Cullman County is a county in the Birmingham metropolitan area. The county was created January 24, 1877 by the Alabama Legislature from portions of Blount, Morgan, Walker and Winston counties. Its name honors John Cullmann, who just a few years earlier had founded the city of Cullman, which serves as county seat.
The area that is now Cullman County was sparsely inhabited by indigenous people before white settlers began arriving from Georgia in the early 19th century. After the territory was formally ceded to the United States in 1814 it remained sparsely settled due to difficulty of utilizing the uneven terrain for plantation agriculture. During the Civil War it served as a haven for Unionists and deserters. A series of skirmishes between the forces of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union Colonel Abel Streight took place in April 1863.
After the arrival of John Cullmann in 1873, the area was promoted widely as a center for resettlement of German immigrants who left their homes following the Revolution of 1848 and the Dano-Prussian War. With the support of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Cullmann was able to offer land to new settlers at very little cost. Despite resentment from some of the earlier settlers, the colony was successful and led to the creation of the new county in 1877. The settlers' small family-run farms prospered and the region thrived as an agricultural center.
As of the 2000 census, there were 77,483 people, 30,706 households, and 22,476 families residing in the county. The population density was 105 people per square mile. There were 35,233 housing units at an average density of 48 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 96.8% White and 1% Black. 2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 30,706 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.8% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 24% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,256, and the median income for a family was $39,341. Males had a median income of $30,444 versus $20,436 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,922. About 9.50% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 16.8% of those age 65 or over.
- Johnson, Gaylon (1980) Before the German Settlement of 1873: The Land and People that Became Cullman County. Cullman: Gregath Company
- Heritage of Cullman County, Alabama (1999) Clanton: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc.
- Davis, Robert S. (Fall 2005) “The Old World in the New South: Entrepreneurial Ventures and the Agricultural History of Cullman County, Alabama,” Agricultural History. No. 79. pp. 439–61.
- Morton, Patricia Hoskins (May 13, 2010) "Cullman County" Encyclopedia of Alabama - accessed May 28, 2010