Florida & Alabama
No evidence indicates that anything was done about the boundary dispute between Tallahassee Meridian and the southern boundary of Covington County until Florida became a State on March 3, 1845. After The first sales between the Alabama & Florida border were held in 1826 and 1827, there was a strip of country between them that had never been surveyed over which neither state exercised jurisdiction, designated neutral ground. It appears this land was held off the market when the other land was put up for auction in 1829 & 1830.
On January 26, 1846 the Alabama General Assembly passed a resolution to settle the dispute with Florida. The Gov. of Alabama appointed James M. Calhoun as the Alabama Commissioner and the Gov. of Florida appointed James T. Archer, Florida's Secretary of State as their commissioner.
The boundary was supposed to follow the 31st degree North latitude between the Perido and Chattahoochee rivers.
Calhoun and Archer thought they knew the boundary between Al. and Fl. Together they logically concluded and selected
the Ellicott line as the Official Alabama/Florida boundary. The commissioners apparently had no way of knowing that the Elliott line drifted South (east of the Conecuh River) for over one-half mile before returning to the 31st parallel near the Chattahoochee River, so on that decision gave Alabama over 30,000 acres of Florida land. On Feb. 12, 1848 the Alabama General Assembly passed an act stating the Elliott line "shall be forever deemed and taken by the State of Alabama as the line on the thirty-first parallel of north latitude, and as the fixed and permanent line of boundary between the states last aforesaid."
A resurveying to establish the exact location of Elliott's line fell upon the office of Surveyor General of Florida because the office of Surveyor General for Alabama was abolished in 1851. Thus, John Wescott, who on Oct. 22, 1853, contracted with Benjamin F. Whitner, Jr. to retrace Elliott's line. He began on Nov. 7, 1853 and finished his survey at the Chattahoochee River on January 20, 1854. It was concluded that Calhoun & Archer's surveying was definitely incorrect. It can also be concluded that survey's of Clements and Exum of 1826 were also inaccurate for no apparent reason. In the end this had given Covington County over 10,000 acres, even though the land actually lies south of the 31st parallel, However at this time the Alabama & Florida boundary and the land dispute between Alabama & Florida was settled. Covington County started selling this land in March, 1858.
On December 22, 1824 Dale County was created and it took 24
townships & ranges 19E-21E in Covington County. This reduced the size of
Covington by 40% but the County didn't actually lose a lot of residents. On
January 27, 1829 Covington County received Township 7, Ranges 16 & 17,
East of the Patsaliga River from
Butler County and in it's place, Township 8, Range
18 was given to Butler County. This made Covington
County more compact and places all the LEON Community
into Covington County as it was rapidly developing. Then on November 24, 1866
Crenshaw County was formed & this placed all the land in Township 7, Ranges 16,
17 & 18 and portion of LEON Community and the land
where the city of Brantley now stands. After Crenshaw
County was formed some of the residents wanted to stay in Covington so on
December 24, 1868 a legislative act was passed which returned sections of the
land (6,7,18, & 19) in Township 6, Range 18 back to Covington County.
In 1870 Wiley Dixon who was living on the south-side of the Conecuh River about one-eighth of a mile west of Covington County in recently formed Escambia County wanted his land to be in Covington County. He exerted his influence and was declared a citizen of Covington County on Feb. 21, 1879. However no permanent changes to the boundary line were ever made, but it is argued that at least 40 acres of land in which Wiley Dixon lived on should be part of Covington County.
On December 11, 1874 the state legislature passed an act which stated that, " that portion of Covington County to wit: beginning at the point where Pigeon creek empties into Sepulga River, thence north up and along said creek to the point where the Township line between Township 5, 6 of Range 14 crosses the creek, thence west along the township line to the present boundary line between counties of Covington and Conecuh, be and the same is hereby attached to Conecuh County."
This is confusing, in that the mouth of Pigeon Creek is located west of Covington County. only the land North and west of Pigeon Creek in Townships 4 & 5 in Range 14 should have been transferred to Conecuh County.
On Feb. 28, 1887 an act was passed that transferred 80 acres of land west of the Patsaliga River from Covington County to Butler County. This act also transferred 160 acres of land from Crenshaw County to Butler County but none of these transfers are shown on current maps. Three additional sections of land located east of Rose Hill in township 6, Range 18, were returned to Covington county from Crenshaw County; sections 30 & 31 on December 5, 1890 & section 32 on February 21,1893.
These were the last changes in boundaries of Covington County, Alabama until the 1930's between the Florida & Alabama lines.