Alabama Counties: Decatur County
Created by the legislature, December 7, 1821, out of a part of Jackson County. Its area was described in the act of establishment as including "all that tract of country lying west of Jackson County, south of the Tennessee State line, east of Madison County, and north of the Tennessee River." By an act of December 13, 1821, a commission was appointed to select a temporary seat of justice for the county, to serve until the Government lands within its limits should be sold. On the same day provision was made for the holding of circuit courts in the county, and authority was given the judges and commissioners of the county to levy a tax, not exceeding one-fourth the amount of the State tax rate, for the erection of a temporary courthouse and jail. An act of December 31, 1822, defined the boundary line between Decatur and Jackson Counties with more particularity, as follows: "Beginning at the mouth of Sauta Creek; thence up said creek to where the Winchester road crosses said creek; thence to Jesse Thompson's; thence to Caswell Bibey's, including said Jesse Thompson, William Cundic, Hiram Jackson, Thomas Jones, John Smart, and said Caswell Bibey to the top of the mountain above William E. Haskins, where the Winchester road descends the Cumberland Mountain; thence to the most leading point of the mountain, between the mouth of the Lick Fork and the mouth of Larkin's Fork of the Paint Rock River; thence to the top of said mountain; thence a northwest course, to the Tennessee state line."
On December 17, 1823, an act was passed to provide for elections to determine the selection of a quarter section of land on which to establish a county seat. On the site thus selected the town of Woodville, at present in Jackson County, was built, and continued as the seat of justice until the county was abolished by the legislature of 1823-24, and its territory divided between Jackson and Madison Counties. The county was of irregular shape, being more than forty miles in length, and varying from 3 to 25 miles in width. When surveys of its area had been completed, it was found that it did not contain the constitutional number of square miles, and it was therefore abolished. During its short existence, its representatives in the legislature were shown on the Senate and House journals as from Jackson and Decatur Counties.
Owen, Thomas McAdory. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921.
Updated: May 28, 2009