Lauderdale County, Alabama

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Lauderdale County
Lauderdale County Courthouse in Florence
Lauderdale County Courthouse in Florence
Map of Alabama highlighting Lauderdale 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°53′57″N 87°39′01″W / 34.899166666667°N 87.650277777778°W / 34.899166666667; -87.650277777778
Country United States
State Alabama
FoundedFebruary 6, 1818[1]
Named forJames Lauderdale
SeatFlorence
Largest cityFlorence
Area
 • Total721 sq mi (1,870 km2)
 • Land668 sq mi (1,730 km2)
 • Water53 sq mi (140 km2)  7.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total93,564
 • Estimate 
(2021)
94,043 Increase
 • Density130/sq mi (50/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district5th
WebsiteLauderdaleCountyAL.Gov
  • County Number 41 on Alabama License Plates

Lauderdale County is a county located in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2020 census the population was 93,564.[2] Its county seat is Florence.[3] Its name is in honor of Colonel James Lauderdale, of Tennessee. Lauderdale is part of the Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as "The Shoals".

History[edit]

Lauderdale County was named in honor of Col. James Lauderdale[4] who was born in Virginia in about 1780. In the early 19th century, Lauderdale, who moved to West Tennessee, became a major in General John Coffee's cavalry of volunteers. Later promoted to lieutenant colonel, he commanded a brigade of mounted riflemen, serving under Andrew Jackson in many battles against the Indians. According to reliable historians, Col. Lauderdale did not die in the Battle of New Orleans, but was wounded in the Battle of Talladega and died on December 23, 1814, seventeen days before Jackson's crushing defeat of the British at New Orleans. Several towns and counties in the southern states were named in his honor, though it is said that he never set foot in Lauderdale County.

Lauderdale County was established in 1818,[1] a year before Alabama became a state. Florence, the county seat of Lauderdale County, was also established in 1818. At this time a group of investors, under the name of Cypress Land Company purchased from the government 5,515 acres (22.32 km2) of land consisting of the original town site. Other towns in Lauderdale County competing for early settlers because of their proximity to the river were Savage's Spring, nine miles (14 km) below Florence and Waterloo, some 20 miles (32 km) downriver.

Among the older settlements in the county is Center Star, located between Killen and Rogersville. This area was once claimed by both the Chickasaws and Cherokees, necessitating a cession of territory from each tribe before the settlement could be established. At one time, the remains of an old Indian village could be seen southwest of Center Star. Other old settlements included Middleton and Elgin, the latter known first as Ingram's Elgin Cross Roads.

Rogersville, lying some 23 miles (37 km) to the east of Florence, was named for John Rogers, an Indian trader, whose sons were fast friends of the great Sam Houston. The late Will Rogers is said to have been a descendant of this same family. An early ferry that operated for many years was Lamb's Ferry near Rogersville.

Lexington, Springfield, and Anderson lie to the north of the Lee Highway, the town of Lexington being a part of the territory once claimed by the Cherokee. Many of the settlers of that area came from Tennessee and the Carolinas. The first post office of record at Lexington was on the Loretto Road, north of town, in 1880. Mail at that time was brought in from Loretto, Tennessee, by horseback and carts.

The town of St. Florian was established in 1872 on the Jackson Highway and named by its German Catholic founders for their patron saint.

Four Alabama governors were from the county - Hugh McVay, Robert M. Patton, Edward A. O'Neal and Emmett O'Neal.[5]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 721 square miles (1,870 km2), of which 668 square miles (1,730 km2) is land and 53 square miles (140 km2) (7.4%) is water.[6]

National protected areas[edit]

Rivers[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18204,963
183011,781137.4%
184014,48523.0%
185017,17218.6%
186017,4201.4%
187015,091−13.4%
188021,03539.4%
189023,73912.9%
190026,55911.9%
191030,93616.5%
192039,55627.9%
193041,1304.0%
194046,23012.4%
195054,17917.2%
196061,62213.7%
197068,11110.5%
198080,54618.3%
199079,661−1.1%
200087,96610.4%
201092,7095.4%
202093,5640.9%
2021 (est.)94,043[7]1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2020[2]

2020[edit]

Lauderdale County Racial Composition[12]
Race Num. Perc.
White 76,491 81.75%
Black or African American 9,164 9.79%
Native American 295 0.32%
Asian 748 0.8%
Pacific Islander 31 0.03%
Other/Mixed 3,757 4.02%
Hispanic or Latino 3,078 3.29%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 93,564 people, 38,761 households, and 23,883 families residing in the county.

