Center Star --
The following information was copied from the historical marker located at 6620 Highway 72 in Killen. The marker was erected by the East Lauderdale Historical Society.
Center Star was spelled Centre Star into the 1900s. The name evolved from the US Postal Service, which served remote areas by "star routes." The Post Office here, which existed from 1850 to 1914 (except between 1902 and 1913), was the center of a star route for this section of the county, thus Centre Star. This area is one of the oldest settlements in Lauderdale County. Settlers arriving in the early 1800s found both Chickasaw and Cherokee Indians. At one time, their dividing line overlapped here. Remains of Indian villages were found southwest of this location. The land south of Center Star was fertile and was sought by cotton planters desiring the "old fields" cleared by the Indians. Plantations established throughout the area included: Phillips/Taylor, Cunningham, Douglas, and Williams. Communities near here were Bellview, Big Oak and Houstontown. The Bellview Road ran from the mouth of the Bluewater Creek to Center Star. Center Star has the oldest active Methodist congregation in Lauderdale County: it was organized near the mouth of Bluewater Creek in June 1818. It later move near Center Star and was named Driskill's Chapel about 1893. In later years, it was renamed Center Star Methodist Church.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized at the Goodsprings Campground in 1839; it divided in April 1861, and a church was organized at Center Star. Center Star was a rallying point where Captain Edward A. O'Neal, on May 26, 1861, organized his "Calhoun Guard," later designated Company 1, 9th Alabama Infantry Regiment. O'Neal was promoted to Brigadier General and became Governor of Alabama after the War. On May 9, 1864, this was the scene of a two-hour skirmish between Colonel William A. Johnson's Confederate Fourth Alabama Cavalry and a combined Union force from the 7th Illinois Cavalry and the 9th Ohio Regiment under Colonel Richard Rowett. The Center Star Voting Beat was created in 1870. Masonic Lodge 25 was activated here in 1888. Community schools were in the area prior to 1916 when land was purchased by the County Board of Education for the Center Star Elementary School about ¼ mile north of the Old Huntsville Road. The school was relocated to near the intersection of CR 33 and Highway 72 in 1949 and closed in 1965. The Allen Thornton Trade School opened in that building in August 1967. Early commercial activities at Center Star included: general merchandise stores, sorghum mill, blacksmith shop, gristmill, cotton gin, and doctors' offices.