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Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed's Trunk

Special Collection of Articles and Other Items of Interest found in Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed's trunk and submitted by Judy Myrick Miller April, 2003.

Note:  Click on any of the photos for an enlarged view.

Comments:  I can’t tell you the date on which it was published as this was cut out of the paper.  Arch Aston was in my direct line.  Marcus Hill was his son-in-law.  Troy was his son that moved to Oklahoma.  I’m including the text that was with the photo.  Judy Myrick Miller 4/20/03

Published sometime in the Winfield Journal Record….

SCENE IN WINFIELD, made in 1901, shows T.H. Smith & Son store (son Frank married Emmie White), and to the left is the post office.  Span’s Store was next.  From left:  John Hodge, Levi Vaughn, unidentified, boy unidentified, Frank White, unidentified, unidentified, Otis Aston, John Haney, Preacher Self, Vester Bostic, Boy Houston Haney, Jonathan Jones, unidentified, Esquire Loden, unidentified, Dr. Marcus Hill dentist, Jack Mazing, Postmaster Newton S. Whitehead, unidentified, Hezzie Caddell, Boss Berryhill, Forrest White, Troy Aston, unidentified, Arch Aston, Fred Smith, unidentified, boy Cary Wade, Dr. Seay.  Oxen named “Blue” and “Nig.”  Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Ruby Harris.

This one is two photos and the text of the article accompanying it.  I do not know the publication date as Gwendolyn only saved this part of the page.  Judy Myrick Miller

Caption underneath photo/front porch view:

PA-LO POST OFFICE – Larry Bowling, great-grandson of Martin C. Bowling, points to the room of the Bowling home that was used for the Pa_Lo Post office before it was moved to Winfield on Jan 6, 1888.  As of this date (which is unknown), this building is still standing south of Winfield.

Caption underneath photo/chimney view:

CHIMNEY DATED 1881 - According to family records the M.C. Bowling home was built in 1873, and the chimney was replaced later.  The chimney carries the initials M.C.B., a Masonic emblem, and the date 1881 carved in the stone near the top.  – NWA Photo.


Winfield – Martin Colston Bowling, first Postmaster ever to be in Winfield, was born April 25, 1830 in McMinnville, Tenn.

Mr. Bowling moved near Bowden, Ga., to teach school.  While he was teaching, he boarded in a Bridges home.  There he fell in love with Kassire Jane Bridges, whom he later married.

He entered the Civil War as a 1st Lieutenant of Company C, 5th Regiment Georga Infantry, Confederate State Army, May 10, 1862. He tended his resignation June 26, 1862 by reason of disability, which was accepted to take effect July 9, 1862.  He re-enlisted August 1, 1862 at Carrolton Ga. In Company B, 7th Regiment, Confederate Calvary, Confederate States Army.  He was detailed Oct 14 as commissary Sergeant of that Regiment (the exact date not found.  The master roll of the Field and Staff of the Regiment for July and August 1865, last on file shows him present.  His age listed as 33 years and his occupation was farmer and schoolteacher).

This Regiment was broken up by special orders dated July 11, 1864, and Bowling became Commissary Sergeant of the 10th Regiment, Georgia Calvary.

He returned to his family at the close of the war, but conditions under carpet-bag rules became unbearable.   So in the fall of 1866 he took his family and left Georgia.

They traveled by boat to Calcaseiu (Parish) Louisiana.  He resided in the northern part which has been changed to Beauregard Parrish now.

After living hear approximately one year, the entire family became ill with marlaria fever.  Mrs. Bowling, being the only one able to work had to travel two miles on horseback with two jugs tied across the saddle to get drinking water.  With their pasture land bordering the Texas state line, Mr. Bowling always worried, aftraid she would be caught in a cattle herd stampeding for water.

As a result of the “fever” they lost a daughter in 1867, bringing this sorrow.  She was buried there in Parrish.

They left Louisiana, traveling by ox-wagon, crossing the Red River at Alexandria and the Mississippi at Hard Times Landing, just north of Port Gibson.  They followed the Natchez Trace through Columbus Mississippi and onto Fayette, taking them approximately 44 days.  They traveled by day and camped by night.