2010[edit]

According to the 2010 United States census, resident were:

2000[edit]

At the 2000 census,[13] there were 87,966 people, 36,088 households and 25,153 families residing in the county. The population density was 131 per square mile (51/km2). There were 40,424 housing units at an average density of 60 per square mile (23/km2). The racial make-up was 84.38% White or European American, 13.85% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races and 0.79% from two or more races. 1.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2005, 87.8% of the county population was non-Hispanic whites. African Americans were 11.7% of the population and Latinos 1.2% of the population.

According to the 2000 census,[14] the largest ancestry groups in Lauderdale County were English 41.9%, African 13.85%, Scots-Irish 9.66%, Scottish 4.11%, Irish 3.19% and Welsh 2.5%

In 2000, there were 36,088 households, of which 30.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.80% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% were non-families. 26.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.89.

23.00% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 23.90% from 45 to 64 and 15.10% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.20 males.

The median household income was $33,354 and the median family income was $41,438. Males had a median income of $33,943 and females $20,804. The per capita income was $18,626. About 10.50% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 11.30% of those age 65 or over.


Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Rail[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

Lauderdale County is the location of the W. C. Handy Home and Museum and the Rosenbaum House.

Recreation[edit]

  • Joe Wheeler State Park
  • North Alabama Birding Trail - collection of birdwatching areas.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway - 444 miles (715 km) of linear park and roadway that travel from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. It has road pull-offs with educational kiosks with information about the land, history, and native species.
  • Shoal Creek Preserve Tract - a 298 acres (121 ha) tract for the preservation of native plants and animals. The land also has recreational opportunities, including bird watching, a horse trail loop that is 2.1 miles (3.4 km) long, 4.2 miles (6.8 km) of hiking trails and limited hunting.[15] This tract is located north of St. Florian, Alabama.

Government[edit]

Lauderdale County is reliably Republican at the presidential level. The last Democrat to win the county in a presidential election is Bill Clinton, who won it by a plurality in 1992.

United States presidential election results for Lauderdale County, Alabama[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 31,721 71.54% 11,915 26.87% 703 1.59%
2016 27,899 70.59% 9,952 25.18% 1,674 4.24%
2012 23,911 64.57% 12,511 33.78% 610 1.65%
2008 24,068 63.16% 13,329 34.98% 707 1.86%
2004 22,161 59.72% 14,628 39.42% 318 0.86%
2000 17,478 54.39% 13,875 43.17% 784 2.44%
1996 14,058 46.19% 13,619 44.75% 2,759 9.06%
1992 13,728 40.67% 15,936 47.21% 4,092 12.12%
1988 12,942 49.43% 12,862 49.13% 376 1.44%
1984 15,354 53.57% 12,907 45.04% 398 1.39%
1980 10,467 38.42% 15,379 56.45% 1,397 5.13%
1976 7,226 31.17% 15,549 67.06% 410 1.77%
1972 14,410 71.66% 5,112 25.42% 586 2.91%
1968 2,952 15.63% 2,166 11.47% 13,765 72.90%
1964 5,978 47.55% 0 0.00% 6,593 52.45%
1960 3,570 29.22% 8,565 70.10% 84 0.69%
1956 2,458 21.02% 9,150 78.26% 84 0.72%
1952 1,910 21.16% 7,097 78.62% 20 0.22%
1948 546 14.29% 0 0.00% 3,276 85.71%
1944 590 12.80% 4,001 86.77% 20 0.43%
1940 507 9.04% 5,065 90.35% 34 0.61%
1936 390 7.61% 4,685 91.41% 50 0.98%
1932 432 11.40% 3,336 88.04% 21 0.55%
1928 1,410 33.78% 2,763 66.20% 1 0.02%
1924 823 25.90% 2,266 71.30% 89 2.80%
1920 1,164 30.08% 2,644 68.32% 62 1.60%
1916 369 17.51% 1,678 79.64% 60 2.85%
1912 263 13.03% 1,386 68.68% 369 18.29%
1908 427 26.08% 1,177 71.90% 33 2.02%
1904 316 19.68% 1,269 79.02% 21 1.31%


Education[edit]

Lauderdale County School District serves areas outside of Florence, while Florence City Schools serve people in Florence itself.

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b A digest of the laws of the State of Alabama: containing the statutes and resolutions in force at the end of the General Assembly in January, 1823. Published by Ginn & Curtis, J. & J. Harper, Printers, New-York, 1828. Title 10. Chapter XII. Page 85. An Act to establish the western and southern Boundaries of Madison County, and to establish the Counties of Limestone and Lauderdale--Passed February 6, 1818.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 182.
  5. ^ "The History of Lauderdale County". Lauderdale County, Alabama Government. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  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 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ "26. The Shoal Creek Preserve Tract". Forever Wild Program Land Tracts. Outdoor Alabama: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  16. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 21, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°53′57″N 87°39′01″W / 34.89917°N 87.65028°W / 34.89917; -87.65028