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ALABAMA

HISTOR ICA L ASSOCIATION

VOLUME 32 • ISSUE 2 • FALL 2017


TABLE OF CONTENTS

3 President’s Message

OFFICERS

4-7 “Abbeville and the Mother County, Henry,” by Gayle Gamble Thomas 8-10 Friday Pre-Meeting Opportunities

PRESIDENT David Alsobrook, Mobile VICE PRESIDENT Valerie Burnes, University of West Alabama SECRETARY Mark Wilson, Auburn University TREASURER Gayle Thomas, Abbeville MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY Maiben Beard, Auburn University

EDITORS

11 Schedule 12-15 Saturday Tours 16-17 Map and Accommodations

The Alabama Review Lonnie Burnett, University of Mobile Matthew Downs, University of Mobile Michael Robinson, University of Mobile Newsletter Mark Wilson, Auburn University

BOARD OF DIRECTORS, 2017-2018

18-19 2017 Award Winners

20 Call for Papers

21 Nominations Sought for 2018 Awards

22-23 Special Thanks

Jim Baggett, Birmingham Public Library Mike Bunn, Historic Blakely State Park James Cox, Grove Hill Jane Shelton Dale, Camden Ashley Dumas, University of West Alabama Ossia Edwards, Prichard John Hardin, Alabama Department of Archives and History Dan Haulman, Air Force Historical Research Agency Laura Hill, Encyclopedia of Alabama Beth Hunter, University of Alabama at Birmingham Lisa Jones, Alabama Historical Commission Mary Jones-Fitts, Marengo County History and Archives Museum Pamela King, University of Alabama at Birmingham Scotty Kirkland, Alabama Department of Archives and History John Kvach, University of Alabama in Huntsville Elvin Lang, Black Heritage Council Herbert J. Lewis, Birmingham Debra Love, Fairfield William Melton, Evergreen Rebecca Minder, Alabama Heritage Brandon Owens, Alabama State University Doug Purcell, Eufaula Christine Sears, University of Alabama in Huntsville Ben Severance, Auburn University at Montgomery Parliamentarian/Counsel Chriss Doss, Birmingham The AHA Newsletter is designed and printed by Davis Direct, Montgomery, Alabama. Founded in 1947, the Alabama Historical Association is the oldest statewide historical society in Alabama. The AHA provides opportunities for meaningful engagement with the past through publications, meetings, historical markers, and other programs. The AHA is a volunteer-led and membership-supported organization. Our members are from every walk of life but share a common interest in Alabama history and a belief in its value for society today. Visit www.alabamahistory.net for more information.

Cover Image: Abbeville United Methodist Church 2

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE I’m delighted and honored to serve as your AHA president in 2017-18.  During my forty years as an AHA member, I’ve witnessed many dynamic changes in our organization, particularly in regard to the diversity of David E. Alsobrook our membership and annual programs.  I’ve also had the pleasure of personally knowing 39 of our 71 AHA presidents, including my close friend and immediate predecessor, Dr. Jeff Jakeman. He guided us through an outstanding year, capped off by the wonderful spring meeting in Auburn. Looking forward and building upon Dr. Jakeman’s outstanding tenure, I firmly believe that the AHA has a very bright future.  As your president, I have three very basic goals, centering around the old axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t tinker with it and try to fix it.” In recent years, AHA leaders have worked very hard to ensure that we’re fiscally sound and that we maintain meticulous, transparent financial records. We’ll continue to invest wisely and keep you well-informed about every detail of AHA receipts and expenditures.  I also will nurture AHA’s well-established relationships with historians, educators, genealogists, librarians, archivists, and preservationists, and others who share a deep, abiding love for Alabama’s past and are dedicated to disseminating our history to the widest possible audience. My final goal will be to further expand and diversify our membership.  Since continually reinvigorating our ranks is vital

to AHA’s future, I hope that you all will join me in pursuing this goal.  I’ll welcome your comments and suggestions about my three goals and any other topics over the coming months. As you know, we’re currently in the midst of the Alabama Bicentennial commemoration.  AHA Vice President Valerie Burnes has graciously agreed to chair a special ad-hoc committee on the Bicentennial. This committee will serve as a liaison with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission (chaired by Executive Director Jay Lamar) to ensure that our members are kept up to date on various initiatives of mutual interest and partnership opportunities through 2019. I’m very excited about our upcoming AHA Fall Pilgrimage in Abbeville in October.  AHA Treasurer Gayle Thomas of Abbeville, with the able assistance of Dr. Marty Olliff, Troy University-Dothan, have organized an outstanding schedule of activities that will be both educational and interesting for everyone.  Be sure to see the Pilgrimage schedule and Ms. Thomas’s fascinating historical sketch of her beautiful hometown in this newsletter.  One of the highlights of the Pilgrimage in Abbeville will be the unique opportunity for us to see Jimmy Rane’s vast collection of historical artifacts.  I’ll look forward to seeing you in Abbeville. All the Best to You and Yours,

