Trussville: 75 years as a town

By Gary Lloyd

TRUSSVILLE – If you’ve found your way to this blog post, thank you. I hope you scroll until the end. I hope you hit the share button or tell a relative to read this. I hope you learn something.

On June 10, Trussville will mark its 75th anniversary of incorporating as a town. Not a city, but a town. Know the difference? Population. A town includes 2,000 or fewer people, while a city surpasses 2,000 residents.

In 1947, when Trussville incorporated as a town, it included 1,443 residents. Ten years later, when it became a city, its population had increased to 2,161 people. Trussville, as of the 2020 Census, is home to 26,123 residents.

Construction of the Cahaba Project during the 1930s (photo courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives & History)

I’m not an elected official, nor a historian, nor someone who lived through any of the most historic times in these city limits, but I think the history here in Trussville is unique in Alabama, in the United States.

June 10 marks the 75th anniversary of Trussville incorporating as a town. It officially became a city on May 31, 1957. At the Aug. 22, 1946 Cahaba Community Association meeting, pros and cons of incorporation of Cahaba alone — the Cahaba Project, a government housing development — and also of including Trussville, was discussed. It was suggested that the people of Trussville advise the government that they desired to be included in the corporate limits. A motion was passed unanimously to form a plan of incorporation and operation of a city government to serve both Cahaba and Trussville.

It was unanimously agreed on Sept. 24, 1946, that the incorporated municipality should include both Cahaba and Trussville. A March 11, 1947, letter from the Federal Public Housing Authority briefly outlined the proposed incorporation of the town of Trussville. The letter stated that the Cahaba Project was a fine example of planning for semi-subsistence homes that would be protected from the uncontrolled growth of its neighbor, Trussville. All minor streets had been planned that their connections with Trussville were made by way of Chalkville Road or Parkway Drive.

“The time has come now to join these separate communities as an Incorporated Town,” the letter stated. “In order to do so there must be more direct connections between the two communities and a pooling of their interests so that a well organized community will be attained.”

The letter recommended that both sides of the Cahaba River be dedicated as park lands, as well as The Mall and triangular area near present-day Brentwood Avenue. The grassy area between Magnolia Court and Hewitt Street was also recommended to be kept as park land.

On June 2, 1947, an election was held to determine whether to incorporate the town of Trussville into a city form of government. The election carried and all property owned by the Federal Public Housing Authority with four legal voters per 40 acres of land was included in the area to be incorporated. The Cahaba Project was absorbed into the town of Trussville when it was incorporated on June 10, 1947.

Trussville historical marker sign outside the Trussville Public Library (photo by Gary Lloyd)

On July 21, 1947, an election of a mayor and five aldermen was held. Horace Norell was elected mayor, and elected as aldermen were Mary Lou Farley, George A. Glenn, Alton Williams, John Yarbrough and Richard Beard. The homes and duplexes in the Cahaba Project were sold to individuals in 1947, at prices ranging from $4,400 to $9,000 each.

That is a long way – well, a long way if you’re accustomed to 140-character news in 2022 – to tell you that I wrote about the 75th anniversary of Trussville, of its rich history, for the Cahaba Sun’s June 2022 issue. Here are my history-focused stories for that issue:

Dedicated to history: Impact of Trussville man’s research, preservation still felt today – This cover story is about Earl and Carol Massey’s historic preservation efforts in Trussville. Believe me, you want to read this story.

Movie on the Mall to coincide with 75th anniversary – Come to The Mall in Trussville on June 10 for a movie from 1947, historical artifacts, food trucks and more. I’ll see you there.

Trussville museum offers deep look into city’s past – I have spent a lot of time at this museum, a small room that not many residents, to my knowledge, have visited. Please come and spend some time here. Make sure to check the Trussville Historical Board’s Facebook page to stay up to date on when the museum is open.

75 years of growth – Enjoy statistics? This is the historical statistics of Trussville story for you.

Here are three recent videos I created to commemorate the 75th anniversary:

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