Lynn was incorporated on April 29, 1952
The first settlers in Winston County settled in the Lynn Community in 1814. Among the first were Peter Ingle and William Dodd who moved from the Tennessee Valley into the hills of Winston.
Others came from North Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia a short time later. The Lynn Community was named for John Lynn, a Confederate soldier who moved from Georgia. The early settlers were of Anglo-Saxon descent. A few had slaves.
At the time Lynn was settled, farming was the only occupation with cotton and corn as the main crops. As a result of this, very few people settled here until later in the century.
In the later part of the century, following the Civil War, some industries sprang up over the country, mostly mining and lumbering.
Then the population began to increase. Also, about 1890, the Northern Alabama Railroad was built through the community with the depot in Lynn.
This proved to be a great asset to the community as it not only afforded the residents transportation, but it offered employment to people. The town of Lynn began to take roots and grow. A cotton gin was built. Lumber was shipped by rail to many places.
The earliest school in the Lynn area was about 2 miles south of Lynn. It was a one-room log house only half floored. The north gable was not covered and the cracks were not chinked. Seats and desks were made of split logs. The school year lasted about three months, mostly during the summer.
After the railroad was built, the school was moved to its present site with the land being donated by Tobe Rose. In 1893, while the railroad was being built, no one lived in Lynn. The railroad workers lived in small huts. For two or three years, the depot was a box car.
The school at this time was a nice one-room frame building. The first year, seats were planks laid across bales of shingles. The next year, homemade seats and desks were available. By 1916 it had three rooms with three teachers. Several one teacher schools were started in surrounding areas a few miles from Lynn.
When the school burned in 1924, classes were held in homes and the two churches until a new six room frame building was erected in 1925.
Plans for an accredited high school were started in 1926. An auditorium and three rooms were added in 1928 and 1929. The first graduating class was in 1930, consisting of three boys and three girls.
As transportation became more available , the surrounding one teacher schools were gradually consolidated with the Lynn School. The Baptist Church was used for some classes until a brick building was built for the high school in 1935. The vocational building was erected in 1940. Under the sponsorship of the P.T.A. the basement of this building was converted into a lunch room in 1944. The present lunch room was built in 1962. The old frame elementary building was beginning construction at that time. It was finished in April 1964. The gymnasium was started during the summer of 1964.
In May 1969, the high school building burned. A new building was constructed in 1970.
A school band was organized in 1973 with a beginning band.
In 1952, Lynn was incorporated as a city with a mayor and a city council form of government by a vote of 17 to 16.
John W. Lynn built the first house behind what is now the Harris and Williams Building. The planer was built in Lynn around 1920 or 1921 and stayed in business until 1936.
Later Mr. Shute of Mississippi put in a planer. It was purchased from Red Bailey and was run by Mr. Hurman Little in 1942. Also in 1920, a cotton gin was installed and run by Mr. Charlie Long who lost an arm at the gin. Later the gin was moved to the site where Bobby and Dana Cagle now live. It was owned by Lee Dodd and later purchased by John T. Harris and Dan Heck. John T. Harrisí store was built in 1931. However, two stores were last owned by Lee Dodd and Charlie Barton in 1931 or 1932. Benny Barton opened his first barber shop in 1931, moved to his present site in 1959. He cut several generations of familyís hair. At one time, Lee Dodd and Dave Long had stores in Lynn. Mr Longís store had everything purchasable including coffins. Bill Barton had a store also and he was a member of the Alabama Legislature.
Lynn has three churches: the Baptist Church, Church of Christ, and the Church of God. Many other Protestant churches are in the surrounding areas.
Many people who have moved to other areas to work when young, have returned to the community in recent years. Some are retired from their jobs or the armed services. Others have returned to work as more jobs have been available. Most of these have built new homes and are a great help in the community.
Growth of Lynn Will be Determined by Development of Huge Coal Field
Town in Southwestern Section of Winston is Lumber, Coal, Cattle, Farming Center
By Robert L. Shirley
Advertiser, June 27, 1946
With the largest known unbroken coal field in the world at its back door, residents of the little city of Lynn in southwestern Winston County are going about their quiet and pleasant way of living. Many of them, and not without good reason, expect some day to find themselves in the midst of one of the largest and most thriving coal producing areas in America.
The huge coal field begins one mile south of Lynn, where residents said, an entrance could be dug into the mountain and coal found in an unbroken seam for 18 miles.
Mining rights of the coal area are owned by the rich J.H. Lockhart family of Pennsylvania, whose plans seem to be that of waiting until coal begins to play out in other coal areas of the United States before developing their Lynn interests.
But in spite of the undeveloped coal field there is still plenty of black fuel mined at Lynn. In fact, some of the best coal in the South comes from there.
There are three coal companies in or near Lynn which have many mine openings, mining mostly from top seam coal beds with plenty of good coal deeper.
