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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Heath is located in central Covington County in the extreme south-central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
Heath was first known as Willow Head; it began to be settled as early as the 1850s. After the Central of Georgia Railroad came through, the town was renamed in honor of its first postmaster, Kate Heath. A post office was established in 1900. A depot to accommodate passengers on the railroad was constructed, and the growth accompanying the passage of the railroad through town resulted in other businesses. Several of them, including a general store, a cotton gin, a grist mill, and a sawmill, were all owned by Jack Kilpatrick. Other stores and groceries followed. The town welcomed electricity in 1941 and gas in 1955. Heath first incorporated in February 1952, but had to renew the incorporation in July 1967.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Heath recorded a population of 254. Of that number, 88.6 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 10.6 percent as African American, 1.2 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.4 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $37,250, and the per capita income was $19,145.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Heath was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Manufacturing (31.4 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (16.2 percent)
  • Retail trade (13.3 percent)
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (6.7 percent)
  • Public administration (6.7 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (6.7 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (5.7 percent)
  • Construction (4.8 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (4.8 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (2.9 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (1.0 percent)
Students in Heath attend Covington County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
Heath lies along U.S. Route 29 that runs north-south, while County Road 70 runs through town east-west.
Events and Places of Interest
Heath is located north of the Conecuh National Forest and west of Frank Jackson State Park, which offers boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and picnicking facilities. The town is just east of the 2,700-acre Gantt Lake, which also offers boating, swimming, skiing, and fishing opportunities.

Additional Resources

Bryan, Gus J., and Ruby R. Bryan. Covington County History, 1821-1976. Opp. Ala.: Opp Historical Society, 1985.
Covington County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Covington County, Alabama, Volumes I and II. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
Published:  June 12, 2017   |   Last updated:  August 13, 2019