State recognizes three #039;cornerstones#039;

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 15, 2005

On Friday, Rep. Charles Newton and Sen. Wendell Mitchell met to honor three prominent black citizens who were essential in helping bring Civil Rights to Crenshaw County.

On behalf of the Alabama Legislation, Mitchell and Newton issued a state resolution honoring James Kolb, John Dillard and Havard Richburg for their years of dedicated service to the people of Crenshaw County. All three individuals were active in the creation of the Crenshaw County Chapter of the Alabama Democratic Conference. The ADC honored the three men locally during its annual recognition banquet on June 7, but both Mitchell and Newton asked the state to acknowledge Kolb, Richburg and Dillard's "unparalleled efforts in promoting justice and opportunity for all."

Richburg was appreciative and wished there was some way the legislature could recognize Kolb's father, James Kolb, Sr., whom he called instrumental in founding the ADC and in supporting the black community.

Mitchell, specifically, recalled meeting with Kolb's father, James Kolb, Sr., when the former was first considering a career in politics.

"He was one of the first persons I went to," said Mitchell. "I wanted to meet with him and address the needs of the community."

Richburg also wished that James Kolb, Sr. were there to share in the honor and wished there was something the legislature would do to recognize him.

He also said he, Kolb, Jr. and Dillard were not heroes, but that the real heroes were the ones who died to help bring equality to the nation. And the United States is better for it, he said - especially Luverne and Crenshaw County.

"You see that sign coming into Luverne? "The Friendliest City in the South," Richburg said. "That is definitely the truth."

Mitchell called the three men "cornerstones of the community."