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Articles from 1976 Journal-Register Newspaper

Guin History

The Journal-Record - Bicentennial Edition
Thursday, July 1, 1976
Section B, Page 8


Whether there were any settlers in the area of Guin, earlier than 1820, is
not definitely known, but according to the abstract title of the property
owned by Mr. and Mrs. W. A. COLLINS, who aided greatly in obtaining history
of Guin, B. HARRIS obtained the first land grant from the United States
Government, February 2, 1820.

Evidently HARRIS kept the land until selling to Allen HALEY, who ran a
Stage Coach line sometime in Guin, before 1870, as HALEY and his wife
Lavina, sold the land to John T. MEADOR in 1870, according to the Abstract.
Then in 1873, MEADOR sold the land to Dr. Jerry GUIN, who gave a great part
of the land for the town of Guin, the right of way for the railroad, and
the land for the Guin Cemetery. Dr. GUIN was the person for whom the town
was named.

After the land was donated, by Dr. GUIN, for the M & B R.R. in 1886, and
the railroad was built, the land began to be purchased by many other early
INGLES, LOGANS, CASHIONS and COLLINS and others also, but only the above
names were listed in this particular abstract.

According to Flint FRAZIER, his ancestors, the parents of Mr. M. FRAZIER
moved from North Carolina to Columbus, in 1843, in a wagon, when Mr. Flint
FRAZIER'S father was a mere infant. They moved, them, from Columbus to old
Pikeville in 1859. M. M. FRAZIER was fourteen then, and when he was older
he fought in the Civil War under Stonewalll(sic) JACKSON when the Yankees
captured Gettysburg. He was put in the Yankee Prison for two years.

Returning to Pikeville in 1868-9, he went into business with his Uncle J.
T. MEADOR, then moved to Hamilton, where he served as County Sheriff and
Tax Collector, then the same office but changed after his term of office.
He was Sheriff at the time of the notorious outlaw, Rube BURROW, who was
killed in Linden in 1890 for Robbery by the Burrow Gang. Mr. FRAZIER said
that Rube BURROW, who was buried in Lamar County, had three different tombs
that had been erected. Mr. FRAZIER said that his father did not come to
Guin to live until 1894.

Unable to get any history on B. HARRIS and his years in Guin, after his
land grant in 1820, Mr. FRAZIER said that he sold to Allen HALEY who
operated possibly a stage coachline and "HALEY's Stand," and that people
traveling through the section near Guin, stopped over there for the night.
HALEY had space for housing horses, cows, swine and other animals being
transported by the people who stopped at his "stand". he also said that
HALEY sold to his uncle J. T. MEADOR and that MEADOR sold to Dr. Jerry
GUIN.(sic) who moved to Guin, January 26, 1873. MEADOR, a stepson of Judge
TERRELL of Pikeville, had built a store in the area where Guin now stands,
near the present residence of John HOLLOWAY, and Dr. GUIN operated the
store along with his medical practice after buying MEADOR'(sic) interests
in '73.

In July of 1887, the day that the K.C.M. & B. Railroad was linked with the
other branch, proved to be quite a memorable day at(sic) Pvt. John ALLEN of
Tupelo made a big speech at the special ceremony linking the railroad which
is now known as the Frisco, and a gold spike was driven as the last spike,
near the tool house in Guin. Dr. GUIN had already had the agreement with
the railroad that if he gave the right of way, a flagstop would be put in

It was the [in] 1888 that the settlers began to move into Guin, after the
town was officially started. W. A. COLLINS said that after Dr. GUIN'S
coming, his father J. F. COLLINS and Jim KIRK wee the next two settlers,
but he wasn't sure which came first. The COLLINS family lived where Claud
GANN is living at the present time, his father having purchased forty acres
of land, giving ten to the town space and keeping the remaining thirty. He
said that Henry CLARK was Representative when guin was incorporated in 1888.

Mr. COLLINS thinks that Clark WHITE had the first store after the railroad
was built and that the first business was located where the old Cotton
Building stood. Mr. COLLIN's uncle Dr. J. W. COLLINS, also an early doctor,
built the first hotel in Guin, Known as the Wall Hotel and operated by A.
A. WALL. The FRAZIERS bought the hotel and continued to operated(sic) the
hotel for many years.

