An aerial view showing several copies of the book Auburn: A History in Street Names. Books are in rows along a dark blue background next to typography that displays the book title.


Auburn: A History in Street Names

Book cover with street signs and title 'Auburn - A history in Street Names' by Sam Hendrix'It’s more than a book. Auburn: A History in Street Names, authored by Sam Hendrix, provides a comprehensive history of the city of Auburn, Alabama, and so much more.

Proceeds from book sales will fund an endowment at Auburn University to provide academic camp scholarships for Auburn Youth Programs. The ‘camperships,’ which cover costs of registration, on-campus lodging and meals, provide the opportunity for local youth to attend week-long academic summer camps at Auburn University.


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From the cover:

If you are an Auburn person—and you know if you are—you will find this collection not only interesting, but keenly important. The book represents a comprehensive history of Auburn, telling the stories of the Village and its people, street by street, act by act, over nearly two centuries. The great and good, the regrettable and tragic. The famous and the forgotten.

Sam Hendrix, native of Arab, Alabama, earned a BA from the University of North Alabama and the M.Ed. from Auburn University. He spent most of his career with AU as a public relations and development professional. He authored a history of the Auburn Church of Christ and a biography of founding Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Charles Allen Cary before publishing Auburn: A History in Street Names. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, live in Auburn.

Illustrator Stephanie Spradling of Daphne, Alabama, holds a bachelor’s in fine art from Auburn University. Her art is highlighted in a variety of mediums (watercolor, pencil, acrylics, and mixed media) and has appeared in books, magazines, and other outlets. Her creativity extends to her role as a room designer and consultant.

Proceeds from book sales will fund an endowment at Auburn University to provide academic camp scholarships for Auburn Youth Programs. The ‘camperships,’ which cover costs of registration, on-campus lodging and meals, provide the opportunity for local youth to attend week-long academic summer camps at Auburn University.

The endowment is being made possible through a campaign by the Auburn Heritage Association which raised more than $21,000 to fully cover the costs associated with the printing process.

Sam Hendrix

Sam Hendrix, Author

Sam Hendrix, native of Arab, Alabama, earned a BA from the University of North Alabama and the M.Ed. from Auburn University. He spent most of his career with AU as a public relations and development professional. He authored a history of the Auburn Church of Christ and a biography of founding Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Charles Allen Cary before publishing Auburn: A History in Street Names. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, live in Auburn.


Stephanie Spradling, Illustrator

Illustrator Stephanie Spradling of Daphne, Alabama, holds a bachelor’s in fine art from Auburn University. Her art is highlighted in a variety of mediums (watercolor, pencil, acrylics, and mixed media) and has appeared in books, magazines, and other outlets. Her creativity extends to her role as a room designer and consultant.

Proceeds from book sales will fund an endowment at Auburn University to provide academic camp scholarships for Auburn Youth Programs. The ‘camperships,’ which cover costs of registration, on-campus lodging and meals, provide the opportunity for underrepresented youth to attend week-long academic summer camps at Auburn University.

Each camp scholarship is named for the remarkable individuals whose stories are told throughout the book.

Born into slavery, Gatsy Rice came to Auburn in the 1840s as a servant in a local household. After the war, she prospered as an independent seamstress- mending uniforms of East Alabama Male College cadets and others in town- and running a boarding house. She eventually owned property in both downtown Auburn and Opelika. Gatsy’s entrepreneurial bent made her one of the more interesting and admirable characters in Auburn’s past as she never let her lowly beginning stop her from reaching higher on the economic scale.

Carolyn Carlisle and her husband, Richard, lived for years in Auburn mere blocks from the university campus. She worked for a company in Opelika and for years with Auburn University’s Facilities Division. Richard and his brother Charles- grandchildren of slaves in the Auburn area- became well-known house painters in town. Once integration took place, Carolyn and Richard sent four children to Auburn University, and all graduated. The Carlisles are proof that hard work and determination can lead to success.

Auburn native Doris Hutchinson was a cheerleader at Drake High School in the 1960s when she got involved in civil rights issues locally. She helped lead efforts to improve her school and to gain access and acceptance for many of Auburn’s citizens to take part in commerce, recreation, and education in town, all the while maintaining a Christian attitude and love for all people.

Dr. Joseph Fanning Drake, a bright young man in Auburn, left because educational opportunities were better for him elsewhere in the early years of the twentieth century. He graduated Talladega College in 1916, earned a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York City, and later a PhD at Cornell University. This career educator served 35 years as president of Alabama A&M University in Huntsville and had an impact that was felt on that campus for generations afterwards.

Dr. Keith Black spent some of his early years in Auburn, but his parents recognized their exceptionally bright son would prosper with better educational opportunities elsewhere. The Blacks moved to Ohio, and Keith later earned admission to the University of Michigan, where he earned his medical degree. He became a world-renowned brain surgeon practicing in Los Angeles.

Lt. John W. Dunn, Auburn’s first full-time Black police officer, retired after twenty-five years on July 1, 1992, then learned he had cancer. He was not only a key member of the police force, but his work in the community made a great difference. He was a member of St. Luke CME Church and served on the Steward Board. He loved children and organized the Toys for Tots program in Auburn, to the degree that his colleague and friend, Captain John Lockhart, called him “a one-man Santa Claus.” Lt. Dunn served on the boards of both the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County and the Alabama Department of Human Resources. He was a community relations officer for the Auburn Housing Authority and a teachers’ aide for the Alternative School at Loachapoka High. He and his wife, Estella, had five sons and two daughters. One letter to the editor of the newspaper, eulogizing Lt. Dunn, described him as “by every definition a true professional, a true servant, a true role model, and a true humanitarian.”

Auburn Youth Programs with eagle line art

Auburn Youth Programs is a program area within the Office of Professional and Continuing Education, an extension of University Outreach, that sponsors and executes over 100 summer programs designed to educate and inspire youth in a variety of academic, athletic, and extracurricular endeavors. Participants have the opportunity to further their education and develop skills while making new friends and experiencing life at Auburn University.

Academic camps are offered in partnership with schools and colleges across campus. Programs are led by Auburn University professors and faculty members and provide campers the opportunity to explore potential majors. AYP is proud to work with its campus partners to offer academic camps and programs, consistent with the mission of OPCE to make available the educational resources of Auburn University.

Books are available for purchase for $30. Purchases can be made at area events and online (with additional charges for shipping).

Books can be purchased online and locally at the following Auburn-area bookstores. We are grateful for their support.

  • Auburn University Bookstore
  • J&M Bookstore
  • Auburn Oil Company*
  • Well Red*

*in-store purchases only

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Last Updated: December 17, 2021