Lynn Community History

Last Updated: 1/21/2019 3:52 PM

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. Harris’ store was built in 1931. However, two stores were lost 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 family’s hair. At one time, Lee Dodd and Dave Long had stores in Lynn. Mr Long’s 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.

Lynn Football Team, 1930
Back Row - Coach Valcus? McCluskey-Cheatham, Elmer Dice?, Orin? D.L. Gatlin, Arlie Swat?, Verlon Shay Howell, Loyd Scrappie Lewis, and Loyd Hicks. Second Row - Malcom Hales/Holes, Ernestt Dudley, Bruce Barton, Onel Howell, Loyd Wakefield, Robert King, Tom Montgomery, and Hugh Barton. Front Row - Asa West, Gene Long, Odie Martin, Opal Kelly, Tom Kelley, Jessie Garett, Arnold Long, and Autrie Holt



More history of the town of Lynn can be found at


  • 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.


From the Pages of Time: The History of Lynn, Alabama Volume 1 by Peter J. Gossett
First edition printed April 2014