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Singleton honored as a citizen

Billy Singleton was recognized for his hard work and dedication in preserving the history of Chilton County during the Commission meeting on Aug. 14.

Chairman Allen Caton and Vice Chairman Joseph Parnell presented Singleton with a plaque and commemorative certificate. Commissioner Steve Langston also played a large role in helping the presentation come together.

It was the Commission’s way of saying thank you to Singleton for his tireless efforts to bring the bell from the U.S.S. Chilton back home to Chilton County.

“It is hard to put into words what Billy means for this county,” Caton said. “He loves this county as much as anybody does.”

An abundant amount of research was necessary just to locate the bell.

Once it was found, the lengthy process of relocating the bell included Singleton and County Engineer Tony Wearren hauling the bell in a truck from Staten Island, N.Y. to Chilton County.

“You do it, because it just needed to be done,” Singleton said.

The bell was initially presented to the people of Chilton County during a Memorial Day ceremony in 2016 at the Jemison Municipal Complex.

More than a year later, it found a permanent home at the inside entrance of the Chilton County Courthouse.

History has always been a passion of Singleton’s from a young age, and he quickly developed a fascination with Chilton County’s past when he and his wife Sylvia got married and moved to the county 30 years ago.

“The more I found out about it [Chilton County], the more I loved it,” Singleton said. “It means a lot to be recognized for something that you love to do.”

The fact that Singleton was not born and raised in the county makes it even more special.

For Singleton it was never something he had to do, but something he wanted to do as a way of giving back to the people who welcomed both him and his family.

He is a member of the Chilton County Airport Authority board and has also served as chairman of the county’s Republican Party.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to the people that welcomed us into their home,” Singleton said. “I hope in some small way, this was a way to do that.”