LaFayette, Alabama

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LaFayette, Alabama
A statue honoring boxing legend and native son, Joe Louis, stands in Chambers County Courthouse Square in LaFayette.
A statue honoring boxing legend and native son, Joe Louis, stands in Chambers County Courthouse Square in LaFayette.
Location in Chambers County, Alabama
Location in Chambers County, Alabama
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Country United States
State Alabama
County Chambers
Incorporated January 7, 1835
Named for Marquis de Lafayette [1]
 • Mayor Barry Moody[2]
 • Total 8.9 sq mi (23.0 km2)
 • Land 8.8 sq mi (22.9 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 843 ft (257 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,003
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 36862
Area code(s) 334
FIPS code 01-40672
GNIS feature ID 0164071

LaFayette (pronounced /la-ˈfeɪ-ɛt/ lah-FAY-et, /la-ˈfaɪ-ɛt/ lah-FYE-et, or /ˈlʌ-feɪ-ɛt/ LUH-fay-et) is the county seat of Chambers County, Alabama, United States, 47 miles (76 km) northwest of Columbus, Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 3,003.[3]


Chambers County was formed in 1832. The newly elected county officials opted to locate the county seat as near as possible to the center of the county. Lots for the new town were auctioned in October 1833, with proceeds from the sale financing the construction of a courthouse and jail. The town was first called "Chambersville", but by the time of incorporation on January 7, 1835, the town name had been changed to "Lafayette", named after the Marquis de Lafayette; its spelling was changed to "LaFayette" due to the influence of newspaper editor Johnson J. Hooper, who created a fictional character called Captain Simon Suggs, a backwoods southerner who pronounced the town's name as "La Fait".[1][4] The city's newspaper, The LaFayette Sun, was founded under the name The Alabama Standard in April 1841 and adopted its current name on August 3, 1881.[5]

Scenes from the movie Mississippi Burning were filmed at the Chambers County Courthouse and in downtown LaFayette.[1]

Lafayette is the birthplace of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. An 8-foot (2.4 m) bronze statue, executed by sculptor Casey Downing Jr. of Mobile, Alabama, was erected in Louis' honor in front of the Chambers County courthouse.[6] It is also the hometown of Hoyt L. Sherman, one of artist Roy Lichtenstein's principal art professor/mentors at Ohio State University.


LaFayette is located at 32°53'54.859" North, 85°24'2.822" West (32.898572, -85.400784).[7] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.9 square miles (23.0 km2), of which 0.027 square miles (0.07 km2), or 0.31%, is water.[3]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,113
1870 1,382 24.2%
1880 1,061 −23.2%
1890 1,369 29.0%
1900 1,629 19.0%
1910 1,632 0.2%
1920 1,911 17.1%
1930 2,119 10.9%
1940 2,138 0.9%
1950 2,353 10.1%
1960 2,605 10.7%
1970 3,530 35.5%
1980 3,647 3.3%
1990 3,151 −13.6%
2000 3,234 2.6%
2010 3,003 −7.1%
Est. 2014 2,984 [8] −0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2013 Estimate[10]

As of the census[11] of 2010, there were 3,003 people, 1,129 households, and 749 families residing in the city. The population density was 337 inhabitants per square mile (130/km2). There were 1,299 housing units at an average density of 145.9 square miles (378 km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68.8% Black or African American, 29.3% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. 1.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,129 households out of which 23.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.6% were married couples living together, 30.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.2 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,319, and the median income for a family was $31,629. Males had a median income of $31,842 versus $27,833 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,149. About 28.5% of families and 36.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.2% of those under age 18 and 22.9% of those age 65 or over.


The Chambers County School District provides public education for LaFayette. Within the city limits are two high schools (Lafayette High School and the Chambers County Career Technical School), one middle school (JP Powell Middle School), and one elementary school (Eastside Elementary School).

Chambers Academy (grades pre-K through 12) is a private school in LaFayette.

Notable people



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Schmidt, Greg. "LaFayette". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved January 12, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "New Council takes office". The LaFayette Sun blog. November 7, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): La Fayette city, Alabama". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Spell it with a capital 'F'". The LaFayette Sun blog. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "A History of The LaFayette Sun". The LaFayette Sun. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Craft, Chris (27 February 2010). "Joe Louis statue unveiled today will honor an icon". Ledger-Enquirer. Columbus, Georgia: McClatchy Company. Retrieved 10 March 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved June 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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