Choctaw County, Alabama

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Choctaw County
Choctaw County Courthouse and Confederate monument in Butler
Choctaw County Courthouse and Confederate monument in Butler
Map of Alabama highlighting Choctaw County
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°01′13″N 88°15′47″W / 32.020277777778°N 88.263055555556°W / 32.020277777778; -88.263055555556
Country United States
State Alabama
FoundedDecember 29, 1847
Named forChoctaw tribe
SeatButler
Largest townButler
Area
 • Total921 sq mi (2,390 km2)
 • Land914 sq mi (2,370 km2)
 • Water7.4 sq mi (19 km2)  0.8%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total12,665
 • Estimate 
(2021)
12,533 Decrease
 • Density14/sq mi (5.3/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district7th
  • County Number 15 on Alabama Licence Plates

Choctaw County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2020 census, the population was 12,665.[1] The county seat is Butler.[2] The county was established on December 29, 1847, and named for the Choctaw tribe of Native Americans.[3]

History[edit]

Choctaw County was originally part of the Choctaw Nation, with Choctaw settlements known to be in the vicinity of Pushmataha prior to the removal of Native Americans from the southeastern United States during the Trail of Tears.[4]

Most of the early European American pioneers of Choctaw County were farmers from North and South Carolina. In 1912 the Alabama, Tennessee and Northern Railroad was completed through the county from north to south, connecting the area to the Port of Mobile and northern Alabama. It induced a population shift from areas near the Tombigbee River to the central part of the county.[5]

The county's population reached its peak in the 1920s, due in part from jobs created by a sawmill boom with companies as the E. E. Jackson Lumber Company and Choctaw Lumber Company. The sawmill industry collapsed during the Great Depression. The first successful oil well in Alabama was drilled at Gilbertown in 1944, with oil and gas becoming the county's most important industry. This industry waned by the 1970s as the wells lost profitability.[5]

An African-American family, the Thorntons of Mobile, was featured in the September 24, 1956, issue of Life Magazine. The article included an interview with the Thorntons' daughter, Allie Lee Causey, of Shady Grove in Choctaw County. In the article, Mrs. Causey, a schoolteacher, spoke openly about her family's life, stating that "integration is the only way in which Negroes will receive justice. We cannot get it as a separate people. If we can get justice on our jobs, and equal pay, then we'll be able to afford better homes and good education."[6] When the magazine was seen in Choctaw County, the Causeys were subjected to brutal economic retaliation by white residents, who tried to coerce Mrs. Causey into recanting her remarks. Their loans were called in, local stores refused to sell them food and gasoline, Willie Causey was cut off from his employment as a woodcutter, and Mrs. Causey was fired from her job as a teacher. The Causeys left Shady Grove and Alabama for good in October 1956.[7]

Apparel factories opened during the 1950s–60s in Silas, Toxey, and Butler, although the plants had largely closed by the 21st century. The 1950s also saw the building a paper mill at Naheola, now owned and operated by Georgia-Pacific.[5][8] The county was declared a disaster area in September 1979, due to damage from Hurricane Frederic. The 1980s saw the main railroad close and the tracks removed.[5]

Historic sites[edit]

Choctaw County has one site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Mount Sterling Methodist Church.[9][10] Additionally, five sites are listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.[11]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 921 square miles (2,390 km2), of which 914 square miles (2,370 km2) is land and 7.4 square miles (19 km2) (0.8%) is water.[12]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18508,389
186013,87765.4%
187012,676−8.7%
188015,73124.1%
189017,52611.4%
190018,1363.5%
191018,4831.9%
192020,75312.3%
193020,513−1.2%
194020,195−1.6%
195019,152−5.2%
196017,870−6.7%
197016,589−7.2%
198016,8391.5%
199016,018−4.9%
200015,922−0.6%
201013,859−13.0%
202012,665−8.6%
2021 (est.)12,533[13]−1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
1790–1960[15] 1900–1990[16]
1990–2000[17] 2010–2020[1]

2020 census[edit]

