Library renamed for Huie

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's Library will soon bear the name of a city native and world famous author.
At Tuesday's meeting, the City Council unanimously approved renaming the Hartselle Public Library in memory of William Bradford Huie.
The action was taken on a recommendation of the Hartselle Library Board and following a request made by former city councilman Andy Vest. Board members and Vest spoke to the council at Monday night's work session.
"Hartselle has an opportunity to set itself above other local towns not only by acknowledging the indisputable accomplishments of one of its own, but also by signifying that we are a community of inclusion, that in this age when athletes grab the headlines we honor and respect serious and significant contributions to society," Vest said.
Council President Kenny Thompson said it's a long-overdue idea.
"I can't believe this has not been thought of by someone in the past," he said.
Not everyone agreed with the change.
"What did he (Huie) ever do for Hartselle?" Councilman Samie Wiley said. "I think there are other names out there that deserve to be considered. Wiley suggested State Sen. Tommy Ed Roberts, State Rep. Ronald Grantland, bank executive Bill Watson and former School Superintendent Lee Hartsell.
Vest said he thought Huie deserved the honor for his writing work.
"I'm not proposing that this be done in recognition of his civic contributions, but for his great literary works," Vest said.
Speaking as a relative of Huie, Jean Brindley Horton said she though it was too early to vote on the renaming of the library.
"I think you are moving too fast on this," she said "I think you should have some money in the bank to carry out your plans and allow the people some time to think about it. It would be nice to know that the whole town is behind it."
But money won't be a problem. Mayor Dwight Tankersley said a Texas resident called him and offered to foot the bill to change the name on the library building.
"The money needed to make the name change will be no problem," Vest said. "I don't think we're being premature to recognize someone who is a world figure, who lived here and who called Hartselle his home."
The name change isn't the only new idea. Vest said the library board would meet in September to put together a plan to establish a William Bradford Huie archives.
"The archives would preserve history of the small town southern life, the Civil Rights movement, Huie's contributions, and would create interests, which would increase tourism," Vest said.
Huie was born and raised in Hartselle and did much of his writing in his home on Barkley Street. He wrote 23 novels, eight of which were used as the basis for movie productions. His books sold over 30 million copies. He died in 1988.

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