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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Health and Civic Welfare

Restoring the Vision ... Preserving the Legacy

 
 
Health and Civic Welfare Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
1. Health and Civic Welfare Marker
Inscription. "The opportunies which were at hand in the development of the river and the region were being seized upon by our people with renewed courage and confidence. We now know that we couldn't be licked again, that what had been preached to us by TVA was the economic truth."
Barrell C. Shelton in "The Decatur Story" 1949

Early leaders envisioned a healthy and prosperous New Decatur, and their city plan included elements to promote health and civic welfare. The town's easy access to both the river and the railroad was advantageous but would later present challenges. The river was a vital transportation link but also caused problems from flooding and disease. Dependence on one major employer (L&N) and one major crop (cotton) emphasized the need for diversification when the depression struck. Under the leadership of Barrett Shelton Sr., a Chamber of Commerce was formed to address the area's economic problems. Despite early reluctance, the group worked with TVA, and important strides were made in flood control, improved navigation, and disease control. TVA also brought inexpensive power and better farming practices to area residents. TVA's efforts harnessed the power of the river and vastly improved the life of area residents.
 
Location. 34° 35.852′ N, 86° 
Ladies Benevolent Society image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
2. Ladies Benevolent Society
After yellow fever epidemics in 1878 and 1888, health issues were of great concern. The ladies Benevolent society was formed in 1888 during the second yellow fever epidemic for the purpose of "relieving the distress of the stricken people". The society held benefits, plays, minstrel shows, and lawn fetes. Their fundraising efforts helped create the town's first hospital (Ladies Benevolent society hospital which became Decatur General Hospital) the ladies benevolent society is pictured here in 1895 during a fundraising trip on the river.
58.647′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of 8th Street and Prospect Drive, on the right when traveling north on 8th Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Decatur AL 35601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Social and Cultural Opportunities (a few steps from this marker); Recreation and Refreshment (within shouting distance of this marker); Carolyn Cortner Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); Beauty and Hope (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Albany (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. John's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); War in Vietnam (approx. 0.8 miles away); World War One (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Decatur.
 
Categories. AgricultureEnvironmentIndustry & Commerce
 
Health and Civic Welfare image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
3. Health and Civic Welfare
The water tower has been a local element of the park since its creation. George Waring, known as the father of public works in America, designed the town's sanitation systems which were vital in attracting investors, businessess, and residents to New Decatur.
Watertower today image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
4. Watertower today
The TVA River Terminal (Port of Decatur) image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 13, 2009
5. The TVA River Terminal (Port of Decatur)
dedicated cica 1942, greatly enhanced the railroad access making Decatur one of the business commercial ports on the Tennessee River. The Ladies Benevolent Society Hospital was built in New Decatur on Somerville Road and opened for patients on August 16 1915. In 1945 the hospital became Decatur General.
Tennessee River, Train and Industry image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 23, 2009
6. Tennessee River, Train and Industry
Train caring cargo to Decatur image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 23, 2009
7. Train caring cargo to Decatur
Bridges over the Tennessee River in Decatur image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 23, 2009
8. Bridges over the Tennessee River in Decatur
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 513 times since then and 28 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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