Looking Back to 2008

Published 11:55 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Last week I wrote about the Granberry family, early residents of Brewton. In addition to his musical talents, George Folsom Granberry, who was born in 1876 in Brewton, was very active in other projects as well.
I wrote about the Granberry family several years ago and actually received a letter in return from one of his descendants. He, very kindly, corrected some of my mistakes and gave me added material that I thought I would share. I don’t remember just where I came across them, but I have copies of three photos made of George when he was in France during WW I. It turns out that he served as a field secretary with the YMCA in its efforts to assist the soldiers. He also served in WW II in the merchant marines. When his ship was torpedoed in the Pacific and he was given the ships’ papers to preserve when he went into a life boat.
On Jan. 3, 1870, Lot 2, Block 6, of the Milner Map was purchased from Mildred Snowden and the Brewton Academy opened. Children were taught there until 1886 when the Brewton Collegiate Institute opened its doors.
In 1883, when yellow fever hit Brewton, John Marcellus Granberry and his wife, Sarah McIver Granberry, along with two of their children, George Folsom Granberry and Nannie Granberry, were struck down with the deadly disease, but they were all lucky and recovered.
George Folsom told that one of his earliest memories was a torchlight parade in downtown Brewton celebrating the election of Grover Cleveland in 1884, when his father lighted the fireworks. At the age of nine, George became the assistant organist at the First Baptist Church of Brewton before he ever had a music lesson. In 1894, he went to Boston and worked his way through the New England Conservatory of Music for three years. He later taught music throughout Europe.
HIs brother, Robert Colley Granberry, became a prominent minister and his sister, Nannie Granberry, married a minister and through her efforts, many firsts were incorporated into the church events.
There is no doubt that the Granberry family made its marks on the city of Brewton. Time has taken away the memories, and perhaps the only thing left to remind us of what they did is the street bearing their name.