Established in 1821, this county
took its name from General Leonard W. Covington, of
Maryland. It is noted for its streams, grazing lands,
and superb regions of timber. Like other sections of
Alabama, Covington has failed of appreciation, because
of its remoteness from lines of
The development of its abounding
resources will follow in the wake of transportation
facilities. The county has an area of 1,030 square
Population in 1870, 4,868;
population in 1880, 5,639. White, 4,968; colored,
Tilled Land: 19,326 acres.—Area
planted in cotton, 4,176 acres; in corn, 10,558 acres ;
in oats, 2,114 acres; in rice, 47 acres; in sugarcane,
147 acres; in sweet potatoes, 466 acres.
Cotton Production: 1,158
The entire surface of Covington,
is for the most part, level, and yet with undulation
sufficient in many portions of the county for thorough
In the northern end of
Covington, are found.the red uplands which have become
justly famous to planters in the adjoiniug counties.
These, however, are not extensive, and for fertile
soils, the people have to resort to the lands in the
bottoms. Lands of more than average quality, are found
in different districts throughout the county of
Covington. Where they have been properly fertilized, the
pine uplands have produced well.
It will be remembered by the
readers of agricultural journals, that it was on just
such level pine lands, as those which prevail in
Covington county, that Mr. David Dickson had such a
wonderful yield in Hancock county, Georgia, in 1868.
According to the statement of the Soutliem
Cultivator he gathered from two to three bales from each
acre, after proper tillage.
The lands are susceptible of a high degree of
enrichment by manures, are easily tilled, and capable of
producing, not only a great variety of crops, but
several in rotation every year. In some instances, the
lands of Covington county have been made to yield from
forty to sixty bushels of corn per acre; from thirty to
seventy bushels of oats; from forty to eighty bushels of
rice, and from one hundred to three hundred bushels
potatoes. The best lands in Covington are the mulatto
soils and those of a flowery gray. They each have a
capital subsoil, which begins from ten to sixteen inches
from the surface.
The bottom lands, as has before been
intimated, are of excellent quality. There flourish upon
the lands such farm productions as cotton, corn, oats,
rye, rice, sugar-cane, millet (in many varieties), sweet
and Irish potatoes, pumpkins, peas, and peanuts. Where
the land is enriched these grow rapidly, and are easily
produced by reason of the general looseness of the soil.
Improved implements of agriculture upon these level
tracts would prove valuable and remunerative. The
productions of the lands have been gathered from the
shallowest surface, while the subsoil, but
a few inches beneath, has been largely untouched.
Fruits grow in variety and profusion. These
include melons, apples, peaches, grapes, figs, pears,
plums, quinces, strawberries, raspberries, and pecans.
With transportation, these productions would find a
ready market, and be a source of great revenue to the
The timbers of the county are yellow or
long-leaf pine, oak, hickory, elm, beech, and poplar.
The county is noted for its forests of towering pine.
Districts of this magnificent timber extend for many
miles in all directions through the county. Beneath
these lofty pines, there flourish the greenest grasses
and leguminous plants, which afford superior range for
herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. Great quantities of
lumber are hewn from the forests every season, and
floated along the principal streams to the markets of
The county has some of the largest and
deepest streams known to the southern section of the
State. Among these, may be named Conecuh, Patsaliga,
Sepulga, and Yellow rivers, and Pigeon, Limestone, Five
Runs, and Forks of Yellow river, besides many others of
less value. These great streams are quite serviceable to
lumber men during the fall and winter season, as
furnishing the channels of commerce for their superior,
yellow, pine timber. They are also noted for their
abundance of fish. With little difficulty, superior
trout, bream, and perch, are caught from the streams. As
in the forests adjoining, there are many
deer still to be found, rare sport is here afforded,
both for hunter and angler. Specimens, both of iron and
marl have been found in Covington.
The chief pursuits, are timbering and
farming. Wool-growing is becoming one of the industries
of the county. Vast quantities of honey are every year
The county is without transportation, except
by means of wagon, to the railroads which penetrate the
adjoining counties. The South Alabama railroad is
projected through Covington, and is expected to run via
Andalusia to Evergreen, in Conecuh county. The Conecuh
river is navigable for light boats at certain seasons.
They ascend as high as the nearest landing to Andalusia.
But for the obstructions in the river, it would be a
valuable waterway to this section of Alabama. The points
of interest are Andalusia, the county-seat, with a
population of 200, Rose Hill, Fairfield, Red Level,
Lakeview, and Shirley. The leading schools of the county
are at Andalusia, Rose Hill, and Red Level, though the
public school system reaches every precinct. Churches,
mainly of the Baptist and Methodist denominations
prevail, both in the county and in the villages.
The prices of land vary from $1 to $5 per
acre. Covington county has a larger district of
government land than any other in the State, there being
Viewed as a whole, the water of Covington
county is abundant, the climate salubrious, and the
health unsurpassed. In addition to its remarkably
favorable climate, it has all the other conditions which
are conducive to a rapid rotation of crops, and of easy
accumulation of the comforts of home. No more inviting
region is found in the State.
Source: Alabama As It Is by
Benjamin Franklin Riley, D. D., 1887 , Transcribed