The way we were

Anna Jean Allen, recites some of her memories about the community and people of Winston county.

Correction: The original article include typesetting errors.

Three Good Men, Circa 1940-1950

When I was a child growing up, there were three men in Louisville that I thought owned the Court House, and in a sense they did. They had offices there from the time I can remember until I was grown and married. They were there such a long time because they were elected and re-elected, were good at their jobs and well liked. This is not going to be a biography of each man with a lot of dates and facts, just my own memories of three good men…Mr. E.E. Reynolds, Mr. Shelby Woodward and Mr. Julian Cunningham.

The three of them had a lot in common. They were all good family men, they were friendly and likeable, and they were honorable and upright citizens who lived by their Christian beliefs. They each had a number of children, and at least one child in each family matched up in age to either me or one of my sisters. We were friends, in and out of each other’s homes enough to know that these men were good at home as well as in public.

Mr. Reynolds was Circuit Clerk. He was jovial and out-going and knew everyone in Winston County. He had the same duties as the present Circuit Clerk with the additional duty of collecting Poll Tax, which is no longer needed. He always called me “Annie” Jean instead of “Anna” Jean, so when Walter and I bought our marriage license in his office, he spelled my name “Annie”. We took it back and he spelled it right so I would know I was legally married. But he still called me Annie.

Mr. Cunningham was Superintendent of Education, which at that time was an elected position. He was in charge of all the county schools: Ford, Bond, Lobutcha, Calvary, High Point, Calhoun, Ellison Ridge, Rocky Hill, Betheden, as well as Louisville, Noxapater and Nanih Waiya. (I may have missed some.) So you can see that he had his hands full, Of course, he had to see that all of these schools were supplied with qualified teachers. At that time, a teacher had to have only two years of college, or an AA degree to teach in a county school, so many teachers with AA degrees taught during the school term and worked on their own education during summer vacation, eventually getting full degrees. Mr. Cunningham was instrumental in many of these teachers going on to get advanced degrees.

Mr. Woodward was Chancery Clerk. His duties were the same as our present Chancery Clerk, but he provided an additional service to veterans returning from World War II. I don’t know if he was appointed by the VA or if he just did it out of the goodness of his heart, but he helped an untold number of them get their GI benefits. He was so appreciated by them that when he retired a lot of them banded together and bought him a new car.

These three men…Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Woodward are gone but they are not forgotten. They are part of the time when Louisville was smaller and people were closer. Everything was on or near Main Street. Times moved more slowly, days were longer and summers were endless. It was a magical time. And these three men seemed to stay in office forever. They were special and part of a very special time. They were truly three good men.