-English descent, had emigrated to the New World in 1644. Gunter was the wealthy owner of a salt mine in the early 19th century. In order to obtain more land to mine, Gunter struck a deal with the Cherokee tribe that inhabited the area to use in his household as servants. As part of the deal, Gunter married the daughter (Ghe-No-He-Li, aka Katy and Cathrine) of the tribe's chief (Chief Bushyhead of the Paint Clan) and agreed to give salt to the tribe. A town sprung up next to the mine and was named after Gunter. The town of Guntersville puts on a festival every July to celebrate Will Rogers, which involves many activities which were of interest to Rogers.[citation needed]

Initially incorporated as "Gunter's Landing" in 1848, it won the contest to become county seat from Warrenton (which had been the seat since 1841). It formally changed its name to Guntersville in 1854.[6]

The United States Navy began operating a fleet of gunboats on the Tennessee River in late 1864. Confederate troops mounted a spirited defense of the river from Guntersville. In January 1865, the USS General Grant attempted to destroy the town in retaliation.[7]

For much of the 20th century, the economy of Guntersville revolved around cotton processing, especially with the Saratoga Victory Mill.

Geography

Guntersville is located in central Marshall County at 34°20′54″N 86°17′40″W / 34.34833°N 86.29444°W / 34.34833; -86.29444 (34.348197, −86.294523).[8] U.S. Route 431 (Gunter Avenue and Blount Avenue) is the main road through the city, leading northwest 37 miles (60 km) to Huntsville, and southeast 10 miles (16 km) to Albertville. Gadsden is 36 miles (58 km) to the southeast via US 431.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Guntersville has a total area of 42.7 square miles (110.6 km2), of which 25.6 square miles (66.4 km2) are land and 17.1 square miles (44.2 km2), or 40.0%, are water.[3] Guntersville is located at the southernmost point of the Tennessee River on Lake Guntersville, formed by the Guntersville Dam (built by the Tennessee Valley Authority). Geologically, the lake occupies a southern extension of the Sequatchie Valley, which continues south as Browns Valley.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870244
188032533.2%
189047144.9%
190061831.2%
19101,14585.3%
19201,90966.7%
19302,82648.0%
19404,39855.6%
19505,25319.4%
19606,59225.5%
19706,491−1.5%
19807,0418.5%
19907,0380.0%
20007,3955.1%
20108,19710.8%
20208,5534.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2013 Estimate[10]

2000 census

At the 2000 census,[11] there were 7,395 people, 3,061 households and 1,971 families living in the city. The population density was 312.7 inhabitants per square mile (120.7/km2). There were 3,518 housing units at an average density of 148.8 per square mile (57.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.17% White, 8.53% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. 2.87% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,061 households, of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.5% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.88.

Age distribution was 22.4% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.8 males.

The median household income was $29,882, and the median family income was $39,464. Males had a median income of $36,175 versus $20,480 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,503. About 11.2% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 16.3% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

At the 2010 census,[12] there were 8,197 people, 3,388 households and 2,167 families living in the city. The population density was 347.3 inhabitants per square mile (134.1/km2). There were 3,872 housing units at an average density of 152.4 per square mile (58.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.8% White, 7.8% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 3.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,388 households, of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.87.

Age distribution was 21.0% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.

The median household income was $38,094, and the median family income was $57,610. Males had a median income of $39,063 versus $31,410 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,468. About 16.9% of families and 20.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.9% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Guntersville racial composition[13]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 6,942 81.16%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 745 8.71%
Native American 34 0.4%
Asian 93 1.09%
Other/Mixed 354 4.14%
Hispanic or Latino 385 4.5%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 8,553 people, 3,312 households, and 2,179 families residing in the city.

Recreation

Guntersville sits on the shore of 69,100-acre (28,000 ha) Guntersville Lake, the biggest lake in Alabama.[14] The lake is maintained and managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The 2014 and 2020 Bassmaster Classic were held on Guntersville Lake.[15]

The 2022 APBA Gold Cup Unlimited Hydroplane racing championship is scheduled to be held on Guntersville Lake.

Government

The current mayor is Leigh Dollar, the daughter of a previous mayor, and the first female to hold mayor's office in Guntersville.

Education

Guntersville has one school system in the town which is made up of four schools; Guntersville Elementary School (Kindergarten-2nd grade), Cherokee Elementary School (3rd–5th grade), Guntersville Middle School (6th–8th grade), and Guntersville High School (9th–12th grade). In 2006 Guntersville High School won the 4A football state championship, which is the only football state championship recorded by a school in Marshall County, Alabama.[16]

Culture

Guntersville was the last place in which Ricky Nelson ever performed as a singer. His last performance was at PJ's Alley in Guntersville on Monday, December 30, 1985. His private plane departed Guntersville the next day, New Year's Eve, and crashed near DeKalb, Texas.[17][18]

In Hunting Mister Heartbreak: A Discovery of America, the British author Jonathan Raban becomes a temporary resident of the city, to which he takes a liking in his conservative persona as John Rayburn. He is aware, however, that were his real views known the people of Guntersville might have been less welcoming. "Scratch John Rayburn, and he'd confess my own thoughts on politics, books, religion − thoughts that wouldn't wash in Guntersville."[19]

Notable people

References

  1. ^ "Mayor & Council | City of Guntersville, AL". guntersvilleal.org. Archived from the original on Nov 28, 2020. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  2. ^ Cagle, Joe (Nov 7, 2020). "New mayor, council sworn in". The Advertiser-Gleam. Archived from the original on Nov 7, 2020. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  3. ^ a b "2021 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Guntersville city, Alabama: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  5. ^ Roylance, Frank D. "A family tree's American tale". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  6. ^ "Guntersville".
  7. ^ Miller, Francis Trevelyan (1957). The Photographic History of The Civil War. Vol. Six: The Navies. New York: Castle Books. p. 233.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  13. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2021-12-11.
  14. ^ "Lake Guntersville". Outdoor Alabama. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  15. ^ Sargeant, Frank; Times, The Huntsville (2014-02-24). "Randy Howell of Springville wins 2014 Bassmaster Classic (photos)". al. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  16. ^ "AHSAA | 2006 Football Bracket - Class 4A". dnn.ahsaa.com. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  17. ^ "Rick Nelson dies in a plane crash". HISTORY. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  18. ^ "Guntersville musician to be reunited with Ricky Nelson's sons after being reunited with long-lost mementos (Mark McCarter)". al. 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  19. ^ Raban, Jonathan (1991). Hunting Mister Heartbreak. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 218. ISBN 0060182091.
  20. ^ "More honors for Bentley". The Advertiser-Gleam. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  21. ^ "SEC football's notable NCAA cases over the years". al. 2017-02-26. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  22. ^ Mississippi Bill Harris Guntersville, Alabama, archived from the original on 2021-12-11, retrieved 2021-09-02
  23. ^ "The Last Long River Trip of Mississippi Bill Harris". The Advertiser-Gleam. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  24. ^ Martin, Ann Marie (2012-04-29). "Jefferson Bass writing team will visit Huntsville library to discuss new novel, 'The Inquisitor's Key'". al. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  25. ^ "Jon Jefferson". HarperCollins Speakers Bureau. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  26. ^ McGregor, Cindy. "Grew up during segregation and made it to NASA". The Advertiser-Gleam. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  27. ^ "STARNES, Joe | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". history.house.gov. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  28. ^ "How Conrad Thompson became a wrestling podcasting mogul". al. 2017-11-15. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  29. ^ Staff REPORTS. "Guntersville deems Oct. 12 as Pat Upton Day". sandmountainreporter.com. Retrieved 2021-09-02.