The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history


Sometimes you just happen across history…

as is the case with this posting by a 1964 graduate of Colbert County High School, Wayne Austin. I just don’t understand why I remember all these people when I was so very young way back then.

Hatton Elementary School, 1957, (East), Colbert County Alabama

HATTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 1958 Graduation of the 6th Grade.
Hatton School was located about 10 miles east of Muscle Shoals Alabama on what was then known as Second Street. A new school building was built around 1970 after integration and the old rock building used for programs such as Head Start. [Wayne Austin 1/25/2004]

Hatton Elementery School 1958 Teachers and Administrators. East Colbert County Alabama.
Left to Right: Sue Striet, Principal from about 1924 to about 1961; Eileen Striet, Teacher of 1st & 2nd grades, Mrs. Simpson, Teacher of 3rd & 4th Grades, Mrs. Earl Gamble teacher of the 5th & 6th Grades. All of the above teachers were related except as far as I know Mrs. Simpson. She came from the nearby Shoals area in the mid 1950s to teach there. Mrs. Gamble and Eileen Striet were probably sisters and Sue was related someway from the previous generation probably the mother of Eileen and Sue. They lived in the Brick Presbyterian Church Community and are all buried there in the church yard cemetery today Feb 2004. In some sense these ladies were a part of the old south tradition that resulted from the large farmer land-owner culture. They were descendents or married into the descendents of the old Striet place and the historic Presbyterian Brick Church families of the area. The Striet place was an 1800s farm located one mile to the south of this school and has a unique Civil War history. Story goes that this large old antebellum home was spared by the federals because there was a star on the upper crest of the home. The federals used it as a hospital instead of burning it. The old home stood for many years being occupied by the ancestors of the Striet ladies above who preceded earlier families going back well into the early 1800s. It finally collapsed under its own weight from neglect and ruin beginning about 1955. Today parts of the home lie decaying on the ground.

Hatton Elementary Graduation from the 6th grade 1958. Wayne Austin is standing and reading the Gettysburg Address when he should have been quoting it. He (I) can well remember that I had it memorized. The paper was probably a reflection of shyness and a method of hiding from the crowd. Left to right: others; Jim Peden (back); Gloria Davenport (front); Sam Aday (back row), Billy Chaney (front); Wayne Austin (Standing); Joan Rutherford seated in front and partially blocked by Wayne; Truman Collier (front & deceased), Rodney Hamby (back & completely blocked behind Truman); Betty McGregor (front); Cathy Ledlow (just to the right behind Betty, deceased).

Mrs. Earl Gamble presenting award to Gloria Davenport; Left to Right: Sam Aday (back), Billy Chaney (front, deceased),
Joan (Rutherford) Bogle (front), ______(behind Joan), Truman Collier (front) Rodney Hamby(behind and just the left of Truman), Gloria (Davenport) Johnson (excepting award or grad. certificate) and Betty McGregor (seated), Mrs. Earl Gamble making presentation. Notice in these photos how attentive these little kids in the audience are whom I am unable to identify from the back of their heads. It is like some major event worthy of their full attention.

Left to right: Johnnie Rutledge, ______ girl unknown, Wayne Austin (front), Jim Peden (back), Gloria Davenport (front), Sam Aday (back), Billy Chaney (front), Joan Rutherford (front), Truman Collier (front), Rodney Hamby (behind Truman not visible), Betty McGregor (front), Cathy Ledlow (behind Betty, unseen). The kids in the audience no doubt contained the other five children of Paul & Ruby Lee (Barlar) Austin. I see the back of the head of Warren the eldest son. His ears stick out at the top and just to his right is probably the younger brother Ernie. One can only see part of he right side of his head. Notice the one little girl from behind who is sitting in a chair without the back support. She is making the best of it by wrapping her arm behind her back to serve as a cushion. This would have been photographed in May of 1958. Photography by the Mother or Dad of Gloria Davenport. The writer received these photos from Gloria via her son Ashley Johnson who digitized them for publication. [Wayne Austin 1/25/2004]

Joan (Rutherford) Bogle making her presentation. Believe the little girl in the back row of the audience who turned around is Amere Austin. If so the little blond gal to Amere’s left is Mary Austin her sister.

