Hayneville is the county seat of Lowndes County. It is located in central Alabama in the Black Belt region and was named for South Carolina politician Robert Y. Hayne, likely by emigrants to the region from that state. Hayneville is one of the stops on the Selma to Montgomery March National Historic Trail. The 1856 Greek Revival county courthouse in Hayneville is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hayneville has a mayor-council form of government.
Hayneville was designated as the county seat of Lowndes County when it was founded in 1830. Located in the fertile Black Belt region, Hayneville's early economy centered on cotton production. The town was later a railway terminus and home to the Hayneville Railway Company, which was organized in 1903. Two years later, the company was reorganized as the Hayneville & Montgomery Railroad Company and provided connections for shipping with the L&N Railroad Company's tracks. The agricultural focus shifted to more diverse crops and livestock in the latter half of the twentieth century. Hayneville, like the rest of the Black Belt, has struggled to shift to a more productive economy.
Hayneville has one major road, State Highway 21, which runs north-south through the city and connects to Interstate 65 to the south and Lowndesboro and U.S. 80 to the north.