- Cullman, Alabama


December 22, 2013

Looking back for future inspiration

The Times embarked on its annual countdown of top stories of the year with Saturday’s article remembering three highly motivated, influential citizens of Cullman County who passed away.

Chester Freeman, an active member of the Cullman Lions Club and the inspiration for much of the city’s nationally recognized parks and recreation program, died early in the year at the age of 90.

Remembered as an unselfish community leader, never seeking the limelight, Freeman was the kind of person people listened to. He had vision, insight and a sincere desire to make his home area a top-notch community.

Key educators were also passed away in 2013, including Dr. James C. Bailey, who served as president of Wallace State Community College for 32 years and devoted his life to education. He was an avid supporter and promoter of Cullman County and a long standing member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Bailey oversaw the college’s initial SACS accreditation, was a major supporter of the $12 million Tom Drake Coliseum built in 1993, and eventually had the 13-story James C. Bailey Building named in his honor.

Dr. Ben Johnson, the man who served as the first president of what would become Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, passed away in November. In 1965, the Alabama State Board of Education appointed Johnson as director of what was then called the George C. Wallace State Trade School of Cullman County. That was two years after the State Legislature approved the school’s formation and a year before the first classes were held.

While many in the community are looking back and remembering these men and their efforts, each one of them became successful because they looked forward.

The end of a year often is a time of reflection. But as a new year approaches, look back with pride and inspiration for those who served so willingly for Cullman County. Follow their lead and look forward with the same passion and vision they held and our area will continue to grow and maintain its character.


Text Only
  • EDITORIAL: Gaining a lifetime of success

    The arguments for a deeper investment in the arts for public school children are overwhelmingly favorable. The money is simply not following the logic.

    April 6, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Gun bill backfires

    State Sen. Scott Beason, a Gardendale Republican, who will soon vacate his seat, is feeling a sense of disappointment that his bill to allow Alabamians to carry loaded handguns in their cars without a concealed weapon permit was shot down this week.

    April 5, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Above and beyond

    The announcement of the annual Distinguished Citizen and Unsung Heroes recipients by The Cullman Times has revealed another lineup of caring people who go the extra mile in building a better local community.

    April 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A chance to lead growth

    In an era that concluded about a generation ago, residents of any average town or city in America had pretty much one destination for shopping.

    April 2, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Out of date, out of time

    The Alabama State Constitution, one of the nation’s oldest at 113 years old, continues to linger despite a wide range of efforts to completely rewrite the document.

    April 2, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A private matter on display

    Following the arguments generated by legalized abortion leave many people in this generation walking away from the issue with a sense of confusion.

    April 1, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Drug policy sensible, needed

    Cullman City School officials’ decision to slow plans for implementing a student drug testing program was reached after a series of public input meetings.

    April 1, 2014

  • Rage against the weather

    A lot of things can be predicted in life. Economic downturn. A sour reaction to a bill in Congress or the president’s State of the Union address.

    February 3, 2014

  • A legacy protected by truth

    The holiday commemorating the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr. passed with various celebrations and speeches across the nation.

    January 21, 2014

  • Ignoring the state’s needs

    Two points about the Alabama budget process are coming to light, and both are disturbing.
    With the Legislature in session, reports are already showing that lawmakers will have more money to spend on education and less for all the other vital state services that fall under the strained General Fund.

    January 20, 2014