The Coosa River News from Centre, Alabama on November 30, 1951 · 1
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The Coosa River News from Centre, Alabama · 1

Centre, Alabama
Issue Date:
Friday, November 30, 1951
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'1 !I ,.!!!,1,. d 101,, , 'or ' 4A1111, t , ..,,..",. ,,,..., ,. Subscription. $2.50; in county: Shropshire Estate, Owners ,.. I I a&AA4pab A.Akel aft.m,A.AN..ALaAILA.AbAb.oAL.o4L.Aw.Aba.d&41.a.AlAb.411..0.s. 2c z1 entre 14an Invented irst Typewriter BY WILL I. MARTIN in the Gadsden Timis IR s NE of the most notable editors to serve the Gadsden Times was John Jon- ' athan Pratt, of Centre, Cheroket County, who invented the first practsical typewriter,!the one that is in universal use all over the world today. There is no question that Mr. Pratt was the inventor of the first practical typewriter. Official records in the patent offices of London, England, and Washington in this country and other official documents proved tha he is entitled to the honor, although the fact is not generally known. Mr, Pratt was born in Union, S. C., April 14, 1831. He came to Alabama with hi father's family during his young manhood and became a lawyer, journalist, editor and teacher. He read law under Judge Porter at Greenville, Ala., where he married the judge's daughter, Miss Julia Porter. fter being admitted to the bar he located permanently at Centre where he practiced his profession and edited a newspaper, the National Democrat. He was register in chancery in Centre in the early fifties and did so tnuch writing that his hands frequently became cramped, rendering them useless for short periods. The idea arose in his mind that this situation could be remedied by inventing a writing machine. He was part owner and editor of the Democrat and his idea grew into a practical plan he sought the air of an employe, John Neely, a practical printer. After explaining his idea he instructed Neely to fashion type for the machine. His inventive genius bore fruit and he was soon exhibiting a machine which he called the "Pterotype." ' Naturally some of his friends said it was a "silly idea" to start with, that the new tangled thing was impractical, but they encouraged and helped him. It is recalled that Mr. Pratt walked into the store of John Coker one day and asked to buy all the knitting needles he had on hand. Mr. Coker-did not have any but said he would send to Rome, Ga., for some. He receceived two gross and Mr. Pratt purchased the whole lot. Everybody was surprised. The needles were used in experimenting and building the typewriter. Wooden blocks were placed at one end of the needles to fasten the type which Neely had made or selected from the office fonts. Mr Pratt completed his model in 1860 and, unable to get financial backing 4,.1 in this country, be sold his slaves and his property arid set sail for England 11 -where he completed his model and for which he was given a British patent Ds- 11 cember 1, 1866. For many years Tol Shropshire, who with his brother, Char lea, conducted THE COO-SA RIVER News at Centre, published claims that Mr. Pratt was the inventor of the first practical type griter and was Ably supported by John Williams, editor of the Talladega Home, during an effort t.) induce the court reporters of the natio' to erect a monument to the inventor. Finally the Alabama Business and Professional Women's Club took up the matter at its annual meeting at Gadsden in June, 1951. Miss Grace E. Jamison of Talladega, who had previously been appointed to dwestigate the subjeet, made her report. She had spared no pains in her Mgt to bring together documentary proof of the claim of Mr. Pratt. In her collection of material was the descriptien of the typewriter with illustrations filed by Mr. Pratt with the patent offices in London and the copies of C. J. Sholes of Milwaukee and Pratt filed at Washington in 1868. One of the most interesting original docmuents gathered by Miss Jemison was a copy of the 'Tcientifie American" of July, 1867, carrying an article describing Pratt's invention with illutrations filed by Mr. Pratt with the patent office in London. Mr. Ski les read the article and used it in securing patents for what is now the Rem ngton,typewriter, accrding to the Encyclopedia Britanica. Miss Jemison also secured copies of the Journal of the Society of Arti of May 3, 1867, Feb. 18, 1867, and July 21, 1905, sent to her by the British Royal Society of Arts of which