Rodney Hamby making presentation.

Betty McGregor making presentation.

Hatton School Building – photo graphically restored to look similar to the old school I remember in the 1950s.
Wayne Austin November 28, 2005.

In another posting, Wayne Austin, gives this report of neighbors near the homestead of his Austin family on Hatton School Road:

From Hatton School going south the first family were the Peden family about 500 yards down on the left coming south. He drove the Hatton School Bus for a number of years. If a student misbehaved in those days he would put them off the bus and let them walk home no matter how far. Yes, yours truly was one of the misbehaving trudgers one time, but only one time, because that is all it took.

Next and almost across the road was the farm of George Oldham. This was a home built probably in the 1890s. In a freak accident George’s wife was run over by a road grader. George was so despondent that he also ended his life leaving this house vacant and after many years fallen down.
Another 200 yards on the right was a frame house that sat next to the road where the son of George Oldham ,Virgil Oldham lived for a time until he built a new house in the Brick Church neighborhood. Hillard & Joyce Hatton lived there for a time early in their marriage.

Next house was a small frame house on the right back off the road. It was at one time an old sharecropper rental residence. The people that live there the longest were the Peden family possibly related to the first Peden family mentioned above. Jim the son was in fifth grade at Hatton Elementary School in 1956. Later Fitz Newson (black) the grandfather (I think) of the star Alabama tight end (Ozzie Newson) and later Pro-football player lived for a time there (Fitz) when times were hard for that family. Next house was the the nice home of the Sam Streit family. At one time the kin of  this family owned the Streit Dairy Products in Sheffield Al. Later the Simmons family owned this home and ran the Simmons Tire company on 2nd street in Sheffield during the 1960s & 1970s. About 300 yards further down the road and across the street was a stately old mansion of about 5,000 square feet with 20 feet ceilings. It was an old Antebellum home they say built in the 1840s.

Next back on the other side of Hatton School Road was the home of the Posey family.  I don’t believe they had any children Charles Ray Posey worked for Robbins tile company on 6th Street in Tuscumbia, AL and he enjoyed all night stints at hunting raccoons using coon hounds.

The next house was on the right was the house displayed above as the Austin house but it actually fronted on Jarmon Lane.
The next family was a black family on the left that I do not remember the surname, but I believe he had two or three young sons.

The next family was the James Family farm. They reared 4 or five children. The father was killed by a drunk driver in a traffic accident at Underwood Crossroads (2nd Street & County Lind Road) about 1951. Albert Streit witnessed that accident and described it this way: “My family witnessed the death of the James family father. .  We were going to church on a Sunday morning and their truck was a about 200 yards ahead of us. The father was riding in the back of the truck, standing up. They were heading west on second street road. As they were turning right to head north a vehicle occupied by a drunk driver came from the south and hit their truck throwing the father out of the truck. They were en-route to the Ford City Baptist Church. 

The children were: 1. Blanton, 2. Paul, 3. Kay and 4. Douglas (Doug), Kay was homecoming queen at Colbert County Hi School in 1962. Members of the James’s family were very personable and talented folks, but they were messy housekeepers. 

Next on the right across the street were the Crittendon family  who moved there in the mid 1950s. Jerry Lee was the eldest son and  had a few behavior issues as a youngster. He was always getting into trouble with authorities but I don’t recall any major problems with the law. His sister Jo-Ann was just the opposite always in control. I believe there were a young set of twin boys living there in the late 1950s early 1960s. The father was strict and domineering & I don’t recall the name.
Last house was the Grissom family. They lived on the right at the intersection of Hatton School Road and 6th Street. Very friendly folks. The lady was always trading flowers with my mom Ruby.  I do not remember any children from this family. They might have been older.

