Old Marengo County Courthouse During its early days, the town was nicknamed Screamersville, allegedly because of its rowdy frontier reputation. It was renamed 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 Bonaparte in Bavaria in 1800. Over time, the name was shortened to Linden.
The first county courthouse, a two-story log structure, was built in 1818, after Marengo County was established. In 1825, it was replaced with a two-story structure, which burned in 1848. A brick Greek Revival replacement was constructed 1850 and served the county until 1902. Among the more notable events at the courthouse was a shootout between local store owner J. D. Carter and train robber Rube Burrow in 1890 in which Burrows was killed. In 1903, the third courthouse was replaced with a Gothic structure, and that burned in 1965. It was replaced with the current courthouse in Linden in 1968.
The first newspaper, the Linden Jeffersonian, was established in 1853 and was followed by the Democrat Reporter in 1879, a weekly still published today. Its publisher at the time, Goodloe Sutton, gained national attention in 2019 when he suggested that the Ku Klux Klan should lynch northern Democrats.
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.
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 according to 2020 Census estimates was 1,838. Of that number, 62.8 percent identified themselves as white, 36.2 percent as African American, 0.6 percent as American Indian, and 0.2 percent as two or more races. The city’s median household income was $33,542 and the per capita income was $18,525.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Linden was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services, and health care and social assistance (22.9 percent)
- Manufacturing (16.3 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (13.9 percent)
- Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (11.2 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing and utilities (10.6 percent)
- Public administration (7.5 percent)
- Construction (5.7 percent)
- Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (5.3 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (2.7 percent)
- Retail trade (1.6 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (1.1 percent)
- Information (1.1 percent)
The Linden City School District has one elementary school, one junior high school, and one high school as well as one private academy.
Chickasaw State Park 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.