Pelham Gets Its Name From A Very Gallant Man

Written by emily standige,
Sentinels Historical Research team 2017

One of the many cities in Shelby County includes Pelham, incorporated on July 10, 1964. Before this rather recent incorporation, the city of Pelham was often referred to as Shelbyville or Middleton before being named after the “Gallant Pelham” of the Confederate Army.

Major John Pelham fought in more than sixty battles during the Civil War before being killed in 1863 at Kelly’s Ford. His help with the victory of the Confederate Army at the Battle at Fredericksburg was enough to be mentioned in General Robert E. Lee’s official report.

Within that report, General Lee mentioned specifically the “Gallant Pelham’s” contributions. Posthumously, Major Pelham was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He is now known as a very well respected man that supported the Confederate cause within the Alabama area. On May 2010, the Pelham Historical Marker pictured here was erected in honor of the city’s history.

The first mayor of Pelham was a farmer named Paul Yeager Senior. He served from 1964 to 1972. The city of Pelham is also home to many impressive attractions. Some of the attractions include the always popular Oak Mountain State Park, and the Pelham Civic Complex that houses two National Hockey League-sized ice rinks.

Pelham’s population has increased drastically since its incorporation. According to the city’s census, “…[the] population change since 2000…[has increased by] +58%.” As the population increases, there is sure to be an enrichment of this city’s history as it continues to grow.

Onboard Informatics. “Pelham, Alabama.” Pelham, Alabama (AL 35124) Profile: Population, Maps, Real Estate, Averages, Homes, Statistics, Relocation, Travel, Jobs, Hospitals, Schools, Crime, Moving, Houses, News, Sex Offenders. Onboard Informatics, 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

Picture Courtesy of Mathew Brady. Used with Permission.