Mr Maddox's first car - Maddox GenealogyJohn Luther Maddox, Sr. owned and edited Odenville, Alabama's first newspaper, the "St. Clair County News". It was established in 1908. Tradition says that the first edition was printed on silk, but no copy has ever been located. The paper's slogan for 1908 was:
LATE TO BED
EARLY TO RISE
WORK LIKE HELL
On 18 Nov 1909, the "St. Clair County News" published it's last issue in Odenville, AL and moved it's headquarters to Ragland, AL. John Luther Maddox was also in business in Julian, AL. He opened a store at the railroad cut at Hardwick in 1902. In 1904, he built for Odenville's first doctor, the house now occupied by Joe and Gail Whitten. At the same time he began building his own home on the Springville Cutoff. He moved his family from Julian, AL to Odenville, AL in 1905.
Myrtle Anne Maddox Kenney, his daughter, lived in that house until her death on 21 Dec 1993. Her mother, Sarah Elizabeth Jones Maddox, planted walnut trees there in 1905-06 and they are fine, spreading trees now. While maintaining his store at the cut, he bought from the Haywoods the general merchandise store which was located on the lot where Odenville's Chevron is now located today.
Another of Maddox's trips was to Birmingham, AL, a journey also duly reported in the St. Clair County News. One of the memorian things of the trip was that "When about half way there, the gasoline gave out and he and his passengers were obliged to walk about five or six miles across to the Central of Georgia Railroad at Henry Ellen, where they took a train for the city." (Pictured: an early auto with stick steering similar to the first one owned by Mr. Maddox.)
His daughter, Myrtle Ann Maddox Kenney, remembered well her father's car. She stated "My daddy guided it with a stick and it had rubber tires about four inches in diameter, just hard rubber on wooden wheels." There wasn't any such thing as inflated tires back then. She said it would go CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG. Chugging along and everybody would run to see them, and that her brothers, Jack, J. L. Jr., and Chesley, would hide and say "They're not gonna see me." Myrtle Anne Maddox Kenney said one time that they went down to Bethel and the road was real narrow and the people in buggies were coming toward them and their horses would start raring up and down. She said she would never forget that incident as it scared her.
John Luther Maddox died the 4th of September 1935 and is buried next to his
wife Sarah in the Liberty Cemetery, Odenville, AL. Their tombstones have
Woodsmen of the World emblems on them.