Lee County, Alabama

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Lee County, Alabama
Lee County Courthouse Alabama (2).jpg
County courthouse in Opelika
Map of Alabama highlighting Lee County
Location in the state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location in the U.S.
Founded December 5, 1866
Named for Robert E. Lee
Seat Opelika
Largest city Auburn
Area
 • Total 615.55 sq mi (1,594 km2)
 • Land 608.71 sq mi (1,577 km2)
 • Water 6.84 sq mi (18 km2), 1.11%
Population (Est.)
 • (2012) 147,257
 • Density 230/sq mi (88.9/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.leeco.us
Lee County Sheriff's Department administration and Detention Center in Opelika
Lee County Courthouse Auburn Satellite Office - Auburn

Lee County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named after Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Army. As of the 2010 census the population was 140,247.[1] It is part of the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Area. The county seat is Opelika, and the largest city is Auburn. There are a total of seven incorporated cities and towns in Lee County, four of which lie entirely within the county.

History[edit]

Lee County was established by act of the Alabama state legislature on December 5, 1866, out of parts of Macon, Tallapoosa, Chambers, and Russell Counties. In an election to determine the county seat, Opelika was chosen over Auburn and Salem.

In 1923, the town of Phenix City, located in the southeastern corner of Lee County, merged with the town of Girard, located in the northeastern corner of Russell County. To prevent the new town of Phenix City from straddling the Lee-Russell line, Lee County ceded to Russell County the 10 square miles (25.9 km2) in the southeastern corner surrounding Phenix City in exchange for 20 square miles (51.8 km2) in the northwest corner of Russell County surrounding the unincorporated community of Marvyn. This new territory is what forms the southern "panhandle" of Lee County.

Politics and government[edit]

Map illustrating the original boundaries of Lee County and the counties from which it was carved.

Among the principal governmental functions vested in Alabama counties are law enforcement; tax assessment, levy and collection; administration of decedent's estates and probate matters; maintenance of real and personal property title records; construction and maintenance of public roads and bridges; and maintenance of the county courthouse, which provides office space for various county officials and departments.

Lee County is governed by a six-member County Commission, composed of a Chairman and five Commissioners. The Probate Judge, who serves as Chairman of the County Commission, is elected countywide for a six-year term. The other five members of the County Commission are elected from single-member districts for four-year terms. Each Commissioner must be a registered voter and live within the district they represent. Commissioners are not all elected at the same time. Three commissioners are elected in one election cycle, and the other two members are elected in the next election cycle two years later, so that the terms are staggered for continuity.

The County Commission employs a County Administrator, who serves as its chief administrative officer. It is the responsibility of the County Administrator to carry out the policies and directives of the Commission, and for the development and management of the County's annual operating budget. The Administrator serves as the budgetary agent for all county offices. The County Administrator is also responsible for the supervision and management of various department heads, and for ensuring that all agreements, leases and other contractual obligations of the Commission are properly performed. The County Administrator works with Lee County Commissioners and other elected county officials to facilitate the delivery of quality and effective services to the citizens of Lee County.[2]

Higher education[edit]

Auburn University, a large comprehensive public university, is located in Auburn in Lee County.

Geography[edit]

Population distribution in Lee County by municipality, 2010

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 615.55 square miles (1,594.3 km2), of which 608.71 square miles (1,576.6 km2) (or 98.89%) is land and 6.84 square miles (17.7 km2) (or 1.11%) is water.[3]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 21,750
1880 27,262 25.3%
1890 28,694 5.3%
1900 31,826 10.9%
1910 32,867 3.3%
1920 32,821 −0.1%
1930 36,063 9.9%
1940 36,455 1.1%
1950 45,073 23.6%
1960 49,754 10.4%
1970 61,268 23.1%
1980 76,283 24.5%
1990 87,146 14.2%
2000 115,092 32.1%
2010 140,247 21.9%
Est. 2012 147,257 5.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[5]

As of the census of 2000, there were 115,092 people, 45,702 households, and 27,284 families residing in the county. The population density was 189 people per square mile (73/km2). There were 50,329 housing units at an average density of 83 per square mile (32/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 74.07% White, 22.65% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.63% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 1.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 45,702 households out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.10% were married couples living together, 11.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.30% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.30% under the age of 18, 22.70% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 17.80% from 45 to 64, and 8.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,952, and the median income for a family was $46,781. Males had a median income of $33,598 versus $23,228 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,158. About 11.10% of families and 21.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.30% of those under age 18 and 12.00% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit]

Lee County AL Political Map.png

Unincorporated Communities[edit]

Places of interest[edit]

Lee County Lake

Lee County is home to Chewacla State Park, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Bean's Mill, the Salem-Shotwell Covered Bridge and the Grand National Golf course which is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ United States Census Bureau. "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Text on Lee County government used with permission of Lee County Commissioners Office.
  3. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  • Barnes, Margaret Anne (1998). The Tragedy and the Triumph of Phenix City, Alabama. Macon, Ga., Mercer University Press. ISBN 0-86554-613-4
  • Nunn, Alexander (Ed.) (1983). Lee County and Her Forebears. Montgomery, Ala., Herff Jones. LCCCN 83-081693
  • Wright, John Peavy (1969). Glimpses into the past from my Grandfather's Trunk. Alexander City, Ala., Outlook Publishing Company, Inc. LCCCN 74-101331

Coordinates: 32°36′05″N 85°21′13″W / 32.60139°N 85.35361°W / 32.60139; -85.35361