DeKalb County, Alabama

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DeKalb County
DeKalb County courthouse in Fort Payne
DeKalb County courthouse in Fort Payne
Map of Alabama highlighting DeKalb County
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 34°27′26″N 85°48′24″W / 34.457222222222°N 85.806666666667°W / 34.457222222222; -85.806666666667
Country United States
State Alabama
FoundedJanuary 9, 1836
Named forJohan DeKalb
SeatFort Payne
Largest cityFort Payne
Area
 • Total779 sq mi (2,020 km2)
 • Land777 sq mi (2,010 km2)
 • Water1.6 sq mi (4 km2)  0.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total71,608
 • Estimate 
(2021)
71,813 Increase
 • Density92/sq mi (35/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district4th
Websitewww.dekalbcountyal.us
  • County Number 28 on Alabama License Plates

DeKalb County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2020 census, the population was 71,608.[1] Its county seat is Fort Payne,[2] and it is named after Major General Baron Johan DeKalb. DeKalb County is part of the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

DeKalb County was created by the Alabama legislature on January 9, 1836,[3] from land ceded under duress to the Federal government by the Cherokee Nation prior to their forced removal to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.

The county was named for Major General Baron Johann de Kalb, a hero of the American Revolution.[4]

The city of Fort Payne, now the county seat, developed around a fort of the same name, built in the 1830s to intern Cherokee of the region prior to their removal.

In the early 19th century, Sequoyah, the Cherokee man who independently created the Cherokee syllabary, a written system for his language, lived in this area. He had been born in a Cherokee town in Tennessee and migrated here in the early 1800s. His work enabled the Cherokee to publish the first Native American newspaper, The Phoenix, which they produced in Cherokee and English.

On the whole, DeKalb County is a dry county in terms of alcohol sales and consumption. In 2005, the city of Fort Payne passed a law to authorize the legal sale of alcohol.[5] Collinsville and Henagar later also allowed alcohol sales.

21st-century natural events[edit]

The county's eastern edge, along the state line, was the epicenter of an earthquake on April 29, 2003, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale. Power was knocked out in the area, mirrors and pictures thrown to the floor, foundations cracked, and one chimney fell to the ground. The unusual earthquake for this region was felt over a significant portion of the southeastern states, including quite strongly in northeastern Alabama and neighboring northern Georgia, and nearby eastern Tennessee (especially near Chattanooga). It was also felt slightly in western upstate South Carolina, far west-southwestern North Carolina, south and southeastern Kentucky, and east-northeastern Mississippi.

DeKalb County had one of the highest death tolls in Alabama during a massive tornadic system in April 2011, the 2011 Super Outbreak. A total of 31 deaths were reported in the county.

Geography[edit]

The "Old Union" or "Tallahatchie" covered bridge crosses the Little River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 779 square miles (2,020 km2), of which 777 square miles (2,010 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) (0.2%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18405,929
18508,24539.1%
186010,70529.8%
18707,126−33.4%
188012,67577.9%
189021,10666.5%
190023,55811.6%
191028,26120.0%
192034,42621.8%
193040,10416.5%
194043,0757.4%
195045,0484.6%
196041,417−8.1%
197041,9811.4%
198053,65827.8%
199054,6511.9%
200064,45217.9%
201071,10910.3%
202071,6080.7%
2021 (est.)71,813[7]0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2020[1]

2020 census[edit]

DeKalb County racial composition[12]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 54,529 76.15%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,019 1.42%
Native American 715 1.0%
Asian 237 0.33%
Pacific Islander 16 0.02%
Other/Mixed 3,348 4.68%
Hispanic or Latino 11,744 16.4%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 71,608 people, 24,880 households, and 16,366 families residing in the county.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[13] of 2010, there were 71,109 people, 26,842 households, and 19,361 families living in the county. The population density was 92 people per square mile (36/km2). There were 31,109 housing units at an average density of 39.9 per square mile (15/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.5% White (non-Hispanic), 1.5% Black or African American, 1.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 9.9% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. 13.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 64,452 people, 25,113 households, and 18,432 families living in the county. The population density was 83 people per square mile (32/km2). There were 28,051 housing units at an average density of 36 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.55% White (non-Hispanic), 1.68% Black or African American, 0.80% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.10% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. 5.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

According to the census of 2000, the largest ancestry groups in DeKalb County were English 78.31%, Scotch-Irish 8.29%, Scottish 3.33%, Irish 3.31%, Welsh 1.22%, and African 1.68%


Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Rail[edit]

Government[edit]

DeKalb County is strongly Republican. Eighty-four percent of its voters supported Donald Trump in 2020, and no Democrat has carried it since Southerner Jimmy Carter did so in 1976. Populist appeal in the county during the period of "Redemption" meant that even during the "Solid South" era DeKalb County sometimes supported victorious Republican presidential candidates, as it did during the three Republican landslides of the 1920s.

United States presidential election results for DeKalb County, Alabama[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 24,767 84.37% 4,281 14.58% 308 1.05%
2016 21,405 82.88% 3,622 14.02% 799 3.09%
2012 18,331 76.54% 5,239 21.87% 380 1.59%
2008 17,957 74.77% 5,658 23.56% 400 1.67%
2004 16,904 69.94% 7,092 29.34% 173 0.72%
2000 12,827 63.23% 7,056 34.78% 402 1.98%
1996 9,823 54.14% 6,544 36.07% 1,776 9.79%
1992 10,519 48.73% 8,245 38.20% 2,821 13.07%
1988 11,478 60.60% 7,333 38.72% 129 0.68%
1984 12,098 62.53% 7,212 37.27% 39 0.20%
1980 9,673 51.75% 8,820 47.19% 197 1.05%
1976 6,597 40.14% 9,759 59.37% 81 0.49%
1972 9,434 71.27% 3,759 28.40% 44 0.33%
1968 5,314 35.76% 1,274 8.57% 8,271 55.66%
1964 6,746 57.69% 0 0.00% 4,948 42.31%
1960 5,585 48.82% 5,844 51.08% 12 0.10%
1956 5,684 49.56% 5,768 50.30% 16 0.14%
1952 3,997 43.37% 5,209 56.52% 11 0.12%
1948 2,743 43.31% 0 0.00% 3,590 56.69%
1944 2,627 37.52% 4,366 62.35% 9 0.13%
1940 2,810 34.02% 5,432 65.77% 17 0.21%
1936 4,620 42.92% 6,121 56.87% 23 0.21%
1932 3,496 44.88% 4,217 54.13% 77 0.99%
1928 5,761 59.27% 3,957 40.71% 2 0.02%
1924 3,434 53.35% 3,003 46.65% 0 0.00%
1920 4,852 55.17% 3,894 44.28% 49 0.56%
1916 1,190 39.35% 1,787 59.09% 47 1.55%
1912 492 19.49% 1,379 54.61% 654 25.90%
1908 1,103 43.15% 1,395 54.58% 58 2.27%
1904 1,237 40.31% 1,716 55.91% 116 3.78%


Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[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 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Alabama Counties". Alabama Department of Archives and History. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 103.
  5. ^ "Alcohol laws are changed," The Times-Journal, December 17, 2004 Archived July 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  15. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 16, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°27′26″N 85°48′24″W / 34.45722°N 85.80667°W / 34.45722; -85.80667