Headland is located in the southeast corner of Alabama in Henry County. It has a mayor/city council form of government.


Headland Public Square Headland was founded in 1871 on land owned by physician James Joshua Head; the first post office was established on October 10 of the same year. Head sold the land on which the city was sited to Hosey Powell in 1879, who in turn sold it to Wyatt S. Oates in 1884. Oates, also a physician, gave up his practice and became the city’s main promoter. The main industry sustaining the city in the early years was timber cutting and processing. Headland was incorporated in either 1884 or 1893; sources differ as to the exact date.

After the railroad came through in 1893, the city began to expand and in the first decades of the twentieth century became a cotton ginning and milling center. The city became a peanut processing center after the boll weevil devastated the cotton crop in Alabama, with the peanut industry reaching a peak in the 1950s. City population reached 2,000 in 1927 and remained at that level throughout the Great Depression, then grew steadily after World War II. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, Headland has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing towns. It is also home to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Peanut Research Laboratory.


According to 2020 Census estimates, Headland recorded a population of 4,684. Of that number, 76.3 percent identified themselves as white, 22.6 percent as African American, 0.1 percent as Hispanic, and 0.1 percent as two or more races. The city’s median household income was $65,278, and per capita income was $27,949.


According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Headland was divided among the following industrial categories:

  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (18.4 percent)
  • Manufacturing (17.1 percent)
  • Retail trade (15.3 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (9.9 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (8.2 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (7.3 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (6.9 percent)
  • Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (6.1 percent)
  • Construction (3.4 percent)
  • Public administration (3.0 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (2.4 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.4 percent)
  • Information (0.8 percent)


Schools in Headland are part of the Henry County School District; the city has one elementary, one middle, and one high school.


Headland is intersected by State Highways 134 (northeast-southeast) and 173 (north-south), and lies just west of U.S. Highway 431/State Highway 1 (north-south)). The Headland Municipal Airport is located just north of the city and has two runways.

Events and Places of Interest

Marshwood Course The Headland Country Club is located four miles east of the city and has an 18-hole course and a pool. Six more courses lie within a 25-mile radius, including Highland Oaks in Dothan, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

Headland Public Square is a tree-shaded central park in the city that is home to the Spirit of the American Doughboy war memorial, erected in 1926. The city maintains two recreational parks with softball fields and playground equipment and two municipal tennis courts. Headland annual events include a Daylily Festival in June, a Harvest Day Festival in October, and a Christmas Festival each December.

Additional Resources

The Heritage of Henry County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.

Warren, Hoyt M. Henry’s Heritage: A History of Henry County. Vol. 1. Abbeville, Ala.: Henry County Historical Society, 1978.

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