I do not have a recollection of the black families that lived down Jarmon Lane in the 1950s Except for our neighbors the Cobb family, the balance of them kept to themselves. There was one Jarmon family that had something over 15 kids that lived down that lane.

I wonder aloud as to how much history has been forgotten…

about my hometown area – the Shoals area. In 1976 the American Chemist Society erected the historical marker at 300 W. 20th Street at the edge of the Furnace Hill area, as a tribute to Furnace Hill and the chemists of the five blast furnaces that operated there in the center of the industrial Park of Sheffield, Colbert County, Alabama.

The span of the years from 1887 to 1895  five blast furnaces were built on the west side of the new town – Sheffield. That was the birth of my hometown when they organized for the express purpose of exploiting the iron and coal so richly abundant in the area.

Tracts of land on the Tennessee River that contained twenty-acre lots were used as inducements to encourage development of furnaces for the production of pig iron. These inducements were provided by Sheffield Land, Iron  and Coal Company after its formation in 1883. Sheffield Furnace Company grabbed up the first tract when they agreed to build one blast furnace. Three tracts were awarded to Tennessee Coal & Iron Company in exchange for three blast furnaces.

Sheffield Furnace Company built the first blast furnace in Sheffield. It went operational New Year’s Eve 1887. A short three months later, Enoch Ensley (from Nashville) purchased the furnace. He was a very enterprising man and went on to acquire vast acreage in Franklin County rich in brown hematite used as ore. He also acquired the Horse Creek Coal Mine in Walker County, Alabama where a couple hundred beehive ovens were constructed to make coke for the Sheffield furnace. Prior to that enterprise the needed coke was shipped in from Virginia.

Ensley’s company formed the Lady Ensley Coal, Iron & Railway Company and received the deed for his company. It later became the Hattie Ensley Furnace. Enoch Ensley named the furnace in honor of his daughter. The Hattie Ensley furnace did not cease production of pig iron until 1926.

In 1888 another twenty-acre tract was awarded Ensley when he built another furnace. That furnace to honor his wife was named Lady Ensley. This furnace was blown in on 25 April of Sheffield Ammunition Plant

Three more furnaces were to be built by the Sheffield & Birmingham Coal, Iron & Railway Company, which was formerly Tennessee & Alabama Coal & Iron Company. Completes were in 1888, 1889 and 1895. By the time of completion in 1895, the property was transferred to Alabama Iron & Railway Company, then transferred to W. W. Coke & Associates. The Cole Company then formed Sheffield Coal, Iron & Steel Company.In 1883 all the land now embraced by the city of Sheffield was acquired by the Sheffield Land, Iron & Coal Company, and in May of 1884 lots were put on sale and my hometown of Sheffield was founded.

The production of pig iron ranged from 170 tons to an average of 221 tons per day. the Hattie Ensley Furnace set a record in May of 1904 by producing  6,851 tons. That is a lot of pig iron.

The area schools taught chemistry since 1825, but there were no Industrial Chemist employed in the area to that date that the furnaces were opened. Of note are the chemists this industry brought into the Shoals area.

Chemists who worked at the Furnace operations were: John Foster, James C. Foster, S. P. Cowardin, Marvin Garrison, Cletus McWilliams, and Frances E. Holloway. And a whole village was born that housed workers for these furnaces and future government jobs through the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The Fosters were natives of Pennsylvania. Their ancestor Thomas Foster was a soldier in the Revolutionary War (DAR 5152) and ancestor William Foster served in the War of 1812. James C. Foster, who married Dee McDavid of Florence, died in 1900. He had accidentally consumed water poisoned with corrosive sublimate.

