Forgotten Trails: History of names of Brewton streets revisited

Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2006

By Staff
I am returning to the writings of Mr. Brooks this week. I believe you are enjoying them (at least I hope you are). These will continue until I am through with the information about the streets of Brewton.
August 9, 1956
Beyond mere assumption, it would be rather difficult to trace the reason for the name that was designated to Evergreen Avenue. If, it any time, had led directly toward the town of Evergreen, there might be some connection between the two. However, Evergreen Street, as it was originally known, as always been the shortest of the older north-south streets of Brewton and has always come to a dead end.
Until about 30 years ago, it was even shorter than it is now and came to an end at Granberry Street. In the late twenties Dr. A.M. Gowan and John R. Downing bought the property and developed it into the Belleview Park subdivision. The developers extended Evergreen Street for two additional blocks and terminated it at Underwood which they opened as the north boundary of their development, this street, of course, being the south boundary of the high school property. What these two gentlemen purchased was what had been known for many years as the Parker farm and that was really what it was.
Henry T. Parker, one of the earlier residents of Brewton who had engaged in the lumber and mercantile businesses operated a farm which lay on both sides of Douglas Avenue north of Granberry and his residence stood at the then end of Evergreen Street. When the Parker property was developed by Messers. Gowan and Downing, the residence which had faced south was turned to face west on the Evergreen extension and converted into an apartment building which is now owned by Mrs. Mary Francis Strain. (note: This is the two story gray house second from the corner of Granberry and Evertreen, which is now the residence of Carl Major's family.)
Mr. Parker had several children. One of his daughters married Charles W. Robbins, founder of the Standard Gauge, which later became The Brewton Standard. Another was the wife of Professor J.W. Brown, for many years a member of the faculty at Auburn. One son, Dr Edwin Parker, was a beloved Brewton physician, and another, Dorsey, became a distinguished mining engineer and served most of his career with the U.S. Bureau of Mines. A third son, Burns, was for a long time, cashier at the Bank of Brewton and his widow, Mrs. Cola D. Parker still makes her home here.
Only one of the larger Brewton homes built just after the turn of the century was erected on Evergreen Avenue. That was the residence of William H. Strong, which stands at the corner of Evergreen and McLellan. Mr. Strong was one of the original owners of the brick plant at Keego and he served for many years as mayor of Brewton. His wife was a sister to E.M. and W.Y. Lovelace, who have previously been mentioned in this series of comments. Their only surviving child is R.A. Strong, former Escambia County sheriff, former chief of police in Brewton and, until recently, connected with the state employment office here. After the death of Mr. and Mrs. Strong their home was purchased by the late Dr. F.H. Mason and he and his family lived there for many years. Following Dr. Mason's death, it became the property of Tandy Little who recently remodeled it for use as apartments but without changing the beautiful colonial lines of the exterior.
But back to the name of the avenue. It is possible, though not likely, that it has some connection with our neighboring city of Evergreen. Evergreen (the town) was in existence long before Brewton was heard of, and it might be that the early residents here decided to honor it by naming a street for it. On the other hand, the word is both proper and common, literally, and there are Evergreen parks, sub-divisions and cemeteries (galore) all over the country. Probably the city founders just liked the name and applied it.