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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.

Pickens County, Alabama History

Pickens County Education, Geography, and HistoryPickens County, Alabama Courthouse

Pickens County is a county of the state of Alabama. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 19,746. Pickens County was created on December 20, 1820 and was formed from Tuscaloosa County. The county seat is Carrollton. Pickens county was named in honor of Andrew Pickens (1739-1817) of South Carolina, General in the Revolutionary War.

Pickens County is included in the Tuscaloosa, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area

Etymology - Origin of Pickens County Name

Pickens county was named for Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens (South Carolina).


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Pickens County History

Pickens County, Alabama

Pickens county was formed by an act of the Alabama legislature on December 20, 1820 as Pickens County. The boundaries were changed several times between 1820 and 1866 when its present boundaries were fixed. It currently encompasses 890 square miles. The county was named for Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens (South Carolina). The first county seat was established at Pickens Courthouse (later called Pickens and Pickensville) and moved to Carrollton in 1830. Pickens County is situated in the western part of the state.

The first courthouse in Carrollton was burned on April 5, 1865, by troops of Union General John T. Croxton.  A second courthouse was also destroyed by fire on November 16, 1876. Though arson was suspected, no arrest was made until January 1878, when Henry Wells, an African American with some criminal history was arrested and locked in the garret of the new building, which had been erected in 1877. According to legend, Wells was peering down from the north garret window as a mob gathered to hang him. A bolt of lightning struck nearby and "etched" Wells' anguished face into the window glass. A vague image resembling a face can still be seen in that lower right-hand pane of that window

On April 8, 1998, a supercell thunderstorm produced an F3 tornado in Pickens County. This windstorm injured two people and damaged five homes including mobile homes. It rotated seventeen miles (27 km) from Holman to north of Northport. Twenty-four homes and thirteen mobile homes were also in destruction. Moments later, that same supercell thunderstorm produced an F5 tornado that struck northeastern Tuscaloosa near the Black Warrior River before entering western Jefferson County where it destroyed Oak Grove High School and killed thirty-two people in its path.

 Pickens county is a prohibition, or dry county, although the communities of Carrollton and Aliceville voted to become wet in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 890 square miles (2,300 km2), of which 881 square miles (2,280 km2) is land and 8.7 square miles (23 km2) (1.0%) is water.

The Tombigbee River and its many tributaries run throughout the county. The lower portion of the Sipsey River forms the boundary line between Pickens and Greene counties. The Sipsey River Swamp is one of the last wild free flowing swamp streams in Alabama with at least 50,000 acres of wetlands, making it one of the largest such areas within Alabama.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Lamar County
  • Northeast: Fayette County
  • East: Tuscaloosa County
  • Southeast: Greene County
  • South: Sumter County
  • Southwest: Noxubee County, Miss.
  • Northwest: Lowndes County, Miss.


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