David E. Alsobrook

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ABBEVILLE AND THE MOTHER COUNTY, HENRY

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By Gayle Gamble Thomas

hen Henry County was whittled out of Conecuh County on December 13, 1819, by an act passed by the Alabama Territorial Legislature, it was the largest county in Alabama. Celebrated as the “Mother County,” all or parts of the present-day counties of Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Houston, and Pike comprised the original Henry County. With the formation of Houston County on February 9, 1903, Henry became one of the smallest counties in the state. Henry County, named for Patrick Henry, operated without an official county seat from 1819 until 1822. The first county seat was located in Richmond, a dead town which is now in Dale County near the Dale/Henry line. In 1826, the county seat was moved to Columbia, now part of Houston County. In 1833, the county seat was moved for the final time to Abbeville. The government of Henry County has occupied six courthouses and had three branch courthouses from 1822 to the present. The first three courthouses were made of logs and in 1849 a plank courthouse was built. In 1889 the plank courthouse was razed and a new twostory brick structure was constructed on the same site on the square in Abbeville. Native clay bricks were used, and in 1935 the exterior bricks began to crumble. At this point, the courthouse was remodeled, the exterior plastered and painted white. This building was in service for a total of seventy-five years. In 1965, the “White Plastered Capital” was deemed inadequate, demolished, and replaced by a new threefloor courthouse on the same site. The new courthouse was dedicated in 1967. Henry County had two branch courthouses, one in Columbia and one in Dothan, making it the only Alabama

Henry County Court House before it was plastered. 4

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county to have three courthouses at the same time. Despite Headland’s passionate desire to have a courthouse located there, Columbia, which had been agitating for another courthouse secured the go-ahead in 1885 for a branch to be located there. A two-story brick building was constructed and was used until 1903. The state legislature approved a second branch that was placed in Dothan in 1895, which was used until 1903, when all of southern Henry County was ceded to create Houston County. The first settlers’ crossing of the Chattahoochee River into what would become Henry County, Alabama, occurred in January 1816 at Fort Gaines, Georgia. The first settlement of Franklin was established along the river. The land in this area was prone to flooding, which made this region very undesirable and extremely unhealthy for its inhabitants. The need of early settlers to find higher ground led to the establishment of Abbeville, which is approximately fourteen miles west of the river. As the early settlers traveled west using old abandoned Indian paths they settled on a location where two paths converged that were on part of the Chunnenuggee Ridge. The Chunnenuggee Ridge enters Henry County at the Barbour/ Henry line, runs in a southwesterly direction gradually getting lower until it twists itself into a very low ridge from Abbeville to Grimes in Dale County, a distance of twenty-five miles. The elevation is 449’ above sea level, making Abbeville an ideal location with excellent drainage; the waters from the east of the ridge flow into the Chattahoochee River and the waters from the west of the ridge flow into the Choctawhatchee River. The settlers found a mild climate and fertile farm land capable of producing abundant crops of cotton and corn. Some of the planters chose to live in the new town of Abbeville, so they hired overseers to live on the land to keep their plantations well maintained and to manage the slave laborers. Disagreement exists regarding the exact year that Abbeville was established. Some sources state that Abbeville began in

Henry County Court House and City Square, Courtesy Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama. Courtesy Larry Smith.


Courtesy Larry Smith.

1818; a historical marker at the present-day city hall declares the founding date circa 1819. Two other written sources state 1820 and 1821, respectively; however, most historians agree that by 1823 Abbeville had become a vibrant community with a number of established families in the area. Abbeville, Alabama, is one of five towns named Abbeville in the nation, all in the Deep South from South Carolina to Louisiana, but it is the only Abbeville not named for Abbeville, France. Near that slice of the Chunnenuggee Ridge that Abbeville rests on is a creek the Indians called “Yatta Abba.” The translation of “Yatta Abba” is “a grove of dogwoods.” Yatta Abba was repeatedly mispronounced and misspelled until finally, the name Abbie Creek was chosen. Consequently, Abbeville’s name is derived from Abbie Creek by way of Yatta Abba, and indeed, Abbeville is known as the City of Dogwoods. Yatta Abba Day is an annual festival celebrated each year on Mother’s Day weekend. Drawings of dogwoods are painted on the town water tower and dogwood decals are on doors of the city trucks. The artwork was done Courtesy Paulette M. by the late Paulette Martin Riley, a gifted Riley Collection local artist who lived in Abbeville. It wasn’t until 1833 that Abbeville had a sufficient number of residents to allow for the establishment of a post office. In

that same year the residents of Henry County voted to move the courthouse from Columbia to Abbeville, the third and final county seat. Abbeville operated without an official city government from its creation until 1859 when the decision was made to incorporate. Soon after Abbeville’s incorporation, the Civil War commenced, consequently, several periods of dysfunction followed before city government stability was established. In 1861, the town government ceased operation altogether. During Reconstruction, Abbeville presented an incorporation petition to the Alabama Legislature during the 1871-1872 session. This action resulted in the Legislature passing Act Number 235 which specified procedures for reincorporation. The second incorporation was completed by March 1873 with the election of a new mayor and town council. Due to irregularities, a repeat of the incorporation process was required. Another town election was held on April 10, 1873, and Abbeville once again had a local government. But irregularities persisted and once again Abbeville’s town government ceased operation. Finally, on June 20, 1884, the citizenry held a town meeting at the county courthouse to organize yet another functioning government. A new mayor and councilmen were elected on June 23, 1884. New town ordinances were published in the local paper on July 31, 1884, thereby closing the final chapter in Abbeville’s unsavory saga to establish an operational government. Considering its rocky history, its ability to function uninterrupted for past 133 years is quite astonishing. FA L L 2 0 1 7