It would be of great interest to those who attended Sheffield schools, that the children of John Foster and Martha Elsie Stebbens Foster were: William Anson Foster, Josephine Marie Foster,  Mary Dee Foster, Anna Foster, and Martha J. Foster . Daughter, Josephine Foster,  was the wife of William August Threadgill. Mr. And Mrs. Threadgill were long time teachers and principal in Sheffield Schools. When I started first grade they were at Alabama Avenue School where the Board of Education is now housed.  A school bears his name in tribute – the W. A. Threadgill Elementary School, now Primary School. The school is at 900 Annapolis Avenue in Sheffield.

John Foster worked in the Sheffield Furnace until 1912. He then removed to Tennessee. Later, in 1933 he went to work at the Tennessee Valley Authority as a chemist.

By the beginning of World War I only one of the Cole Furnaces was operable. It did not produce until early 1918 because of legalities. The Lady Ensley Furnace was torn down in 1916, but had ceased operations in 1910. A new furnace was built to replace the Lady Ensley. The new furnace began operation in 1915 or 1916 and continued operation until August 1927. With Lady Ensley’s replacement being blown out in 1927 there came an end to iron production in Sheffield – forty years of production.

Sloss-Sheffield Iron & Steel Company acquired the Ensley furances after 1891 and Enoch Ensley’s death. They went on to acquire the Cole furnaces, and another furnaces property in Florence. Eventually U. S. Pipe & Foundry acquired the properties; then ownership went to Jim Walter Corporation and it was renamed the Coal, Iron & Chemicals Group of Jim Walter Corporation. After several years of leasing the property, the property came under the ownership of U. S. Steel Corporation.

Before closing the dialog on the blast furnaces of the Shoals area, there needs to be a mention of one important invention that Sheffield and the workers at the blast furnaces influenced. A Vanderbilt graduate, D. I. Miller a graduate Mechanical Engineer, invented the furnace top. He worked as Acting Superintendent at several blast furnaces including those in our area, procurement agent, foreman, and then inventor extraordinaire. The blast furnace top was designed for charging and properly distributing the material in a blast furnace. This new blast furnace top was intended for furnaces with an output of less than 300 tons per day – a perfect fit for the blast furnaces in our area. He acknowledged that he invented the new furnace top with suggestions from his co-laborers at the Sloss-Sheffield Company blast furnace. The invention was of epic proportions and his new invention was manufactured by likely the largest manufacturing concern of the time, the Hunt Company.

There were furnaces in Lauderdale County as well. The Florence Land, Mining and Manufacturing Company was incorporated with a capital of $800,000 by a group of Florence Citizens on 31 August 1886. The company purchased thousands of acres in and near the city of Florence and set about the task of bringing industries to North Alabama. The Florence Land Company, a division of the aforementioned company, donated a tract of 128 acres in the city of Florence on the Tennessee River to the W. B. Wood Furnace Company, and there was the Philadelphia Furnace in Florence. In northern Alabama there were also furnaces in Decatur and Fort Payne.

William Basil Wood was the leader of our beloved 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry who fought so valiantly during the War Between the States. It is on record that because his men were so tattered and torn in their clothing, many without shoes because they had worn them out and many had rags tied on their feet in those bitter winters of the war, that he started his own manufacturing company making uniforms for them; and possibly bullets.

By the time of World War I, the manufacturing of pig iron was pretty much a thing of the past. The people were desperate for industry and jobs. President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed an immense crowd in the Shoals area  from his railroad car in January 1933, and promised “to put Muscle Shoals back on the map.” He then toured the idle U.S. Nitrate Plant No. 2 and Wilson Dam with Senator George Norris. The new Congress approved Norris’s plans for development of the entire Tennessee River and FDR signed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act 15 May 1933, thereby ending years of bitter controversy about the future of the Muscle Shoals district. The nitrate plants were given to TVA for development of fertilizer in peacetime and production of munitions in wartime.

FDR returned to Sheffield in 1934, to inspect the work underway by TVA at Wheeler Dam and Nitrate Plant No. 2 and again boarded his train in Sheffield. The TVA projects helped the area recover from the Great Depression, and power from the dams induced new industries to locate here.

