TROY Faculty Members Bring History to Life

Posted: Wednesday, 02 April 2008

Troy University faculty members Dr. Mark Gaddis (left), associate professor of accounting; Dr. Joe Fielding, assistant professor of marketing; Dr. Adair Gilbert, associate dean; and Dan Teed, associate professor of accounting, show off their costumes for the annual “Walk in History,” which was held recently in the historic Houston County community of Columbia. The Troy University Sorrell College of Business professors joined members of the Columbia Historical Society to reenact the lives of several colorful characters buried at the old Columbia Cemetery. Dr. Marty Olliff (not pictured), TROY archivist and assistant professor of history, also volunteered for the event. Columbia, which was settled in 1820, is southeast Alabama’s oldest existing town and is known as the “Port City of the Wiregrass.” The community originally served as the county seat of Henry County, which at the time included sections of present-day Covington, Dale, Barbour, Coffee, Crenshaw, Bullock, Geneva and Houston counties. Some of the community’s early inhabitants featured during the “Walk in History” included: Charles Walker (1853-1905), Houston County’s first sheriff, and Lillie Eulalia Grist Walker (1855-1928), Dothan’s second librarian; Susannah Talbot (1775-1843) and Elder Edmund Talbot (1767-1854), a reverend and plantation owner; Ida Lavonia Hooten Palmer (1873-1971) and Israel Young Palmer (1863-1919), a traveling salesman and Columbia merchant; Leonard P. Lewis, Sr. (1871-1958), owner of “The Lewis Store” in Columbia; and Elizabeth Elliot Whitton (1907-1986) and Hiram Allen Whitton (1899-1976), educators and drug