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Linden park remains Austin

The Democrat Reporter of Linden, Alabama

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Linden City Council turned thumbs down to a proposed name change for Austin Park during its regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 3.

Councilman Richard Lankster had lobbied for the park name to be changed to Dr. E.W. Shields park in honor of his great grandfather, an effort that began prior to Lankster being elected to the council.

Lankster maintained that Dr. Shields, who taught, and preached in Linden during the early 1900s, donated land to the city where the park and George P. Austin Jr. High is located today.

But, City Attorney W.W. Dinning, Jr., after reviewing records regarding the land, confirmed that Dr. Shields had donated land to the Linden Academy trustees in 1902, but that the parcel is not the land where the park is today.

According to Dinning, Austin Park is on land that was part of a subdivision that the city acquired several years later.

Lankster, at the previous council meeting, presented a petition of fifty names from individuals requesting council to make the name change for the park.

In Tuesday's meeting, council Dennis Breckenridge made a motion that' the park remain Austin Park, going on to say that sometime this year the city would erect a sign to that effect and hold a grand opening at Austin Park.

Lankster, not pleased with the decision, said, "I thought that maybe if the name could not be Shields Park, then maybe it would be a consideration to change it to Austin-Shields Park."

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Original Publication Date: February 5, 2009

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