Chilton County Data
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About Chilton County, Alabama...
Located in central Alabama, Chilton County is renowned for its bountiful peach industry. Over 80 percent of Alabama's peach crop comes from the county. Since 1947, the county has sponsored the Chilton County Peach festival. In addition, the town boasts a peach-shaped water tower to honor the county's famous product. The county is governed by an elected seven-member commission.
Chilton County was created by an act of the Alabama State Legislature on December 30, 1868, from land taken from Autauga, Bibb, Perry, and Shelby counties. The county was originally named Baker County for Alfred Baker, credited as the founder of the town of Clanton. After the Civil War, Baker served as the first mayor of the town and came into conflict with townspeople after cooperating with local Republican politicians. On December 17, 1874, citizens of Clanton voted to change the name of their county to Chilton to honor William P. Chilton, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and a member of the provisional and regular Congress of the Confederacy.
In 1902, Montgomery lawyer and Civil War veteran Jefferson Manly Faulkner donated 80 acres of land in southeastern Chilton County as the site for the Alabama Confederate Soldiers Home. The retirement community consisted of a 22-building complex that included a 25-bed hospital. At its peak, the home housed more than 100 people. The area now serves as Confederate Memorial Park. In post-World War II years, Chilton County emerged as the principle peach-growing area in the state, a status it continues to hold. After a particularly large crop, the town of Thorsby held the first Peach Festival in 1947. The festival moved to Clanton in 1952, where it continues to be celebrated.
Since the late nineteenth century, Chilton County's most profitable industry has been timber. The county received a boost to its economy in 1914 and 1922 when Alabama Power built its first two hydroelectric plants, Lay Dam and Mitchell Dam, on the Coosa River. Peaches remain a popular industry in Chilton County, but the area is also known for other fruit and vegetable crops, including strawberries, watermelons, and tomatoes. Cattle, poultry, corn, and cotton are also important economically. The Thorsby Nursery was established in 1937 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop new commercial plants. In 1969, Clanton mayor F. B. Clark established the Possum Growers and Breeders Association in an ill-fated attempt to raise the North American marsupials for meat.
The Confederate Memorial Park, located in the southern part of the county, is the historic site of Alabama's only home for Confederate veterans. It includes two cemeteries and a museum that houses Civil War uniforms, weapons, and equipment, plus many relics from the Alabama Confederate Soldiers' Home. The former resort town of Verbena is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the Walker-Klinner Farm in Maplesville, the Old Stage Coach Inn (ca. 1835) in Plantersville, and the Gragg Field Historic District in Clanton, and a number of other structures in the county.
The county has a total area of 701 square miles, of which 693 square miles is land and 7.9 square miles(1.1%) is water. The population recorded in the 1870 Federal Census was 6,194. The 2010 census recorded 43,643 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Shelby County (north), Coosa County (east), Elmore County (southeast), Autauga County (south), Perry County (southwest), Dallas County (southwest), and Bibb County (northwest). Communities in the county include Calera (partly in Shelby County), Clanton, Jemison, Maplesville, Thorsby, Isabella, Jumbo, Mountain Creek, Stanton, and Verbena.
Chilton County, Alabama Records
Alabama Genealogy & History Network has many records on our county websites. Thousands of County marriage records are located on the county websites. Many counties have cemetery listings. Please visit the county or counties of interest to you.
Birth Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains records of births from 1908 to present. This was the year Alabama began keeping official birth records. You can obtain official copies of birth certificates by visiting the birth record page on their website and following the instructions. Since there are no official birth records before 1908 for births prior to that date you will need to determine birth information from census records, bible records, baptismal records, cemetery tombstones, etc.
Death Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains death records after 1908 on file. This was the year Alabama began keeping official death records. You can obtain official copies of death certificates by visiting the death record page on their website and following the instructions. Since there are no official death records before 1908 for deaths prior to that date you will need to determine death information from census records, bible records, funeral home records, cemetery tombstones, etc.
Marriage Records - We have thousands of county marriage records on our county websites. These dates will assist you greatly in obtaining a copy of the original marriage license. The Alabama Department of Public Health can provide you with information for marriages that took place from 1936 to present by by visiting the marriage record page on their website and following the instructions.
All existing county marriage records for any date not listed above (and for the dates listed above for that matter) may be obtained from the county's Probate Office in which the marriage was held.
Divorce Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains divorce records from 1950 to present. You can obtain official copies of devorce records by visiting the divorce record page on their website and following the instructions. Records for divorces occuring before 1950 may be obtained from the Circuit Clerk in the county where the divorce took place.