North of Fayette, they stopped for the night and built a log-heap fire for warmth and to cook.  During the night a son, Samuel, became ill.  After getting worse, Mr. Bowling left to locate he lp.  He followed the sound of a rooster crowing and found a family named Logan.  They assisted the Bowlings in carring for the child through the night, but the baby was too critical to save.  It died in a very short time.

He came on to the northern part of Fayette County and stopped to rest his family for a few days.  The people there were very friendly.  They were in need of a schoolteacher, and persuaded Mr. Bowling to stay and take the position.

At this location Mr. Bowling bought and intered land.  He built a home here which later became the Palo Post Office where he was Postmaster when the Post Office was moved to Winfield Jan 6, 1888.  This lan d is now owned by Orville and Verta Mae Hosch, and was once known as the old Bill Bowling place.

The Palo Post Office was in one room of the Bowling home.  As of this date, it is still standing 2 ½ miles south of Winfiled.

Mr. Bowling received a letter from the Post Office Department in Washington D.C., Jan 26 1888 changing the name and site of the Palo Post Office and to Winfield, and one reappointing him as Winfield Postmaster.

Mr. Bowling was assigned to the Office of Justice of the Peace Aug 22, 1888 by Gov. Thomas Seay.  The document he received on this occasion is also in the possession of the Bowling family. 

Mr. Bowling’s grandchildren that still reside in this area are Mel, Reed, Dewayne, Bryan, Wyman, Pearl, Wheeler and Ch arlie Lorenz Bowling, Geva J. Canterbury, Vereta Mae Hosch, Virginia Porter, Lovenia Aldridge, Ara Henson, Barney and Kenny Logan, Edril Burleson, Anna Kay Whitley, Colston and Johnny Stokes, Corey Miles and Lucy Smothers.

Published sometime in the Winfield Journal 24 June 1955 … and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed.

Mrs. Mattie Earnest, First School Teacher in Winfield

Education has made great strides of progress in all the sections of Alabama and Marion County and this is certainly true in Winfield, also, as is evidenced in the buildings and methods of teaching today compared to the first schools in Winfield.

No record is available as to where the very first settlers attended school, but after the railroad was built in 1887, and more families began to migrate to the small town of Winfield, almost immediately the few citizens saw the need of providing schools for their children.

It seems well established that Mrs. Mattie Earnest, wife of the late Dr. Linwood Earnest, taught in the first school of the town, under the principalship of a Mr. Garrett. She began her teaching career in 1889 as Miss Mattie Wesson, after completing her college work at the Florence Normal. The former Miss Wesson and Mr. Garrett taught in the old school south of the Methodist Church, near the home of Mrs. Mary Smith and Miss Wesson served as assistant principal along with her classroom teaching.

Some of the first students in this school were also some of the earliest settlers who were then in their teens or some above that age. In cluded were: Mr. and Mrs. Newt Whitehead, Mrs. M.W. Varris (then Jo Whitehead), Bob Wheeler, Cora Ward and Jesse Couch, who later became principal of the Brilliant and Winfield Schools. Lynwood Earnest, who was also a student of “Miss Mattie,” later married his teacher, then went to medical school and returned to practice in Winfield for many years. He was the son of Dr. J.F. Earnest, one of the earliest doctors of Winfield.

Miss Mattie resigned from teaching after her marriage and later wrote for a number of magazines and other publications. She died on January 14th of this year, after reaching the age of eighty-four.

This first school was a plank building, one large room, that was built with funds raised by the citizens according to Mrs. Newt Whitehead.

John Windom was believed to be the next teacher in the same building until the time it burned in 1893. After this time, school was held in the churches and among the teachers in those years were Professor Zeigler, Professor Hass Sherer, according to Mrs. R.E. Moore, Sr. and Dr. R.K. Shirey taught in the Church of Christ. Others were: (if more were remembered).

Continuing in the churches until the early 1900’s, the next school was built next to where Mrs. Vann now lives. John McKenzie and also Professor J.H. Couch taught there according to Mrs. R.E. Moore, Sr.

