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The Burlesons – since 1940s

May 17, 1942—F. E. Burleson delivered an inspiring patriotic address this morning at the First Methodist Church as recognition was given and honor was paid to the members of the church who are serving the country in the armed forces. A star represented each man who is currently engaged in the war against Japan and Germany.   

Flanking the service flag were an American flag and a Christian flag. Mrs. Coy Stephenson played “God Bless America” as an organ solo. 

Sept. 1, 1956—This academic year Fessor Burleson’s class included future physician Dr. Thomas (Tom) Dodson. Dr. Dodson recalls especially the professor’s teaching relating to the founding of the 13 American colonies, including the motivations behind the establishment of each.   

With strong Hartselle ties, Dr. Dodson has been an extremely active Emory University faculty member for more than 30 years. He formerly held a professorship at Harvard. He is the author of 35 books and other monographs and has published more than 80 scientific journal articles. 

Nov. 7, 1959—David Burleson celebrated his ninth birthday today at home with his parents, Prof. and Mrs. F. E. Burleson. 

Feb. 3, 1957—Hartselle Elementary School has been renamed F. E. Burleson school by the Morgan County Board of Education. 

Feb. 14, 1957—Principals F.E. Burleson and J.C. Pettey, the heads of Hartselle’s elementary and high schools respectively, report that both institutions are heavily overcrowded and badly in need of more resources to cope with this problem. 

Nov. 6, 1960William L. Ballew passed away in Decatur today at age 75. His survivors include his wife, Mrs. Linnie Ballew, and a daughter, Mrs. F. E. (Mary Nell) Burleson.   

He and his wife were married in 1919. He was a farmer, and the family resided on Walnut Grand Road in the Priceville community. He will be laid to rest in the Bethel Baptist cemetery. 

Feb. 24, 1971—The man who was “Mr. Education” in Hartselle and Morgan County for over half a century, Forrest Emory “Fessor” Burleson, died today at age 74. 

April 7, 1980Mrs. Linnie Ballew, widow of the late William Logan Ballew, passed away today at age 79. Mrs. Ballew was the mother of Mrs. Mary Nell Burleson and Mrs. Inez Runager. 

July 20, 2006—Mrs. Mary Nell Ballew Burleson, age 81, passed away today. Mrs. Burleson was the widow of F. E. “Fessor” Burleson. She is survived by two sons, David A. (Anne) and William F. Burleson, both of Hartselle. 

March 17, 2016—William F. Burleson, age 66, passed away today at Huntsville Hospital. He was born in Hartselle on Christmas Day, 1949, to the late F. E. (“Fessor”) and Mary Nell Ballew Burleson. He is survived by a brother, David A. Burleson. 

May 21, 2016—The Hartselle Educators Hall of Fame Committee has selected its inaugural class. Inductees for this first group of outstanding educators are Prof. Isaac Stallworth, longtime principal at the Morgan County Training School; J.C. Pettey, former MCHS principal and Morgan County superintendent of education; F. E. Burleson, longtime principal at Hartselle Elementary (now Burleson Elementary); J.P. Cain, longtime principal at Hartselle Junior High and Hartselle High School and football coach at MCHS (now Hartselle High); Lizzie Reed Penn, longtime and well-loved English and public speaking teacher at MCHS; and Prof. J. H. Riddle, longtime educator and principal who owned the Hartselle Academy at one time that later became Hartselle Elementary and, still later, Burleson Elementary.   

Others honored are Caston McDaniel, who donated the land for the Rosenwald School, which later became Morgan County Training School; Loy Greenhill, longtime principal at Crestline Elementary; John Frank Parker, longtime teacher and principal at Hartselle Junior High; and Idessa Wherry, longtime English teacher at MCHS/Hartselle High.   

Ms. Wherry had a fan club on Facebook with nearly 500 members. Each of them said their lives had been changed for the better by being in her classes. 

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