Mr. Pratt was a member. These documents contain Mr. Pratt's speech made before that society discussing his machine and givaig specifications and full descriptions of it more than a year before the Sholes invention. If there were any doubt left concerning the date of Mr. Pratt's invention and original patents, these doubts would be removed by the testimony of the inventor himself, as preserved in a handwritten document which he wrote on the back of his framed certificate of memberseip in the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce of London. The statement reads: 'John Pratt was born at Union, S. C., April 14, 1821; conceived the idea of the typewriter (meaning the complete model) during the Spring of 186 t; first Engish patent Feb. 1864; read paper before Society of Arts, exhibiting two working model, June, 1867; letter on machine from Lonodn to U. S. Commissioner of Patents, 1867. on file at patent office; first typewriter ever sold in Smithsonian Institute. The qtatement was signed John Pratt. A postscript read: "send copy to London Society of Arts, Hammond T. W. Co., and Hafley Corporation, Brooklyn. "Written Jan. 30, 1905, at Chattanooga, Tenn., to be used in obituary noticesnot for distant." In 1894 Henry Charles Jenkins spoke beim the Royal Society for the Encourage ment of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, giving all known efforts to invent and build a practical typewriter. - After describing Mr. Pratt's machine he said: "Mr. Pratt's machine was a practical and portable typewriter, and with it the experimental stage of typewriting machines as a class may be said to end." I Mr. Pratt was selling his typewriters in London for $15 each in 1867 and letters to his family about his intention and its success are now in the Alabama. State Department of Archives and Wistory, also pictures of the machine, a sample of its writing and other data of historical interest. Mr. Pratt's original machine was illustrated in Engineering, a Landon publication. in 1867. Models of hig intention are to be found in the Kensington Museum of London, now known as the Victoria and Albert Museum, an also in the National Museum in Wash- ' kotton. . -- Mr. Pratt lived in a handsome colenial home known as "Pine Knell" on a hill ever- Ilooking Centre. The building was torn down long ago by the new owner and the materi- als were used to erect tenant houses. He worked secretly on his Pterotype in a room in that old house. In the first place he was sensitive te criticism and did not relish the ridicule that was given his invention. Another reasor Ile concealed his work was the condition surrounding patents. They were too loose and had no secrecy. INe lived en the wrong side of the Mason Dixon Lit.e to get much money and honor out of his invention. alleles did pay him a small pension, it is said, but that wu little compensation for taking over hie great invention. John Pratt became editor of the Gadsden Times during the great depression of 1673 II and stayed here for.only a short time. Re came back in 1283 and was here for years. It 14 is aid that he wrote 601110 of his editorials on his typewriter and that the Times printed II the first typewritten editorial in histkry. . it Ci;:t 31;t lx xt I-L------"r----'r .7-7t -----'1-7------7-7--- a al -- a Lo it ar in 11 tir e n 3 t S "BC JUST AND FEAR NOTLet all the Ends Thou Alms't st be Thy Country's, Thy uths" uth s" uths" Contra, Alabama, November 30, 1951 Some Interesting history Of Her Beautiful Life; She Was a Wonderful Woman r Miss Minnie Lee Wal- I -r1 W4".""'m ' ''''''''''''- den was born in Lebanon, ; , 4 -, , ,N, t t..,. , J DeKalb County, Feb. 2. ' - , ,q.. 1 1864. Wher! she was six - ;- , :: r , -I) weeks of age her parents i , ' ' moved to Centre and oc- - - , ' . , 1 eupied the large 24tory -,---it .0 house known to some of -,-,, . .0,-- 3 f , 4, - 1 '.. .1 1 our old citizens as as the c. it - ... 