The information on this page consists of information included in a transcribed document of taped presentations recorded in 1986 on Early Pickens County History for Randy Hamilton, then a Fourth Grade Student at Pickens Academy, Carrollton, Alabama and 1990 on War Between the States to the Pickens County Historic Society
Transcribed in 2002 by Dr. Scott Owens from copies of the original audio tapes Provided by Mrs. Brenda Bailey, Aliceville, Alabama
Original Tapes remain in possession of Randy Hamilton, Gordo, Alabama and the Pickens County Historical Society Additional information and corrections concerning this page should be directed to your hosts, Betty Miller and Betty Phillips.
Catherine Elizabeth Pepper Spell
Catherine Elizabeth Pepper was born July 18, 1914, to Samuel Elam Pepper and Kate Purvis Pepper in Yazoo County, Mississippi. Her father was a cotton planter so she was reared in the country, which she loved. Her sister, Nina, was her only sibling. In 1952 she and her husband, Tommy Spell, along with their two daughters Nina and Catherine, moved to Pickens County, Alabama, to work in a grocery store which they had purchased. They acquired many friends and a love of Pickens County while working in their Mom and Pop Store.
Mrs. Spell was active in many charitable, social, and political organizations. She served as an officer of most things of which she was a member. Pickens Academy was a love of hers. She was a substitute teacher there. Although many people thought she was a certified teacher, she was not but knew many things due to reading and listening to people of all ages. She had to stop going to college in her third year because of the Great Depression. Her father was unable to afford her college expenses. She never went back to college after the Depression because by then she was a wife and mother.
She was a member of Carrollton Methodist Church, Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Pickens Historic Society, and was induced into the Alabama Senior Citizen's Hall of Fame. She served as chairman of the Board of Registrars of Pickens County after her retirement from the grocery store. For some forty years she collected information, studied genealogies, and accumulated a remarkable store of knowledge of oral and written Pickens County history. Until her death June 30, 1997, she was recognized as the unofficial historian of Pickens County