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History of Hoover, Alabama

Hoover is one of the three primary cities in the Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman metro area. Incorporated in 1967, it is located in the northern part of Jefferson County. Portions of the city also spread across parts of Shelby County. The community was named for William H. Hoover, who organized the Employers Mutual Insurance of Alabama in 1921, with offices in Birmingham. He moved the firm, then called Employers Insurance of Alabama, south of Birmingham to Highway 31, and purchased land for the construction of employee dwellings. The federal government received the land representing present-day Jefferson County in the Creek cession of 1814. Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws and Chickasaws had hunted and camped along the water sites there for thousands of years before white people settled. The moment when the Indian tribes were forced westward, settlers from southeastern coastal states moved onto the land. The Pattons, Actons, Baileys, Hales and Tylers were among the early settlers. Those families and their numerous descendants started sawmills and erected houses, churches and schools. The land in Hoover lies above the Cahaba Coal Fields. In 1853 the first attempt was made to mine the coal. The Confederate government's increased need for coal during the Civil War accelerated the development of mines in Jefferson County and the Action Mines, south of Riverchase. In 1869, the construction of the L & N Railroad at Brocks Gap in the western section of present-day Hoover extended the market for coal. As population increased in the area, houses for worship and schooling were needed. A one-room log cabin was built in 1854 for Presbyterian worship and school in Rocky Ridge. In 1866, Robert Patton donated land for a Methodist church and a school with adjoining cemetery in the Patton Chapel area. Around 1889, Methodists and Baptists in the Bluff Park area began to worship in a barn on the property of Daniel P. Hale. Nine years later, in 1898, a one-room building was erected on a site donated by Nathan Jordan Dison, where joint worship and schooling of both faiths continued until separate churches were built. In 1964, the first attempt to incorporate the residential developments of Hoover and Green Valley as the town of Hoover failed. Another petition was filed in 1967. That time the petitioning area was smaller, consisting mostly of the Hoover community, and it was accepted. On April 28, 1967, Hoover was officially incorporated with 406 residing inhabitants. Soon afterward, an election for a one-year term was held for officials. By 1989, the boundaries of the city had extended west. The new area included Bluff Park, the Trace Crossings industrial complex, the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and other residential areas along South Shades Crest Road. Three years later in 1992, the boundaries had extended east to include the commercial and residential areas of Inverness and Greystone. Aldridge Gardens is a beautiful 30-acre site that showcases hydrangeas and other picturesque gardens. The Stinson Ole Place, built in the 1840s, is the centerpiece of Hoover's Folklore Center, operated by the Hoover Historical Society. Moss Rock Preserve is a 250-acre nature preserve with trees, plants, rock outcroppings, streams, waterfalls, wildlife and other natural features. The nearest hospitals to Hoover are in Birmingham.