1 Matthews place, later oc- cup ied by Mrs. Mary Smith. Miss Minnie was a ' ,, ''i 4 decendant of one of the ' 4 1 oldeSit pioneer families of Alabama, as well as Cher- '-, '- - , Nt 1 okee County. Her father, , 1 z , the late John Butler Vial-' - 5 , den, was brought to Au- it, , , , ,, tauga County near old Ft. - MISS wALDEN Jackson, near the Coosa River, where his father operated a large plantation for many years, and was buried in his front yard in 1883. Miss Minnie's father was a brother of the late George Stovall Walden. He moved to Centre in 1845 and opened his law office. Later in 1850 he formed a partnership with Colonel Samuel King McSpadden. Later in 1855, George and Col. Samuel took in another attorney, John L. McConnell. George Walden lived in Centre 13 years, returning to Talladeza in 1858 and forming a partnership with Col. Bowie, the style being "Walden & Bowie." While George Walden resided in Centre he built a large 2-story house on River Street in 1858, now occupied by J. D. Jordan. In 1854 Miss Minnie's grandmother, Sara Walker Walden, died and was one of the firs1 to be buried in Garrett Cemetery. During the trying days of the Civil War her father served as volunteer from 1861 to 1865, while his brother served in the State Leislature and as Trustee at the University of Alabama. , ' -- The editor gives these items of her history where residents in Centre who will recall the old citizens of Centre and of old Cherokee Connty in the early days. There are many who know that she typified the traditions of our splendid womanhood of the old South. She was proud but not haughty. She never met a stranger. She loved everybody that came within her life. Her kindness and graceness nature was bestowed on all whom she came in contact with. Did you ever go to her house when she didn't want to serve you something? That was symbolic of her most graceness and lovely mother. Jordan Community By Your Jordan Community , Reporter Csn Tan, Route 1, Nov. 26. We have been having some finc weather over the Thanksgiving holidays. Mrs. Mary Mc Carley, who has been ill at her home in the Jordan community, is slowly improving. We are glad to see you better, Mrs. Me Carley. Mr. and Airs. Wallace Dawson spent Sunday with his brother, at Esom Hill, Ga. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Clark of Rome, Ca., have been spending some time with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Cromer. Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt Price and children of Piedmont spent Sunday afternoon with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Acker, and family. Mr. Roy Le Croy and Mrs. Darby of Rome, Ga. ' Mr. and Mrs. ElbertLeCroy and Bill of Centre; Mr. and Mrs. Grover Hawkins of Centre visited Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Le Croy Thankgiving day. Miss Vs Jean Battles of Cedartown, Ga., spent Thanksgiving week-end with Mr. and Mrs. Stanley battles. MissEvelyn Johnson of Marietta, Ga., spent the week-end with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Johnson. Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Norton and Wanda Gail spent the week-end with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ramer Nunely, and Dwyer. Rev. and Mrs. Jim LeCroy and Mr. and Mrs. James LeCroy visited Ur. and Mrs. W. P. Pope Friday night. Mr. and Mrs. Homer Jordan of Gatioden visited her mother, Mrs. Mary McCarley, Thanksgiving. Ur. 1;,,d Igra, George Rob2egn CaNTaep Route 1, Nov. 26. We have been having some fine weather over the Thanksgiving holidays. Mrs. Mary Mc Carley, who has bees ill at her home in the Jordan community, is slowly improving. We are glad to see you better, Mrs. Me Carley. 11ILDEil t k . P East Centre Training Union Hews BY IMOGENE BREEDEN Reporter Meeting was called tö . order by President Betty Morgan, Missalenda Inman lead in sentence prayer. We took an offering, the proceeds of which will go on finishing our class room. We discussed our play and decided to practice Monday night at 6:00 o'clock. We had a group of twenty and three visitors present. We drew names for Christmas. J. W. Hampton dismissed us with prayer. Al! young people from ages of 13 to 21 are invited to our training union. Group 1 4-H Club Meets The CH Club was called to order by the president, Helen Smith, then the song leaders lead us in the following songs, "Old Folks at Home" and "Jingle Bells " Then Mrs. Mrs. Miller gave a demonstration on "You and Your Money." The meeting adjourned until December 13. are visiting relative e in Rome, Ga Remember our singing at Unity Hill Baptist Church every Fourth Sunday afternoon. Every one is invited to attend. Have Most Halt' It Is said that blondes have more hairs per head than brunettes and resacads, . Vol. 73, No. 38 ftd,,11notte OC431.510,..0 t.tW1.