A continuing look back at F. E. Burleson
March 22, 1926—Four days before Forrest Burleson’s election to the Alabama Legislature, Congress passed a law authorizing the Alabama Highway Department to construct a bridge across the Tennessee River near Whitesburg Ferry on the Huntsville-Lacey’s Spring Road between Madison and Morgan counties. It was anticipated that construction on a bridge at Decatur will begin in a couple of years. Now road improvements were needed to enable rural residents living at a considerable distance from the new bridges to get access to them.
March 26, 1926—Prof. F. E. Burleson, principal of the Moulton Heights school, announced his candidacy for the Alabama House of Representatives today. He has sent invitations to a county-wide road improvement meeting at Hartselle city hall today. Mr. Burleson knows a lot about roads. Seven years ago, in 1919, he worked for a year as a construction foreman on an important highway project. (After his successful campaign, he was named to the education, agriculture, military, penitentiaries and rivers and navigation committees in the Alabama House.)
Aug. 10, 1926—F. E. Burleson was elected on a progressive, well thought–out platform to the Alabama Legislature today. He favors longer terms of school, a bond issue for roads, rigid enforcement of the prohibition laws, remedying the “bad” check evil, the consolidation of Albany and Decatur and abolishing the convict lease system. (At this time, winning in the Democratic primary was equivalent to election, due to the weakness of the Republican Party.)
Nov. 20, 1926—Newly–elected State Rep. F. E. Burleson hosted another meeting this afternoon at the Hartselle city hall. Rep. Burleson urged voters in each beat to elect a delegate to the meeting, which will be devoted to additional discussion of road needs. Whether they are delegates or not, all citizens are welcome to attend this meeting. Rep. Burleson is interested in getting the views of his constituents.
Dec. 10, 1926—Rep. Burleson realizes state government needs revenue if it is to provide the services citizens are now demanding. Thus he has come out in favor of both a severance tax on coal and iron ore and a gasoline tax. He does not support giving government a blank check. Expenditures must be made very carefully. He is aware of the problem of small businesses being defrauded because of customers paying with checks that bounce. To curb this offense, he favors stronger penalties against the writing of bad checks.
Jan. 5, 1927—Rep. F. E. Burleson has returned from the state capital, after having attended the special sessions of the Legislature, convened Dec. 28 and concluded yesterday. Mr. Burleson will be among family and friends here in Hartselle only a short while, however, since he must return for the Legislature’s regular session, which convenes in just six days.
Jan. 21, 1927—All male citizens of Morgan County who are between the ages of 21–50 must work the county roads for eight days of nine hours each during the calendar year. This is the major provision of the bill introduced by Rep. F. E. Burleson at the start of the current regular session of the Legislature. The payment of five dollars would exempt any citizen who did not wish to do road work.
Feb. 18, 1927—Rep. F. E. Burleson is on his way home to Hartselle now that the Legislature has adjourned until June.
July 12, 1927—Decatur and Hartselle delegations were gathering at Montgomery today as the time for the presentation of the courthouse commission bill, authored by Rep. John Patterson of Decatur, was drawing near. Consideration of the bill has been twice delayed by the illness of F. E. Burleson, the Hartselle legislator. Interest in the measure is extremely high throughout the county. Mr. Burleson will lead the fight (ultimately unsuccessful) against the Patterson bill. Hartselle people feel the burned–out courthouse should be rebuilt in Hartselle and favor a referendum that will allow county voters to decide the matter.