Chilton County History
Established by the Alabama Legislature on December 30, 1868, from land obtained from Autauga, Bibb, Perry, and Shelby counties. Originally designated Baker County for Alfred Baker, postmaster, justice of the peace, state legislator, and founder of the city of Clanton. First county seat was Grantville, named for President Ulysses S. Grant, located one mile northeast of present courthouse site. Following a public referendum held in April 1871, the county seat relocated to Clanton along the Louisville and Nashville, Railroad. A two-story wood-frame courthouse, constructed at the intersection of Second Avenue North and Sixth Street, served as the new seat of county government. In response to a petition by residents, the name of the county was changed on December 17, 1874, to honor former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court William Parish Chilton. An all-brick courthouse was constructed in 1896 but was damaged by fire in 1918. Rebuilt in 1919, the building served, the people of the county until February 1962 when a new courthouse facility was dedicated.
Known as the "Peach Capital of Alabama," local orchards produce
more than two-thirds of the total yield of Alabama's leading
commercial fruit. In celebration of this agricultural export, the
inaugural Chilton County Peach Festival was held in July 1947 at
the Thorsby Institute. Organizers had a prize-winning basket of
Hale Haven peaches delivered to President Harry Truman in
Washington, D.C. The Coosa River on the eastern border of the
county became the site of the first Alabama Power Company hydro-
electric project in the state. Completed in 1914, Lay Dam was
constructed on the Army Corps of Engineers Lock 12 site and named
for William Patrick Lay, founder of the Alabama Power Company.
Mitchell Dam, erected at Dunkin's Riffle and completed in 1923,
is named for former Alabama Power Company President James
Mitchell. The establishment of rail systems, the Dixie Bee-Line
Highway, and the interstate highway system significantly affected
the growth and development of communities within the county.
Erected 2020 by Alabama Historical Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1962.
Location. 32° 50.391′ N, 86° 37.789′ W. Marker is
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Central Alabama Vietnam Veterans Memorial (here, next to this marker); City of Clanton (within shouting distance of this marker); Chilton County Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Walnut Creek United Methodist Church (approx. 2.1 miles away); Chilton County Training School 1924-1969 (approx. 4.4 miles away); Scandinavian Cemetery (approx. 6.8 miles away); Thorsby Remembers Our Veterans (approx. 7.1 miles away); Thorsby: A Scandinavian Colony in the South (approx. 7.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clanton.
More about this marker. Marker erected as part of the Alabama Bicentennial Celebration (1819-2019). Note: Although marked as installed in 2019, it was actually installed in August, 2020.
Also see . . . Chilton County History - The Encyclopedia of Alabama. (Submitted on August 22, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 22, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 148 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 22, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.