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Alabama Counties

Alabama currently has sixty-seven counties. The oldest county, Washington, was created on June 4, 1800, when what is now Alabama was then part of the Mississippi Territory. The newest county is Houston, created on February 9, 1903.

Lauderdale County, Alabama History

Lauderdale County Education, Geography, and HistoryLauderdale County, Alabama Courthouse

Lauderdale County is a county located in the northwestern corner of the state of Alabama. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 92,709. Lauderdale County was created on Feburary 6, 1818 and was formed from the Cherokee and Chickasaw Cession of 1816. The county seat is Florence. Lauderdale county is named in honor of Colonel James Lauderdale, of Tennessee.

Lauderdale is part of the Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as "The Shoals".

Etymology - Origin of Lauderdale County Name

Lauderdale county was named for Colonel James Lauderdale, a Tennessean killed at the Battle of New Orleans.


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Lauderdale County History

Lauderdale County, Alabama

Lauderdale county was formed by the Alabama Territorial legislature on  Feburary 6, 1818 and was named for Colonel James Lauderdale, a Tennessean killed at the Battle of New Orleans. Lauderdale County is located in the northwestern corner of the state. It is bounded on the north by Hardin, Wayne, and Lawrence counties, and on the west by the State of Mississippi. The Tennessee River forms the southern boundary between Lauderdale County and Colbert and Lawrence counties. It currently encompasses 661 square miles. The county seat was established at Florence, named by the city's architect, Ferdinand Sannoner, for his home, Florence, Italy. Other towns and communities include St. Florian, Lexington, and Cloverdale.

Among the older settlements in the county is Center Star, located between Killen and Rogersville. This area was once claimed by both the Chickasaws 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.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 721 square miles (1,870 km2), of which 668 square miles (1,730 km2) is land and 53 square miles (140 km2) (7.4%) is water.

The Tennessee River and its many tributaries flow throughout Lauderdale County. The river crosses the Fall Line just south of Lauderdale County in Muscle Shoals, separating the Upper Tennessee and the Lower Tennessee. The Tennessee River is considered to be among the most biologically diverse rivers in the entire United States, with many fish and mussel species at risk. The river offers a range of economic and recreational opportunities for Lauderdale County.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Lawrence County, Tenn.; Giles County, Tenn.
  • East: Limestone County
  • Southeast: Lawrence County
  • Southwest: Colbert County; Tishomingo County, Miss.
  • Northwest: Hardin County, Tenn.; Wayne County, Tenn.

Points of interest

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


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