Henry County was named for Patrick Henry, the Virginian known as the "Fireball of the Revolution", by the many first settlers from Virginia who came to this section. Henry County was created by an act of the Legislature December 13, 1819 and the area was ceded by the Creek Indian Nation in 1814 under the Treaty of Fort Jackson. – one day earlier than Alabama became a state on December 14, 1819. Henry County was carved from Conecuh which had been a part of Monroe after it was formed from Washington County, the oldest county in the state, having been created by the proclamation of Governor Winthrop Sergeant of the Mississippi Territory on June 4, 1800. The area of Henry County on December 13, 1819 was vast in area. It embraced the present territory of Covington, Dale, Coffee, Geneva, Henry, Houston, parts of Pike, Crenshaw, Bullock and Barbour. The present area is 565 square miles. After the creation of Covington County from Henry, a part of Conecuh was left south of Henry which was later added to Henry County.
Henry County has been called "The Cradle of the Wiregrass". She is The Mother of nine other counties. When the county was formed December 1819, it was the largest county by area within Alabama and encompassed a vast land area that now includes the Southeast Alabama Wiregrass Region and beyond. As population increased in the region, areas of it were taken to organize the present counties of Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Houston, and Pike.
December 7, 1821 - The first two counties created, in part, from Old Henry were Covington and Pike counties.
December 29, 1824 - The third county was Dale which was carved, in whole, from Old Henry.
December 18, 1832 - The fourth county to be created from what was once Old Henry was Barbour County which was formed, in part, from Pike County. When Barbour County was created Henry County actually gained a small parcel of land from the White Oak Creek area.
December 29, 1841 - The fifth county to be created from what was once Old Henry was Coffee County which was formed in part from Dale County.
December 6, 1866 - The sixth was Bullock County which was created with the southern tip of the county indirectly coming from Old Henry.
December 24, 1866 - The seventh county to be created from what was once Old Henry was Crenshaw County which was formed, in part, from Coffee, Covington and Pike counties.
December 28, 1868 - The eighth county to be created from what was once Old Henry was Geneva County which was formed, in part, from Henry, Dale and Coffee counties.
February 9, 1903 - The last county was Houston County which 72% of it's land area was carved from Henry. The balance came from Dale and Geneva counties.
timeline of henry county, alabama map
After Houston County was formed in 1903, Henry County had become the smallest in geographic area.
The maps below display the boundaries of Henry County and the other counties as they were created. The white lines is the current boundary of each county with the red being the boundaries at various times since 1820.