The present Town of Brilliant was incorporated as Boston, Alabama and was named for the City of Boston, Massachusetts and in part for early settlers of the area, the Bostick family. In the late part of the 19th century, the discovery of coal led to the development of the Brilliant Coal Company, which was located adjacent to the town of Boston. The Brilliant Coal Company served as a catalyst for growth for the area and provided ample employment for more than 50 years. At the turn of the 20th century, the Brilliant and Boston area was the most densely populated part of Marion County. In 1957 due to declines in industry and population the post office at Boston, Alabama was absorbed into the Brilliant, Alabama post office. The history of Boston, Alabama changed forever with the passage of Act 284 by the Alabama Legislature, which changed the name of the town of Boston to Brilliant. By the end of the 1950s The Brilliant Coal Company had shuttered its mining operations, however several smaller mining operations were in business around the area until the early 1990s. From 1987 until 2000 the town was home to Brilliant Homes Ltd. a well known manufactured housing producer in the southeast and parts of the southwest. The company was acquired by American Homestar Corporation of League City, Texas in 1997, due to the declining manufactured housing industry the plant was closed on April 15, 2000, American Homestar Corporation subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy later in 2001. The town is currently home to one garment manufacturing plant, Tullahoma Industries which produces garments for the U.S. Army.
The following is from the August 30, 1957, Winfield Journal article: Boston is Now Brilliant; Act Also Extends Corporate Limits
"It's official now. The municipality of Boston is no more. As of August 16, Governor James E. Folsom signed into law Act No. 284 which changed the name of the town from Boston to Brilliant and extended the boundary lines to take in approximately 40 more homes and bring the town's population to about 1,000 residents. Mayor Max A. Wood made the announcement earlier this week.
In a straw vote election held on last April 23, 1956 citizens voted 120 for to 37 against to change the name of the town and extend the city limits.
For many years only a part of the Boston-Brilliant community has been incorporated. Boston was incorporated while the area consisting of Brilliant was not.
The town of Boston had its origins sometime in the latter part of the 19th century. Alfred Wates opened the first store and later as the community grew, an early settler named Lee Beauchamp named it Boston for the city of Boston, Massachusetts, and also because the name tied in somewhat with the pioneer Bostick family who settled in the area about the time of the Civil War. Both Boston and Brilliant owe most of their early development and progress to the mines of the Aldredge and Brilliant Coal Companies. Brilliant began with the opening of coal mines around 1897.
Mayor Wood said that the increase in population resulting from the extension of the corporate limits would mean more revenue from state sources as well as other advantages."