Five area residents will be inducted into the Atmore Area Hall of Fame later this month.
Billy Conn Madison, chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee, released the names of this year’s inductees: William America, Earl Etheridge, Dr. William T. Hall, Howard Shell, and Eddie Staff.
The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, April 29, 6 p.m., at The Club. Tickets for the ceremony and the meal are $25 each. Tickets are available at Carl’s / The Tot Shop. Please note: Everyone attending must have a ticket.
This is the fifth inductee featured by Atmore News. (Information from the Hall of Fame Committee)
Edmund Adam Staff
Edmund Adam Staff was born November 16, 1904, in Crown Point, Indiana. In 1913, his family moved to Camp Walton, Fla., present day Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
In 1932 he married Nell Yearwood and they moved to Atmore. They raised six children which resulted in a large family. He remained in Atmore until his death on February 2, 2003.
When they moved to Atmore, there was not a Catholic Church. Because his faith was important to him and his family, they were instrumental in starting a church in Atmore. Because there was not a church, Mass was said in their living room. The Staffs and three other families took turn hosting Mass until a church could be built.
There was a fire in the church in 1969. After the fire, Staff and his sons refinished all of the pews and made the doors to the church. His idea, along with donations from his and other families, brought about the stained glass windows in the church; they still remain today. Because he loved music, he purchased two organs for the church.
Staff was very civic minded. During World War II, he was on the Ration Board, and he worked with the Civil Defense. (During blackouts, he wore a tin hat and went outside to make sure all lights were out.) He was on the city of Atmore Board of Adjustment, which was instrumental in getting four lanes on Highway 21, through to Interstate 65.
Eddie and 12 other people organized the Atmore Chamber of Commerce. He served as treasurer for many years.
He was influential in bringing Vanity Fair Mills to Atmore and he served on their board.
He served on the board of directors of The Bank of Atmore, now United Bank.
Staff was owner and manager of Staff Chevrolet, Inc. from 1937-2003. During that time he employed many people. The following is a list of people who started working at Staff Chevrolet and went on to start a business of their own: Clarence Akins, Clemmie Brown, Theodore Clayton, Sonny Cooper, Frank Dial, Grover Everette, David Gibbs, Larry Godwin, Wallace Johnson, Ray Lambert, Jimmy Lee, Keith Martin, Steve and Trav McKinley, T.E. McNeil,
Joe Sanders, J. W. Terry, and Pate Yearwood.
The following employees worked at Staff Chevrolet until retirement: John Armstrong, Riley Bailey, Joe Blanton, Johnnie Clemmons, Johnnie B. English, Mike Gerlach, Sr., A.A. Graham, E.E. Martin, Ollie Robinson, A.L. (Buddy) Vickery, Eunice Wasdin, Claudia Yearwood.
Glendon Harrison and Johnnie Simpson worked with Mr. Staff are still employed at the Chevrolet dealership in Atmore
Staff’s children got together this information. To the best of their knowledge the information is correct. If they have failed to recall any names, they apologize.