The third school building was built near the home of Albert Holt and the Chiropractic Clinic of Dr. Boyd Jackson in South Winfield. Mrs. Moore said that J.H. Couch, Humphrey Bishop and C.R. Weldon were there with Mr. Weldon as principal. All the teachers in that school were not ava liable but a list taken from the School Booklet, printed in 1912-1813-1814 listed C.R. Weldon as pirincipal; C.D. Hughes assistant principal; Mrs. Fannie Beeker, second assistance,; Miss Corinne Tuthill Primary Department and Miss Anice Boyston Music department.

The board of Education during that year included: J.R. Cochran, Chairman; Dr. R.L. Hill secretary and treasurer; T.C. McCleskey, M.S. Aston and R.F. Wheeler.

In the same school, mrs. R.E. Moore Sr., then Miss Jennie Lee Reece began her teaching career in Winfield in 1908 after she had received her degree from the Florence College in 1906 and taught in Walker County for two years. MRs. Moore taught in this chool from 1908 to 1912 the year of her marriage to Mr. Moore, then of Brilliant and engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad.

Mrs. O.W. Oden, then Miss Noral Ezzell of Belgreen, also began her teaching in this same school in 1914 and taught for two years until her marriage to O.W. Oden who was connected with the drugstore where Mrs. Oden continues his interests today.

Principal Welden was I nstrumental in getting the largest school built where the Champ Trouser Company now has its modern factory. This school served the children of Winfield from 1916 until the time it was almost completely destroyed by fire on the night of January 8, 1951.

According to Mrs. Moore, the principals who served this school included C.R. Welden, Humphrey Bishop, John Kuykendall, a Mr. Millican, William Moore, J.H. Couch and Gordon Crawford, the principal who was serving at the time the building burned and is the principal in the new ultra-modern Winfield Elementary School which is in the process of being further enlarged this summer of 1955.

After the building burned in 1951, the grades were again taught in churches and the small remaining part of the school which did not burn.

The new building was built in 1951 and opened for the first school term in August of 1952. It contains one of the most modern and well-equipped of lunchrooms, large beautiful entrance, principal’s office and teachers’ lounge, very nice rest rooms, Library music room, and classrooms for the six grades and small private piano room which was used by the kindergarten during the past year. The addition of four classrooms and possibly another has been announced by the board to be completed during the summer. These new rooms will house the three first grade classes and kindergarten with separate bathrooms for the different room which will indeed be an asset to the growing school.

Mr. William Moore, who came to Winfield in 1923 and served as principal of the Elementary and High School for a period of twelve years. He was instrumental in getting the present Winfield High School built in 1925 and served as the first principal and Miss Zora Ellis, a past A.E.A. president, taught English in the school during its’ first term.

The high school principals since Mr. Moore have been: C.C. Edmondson, R.J. Lawrence, A.C. Walker, and J.S. Brindley, the current principal. Additions have also been made to the high school since its original structure was built in 1925 including the Home Economics Department, a gymnasium which has only recently been remo vdeled and enlarged, a music and science wing, and plans are to construct a more modern auditorium in the future years and other improvements on the gym and rest rooms as soon as funds are available or arrangements can be made.

A most sentimental part of the Winfield Education system is the fact that many of the present faculty members are descendents of some of the very first families in the town of Winfield. And another important factor in the Progress of Education in Winfield, is the great support of the City Governing body and the cooperative citizens who designate special taxes earmarked for the improvement and progress of the schools, such as was evidendced in the program for meeting the city funds for much of the recent building.

The Winfield Stadium is another example of public spirited cooperation and support of the citizens as the Winfield Stadium is one of the most modern in this sect ions (details in Fulmer Hill’s sports story) and the support which as been given to the Winfield High School band in cooperation with the Winfield Band Mothers.

Published sometime in the Winfield Journal 24 June 1955 … and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed.

Dr. Bevils, Guin Surgeon

Mrs. Jane Bevill, who resides in Guin, today, is the wife of the late Dr. S.D. Bevill, the first surgeon to locate in Guin in the

Dr. Bevill formed a partnership with Dr. Will Collins one of the earliest years of the town.

