· Area: 714 square miles
· Population: 11,299 (2010 Census)
· Major Waterways: Alabama River
· Major Highways: Interstate 65, U.S. 80, U.S. 31
· County Seat: Hayneville
· Largest City: Fort Deposit
Lowndes County was established by an act of the Alabama General Assembly on January 20, 1830. The county was formed from parts of Montgomery, Dallas, and Butler counties. The section taken from Butler County was later added to Crenshaw County, giving Lowndes County its final dimensions. Lowndes County was named in honor of William Lowndes, a U.S. congressman from South Carolina. The earliest settlers came to the county from Georgia and Tennessee, and some of the first settlements and towns included Fort Deposit, Hayneville, Lowndesboro, and White Hall.
Lowndes County's first and only county seat was established at Hayneville in 1830. The original brick courthouse was constructed in 1832. In 1856, the courthouse was deemed unsafe by the county commission and a second Greek Revival courthouse was built. Still in use today, the courthouse had two-story wings added in 1905 to create more office space. In 1981, an annex was added to the rear of the building. The courthouse has also undergone some minor restoration as well.
Like so much of Alabama, farming was the prevailing occupation of Lowndes County until well into the twentieth century. As part of the Black Belt, cotton was Lowndes County's main agricultural product in the nineteenth century. By the early to mid-twentieth century, farmers had diversified into corn, potatoes, and livestock. Although Lowndes County has attempted to move toward a more industrialized economy, it has done so slowly and with limited success. The county remains largely rural and agricultural.
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (16.4 percent)
· Retail trade (13.3 percent)
· Construction (9.3 percent)
· Public administration (8.1 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (7.3 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.3 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (5.1 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (4.9 percent)
· Finance and insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (3.8 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (2.7 percent)
· Wholesale trade (1.3 percent)
· Information (1.0 percent)
Comprising more than 700 square miles, Lowndes County is located in the south-central part of the state in Alabama's Black Belt, wholly within the Coastal Plain physiographic section. The county is characterized by rolling prairies and flat plains dotted with pine and oak forests. Lowndes County is bordered to the north by Autauga County, to the east by Montgomery County, to the southeast by Crenshaw County, to the south by Butler County, and to the west by Wilcox and Dallas counties. The Alabama River and its middle tributaries flow throughout Lowndes County. The Alabama River serves as the unifier of Alabama's eastern and western rivers. More than 144 species of fish have been identified in the Alabama River. The river provides both economic and recreational opportunities for Lowndes County.
Events and Places of Interest
The Lowndes County Interpretive Center, run by the National Park Service, officially opened its doors to the public in 2006. The site celebrates and interprets the people and events of the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights and is one of several sites along the 54-mile Selma to Montgomery March National Historic Trail. Exhibits include a re-creation of "Tent City," the temporary village that housed families dislodged by white landowners in Lowndes County.
The Heritage of Lowndes County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2005.