• 57°
Hartselle Enquirer

What's in a name? A lot when you're the 'Screwdriver'

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
I had only been in Hartselle a day or two when someone off-handedly remarked "Oh, you work for the 'Screwdriver.'"
"Excuse me," I asked. "I work for the Hartselle Enquirer."
"I know," the person replied. "We've always called it the 'Screwdriver.' Don't know why."
I didn't know either, though it certainly didn't sound like a flattering name. "Screwdriver" didn't lend itself to much dignity for a newspaper, and as the new publisher, it wasn't a moniker I was eager to adopt. Back at the office, I asked the staff why the paper was called the "Screwdriver." The answer always came back the same: "Don't know, just always have."
For three years now, I've wondered why this paper was called the "Screwdriver," and had even threatened to give away screwdrivers emblazoned with the name Hartselle Enquirer to all new subscribers.
So, it's understandable this week when I became excited when looking back through old issues of the Enquirer as we were compiling a section on wild, wacky and wonderful stories from the paper's past.
I found a story titled "Screwdriver: A Nickname That Stuck." The story, written by former editor and current mayor Clif Knight, was published as part of the Enquirer's 50th anniversary issue on June 30, 1983.
According to Knight, the Hartselle Enquirer was "dubbed 'Screwdriver' at some point down the long string of its editions, and it has stuck like a leech."
The article did little to shed light on the nickname, however. As Knight reported, no one's sure how the nickname got started or who started the tradition.
In the article, a retired cotton buyer named J.C. Henderson said he heard the paper called the "Screwdriver" since he was a child.
"I guess it could have been nicknamed that because a screwdriver has so many uses around the house and the newspaper did, too, back in those days," Henderson said.
Henderson went on to prove his point, by recalling a story he attributed to former publisher C.R. Walker, and a farmer back in the 1930s.
The story says Walker was trying to sell the farmer a one-year subscription to the paper for $1.50. His sales pitch and the response went something like this:
"I can't buy it because I don't have $1.50," the farmer said.
"I'll settle for a load of firewood," the publisher replied.
"I don't have any wood," the farmer said.
"Then bring me a load of cobs," Walker answered.
"If I had the cobs, I wouldn't need the paper," the farmer said.
That's a great story, but still doesn't shed any light on the Screwdriver mystery. So I need your help. If you've got a Screwdriver story, or have an idea of why the name stuck, give me a call at 773-6566.

News

HIS students help clean up effort at Mt. Tabor Cemetery 

News

Lovely landscape

News

Morgan buys SUVs to transport seniors, deliver meals

News

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

News

Morgan teen exhibits grand champion at Alabama National Fair

News

Murder-for-hire defendant seeks bond

MULTIMEDIA-FRONT PAGE

Stadthagen supports

News

SALUTE

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Second grade students in Hartselle honor heroes

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

At a Glance

Vinemont man killed in single-vehicle crash

At a Glance

Littlest Christmas Tree Farm opens Friday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Marching on: Pride of Priceville has ‘stellar’ season  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle scores A on state report card, down two points from 2018

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle man sentenced to 179 years in prison for sex crimes  

At a Glance

‘Have a Hart’ information session to be held Dec. 2 

brewer

Cotaco students celebrate Thanksgiving with school-wide parade

Hartselle

Divided Hartselle school board picks Clayton for next superintendent 

At a Glance

Historical Society plans 2023 lunch, learn series

At a Glance

Santa’s Workshop Vintage Market returns this weekend

Hartselle

Superintendent finalists interviewed for vacant position  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Junior High honors veterans at annual program

Hartselle

Christmas in the Park returns Dec. 3

Morgan Countian

Cotaco service center opens for county business  

x