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Page 4

The Hawes Horror Conclusion

(Continued from Page 3)

Also on that Sunday warrants were sworn out for the arrest of Sheriff Joseph Smith, Police Chief O. A. Pickard and Police Lieutenant Joe Nix for the murder of Maurice B. Throckmorton, postmaster. They were duly arrested and confined to their offices at the courthouse. Over the next few days even more warrants would be sworn out against them for deaths of the rioters. Alabama Governor Thomas Seay arrived in Birmingham on Monday, December 10th, to personally take control of the situation after being notified of the arrests.

On Saturday afternoon, December 15th, the body of Hawes’ younger daughter, Irene, was dragged from the bottom of Lakeview Park Lake. That night large crowds again roamed the streets with rumors flying about dynamite being used against the jail, but no further trouble erupted.

According to a Birmingham newspaper report, when Richard Hawes was told by the sheriff of finding his younger daughter’s body, he looked up from his cell bunk without the slightest show of emotion. Then he calmly asked the sheriff for a cigarette. After taking two or three puffs, he asked where she was found. He then bowed his head in his hands. Asked whether he had anything further to say, he shouted an emphatic, "No!" and turned his face to the wall.

The final chapter of the Hawes murder mystery will continue in the next edition of the The Jefferson Journal.

May Hawes

May Hawes

Emma Hawes

Emma Hawes



Corey Manhole Cover Reflects
Fairfield’s Former Life

capital I

nterestingly, some of the manhole covers in Fairfield still bear the name of the town’s former name, Corey. They would have had to have been installed between 1909 and 1913 meaning they are about 100 years old.

Corey was founded by U.S. Steel Corporation in 1909 and named for U.S. Steel President William E. Corey. The giant steelmaker purchased the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company (TCI) in 1907 and soon thereafter began planning the new worker village.

The model town was planned as an industrial village to house the workforce at the soon-to-be built Fairfield Works. Its name was changed to Fairfield by the company after William E. Corey’s highly publicized marital infidelities in 1913. It was called Fairfield after the Connecticut hometown of another U.S. Steel executive, James A. Farrell who served as president of U.S. Steel from 1911 to 1932.

Corey divorced his first wife to marry Mabelle Gilman, one of the top musical comedy stars on Broadway.

Installation of the manhole covers with the Corey name on them was done over a six-year period just before World War I. The village was patterned in part after another nearby company town, Ensley.

Corey Manhole Cover

Thanks to Lucy R. Nash, the mayor’s executive assistant at Fairfield City Hall for this photo.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt spoke in the town’s central plaza (near the park next to City Hall) during dedication ceremonies. The Fairfield mill continues to be operated by U.S. Steel as one of its five integrated steel mills in the United States.

Among Fairfield notables are baseball’s Willie Mays who graduated from Fairfield Industrial High School in 1950 and actor George Lindsey ("The Andy Griffith Show") who was born in Fairfield in 1935. Development of the City of Corey was a prime undertaking of real estate developer Robert Jemison, Jr.

Shades Valley Sun ad 1955

Shades Valley Sun ad 1955


Shades Valley Sun, 1955.


Jefferson County Historical Association Books

historic birmingham & jefferson county

Historic Birmingham
and Jefferson County
By James R. Bennett
$45 (member discount)

Elyton Land Company Minute Books

Elyton Land Company
Minute Books, 1871-1895
Edited by Thomas M. West, Jr.

History of Jefferson County Before 1850

History of Jefferson County
Before 1850
By Will F. Franke


About JCHA Publications

The Jefferson County Historical Association offers several books that offer a fresh insight into the rich history of Birmingham and Jefferson County Alabama. They tell the fascinating story of the people and industries that made Jefferson County and Alabama the industrial center of the South.

From first-hand accounts to thoroughly researched narratives, The JCHA publishes books that bring forth rich episodes of Jefferson Counties history in a readable style that engages both scholarly and general audiences.

Ordering JCHA Books

These JCHA books can be purchased at meetings of the Jefferson County Historical Association or ordered by mail.

Click the link below to print or save a book order form. PDF format.

Book Order Form

You may also order by sending your check or money order to the following address along with $5.00 for shipping and taxes (please add $2.00 for each additional book):

The Jefferson County Historical Association
PO Box 130285
Birmingham, AL 35213-0285

Please indicate book title and quantity when ordering.


Other Source Publications co-sponsored by the JCHA:

  • Tannehill and the Growth of the Alabama Iron Industry — James R. Bennett, Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission, 1999, available at www.tannehill.org, $45.
  • The Valley and the Hills, an Illustrated History of Birmingham and Jefferson County — Leah Rawls Atkins, Windsor Publications, 1981, available at the Birmingham Public Library Southern History Department, http://www.birminghamarchives.org/ArchivesStore.htm, $30

History of the JCHA

The Jefferson County Historical Association is dedicated to preserving and publicizing local history through regular meetings, publications and events. Founded in 1975 to promote historical preservation efforts, the society has grown to more than 400 members.

Alice McSpadden Williams

Thomas N. Carruthers, Jr.

George L. Jenkins

Harry E. Bradford

Rucker Agee
Lane Carter
Elizabeth Cooper
Chriss Doss
Paul H. Earle
Robert Montgomery
Margaret Sizemore
George Stewart
J. Morgan Smith
Richard J. Stockham
James F. Sulzby, Jr.
S. Vincent Townsend
Henry Tuttle

Board of Directors:
Cathy Criss Adams
Craig Allen, Jr.
Thomas E. Badham
Jim Bennett
Jeanne B. Bradford
Herbert F. Griffin
Judy S. Haise
Ann B. Hillhouse
Robert R. Kracke
Carolyn H. Reich
Barbara (Babs) Simpson
Edward W. Stevenson, MD
Thomas M. West, Jr.

Past Presidents:
J. Morgan Smith
Margaret D. Sizemore
Elmer C. Thuston, Jr.
Chriss Doss
Betsy Bancroft
Tillman W. Pugh
William A. Price
Thomas M. West, Jr.
Madge D. Jackson
Thad G. Long
Don G. Watkins
Fred M. Jackson III
Thomas O. Caldwell, MD
Charles A. Speir
Craig Allen, Jr.
Edward W. Stevenson, MD
Jim Bennett



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