Pickens County Alabama History
Pickens County was created by the Alabama Legislature on December 19, 1819, out of Tuscaloosa County. It was named for General Andrew Pickens of South Carolina, a hero of the Revolution. The first county seat was established at Picken’s Courthouse (later called Pickens and Pickensville) and moved to Carrollton in 1830. Neighboring Counties include Fayette, Greene, Lamar, Sumter and Tuscaloosa in Alabama and Lowndes and Noxubee counties in Mississippi.
Early Settlers: The first white settler in the county was Joseph Tilly who was born in North Carolina or Tennessee about 1785, lived in Tuscaloosa and in 1817, settled on the bluff, now known as Tilly’s Bluff, on the Tombigbee, about half a mile above Pickensville. He was a trader among the Choctaws. The second settler was Jonathan York, who settled near Tilly in 1818. Catherine, a daughter of Jonathan York, was the first white child born in the county. In the same year Robert Proffet came settling on the site of Pickensville and John Barksdale settled near that place. Other settlers also came in 1818, among these, Robert and William Ringold who settled on the Tombigbee near Ringold’s Bluff, Burwell Ball, Stephen P. Doss, James Robert and Daniel Coxe, Jame Newman, Elijah Wilbanks and John G. Ring. After that year, the county was rapidly settled. The majority of the immigrants were from the up country of South Carolina.