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Photos Top: Courtesy Larry Smith Abbeville suffered a catastrophic tragedy in May 1906, when an arsonist nearly burned down the entire town. An entire block of Kirkland Street, the major portion of the business district, was destroyed. The nearby courthouse was almost lost, but was saved through the efforts of the “bucket brigade” firefighters, who kept pouring water on the flat roof. As is usually the case with disasters, some of the citizens made the unfortunate decision to take advantage by stealing items that were saved from the fire. During the week of June 28, 1906, a mechanic named Ward was arrested and charged with arson and starting the fire. His bond was set at $500. After his bail was paid, Mr. Ward fled Abbeville and the county and was never heard from again. J. C. Espy and A. C. Crawford, who signed Mr. Ward’s bail bond, grudgingly paid the bail. The businessmen who had insurance recovered all or most of their losses. Unfortunately, some businessmen had no insurance. Nonetheless, the residents were determined to rebuild the downtown area, this time brick buildings replaced the wooden structures that had been lost in the fire. On November 5, 2002, at 5:35 p.m., Kirkland Street was once again in the bull’s eye when a powerful tornado ripped through town leaving a tattered path of destruction. The F2 tornado zipped through Abbeville destroying several singlefamily homes, mobile homes, and mercilessly damaging many other homes and businesses. The damage at the Abbeville High School was deemed too costly to repair, and it was rebuilt in a new location. Downed power lines and uprooted trees were numerous and widespread. The Old Pioneer Cemetery was especially hard-hit. Tombstones were toppled and eightyyear-old trees were uprooted. Slabs on graves were cracked, revealing the vaults underneath. Restoration of the old cemetery took years and several thousand dollars to complete. All cemeteries have stories to tell and the old cemetery is one of Abbeville’s most treasured historical assets. It tells stories of illnesses that tragically cut short children’s

lives before antibiotics and other life-saving medicines were discovered, and of soldiers’ whose lives were cut short in battle. But it also tells us that despite all the hard times our ancestors faced, some of them managed to live long, productive lives. To name a few, Dr. B. G. McKalvin was unlicensed and illiterate, but he was the only “doctor” who could break a fever. He created a fever-breaking medicine and only shared the recipe with his wife. When she died the recipe disappeared. He could neither read nor write, so he recognized and studied all medicines by smell, looks, and taste. The State Medical Board, unhappy with his practicing medicine without a license, summoned him to Montgomery for reprimand. However, the board was so impressed by his knowledge and abilities it issued him a license. Dr. McKalvin died one month shy of his ninetieth birthday. Dr. James Robert Vann was so beloved that many of the children he delivered were named for him. He also enjoyed successes in banking and farming. Although he previously had no interest in football, at Auburn he played for Coach John Heisman. He is recognized for introducing the folk in Henry County and Abbeville to football. Captain James Wilson Stokes was credited by W. C. Oates, who later became Governor of Alabama, for ordering the firing of the last shot at the end of the Civil War. The shot was fired in Phenix City, Alabama. Sarah Sellers Oates, the mother of Governor W. C. Oates, Henry County’s only governor to date,

1961 Graduating Class, Henry County Training School, Abbeville, AL. Courtesy of The Wiregrass Archives at Troy University Dothan Campus. 6

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is buried here and lived to be eighty-five. The Old Pioneer Cemetery is filled to capacity and no burials are permitted today unless the family plot has an unoccupied space. Since its creation in 1819, Abbeville has been home to many outstanding individuals. Dr. William A. Maddox joined the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1952. In 1969, he was appointed Clinical Professor of Surgery. He retired in 1993. A lectureship in Surgical Oncology was established in his honor. Dr. Kirby I. Bland is a distinguished clinician and scientist, known for his innovative therapies in breast, colon, and rectal cancers. Dr. Bland served on the faculties of several universities before continuing his career at UAB in 1999. Dr. Bland was chair of the Department of Surgery and surgeonin-chief, a position he also held at Kirklin Clinic. He stepped down in 2015, but Dr. Bland continues to care for his patients, teach, and work on cancer research. Interestingly, Dr. Maddox’s and Dr. Bland’s parents were neighbors in Abbeville for many decades. Some Abbeville citizens distinguished themselves in the military. W. C. Oates served as a Confederate colonel in the Civil War, and was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Spanish-American War. He established a successful law practice in Abbeville, served seven terms in Congress, and finally served as the twenty-ninth governor of Alabama. Major General Thomas Alexander Terry received both the Army Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit awards during his notable career. First Lieutenant Robert Espy is credited with saving his regiment at Croix Rouge Farm in World War One. Master Sergeant John Mims served as General Patton’s chauffeur from 1940 to 1945. After his retirement in 1964, he lived in Abbeville until his death in 1990. Alabama’s three major universities have sitting board

