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Clarke County has a history as rich as the soil along the banks of the Tombigbee and Alabama Rivers which form its boundaries. The county’s history began long before Alabama’s statehood. Hundreds of years before white settlers came here, Indians in the area of what is now Tallahatta Springs near Thomasville fashioned arrowheads and spear points from the tallahatta stone and traded them for other foods with other tribes from across the area.

The Mississippi territorial legislature created Clarke County on December 10, 1812. It was named for General John Clarke of Georgia. A county seat was not established until 1820, when it was located in the now-defunct town of Clarksville. In 1831 the county seat was moved to its present site, Grove Hill.

Native Americans played a pivotal role in the county’s early history. Claimed by both the Creek and Choctaw Indians, the area was a hotbed of activity during the Creek War.

The county was also known for its role during the Civil War. The salt produced from the county’s three natural salt springs was shipped all over the south. Gunboats were also constructed here.