Autauga County, Alabama
|Autauga County, Alabama|
Autauga County Courthouse in Prattville
Location in the state of Alabama
Alabama's location in the U.S.
|Founded||November 21, 1818|
604.45 sq mi (1,566 km²)
595.97 sq mi (1,544 km²)
8.48 sq mi (22 km²), 1.40%
91.5/sq mi (35/km²)
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Autauga County was established on November 21, 1818, by an act of Alabama Territorial Legislature (one year before Alabama was admitted as a State). As established, the county included present-day Autauga County, as well as Elmore County and Chilton County. At the time, Autauga (aka, Tawasa) Indians lived here, primarily in a village named Atagi (meaning "pure water") situated on the banks of a creek by the same name (called "Pearl Water Creek" by settlers). Autaugas were members of the Alibamu tribe. They sent many warriors to resist Andrew Jackson's invasion in the Creek War. This county was part of the territory ceded by the Creeks in the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814. The first county seat was at Jackson's Mill, but the court only met there long enough to select a permanent seat at Washington, built on the former site of Atagi in the southeast corner of the county. In 1830 the county seat was moved to a more central location at Kingston and the town of Washington dwindled until it was completely deserted in the late 1830s.
Daniel Pratt arrived in Autauga County in 1833 and founded the new town of Prattville, north of Atagi on the fall line of Autauga Creek. His cotton gin factory quickly became the largest manufacturer of gins in the world and the first major industry in Alabama. It was at his factory, and with his financial backing, that the Prattville Dragoons, a fighting unit for the Confederacy was organized in anticipation of Civil War. Other units formed in Autauga County included the Autauga Rifles (Autaugaville), The John Steele Guards (western Autauga Co.) and the Varina Rifles (northern Autauga Co.). None of the fighting of the Civil War reached Autauga County and Pratt was able to secure payment of debts from Northern accounts soon after the war, lessening the disabling effects of the Reconstruction period in the county.
Charles Atwood, a former slave belonging to Daniel Pratt, bought a house in the center of Prattville immediately after emancipation and was one of the founding investors in Pratt's South and North Railroad. The presence of such a prominent African-American family owning land in an Alabama city as early as the 1860s is exceptional.
In 1866 and 1868, Elmore and Chilton counties were split off from Autauga County, and the county seat was moved to the population center of Prattville, where a new courthouse was completed by local builder George L. Smith in 1870. In 1906, a new and larger courthouse was erected in a modified Richardsonian Romanesque style a block north of the older one. The building was designed by Bruce Architectural Co. of Birmingham and built by Dobson & Bynum of Montgomery.
The county has a prevailing humid subtropical climate dominated by its location in the Southern Plains ecological sub-region of the United States.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 604.45 square miles (1,565.5 km2), of which 595.97 square miles (1,543.6 km2) (or 98.60%) is land and 8.48 square miles (22.0 km2) (or 1.40%) is water.
- Chilton County, Alabama - north
- Elmore County, Alabama - east
- Montgomery County, Alabama - southeast
- Lowndes County, Alabama - south
- Dallas County, Alabama - west
As of the census of 2000, there were 43,671 people, 16,003 households, and 12,354 families residing in the county. The population density was 73 people per square mile (28/km2). There were 17,662 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.65% White, 17.11% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 1.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 16,003 households out of which 39.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.30% were married couples living together, 13.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.80% were non-families. 19.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71, and the average family size was 3.12.
In the county the population was spread out with 28.60% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 10.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $42,013, and the median income for a family was $48,458. Males had a median income of $35,168 versus $22,859 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,518. About 8.20% of families and 10.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 14.40% of those age 65 or over.
In 2000, the largest denominational groups were Evangelical Protestants (with 18,893 adherents) and Mainline Protestants (with 3,657 adherents). The largest religious bodies were The Southern Baptist Convention (with 14,727 members) and The United Methodist Church (with 3,305 members).
- Millbrook (part - some of Millbrook is in Elmore County)
- Prattville (part - some of Prattville is in Elmore County)
Places of interest
Autauga County is home to several parks, such as Wilderness Park, Heritage Park, and Overlook Memorial Park.
- Samuel Smith Harris, (1841–1888), born in Autauga County, Presbyterian clergyman, founder and editor of Living Word magazine, and bishop of the Diocese of Michigan.
- Wilson Pickett, (1941-2006), born in Prattville, Alabama, American recording artist best known for singing In the Midnight Hour and Mustang Sally.
The sheriff of Autauga County is Herbie Johnson (R)  The legislature is the county commission which consists of five members all of whom are elected from single member districts.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Autauga County, Alabama
- Properties on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in Autauga County, Alabama
- United States Census Bureau. "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Ecoregions and Subregions of the United States, compiled and edited by W. Henry McNab and Robert G. Bailey, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1994.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "County Membership Reports". thearda.com. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
- Autauga County's Official Website
- Autauga County Heritage Association
- Alabama Historical Association Markers in Autauga County
- Autauga County Genealogical Information at Rootsweb.com
- Autauga County map of roads/towns (map © 2007 Univ. of Alabama).
- River Region Tourism Site
|Dallas County||Elmore County|
|Lowndes County||Montgomery County|