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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
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June 19, 1975     The Florala News
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June 19, 1975
 

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INC. ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHTED ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ~UBJECT TO LICENSE AGREEMENT. REPRODUCTION, DISSEMINATION, STORAGE, DISTRIBUTION PROHIBITED. NEWS - THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 1975 4. Its first agent was C. C. C. Taylor from Cuthbert, position in 1920 and served October 26, 1941, at 9:00 No. 14 pulled the last train and the railroad ceased to who came to this section 're Henry Elliot and W. R. of North Carolina, and who Stores operators in the area. Then came Evander N. McLean, also from who formed the McLean and pany. Mr. Patter- of the Presbyterian r. McLean was an early mayor citizen. Mrs. Williamson, who death sold her turpen- moved to Florala and bought home. It later burned, Sold to W. H Britton and J. [e for:ition and distri- estate. The large runt yard were cut down to Fifth Avenue and to make way and Jack Johnson of North the first turpentine still It was located three or four on the road to Natural later sold the business to W. R. McDuffie, and W. C. it was known as the Florala C. C. McRae was one ne operators in this sechon SUccessful. McRae Station on was named for him. and owner of the which was later owned by John McLean and Gorden Young men, went into the in the Pond Creek dcLean also had a turpentine of town which was known as "McLean's Quarters". Mr. D. A. Davis, and Mr. ted a Naval Stores business and Samson, and the town named for these men, tbe of Hart, Coleman, and Davis The City Df Samson was and incorporated in 1906. in Geneva County was .896, and the secoqd was at : Martha being named for the B. Adkison. Mr. Adkison's In a 1912 publication states of business was located at and east side of Sixth Street, the oldest business house in there was a well in the center -, ~ ..... t. tnr livestock. then had only an ling in any direction from was especially true o! feet. There was not a single Florala Pharmacy tn 190Z home, later known as the At this time Sam Jones ,e and built a home at the Although Jeff George One of this well-known family ,1895, it was only a short time "ge, Sr., moved into town. , was in Florida at this located here. He built mary building which re- The whole section on both sides, was trming chiefly by R. H. Straugl~n, then a barefoot Plow where the fine homes street. had four sons, Dan, W. F.(Tank). Dan moved , Florida, at an early age men were all prominent farming in the mercantile lumber industry. Mr. J. T. Was the principal stockholder t Saw Mill Company and was da's most pnblic-spirited Saw Mill Company, lo- F was established in ily capacity of 100,000 feet saw mill and 75,000 feet mill. The officers were: 3f Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, T.Hughes, vice president, manager. Mr. John- active and left the operation to Mr. Hughes. The saw by both the L & N and the ~'ia Railrays. After the F1G- )mpany sold out to the Har- C)mpany, Mr. Hughes cent- s as the Florala Lumber business was carried on by Birdie Hughes, for many McRae of Geneva, Alabama, of near Geneva, came to led a partnership in a gen- business. In 1905, Mr. hMr. McRae's interest and e sold to C. C. Beasley. In bought the Telephone Ex- it until his death in Telephone Company had under the management of ,loyd G. Vaughan. Since that ,loyd G. Vaughan. Since his Hayes Vaughan has con- This company company in the United a loan under the Rural Elec- Mstration as amended for the 1950. This bill was spon- te by Alabama's Lister Hill by Texas's Pogue, in 19.t9. had no bank, the nearest eneva. There were eight all of wood construct- was located where tt;e "e was located and the pre- le old post office building. ran a store where the cry used to be, later the )any, and later The insurance business was represented by Robert A. French and Clarence Hundley. Later it was French and Monroe,with offices over the Florala Pharmacy. When the first train was coming into Florala, and over Horsehead Creek the railroad bridge was considered somewhat shakey, the engineer lost his nerve and was afraid to cross. Mr. Hundley took the throttle and drove the train across. He was a Spanish-American War veteran who fought in the Battle of Manila. He was one of a detailed party ordered to raise the U. S. Falt over the Philippine Islands. Mr. Henry Moss, a