During its early days, the town was nicknamed Screamersville, allegedly because of its rowdy frontier reputation. It was renamed The Town of Marengo when it was surveyed to serve as the county seat after Marengo County was established; it became the county seat in 1819. Linden was dubbed Hohenlinden by French settlers from the Vine and Olive Colony, near present-day Demopolis, to honor a victory by French Emperor Napoleon in Bavaria in 1800. Over time, the name was shortened to Linden.
The first county courthouse, a two-story log structure, was built in 1827 but burned in 1848. A replacement was constructed of brick in 1852 and served the county for 50 years. This second courthouse building now houses the Linden Historical Society. The first newspaper, the Linden Jeffersonian, was established in 1853 and was followed by the Democrat Reporter in 1879, a weekly still published today.
After the Civil War, the county seat was moved briefly to Demopolis by federal troops, and the municipal government was abolished during Reconstruction. Linden was officially incorporated on March 1, 1870, and the county seat designation was restored in 1871. The municipal government was reestablished in 1893. Among the more notable events of the century was a shootout between local store owner J. D. Carter and train robber Rube Burrow in 1890 in which Burrows was killed.
In 1902, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad constructed a line that passed less than a mile south of town, which soon expanded as a result of the increased traffic. In 1903, a new Gothic-style courthouse was constructed; it burned in 1965 and was replaced in 1968 by the current courthouse.
Linden’s population at the time of the 2010 Census was 2,123. Of that number, 51.1 percent identified themselves as white, 46.7 percent as African American, 2.0 percent as Hispanic, 0.9 percent as two or more races, 0.4 as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 0.2 percent as Asian, and 0.1 percent as Native American. The city's median household income was $20,145, and per capita income was $14,701.
The workforce in present-day Linden is divided among the following occupational categories:
· Manufacturing (30.8 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (16.1 percent)
· Retail trade (13.8 percent)
· Public administration (6.3 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (5.9 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (5.4 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (5.0 percent)
· Construction (4.8 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (3.6 percent)
· Wholesale trade (2.4 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (3.0 percent)
· Information (1.5 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (1.3 percent)
The Linden City School District has approximately 600 students and 38 teachers in one elementary school, one junior high school, and one high school. It also has one private academy that serves approximately 300 K-12 students with 20 teachers.
Linden is intersected by State Road 43 and County Road 28; it is located approximately 35 miles from interstates 59 and 20.
Events and Places of Interest
Linden is located just south of Chickasaw State Park. Locally, the city features two city parks and a golf course. Each Christmas, Linden holds the Christmas Parade of Lights and Chilly Fest, a chili cook off.
The Heritage of Marengo County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000.
James P. Kaetz
Published March 15, 2010
Last updated March 13, 2013