Choctaw County Racial Composition[18]
Race Num. Perc.
White 7,039 55.58%
Black or African American 5,217 41.19%
Native American 24 0.19
Asian 19 0.15%
Other/Mixed 253 2.0%
Hispanic or Latino 113 0.89%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 12,665 people, 5,300 households, and 3,440 families residing in the county.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 13,859 people living in the county. 55.8% were White, 43.4% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.2% of some other race and 0.4% of two or more races. 0.5% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 15,922 people, 6,363 households, and 4,574 families living in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km2). There were 7,839 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile (3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 55.14% White, 44.13% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. 0.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,363 households, out of which 32.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.00% were married couples living together, 16.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 26.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.10% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 25.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,749, and the median income for a family was $31,870. Males had a median income of $32,316 versus $18,760 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,635. About 20.70% of families and 24.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.80% of those under age 18 and 26.10% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

Choctaw County leans Republican at the presidential level. The last Democrat to win the county in a presidential election is Al Gore, who won it by a slim majority in 2000. Strom Thurmond's margin of 97.8% was the largest electoral landslide in any US county since WWII.[citation needed]

United States presidential election results for Choctaw County, Alabama[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 4,296 57.56% 3,127 41.89% 41 0.55%
2016 4,106 56.31% 3,109 42.64% 77 1.06%
2012 4,152 52.06% 3,786 47.47% 38 0.48%
2008 4,223 53.50% 3,636 46.06% 35 0.44%
2004 3,897 53.92% 3,303 45.70% 27 0.37%
2000 3,600 48.82% 3,707 50.27% 67 0.91%
1996 2,623 36.78% 4,074 57.13% 434 6.09%
1992 3,069 40.60% 3,941 52.13% 550 7.28%
1988 3,629 50.89% 3,491 48.96% 11 0.15%
1984 3,960 53.88% 3,373 45.90% 16 0.22%
1980 2,859 43.45% 3,680 55.93% 41 0.62%
1976 3,033 43.50% 3,911 56.10% 28 0.40%
1972 3,055 60.74% 1,934 38.45% 41 0.82%
1968 176 2.89% 1,641 26.93% 4,276 70.18%
1964 2,497 85.81% 0 0.00% 413 14.19%
1960 612 34.04% 1,094 60.85% 92 5.12%
1956 457 25.69% 1,250 70.26% 72 4.05%
1952 593 27.14% 1,583 72.45% 9 0.41%
1948 16 1.10% 0 0.00% 1,441 98.90%
1944 86 6.46% 1,243 93.32% 3 0.23%
1940 73 3.48% 2,023 96.52% 0 0.00%
1936 74 4.68% 1,507 95.32% 0 0.00%
1932 48 3.03% 1,533 96.90% 1 0.06%
1928 429 25.67% 1,242 74.33% 0 0.00%
1924 19 1.82% 1,021 97.80% 4 0.38%
1920 82 7.09% 1,071 92.65% 3 0.26%
1916 21 2.63% 765 95.63% 14 1.75%
1912 7 1.24% 489 86.40% 70 12.37%
1908 44 6.66% 590 89.26% 27 4.08%
1904 45 7.14% 558 88.57% 27 4.29%


Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 3, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Alabama Counties: Choctaw County". Alabama Department of Archives and History. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  4. ^ "Choctaw County". THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ALABAMA. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d "County History". Choctaw County Genealogy Society. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  6. ^ Wallace, Robert; Parks, Gordon (September 24, 1956). "The Restraints: Open and Hidden; Both are Seen in the Study of One Negro Family". Life. Life Magazine: 98–109. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  7. ^ Stolley, Richard (December 10, 1956). "A Sequel to Segregation". Life. Life Magazine: 77–90. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved September 14, 2011. Reprinted in Carson, Clayborne; Garrow, David J.; Kovach, Bill (2003). Reporting Civil Rights: American journalism, 1941-1963. Library of America. pp. 342–354. ISBN 9781931082280. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  8. ^ "Southeastern Facilities and Wood Specifications". Georgia-Pacific. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  9. ^ Chiat, Marilyn Joyce Segal (1997). America's Religious Architecture: Sacred Places For Every Community. John Wiley and Sons. p. 279. ISBN 978-0-471-14502-8. Mount Sterling Methodist Church Choctaw County Historical Society.
  10. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "The Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage". preserveala.org. Alabama Historical Commission. May 31, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  12. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  14. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  15. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  16. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  17. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  18. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  19. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  20. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 16, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°01′13″N 88°15′47″W / 32.02028°N 88.26306°W / 32.02028; -88.26306