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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.

Winston County, Alabama History

Winston County Education, Geography, and HistoryWinston County, Alabama Courthouse

Winston County is a county of the state of Alabama. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 24,484. Winston County was established as Hancock County on February 12, 1850 from territory formerly in Walker County. The county seat is Double Springs,known as Hancock County before 1858. The county is named in honor of John A. Winston, the 15th Governor of Alabama.

Etymology - Origin of Winston County Name

Winston county was named for Governor John Hancock of Massachusetts.


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Winston County History

Winston County, Alabama

Winston county was formed as Hancock County in February 12, 1850, the territory formerly in Walker County. It was named for Governor  John Hancock of Massachusetts. On January 22, 1858, the name was changed to honor Alabama Governor John A. Winston.

The county is located in the northwestern part of the state, in the Appalachian foothills. It currently encompasses 614 square miles. The county contains rich mineral deposits. Today a large portion of the county is part of the William B. Bankhead National Forest. The county seat is located in Double Springs. The county gained notoriety during the Civil War due to its reluctance to support the Confederacy, a sentiment so strong that the county is sometimes referred to as the Republic of Winston. The county today plays on its reputation as the "Free State of Winston" to attract tourists. The county's opposition to the Confederacy is briefly mentioned in the novels To Kill a Mockingbird and Addie Pray.

In 1883 the county seat was moved from Houston to Double Springs to be near the center of the county, since Cullman County was created from the eastern part of Winston County.

The civil-rights judge Frank Minis Johnson of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit was born in Delmar, in Winston County.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 631 square miles (1,630 km2), of which 613 square miles (1,590 km2) is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (3.0%) is water.

The Black Warrior River and its tributaries flow throughout Winston County. Tributaries of both the Mulberry Fork and the Sipsey Fork flow through the county. Although the species diversity of the Mulberry Fork is relatively low compared with other water systems in the state, the Sipsey Fork is home to nearly 80 species of fish and is Alabama's only National Wild and Scenic River System. A large portion of Winston County is part of the William B. Bankhead National Forest, offering scenic views and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Lawrence County
  • East: Cullman County
  • South: Walker County
  • West: Marion County
  • Northwest: Franklin County

National Register of Historic Places

Winston County has four sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Archeological Site No. 1WI50, Feldman's Department Store, the Houston Jail, and the Winston County Courthouse


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