Bullock County is in the southeastern part of Alabama. Union Springs is the county seat. The total area of the county, including areas of water, is 401,000 acres, or about 626.6 square miles.
The city of Union Springs and unincorporated areas had a total population of 12,036 in 2000. Midway, Fitzpatrick, Mitchell Station, Inverness, Peachburg, and Perote are among the many small communities in the county. Bullock County, although sparsely populated, has a nearly equal distribution of residents. Two major highways pass through Union Springs. U.S. Highway 82 runs east to west, and U.S. Highway 29 runs north to south. Farming, timber, and related industries are the main sources of income for most of the residents.
Many small landowners are in the county. However, most of the land in the county is owned in large tract, which are several hundred acres or more in size. The large tracts are owned by corporations, absentee owners, or individual families. They are used for hunting, are held for aesthetic qualities, or are loosely managed for timber production.
The area of land that makes up present-day Bullock County belonged to the Creek Indians until the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814. On December 5, 1866, the Alabama Legislature approved an act that created a new county from parts of southern Macon County, eastern Montgomery County, western Barbour County, and northern Pike County. The county was named Bullock County in honor of Confederate Col. Edward C. Bullock of Barbour County. The first European settler in the area was B. F. Baldwin. He lived peaceably with the Indians and adapted many of their customs. Conflicts later developed between the Indians and the European settlers, and they lasted until the military became involved. Despite the conflicts, people continued to settle in the area. Settlements were made at Midway, Enon, Guerrytown, Suspension, and Union Springs. Prosperous settlers from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia chose to settle the Chunnennuggee Ridge because of the fertile soil and excellent water supply.
Union Springs, the county seat and the largest town in the county, is centrally located. It was settled about thirty years before the county was created. It is located on a ridge at a point where four springs form the sources of water for four perennial streams, and it was named for this natural geological occurrence. On January 13, 1844, Governor Fitzpatrick signed a bill that incorporated Union Springs. The city of Union Springs is about an equal distance from Eufaula and Montgomery. It is believed the first horticultural society in the south was organized in Union Springs on March 6, 1847.
Farming, the main economic enterprise in the county, was profitable during the years of significant cotton production. As the profitability of cotton began to decline, the residents of the county experienced a tough economic period. Many of the farmers realized that a change was necessary, and they began a transition in farming from row crops to cattle. As this transition occurred, the population in Bullock County steadily declined from about 30,000 residents during the late 1940’s to 12,036 residents in 2000. Presently, the county is basically a farming community that has a relatively stable population.
Soil is one of the most important natural resources in the county. The pastures that are grazed by livestock, the crops that are produced on farms, and the timber that is produced in areas of woodland are all marketable products that are derived from the soil.
Bullock County has an adequate supply of water for domestic uses and for livestock. The Conecuh River, the Pea River, and their tributaries drain the southern part of the county. Line Creek, Bughall Creek, and their tributaries drain the area north of the Chunnennuggee Ridge. The water for domestic uses is mainly drawn from wells by large and small pumping systems. Several lakes and ponds are throughout the county. They are used by livestock and wildlife, provide recreational opportunities, and offer aesthetic qualities. Flood-retarding structures were built on several major streams and creeks to prevent downstream flood damage. Some of the impoundments serve as a source of water for livestock and for domestic uses.
About 67 percent, or about 267,600 acres, of the total land area in the county is forested. Timber is produced mainly in the southern part of the county on soils that are well suited to pine trees. Many acres of cropland and pasture are currently being converted to woodland by timber companies and by individual landowners. Pine trees are also grown on the acid soils of the Blackland Prairie north of Chunnennuggee Ridge. A pine tree seedling nursery is south of Union Springs.