Circa 1924-25. High School Students in Abbeville. Courtesy Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama

members who grew up in Abbeville. Joe Espy is a trustee at the University of Alabama, Dr. Steve Stokes serves on the board of the University of South Alabama, and Jimmy Rane is an Auburn University trustee. Abbeville has also had its share of young men who were outstanding college football players. To name a few, Ronnie Joe Barnes, Leroy Cook, John Riley, and Dave Edwards. Perhaps Dave was the most successful having played at Auburn and for thirteen years as part of the “doomsday defense” for the Dallas Cowboys. Several years ago, Abbeville was rescued from neglect by the “Yella Fella,” Jimmy Rane, whose dedication to preservation is responsible for the attractive appearance of the buildings. Abbeville’s and Henry County’s rich history is a source of pride for the residents and former residents, and on December 13, 2019, Henry County will be celebrating its 200th birthday.

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, PRE-MEETING OPPORTUNITIES

Fall Pilgrimage attendees are invited to dine at 6 p.m. at The Cellar, Dothan’s fine steaks and wines restaurant, 1481 Westgate Parkway. Guests will pay individually. We’ll play Alabama Bicentennial Trivia in a designated area. Join us! DOTHAN AREA BOTANICAL GARDENS The Dothan Area Botanical Gardens (DABG) is located off US Hwy 431 at Headland Avenue north of Dothan. It features sixteen fully established, carefully planned, and lovingly tended gardens, as well as wonderful treasures such as the Wilson Windmill, the four Muses, and thirtyseven of the one hundred trees indigenous to Alabama. The DABG preserves the spirit and beauty of the early southern garden and presents native plants in an attractive, traditional botanical element, which enhances the quality of Wiregrass life, educates children and adults in garden lore and environmental issues, and promotes tourism and local economic development. DABG also features an antique fifty-foot greenhouse where plant specimens are seeded and grown. We invite you to be our guest and enjoy the gardens in all their splendor. The vibrant colors, lush foliage, and relaxing atmosphere are sure to delight your senses. 8

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G. W. CARVER INTERPRETIVE MUSEUM Dr. Carver is not only important in African American history, he has a special connection to Dothan, having served as the first keynote speaker of the National Peanut Festival in 1938. In 2000, AKA sorority purchased the former Greyhound Bus station and dedicated it as a museum to

chronicle the rich historical contributions of African Americans to life in the United States. The museum has a number of permanent exhibits, including Scientists and Inventors, Social Progress Heroes, and the museum’s Carver Room. The museum is located at 305 North Foster Street in Downtown Dothan.

MURALS OF THE WIREGRASS The Murals of the Wiregrass depict the history and the culture of this region of southeast Alabama, southwest Georgia, and northwest Florida. Downtown Dothan buildings are adorned with twenty-six painted murals that depict local history and showcase local events such as Native American

history, Fort Rucker, early commerce, the “Dothan Riot of 1889,” and the peanut industry. Participants will take an engaging, moderated tour to explore the murals and to learn the history behind them. This tour will begin from the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum, 305 North Foster St, Dothan, at 3 p.m.

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PRE-MEETING OPPORTUNITIES Continued LANDMARK PARK Landmark Park is a 135-acre natural science and history museum located three miles north of Dothan’s Ross Clark Circle on US Highway 431. Features of the park include nature trails, a planetarium, playground, picnic areas, and an elevated natural-history boardwalk. The park began in the 1970s with a turn-ofthe-century farmstead incorporating, multiple buildings, sheep, chickens, cows, and other farm animals, and crops typical of a Wiregrass farm set in the era 1890-1920. In addition, the park includes a log cabin, a drugstore with operating soda fountain, a one-room school, a general store, and a historic church, all moved to the campus for preservation from the surrounding area. Bring your smartphone! Six of the historic buildings have QR code links to more information about them.

For more info, call 334-794-3452 or visit www.landmarkparkdothan.com. For free admission, tell the gatehouse attendant that you have registered for the AHA Pilgrimage.

WIREGRASS MUSEUM OF ART The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) was formed in 1988 with the help of then-Mayor Larry Register, who proposed the City Commission support citizens’ efforts. The site chosen for the museum was the historic Water and Electric Building located in downtown Dothan. This building was built in 1912-1913, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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EXHIBITS ON OCTOBER 27 Folktopia explores the personal expressions of twenty self-taught artists, most of whom have connections to Alabama. Marcia Weber of Montgomery curated these works by Mose Tolliver, Howard Finster, Woodie Long, Jimmie Lee Sudduth, and B.F. Perkins, among many others. Full Circle - A Decade in the Deep South - In 2004, Mark Leputa finally discover the medium that led him to become a full-time artist - glass. This exhibition features fourteen recent works that explore the last decade of Mark’s practice while living and working in Fort Payne, Alabama. 