Town’s first medical doctors. They … practiced there in the 1890 era.

Mrs. Bevill is the daughter of John W. Ingle, pioneer citizen of Marion County, and Mrs. Bevill has spent her seventy-nine years in the County. She and Dr. Bevill did not have any children. Since the photographs have all faded, Mrs. Bevill was not able to furnish a picture of Guin’s first surgeon.

Published sometime in the Winfield Journal 24 June 1955 … and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed.

Winfield Methodist Was First Wheeler’s Chapel

In 1860, John S. Wheeler (Uncle Bob Wheeler’s grandfather) moved from Georgia and settled on a farm where Goodwater church now stands. He and neighbors organized a church at his home and named it Wheeler’s Chapel, according to Mrs. R.E. Moore, Sr., who compiled the church history.

For two or three years, services were held in Mr. Wheeler’s home, then a house of worship was built near the Wheeler home, still retaining the name of W heeler’s Chapel.

Around the year of 1881, the congregation of Wheeler’s Chapel built another church near Dr. Whitley’s place on the south side of the road near a fine spring of water but not too far from the original site, and still bearing the same name.

The little city of Winfield began building up around 1887, after the Frisco Railroad was built through this section. As Wheeler’s Chapel was located approximately two miles from Winfield, and there was no Methodist Church in Winfield, the congregation of the Chapel decided in 1890 to come to Winfield, and organize what is now known as the Winfield Methodist Church.

The first preaching services were held in the school building, and the Rev. E.H. Price was the first pastor, and Dr. T.G. Slaughter, the presiding Elder. Some of the charter members of this initial church were: John W. Russell and wife, S.W. Bishop and wife, Billy Aston and wife, Walter H. Aston and wife, Dr. J.M. Whitley and wife, Mrs. Minervy Aston, Andy Webster, Mrs. Harriet Musgrove, Mrs. Annie White, Mrs. Mary Smith and Mrs. Clara Aston who is still a member.

A frame building, the first church was built on the site where the present church building stands. This was in 1890 and the lot was given to the church by Mr. Henry Musgrove. Mr. William Webster donated the sawing of the lumber for the building. At this time, the church was on the Fayette circuit, and the Tuscaloosa District.

Replaced by another frame building in 1910, the second building was torn down in 1937, and replaced by the present handsome brick structure, during the pastorate of the Rev. Martin Swilling.

The late A.B. Putnam and his sons of Haleyville were the builders of this beautiful edifice.

Pastors who have served the Winfield Methodist Church are as follows while the church was part of the Sulligent circuit: The Revs. E.H. Price, John L. Williams, D.W. Ward, Charles Woolford, D.L. Parrish, J.E. Morris, and W.E. Draper. In 1912 the church became part of the Winfield Circuit and the pastors serving were: The Revs. W.T. Herndon, E.B. Redus, two years; W.R. Beale, one year; J.N. Davidson, one year; R.F. Mapes, three years; M.W. McCain, four years; C.C. Turner, four years; J.W. McBrayer, two years. In 1929, the Win field church was made a station church and the pasters who have served since that time are: P.C. Oliver, three years; C.L. Ellis, two years; Maravin Swilling, two years; W.T. Holdridge, six years; A.C. Blackburn, four years; W.W. Lovett, four years; A.D. Montgomery, two years; and the Rev. Henry H. Gary was in his second year at the time of transfer from the church and the Rev. John Miller Shores, the current pastor.

Continuing the progress spiritually and materially, the church has added hundreds of members to the roll, and has not only the church but a modern brick parsenage which was added in the last few years.

Published sometime in the Winfield Journal 24 June 1955… and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed.

[photo to be posted later]

Caption under photo:

Mr. And Mrs. L. Pierce came to Guin in 1888 on the new Fresco Railroad from Mississippi. They spent a short time in Pierce’s Mill and then went into business,  Pierce and Company, with Jim Pearce in Guin, in October of the same year.  Mr. Pearce is deceased, but Mrs. Pearce continues to live in Guin, where she is listed as the only living charter member of the original fourteen of the Guin Methodist Church.  Mr. Pierce ran for sheriff in 1888, losing by only seven votes to  M.M. Frazier.  He died in 1 938 after they had observed their golden wedding anniversary.  (Picture courtesy of Mrs. L. Pearce). 