res- ident in the early days, operated a market and grocery business. He was also a Span- ish-American War veteran who had the honor to be on the Merrimac with Richmond Pear- son Hobson when he sank the Merrimac at the entrance of Santiago Harbor. Hobson's plan was to bottle up Cervera's fleet. He failed in this but gained world-wide notor- iety and was accl,dmed a hero by both America and Spain for his daring exploit. In June, 1902, the Jackson Lumber Com- pany began operations as perhaps the largest saw mill company in this area. They were later recognized as being the largest rift pine flooring mill in the world. The town of Lockhart, which adjoins the city of Flo- rala, was headquarters for this business and was named for a Mr. Lockhart who was a stockhohter and whose residence was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The offices of the company were for some nlonths in Florala near where the Hughes Wholesale t)ufldmg now stands W S. Harlan was the first general manager of this business, and his untimely death was a blow to tlli~ entire section. He will l(mg be remembered as an outstanding citizen who had a very keen in- terest in the southern part of Covington County. Mr. Harlan was succeeded by two men of fine character and business ability, Mr. J. W. LeMaistre, who died in 1929, and Mr. E. C Gates, who held this position until the saw mill closeddown in 1940. During the peak of it's operating years, the Jackson Lumber Company had a daily capacity of 250,000 feet, and access to 250,000 acres of yellow pine timber lands. It was incor- porated with a capital of $1,800,000.00. It was largely through the influence of J. T. Manning that this giant saw mill was not located at Opp, Alabama, as there was no railroad connection to the northern markets here at the time. Mr. Manning, with the help of others, was able to persuade the L & N to build the railroad here, and as a result, the company decided to locate at Lockhart. In 1914, the officers were: J. W. Watzek, president; E. F. Jackson, vice president; E. C. Crossett, treasurer; R N. Jackson, Secretary, and W. S. Harlan, manager. Some of the famous buildings that used Dixie Rift flooring manufactured by this mill included Grand Central Station, New York City; Hud- son Terminal Building, New York City, Hgtel Astor, New York City; B & O Railroad Of- rice Building, Baltimore, Maryland; Country Club of Richmond, Virginia; Bancroft Hall, Anapolis, Maryland; Court House, New Or- leans, Louisiana; and many others. The com- pany was, in association with the C. of G. Railroad, a leader in agriculture. The farms were under the management of John Henry Mathews, a brother of Walter Mathews, and later by Gene Cannon. In 1901 a Mr. Blackmon had a blacksmith shop near the location of the old C. of G. Rail Station. After the railroad discon- tinued its business here, the property was sold to the Gitenstein Brothers who later sold it it Dr. Matthews and Dr. O'Neal, and the old station was converted into a clinic. It was later abandoned when the new Florala Memorial Hospital was built, and the building was razed in 1968. The black- smith shop did a thriving business duringthe years of mules, horses, wagons and buggies. W. J. Cawthon and Son operated a market here in 1902, and in 1905, T. C. Penton opened a general store with a millinery de- partment. W. H. Britton was one of the builders of the town of Florala. Mr. Britton built The Bank of Florala and the brick building join- ing the bank building, known as the Lamar- Britton Mercantile Company which was later the Britton Grocery Company and the pre- sent Florala City Hall. The bank building was sold to C. W. Lamar, who sold it to the Bank of Florala in 1911. Be also built the Opera House, which was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1913, and in 1904 he built the Colonial Hotel which was also destroyed by fire in 1966. He organized the Bank of Florala in May of 1904 and was its first president. W. C. McLaughlin was vice president and Theo S. Lanz was cashier. He was one of the recognized business factors of the section, and it was a great loss to this community when he died in t909 fol-. lowing an operation for appendictis while attending the Kentucky Derby The Opera House was financed by a corporation and was located across Fifth Avenue froth the old C. of G. Railroad depot It was upstairs over several stores and was never rebltilt after burning. Dr. Ad Hovelle had a photograph gallery upstairs in the Opera House building,. At the same time, he operated Florala's first picture show where the Smith 66 Service Station now stands. I)r. Hovelle