Autauga County, Alabama
Autauga County Courthouse in Prattville
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
|Founded||November 21, 1818|
|• Total||604 sq mi (1,560 km2)|
|• Land||594 sq mi (1,540 km2)|
|• Water||10 sq mi (30 km2) 1.6%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||90/sq mi (35/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Autauga County is part of the Montgomery metropolitan area.
Autauga County was established on November 21, 1818, by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature (one year before Alabama was admitted as a State). As established, the county included present-day Autauga County, as well as Elmore County and Chilton County. At the time, Autauga (aka, Tawasa) Indians lived here. Primarily in a village named Atagi (meaning "pure water") situated on the banks of a creek by the same name (called "Pearl Water Creek" by settlers). Autaugas were members of the Alibamu tribe. They sent many warriors to resist Andrew Jackson's invasion in the Creek War. This county was part of the territory ceded by the Creeks in the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814.
The first county seat was at Jackson's Mill, but the court only met there long enough to select a permanent seat at Washington, built on the former site of Atagi in the southeast corner of the county. In 1830, the county seat was moved to a more central location at Kingston and the town of Washington dwindled until it was completely deserted in the late 1830s.
Daniel Pratt arrived in Autauga County in 1833 and founded the new town of Prattville, north of Atagi on the fall line of Autauga Creek. His cotton gin factory quickly became the largest manufacturer of gins in the world and the first major industry in Alabama. It was at his factory, and with his financial backing, that the Prattville Dragoons, a fighting unit for the Confederacy was organized in anticipation of the Civil War. Other units formed in Autauga County included the Autauga Rifles (Autaugaville), The John Steele Guards (western Autauga Co.) and the Varina Rifles (northern Autauga Co.). None of the fighting of the Civil War reached Autauga County, and Pratt was able to secure payment of debts from Northern accounts soon after the war, lessening the disabling effects of the Reconstruction period in the county.
Charles Atwood, a former slave belonging to Daniel Pratt, bought a house in the center of Prattville immediately after emancipation and was one of the founding investors in Pratt's South and North Railroad. The presence of such a prominent African-American family owning land in an Alabama city as early as the 1860s is exceptional.
In 1866 and 1868, Elmore and Chilton counties respectively were split off from Autauga County, and the county seat was moved to the population center of Prattville, where a new courthouse was completed by local builder George L. Smith in 1870. In 1906, a new and larger courthouse was erected in a modified Richardsonian Romanesque style a block north of the older one. The building was designed by Bruce Architectural Co. of Birmingham and built by Dobson & Bynum of Montgomery.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 604 square miles (1,560 km2), of which 594 square miles (1,540 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (1.6%) is water. The county is mostly located in the Gulf Coastal Plain region, with a few rolling hills and forests due to its close proximity to the fall line of the eastern United States.
The county has a prevailing humid subtropical climate dominated by its location in the Southern Plains ecological sub-region of the United States.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 54,571 people, 20,221 households, and 15,064 families residing in the county. The population density was 91 people per square mile (35/km2). There were 22,135 housing units at an average density of 36 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 78.5% White, 17.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.6% from two or more races. 2.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 20,221 households, out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68, and the average family size was 3.13.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.8% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $53,682, and the median income for a family was $66,349. Males had a median income of $49,743 versus $32,592 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,571. About 8.3% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.
In 2000, the largest denominational groups were Evangelical Protestants (with 18,893 adherents) and Mainline Protestants (with 3,657 adherents). The largest religious bodies were The Southern Baptist Convention (with 14,727 members) and The United Methodist Church (with 3,305 members).
The sheriff of Autauga County is Joe Sedinger (R). The Revenue Commissioner for the county is Kathy Evans (R), the Probate Judge is Kim Kervin (R), the Circuit Clerk is Deb Hill (R), the Circuit Judge is Ben Fuller (R), the District Attorney is Randall Houston (R) and the District Judge is Joy Booth (R). 
The legislature is the county commission which consists of five members all of whom are elected from single member districts. The current Commissioners are:
District 1: Sid Thompson, Republican
District 2: John L. Thrailkill, Republican
District 3: Bill Tatum, Republican
District 4: Jay Thompson, Republican - Chairman
District 5: Larry Stoudemire, Democratic
The Autauga County School System is the county's public school system.
Places of interestEdit
Autauga County is home to several parks, such as Wilderness Park, Cooters Pond Park, Pratt Park, Swift Creek Park, Newton Park, Spinners Park, Heritage Park, and Overlook Memorial Park.
- Samuel Smith Harris, (1841-1888), born in Autauga County, Presbyterian clergyman, founder and editor of Living Word magazine, and bishop of the Diocese of Michigan.
- William Henry Lanier, (1855-1929), born in Autauga County, was a prominent educator who served as president of Alcorn A. and M. from 1899 to 1905. He also served as superintendent of Yazoo City and Jackson, Mississippi black schools.
- Wilson Pickett, (1941-2006), born in Prattville, Alabama, American recording artist best known for singing In the Midnight Hour and Mustang Sally.
In popular cultureEdit
- Autauga County is the main setting of Rita Williams-Garcia's novel Gone Crazy in Alabama.
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- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- "County Membership Reports". thearda.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
- "Autauga County: Elected Officials". www.autaugaco.org. Archived from the original on February 10, 2020. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
- "Autauga County: Commissioners". www.autaugaco.org. Archived from the original on February 10, 2020. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 15, 2016.
- "Home Archived August 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine." East Memorial Christian Academy. Retrieved on August 3, 2013. "1320 Old Ridge Road Prattville, Alabama 36066"
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
- "School History". Lanier High School. Jackson (MS) Public Schools. Retrieved 20 Oct 2017.
Lanier was first organized as a junior-senior high school in 1925 providing instruction for pupils from the seventh through the twelfth grades.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Autauga County, Alabama.|
- Autauga County's Official Website
- Alabama Historical Association Markers in Autauga County[permanent dead link]
- Autauga County Genealogical Information at Rootsweb.com
- Autauga County map of roads/towns (map © 2007 Univ. of Alabama).
- River Region Tourism Site