Jim CLEMENTS opened and operated the fist newspaper in Guin, know as The
Guin Eagle, from 1889, where Mrs. HOLLOWAY'S residence stands today. As far
as it [is] known, Guin had only one other newspaper, the one known as the
Guin News printed at the Marion County News Office in Hamilton, for a short
period by Frank McKENZIE, aided by the Rev. R. E. PATE. Guin has been and
is still being covered by the Journal-Record the newspaper of Marion County.

Three SIDES brothers, Chris, Dock and Lee SIDES of Mississippi, had one of
the first saloons in Guin, in 1887, near the turn of the century, when
saloons were quite legal in this section, and they continued to [be]
operated until in the 1890's when they were ruled illegal because of a
famous shooting scrape near the saloon. However, reports were that during
the days of the open saloons that Dee JONES, the first known police of
Guin, came from Birmingham to "keep law and order" but that things became
so quiet that he quit his post and returned to Birmingham, quite a contrast
to the shooting scrape that ended the open saloons legality.

According to several of the early settlers, there were two passenger trains
through guin, each day, and two local freights as well as some
through-freights during the early years of the railroad.

According to Mr. W. A. COLLINS, Will McDOUGALL was the first Railroad Agent
in Guin. John WESTBROOKS, father of Mrs. Oscar GREEN of Boston, was the
first Section Foreman. A complete list of the Railroad agents were not
available but Glen McWHIRTER was known to have been the Agent in 1894, and
Pete INGLE served for a time as did a Mr. RUSSENBACK and J. W. KELLEY was
agent in 1905.

Tom KIRK was the first Postmaster of Guin, according to W. A. COLLINS. He
served in 1891, when he got killed during that year. It is not known
exactly whether or not Merdith(sic) AKERS followed KIRK but he was
remembered as serving in the year of 1894. James TIDWELL followed AKERS and
White ANTHONY followed TIDWELL. Next in line were L. B. McWHIRTER and John
W. HOLLOWAY. The present postmaster is Max BURLESON, and there may have
been others who served during those years but only the above mentioned were
listed by the people who aided in the early facts of Guin.

White ANTHONY was also the first agent for Standard Oil in Guin, followed
by Jim POLLARD. W. A. COLLINS was next agent and remembers driving a team
of mules to carry the oil to the different places, even as far as Boston.
In 1917, COLLINS bought the chassis of a Model T and put an oil tank on it,
then in the fall of that year he purchased the first truck in Guin, A
Republic truck, to carry his oil. This truck had solid rubber tires.

According to W. A. COLLINS, the Mayorship of Guin, began with a Bill
WRIGHT, the father of MRS. J. J. POPE, when the town was incorporated in
1888, and at the present time another WRIGHT, Mayor Rex WRIGHT, serves the
town of Guin.

Mr. COLLINS remembered J. A. SHAW as following Bill WRIGHT as the second
Mayor and M. A. SPRINGFIELD held the position when the COLLINS left Guin,
in 1893. During the years from 1893-1912, when the COLLINS returned, Mr.
COLLINS did not know who served. The Journal Staff requested an official
list which was not received, thus making the list a bit unofficial. Mat
WESLEY is said to have served from 1925-1928 as Major of Guin. He was also
a noted teacher in the early years having taught at any number of places
including the Brilliant Schools. Mr. COLLINS, who was elected Mayor in
1932, said that Lloyd CAUDLE preceded him and White ANTHONY had served
before Mr. CAUDLE. After Mr. COLLINS (W. A.) served as Mayor for twelve
years, J. C. MATTOX followed, then Max BURLESON. Rex WRIGHT, in the
beautiful new City Hall built during his administration. The modern City
Hall also housed the Guin Water Works Office (headed by Ad ESTILL) and a
modern City Jail. It had a large Council Room.

Guin, also, had a town well in the middle of its first street, that
furnished the early citizens with water until the City Water System was
installed in the 1930's during the administration of W. A. COLLINS.

