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History 

A NASCAR driver from Madison?

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc. When you hear the word NASCAR, what do you think? Do you recall that 2001 afternoon in Daytona when Dale Earnhardt lost his life? Or do you remember the greatness that Richard Petty achieved when he won his 200th race? You don’t think of a hometown resident going and racing beside Darrell Waltrip, do you? Well, it happened. Gordon “Don” Williams was born on May 14, 1947 in Madison to Robbie and Gordon Williams Sr., who owned a local hardware store. Williams went to Florida…

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History 

County Commission rescinds request to save oaks in park

Jacob Bembry: Greene Publishing, Inc. The beautiful oaks that surround the Four Freedoms Park offer visitors a respite from the blazing sun in summers and a place to relax and reflect in the autumn months, as well as in spring and winter. In 1963, though, the trees were almost cut down not by a fierce hurricane but by progress. In September of that year, the Madison County Commission voted to rescind a previous request it had made to the Florida Department of Transportation. They had asked the state to realign…

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History 

Greenville School goes up in blaze

Jacob Bembry: Greene Publishing, Inc. A fire destroyed the elementary school in Greenville on Wednesday afternoon, February 26, 1964. Frank Merritt, the principal of the school, attributed the possible cause of the blaze to an overheated gas heater. The fire left between 350 to 400 students temporarily without a school. One of the school teachers was on the school grounds when the fire was noticed at approximately 5 p.m. The teacher observed smoke pouring out from under the roof. All textbooks and the teachers’ registers were lost in the fire…

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History 

Baileys chosen as Outstanding Farm Family of 1960

Jacob Bembry: Greene Publishing, Inc. The Kelley R. Bailey Family was named the Outstanding Farm Family of the Year for Madison County at the Farm Bureau banquet held in the autumn of 1960. Kelley, his wife, Mary, and 13-year-old daughter, Norma Jean (Jeanie) lived on a 110-acre farm two miles from Sirmans. Kelley, a native of Madison County, lived in the same house where he was born on the Bailey homestead. The home was a six-frame wood home, equipped with modern appliances. Mary kept a vegetable garden, large enough to…

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