Monroe County, Alabama

Monroe County is a county located in the state of Alabama. Established on June 29, 1815, Monroe County was named in honor of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States of America. Monroe County was created by David Holmes, governor of Mississippi Territory. Monroe County’s seat and largest city is Monroeville, Alabama.

Monroe County is commonly known as the county older than the state of Alabama. Upper Creek chief, Red Eagle (also known as William Weatherford of the prominent Wind Clan), moved to Monroe County after the Creek War and established a successful plantation. Years later, almost all Creek Indians were removed. The county’s land was acquired by the Creek Indians in the Treaty of Jackson. The Creek natives were forcibly moved from Alabama to the Indian Territory in the 1830s. Monroe County was later settled by European Americans, who brought slave workers, or purchased more from slave trade centers after acquiring the land.

Monroe County’s seat, Monroeville, is the home of two exceptional 20th century authors, Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee. Lee and Capote were childhood neighbors and lifelong friends. Nelle Harper is commonly known as the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. Monroe County is also the birthplace of the novelist Mark Childress and journalist Cynthia Tucker. The Alabama legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County the “Literary Capital of Alabama” in 1997.

Prior to the 1970s, Monroe County was an agriculture based economy, relying on cotton and corn as its two major cash crops. The county’s economy thrived in great magnitude when it began to shift from an agricultural to an industrial workforce. Monroe County’s greatest industrial expansion was involved the opening of Georgia-Pacific Plywood Mill and Alabama River Pulp-Paper Mill.

The population of Monroe County, as reported in the 2010 census, was approximately 23,068. Based on the census, Perry County’s racial composition was 55.1 white, 41.7 percent black or African American, 1.4 percent as two or more races, 1.1 percent Native American, and 1.0 percent Hispanic.

Recreational activities such as the swimming, boating, and camping are found at the Claude Kelly State Park. The Monroe County Heritage Museum includes several buildings in Monroeville. The Old Courthouse Museum is the site of an annual three week production, To Kill a Mockingbird, produced by Monroe County Historical Museum.

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