Main Street, Gordo, AL

Goro main street.jpg


Main Street, Gordo, AL


Towns and districts


Main Street in Gordo before 1898.

Settlement of the town of Gordo, located on U.S. Hwy 82, 23 miles west of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in east-central Pickens County, began before 1847. A web site,, reports a post office in Gordo at that time. A sawmill had opened in the area in 1831.

Before the Mobile and Ohio Railroad came in 1898, Gordo was called the Crossroads settlement and was located on the stage line, a mile northeast of the city’s present location, at the intersection of the Columbus-Tuscaloosa and Fayette-Vienna Roads.

In Spanish, Gordo means fat or abundant. Speculation is that the city was named for the famous battle of Cerro-Gordo fought near Mexico City during the Mexican-American War in 1847. Cities and counties in Iowa, North Carolina and Illinois are also named after that battle.

On April 5, 1865, Union Captain William A. Southerland of Croxton’s Army and 75 men left Tuscaloosa on the Columbus Road. Southerland’s official report mentioned going through Gordo, where he met no opposition, and continued to Carrollton where the courthouse was burned.

With the railroad a reality in 1898, businesses developed near the railroad and the town moved south. On March 7, 1901, a fire broke out that destroyed several businesses before the fire could be brought under control.

The town was incorporated around 1900. The first mayor was John J. Windham.

By 1905, Gordo had grown enough to support six businesses; by 1913, that number had increased to around 30. A new brick schoolhouse was built in 1911, and by 1913, the town had a telephone system, a bank, a bottling works, and two cotton gins. An elementary school was built in 1936.

The 2010 census showed the population of Gordo to be 1714, up from 1677 in the 2000 census. The present mayor is Craig Patterson.


Frank Elmore


Betty Slowe (Description)






Pickens County (AL)

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