Billingsley initially was referred to as Cartersville after the W. W. Carter family (the first settlers in the area) established a grist mill, a lumber company, and a cotton gin in the area. By the time the settlement had grown enough to warrant an official name, however, the Carter family was no longer the largest family, having been surpassed by the Billingsley family. Therefore, the town was named in honor of Clement Billingsley, who had served in the Revolutionary War. Billingsley was one of several war veterans from Virginia who moved west to present-day Autauga County. Upon Billingsley’s death in 1844, his assets, which included land, money, and enslaved African Americans, were divided among his children, thereby increasing the family’s prominence in the county. Billingsley is buried in the Gaines Cemetery in the town.