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2017

Pre-Meeting Tours • Dothan Area Botanical Gardens • George Washington Carver Museum •L  andmark Park (no fee when you mention you are registered for pilgrimage) • Murals of the Wiregrass Walking Tour (3 p.m., see page 9 for details) • Wiregrass Museum of Art

6:00 p.m.

Dinner and Alabama Bicentennial Trivia The Cellar, 1481 Westgate Parkway

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2017 Abbeville United Methodist Church 100 East Kelly Street, Abbeville, AL 36310 SCHEDULE 8:30 a.m. Coffee and Book Sales 10:00 a.m. Welcome to Abbeville, Alabama Jimmy Rane, President and CEO, Great Southern Wood  “The Story of the Soldier in the Window, Told From a Father’s Perspective” Jerry McGilvary, Abbeville 11:30 a.m. Box Lunch at the Great Southern Conference Center Catered by Huggin’ Molly’s Restaurant 12:30 p.m. Tours (map provided) • Abbeville Pioneer Cemetery • Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church • Bethune-Kennedy House • Downtown Walking Tour-Kirkland Street • Great Southern Wood Home Office • Stockyards • Wood Oil and Depot • Noted Historical Markers: - Henry County Training School - Rosa Parks in Henry County 4:00 p.m.

Tours End

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SATURDAY TOURS ABBEVILLE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH By: Eva Carter Hicks The first church building was a two-story wooden building that was constructed on the north side of East Washington near the courthouse. The upper floor was occupied by the Masonic Lodge, Henry 91. Around 1894, construction of a new brick building commenced on the current location at the corner of Doswell and Williams streets. The building was completed in 1896. Over the years other additions were made to the original structure. Sunday School rooms were added in 1932 and 1958, and a Family Life Center around the year 2000. The architecture of the sanctuary boasts of exquisite carpentry and a Pilcher pipe organ, which replaced the old foot pump organ in 1912. Originally the pipe organ was operated with hand bellows which were later replaced by electric bellows. The stainedglass windows complete the period architecture, three of which are memorial windows. Of particular note is the stained glass window dedicated to the memory of Pvt. William S. Parker, WWI soldier killed in action and is the only memorial of its kind in Alabama. Photos on pages 12 and 13 courtesy Great Southern Wood

PIONEER CEMETERY The Abbeville Pioneer Cemetery, located behind First Baptist Church, was developed early in the 19th century by the town’s graveyard committee, and by 1920, the local paper notified citizens that the cemetery was nearly full. Local stories from the old cemetery include a connection to Elvis and Graceland, as well as stories from veterans of the Civil War and most other conflicts entered by the United States.  Cinderella is buried here, many names that are a tale within themselves, the mother of one of our governors, and a famous ghost story that still scares folks. Elaborate markers dot the landscape, and a memorial pays tribute to the town’s founders. AHA members will enjoy a guided tour of the cemetery at the pilgrimage led by local historian Sylvia Beasley Clark. 12

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BETHUNE-KENNEDY HOUSE This Creole cottage style house is said to be the oldest remaining structure in Abbeville, built around 1840. Dr. William Calvin Bethune owned the house for a time in the 1870’s. William and Mollie Kennedy acquired the house in 1885, and it remained in the Kennedy family until 1974. Remarkable architectural characteristics include the cedar shake roof; a front porch that extends the width of the house and is supported by four Doric columns; side gables

featuring two exterior chimneys on the north and south sides of the house; and two identical six-panel entrance doors which open into two separate front rooms. The fireplace mantles are original to the house and the inside stairway leads to the finished attic. The house is listed on both the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and the National Register of Historic Places, and is currently owned by the Abbeville Chamber of Commerce.

HENRY COUNTY LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATION During a meeting of the Abbeville Lions Club some 65 years ago, local entrepreneur Tony Rane heard attorney Forrest Adams speak about the plight of area farmers who had to travel to Dothan to carry their livestock to auction. With Tony’s interest piqued, he along with Hugh Herndon, Robert Blalock, and Forrest Adams invested $1,200 each and opened the Henry County Livestock Auction in 1951. True to the founders’ intention, local livestock farmers only had to travel as far as the first-rate facility in their own backyards, and the Henry County Livestock Association’s auction became a whirlwind of activity. In 2000, the Stockyard was fully renovated by Tony Rane’s son, Jimmy Rane. Today, it serves as a lovely example

of historic preservation and is a jewel in the crown of Abbeville’s pastoral countryside. The Stockyard also features an amazing array of memorabilia from the era.

