Calhoun County, Alabama

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Calhoun County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of John C. Calhoun, famous member of the United States Senate from South Carolina. As of 2000 the population was 112,249. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its county seat is Anniston.



Benton County was established on December 18, 1832, named for Thomas Hart Benton, a member of the United States Senate from Missouri, with its county seat at Jacksonville. Benton, a slave owner, was a political ally of John C. Calhoun, another slaveholder and a U.S. senator from South Carolina. Through the 1820s-1840s, however, Benton's and Calhoun's political interests diverged, with Calhoun increasingly using 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. The county seat was moved to Anniston after years of controversy and a State Supreme Court ruling in June 1900. An F4 tornado struck here on Palm Sunday March 27, 1994. It destroyed Piedmont's Goshen United Methodist Church twelve minutes after the National Weather Service of Birmingham issued a tornado warning for northern Calhoun, southeastern Etowah, and southern Cherokee.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 612 square miles (1,585.1 km2), of which 608 square miles (1,574.7 km2) is land and 4 square miles (10.4 km2) (0.63%) is water.

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