SYLACAUGA, Ala. – This Wednesday’s fall lecture series at B.B. Comer Memorial Library will feature noted archival historian Dr. David Alsobrook of Mobile.

Alsobrook’s early career included setting up three presidential libraries – the H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton libraries.  After retiring to his home city of Mobile, he wrote the story of the cotton mill village in the “Bluff City” of Eufaula – the story of a way of life that has vanished forever since the loss of the textile industy.

Alsobrook was inspired to write the story of the Southside mill village in Eufaula from the stories he heard at his grandmother’s knee.  Oma Parish Alsobrook worked for over forty years in the Cowikee Mill No. 1. This job was both physically and emotionally demanding. Her grandson never heard her complain, and in fact, he often heard “Miss Oma” express her respect and admiration for Donald Comer, the owner of Avondale and Cowikee Mills.

While Alsobrook’s stories are about Eufaula’s Southside, he could have been relating the hopes, dreams, joys and tragedies of textile families in mill villages across the south.  The Comer Mills often shared several of the same personnel, and the author will discuss three well-known leading citizens of Eufaula who also lived and worked at Avondale Mills in Sylacauga – Elbert “Ed” Dunn, Florida Dewar, and Lewis “Fess” Simpkins.  Program participants will also enjoy hearing about the resilient families who lived in a larger community of privileged citizens – an austere way of life that is softened by the warm glow of memories of the recreational, educational, and religious programs provided by the Comer Mill family.

Library Director, Tracey Thomas, invites interested adults to come for refreshments at 11:00 a.m. followed by the program at noon.  A limited number of books will be offered for sale after the program.

Kim Ellison for | © 2017, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.



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