July 9, 1865
Born on July 9, 1865 in Lebanon, Tennessee, Thomas E. Kilby was a successful entrepreneur, creating many businesses in Anniston. While first making his mark in the steel business, Kilby would go on to serve on the Anniston City Council, as the mayor of Anniston, in the Alabama Senate, as the lieutenant governor and finally as the governor. While serving as governor, Kilby saw many improvements in state services, such as education, mental health and veterans’ benefits. He also created massive change in the Alabama prison system by advocating for better sanitation and sleeping arrangements for prisoners. The state of Alabama would go on to build a new facility that included a dairy, hog farms and a spinning mill. This building was named the Kilby Correctional Facility and still stands today in Montgomery.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.