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Lauderdale County, Alabama
Lauderdale County Courthouse in Florence, Alabama.JPG
Lauderdale County Courthouse in Florence, Alabama
Map of Alabama highlighting Lauderdale County
Location in the state of Alabama
Map of the U.S. highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location in the U.S.
Founded February 6, 1818[1]
Seat Florence
Largest city Florence
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

718.78 sq mi (1,862 km²)
669.46 sq mi (1,734 km²)
49.32 sq mi (128 km²), 6.86%
 - (2010)
 - Density

138/sq mi (53.4/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Lauderdale County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of Colonel James Lauderdale, of Tennessee. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". As of the 2010 census the population was 92,709.[2] Its county seat is Florence.


Lauderdale County was named in honor of Col. James Lauderdale who was born in Virginia 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 (22.318 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 Chickasaw's and Cherokees, necessitating a cession of territory from each tribe before the settlement could be established. The remains of an old Indian village could be seen at one time 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 Cherokees. 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.[3]


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 718.78 square miles (1,861.6 km2), of which 669.46 square miles (1,733.9 km2) (or 93.14%) is land and 49.32 square miles (127.7 km2) (or 6.86%) is water.[4]

Major highways[]

  • US 43.svg U.S. Highway 43
  • US 72.svg U.S. Highway 72
  • Alabama 17.svg State Route 17
  • Alabama 20.svg State Route 20
  • Alabama 64.svg State Route 64
  • Alabama 101.svg State Route 101
  • Alabama 157.svg State Route 157

National protected areas[]

  • Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge
  • Natchez Trace Parkway (part)


  • Tennessee Southern Railroad


  • Tennessee River

Adjacent counties[]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 4,963
1830 11,781 137.4%
1840 14,485 23.0%
1850 17,172 18.6%
1860 17,420 1.4%
1870 15,091 −13.4%
1880 21,035 39.4%
1890 23,739 12.9%
1900 26,559 11.9%
1910 30,936 16.5%
1920 39,556 27.9%
1930 41,130 4.0%
1940 46,230 12.4%
1950 54,179 17.2%
1960 61,622 13.7%
1970 68,111 10.5%
1980 80,546 18.3%
1990 79,661 −1.1%
2000 87,966 10.4%
2010 92,709 5.4%
Est. 2011 92,781 5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2011 estimate
through 1960


According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 87,966 people, 36,088 households, and 25,153 families residing in the county. The population density was 131 people per square mile (51/km2). There were 40,424 housing units at an average density of 60 per square mile (23/km2). The racial makeup of the county 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 census[5] of 2000, 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 out 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.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.00% 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% who 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 income for a household in the county was $33,354, and the median income for a family was $41,438. Males had a median income of $33,943 versus $20,804 for females. The per capita income for the county 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.


As of the census[5] of 1990, there were 84,631 people, 33,349 households, and 22,218 families residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 82.36% White or European American, 15.6% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, and 0.6% from two or more races. 1.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.


As of the census[5] of 1980, there were 80,124 people, 29,644 households, and 19,934 families residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 80.38% White or European American, 17.8% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 2.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Points of interest[]

Lauderdale County is home to the W. C. Handy Home and Museum and the Rosenbaum House.


  • Joe Wheeler State Park
  • North Alabama Birding Trail - collection of places with the best birdwatching in the area
  • Natchez Trace Parkway - a 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 (120.6 ha) tract for the preservation of native plants and animal. Also the land 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.[6] This tract is located north of St. Florian, Alabama.

Municipalities and census-designated places[]

  • Anderson
  • Florence
  • Green Hill
  • Killen
  • Lexington
  • Oakland
  • Rogersville
  • St. Florian
  • Underwood-Petersville
  • Waterloo
  • Zip City

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Lauderdale County, Alabama
  • Properties on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in Lauderdale County, Alabama


  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. Pages 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. ^ United States Census Bureau. "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "The History of Lauderdale County". Lauderdale County, Alabama Government. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  5. ^ a b c d "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "26. The Shoal Creek Preserve Tract". Forever Wild Program Land Tracts. Outdoor Alabama: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 

External links[]

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

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Lauderdale County, Alabama. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.