HISTORY OF KILLEN

A Brief History of Our Town

The area known as Killen in Lauderdale County, was settled in the early 1800s. In 1826, Joseph Mason was appointed the first postmaster of the new community called Masonville, later to become Killen. The post office existed until 1866. In the 1830s the construction of the Alabama Canal brought growth to the area. The canal was built to solve the navigation problems created by the shoals in the Tennessee River. Construction on the new canal began in 1875 and the 14 1/2 – mile canal, with nine locks with a lift of 85 feet, opened November 10, 1890. The canal was renamed the Muscle Shoals Canal. Lock six served as the headquarters and was located just 1/2- mile south of Killen. The canal system had a major economic impact on the development of Killen. Many of the citizens were employed on the canal and others supplied raw materials and food for the operation.

In 1885, 200 men were employed by the Corps of Engineers. Many of these men built homes near their work. In 1895, Mr. James Sharp Killen built a general store and applied for a post office. He sent in three possible names with the application and Killen was chosen. The post office opened on August 22, 1896 and the Town of Killen was founded. Killen was incorporated and established a police department in 1957. A fire department was started in 1962 and a town park was added in 1976. The town library was established in 1985. Killen has grown because of the good citizens of this community and the moral fortitude established by our local churches. The Killen Lions Club was chartered in 1957 and is a major community asset. Other sources of pride for the Killen area are Brooks Elementary, dating to 1908, and Brooks High School which opened in 1968.

Town of Killen History Timeline

Unravel the history of Killen from the very beginning.

1826

First Postmaster Appointed

Joseph Mason is appointed the first postmaster of Masonville.

1890

Muscle Shoals Canal Opens

Killen grew rapidly in the late 19th century due to the construction of the Muscle Shoals Canal. The canal provided a way to navigate the Tennessee River, which led to increased trade and commerce in the area.

1890

Muscle Shoals Canal Opens

Killen grew rapidly in the late 19th century due to the construction of the Muscle Shoals Canal. The canal provided a way to navigate the Tennessee River, which led to increased trade and commerce in the area.

1896

Town Name Changes

In 1896, the town's name is officially changed to Killen.

1935

Killen School Moves To Brooks Elementary School Site

The first Killen school was built in 1908 on what is now Jones Avenue and was moved to the present site of Brooks Elementary School in 1935.

1957

Killen Is Incorporated

Killen was incorporated and established a police department in 1957.

1968

Brooks High School Opens

The tradition of Brooks High School began with the 1968-1969 school year. At the beginning of that first school year, Brooks had an enrollment of 325 students in grades seven through ten. The school has grown to its current size of 750 students in grades seven through twelve. The tradition remains the same. Academic excellence, the desire to win, and the pride in our school and community have endured the test of time.

1976

Killen Park is Dedicated

The park is located at 830 Lock Six Road in Killen, Alabama. It is a 120-acre park that features a walking trail, amphitheater, pavilions, tennis courts, soccer and baseball fields, and a boat ramp on Wilson Lake.

1985

Killen Public Library Opens

The Killen Public Library opened on September 16, 1985. It is located at 325 J.C. Mauldin Hwy in Killen, Alabama. The library has a collection of over 20,000 items, including books, periodicals, audio books, and DVDs. The library also offers a variety of programs and services, such as storytime for children, computer classes, and book clubs.

Tim Tubbs Elected As Mayor

Tim Tubbs is the current mayor of Killen, Alabama. He was elected in 2020 and is the town's 20th mayor. Tubbs is a lifelong resident of Killen and has a long history of involvement in the community. He is a former member of the Killen City Council and has served on numerous boards and committees.