William Marion Barton
Submitted Robin Sterling, from the Mountain Eagle, August 29, 1906
A Joyous Occasion in Old Winston. Fifty years ago today, August 17, the subject of this article, Capt. W.M. Barton saw the light of day, not many miles from his present abode, in the “free state” of Winston. Some time ago Mr. Barton conceived the idea of having a family reunion on his fiftieth birthday that he might get together his children and grandchildren, together with his friends that they make merry his birthday. His children eight in number all answered the roll call, three of whom have families of their own. Eight grand children and it is remarkable that there has never been a death in the family except perhaps one little grandchild. Mr. W.M. Barton is a son of Johnathan and Hanna Barton, old Georgians, who came to Winston many years ago. They were present also their sons and daughters numbering eight. All his brothers and sisters with one exception he has a brother in the West that could not attend. The old patriarch seems to be hale and hearty and bids fair to live several years yet. He is in his 75th years and his better half is as peart as very many years her junior. The invited guests were variously estimated from 200 to 300 and a number of others who by chance came to town, they too were made welcome to the feast and a feast it was. A long table was prepared for the dinner and it fairly groaned with the weight of good things to supply the wants of the inner man.
Bro. B.F. Shanks by special request delivered an oration that beat himself. He made all welcome and gave a history of the family and dwelled on the goodness and mercies of God and his dealings with this family, the many blessings and etc. After this oration dinner was announced and everybody again made welcome whether he had on the wedding garment or not by Mr. Barton. Now to say that it was good was wholesome and nice touches it but lightly. It was bountiful and many baskets full left. Dinner being over, music was then in order. Music of the sweetest strains filled the air. The organ was presided over by our pretty little Miss Rosa Taylor and the polite, courteous and affable Jim B., son of Mr. W.M. Barton. James is a jolly good fellow and tried hard to make all feel happy and on, how polite among the girls. He could learn Lord Chesterfield a few dots. Before going any farther we must give credit to whom credit is due. All this good eating and good time, Mrs. Barton and her lovely little brunette daughter, Miss Mary, deserve the thanks of all, and our friend Mr. B. owes his success in life much of it to his prudent economical wife and her industry and council. Next (our Bob) Judge Blanton was called on to address the crowd, who responded in his usual good natured happy style. Bob is a little man, but he has a head on him like a big fellow and every time Bob speaks he says he told us lots of good things and says he thinks we all ought to vote for Mr. Comer. He repeated a piece of poetry, “the County Candidate,” that was amusing and fitted the occasion, as I hear it whispered that this Billy has Legislative aspiration. Last but no means least, Col. Freeman of Haleyville had been invited as well as Judge Blanton to deliver an address, who responded and amused us for an hour with nice things to be in the near future. He says when the Panama Canal is completed cotton will be worth 50 to 75 cents per pound. When asked why, he says the Oriental will wear good clothes. That John Chinaman’s wardrobe is his back and he will wear 6 or 7 suits because he can buy them and that this canal will open up new commerce that the cotton growing country cannot supply the demand. All these good things are to be provided the grand old party that now holds the reins of government in power. Bro. Freeman is a jolly good fellow and we like him mighty well, but somehow the Col. must have been kinder hypnotized by the good looking ladies present, at least his ideas were big. Col. that price for cotton would ruin us, people would have so much money that they would become lazy and we could not hare help at any price. It would be equal to old Confed. when it took twenty-five dollars to buy a dram and it measured to you in a thimble at that. Come down a button hole colonel that’s too good. He exhorted us to union that in union there was strength, that is all o.k. Bro. Freeman is all right if he has a lively imagination. He spoke of the improvement and culture in grand old Winston. He could remember well when witchery and black cats were talked of and feared. Bro. Ramsey the talkative John Ramsey of Ga. But now a Winston Billy could also remember it and was shaking hands and making acquaintances and friends and reminding us of the great merits and curative properties of London oil a liniment he makes. The cakes, and we will close. There were two handsome, large birthday cakes that the handsome Jim announced were to be cut. One for young men and maidens and the other for the old people. The young man or maiden who got the dime were to wed first. The other the old fellows, but for good looks and it was amusing to see how cunning a certain old bachelor looked while cutting. This being the wind-up Judge Blanton came forward and proposed as it was near train time and many had to return to their homes—that all of one accord join in singing that good old hymn, “How Firm a Foundation,” before parting. Mr. Wright the artist of Nauvoo being present, Mr. Barton requested that all be quiet just a minute that he wanted a picture of all. I will close by saying it was a success, not a drop of whiskey on the ground, not a hard word was passed, no disturbance of any kind, all was perfect behavior. I never in life saw as well behaved people. I must not fail to mention Col. Long and Uncle Cap Baughn they seemed to enjoy the occasion very much. Long live W.M. Barton and his estimable wife. Peter Clincher.