Autauga County was settled in 1816 with the first town, Washington, located near the junction of Autauga Creek and the Alabama River. Autauga County was created in 1818 by the legislature of the territory of Alabama, with the name taken from the Atagi Indian Village, which means “Land of Plenty.”
Prattville, the county seat, was named for Daniel Pratt. Daniel Pratt was an entrepreneur who established the Pratt Manufacturing Company/Cotton Engine, which later was called the cotton gin. Pratt’s gin company became the foremost producer of cotton gins in the world. Prattville is known today as the “Birthplace of Industry in Alabama.” Although ranked as one of the fastest growing areas in Alabama, Prattville maintains a quaint charm. Flowing fountains, classic older homes, and numerous new, upscale and affordable neighborhoods are all part of an eclectic blend linking Prattville’s past to its future.
The 2007 census estimates the population of Autauga County to be 49,730 citizens, a 14.4% increase from the 2000 census. Currently, 57 percent of this population is considered urban and 43 percent rural, 80 percent white, 18 percent black and 2% of the respondents reporting “some other race.” Autauga County encompasses 557 square miles. Two-thirds of this land is devoted to woodlands with 57 percent being owned by farmers or private landowners. There are currently 373 active farms in the county encompassing 118,468 acres. The primary agricultural products are cattle, hay, corn and cotton. The largest manufacturing employers include International Paper, Kinedyne Corporation, LoneStar Plastics, Continental Eagle, M-Tek, Inc, and Crystal Lake Manufacturing Company. The largest non-manufacturing employers are the Autauga County Board of Education, Wal-Mart, City of Prattville, Prattville Baptist Hospital, Autauga County, Prattville Health and Rehab, LLC, and Central Alabama Electric Cooperative. The county’s top major attractions are the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Old Prattvillage/Prattvillage Garden (a charming garden maintained by the Autauga County Master Gardeners), the Autauga County Heritage Center, and Buena Vista.
The Autauga County Extension office has eight full-time employees. The county is also served by Regional Agents and Specialists in the program areas of: 4-H and Youth Development, Agriculture, Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources, Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs, Family and Individual Well-Being, and Community and Economic Development. County programs are supported by numerous volunteers: Master Gardeners, cattlemen, young farmers, the local Chamber of Commerce, municipal and county government, and businesses and industries.