Calhoun County courthouse in Anniston
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
|Founded||December 18, 1832|
as Benton County
|Named for||John C. Calhoun|
|o Total||612 sq mi (1,590 km2)|
|o Land||606 sq mi (1,570 km2)|
|o Water||6.4 sq mi (17 km2) 1.0%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||190/sq mi (75/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Calhoun County is a county in the east central part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 118,572. Its county seat is Anniston. It was named in honor of John C. Calhoun, noted politician and US Senator from South Carolina.
Calhoun County is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Benton County was established on December 18, 1832, named for Thomas Hart Benton, a member of the United States Senate from Missouri. Its county seat was Jacksonville. Benton, a slave owner, was a political ally of John C. Calhoun, U.S. senator from South Carolina and also a slaveholder and planter. Through the 1820s-1840s, however, Benton's and Calhoun's political interests diverged. Calhoun was increasingly interested in using the threat of secession as a weapon to maintain and expand slavery throughout the United States. Benton, on the other hand, was slowly coming to the conclusion that slavery was wrong and that preservation of the union was paramount. On January 29, 1858, Alabama supporters of slavery, objecting to Benton's change of heart, renamed Benton County as Calhoun County.
During the Reconstruction era and widespread violence by whites to suppress black and white Republican voting in the state during the campaign for the 1870 gubernatorial election, four blacks and one white were lynched.
After years of controversy and a State Supreme Court ruling in June 1900, the county seat was moved to Anniston.
The city was hit by an F4 tornado during the 1994 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak on March 27, 1994. Twelve minutes after the National Weather Service of Birmingham issued a tornado warning for northern Calhoun, southeastern Etowah, and southern Cherokee counties, the tornado destroyed Piedmont's Goshen United Methodist Church.
As of the census of 2010, there were 118,572 people, 47,331 households, and 31,609 families residing in the county. The population density was 194 people per square mile (75/km2). There were 53,289 housing units at an average density of 87 per square mile (34/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 74.9% White, 20.6% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.6% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. 3.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 47,331 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.2 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $38,407, and the median income for a family was $49,532. Males had a median income of $41,599 versus $29,756 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,574. About 15.2% of families and 19.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.8% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.
Calhoun is a staunchly Republican county in Presidential and Congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Jimmy Carter in 1976. In 2016, Republican Donald Trump won almost sixty-nine percent of the county's vote.
Calhoun County is home to Jacksonville State University, the Anniston Museum of Natural History, the Berman Museum of World History and the Coldwater Covered Bridge. It also contains a portion of the Talladega National Forest.