Various sources have different ideas about the name “Conecuh”, pronounced “cah-Neck-ah.” All of these sources do state the name was originated by the American Indians, but have a variety of meanings. “Cane Land” is the most common name and derived from the vast cane brakes that lined the numerous streams and lowlands. “Eeouneka” came from the Choctaw Indian native tongue and supposedly means “Land of Cane.” A professor from the University of Alabama, W.S. Wyman, tried with a valiant effort to translate Conecuh which resulted in the interpretation of “Polecat’s Head.” The stream that ran through a portion of the county at one time is also a consideration for the name Conecuh.
Conecuh did not become a separately organized county until February 13, 1818. Before sub-dividing the county, Conecuh spanned all of south Alabama. Monroe and Montgomery counties set the northern boundaries, Clark and Mobile set the western boundaries, Georgia set the eastern line and Florida defined the southern boundary for Conecuh County. It slowly became the familiar triangle we now see today, when the surrounding counties; Butler, Covington, and Escambia began forming their counties.
The principal settlements were located at Belleville, Brooklyn, Sparta, Burnt Corn, and Hampden Ridge. Transportations consisted first of river traffic from Brooklyn to Pensacola by which much cotton went to Pensacola and supplies came back, all by flat boat. The Stage Line ran from Montgomery down the Stage Road which formed the county’s western boundary to Tensas in Baldwin County, Burnt Corn, on the Monroe County line was a junction on this line where connections were made to Claiborne. Ox wagons were the universal mode of freight transportation.
Hampden Ridge became the first acting county seat and the ﬁrst temple of justice was erected by the aspiring fathers, in the shape of a crude court house. It was built of chestnut logs, was planted full upon a dirt ﬂoor, and in regard to furniture, boasted of a rough table, behind which sat the wearer of the ermine in all his primitive dignity. Having but one room, the retiring juries would have to resort for secrecy, and for the formation of their verdicts, under the eye of a vigilant bailiff, to the surrounding forest.
Joel Lee was the first Justice of the Peace appointed by Gov. William Bibb in Conecuh County. Richard Warren became the first representative of the county in the Territorial Legislature. The County Government was headed by Samuel Cook as Chief Justice of County Court and Joshua (J.H) Hawthorne as Justice of the Quorum. Ransom Dean was the first sheriff, and with that title also came the duties of tax assessor and collector.
On December 13, 1819, the Commissioners were asked to choose a County Seat by the legislature. They selected Sparta over the strong claim of Hampden Ridge. A temporary log building about 20×30 feet in size, followed in 1823 by a permanent building which also housed the Masonic Lodge and became a place of worship. Thomas Watts, an attorney, gave the name ‘Sparta’ to the town in honor of Sparta, Georgia where he came from. “Old Sparta,” as it is known today, was a fairly sizable town for a number of years. However, in 1861 rails were in place and a station was set in Evergreen; businesses, hotels, and people began relocating closer to the tracks. Evergreen grew in abundance and eventually became the county seat in 1866 after a federal raid during the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression/War between the States set fire to Sparta. Evergreen became incorporated as a city on March 28, 1873.
According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System; Conecuh County’s top industry groups are Manufacturing, Agriculture, Forestry & Related Industries, and Transportation. Its principal crops are cotton, corn, peanuts and cattle. Conecuh County is known for its variation of agriculture, forestry and other related industries which have generated 2,258 full and part-time jobs out of the 4,801 total jobs in the county.
The county’s total economic activity is $667 million and $238.6 million was generated from the agriculture, forestry and related industry. The primary commodity is cattle, then cotton, and greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture. Currently, the county covers 544,506 acres of total land area; 86,215 acres are farmland, 443,306 acres of timberland, and the total population is 13,105.