Thursday, January 3, 2008

Of Woodys and Tutwilers

An original U. S. District Court (Middle District of Alabama) Bankruptcy document dated May 25, 1843, naming Edwin W. King, Lauren Upson and James R. Upson.

Edwin Woody King is not to be confused with General Edwin D. King, a founder and early supporter of Judson College, Howard College, and the Siloam Baptist Church in Marion. Edwin Woody King, who inherited his father’s cotton plantations, was one of the wealthiest men in Alabama, a principal in the Marion and Cahawba Railroad, and the owner of a successful hotel in Marion. The bankruptcy document, found in Ms. Woody’s papers, is a question mark.

Ms. Woody Sturdivant Moore talking with Governor Albert P. Brewer of Alabama.

The Cape Cod-style house where Ms. Woody Sturdivant Moore was born in 1917 and where she died in 2007. Both events took place in the same bedroom.

"Alabama," our state song written by Julia Strudwick Tutwiler, a member of the Alabama Hall of Honor and the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame at Judson College.

On Wednesday, 20 December, Archivist Terry Barkley visited the Hoole Special Collections Library at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He went there to do research on Henry and Julia Tutwiler and their relationship to Marion and possibly Howard College (MMI). Terry also researched the famed Greene Springs School near Havana, AL, Henry Tutwiler’s private school for nearly forty years from the 1840s until his death in the 1880s. Greene Springs was the most famous school in Alabama both before, during, and after the Civil War, closing with Henry Tutwiler’s death.

A graduate of the University of Virginia where he received the very first M.A. degree, Henry Tutwiler was a friend of Thomas Jefferson and a frequent visitor to Monticello. His classmates at UVA included Robert Toombs of Georgia and Edgar Allan Poe. Tutwiler was hired as one of the very first professors at the University of Alabama. Later, he taught in the late 1830s at the Alabama Institute of Literature and Industry in Marion (one source cites “near” Marion; it was also called Marion College), “a forerunner to Howard College.” Other sources state that the Institute was closer to or actually in Greensboro! Professor Tutwiler then served on the faculty of LaGrange College in North Alabama (it was a military college and, like the University of Alabama, was burned by the Federals during the Civil War). Finally, in the 1840s, Henry Tutwiler founded his Greene Springs School, an institution which produced some of Alabama’s ablest leaders. Some 60 alumni of Greene Springs died serving the Confederacy.

Julia Strudwick Tutwiler was Henry’s daughter, one of eleven children. A great women’s educator and reformer, she was called the “Mother of Coeducation in Alabama.” She forced the entrance of women into the University of Alabama and received the first honorary doctorate ever awarded a woman by UA. After stepping down as president of Livingston (now the University of West Alabama), Julia Tutwiler lived with her brother here in Marion for a couple of years. It is yet to be determined if her brother was connected with Judson or Howard (MMI) and if Julia became associated in any way with either.