Billingsley is located in the north-central corner of Autauga County in the central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
Billingsley initially was referred to as Cartersville after the W. W. Carter family (the first settlers in the area) established a grist mill, a lumber company, and a cotton gin in the area. By the time the settlement had grown enough to warrant an official name, however, the Carter family was no longer the largest family, having been surpassed by the Billingsley family. Therefore, the town was named in honor of Clement Billingsley, who had served in the Revolutionary War. Billingsley was one of several war veterans from Virginia who moved west to present-day Autauga County. Upon Billingsley’s death in 1844, his assets, which included land, money, and enslaved African Americans, were divided among his children, thereby increasing the family’s prominence in the county. Billingsley is buried in the Gaines Cemetery in the town.
By the 1880s, Billingsley had a mail stop on a stagecoach route. In 1898, a Montgomery branch of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad completed a line through town, bringing with it a construction and population boom. The town expanded enough to support six general stores among other businesses, and the local sawmill tripled its output. The town incorporated in 1901.
Of historical note, Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor Johnson, wife of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, lived in Billingsley with relatives as a child for a time after her mother died and spent summers there until she was about 20 years old.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Billingsley recorded a population of 148. Of that number, 65.5 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, and 34.5 percent as white. The town’s median household income was $22,031, and the per capita income was $13,864.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Billingsley was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (38.6 percent)
- Educational services, and health care and social assistance (24.1 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (18.1 percent)
- Manufacturing (6.0 percent)
- Construction (4.8 percent)
- Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (2.4 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing and utilities (2.4 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (1.2 percent)
- Public administration (1.2 percent)
- Wholesale trade (1.2 percent)
Schools in Billingsley are part of the Autauga County Schools; the town has one K-12 school.
County Road 37 passes through Billingsley north-southwest, County Road 77 runs south from the center of the town, and County Road 24 runs east from the town. The Norfolk Southern Corporation operates a rail line through the center of town.
Events and Places of Interest
Autauga County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Autauga County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2001.
Gray, Daniel S. Autauga County: The First Hundred Years, 1818-1918. Prattville, Alabama: Autauga County Prattville Public Library, 1972.
Little, John Buckner. Nobles, Larry W. Old Autauga: Portrait of a Deep South County. Brierfield, Ala.: Cahaba Trace Commission, 2000.