Atmore HOF committee selects inductees

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, July 1, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
The Atmore Hall of Fame committee voted last week on inductees for 2009, selecting Lyn Stuart, Annie Ruth Whitten and Paul Birch to be honored.
Whitten was selected for her contribution to education, Stuart selected for hers to law and Birch selected for his to the arts.
The Committee has previously inducted 12 people, seven the first year and five last year.
Committee member Charlotte Boyle said she was pleased with this year’s inductees.
Stuart is the only living inductee. She is currently an associate justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
She was born in Atmore and graduated from Escambia County High School. She continued her education at Auburn University with degrees in education and sociology and received her law degree from The University of Alabama. She has served on the Alabama Supreme Court since 2001.
Whitten was born in Greensboro, grew up in Evergreen and moved to Atmore in 1944 with her husband, Thomas Pierce Whitten.
Whitten came from a family of college graduates and in 1933 graduated from Huntingdon College with degrees in English and math.
From there she began her career in education, teaching for 35 years in the state with 29 spent at Escambia County High School.
Birch was born in Atmore in 1912 as Paul Smith. He was both a film and stage actor, and gained notoriety as the original “Marlboro Man.”
He was a veteran of 39 movies, 50 stage dramas and a number of television shows including the Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951). He also had a recurring role as Captain Carpenter, the boss of Lt. Phillip Gerard in “The Fugitive” TV series.
The induction ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 22 at the Muskogee Inn.

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