Bessemer - Encyclopedia

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BESSEMER, a town of Jefferson county, Alabama, U.S.A., about 12 m. S. W. of Birmingham, a little N. of the centre of the state. Pop. (1890) 4544; (1900) 6J38, of whom 3695 were of negro descent. The town is served by the Alabama Great Southern (Queen & Crescent route), the Louisville & Nashville, the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham (St Louis & San Francisco system), the Birmingham Southern, and the Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic railways. Bessemer is situated in the midst of the iron ore and limestone district of Alabama, in the south part of Jones' Valley (about 3 m. wide.); to the east is the Red Ore mountain range, rich in red haematite; to the north-west are the Warrior coalfields; to the south-west, south and south-east are immense fossiliferous iron ore seams and the Cahaba coalfields; in the immediate vicinity of the city are limestone quarries, and about 18 m. north-east are the limestone kilns of Gate City. Mining, iron smelting and the manufacture of iron and coke are the chief industries of Bessemer; truck farming is also an important industry. In 1900 Bessemer was the eighth city of the state in population, second in amount of capital invested in manufacturing, and fourth in the value of its manufactured product for the year. Bessemer was laid out in 1887, and was incorporated in 1889.

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