Singleton speaks on county history at library

Published 5:41 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

Author Billy Singleton gave a speech centered on the history of Chilton County on Oct. 23 at the Chilton/Clanton Public Library.

Singleton’s speech is part of a series being hosted at the library in conjunction with the 150th anniversary week celebration of the establishment of the county.

“As part of the celebration, we are doing presentations on local history,” he said. “My presentation looked back at how Chilton County was formed, why it was established and how it transitioned from Baker to Chilton County.”

Singleton spoke of a time prior to the Civil War when what is now Chilton County was parts of Autauga, Bibb and Perry counties.

The county that was formed from parts of the other three was known as Baker County after Alfred Baker Sr., who was a member of the state legislature.

After the Civil War Baker fell out of favor, and Chilton County, as it is now known, was renamed in honor of lawyer William Parish Chilton in 1874.

“I was asked a couple of years ago to do an Images of America series on Chilton County,” Singleton said. “I accepted the opportunity to do that, and the more I dug into the history the more fascinated I became. It opened up a whole new world for me since I’m not from Chilton County originally. It is a fascinating story. After the book was done, it started a passion for me. Some friends of mine and I go out and try to find out why things are like they are.”

Singleton was the second speaker in the series, with one more left to go.

Glenn Wills, who wrote a book titled “Forgotten Alabama,” will be speaking at the library from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 25.

“(Library director) Savannah Kitchens knew we were doing this (series) as part of the celebration, and she asked me to come in and speak, and I was glad to do it,” Singleton said. “Hopefully, we’ll generate some interest in our (county’s) founding fathers and history. A lot of people who have lived here their whole lives really don’t know much about what brought us to this point.”