Cleburne County Data
Cleburne County Neighbors
Carroll County, Georgia
Haralson County, Georgia
Polk County, Georgia
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About Cleburne County, Alabama...
Located in the northeastern area of the state, Cleburne County contains large portions of the Talladega National Forest. During the nineteenth century, the area was a leading producer of valuable minerals, including gold, copper, and mica. Today, Cleburne County's many parks and lakes offer visitors abundant outdoor activities. The county is governed by an elected four-member commission.
Cleburne County was created by an act of the Alabama State Legislature on December 6, 1866, from portions of Randolph, Talladega, and Calhoun counties. The county is named for Confederate general Patrick Cleburne, of Arkansas, who was killed at the Battle of Franklin in 1864. Cleburne County is located on what was once Creek and Cherokee Indian land.
The first settlers came to the area in the 1820s and named the town of Edwardsville as the county seat. Settlement in the area remained sparse until the 1830s, when gold was discovered in the vicinity of Arbacoochee and Chulafinnee in the southern part of the county. By 1836, some 5,000 miners had moved to the area in hopes of striking it rich. The discovery of gold in California in 1849 eclipsed mining in Cleburne County, but it is estimated that more than $1 million in gold was mined out of its streams. Copper and mica were also found in the southern part of the county in the late nineteenth century, but little effort was made to capitalize on the discovery.
In the late-nineteenth century, a winery in the town of Fruithurst briefly became a popular tourist destination. The winery failed, however, when disease wiped out the grape harvest in the early twentieth century. In 1882, the Georgia-Pacific Railroad was extended from Atlanta to the town of Heflin, in the west-central part of the county. In 1905 the county held an election to decide whether to move the county seat from Edwardsville to Heflin. The election results and a subsequent Alabama Supreme Court ruling favored Heflin, which remains the county seat today.
Cleburne County was largely agricultural during the nineteenth century. Farmers grew corn, oats, wheat, and cotton and raised cattle. During the 1830s, the discovery of gold in the southern half of the county brought thousands of miners to the area, but the enterprise failed when miners left for the California gold rush of 1849. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, several economic ventures, including copper and mica mining and winemaking, were attempted, but they failed due to poor transportation and agricultural disease. The heavy forestation of the county made it ideal for the timber and pulpwood industries, which soon moved into the area. In the mid-1950s Tyson Foods Inc. constructed a large poultry-processing plant in the area, making the county the "Broiler Capital of Alabama." In September 2006, part of the plant was destroyed by fire.
The county has a total area of 561 square miles, of which 560 square miles is land and 1 square mile(0.2%) is water. The population recorded in the 1870 Federal Census was 8,017. The 2010 census recorded 14,972 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Cherokee County (north), Polk County, Georgia (northeast), Haralson County, Georgia (east), Carroll County, Georgia (southeast), Randolph County (south), Clay County (southwest), Talladega County (southwest), and Calhoun County (west). Communities in the county include Heflin, Edwardsville, Fruithurst, Ranburne, Ai, Arbacoochee, Hopewell, Liberty Hill, Muscadine, and Hollis Crossroads.
Cleburne 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.