Remember when: Andalusia life was fine in ’59

Published 2:03 am Saturday, August 19, 2017

     L. M. West 5 and 10 Cents Store, an Andalusia mercantile enterprise for the past 26 years is going out of business due to Mr. West’s heart condition. His going-out-of-business sale will continue for several weeks.”

“Have you noticed that ‘something different is on the Andalusia City Square? The posts on which traffic lights were formerly placed have been removed. The ‘red and green’ signals are now hung from cables at the intersections of East Three-Notch and Church Street with the square. For a couple of days during the change-over, the metal poles were left standing. They carried the appearance of ‘headless horsemen.’ The removal of the traffic obstacles was effected by the Andalusia City Council to provide an easier flow of traffic.”

JOHNNIE’S GARAGE offers you a new, safer way of towing. WRECKER SERVICE ‘ROUND THE CLOCK, One mile out on the Florala Highway, Johnnie Thompkins, Owner, Phone 490-Y, Day; 490-W Night.”

Dick Chandler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Chandler, is proudly displaying the Hereford calf which he is raising to enter in the Covington County Livestock Show in June. Young Chandler, a 10th grade student at Straughn, has entered calves in the livestock show for the past 3 years. In 1958 Chandler was the Straughn Future Farmers champion tractor driver. The young FFA member is a possible Farm Mechanics winner according to Marvin Brand, the vocational agriculture teacher at Straughn. Chandler is president of his class and a member of the Glee Club.”

“The Andalusia Lions Club will bring Hovie Lister’s Statesmen Quartet, America’s most popular gospel singers, to Andalusia for a concert at the East Three-Notch Elementary School.”

“The Adellum Baptist Church has voted to erect a new sanctuary and education building. The church voted to begin construction as soon as $5,000. is raised.”

Bebe Merrill was crowned ‘Miss Andalusia’ of 1959 at the Martin Theatre (stage). Miss Mary Snowden captured the 2nd place honors. Miss Ruthie Harris was saluted as the 3rd place winner. ‘April in Paris’ was the theme of the beauty revue in the event staged annually by the Coterie Club. This project assists in the operation of the class for physically handicapped children at East Three-Notch School.”

“Paving of Walker Avenue to provide a speedy exit from the Church Street School is to be undertaken by the city immediately. This announcement was made by Mayor Bill Baldwin at the Tuesday luncheon of the Andalusia Rotary Club. The project will relieve the congestion of traffic at the school in cold and rainy weather when it is necessary for parents to drive their children to school. (In 1959, many neighborhood children walked to and from the neighborhood school!)”

Mrs. G. S. Waits took Andalusia Pilots ‘Around the World in 50 minutes’ at their Monday night club meeting.”

“In the District (Choral Music) Contest at Troy,” Star News Editor Ed Dannelly writes, “the choral groups from Andy Hi won ‘Superior’ ratings in every class of competition. Director of the (AHS) singers, Miss Merilyn Jones is fast winning a reputation as a Lacey Powell, Jr. ‘in skirts!’”

Charles Brunson who has operated the Andalusia Bakery for the past 45 years has retired. He announced Wednesday that he sold his baking equipment to Otis Spears who said he would continue the policies (and recipes) that Brunson has followed in the successful operation of the business (since he started baking with his family in the basement kitchen of his father’s hotel, the City Hotel on South Cotton Street, many years ago). Spears, a native of the Antioch Community, has been employed for a period of 8 years by Brunson at the Andalusia Bakery. (Brunson lived to see bread being baked in gas-heated ovens and bread sliced in a machine from the old method of bread baked in brick ovens.)”

Leland Enzor who assumed the duties as Probate Judge of Covington County on Tuesday went into office with a full staff of attaches. Serving the probate office will be Mrs. Irene Butler, former receptionist with the REA; Foster Weed, former bookkeeper with Gunter-Dunn Co. in Opp; and Mrs. Evelyn Wiggins Cassady, a Covington County native who has previously worked as a secretary with Coosa River Newsprint Co. in Childersburg. “

“On Enzor’s first day of office, he must have thought that he had been tapped for the ministry. He had been in office for six hours when two Air Force personnel from Eglin Field (Florida) came into Andalusia to be married. Judge Enzor declared the couple man and wife without fumbling a sentence. Then late in the afternoon, Judge Enzor tied the knot for a second couple.”

“The last worship services in the present sanctuary of the Fairmount Baptist Church at Red Level will be held on Sunday, March 1 (1959). On Sunday night, all the churches in Red Level will hold a combined worship service at Fairmount. After March 1, all services of the Fairmount congregation will be held in the new educational building until the new sanctuary is completed.”

