Ethelsville is a town in Pickens County. It was incorporated in 1952. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 81, unchanged from 2000. 74.1% were White and 25.9% were African American.
Ethelsville Alabama History
Ethelsville, originally called Yorkville, was one of the earliest settlements in the state and also the location of the first Baptist church in Pickens County. It took its current name from Ethel Hancock, who was the daughter of local physician J. T. Hancock. His son Thomas was the town’s first postmaster. The town was incorporated in 1952 or 1956, depending on the source. It was still an active railroad stop when it was incorporated, with four freight trains and six passenger trains stopping there daily. When the railroad discontinued stops in Ethelsville, the population began to decline.
In 1843, local resident John H. Alexander uncovered a shield and pair of copper scales while plowing his fields. The shield was engraved with the word “Hispana,” which most historians have recognized as evidence that Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto likely passed through Pickens County. Local legend claims that De Soto and his men spent a winter on the hill where Ethelsville Baptist Church stands.
Ethelsville Alabama Transportation
County Road 75 bisects Ethelsville running northeast/southwest, and State Highway 82/County Road 6 is located just to the northeast of town. The Alabama Southern Railroad operates a line through Ethelsville.
Ethelsville Alabama Events and Places of Interest
McShan Lake lies about three miles to the east of town. Its association with DeSoto has made the hill where Ethelsville Baptist Church stands popular with the geocaching community.