Files from Yesteryear: 1954


From the Files of 1954:

Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Henry celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on August 21st. Their children are: Harold Henry, Mrs. Lois Holcombe, Mrs. Vera Berry and Mrs. Verna Butler.


Added to the list of those “over 80,” who are helping the Cullman Tribune celebrate its 80th Anniversary are: J.M. Persall, 85, of Cullman, Mrs. W.H. Watts, 81, of Route One, Holly Pond and J.K. Williamson, of Route Ten, Cullman.

Mr. Persall, who was born in Newton County, Georgia, on February 6th, 1869, came to Cullman County when he was 19 years old. His parents decided to return to Georgia, but he bought a farm and remained here.

Five children were born to Mr. Persall and his first wife, who was Maudenie Calvert. The four of them living are Mrs. Bertha Whitlock, Mrs. Pearl Taylor and Calvin Persall, all of Cullman and Ted Persall, of Akron, Ohio.

Mr. Persall’s second wife was Roxie Sawyers, to whom he was married 29 years and to whom were born six children (five living). They are Lewis Persall, of Michigan, Mrs. Elmer Dee Eddy, of Athens, Mrs. Edna Jones, Mrs. Thelma Jordan and Mancel Persall, all of Cullman.

His third wife, the former Lizzie Woodley, died four months ago, after they had been married 20 years. He has forty-two grandchildren and thirty great-grandchildren.

Mr. Persall, a retired farmer, now spends his time visiting his friends and neighbors and reading. He has been a subscriber of The Tribune ever since he moved to this county. He is a member of Sardis Baptist Church.

Mrs. W.H. Watts was born 81 years ago, in Blount County. She was married 66 years ago in Cullman County and has lived in Cullman since. Her children are Cora Garrison, of Albertville, Estelle Garrison, of Holly Pond, Pearl Sleaner and Oma Watts, of Route Seven, Cullman, Henderson Watts, of Blountsville and Henry Watts, of Akron, Ohio.

Mrs. Watts says crocheting is her hobby. She attends the Pleasant View Church. When asked how many grandchildren she had, she said, “It would take a long time to count them.” She also has a number of great-grandchildren.

J.K. Williamson, born on March 14th, 1874, in Randolph County, moved to Cullman County, at the age of 17. Fifty-seven years ago he married Jerusha Guthery. She died three years ago. He has six living children, Mrs. Naomi Hopper, Mrs. Netie Hyde, Mrs. Vivian Hale and Bud Williamson, of Cullman, Mrs. Leola Jones, of Arab and Mrs. Vera Hale, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, thirty grandchildren and twenty-two great-grandchildren. He is a retired carpenter and attends the Church of Christ.


Dear Sir:

I wish to extend my congratulations on the eightieth birthday of The Cullman Tribune. The writer is a bit older, having been born in Cincinnati, on December 8th, 1873. I began to read newspapers at the age of seven years, namely the New York Daily Sun and the Cullman Tribune and have been reading the latter ever since.

The first printing shop was operated by Julius Damus, which was located on Second Avenue and Second Street east and on the same block was the first post office, I remember in Cullman. The Postmaster was J.W. Whatlington, a native of England. Also a lawyer. He always wore a silk hat and broadcloth Prince Albert coat – a goatee and mustache. Up until the time the old building was removed, there was a slot in the door to deposit out-going mail.

Besides the editors you mentioned, I want to add Captain Beckert, who I am under the impression also was the editor at one time. Captain Beckert was an elderly man, who had a beautiful young bride, a sister of Al Keys. They lived in a long one story building, then located on first avenue, north of the Von Werdt place and about that time, Crist Fricke had a shoe shop in the same building and Mr. and Mrs. Elsheimer also lived there. After she became a widow, she married Billie Weigand.

I believe that Judge Johnson, father of Searcy Johnson was editor for more years than one. The building he used as an office was then located at the Ponder corner. Or, was it at the bridge “Over the Rheie”?

May the Tribune note many more years of printing the news and happenings in Cullman County.

Yours very truly,

J.A. Dreher


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