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Celebrating 200 years: Franklin County marks bicentennial
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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Celebrating 200 years: Franklin County marks bicentennial

Citizens from all across Franklin County and even a few special guests from Texas crowded in front of the Franklin County Archives building Feb. 6 to celebrate the Alabama Bicentennial Kick-off. What made the occasion even more special is that Franklin County is celebrating its 200th birthday, as well.

“It’s just an historic day here,” said Roger Bedford, who gave the introduction for the event.

The kick-off began with the posting of the colors by the Tuscumbia Color Guard, which was followed by the playing of the National Anthem by members of the Russellville Marching Hundred Band.

Jackie Richardson delivered the invocation before Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow read the resolution he wrote for the ceremony that was signed by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Before Morrow read the resolution, he shared memories of the recently deceased Rick Hall and invited Rick’s wife Linda Hall to join him.

“He was someone special. He loved Franklin County, no doubt about it,” Morrow said.

Bedford took a moment to recognize the dignitaries that were present, which included Franklin County Commission members and Red Bay Mayor Charlene Fancher, among others.

Tricia Montgomery spoke and explained the Daughters of the American Revolution’s role in the book sets that were donated to the high schools. She thanked Linda Hall for her contribution of Rick’s autobiography to the collection.

“My heart goes out to you. We miss Rick every day,” Montgomery said.

The Russellville Order of the Eastern Star provided the refreshments for the event, and Worthy Grand Matron Lisa Gay and Worthy Grand Patron Joe Owens briefly addressed the audience. “It’s obvious that God has been in this country for the past 200 years, or it wouldn’t have lasted,” Gay said.

A special song titled “Franklin County” was played. The song was written by the late Betty Starnes from Franklin County, who also sang the song. Her two sons, Kenneth Ray and John, traveled all the way from Texas to attend the ceremony and listen to their mother’s song.

Franklin County Commissioners had the privilege of unveiling the new historic marker in front of the Franklin County Archives building, bearing a brief history of Franklin County.

Probate Judge Barry Moore read a brief history of the county prepared by archives director Chris Ozbirn before the special presentation of the book sets “Alabama Roots” was made to the high schools in the county.

“We wanted to get the school kids involved. They need to know about local history,” Ozbirn said.

That presentation wrapped up the event, but attendees stayed and socialized and enjoyed the refreshments provided.

“It was beautiful ceremony. I want to say thank you to all of the dignitaries and Chris Ozbirn and everyone who contributed to make this happen,” Montgomery said.

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