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SATURDAY TOURS Continued

Courtesy Great Southern Wood

ABBEVILLE DEPOT VINTAGE CAR COLLECTION The marker outside the Abbeville Train Depot reminds visitors of a significant event that took place on November 27, 1893. The first train came to town, and a new era in Abbeville’s commercial life had begun. The depot itself was constructed soon thereafter and was a center of activity for the community especially through the 1920s to the 1950s. Abbeville native Jimmy Rane

has chosen that period of time as the focus for an antique car collection housed in the depot. His desire was to build a collection reminiscent of the period in which locomotives and train depots were so pivotal to the local community and economy. Rane’s collection includes that type of vehicle that would have been transported to Abbeville by train and sold to the local community.

BETHLEHEM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH In 1869, Bethlehem Missionary Baptist church was organized and a building was constructed for worship. Deacons Glass Maybin, Major Ward, and Tom B. Ward were largely responsible for the establishment of the church. The original sanctuary serviced the congregation until 1941 when it was destroyed by fire. A year later the church was rebuilt in the same location and that building was used until 1968, when the decision was made to build a more modern structure on the same site. Since its beginning, Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church had many dedicated members who were willing to work hard to ensure the longevity of the church. The adjoining cemetery is well maintained and serves as the final resting place for many prominent church members. Laura Ward, founder of the Henry County Training School, Felix Blackwood, Henry County Extension Agent, Willie B. Ward, principal of the 14

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Henry County Training School, and Conrad Newman, who was a teacher and principal for the Henry County Schools and Superintendent of Education in Bullock and Wilcox Counties are buried there. The peak period of membership was between 1900 and 1925 when an enrollment of 350 was recorded.


ROSA PARKS IN HENRY COUNTY Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was born February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Shortly after her birth, she moved with her parents, James and Leona Edwards McCauley, to live on this 260-acre farm with her grandparents, Anderson and Louisa McCauley. Following her parents’ separation, Rosa, her brother Sylvester, and her mother moved to Pine Level to live with Leona’s parents. In 1932, Rosa married Raymond Arthur Parks. Rosa and Raymond were both civil rights activists, but it was Rosa’s refusal to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery bus that propelled her into the national spotlight. Rosa Parks died in Detroit October 24, 2005. Unfortunately, attempts to restore the house for use as a museum have to this point failed; consequently, the house is closed to public tours.

HUGGIN’ MOLLY’S RESTAURANT

Courtesy Great Southern Wood

Abbeville native Jimmy Rane opened Huggin’ Molly’s restaurant in 2006 as a way to let younger locals experience life as he knew it growing up in the 1950s. The fixtures were originally in a Pittsburgh, Pa., drugstore that had been built in 1926. In the mid-eighties, the full set of fixtures was purchased by a collector, who removed them to his California home to enjoy. At his death, Rane bought the entire collection at auction and transported it to Abbeville where it now resides intact. Today, Huggin’ Molly’s welcomes a regular flow of visitors to enjoy sweet treats from an authentic soda fountain, along with delicious meals, and a trip down memory lane. The atmosphere is a step back in time, thanks to an incredible collection of antiques and memorabilia, as well as delightful favorites from 1950s music. The name recalls a local legend that dates back generations.

GREAT SOUTHERN WOOD PRESERVING, INCORPORATED It’s hard to believe that fourty-seven years ago Abbeville native Jimmy Rane was planning his future as an attorney. But that was before he became the owner of a small, struggling lumber treatment plant in his hometown. Little did he know that his tiny two-man operation would one day grow into the industry leader with more than 1,200 employees producing its popular YellaWood® brand products. Today, Great Southern, its parent, its subsidiaries and related entities operate twenty treating plants and other businesses with distribution stretching from the Florida Keys to Texas to Canada, into twenty-eight states and D.C., and a growing international market. Yet the Abbeville hometown remains central to this American success story. Visitors to the recently renovated company HQ will be awed by the unique historical items on display, including

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MAP AND ACCOMMODATIONS

October 27 Dothan 5 G. W. Carver Interpretive Museum

1 La Quinta Inn & Suites

305 N. Foster St.

3593 Ross Clark Circle • (334)793-9090 $77.00 + tax/night double queen

6 Wiregrass Festival of Murals

2 Country Inn & Suites

305 N. Foster St.

3465 Ross Clark Circle • (334)479-8900

Gather at G. W. Carver Museum for guided tour.

$79.00 + tax/night king $84.00 + tax/night double queen $89.00 + tax/night suites

7 Wiregrass Museum of Art 126 Museum Avenue

3 Comfort Inn & Suites

8 Landmark Park

1650 Westgate Parkway • (334)792-9000

430 Landmark Drive

$84.00 + tax/night double queen

4 The Cellar

9 Dothan Area Botanical Gardens

1481 Westgate Parkway, Suite 1

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er

8

y

2

3

Clark Circle (Dothan Loop Ross ) 0 21

1

St.

E. Burdeshaw St.

5

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t.

t.

sS ate

N. O

84 - W. Main S

W. Adams St.

ge St.

N. Colle

ndrews

r St.

N. Foste

Be on the lookout for the red and white AHA signs!

