Butler County was formed from Conecuh and Monroe County, Alabama, by an act passed December 13, 1819
Butler County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of Captain William Butler, who was born in Virginia and fought in the Creek War, and who was killed in May 1818. As of 2000 the population was 21,399. Its county seat is Greenville.
Butler County was formed from Conecuh County, Alabama, and Monroe County, Alabama, by an act passed December 13, 1819, by the Legislature while in session at Huntsville. This was the first session of the Legislature of Alabama as a State. The name of Fairfield was first proposed for this county, but was changed on the passage of the bill to Butler, in honor of Captain William Butler.
The exact date of the first settlement made by white people in the limits of Butler County is not exactly known. Some records have it as early as 1814, but the earliest settler of no dispute is James K. Benson, who settled in the Flat in 1815, and built the first house ever erected in Butler County. It was built near where Pine Flat Methodist Church now stands, and was made of logs. Shortly after, William Ogly and John Dickerson came with their families and made a settlement on the Federal Road, about three miles (5 km) south of where Fort Dale was later erected. In the fall of 1816, a party from the state of Georgia came to settle in Pine Flat, including Thomas Hill, Warren A. Thompson, Captain John Watts, and Benjamin Hill. In 1817, many more settlers arrived, since the hardest work had already been done by these brave original souls.
Captain William Butler, native of Virginia, previous member of Georgia Legislature and captain of Georgia militia, came to Butler County in search of adventure, but was soon killed by native Americans near Butler Springs on the morning of 20 March 1818. While on his way from Fort Bibb to Fort Dale with four other men, Captain Butler was wounded and thrown from his horse, but attempted to make his escape. Seeing that this was impossible, he resolved to die fighting his enemy, and succeeded in killing one of Savannah Jack’s bravest warriors, and after severely wounding several others who attacked him, was overcome by the number of Native Americans who were present. He was left mangled, scalped, and with his ears and privates stuffed into his mouth.
Warren A. Thompson was a noted explorer and original settler of the county, and was locally known as the strongman of the original Butler County pioneer settlers.
Hank Williams was born in Butler County in 1923.
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,399 people, 8,398 households, and 5,870 families residing in the county. The population density was 28 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 9,957 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 58.38% White, 40.81% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.05% from other races, and 0.39% from two or more races. 0.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 8,398 households out of which 32.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.70% were married couples living together, 18.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 27.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the county the population was spread out with 26.90% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 25.10% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $24,791, and the median income for a family was $30,915. Males had a median income of $28,968 versus $18,644 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,715. About 20.40% of families and 24.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.30% of those under age 18 and 28.60% of those age 65 or over.