Wilson Dam was once used as a power supply center for munitions plants in World War l. For production of ammunition for use during WWI, the Sheffield Nitrogen Plant, built in 1917 was to be converted to a 90 and 105 MM Plant, as soon as possible.

Photo of Sheffield Munitions Plant being built

The J A Jones Construction Company was contracted for the construction of the building. Construction went on rapidly, until the main plant was to be put in and then it was decided to cancel the entire plant because the shells were no longer needed in the war effort.

Alabama Blast Furnaces written by Joseph H. Woodward is the first and remains the première source of information on all blast furnaces built and operated in Alabama, from the first known charcoal furnace of 1815 (Cedar Creek Furnace in Franklin County) to the coke-fired giants built before the onset of the Great Depression. From the rise of the iron industry in support of the Confederate war effort, to the giant internationally important industry that developed in the 1890s, the manufacture of pig iron in Alabama was the most important industry of the State and was a vital factor in the prosperity and welfare of its people.

Alabama has been the site for seventy-seven blast furnaces. Four more furnaces were either partially completed or, if completed, were never operated. Out of this total of 81 furnaces 32 were built to use charcoal as fuel and of this number 10 used coke at some time during their operation. Five of these eleven furnaces were later permanently converted for coke fuel. So, it would seem Enoch Ensley and his imperialistic nature benefited the Shoals area citizens; and that Sheffield was ahead of its time in the respect to the production of pig iron using coke.


Alabama Blast Furnaces written by Joseph H. Woodward. Reprinted by University Of Alabama Press, 25 October 2006.

A Record of University Life and Work,” The Vanderbilt University Quarterly, Volume 7, Number 1, page 223. Published by the University of Vanderbilt on January 1907.

“Sheffield Historical Context ” written by John A Ford. Published by Sheffield History and Recollections, a Journal of Muscle Shoals History, Tennessee Valley Historical Association, Volume XVIII, pages 5-6. Published 2011. Photo of Richard Sheridan of Hattie Ensley Furnace.

“Chemists will Pay Furnace Hill Workers Tribute” by Staff. Published by Florence Times Daily Newspaper, 28 March 1976, page 4 and 22.

In the cobwebs of my mind…

I can still hear the cheer, “Listen my children and you will hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere; riding down the alleys and up the streets yelling, “Colbert Indians can’t be beat. La de da, Colbert Indians can’t be beat.” Can you hear it, too?


Colbert County High School Letter

Those were carefree days at Colbert County High School in Leighton. Those were the days of Coach Manley and Mr. Holland. But C. T. Manley was there before me and long after I had gone from the halls at CCHS. He was a great man and a greater coach, but his best legacy remains the character building he instilled in all those students who knew him.

Charles Thomas Manley was born 25 Jun 1916 in Town Creek, Lawrence County, Alabama, likely at Red Bank. He was the child of John Henry “Bud” Manley (1894 – 1975) and Annie Elizabeth Green Manley (1898 – 1975). No one called him any other than C. T. Manley or Coach Manley; at least to my knowledge. His obituary appearing in the Times Daily newspaper issued 3 Jan 2008 follows:


Charles was the spouse of Joyce LeMay Manley.
C.T. Manley

Coach C.T. Manley, 91, of Leighton, died Dec. 31, 2007.

The funeral service will be Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, at the Colbert County High School gym. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m., and the family will arrive at noon. The service will begin at 1 p.m. in the gym, with burial following in Elmwood

C T Manley

Charles Thomas (C T) Manley

Cemetery, Town Creek.

Ministers Charles James and Melvin Mordecai will officiate. Speaker will be sportscaster Jerry Knight.

Mr. Manley was preceded in death by his father, John Henry Manley; mother, Annie Elizabeth Green; brother, John Manley; sister, Emma Bell McConell; mother-in-law, Luda Donaldson LeMay; and father-in-law, William Ralph LeMay.