N. St. A

We stg ate Par kw ay

4

e

M

evill

to

Abb

rth

d Ave. dlan a e H

h to

No

Nort

1

431

23

5130 Headland Avenue

E. Adams St.

E. Troy St.

6

7


431 No

rth to

Historic Markers

Hwy 133

3 1

Kelly St.

100 W. Kelly Street

2 Great Southern Conference Center

4 Abbeville Pioneer Cemetery

College St.

5

100 Columbia Road

St. klin d. bia R lum Co

127-129 Kirkland Street

Fra n

4

Kirkland Street

3 Huggin’ Molly’s

y St.

Williams St.

Bradle

uth to 431 So

6 2

Kirkland St.

1 Abbeville United Methodist Church

8 Trawick St.

c

431 and a left turn on Hwy 10 W. From that intersection, both are within 1 mile drive.

Doswell St.

Dothan

CR 25

b Henry County Training School & Missionary Baptist Church c Bethlehem Located on County Road 25 - 2 miles west of

y

Road 10

AL Hwy 10 W .9 miles from US 431 S within sight of County Road 133

undar

9

a Rosa Parks’ Grandfather’s House

ern Bo

b

South

a AL State

Great

Eufaul a

October 28 Abbeville

Behind 1st Baptist Church

5 Bethune-Kennedy House 300 Kirklanbd Street

7

6 Walking Tour of Downtown 100 block of Kirkland Street

7 Stockyards Collection

Scan this QR code for access to the Google Map:

419 Dothan Road

8 Wood Oil & Depot

303-305 West Washington St.

Depot with antique car collection is next door to Wood Oil.

9 Great Southern Wood 1100 US Hwy 431 South

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2017 AWARDS

Congratulations to the following award winners! Recipients received their awards at the 70th annual meeting of the AHA in Auburn, April 21, 2017. JAMES F. SULZBY BOOK AWARD: The Sulzby Book Award recognizes excellence in a book published in the previous two years that has made the most contribution to greater knowledge and appreciation of Alabama history. Christopher Haveman, University of West Alabama, author of Rivers of Sand: Creek Indian Emigration, Relocation, and Ethnic Cleansing in the American South. Left to right: Rob Riser, Chris Haveman, Kathryn Braund, Richard Schellhammer)

VIRGINIA V. HAMILTON AWARD: The Hamilton Award is given based on contributions to Alabama history which encourage joint endeavors among professional and avocational historians. Mary Ann Neeley, Montgomery. Left to right: Graham Neeley, Mary Alma Neeley, Mary Stanton, Mary Ann Neeley, Mary Ellen Young, Kathleen McSherry, and Mary Ellen Neeley. 18

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CLINTON JACKSON AND EVELYN COLEY RESEARCH GRANT: The Coley Research Grant is given every other year to a graduate student working on an Alabama-related topic. Anna Hrom, Duke University. Ms. Hrom’s dissertation is titled “Fraud Heaven, Tort Hell: Tort Law as a Tool for Consumer Protection in Alabama, 1970 to the Present.” (pictured with Staci Glover).

HISTORICAL MUSEUM AWARD: This inaugural award recognizes exceptional achievement by museums in promulgating state or local history. The award honors large and small projects. Museum of Alabama, Alabama Department of Archives and History

Etowah Heritage Museum, Danny Crownover

Director Steve Murray pictured with Marty Olliff FA L L 2 0 1 7

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Call for Papers 71st Annual Meeting Birmingham, Alabama April 12-14, 2018 The Alabama Historical Association invites paper proposals to be given at its 71st annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 12-14, 2018. This meeting is open to scholars, educators, public historians, students, local historians, and members of the general public who share an interest in the history of Alabama from its founding through modern times. Proposals must include a one-page abstract of a 20-minute presentation on an Alabama history topic and a curriculum vitae or rÊsumÊ that includes the author’s email address, postal address, telephone number, and academic or organizational affiliation (if any). Proposals should also indicate if the presenter will require any technical equipment (projectors, sound equipment, etc.) Proposals must be submitted by October 15, 2017. Electronic submissions are preferred. All presenters are required to register for the conference and be members in good standing of the Alabama Historical Association by the time of the annual meeting. The committee gives preference to presenters who have not given papers at an annual meeting within the past three years. Please submit your proposal to the program chair: Dr. Victoria Ott Box 549031 Birmingham-Southern College 900 Arkadelphia Road Birmingham, AL 35254 (205) 226-7826 vott@bsc.edu For more information on the Alabama Historical Association, visit www.alabamahistory.net or scan this QR code with your smart phone.

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2018 NOMINATIONS

NOMINATIONS

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR 2018 AWARDS The following awards will be presented at the annual meeting in Birmingham on April 13, 2018. n The Clinton Jackson Coley Book Award goes to the best book or pamphlet focusing on local historical concerns, including but not limited to the history of an Alabama community, town or county, or any institution therein. Works published since January 2016 are eligible, and those written by non-professional historians are welcome. Nominations must be postmarked by December 31, 2017. For submission information, contact Mike Bunn at mike.historicblakeley@aol.com. n The James Ray Kuykendall Award honors a local historical society in Alabama for outstanding achievements and for significant contributions to a greater appreciation of community and state history. Any historical society is eligible to apply, provided it has not received the award in the last fifteen years. For a copy of the application/nomination form, visit www.alabamahistory.net or contact Pam King at pamking@uab.edu. n The Digital History Award recognizes projects that deliver information on Alabama’s past using the Internet and social media tools. Both large and small projects will be awarded, and a full description of the award can be found at www.alabamahistory.net. For more information, contact Beth Hunter at beth@bethhunter.com.

