Phenix City
—  City  —
View of Phenix City from a plane
Location in Alabama.
Coordinates: Template:Coord/linkCoordinates: Template:Coord/link
Country United States
State Alabama
Counties Russell
 - Mayor Sonny Coulter
 - Total 24.8 sq mi (64.1 km2)
 - Land 24.6 sq mi (63.7 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 243 ft (74 m)
Population (2006)[1]
 - Total 30,067
 - Density 1,139.7/sq mi (469.06/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 36867-36869
Area code(s) 334
FIPS code 01-59472
GNIS feature ID 0155193
Historical populations
Census Pop. <tr><td style="text-align:center">1880</td><td style="padding-left:8px">2,224</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">
</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1890</td><td style="padding-left:8px">3,700</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1900</td><td style="padding-left:8px">4,153</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1910</td><td style="padding-left:8px">4,555</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1920</td><td style="padding-left:8px">5,432</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1930</td><td style="padding-left:8px">13,852</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1940</td><td style="padding-left:8px">15,351</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1950</td><td style="padding-left:8px">23,305</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1960</td><td style="padding-left:8px">27,630</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1970</td><td style="padding-left:8px">25,281</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1980</td><td style="padding-left:8px">26,928</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">1990</td><td style="padding-left:8px">25,312</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">2000</td><td style="padding-left:8px">28,265</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center">Est. 2007</td><td style="padding-left:8px">30,663</td><td></td><td style="padding-left:8px">Template:Val%</td></tr>

Phenix City is a city and the county seat in Russell County in the U.S. state of Alabama. Portions of Lee County are addressed as Phenix City, 36870 ZIP code, for the sole purpose that Smiths Station does not have full incorporation to annex the area. As of 2006, the population of the city was 30,067, according to Census Bureau estimates.[1]

Phenix City is sometimes called a "Hub City", as it lies immediately west of Columbus, Georgia, which is a much larger city. It is included in the Columbus, Georgia-Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area, but a section is located in Lee County, and is, therefore, in the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Statistical Area in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Russell County[2].

In 2007, BusinessWeek named Phenix City the nation's #1 Best Affordable Suburb to raise a family.[3]

Currently, the mayor is Sonny Coulter, a local businessman, and previous mayor. The city manager, who holds the task of organizational matters is Wallace Hunter.


Phenix City is located at Template:Coord/link (32.472822, -85.020121)[4].

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.8 square miles (64.1 km²), of which, 24.6 square miles (63.7 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (0.61%) is water.


The last true battle of the Civil War took place in Phenix City, then known as Girard.[5]

In the late 19th century, Girard made up most of current downtown Phenix City, while Phenix City was mostly in Lee County. In the early 20th century, the two towns consolidated into the present Phenix City as county lines were redrawn to account for population shifts involved in the Auburn University opening and expansion.

Phenix City was notorious during the 1940s and 1950s as being a haven for organized crime, prostitution, and gambling, the result of its proximity to the United States Army training center at Fort Benning, Georgia. As a result, the city had a negative reputation, and many people still associate this legacy with Phenix City. The Tragedy and the Triumph of Phenix City, Alabama by Margaret Ann Barnes chronicles these events, which led to the small town to be known as "Sin City, USA". The bordertown was the subject of an acclaimed film, The Phenix City Story, made in 1955.

In 1955, it won the All-America City Award from the National Municipal League.



Phenix City is home to many Christian churches. The denominations are as follows:[6]


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 28,265 people, 11,517 households, and 7,566 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,149.1 people per square mile (443.6/km²). There were 13,250 housing units at an average density of 538.7/sq mi (208.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.94% White, 44.97% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 1.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,517 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.99.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,720, and the median income for a family was $33,740. Males had a median income of $28,906 versus $21,348 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,619. About 18.8% of families and 21.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.5% of those under age 18 and 20.6% of those age 65 or over.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.4 males.

Time Zone (official and observed)Edit

Although Alabama is legally part of the Central Time Zone, Phenix City's proximity to the larger city of Columbus, Georgia means that Phenix City and areas within a 10-15 mile radius (such as Smiths Station, Alabama) observe Eastern Time on a de facto basis, including the Phenix City municipal government.


Template:See also Phenix City also receives all major television networks and radio stations from nearby Columbus, Georgia. There are, however, three radio stations licensed in Phenix City: WURY-LP (97.1 FM), WGSY (100.1 FM), and WHAL (1460 AM).

Sister cities Edit

In popular cultureEdit

  • Ralph J. Bryant, The first black graduate of Columbus College & C.E.O of Decatur Capital Management was born and raised in Phenix City.
  • The character "Maggot" from E.M. Nathanson's novel The Dirty Dozen was from Phenix City.
  • The 1955 film The Phenix City Story (directed by Phil Karlson) is a biopic film noir focusing on the rampant crime and corruption in the city (then called "the wickedest city in the United States") and the 1954 murder of newly-nominated Alabama Attorney General candidate Albert Patterson.
  • Ska saxophonist Rolando Alphonso of the Skatalites had a 1960s hit titled "Phenix City"
  • The late recording artist Jimmie Spheeris was born in Phenix City in 1949. Also, Freddie Hart a Country singer who wrote and recorded "Phenix City" is from there.
  • Governor John Malcolm Patterson (Gov. of Alabama 1959-63) was from Phenix City.
  • The town gained attention in 1999 when Phenix City National Little League advanced to the final of the Little League World Series.
  • The city is mentioned in the film Driving Miss Daisy.
  • The city is mentioned as a former bootlegging city by the character played by Robert Mitchum in the film Thunder Road.
  • The 2008 novel Wicked City by Ace Atkins is set in Phenix City.
  • Colby Rasmus, Center Fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals is from Phenix City.
  • Atlanta Braves pitcher and Auburn University standout Tim Hudson is from Phenix City

References Edit

Template:Lee County, Alabama Template:Russell County, Alabama Template:Columbus Auburn Opelika Tim Hudson Atlanta Braves Pitcher and Auburn Standout is from Phenix City, AL

External links Edit

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