History of Kilby House

Thomas E. Kilby, the 36th governor of the State of Alabama, moved to Anniston as a young man in 1887 and worked as a clerk for the Georgia Pacific Railroad. He became in time both an industrial builder and a politician. He helped to found and became the president of the Kilby Car and Foundry Company. Meanwhile, he served on the City Council in 1898, then as Mayor of Anniston from 1905 to 1909 during the years liquor was voted out and gambling closed down in the town. He went to the State Senate in 1911, was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1914, and served as Governor in the years 1919-1923. As chief of the State he was remembered for road building, humanitarian reform, social progress, and sound administrative practices. He set up the State Board of Education, strengthened the Public Service commission, created the Child Welfare Department, and worked on reforming the state prison system.

Kilby lived in the house which was known as the "Queen of Anniston" until he died in 1943. Mrs. Kilby continued to reside there until her death in 1962. The Anniston Board of Education acquired the property in the 1960s between Eleventh and Fifteenth Streets and stretching from Woodstock to Highland Avenue. Most of the homes, including the one built by Samuel Noble, were razed for the high school, but this house was saved because of its connection to Anniston's only Governor.

A man of integrity during his lifetime who dedicated his life to the people of Anniston and to the State of Alabama, with an even greater passion for improving education and welfare for the children in the state.  Governor Kilby’s legacy for the betterment of education for the children of Alabama cannot be thwarted in our failure to protect his final home.  The Kilby house is in grave jeopardy of being destroyed if interventions for historical repairs are not done.


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