Presented by Bettye Lessley:
By Mr. W. T. Coker
I was the first man to move a stock of merchandise to the present business section of Sylacauga, said Mr. W. T. Coker. It was back in ’91 and it was the Smith Brothers stock which marked the opening of their new store on the present City National Bank lot. My first impression of the town was its flat ground and I wondered which way the water would run. It did not take long to find out, for soon thereafter a flood filled the valley and washed away timbers that were being used on a building. Some say we have floods in the business section now, but they are nothing compared with those in the nineties when everything came down Broadway. There were three pretty good lakes in the present business section. This was just at the period of New Sylacauga. Several buildings were being erected in the present business section but ours was the first finished. I came to Sylacauga from Goodwater and have been here ever since. Sylacauga was having her boom days and had a population of about 800. Some of the men I remember here at that time were George Heacock, Frank Hickman, T. V. Knight, Jim Lane, Ben French, Tom Mathews and J. W. Langley.
The Sylacauga News. March 3, 1933.