Located 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
Crenshaw 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
At 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.
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. In 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.
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)
The Crenshaw County School System currently employs approximately 150 teachers who serve more than 2,300 students in four
Encompassing 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.
Heritage of Crenshaw County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2002.
Patricia Hoskins Morton
Published September 12, 2007
Last updated July 3, 2013