The Millstone Mountain Coal Company with eight openings, mines a weekly average of 496,000 pounds with a weekly payroll of approximately $1,300. Coal from the openings is shipped all over Alabama, with most of it shipped to the northern counties by truck.
Other mining companies are Brown-Johnson Company and the Morris-Garrison Co.
Coal has been mined in and near Lynn since around 1900. It was in 1899 about 1 1/2 miles east of Lynn that coal prospectors were hand-drilling for coal when at 200 feet they struck the famous artesian well, still some of the clearest and best drinking water anywhere.
Lynn is also a large lumber center with several saw mills bringing lumber from several miles away to the large planning mill there. The mill planes millions of feet of lumber per year, and about 200 box cars of dressed lumber are shipped all over America from there annually.
Lynn is also in one of the best agricultural regions of Winston County. Around 1 1/2 bales of cotton per acre is made on most of it.
But farmers around Lynn are not sticking to cotton as the main crop any longer, for it is fast becoming one of the best sections for cattle raising and hay crops. Sericea and other cover crops are taking more and more acreage each year on the farms, and most of the farmers are trying to get registered cattle.
C.H. Barton has a valuable 4-star registered Jersey bull and a registered Jersey heifer. W.W. Vanderford has approximately 40 head of short-horned white faced Hereford cattle.
Other farmers are getting thoroughbred stock as fast as they can buy them. One resident predicted before many years passed Lynn would be a great center for thoroughbred cattle.
Besides lumber and coal as the main industries and cattle, cotton and corn as the farmerís main money making crops, other products include peanuts, syrup-cane, potatoes, and many kinds of truck-farm vegetables.
Lynn is not an incorporated city. In about 1890 residents called an election to incorporate the town, and they voted it to be incorporated, but somehow nothing was ever done about it.
At the same election whiskey was voted out of Lynn, with a very funny incident taking place.
A saloon was to be opened in Lynn at the time the election ruled whiskey out. A popular resident, John Baughn, did not like the verdict, reached to abolish liquor, so he raised his quart of whiskey high and shouted, ďLetís all drink up and smoke, for our privilege and freedom has been voted out. Here, everybody, take a dram and smoke a cigar.Ē He passed the bottle around to a surprising number of willing takers.
In 1905 B.F. Yother operated a saloon in Lynn and residents again held an election and again ruled whiskey out. Mr. Yother was the only man to vote for whiskey to stay.
Lynn was named after one of the first settlers, John Lynn, who had one of the few homes there in 1888. He gave the Northern Alabama (Southern) railroad company a right of way through his land so they would name it Lynn.
Another resident, E.P. Rose, gave the railroad company land on the west side of the track not long after Mr. Lynnís donation so they would build a depot there. He said he got tired of going somewhere else to catch the train.
Lynnís first general merchandise store was put up right after the railroad was completed through there with three proprietors: John Dodd, A.R. Lacky, and W.R. Long.
W.R. Long also built the first dwelling house in the town and later had a store of his own as well as a cotton gin. Hyde and Rose also had a gin and store, and Jess Pendley was one of the first merchants to put in a business there.
Lynnís first doctor was Willie Gravlee. The first road through there was called the Brown Road, along which the railroad was built most of the way.
Lynnís oldest resident is Uncle Marion Holt, 82 years old, who has lived in or near Lynn all of his life. He can tell some very interesting stories of the history of that section of Winston County. He recalls the first coal mines in the early 1900s and also when deer were plentiful through there.
Some of the early settlers of the community besides Uncle Marion were Jim Townsend, Alf Hyde, Joe Hyde, Bill Barton, E.P. Rose, J.R. Rose, W.J. Rose, Bud Hyde, and W.M. Holt.
Business places of Lynn are as follows: John T. Harris, general merchandise; Heck and Company, general merchandise; R.A. Waldrop, groceries and service station; C.D. Dodd, care and service station; Louis Barton cafť and service station; M.C. Barton, pool room; Scottís Shoe Shop; Waldrop-Cofield, garage; Bruce Adams, garage; Howard Baughn, blacksmith; McKinley Vanderford, blacksmith; M.C. Barton, gristmill; H.E. Little, retail lumber; United States postoffice, third-class; and businesses mentioned already in the story. Troy L. Lyle is postmaster.
There are two nice churches in Lynn, the Baptist and Church of Christ.
The 18-teacher grammar and high school have approximately 600 pupils enrolled each year. The high school is a large pretty brick building.
Lynn is noted for sports. Each year the Lynn baseball team is one of the best in Winston County. This year the team is real good, with the manager, H.F. Little, doing a swell job.
Football teams of the high school tackle schools with a much larger enrollment and are a credit to that section.
James E. Taylor, the route 1 mail carrier of Lynn and a resident for 40 years, sums up life in Lynn as very pleasant. Everyone knows each otherís first name and the farmers, lumbermen and coal miners get along splendidly. Lynn does not have a policeman.
Maybe some day before many years pass Lynn will be known all over America as the coal mining center of the South, and when that happens the residents of the now small town will be as proud of their section as they are now.