Presented by Bettye Lessley:

The New Year in 1914.

In 1910, in a hotel on the east side of Broadway in Sylacauga lived a young man named H. Victor May. He was seventeen years old. He worked as a printer in a local newspaper office. On January 15, 1914, he started a small newspaper which he called “May’s Town Talk.” In this first issue he wrote, “We of the ‘Marble City’ face the new year with strong hearts. The achievements of the year that is just passed encourage us to new and greater efforts. Wonderful progress has been made in our little city-greater progress perhaps than ‘Old 1913’ bestowed upon any other city in the state.”

Before 1914
After 1914
First Baptist Church Today

“The Marble City enumerates the following achievements: A million dollar cotton mill, two new marble quarries, a twenty thousand dollar church, a successful county fair, another bank, an ice plant, a fifteen thousand dollar opera house, a roller covering works, five miles of paved sidewalks, and countless minor improvements and additions to her commercial and industrial activities. Several beautiful and costly residences have also been erected and a number of cozy little homes built by and for the people who have been attracted to Sylacauga by its progress and the opportunities it offers to those in search of a growing city to grow with .

As a beginner of the upward climb in 1914, we have another new twenty-thousand dollar church to be built right away. Work of removing the house in which the Baptists of the city have worshipped for the past several years, has already begun, and before the winds of another winter sweep away the fallen leaves, the old church will have been replaced with a magnificent new house of worship.”

Victor May began publishing The Sylacauga News on Thursday, March 1, 1917. On Friday, March 29, 1918, Mr. Mays told the readers of his newspaper that he was leaving to “serve Uncle Sam-Liberty and Civilization at $38 per month.” The newspaper was left in the care of Editor Charles H. Greer.

Lt. Victor May lost his life on November 5, 1918, and was buried in Meuse, France.