was also an eye specialist and served in the French Army tie Was a prisoner ul Germany during the siege of Paris in 1871. The Shepherd Furniture Comoany was established by the late James R. Shepherd, Sr., in 1905. Mr. Shepherd was a native Alabamian and came here just in time to take part in the 24th :of June Celebratmn that year'. He was an active Mason, an active church and Sun- day School worker in the Baptist Church. He died in the prime of life and his son, James R. Shepherd, Jr., and his daughter, Miss Winnie Shepherd, continued the business. After James and his family moved to Houston, Texas, Miss Wmnie operated the business for many years, selling out Mr. McRae severed shortly before her death to Gunter-Dunn With Mr. Vaughan, he Company. and employee of theIn 1905 J. N. McClung and Company of Company. He later sold Florala built an ice plant and added an business to Luther G. electric light plant in 1906 They cntinued in Ill Oved to Lake City, Flo- this business until approximately 1926, and there s death Amen until hi . g then Colonel P. S. McClung sold to the Were George Huckabaa, D. Alabama Power Company. The Burgess Bro- Lurie. Capt. Paul Heun thers operated a jewelry store and later and had a photographwent into general merchandise and men's McDaniel Motor Co- furnishings. Shortly after this, C.C. Burgess He lived on thelake shore opened the Florala Repair Shop, which was residence of Mrs. J. W. located where the old Franklin FergusonCo- and operated a double- mpany office was located. The Cash Shoe for several years, the Store was established in Florala by D. F. "Go Easy". A pay- McDougald. The late H. G. McDaniel oper- er the water where skat- ated a men's furnishings business hereinthe ere enjoyed, early 1900's. He later bought the Chevro- .Was one m the merchants let agency in 19~5, the business being named In 1901 and opened a dry the Herndon-McDaniel Motor Company. the Hughes Grocery Co- McDaniel later bought Herndon's interest, stands. Mr. Lurie made and now this company is owned and operated in the Bank of Florala by his three sons. in May, 1904. The store to another location on Ins operated by his son, several years after Mr. }49. Mr. Israel S. Lurie aiture store in the Opera -moved to a location went out of the furniture ated a Variety Store as permitted. Bracewell in 1903 and continued Years. Perhaps the first drug store was Dr. Adams' office where he kept medicines and druggist's sundries, with Mr. Jeff Wil- liams assistant. A regular prescription store was opened in 1903 where the present Flo- rala Pharmacy stands and was owned by Steven Wynn and John McLean with the name of the firm being the Florala Pharmacy. Mr. Wynn moved to Okalahoma, and his interest was bought by Samuel H. Williams of Col- umbus, Georgia. In 191~. the Pharmacy was sold to D. W. Quillm The O. K. Drug Store was established in 1902 and was operated by H. H. McDougald. The Quillin brothers operated a drug store near the Chautauqua Building. Dr. R. L. Miller was in Florala in 1895 and mDved to Laurel Hill, Florida, because it was a more prosperous community due to the railroad shops being located there. He later returned to Florala and lived here un- til his death in 1937 at the age of 83. Dr. E. L. Adams of Hacoda, Alabama, moved here in 1897, immediately after his grad- uation. He practiced here until the time of his death. In 1901, Dr R H Trammell came to Florala and was the physician for the Jackson Lumber Company for' many years Dr. A. L. Wynn, originally from North Car" olina, came to Fh)rala in 1902 and pract- iced here for over thirty years I)r J P. Phillips, an AlabalIllan, movt, d to Florala and enjoyed a large practice until his death in 1918. Dr I). B Spears, alsoan Alabama- fan, practiced tlet'' ft,l" Illany yt,ars until his death in 1915. I)t)('tor> al't'ivlllg later were Dr F. W. Ga]io~,ay. I)1' FerrlIl Yolln~, DI" A. G. Williams. Sr. and l)r ,I F Holley They all served tilt! COlllnllUll|V well and ar'e now all deceased The ,la(:kson l,tltnbet' (70111 pany built the [,akevle~ ill 1919, and it serv*ed the cotl)munity uniter ttw dlte(qlon ()f all the physicians UlltiI it v, as bought bv l)t" d. F Holley who operat~,d it until his death m 1967 The earlies| regtllai (tenhst with all Offl('e was l)r (J 1" t)elI~'v, v, lll~ hw;IU'd tlt'I'e ili 1902 Until th~ tillit! t)[ Ills tl~;ttlI ill 1935, tie ~,as i'lOt q)lJv ,I good dentist bill a very use;,'t 9itiTeO t)} ~ W Ppt!dl'V !'~ : a dt!ntal offi,+ here in 19!2 '.)i W V thd~ev pra- cticed ]eld]y, tl ~ il('I'(' t( r Ill;tIIV *'qtl'S ,ind was active 1111111 his clef'dill ill Ma:'c'h t9~71 H:s v