Century, Florida

Century, Florida

Century is a town in Escambia County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,714 at the 2000 census.

Geography

Century is located at (30.977648, -87.261500).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.7 km²), of which, 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (1.80%) is water.

Century is located in the Western Highlands of Florida. This physiographic province of the northern Gulf Coast is made of sand, silt, and clay hills. These highlands are deeply incised by creeks and rivers. Century is located on the western edge of the Escambia River floodplain. A small portion of the town (the eastern side) is within the floodplain itself. Most of the community, however, is located above the floodplain on level to gently sloping hillsides.

Century's roadway network is highly irregular. It essentially does not conform to the State of Florida's section, township and range survey system. This is due to two reasons. The first is because Spanish Land Grants were issued along the Escambia River in the 1500s and 1600s. These boundaries established a unique survey system that contorted east-to-west survey boundaries once Florida became a state and a state survey system was adopted. Essentially, previously existing survey systems were "grandfathered" in. The second reason for an irregular roadway and property boundary system is due to the community originally being built around the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (now the CSX railway). Automobile highways were eventually constructed, and closely paralleled the railway. A more modern highway (US 29) was constructed and moved many of the commercial operations west of the small original core of the community (now mostly located within the Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company Residential Historic District).

U.S. Route 29 is frequently used by residents of Escambia County, Florida to reach points north. Interstate 65 (located in Alabama) is connected by Alabama Highway 113 and provides the area with a route to Montgomery, Birmingham and Atlanta. From a southbound perspective, Century is en route between these major cities and the coastal beaches at Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key in Florida.

Along with US 29, Century is the terminus of State Road 4, which leads east to the communities of Jay, Munson, Baker, and Milligan, Florida.

Fresh water supplies are abundant, with water being withdrawn as groundwater from the Sand-and-Gravel Aquifer

In 1970, oil was discovered in the nearby community of Jay, Florida. Oil was also discovered near the Town of Century, especially to its northeast. Oil became important to the local economy during the latter quarter of the 1900s.

Gravel and sand is mined in open pits in and near Century. These natural mineral deposits are essential to supporting the construction industries in nearby Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama especially for use as aggregate materials in concrete.

Timber and pulpwood are other valuable natural commodities of the area. Nearby papermills at Cantonment and Brewton, Alabama provide a market for cut pulpwood. Timber processing is conducted by another industry about ten miles south of Century.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,714 people, 680 households, and 448 families residing in the town. The population density was 522.5 people per square mile (201.8/km²). There were 800 housing units at an average density of 243.9/sq mi (94.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 39.67% White, 56.65% African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, and 2.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.63% of the population.

There were 680 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 25.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the town the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 80.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $20,703, and the median income for a family was $28,241. Males had a median income of $26,932 versus $17,390 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,412. About 24.5% of families and 30.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.4% of those under age 18 and 26.1% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

The small town of Century has become famous for its political headlines and outspoken elected officials.

In November 2007, the Pensacola News Journal reported that former mayor Evelyn Hammond came under investigation by the Florida Commission on Ethics. Hammond previously filed a complaint in September that Mayor-elect Freddie McCall Sr., incoming council member Nadine McCaw and two residents attempted to buy votes by offering money and watermelons. Hammond has been publicly accused of allowing her family members to receive city utilities for years without payment.

When quoted in the local newspaper The Tri-City Ledger, Hammond often blames former mayor Benny Barnes for all the scandal associated with her tenure in office. Barnes currently works as the President of the Century Chamber of Commerce and has distanced himself from the scandal associated with Hammond's term as mayor.

When Barnes voiced his support for Hammond's opponet Freddie McCall, Sr. in the last mayoral election, Hammond called McCall and his supporters "puppets of Benny Barnes" in the Tri-City Ledger.

Local politics continue to be a controversial issue in Century as former mayor Hammond attends regularly scheduled city council meetings. Her comments regarding Barnes and McCall usually make headlines in the weekly Tri-City Ledger.

Economy

A Florida prison known as Century Correctional Institution is the only major employer in the region. This facility has employs a full-time staff of 401, which is almost 25% of the entire population of Century.

Education

Residents of Century and the surrounding area in Escambia County, Florida are served by the Escambia County School District.

Century is within the zones of the following schools:

References

External links

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