William Lindsey McDonald, Florence Historian

Dublin Core


William Lindsey McDonald, Florence Historian


William Lindsey McDonald


Florence, Alabama’s first official City Historian was William Lindsey McDonald, a man who did much to research, preserve, and promote local history. Born in 1927, Mr. McDonald served in the U.S. Army for thirty-eight years before retiring with the rank of Army Reserve Colonel. McDonald was both a World War II and Korean War veteran. His army reserve career included sixteen years as a staff member at the Pentagon. McDonald served thirty-eight years with the Tennessee Valley National Fertilizer Development Center. In addition, McDonald spent thirty-eight years as a Methodist preacher in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties.

Mr. McDonald graduated from Florence State Teacher’s College in 1952. He was also a graduate of the Military Police School, the Army’s Command and General Staff College, the Army Finance School, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. His education also included seminary training.
McDonald served as Chairman of the Florence Historical Board from 1968 to 1989. He was designated the City Historian in 1989. He had a historical column in the Times Daily for many years, and was a frequent contributor to the Tennessee Valley Historical Quarterly journal. During his lifetime, McDonald wrote over fourteen books on Muscle Shoals area history. McDonald passed away in 2009.


Kayla Scott, University of North Alabama


William Lindsey McDonald, A Walk Through The Past: People and Places of Florence and Lauderdale County, Alabama. (Bluewater Publications, 2003), ii.

Image Courtesy of UNA Collier Library Archives

Jill K. Garret, History of Lauderdale County, Alabama, 1964, 214.


Alabama Cultural Resource Survey