Blount County is a county in the Birmingham metropolitan area. The county was created February 7, 1818 by the legislature of Alabama Territory. Its name honors Tennessee governor Willie G. Blount, who sent Tennessee militia to invade the Creek Nation.
There are three covered bridges extant in the county, the Horton Mill Bridge, Easley Bridge and Swann Bridge, more than any other county in Alabama. Blount County is a "dry" county where the sale of alcohol is prohibited.
Blount County predates the state of Alabama. It was created by the territorial legislature from lands taken from the Creek Indians in 1814. Blountsville was established as the first county seat in 1820 on the site of an 1816 village called Bear Meat Cabin. One of the first Methodist missionaries in the Alabama Territory, Ebenezer Hearn, began his mission with a sermon here on April 18, 1818.
During the Civil War a Union raid by Col. Abel Streight penetrated into Blount County in April and May 1863. Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's column attacked the Federal troops on May 1, 1863 as they crossed the Locust Fork River at Royal -- the so-called Battle Royal. Two local women, sisters-in-law Celia and Winnie Mae Murphree, were renowned for capturing three sleeping Union soldiers and marching them to a Confederate military camp.
Iron ore mined in Blount County contributed to the industrialization of Birmingham. John Hanby discovered a seam of brown iron ore in 1817. The mine was known as the Champion Mine from 1882. Shook and Fletcher operated both the Champion and the Taits Gap Mine from 1925 to 1967, supplying the Woodward, TCI, and Sloss furnaces in Birmingham, as well as the Republic Furnace in Gadsden.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 651 mi². 646 mi² of it is land and 5 mi² of it (0.77%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 51,024 people, 19,265 households, and 14,814 families residing in the county. The population density was 79 people per square mile (31/km2). There were 21,158 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.08% White and 1.19% Black or African American. 5.33% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 19,265 households out of which 34.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.50% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.10% were non-families. 20.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.02.
Blount County's population spread was as follows: 25.40% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,241, and the median income for a family was $41,573. Males had a median income of $31,455 versus $22,459 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,325. About 8.60% of families and 11.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.20% of those under age 18 and 17.40% of those age 65 or over.
- Alabama Department of Archives and History, Blount County
- Alabama Department of Archives and History, Blount County Historical Markers
- Blount County website
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