He was a member of Hatton Baptist Church. He was a World War II veteran, participating in the Battle of the Bulge.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce L. Manley; son, Charles Thomas Manley Jr.; brother, Jack Manley; and sister, Margaret Young.

He was an athletic director and coach at Colbert County High School, Muscle Shoals High School and Red Bay High School. He coached at Southeast Louisiana VMI and Mississippi State. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Southeast Louisiana, Alabama High School, Colbert County High School and Lawrence County High School.

C.T. Manley Memorial Scholarship, to be awarded annually to a Colbert County student on the basis of academic merit and participation in the athletic program. Memorials may be made to Bank Independent, Attn: Teresa Flannagan, P.O. Box 5000, Sheffield, AL 35660.

Pallbearers will be Wayne Peebles, Jackie Gargis, Paul Johnson, McCoy Underwood, Kim Isbell and Ken Arnold.

Honorary pallbearers will be all former coaches and football players.

Colbert Memorial Chapel of the Shoals is directing.

TIMES DAILY – January 3, 2008

His siblings were Emma B Manley McConnell(1920 –    ); John Henry Manley (1923 – 1993); and Margaret Ann Manley Young  (1926 – 2007). Coach Manley’s grandparents were  Thomas Henry Manley(1872 – 1954) and Ida Greeley Belle McGregor (1875 – 1963).

The Times Daily newspaper honored him with an article in 2004. C.T. Manley: Colbert County coaching legend

Former Colbert County coaches Don Creasy (left) and C.T. Manley.
Published: Monday, August 30, 2004 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 29, 2004 at 11:00 p.m.

Any discussion of the all-time great high school football coaches in north Alabama usually begins with the same name.

That name is synonymous with high school football in our area. That name is C.T. Manley.

It has been more than 20 years since Manley last coached a football game and more than 25 years since he coached at Colbert County High School.

All the current kids who play in the stadium named for Manley were born after he retired. Most of the visiting players only know of Manley as the name on the stadium.

Manley’s legacy, however, is more than just the name on that stadium. His legacy is the proud tradition of Colbert County football.

That tradition was on display Friday night as Colbert County honored its former coaching greats. Don Creasy and the late Jimmy Moore — two other legendary coaches at Colbert County — were also honored.

Manley, 88, has been pretty much confined to a wheelchair since hurting his hip in a fall a year and a half ago. He did not let that prevent him from attending Friday’s ceremony, however.

“This is the first game we’ve been to since he got hurt,” said Manley’s wife, Joyce. “He is in a lot of pain, so he can’t do a lot of the things he used to enjoy. He reads, and he enjoys watching the Braves play on TV, but he doesn’t get out too much.”

Manley began coaching at Colbert County in 1954 and quickly established the Indians as one of the top teams in north Alabama. He coached several great teams, and his 1972 state championship team is generally considered the best ever in north Alabama.

That squad was filled with great players, including Ozzie Newsome, Phil Gargis and Thad Flannagan.

Manley coached 24 years at Colbert County before finishing his coaching career at Muscle Shoals. He proved he could succeed at somewhere besides Colbert County by leading Muscle Shoals to its best season ever in 1979.

In his 24 years at Colbert County, Manley posted a record of 171-78-7. In addition to the state championship in 1972, the Indians were the Class 3A runner-up in 1967.

Manley admitted that coming back to watch Colbert County brought back a lot of great memories for him.

“I can’t do too much anymore, but I still enjoy watching football when I can,” he said. “I coached a lot of games on this field and have a lot of great memories from them. This program has come a long way over the years.”

Although Manley is modest about talking about what he has meant to the Colbert County program, others are quick to talk about his legacy.

“Coach Manley is the cornerstone of the whole program,” Colbert County coach Steve Mask said. “The people here love him so much, and I have so much respect for him. I’m just honored to coach at the same school as C.T. Manley.”