DEATH OF ‘OL’ MOORE SPOTLIGHTS HISTORY OF PIONEER ANDY FAMILY – The death of M. O. ‘Ol’ Moore, 86 year old dairyman and farmer, writes to a close a colorful chapter in the history of a family and development of Covington County. Only his sister survives of the original family of the late George F. C. Moore.”

“It was back early in the spring of 1882, a covered wagon loaded with a few household good, a man, a woman, 4 boys, and 3 girls arrived in the town of Andalusia after several days journey from Bullock County.”

“At that time a little wooden courthouse stood in the center of the City Square along with 3 or 4 small wooden stores. A saloon and 15 or 20 dwelling houses made up the town of Andalusia. George Moore was met by one of his Civil War buddies, Dick Penton, who insisted on him settling in this part of the country. Penton helped in renting a small one-room house from Charles Snowden, and the Moores set up housekeeping one mile west of the square.”

George Moore, wagon builder, blacksmith, and farmer filed homestead claim on 160 acres of land in the northwest corner of Section 30, Township 4, Range 16, one mile southwest of the Andalusia square.”

“In the summer of 1882, he built a two-room log house, set up his blacksmith shop, and began to clear land for farming. He took his place in the social, political, and religious life of the community.”

“Helping to organize the Andalusia Masonic Lodge 43, Moore was later county commissioner and was a faithful member of the Andalusia Missionary First Baptist Church. His life was spent in service to his God, his country, and his fellow man. He died November 1910 at age 69. His four sons, W. A. (Lon), age 12; M. O. (Ol), age 10; H. C. (Harve), age 8; and R. E. (Bob), age 6, began to help him carve Covington County out of the wilderness of tall pines.”

“They cleared, planted, cultivated, and helped in the blacksmith shop. Their schooling was limited to Dare’s Arithmetic and the old Blue Back Speller, three months in the summer for three or four summers.”

W. A. (Lon) Moore taught school for a while, farmed, worked with the Southern Cotton Oil Co., and served as county commissioner. He was a deacon of the FBC and member of the Masonic Lodge 434. He died March 24, 1933 at age 64.”

H. C. (Harve) Moore followed ox driving for a while, but most of his life was spent as a farmer. He was connected with the Southern Cotton Oil Co. as cotton weigher each fall for several years. He was a member of FBC and Masonic Lodge 434. He died July 1, 1953 at age 79.”

R. E. (Bob) Moore followed ox driving for a while but most of his life was spent farming. He was a very active member of the Masonic Lodge, and many young Masons were taught by him. He was at one time a member of the FBC, but at his death, he was a member of Adellum Baptist Church. He died September 2, 1953 at age 77.”

M. O. (Ol) Moore, ox driver, sawmill operator, farmer, and dairyman, was a member of FBC and Masonic Lodge. He was Masonic District Lecturer for several years. He taught more young Masons than any member of Lodge 434, and also conducted more Masonic funerals than any other one man (in his time). His death on January 23, 1959 at the age of 86 years brought to a close the activities of the four Moore brothers. They all owned their homes and farms within one mile of the old homestead where they lived and died. They were all the kind of men that men need to be, first of all Christians.”

Did you ever wonder where Moore Road got its name? I am grateful that Editor Ed Dannelly penned this important local history in the 1959 Star News.

“The piano pupils of Mrs. R. A. Kearley will be heard in a recital at 7 p. m., Friday evening at the East Three-Notch auditorium. Pianists to be heard will be Dianne Wiggins, Harvey Tipler, Sally Bass, Sharon Johnson, Edith Frazier, Jerry Stokes, Patricia Donaldson, Jean Copeland, Carolyn Norsworthy, Kathy Daniels, Brenda Butler, Freida Price, Becky McInnish, Kay Spicer, Bernice Stokes, Mary Ann Johnson, Sandra Lord, Ranella Holley, and Corrie Mae Anderson.”

At the Three Notch Museum, there is a beautiful ornate Circa 1880 pump organ which was donated by Richard and Clarise Kearley of Dallas, Texas. Richard is the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. R. A. Kearley. Richard grew up on South Three Notch Street as did his sister Anne Kearley Tipler. His father’s veterinary practice was in the back yard of their home. His mother was not only a piano teacher for many years but also an excellent classical pianist herself. Those words do not adequately describe her skill and touch on the piano, for I have heard a taped recording of her playing Claire de Lune. I REMEMBER WHEN the Kearleys brought the restored antique organ to his hometown museum and donated it in loving memory of his mother. This couple also donated to the First Baptist Church a set of herald trumpets, an oil painting of the old church that was located just off the square, and the magnificent grand piano presently used in the sanctuary. Visit the museum soon if you have not ever been, and see the fine pump organ on display similar to those that were used in many of the early pioneer churches.


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