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SPECIAL THANKS

The AHA would like to thank the following individuals for their generous support! PATRONS ($500 LEVEL)

SUSTAINERS ($100 LEVEL)

Dr. Ralph Draughon, Jr., Auburn

Paul J. Anderson, Enterprise

Jacob Lowery, Greenville, SC

Joe E. Basenberg, Mobile

David and Frances Robb, Huntsville

Jonathan Bass, Birmingham

J. Mills Thornton, Montgomery

Raymond L. Beck and Deborah Hatton, Franklin, TN Dr. Kathryn H. Braund, Dadeville

SPONSORS ($250 LEVEL)

Dr. Edwin C. Bridges, Montgomery

Dr. Leah Rawls Atkins, Birmingham

William L. and Suzanne C. Brown, Stapleton

Jane H. Brock, Homewood

Camille Butrus, Birmingham

Joe Dennis, Bessemer

Dr. and Mrs. J. Donald Carmichael, Birmingham

John and Anne Feathers, Greenville

William N. Clark, Montgomery

William D. Melton, Evergreen

Wynne and Dianne Coleman, Greensboro

Gary Mullen, Auburn

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Cox, Grove Hill

Steve and Laura Murray, Auburn

A. Wayne Deloach, Marbury

B. Hanson Slaughter, Birmingham

Linda Derry, Selma

George H. Smith, Birmingham Murray W. and Nancy Smith, Birmingham Carroll C. Strickland, Huntsville

Mr. and Mrs. Allen Edwards, Montgomery Martin and Helon Everse, Vestavia Mr. and Mrs. Alston Fitts, Selma

Larry Ward, Birmingham

W. Warner Floyd, Montgomery

Alan K. Zeigler, Birmingham

Norman W. Gayle III, South Amboy, NJ Elizabeth Marks Green, Mobile Connie Grund, Owens Cross Roads P. Richard Hartley, Greenville T.R. Henderson, Headland

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Jayson and Laura Hill, Opelika

Emily Pendleton, Montevallo

Billy G. and Shirley Hinson, Mobile

William B. Ponder, Dadeville

Bert Hitchcock, Auburn

Mrs. William A. Powell, Birmingham

Arthur F. Howington, Tuscaloosa

George C. and Kay Rable, Tuscaloosa

Robert L. Hunt, Birmingham

Dr. John Reese, Montgomery

Dr. Eugene Hutchens, Huntsville

Dr. Rebecca Reeves, Hanceville

Mallie M. Ireland, Mountain Brook

Margaret E. Rhoads, Vestavia Hills

Pamela Sterne King, Birmingham

Shirrell Roberts, Montgomery

Dr. John Kvach, Brownsboro

Nancy Rohr, Huntsville

Ethelwyn Haley Dobbs Langston, Winfield

Ted C. and Shirley K. Spears, Sylacauga

Jim and Ola Ann Lee, Huntsville

Harry and Carol Spinks, Tallahassee, FL

Most Rev. Oscar H. Lipscomb, Mobile

Jean T. Styles, Minter

Frank Alex Luttrell, Madison

Mr. and Mrs. James F. Sulzby III, Birmingham

S. M. Mahan, Briarfield

Gayle G. Thomas, Abbeville

Christopher Maloney, Auburn

Joseph D. Weatherford, Montgomery

Dr. and Mrs. David Mathews, Dayton, OH

A.S. Williams, III, Birmingham

Joseph W. Mathews, Birmingham

Frank Wilson, Montgomery

Marvin E. and Lenda McCain, Lynn Haven, FL

Mark and Kellie Wilson, Auburn

Tom McMillan, Brewton

Louise A. Wrinkle, Birmingham

Guy Milford and Sandra Braman, College Station, TX Mr. and Mrs. James L. Moses, Huntsville James Stanley Moss, Pinson Aubrey and Mary Ann Neeley, Montgomery James P. Pate, Tupelo, MS Ann B. Pearson, Auburn

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ALABAMA HISTOR IC A L

ASSOCIATION

c/o Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities Pebble Hill Auburn, AL 36849 www.alabamahistory.net

STOP

AND SAVE THE DATE! The 71st Annual Meeting will be held in Birmingham, April 12-14, 2018. Reserve your hotel room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Birmingham by calling 1-800-222-TREE.

Photo: Traffic cop on 20th Street North, early 1920s. Courtesy Birmingham Public Library Archives.

Presorted Std. U.S. Postage PAID Montgomery, AL Permit No. 456

AHA Fall 2017 Newsletter  
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