Named after Revolutionary War hero Maj. Gen. John Baron DeKalb, DeKalb County was established in 1836. Its county seat is Ft. Payne.
The rural county’s population of 68,014 is 1.8 percent black, 95.9 percent white and 9.5 percent hispanic. The average education level attained is 10th grade. The county has 14 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, nine high schools, a technical school and one two-year college.
The county is home to Cloudmont, the only ski resort in Alabama. Other tourist attractions include Little River Canyon, DeSoto State Park, Sequoyah Caverns, Mentone, Bucks Pocket and Lookout Mountain, the home of the country music group “Alabama.”
DeKalb County leads the state in swine production and is second in poultry production. The county is also the third largest cattle producer in the state. Its main industry is hosiery mills.
The Extension office employs three people full time and one person part time. Active programs include Master Cattle Producers, DeKalb Poultry Producers, DeKalb Master Gardeners and the DeKalb Fair–the largest agricultural fair in the state. The 4-H program involves 800 youth throughout the county.