Chilton County, Alabama
Chilton County is located in central Alabama. Chilton County was founded on December 30, 1868. The county was named in honor of William Parish Chilton, Sr., a lawyer who became Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. The county’s seat and largest city is Clanton, Alabama. Chilton County is adjacent to Coosa and Elmore counties. Chilton County is governed by an elected seven-member commission. Chilton County was created from portions of Autauga, Shelby, Bibb, and Perry counties by an act passed during the state legislature in 1869. Originally, the county’s name was Baker, in honor or Alfred Baker, founder of Clanton. Due to political conflict, the citizens of Clanton voted to change the name of the county to Chilton.
Chilton County’s land increased after lawyer and war veteran Jefferson Manly Faulkner donated 80 acres. The land was used to erect homes that would eventually house Confederate Soldiers. The area is now Confederate Memorial Park. After World War II, Chilton County adopted the principle of peach-growing. The peach industry is now very successful in the county.
For centuries, Chilton County was known for its profitable timber industry; however, in recent years Japanese and German industries have provided employment to many people to in the county and surrounding area. In addition, the county contains two private schools and a community college. George Wallace Community College has a campus located in Clanton.
According to the census of 2010, the county’s population was 46,643. The racial makeup of Chilton County was 84 percent white, 9 percent black or African American, 7.8 percent Hispanic or Latino, and 1.2 percent as two or more races, 0.4 Native American, and 0.3 Asian.
Chilton is known best for its peaches and beautiful landscape. Chilton County is the state’s largest commercial producer of peaches. Each year, the county hosts an annual Chilton County Peach Festival, which includes a parade, cook-off, and beauty pageant. The Talladega National Forest, located in the southwestern part of Chilton County, offers fishing, hiking, and several great views. The county is home to mountains as the foothills of the Appalachians end in the county. The Confederate National Memorial Park, located south of the county, is a historic site as the only home for Confederate Veterans. The museum includes Civil War Uniforms, weapons, and equipment.
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