“Where Are They Now” is a weekly feature of the TimesDaily. This week’s installment was written by Assistant Sports Editor Jeff McIntyre. He can be reached at 740-5737 or

Charles T Manley’s Enlistment information for World War II follows:

Name: Charles T Manley
Birth Year: 1916
Race: White, Citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Alabama
State of Residence: Alabama
County or City: Lawrence
Enlistment Date: 14 Nov 1942
Enlistment State: Louisiana
Enlistment City: New Orleans
Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: 4 years of college
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 72
Weight: 170

Brackin, Edna Idona Manley   b. Sep. 7, 1917  d. Jan. 1, 2003 Elmwood Cemetery

Key, Beatrice Manley   b. Aug. 19, 1907   d. May 11, 1983 Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, Annie Elizabeth Green  b. Oct. 17, 1898  d. Jan. 4, 1975  Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, Charles T.   b. Jun. 25, 1916   d. Dec. 31, 2007   Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, Ida G. McGregor   b. Apr. 15, 1875   d. Apr. 28, 1963   Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, John Henry, Jr   b. Feb. 22, 1923   d. Jul. 18, 1993   Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, John Henry   b. Sep. 27, 1894   d. Nov. 3, 1975   Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, Tom Henry   b. Nov. 10, 1872   d. Jul. 26, 1954 Elmwood Cemetery

Manley, William, Jr   b. Dec. 10, 1926   d. Apr. 16, 2004   Elmwood Cemetery

McConnell, Emma Belle Manley   b. Feb. 4, 1919   d. Apr. 13, 1994 Elmwood Cemetery

McCullough, Gladys Manley   b. Feb. 22, 1914   d. Sep. 25, 1987 Elmwood Cemetery

Norton, Lula Manley   b. Aug. 26, 1897   d. May 4, 1980   Elmwood Cemetery

C T Manley enlisted in the U S Army in 1942 as a Private; a single man with four years of college. He was six feet tall and weighed 170 pounds. He earned the rank of Corporal and participated in the Battle of the Bulge where frostbite was as much the enemy as were the Germans. The Battle of the Bulge was significant because it marked the last major offensive that the Germans were able to put together. It was the largest and most intense battle and important for the outcome of WWII.  It was basically the start of Germany’s ending.

I have always wondered what the bulge in this battle was; The ‘bulge’ was the frontline that protruded out in the region of the Ardennes Mountains, specifically around the town of Bastogne. The Allied forces at that time had control of the area and Nazi forces thought the region to be necessary to take, as the town of Bastogne gave full access to the eight supply routes in the region. All of the eight roads came together in Bastogne and these roads were important to both sides in the war. The Germans used the ‘bulge’ against us by cutting it off at the sides and surrounding the Allied troops within it. The Battle of the Bulge was significant also in that henceforth the people in the Nazi  Deathcamps were liberated – a very important aspect for sure.

You may access the first of three rare color videos of the battle here; the second of the three videos here, and the third of the three videos  here. There are many more videos online of the Battle of the Bulge and you may seek them out at youtube.

The Classmates of 1936 at Spring Valley School…

in Colbert County, Alabama all sit pretty for their photograph. This must have been a difficult time for those families in the Shoals area. This was during the Great Depression and times were hard. But look at how nicely these schoolchildren are dressed; they must have been a source of great pride for their families.

Please help identify those in the photograph. First row on left is Lacey King. Lacey is remarried now and lives in our home which was next door to my maternal grandparents, Robert and Drue Peebles. Lacey King married Frances Davenport and they had Evelyn and Robert King. Frances King was the daughter of Lee Gregory and Dee Davenport. Robert King is the one who shared this beautiful old photo with us. I wonder if any of the Lentz’ are in the photo for they may have been about that age. Can you tag the photo with those you can identify, please?

1936 Spring Valley School

1936 Spring Valley School