-4 1: '''''1,t.C,c1401444444C1)0C10000 EAST CENTRE 'LITTLE NEW YORK' NEWS By Mrs. Raymond Jolly HEAR OUR PASTOR NEXT SUNDAY 9unday is our regular preaching day by our pastor, Hey. J. A. Patterson. We invite everyone to come and hear this man. He As making more friends eery sermon he preaches. Services at 11 A. M. and 7 P. M. Training Union at 6 P. M. MissGeraltlinelliehardson Entertains At Her Home Several from 'East Cenpv attended an entertainment at the home of Miss Geraldine Richardson in the Piney community last Thursday night. Personal Mention Rev. Doyal of Piedmont was the dinner-guest of J. S. Breeden and famiiy on Thanksgiving. -- Gary Earl, little son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl De Berry, is improving at this writing, He has beet, very sick for several days. He's always missed around the store, for everyone is fond of him. He is such a friendly little boy. Rev. J. A. Patterson, our pastor, of Alabama City, passed thru East Centre Tuesday en route to Atlanta, Ga. His son was carried there in an ambulance to a hospital in a very serious condition. Brother Pai terson has a lot of friends who will regret to hear of this. Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Eads and children of liokes Bluff visited Mr and Mrs. Odus Eubanks Sunday night. Mr. and Mrs. Will Autwell, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Autwell and children visited Mr. and Mrs.John Autwell and Mr. and Mrs. R. G. Jolly Sunday. , Misses Imogene Erv,den, Glen 44.-40 TheSilverScreen Coltot,,W140-.1to''.pfo. OMEN PROGRAM Cherokee-Emory THEATRES sammozmnasso EMORY Fri.-Sat., Nov. 30-Dec. Tim McCoy in TEXAS WILDCAT. With Joan Barclay - Ben Corbett Forrest Taylor - Ted Adams Also Serial and Comedy. Sunday, Monday & Tuesk- day, Dec. 2-3-4 James Stewart NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY co-starring darlen Dietrich Glynis Johns-Jack Hawkins Wed.-Thur., Dec. 5-6 FredMacMurry-ElanorParker A Millionaire For CHRIETY CHEROKEE Fri.-Sat., Nov. 30-Der. 1 Charles Starrett Smiley Burnett THE KID FROM AMARILLO Aho Selerted Shorts., I Establishod March 20, 1870 THANKSGIVING PASSED QUIETLY Thanksgiving passed and everyone in our little part of the Town seemed to enjoy it. Everything was nice and quiet with no accidents, for which we should be very thankful. da Inman, Margie Sue Morgan and Betty Sue Morgan were dinner-guests of Mrs. bill West Sunday. - Mr. John Payne of Bessemer, visited his neice, Mrs. Opal Inniian, Sunday night. Miss Mildred Rozell of Ansi-- toe spent the week-end with Miss Barbara Nell Grimes. Misses .1( anette and Bonnie Jolly and Miss Melba White visited Mrs. Jack Mallett in Rome, Ga., Sunday. Mr. Marcus Rezell of Bessener is spend mg this week with tier parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Grimes. Mr. Robert Jordan, who was carriEd to a Gadsden hespital last week, is home now and is improving, we are really glad to slate. Cpl. Donald Garmon, who is stationed at Camp Chaffee, Ark., and Ms. and Mrs. Walter Garmon of Leesburg spent Tuesdday with Mr. and Mrs. Coy Mackey and children. Mr. and Mrs. Milford Garmon of Gadsden visited Mr. and Mrs. Coy Mackey Sunday. -- Mr. and Mrs. flubert Womack and children, Er by and Wanda, visited Mr. and Mrs. Woodrow Rains in Sand Valley Sunday. - Mr. aid Mrs. Tommie Reed visited Mr. and Mrs. Robert Grimes Sunday. TWO DEACONS TO BE ORDAINED The ordination services will be held Sunday afternoon, Dec. 2, at the East Centre Baptist Church for two new deacons who will beittlfred Inman and Hobert Reed. Fut:eral Held For For Herman Allen Funeral services were held today for Herman B. Allen of Gaylesville. He died Sunday night at a hospital in Oneonta, Ala. He was working for Hugh Steele construction Co. when he took pneumonia Friday. Jordan Funeral Home, Centre, in charge. Funeral services were held at the Demaris Baptist Church and burial was in the Lawrence Cemetery with the Rev. C. C. McCain officiating. Pallbearers were Jim Martin, Robert Lee Stancil, Gene Bentley, Kenneth Bentley, Raymond Bullard, Gerdine Bullard. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Allen of Gaylesville; thiee brothers and one sister. Starring Patricia Neal-Michael Rennie Hugh Marlowe Tues.-Wed., Dee. 4-5 LET'S GO NAVY Leo Goreey and the Bowery boys Thurs., Dec. 6 Mickey Rooney HE'S A COCKEYED WONDER Sun.-Mon., Dec. 2-3 I 1 The DAY The EARTH I S rooa STILL Aivsrt4f--12.113 grjachl op mir.11ISS Ii , , e k, , T - , - .. , . ,- T,,,(.. . . .. !.; AN4, ell 4, ( i t r ., . en..., .,: '4 It)" 3 rfri IC ''. je. W5-1 4 .. .. ..,,;,:.,... ,....,,, , ,... ,,.. ... t ;r... . , (4 , if 1 A ,x , 1 ) , Iv:. ,k ,t 3- )1 JLOco,

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