Hamiter shares Alatex stories with Inter Se group

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 15, 2014

The monthly meeting of the Inter Se club was held on Wed., March 5, at the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hostesses for the meeting were Marilyn O’Neal, Lanette Goodyear and Becky Powell. Refreshments were all very decorative and delicious.

Three visitors were present: Bill Hamiter; Tillie Hamiter; and Dianna Bledsoe.

The theme of the program was “Where We Worked,” and the club heard about many who did work for the Alatex and Andala plants.

J.W. Hamiter Jr. served as the guest speaker. Hamiter grew up in Andalusia. After graduation from the University of Alabama, he worked at Alatex from 1956 to 1985 as a management employee and a Cluett employee until 1990.

It was mentioned that Hamiter was so well liked in his work because of his many positive qualities. He was known as a true Southern gentleman.

In 1919, J.G. Scherf came to Andalusia. In 1929, Alatex Textiles was organized by Scherf and others. The company primarily produced Arrow shirts. In the late 1930s, other plants were opened in Brantley, Crestview and two here in Andalusia.

In 1965, Alatex became organized by the union and, in 1968, the stock was bought by Cluett Peabody and Company, Inc. Ten million shirts were manufactured in 1971, which surely was a busy time. In 1992, all operations at Alatex were closed.

Today, the Alatex office is the chamber of commerce office. There is now a memorial of 10 former Alatex employees. A plaque, which shows names of those who worked there and served in World War II.

Amazing stories have been written about those who worked at Alatex, and there are more than 500 memorial bricks in honor and memory of former employees.

Alatex has indeed been a vital force in Andalusia and beyond. The impact and countless memories will continue to be a vital part of the history of Andalusia and Covington County.