Clay County, Alabama

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Not to be confused with Clay, Alabama.
Clay County, Alabama
Clay County AL Courthouse small.jpg
Clay County Courthouse in Ashland
Map of Alabama highlighting Clay County
Location in the state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location in the U.S.
Founded December 7, 1866
Named for Henry Clay
Seat Ashland
Largest city Lineville
Area
 • Total 606 sq mi (1,570 km2)
 • Land 604 sq mi (1,564 km2)
 • Water 2.0 sq mi (5 km2), (0.3%)
Population
 • (2010) 13,932
 • Density 23/sq mi (9/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website claycochamber.com

Clay County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 13,932.[1] Its county seat is Ashland.[2] Its name is in honor of Henry Clay, famous American statesman, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century. It is a prohibition or dry county.

History[edit]

Clay County was established on December 7, 1866 from land taken from Randolph and Talladega County. Named after the famous statesman Henry Clay,[3] the county seat itself was named after his estate in Lexington, Kentucky called "Ashland". Clay County was formed for geographic reasons. The citizens of the area had a difficult time reaching the county seat of Wedowee in Randolph County because of the Tallapoosa River to the east. Talladega was difficult to reach because of the intervening mountains. Even today, Clay County is one of only three counties in Alabama to have no U.S. Highways in its boundaries.

During the Desert Shield/Storm conflict, Clay County had more soldiers serving per capita than any other county in the United States.[4]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 606 square miles (1,570 km2), of which 604 square miles (1,560 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.3%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Rail[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 9,560
1880 12,938 35.3%
1890 15,765 21.9%
1900 17,099 8.5%
1910 21,006 22.8%
1920 22,645 7.8%
1930 17,768 −21.5%
1940 16,907 −4.8%
1950 13,929 −17.6%
1960 12,400 −11.0%
1970 12,636 1.9%
1980 13,703 8.4%
1990 13,252 −3.3%
2000 14,254 7.6%
2010 13,932 −2.3%
Est. 2013 13,486 −3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 14,254 people, 5,765 households, and 4,098 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile (9/km2). There were 6,612 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 82.62% White, 15.70% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 1.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,765 households out of which 30.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 10.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 26.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 27.40% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,885, and the median income for a family was $34,033. Males had a median income of $26,118 versus $18,637 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,785. About 12.90% of families and 17.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 19.00% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Notable natives[edit]

  • Hugo Black (1886–1971), born in Harlan, served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1937 until 1971
  • LaFayette L. Patterson (1888–1987), born near Delta, served three terms in the U.S. Congress from 1928 to 1933
  • Byron Lavoy Cockrell (1935–2007), born in Lineville, rocket scientist and engineer
  • Bob Riley (b. 1944), Alabama's 52nd governor, native of Ashland

Places of interest[edit]

Clay County is home to parts of Cheaha State Park in the Talladega National Forest and Lake Wedowee on the eastern boundary. Outdoor adventures abound in Clay County and the surrounding area. The Pinhoti Trail system[11] weaves its way through the Talladega National Forest to Mt. Cheaha, the highest point in Alabama. Hikers along the trail may spy some of the local wildlife, including whitetail deer, wild turkey, and the rare bald eagle.

Home of Doc Hilt Trails for Off-Highway Vehicles. On May 5, 2010, Doc Hilt Trails was awarded the distinction of being a National Recreation Trail.[12] One of only two private motorized parks in the nation to ever be awarded the NRT designation.

Clay County has two sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hugo Black House (destroyed, but still listed) and the Clay County Courthouse.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 83. 
  4. ^ Small Town Historic Markers, Alabama Tourism Department, retrieved 2011-02-02 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  11. ^ "The Pinhoti Trail - Alabama & Georgia". PureBound.com. 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ "National Recreation Trail Database". AmericanTrails.org. 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010. 

Coordinates: 33°16′20″N 85°51′40″W / 33.27222°N 85.86111°W / 33.27222; -85.86111