Warrior is located in both Jefferson County and Blount County in the north-central part of the state. It has a mayor/council form of government. It is named for its proximity to the Warrior Coal Field, which was itself named for its location on the Black Warrior River.
Once the home of a Creek Indian town, the area on which Warrior now stands was opened for settlement after the Creek defeat in the Creek War of 1813-14. The first school was built in the area even before Alabama achieved statehood.
Warrior remained a sparsely populated farming community until 1872, when J. T. Pierce established mining operations in the Warrior Coal Field and a post office was opened. The South and North railroad (later the Louisville and Nashville Railroad) soon built a spur to the area so that the nearby mines could get their coal to market. The town that grew up around the spur became known as Warrior Station and was soon a booming rail center. The first public school building was constructed around 1884 and the first high school in 1893.
The town was incorporated in either 1889 or 1899, though most records cite the 1889 date. Like many of the mines in the area, those in Warrior made liberal use of the convict-lease system and discouraged the formation of unions. In addition, the town had a thriving brick manufacturing business. During the Great Depression, Warrior's mining economy suffered a severe downturn, leaving many in the area without work. Citizens in Birmingham held events to raise money to help out the miners and their families, and land was donated on which they could grow vegetables. A volunteer fire department was established in 1937.