By LILLIAN BONNER
Special to Atmore News
On Wednesday, October 2, the 14 members of this year’s Youth Leadership Atmore sat inside Trinity Episcopal Church on Carney Street to learn all about the town in which they live. For much of the group, this was the first time that they had heard of Atmore’s unique history.
Guest speakers within the community volunteered their time to speak to the group, sharing their knowledge and passion for our town. Linda Ellison entertained the group with an oratorical history of William Carney. She spoke from the perspective of Carney’s wife, Adaline Carney. Carney, known as the Father of Atmore, moved here from North Carolina. He built a mill and a home around the already existing train station known as Williams Station. Carney later named the town after his friend, C. P. Atmore, who was a passenger agent for L and N Railroad.
Ellison also spoke of Trinity Episcopal Church which was built by Mr. Carney in 1899 as an Easter gift to the people of the town. It was known as the “Church of the Heavenly Rest” before changing the name to Trinity. Today the church contains many of the original furnishings placed there by Carney at the time it was built. The pews are made of tigerwood which was a large investment at the time.
Jerry Gehman shared his passion for railroad history by speaking on the very first railroad in town which ran from Pensacola, Florida to Pollard. Later, with the encouragement of President Lincoln to unite the country with railroads, the railroad stretched from Montgomery to Tensaw.
Nancy Karrick took the group on a tour of Williams Station Cemetery which was established in 1886. The cemetery was actively used until 1910. The cemetery houses the remains of some of the town’s first citizens. It is situated across the street from Trinity Episcopal Church.
The members of YLA would like to thank the speakers for taking the time to share with them their knowledge and love of our home town.