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franklin county times

Vina recognized for historical contributions

Vina Mayor D.W. Franklin, council member Lula Abston, town clerk Sue Raper, Director of Archives and History Steve Murray, and Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow pose with pictures of the White Oak Hub Company in Vina, which was an important part of Alabama’s manufacturing history.

By Matt Wilson

For the FCT

VINA – The town of Vina, and specifically the White Oak Hub Company, are being recognized by the Alabama Department of Archives and History and an exhibit spotlighting the town’s contributions to state history is featured in the Alabama Mosaic project.

The hub manufacturing company operated until 1957 and according to the Director of the Alabama Archives and History, Steve Murray, the company was an important part in rural life, trade, and transportation for an era stretching from right after the Civil War up until World War I.

A delegation from Vina visited the Alabama Department of Archives and History on Sept. 22 to view the Vina display in the agency’s Museum of Alabama. The delegation included State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, Mayor D. W. Franklin, Vina council member Lula Abston, and Vina town clerk Sue Raper.

They also shared historical photographs of the White Oak Hub Company that will be digitized by the Archives and made available statewide at www.alabamamosaic.org.

Archives Director Steve Murray thanked the city officials for their efforts to preserve Vina’s history and share it with the rest of the state.

“We are delighted and proud to have this important part of Alabama’s history represented in the museum,” Murray said.

“It is a wonderful example of how a small community could have a tremendous impact on a significant portion of the economy. Long before automobiles were being manufactured in Alabama, Vina hubs and associated industries made it possible for agriculture, trade, and transportation to flourish.”

Morrow said having Vina recognized like this “means a great deal to the people in the community.”

“Without the hub company there would have been no wagons and with no wagons there would have been no transportation or trade,” Morrow said. “Vina lead the way in the region when it came to being a part of that.

“I talked with a woman who knew a great deal about the White Oak Hub Company and she explained that the company provided jobs to so many people at a time when there weren’t really many jobs.”

According to Murray, the hub company in Vina provided millions of hubs to wagon and buggy makers across the U.S. and in Canada, producing 400 hubs per day at its peak.

Morrow pointed out that besides the contribution of the White Oak Hub Company, Vina is also proud to be the home of the very first chapter of the Eastern Star.

“The very first chapter of the Eastern Star was started right there in Vina,” Morrow said. “The Eastern Star organization was the women’s equivalent to the Masons.”

More information on the Museum of Alabama can be found at www.museum.alabama.gov.


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