Crenshaw County


The Worlds Largest Peanut Boil is held every World's Largest Peanut BoilLocated in south-central Alabama, Crenshaw County is a center of the state's timber industry. The town of Luverne boasts a number of historic homes and hosts the annual "World's Largest Peanut Boil" festival. The county is governed by an elected four-member commission and includes six incorporated communities.

· Founding Date: November 24, 1866
· Area: 611 square miles
· Population: 13,906 (2010 Census)
· Major Waterways: Conecuh River
· County Seat: Luverne
· Largest City: Luverne

History 

Crenshaw County was formed from Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw CountyCrenshaw County was created by an act of the Alabama State Legislature on November 24, 1866, from parts of Butler, Coffee, Covington, Pike, and Lowndes counties. The county was named for Anderson Crenshaw of Alabama, a judge and prominent settler of Butler County. The region's infertile soil and hilly terrain hindered large-scale farming, and settlers focused instead on timbering. Crenshaw County's economy received a boost in 1886 when the Montgomery and Florida Railroad company began purchasing land, completing a line through the county in 1888. The new town of Luverne sprang up east of Patsaliga Creek and by March of 1890 boasted a population of almost 1,000. Businesses included grocery, hardware, and clothing stores, a saloon and restaurant, a blacksmith shop, telegraph service, several sawmills, a grist mill, a planing mill, a hotel, and a newspaper. The town of Glenwood, created in 1896 after completion of a Central of Georgia Railroad line, soon included a bank, several sawmills, a number of stores, a school, and a cotton gin.

Major Cities and Demographics 

Luverne, the Crenshaw County seat, is located in Crenshaw County CourthouseAt the time of the 2010 Census, Crenshaw County recorded a population of 13,906. Of that total, 72.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 23.4 percent as African American, 1.5 percent as Hispanic, 1.5 percent as two or more races, 1.4 percent as Asian, and 0.4 percent as Native American. According to 2009 Census estimates, the median household income was $31,058, as compared with $40,547 for the state as a whole, and the per capita income was $19,900, compared with $22,732 for the state as a whole. The county seat, Luverne, had a population of 2,800. Other population centers in the county include Brantley, Rutledge, and Dozier.

Economy 

The rugged terrain and infertile soil of Crenshaw County made large-scale farming impractical. As a result, early settlers focused their efforts on timbering in the piney woods of the county. Luverne, in central Crenshaw County, formed in the LuverneIn 1886, the Montgomery and Florida Railroad company began purchasing land in Crenshaw County for a right-of-way for a rail line to run from Sprague Junction in Montgomery County to Crenshaw County, allowing lumber mills to ship their products with greater ease.

Employment 

The workforce in present-day Crenshaw County is divided among the following occupational categories:

· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (16.3   percent)
· Manufacturing (13.4 percent)
· Construction (11.1 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (9.9 percent)
· Retail trade (9.4 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services   (7.8 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (7.6 percent)
· Public administration (7.1 percent)
· Wholesale trade (5.1 percent)
· Finance and insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (3.9   percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (3.1 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (3.1 percent)
· Information (2.3 percent)

Education 

The Crenshaw County School System currently employs approximately 150 teachers who serve more than 2,300 students in four schools.

Geography 

Crenshaw County is 50th in size among Alabama Crenshaw County MapEncompassing approximately 611 square miles, Crenshaw County lies in the south-central area of the state, wholly within the Coastal Plain physiographic section. It is bounded to the north by Montgomery and Lowndes counties, to the east by Pike and Coffee counties, to the south by Covington County, and to the west by Butler County.

The Conecuh River runs along the southern border of the county, and one of its largest tributaries, Patsaliga Creek runs through the northwestern portion of the county. The major transportation routes through Crenshaw are U.S 29 and U.S. 331, which run north-south through the center of the county.

Events and Places of Interest 

Every fall the town of Luverne holds its annual "World's Largest Peanut Boil." The town also boasts an historic district featuring several Queen Anne- and Craftsmen-style homes.

Additional Resources   

Heritage of Crenshaw County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2002.

Patricia Hoskins Morton
Auburn University


Published September 12, 2007
Last updated July 3, 2013