Double Springs is the county seat of Winston County. It is located in north-central Alabama about 35 miles west of Cullman, Cullman County. Named for two springs that flowed side by side, the town has a mayor/city council form of government. It was officially incorporated on May 17, 1943.
Winston County was established in 1850, with the town of Houston as its seat. In 1882, state representative Andrew Jackson Ingle sponsored a bill to allow residents of Winston County to vote on whether to move the seat to the center of the county. The election took place the following year, and residents voted to move the seat to Double Springs. Later that year, a town square had been surveyed and laid out. Lots were auctioned off on July 23, 1883 (31 of which were bought by Ingle himself), and the town was established as building began. Construction included the new county courthouse, several stores, and a hotel. A newspaper, The Winston Herald was moved to Double Springs in 1883 and was published until 1945, when it was sold to the Haleyville Advertiser. The first courthouse, a wood structure, burned in 1891 and was replaced in 1893 with one made from native sandstone; this structure has been incorporated into the current courthouse, which was dedicated in 1930.
Winston County High School was established in the town in September 1908 with three teachers. A new school building was built in 1930 and served the area until it was destroyed in a fire in 1971. The current high school was built in 1972.
In the 1940s when State Highway 195 was built through the area, the original double springs were covered over by the new highway. Water still flows from a culvert under the highway from the now-hidden springs.
Initially supported economically by agriculture, cotton in particular, Double Springs went through an economic slump in the 1950s and 1960s. An attempt to bring a sewing plant to the area was largely unsuccessful. In the late 1980s, several mobile home manufacturing plants in the area shut down, but they were reopened in 1992 as the economy improved. Concerted efforts in the 1990s to bring new industry to Double Springs have resulted in some 15 manufacturing facilities locating in the area that produce such diverse products as windows, mattresses, fiberglass fabrications, and furniture.
On April 27, 2011, a massive storm, causing numerous powerful tornadoes, struck the southeastern United States. More than 250 people were killed in Alabama, including one person in Double Springs, Calhoun County.
Double Springs’ population at the time of the 2010 Census was 1,083. Of that number, 97.3 percent identified themselves as white, 0.9 percent as two or more races, 0.8 percent as Native American, 0.6 percent as African American, 0.4 percent as Hispanic, and 0.2 percent as Asian. The city's median household income was $39,806, and per capita income was $21,617.
The workforce in present-day Double Springs is divided among the following occupational categories:
· Manufacturing (34.1 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (18.7 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (10.8 percent)
· Retail trade (7.5 percent)
· Construction (6.8 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (5.2 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (4.8 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (4.6 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (2.0 percent)
· Wholesale trade (1.8 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.1 percent)
Schools in Double Springs are part of the Winston County School District; the city has approximately 1,090 students and 70 teachers in three public schools (elementary, middle, and high). It also has one private school serving K-12 with approximately 40 students and 25 teachers.
Double Springs is intersected by U.S. Highway 278 and State Highway 195. It also is served by the Double Springs-Winston County Airport with one runway.
Events and Places of Interest
Double Springs is located within the borders of the William Bankhead National Forest, which offers many recreational opportunities including boating, camping, and fishing. It also is located four miles from Lewis Smith Lake, another major recreation area. The town itself has two city parks with softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, and walking tracks. The community center features exercise equipment and a basketball court; a separate venue has a walking and biking trail.
On the first Saturday of each June, Frontier Days is held at Double Springs Elementary School, celebrating Double Springs' early history. The festival includes arts and crafts, live music, food, games (including a horseshoe competition and a Moon Pie eating contest), rides, and a rodeo parade, and participants are encouraged to don period dress.
Sesquicentennial Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Winston County, Alabama. Louisville, Ky.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2009.
James P. Kaetz
Published May 5, 2010
Last updated July 13, 2012