Winston County, Alabama

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Winston County, Alabama
Winston County Alabama Courthouse.jpg
Winston County courthouse in Double Springs, Alabama
Map of Alabama highlighting Winston County
Location in the state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location in the U.S.
Founded February 12, 1850[1]
Named for John A. Winston
Seat Double Springs
Largest city Haleyville
 • Total 631.86 sq mi (1,637 km2)
 • Land 614.44 sq mi (1,591 km2)
 • Water 17.42 sq mi (45 km2), (2.76%)
 • (2010) 24,484
 • Density 40/sq mi (15/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Winston County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama, formerly known as Hancock County before 1858.[1] Its name is in honor of John A. Winston, the 15th Governor of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,484.[2] Its county seat is Double Springs.


Winston County was established under the name Hancock County on February 12, 1850, from territory formerly in Walker County.[1] It was originally named for John Hancock, Governor of Massachusetts and famous signer of the American Declaration of Independence, with its county seat at Houston. On January 22, 1858, the county was renamed Winston County to honor Alabama Gov. John A. Winston.

During the American Civil War, Winston County gained attention for its opposition to secession, a sentiment so strong that the county is sometimes referred to as the Republic of Winston. The county today plays on its reputation as the "Free State of Winston" to attract tourists. The county's opposition to the Confederacy is briefly mentioned in the novels To Kill a Mockingbird and Addie Pray. Tap Roots, a 1948 movie based on a novel, presents a highly fictionalized and inaccurate version of Winston County's Civil War history.

In 1883 the county seat was moved from Houston to Double Springs to be near the center of the county, since Cullman County was created from the eastern part of Winston County.[3]

The civil-rights judge Frank Minis Johnson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit was born in Delmar, in Winston County.

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

Winston County has four sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Archeological Site No. 1WI50, Feldman's Department Store, the Houston Jail, and the Winston County Courthouse.[4]


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 631.86 square miles (1,636.5 km2), of which 614.44 square miles (1,591.4 km2) (or 97.24%) is land and 17.42 square miles (45.1 km2) (or 2.76%) is water.[5]

Major highways[edit]


Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,542
1860 3,576 131.9%
1870 4,155 16.2%
1880 4,253 2.4%
1890 6,552 54.1%
1900 9,554 45.8%
1910 12,855 34.6%
1920 14,378 11.8%
1930 15,596 8.5%
1940 18,746 20.2%
1950 18,250 −2.6%
1960 14,858 −18.6%
1970 16,654 12.1%
1980 21,953 31.8%
1990 22,053 0.5%
2000 24,843 12.7%
2010 24,484 −1.4%
Est. 2012 24,108 −1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2012 Estimate[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 24,843 people, 10,107 households, and 7,287 families residing in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (16/km2). There were 12,502 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.32% White, 0.038% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Nearly 1.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 10,107 households, out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. Nearly 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.4% 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 2.89.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 96 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,435, and the median income for a family was $32,628. Males had a median income of $26,206 versus $17,760 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,738. 17.1% of the population and 12.9% of families were below the poverty line. 21.8% of those under the age of 18 and 23% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

In keeping with its history from the American Civil War, Winston County was for many years an island of Republican Party voting in an otherwise heavily Democratic Party state.[9] In 1912 Winston County joined three other Alabama counties in voting for the Bull Moose Party candidacy of Theodore Roosevelt.[10]

Cities and towns[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "ACES Winston County Office" (links/history), Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), 2007, webpage: ACES-Winston.
  2. ^ United States Census Bureau. "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Owen, Thomas McAdory. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  5. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ In 1936, for example, Winston County was alone in Alabama in voting for the Republican Presidential ticket. See 1936 election map by county.
  10. ^ 1912 election map by county.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°08′57″N 87°22′29″W / 34.14917°N 87.37472°W / 34.14917; -87.37472