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Winston County, Alabama facts for kids

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Winston County
Winston County courthouse in Double Springs
Winston County courthouse in Double Springs
Map of Alabama highlighting Winston County
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Alabama
Founded February 12, 1850
Named for John A. Winston
Seat Double Springs
Largest city Haleyville
 • Total 632 sq mi (1,640 km2)
 • Land 613 sq mi (1,590 km2)
 • Water 19 sq mi (50 km2)  3.0%
 • Total 23,540
 • Density 37.25/sq mi (14.381/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th
  • County number 67 on Alabama license plates
  • Highest county number in Alabama
  • Widely known as "The Free State of Winston."

Winston County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2020 census, the population was 23,540. Its county seat is Double Springs. Known as Hancock County before 1858, the county is named in honor of John A. Winston, the fifteenth Governor of Alabama.


Winston County was established under the name Hancock County on February 12, 1850, from territory that was formerly part of Walker County (a county directly to the south of Winston County). It was originally named for John Hancock, Governor of Massachusetts and famous signer of the American Declaration of Independence, with its county seat at Houston. On January 22, 1858, the county was renamed Winston County to honor Alabama Gov. John A. Winston.

During the American Civil War, Winston County gained attention for its opposition to secession, a sentiment so strong that the county is sometimes referred to as the Republic of Winston[1]. The county today plays on its reputation as the "Free State of Winston" to attract tourists. The county’s opposition to the Confederacy is briefly mentioned in the novels To Kill a Mockingbird and Addie Pray.

In 1883, the county seat was moved from Houston to Double Springs to be near the center of the county, since Cullman County was created from the eastern part of Winston County.

The civil-rights judge Frank Minis Johnson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit was born in Delmar, in Winston County.

National Register of Historic Places

Winston County has four sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Archeological Site No. 1WI50, Feldman's Department Store, the Houston Jail, and the Winston County Courthouse.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 631 square miles (1,630 km2), of which 613 square miles (1,590 km2) is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (3.0%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • William B. Bankhead National Forest (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,542
1860 3,576 131.9%
1870 4,155 16.2%
1880 4,253 2.4%
1890 6,552 54.1%
1900 9,554 45.8%
1910 12,855 34.6%
1920 14,378 11.8%
1930 15,596 8.5%
1940 18,746 20.2%
1950 18,250 −2.6%
1960 14,858 −18.6%
1970 16,654 12.1%
1980 21,953 31.8%
1990 22,053 0.5%
2000 24,843 12.7%
2010 24,484 −1.4%
2020 23,540 −3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 24,484 people, 10,163 households, and 7,074 families living in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 13,469 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.6% White, 0.5% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.5% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Nearly 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 10,163 households, 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. Nearly 27.1% of households were made up of individuals, and 12.2% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.38, and the average family size was 2.86.

The age distribution was 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% 65 or older. The median age was 43.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.8 males.

The median household income was $33,685 and the median family income was $39,784. Males had a median income of $38,074 versus $23,301 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,055. 15.4% of the population and 20.6% of families were below the poverty line. 31.4% of those under the age of 18 and 14.4% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


At the 2010 census:


Major highways

  • US 278.svg U.S. Highway 278
  • Alabama 5.svg State Route 5
  • Alabama 13.svg State Route 13
  • Alabama 33.svg State Route 33
  • Alabama 129.svg State Route 129
  • Alabama 195.svg State Route 195
  • Alabama 243.svg State Route 243


  • Norfolk Southern Railway




Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

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