The L. Pearces Came to Guin in 1888 on Frisco to Begin Pearce Store

Agnes Monts and Largus Pearce were married, March 20, 1888 in the home of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Monts in Lee County, Mississippi and came to Guin, from Tupelo, Mississippi on the Frisco Railroad.  They went from Guin to Pearce’s Mill where Mr. Pearce had a job with his uncle, Jim Pearce. 

Remaining at Pearce’s Mills until the following October, Jim and L. Pearce decided to go into the merchantile business in Guin, and L. Pearce came a few days ahead of his wife, to open the business expecting her to join him shortly.  After failing to get a ride by buggy, Mrs. Pearce had to ride the sixteen-mile distince by horse back on a horse named Pine Springs.  She followed two wagons filled with the bales of cotton and drawn by six-horse teams that had to stop quite often for rest and water making the trip to take most of the day for travel. The drivers of the teams were Rosco Reel and Dan Linley

She recalled the few places of business in Guin as Pearce and Company, located on the corner north of the Depot; Clark and White, Brock Jones and one saloon.  There was a rooming house operated by Mrs. Kirk, where they had living quarters until they built a two-room house, and they had meals at a boarding house operated by a Mr. Harrison.

Some of the families included Dr. Gerry Guin, J.D. Westbrooks, section foreman; Dr. Emmett Morton, Forbus Collins, Dr. Will Collins, and Bill Wright.  There were no schools or churches at the time,  Mrs. Pearce said, but the Pearces and the Hughes, who lived nearby, began the organization of the Methodist church in 1890, with fourteen members.  Today, Mrs. L. Pearce is the only living charter member of the fourteen.

Mrs. Pearce and her late husband are the parents of nine children, four of whom are living, Hewitt Pearce, Birmingham tax accountant; Herbert Pearce who has farming interests in the Mississippi and lives at Cleveland, and also has interests in the cotton office of Memphis; Curtis Pearce, who has a cotton business in Memphis, and Effie Pearce Gourley of Birmingham.  The deceased are Florence, Monts, Eunice, Leona and Paul.

Caption with photo, page 4

(this is Aaron Houston BURLESON and wife Elvira Hightower BURLESON – evidently the copywriter got a little carried away and crossed a few names and left a few out.  It is stated that this is Mr. and Mrs. Burleson in the caption).

AARON HOUSTON AND ELIVRA HIGHTOWER GUIN were married in 1888, in Pearce’s Mill, the little hamlet in which Mr. Burleson was born in 1858.  Mrs. Burleson’s birthplace was in the Liberty Community in 1873.  They lived in only two homes during their forty-seven years of married life, the one built before their marriage and the one in Guin.  Mr. Burleson died in 1935, but Mrs. Burleson lived on there as an invalid for about twenty years before her death in 1952.  Mr. A.H. was one of the leading farmers before the turn of the century, an active member of the Methodist Church and a member of the board of Stewards for many years, and then an Honorary Steward until his death.  They were the parents of nine children ,for sons deceased, two having died in infancy, Willie the eldest at sixteen and Albert in 1943.  The surviving are:  Marvin, employed by Pan-Am; Charlie, Commissioner-elect of his district, with farming and cattle interests; Mattie, (Mrs. Floyd Howe) and Pearl (Mrs. Foman Dawson), Home Economics Teacher of Marion County High School, all of Guin; and Mrs. Lillie (F.L.)McNatt of Clemson, South Carolina, who also teaches Home Economics.  She and Mr. Dawson are graduates of Alabama College.


Published sometime in the Winfield Journal Record 24 June 1955

and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed


Caption with photo, page 7


LOOKING UP MAIN STREET FROM WINFIELD DEPOT, the early stores could be seen on the right of what is today Tenth Street.  Among them were R.W. Harris Store, and Oden Shirey Drug Company, who remain in business today.  In the mi ddle of the street is the famous old well that furnished the public and the residences of Winfield with Water before the present water system was first installed by the Warrior Water Works.  Picture courtesy of M.L. Lucas and several others who donated the same picture.