According to W. A. COLLINS, Mr steve CAUDLE had a water-powered sawmill in
the Guin vicinity before the Railroad was built. Ed KNIGHT and Henry GUIN
in 1894, also slasher-type mills located south of Guin of Purgatory Creek,
near the spot now owned by the Hightower Box and Tank Company.

There were two tan yards in the early years, one near the present Dennis
Lumber Company, and one near the present location of GANN's TV and Radio
Repair Shop. A negro, Old man Joe ENNIS had a shoe shop and served as a

Bill WRIGHT had the first Blacksmith shop in 1890, and O. C. LING also had
a shop in those early years, as did Jim HARRIS.

Clark WHITE, already listed, was believed to have had the first store after
the railroad, but Dock WRIGHT stated that J. J. POPE also had one of the
early stores. R. R. WRIGHT who came to Guin in 1905, said that the business
houses there at that time, included: FRAZIER Hotel, PEARCE Hotel, R. F.
BRADLEY, L. D. LITTLETON, Jim PEARCE and Company, S. J. BAIRD and company,
N. W. HULSEY and Company, L. PEARCE, D. D. WRIGHT and Bros., Jim
SPRINGFIELD, who owned and operated a Livery Stable, and FRAZIER and
SHELTON Company.

Guin had the first Bank in Marion County, first known as Bank of Guin,
(organized by a Mr. BROWN of Ohio according to the GUINS) in 1905. R. R.
WRIGHT opened the bank as Chasier(sic) and served by himself in the bank
for ten years. The first directors of the bank, later known as the Marion
County Banking Company, were Jim PEARCE, President; L. D. LITTLETON,
vice-president; Judge Mack PEARCE and John ALLMAN, directors. It was also
the first brick and stone structure in Guin, and is now housed by a
handsome modern brick building erected only a few years ago. The Marion
County Banking ompany(sic) now has a bank in both Guin and Hamilton. State
Representative Rankin FITE currently serves as president of the banking
company and J. L. HOLLOWAY is Cashier for the Guin Branch of the company.

Also among the first brick buildings of Guin, were J. PEARCE and Company
and the L. D. LITTLETON Company, both general merchantile(sic) businesses,
and both were built the year that the bank building as erected. W. A.
COLLINS believes that the PEARCE building was first erected.

R. R. WRIGHT opened the Ford Agency and Garage in 1913, and ran it and bank
until his leaving the bank in 1915, the business known as Wright Motor
Company, which he closed in 1933, going into his present business then. He
remembers selling his Model T. in 1913 to Ivy THOMPSON, mail carrier of the
Star Route from guin to Hamilton. Mr. WRIGHT also purchased one for himself
at that time, but the title of the owner of the first car in Guin,
accordiing(sic) to Mr. Wright, goes to a fellow named Gus HALLMARK, who had
bought one in Birmingham, just one month before Mr. WRIGHT opened his
business in Guin.

Joel Woods GUIN was the first graduate of the Marion County High School in
Guin, in 1912, the only one to graduate that first year. He died in
California, where he had been a resident according to Paul GUIN, W. A.

Will STOKES was president (now called Captain) of the first football team,
according to R. R. WRIGHT.

Mrs. Forbus COLLINS, mother of W. A. COLLINS was the first person to be
buried in the Gin Cemetery (land donated by Dr. Jerry GUIN). Mr.s COLLINS
died in 1889 Mr. Bill WRIGHT, then Mayor, said he thought the town of Guin
should start a cemetery and Dr. GUIN agreed to give the land, and it
happened that Mrs. Forbus COLLINS was the first citizens(sic) to expire
after the land was donated.

Paul GUIN, who accompanied Will FORD of Hamilton on his tour of the county
in the years that Mr. FORD was compiling his Marion County History, stated
that in the early years, cotton didn't sell for over a nicle(sic) per pound.

Guin's first water supply was a central town well, however in the years
before the water system was installed in the 1930's a number of people had
wells and pumps of their own.

W. A. COLLINS said that he believed he was the first to install a Delco
system in Guin, before the days of electricity and the present electrical
power serving Guin. He installed his system i the 1920s and the plant
served his home and furnished power for the Methodist Church.

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