Wilcox County, Alabama
Wilcox County is a county located in the state of Alabama. It was established on December 13, 1819, and falls within what is known as the Black Belt region. Wilcox County is named in honor of Lieutenant J. M. Wilcox, who fought in the wars against the Creek peoples. Wilcox County’s seat and largest city is Camden. It is adjacent to Butler, Clarke, Dallas, Lowndes, Marengo, and Monroe Counties. Wilcox County is home to Lake Dannelly, Bridgeport Beach, Millers Ferry Dam, and Roland Copper State Park.
Wilcox County was created by an act of Alabama territorial legislature. The county was created from portions of Dallas and Monroe Counties. The land was acquired from the Creek Indians in the Treaty of Fort Jackson. Early settlers of Wilcox County came from the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee. The first towns in Wilcox County were Pine Apple, Pine Hill, Camden, and Oak Hill.
Wilcox County’s city of Camden became a commercial and political center by the mid-1800s. Wilcox County’s courthouse was rebuilt in 1857, and was dedicated in honor of Enoch Hooper Cook, a local Confederate veteran whose six sons died in the Civil War. Though some updates have been made, this courthouse still serves citizens of Wilcox County.
Like other Black Belt counties, Wilcox County’s cash crop was cotton in the mid-nineteenth century. Wilcox County was also an important site for transporting goods and passengers via steamboats. County famers later diversified crops into corn, sweet potatoes, and livestock. Wilcox County received a boost to its economy in the 1930’s with the completion of T. Lee Long Bridge over the Alabama River. The bridge made transportation easier and more efficient; the completion of the Miller Ferry Lock aided the county’s economy as well. Today, Wilcox County is a timber economy. The county is attempting to move towards an industrialized economy; however, progress has been slow. Wilcox County remains largely and agricultural.
The population of Wilcox County, based on the 2010 census, was approximately 11,670. Based on the census, the racial composition was 72.5 percent black or African American, 26.8 percent white, 0.6 percent Hispanic, 0.4 percent as two or more races, 0.1 percent Native American.
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