Published sometime in the Winfield Journal Record 24 June 1955

and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed


Caption with photo, page 4

Jesse Washington McGaha – Jesse Washington McGaha was the son of Joseph Lester McGaha who had one of the first stores and post office in 1887 in Winfield.  Jesse Washingont died o nly recently in Texas, after his ninety-sixth birthday.  He was one of the early Baptist Ministers in the Winfield area.  His son James Moody McGaha, still resides in Texas, and left Winfield with his family when he was only a small boy.  The Rev. McGaha preached his last sermon at the age of ninety and had to retire because of ill health.  (Picture courtesy of Reno McGaha of Levelland, Texas.)


Published sometime in the Winfield Journal Record 24 June 1955

… and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed

Early Wards Settled on Luxapalila, Later was Winfield Mayor

Willis Ward, the great-grandfather of T.B. Ward, early mayor of Winfield, came to this section from Huntsville, before the Civil War, and his grandfather Benjamin F. Ward lived in Fayette County along with Luxapalia and Sugar Creek, and his father, B.L. Ward lived on the corner near the old Dr. Earnest home, where T.B. Ward was born, and they used water from the famous old spring that now flows under the Citizens Bank.

The Wards were originally from the Carolinas. W.M. Ward, brother of Benjamin, also lived in Winfield, and has two children who still live in Winfield, including Huse Ward and Emma Ward. Jess lives in Oklahoma, H.W. in Oakman and Carolyn Ward Sizemore lives in Birmingham.

T.B. Ward served as one of the early mayors of Winfield. He is married to the former Exie Perry, daughter of J.L. Perry, who helped build the Illinois Central Railroad and served as the first section foreman at Brilliant. The Perrys came from Fayette County in 1896 and Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Perry had four other children besides Mrs. Ward, including: Erdeal Perry Phillips, Ludell Perry Hawkins, Ralph Perry and Rufus Perry, former Brilliant Football Coach

Published sometime in the Winfield Journal Record 24 June 1955 … and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed

Caption with photo, page 4 W.T. Taylor and Sons had one of the early lumber companies in Winfield, during the years that lumbering brought in much of the incompe. This picture was the courtesy of Miss Ruby K. Harris

Published sometime in the Winfield Journal 24 June 1955

and saved in the trunk of the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Guin Reed.


Caption under photo:

Dr. Jerry Guin, the man for whom the town of Guin was named, was the first doctor in the area around Guin, before the town was established.  He owned a great part of the land on which the town was built and also deeded the right of way to the Railroad in 1883 and 1886.  He had previously purchased the land from John T. Meador in 1873, the year he came to Guin.  He also donated the land for the Guin Cemetery.

 Dr. Jerry Guin First Permanent Settler, Doctor

 Dr. Jerry Guin came to Guin, before the town was begun in 1873, purchasing his land from John T. Meador.  He was the first doctor in that area before the town and railroad days, and donated much of the land for the town of Guin andf or the Railroad right-of-way, and the town of Guin was named for him.  He also donated land for the Guin Cemetery in the 1880’s.   

He figured into much of the town early history but since most of his relatives are gone from Guin, we were able to get only a small amount of information from his wife, the former Blance Collins.

 Dr. Jerry Guin and his wife, Elizabeth, had twelve children, nine sons and three daughters.  Sarah maws married to an Adams and lived in Nettleton Mississippi until her death in 1900.  John lived near Juin and he also died in early 1900.  Jeremiah lived in Fayette County until his death in 1940.  Henry remained in Guin until his death in 1920, as did Elias, whose death came in 1937.  Ira followed is father as a doctor, but died in 19045 period.  Dock and Newton both lived in Guin until their deaths in 1900 as did Lee who died in 1954.  Jack left the country in the 1890’s and ws never heard from.  Emma married a Flippo and lived in Steens, Mississippi until her recent death.  Ella was married to Dan Reeves and lived in Sulligent until her death in 1954.




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