Lee County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 140,247. The county seat is Opelika, and the largest city is Auburn. The county is named after Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia, and one of the most senior flag officers in the Confederate Army.
Lee County was established by act of the Alabama state legislature on December 5, 1866, out of parts of Macon, Tallapoosa, Chambers, and Russell Counties. In an election to determine the county seat, Opelika was chosen over Auburn and Salem.
In 1923, the town of Phenix City, located in the southeastern corner of Lee County, merged with the town of Girard, located in the northeastern corner of Russell County. To prevent the new town of Phenix City from straddling the Lee-Russell line, Lee County ceded to Russell County the in the southeastern corner surrounding Phenix City in exchange for in the northwest corner of Russell County surrounding the unincorporated community of Marvyn. This new territory is what forms the southern "panhandle" of Lee County.