Remember when: All roads led to Andalusia

Published 12:40 pm Saturday, August 12, 2017

Almost 15 years after World War II, Andalusia seemed to be recovering somewhat. Business activity was progressing as was evident in The Andalusia Star-News in the early part of 1959.

ALL ROADS LEAD TO ANDALUSIA – Trade with these merchants. You are sure to find whatever you need here. Hixon’s Signs, Ray Butler Feed and Seed, Ham’s Men’s Shop, The Children’s Shop, Wood Amusement Co., Avant Furniture, Peterson Flower Shop, Lane Sheet Metal Works, Thagard & Mallette Drug Co., Benson & Co., T-P Flower & Gift Shop, Town and Country, Wallace’s, Andalusia Mattress Co., Creech Loan & Jewelry, Western Auto.

Bill Baldwin, Andalusia attorney and WWII veteran, will take over as Andalusia’s mayor on Tuesday, January 6 (1959). Outgoing Mayor Leland Enzor has informed The Andalusia StarNews that he will resign his post on Tuesday of next week in anticipation of taking the oath of office as Probate Judge of Covington County on January 19. Mrs. H. H. Ellis, the veteran city clerk, will administer the oath of office to Baldwin who is moving up automatically to the office of mayor from his post as mayor pro-tem. Jimmy Utsey will become Mayor Pro-tem succeeding Baldwin.”

“The old Commercial Bank building, one of the landmarks on Andalusia’s City Square since the early 1920s has been sold to the Timmerman Insurance Agency. Terms of the sale were not released either by the seller, the Commercial Bank, nor the buyer, but it is understood that the transaction, one of the most sizeable in the city’s realty history involved some $60,000. The deed to the property, Andalusia’s only multi-story office building, was transferred Saturday, December 27 (1958).”

Frank Timmerman has advised The Andalusia Star-News that offices of the Timmerman Agency will be moved from the Prestwood building to the mezzanine of the old Commercial Bank building. The transfer of location for this business is significant, because B. L. Timmerman, Frank’s father, and Frank Timmerman since he first became associated with the business, have operated with offices in the Prestwood building for the past 57 years. Frank Timmerman said that the story has always been told that his father located in his office in the Prestwood Building at the time when stairs were being erected in that structure in 1901. B. L. Timmerman died February 1, 1948. The son, Frank, has been engaged in the business for some 30 years.”

“The new Timmerman offices in the Commercial Bank building will be via elevator, used for other offices in the building. No tenant has yet leased in the former bank quarters, Timmerman said. The 6-story Commercial Bank building has 48 offices above the first floor. It was completed and first occupied in 1923 by the old First National Bank.”

The Commercial Bank founded in 1933 acquired the building on January 1 of 1937 and moved into the quarters on March 1 of that year. Until the new Commercial Bank building was erected on Church Street, the Commercial Bank had been situated on the ground floor of the building. Banking regulations prohibited a bank to own an office building other than a structure that the bank occupies and this was one reason for the sale of the property.”

Andalusia has again gone ‘over the top’ in the campaign to raise funds for the United Fund. Donations and pledges in excess of the $37,000. quota has been reached, J. A. Thompson, campaign fund chairman announced. Lester Thagard, Jr. is the president of the United Fund and Griffin Sikes is the publicity chairman.”

“A Fraternal Order of Police Lodge was organized in Andalusia on Sunday afternoon January 25th (1959). The charter date has been temporarily set for February 22nd. All law enforcement officers in this area will be invited to come in to this lodge as charter members.”

*Note – The framed charter was once located on the wall of the F.O.P. Lodge. It may have been removed during the remodeling process. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the charter, please notify me so the historical society can scan and preserve the list of names of the charter members.

“Did you know? The Amvets Club specializes in banquets and parties – Good Dance Orchestra every Saturday night.”

Bishop J. B. Mason, founder and president of the William Christian Old Folks Home (on Henderson Street), has announced that he and the other officers and members of the Board of Trustees wish to express thanks and appreciation to the organizations and individuals who contributed food and money during the holiday season. The Old Folks Home was established in 1948.”

“The Jay Realty Co. owned and operated by Tom Jay moved into its new quarters at 111 Pear Street in the offices adjoining the First Federal Savings and Loan Co. The spacious new office has been newly decorated and equipped. Tom Jay has announced that in his new building, he will be in a downtown location to serve his friends and patrons. The Jay Realty Co. was formerly located on East Watson Street.”

Miss Ann Cook, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. M. Cook, was married to Pfc Francis A. McGowin, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. A. McGowin, Sr. in the home of the bride on Friday evening, January 2 (1959), at 8 p. m. …Pfc McGowin with the U. S. Marines, is stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Mrs. McGowin plans to join her husband soon.”

“The Macedonia Methodist Church will sell camp stew in quart containers on Saturday, January 3 (1959). Sales will be staged in the Rose Hill Community and in Dozier. Orders can be made by telephone to J. L. Bryant’s Store at Rose Hill through the Dozier exchange.”

“The youngsters of the Playpen Kindergarten instructed by Mrs. Jean Radcliff and Mrs. Kathleen Mock had a very special extra Christmas feature for the parents in the annual Christmas program. This year the children presented a play, ‘Santa’s Shop.’

Lucille King’s SOCIETY column, “Strictly Personal” featured holiday (1958) get-togethers. “One special afternoon, we met at Merle Shreve’s ‘to christen’ her new den (Sanford Road). Coffee and dainty party refreshments were served from a big round table in the room. We sat before a crackling log fire and forgot, for an hour, all the things we had to do before Christmas day. There were literally dozens of little private parties going on which proves that the welcome mats were really out this season!”

Pruitt Cleaners‘WE KEEP THE SPOTS (It’s a fact!)’ South Cotton Street, Phone 31”

“The change-over to the dial system in Andalusia is to be completed during the early summer. With the new dial equipment, it will be possible for Andalusians to reach directly connections in the larger cities of the United States without delay of dealing with a long distance operator.”

Clean-up – Paint-up – Fix up Week begins in Andalusia, April 12-18 (1959)”

Hopewell Baptists Dedicate New Brick Sanctuary – The church will celebrate the 101st anniversary of its founding (August 1959). This is the 6th church building in which the congregation has worshipped in its illustrious century of service.”


To view a wide collection of Andala and Alatex memorabilia on display, visit the Three Notch Museum on Historic Central and Tisdale Streets, home of the Covington Historical Society, and many of you will REMEMBER WHEN Andalusia’s textile industry was the largest employer of this area with branches in other South Alabama and Northwest Florida towns.


Sue Bass Wilson is a local real estate broker and long-time member of the Covington Historical Society. She can be reached at