|— City —|
|Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise, Alabama|
|Motto: City of Progress|
|- Mayor||Kenneth W. Boswell|
|- Total||dunams (80.3 km2 / 31.0 sq mi)|
|- Urban density|
|- Rural density|
|- Metro density|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|- Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0118005|
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee and Dale Counties in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was estimated to be 23,653 in the year 2006.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a Boll Weevil, which is located in the town square. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is also right outside of Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
Also, Enterprise is home to the Enterprise branch of the Enterprise-Ozark Community College. The aviation branch is located in Ozark, Alabama. Enterprise-Ozark is a Micropolitan Statistical Area that, combined with the Dothan Metropolitan Statistical Area, form the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
The way of life in Enterprise came under threat in 1915. An infestation of boll weevils had found its way into the region's cotton crops, resulting in the destruction of most of the cotton in Coffee County. Facing economic ruin, the nearly bankrupt area farmers were forced to diversify, planting peanuts and other crops in an effort to lessen the damage and recoup some of the losses inflicted upon them by the invading insect.
Two years later, Coffee County found itself the leading producer of peanuts in the nation. Enterprise was able not only to stave off disaster, but found their economy renewed by a thriving new crop base. In appreciation, the people of Enterprise erected a monument in the center of downtown to what the monument describes as their "herald of prosperity", the boll weevil. The Boll Weevil Monument was dedicated on December 11, 1919, standing as a reminder of how the city adjusted in the face of adversity, and the only monument to an agricultural pest in the world.
In the early afternoon of Thursday, March 1, 2007, Enterprise was hit by a devastating tornado (rated EF4) during the February–March 2007 Tornado Outbreak. The tornado caused nine deaths, injured over 121 others, and left severe damage in the city estimated at nearly $307,000,000, becoming the worst disaster in Enterprise history. The worst damage occurred at Enterprise High School, where eight students died after a hallway roof collapsed. A quarter mile (400 m) wide swath through the downtown area was devastated, with at least 370 houses damaged or destroyed. The National Guard was called into the city, and a dusk-to-dawn curfew was implemented immediately after the disaster. President Bush, who arrived the morning of Saturday, March 3, declared the county a disaster area. An AmeriCorps team was sent to the city to help organize and participate in disaster relief.
As of June 2008 the Hillcrest Elementary School which was destroyed during the tornado was being rebuilt at the same site as the Enterprise High School. The high school was to be relocated to the west end of the Boll Weevil Circle. It was due to be rebuilt by the 2010-11 school year at a cost of over $80,000,000. It has been rebuilt and reopened on August 23, 2010.
As of the U.S. Census in 2000, there were 21,178 people, 8,533 households, and 5,973 families residing in the city. The population density was 684.2 people per square mile (264.2/km²). There were 9,641 housing units at an average density of 311.5/sq mi (120.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.62% White, 22.95% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 1.60% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 1.27% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.88% of the population.
There were 8,533 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.0% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,661, and the median income for a family was $45,510. Males had a median income of $37,131 versus $20,560 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,493. About 10.7% of families and 13.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.0% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.
Enterprise is served by Enterprise City Schools. Enterprise is also home to Enterprise–Ozark Community College, (also known as Enterprise State Junior College). A two-year college, the Enterprise campus is home to the Boll Weevils.
A composition for symphonic band by Rob Grice "Force Majeure" (published in 2009 by Birch Island Music Press (ASCAP) is dedicated to Enterprise, Alabama High School "03-01-2007 - We Shall Never Forget". The piece was featured by The North Star Wind Symphony in concert on March 11, 2010, Brack May Ph.D. Conductor, at the Lone Star College-North Harris campus. The song "Your Guardian Angel" by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is dedicated to the eight students who lost their lives in this incident. A concert was held for the students who had died in the tornado in which they played "Your Guardian Angel"by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and many others. They also held the concert to raise money for the new highschool that was built.
Enterprise is home of Verizon Wireless BamaJam Music Festival featuring over 30 acts on 4 stages in 3 days. Attendance is at least 100,000 each night. In 2008, headliners included Hank Williams Jr., ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Trace Adkins, and in 2009, headliners included Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Charlie Daniels, Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn, The Black Crowes, Kid Rock and many many more.