Clarke County is located between Choctaw and Monroe counties in the Coastal Gateway region. It was established in 1812 and named for Gen. John Clarke, son of U.S. Revolutionary War hero Elijah Clarke.
The county was home to both Creek and Choctaw Indian tribes and was once renowned for its salt production. Two U.S. highways run through the county, and both are slated for upgrades as part of the state of Alabama's five-year plan. U.S. Highway 43, which runs the entire north-south length of the state and connects the Mobile area in the south to the Shoals area in the north before crossing the Tennessee state line, is set to become the West Alabama Freeway.
The county's population was 25,833 as of the 2010 census. Grove Hill is the county seat. The county is home to Clarke County High School, Jackson High School, Thomasville High School, Clarke Prep School, Jackson Academy and several elementary, middle and intermediate schools. Alabama Southern Community College operates a campus in Thomasville. Notable cities and towns include Jackson, Grove Hill, Thomasville, Coffeeville and Fulton.
The timber and wood product industries continue to make up the bulk of modern-day Clarke County industry. The area's rich forest lands provide the raw materials necessary for extensive sawmill, lumber and woodworking operations. More than 1,500 county residents currently find employment in the timber and wood product fields.
But Clarke County has a recent surge of metals industries taking advantage of its proximity to steel-making from Jackson to Thomasville. And one of the nation's largest and most modern copper tubing manufacturers is located just two miles north of Thomasville as part of a regional collaboration.
Jackson Municipal Airport and Grove Hill Municipal Airport serve the county's aeronautic needs. Jackson Municipal Airport boasts a 5,002-foot paved runway, while Grove Hill Municipal Airport's runway measures 2,704 feet in length. Both are general aviation facilities. The county is also served by Greyhound and Trailways bus, the Norfolk-Southern Railroad, the Port of Mobile's proprietary railroad and has ports on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
For detailed demographic statistics on Clarke County, click HERE.