April 9, 2017|
2:00 pm, Sunday
Senior Connections, Clanton
Glenn Wills and Forgotten Alabama
For the last few weeks we have written a regular story every week concerning some man or woman of Chilton County who has gone out into the world and made good at arts, trades and professions. These little stories have been greeted with a happy response of interest and approval from our readers, for which we are gratified.
And while it is true that many of our people have gone out into the world and by their achievements done credit to themselves and their native home, yet enough able men and women have kept the home fires burning to make Clanton one of the best towns in the State.
We are pleased to reflect upon the steady and permanent growth of our little city and our splendid County; not a spasmodic growth by leaps and bounds has marked the rise and fall of many places, but a steady, normal, and permanent growth that will “stay put.”
From a small country village cross-roads Clanton has grown to be an up-to-date modern little city with modern business buildings, paved streets, attractive homes, handsome churches and sch--- (Beg pardon, please, we were about to add schools; but when we thought of the miserable mess at the Clanton Grammar School building, our heart failed us.). Anyway, we have a good town, and we will soon have a better one by this correction of a Grammar School building that will be the pride and glory of us all.
Strangers have often remarked that in the business district of Clanton there is an atmosphere of hustle and bustle comparable to that of the city. Men and women who have become settled down and permanent fixtures in the life of Clanton have made this progress possible; and we like to think about them in the light of the things which their minds and their resources have contributed to this development.
One of the men to whom we might point as a potent factor in the progress of Clanton is Dr. Napoleon S. Johnson, one of our most loyal and public-spirited citizens. No introduction for Dr. Johnson is needed at our hands. He is perhaps known and loved by as many people in Chilton County as any other person you could name.
He was born in Clanton on August 13, 1883, the son of Dr. J. S. Johnson and Sallie Strock Johnson. His early schooling was at the McMorries Academy in Clanton, which institution furnishes the happy recollections of the school days for many of our now prominent and leading men and women. In 1897 and 1898, he attended Randolph-Macon Academy, going from there to the College of Surgeons at Baltimore, Maryland. The next year he attended the medical school of the University of Alabama, graduating at Mobile in 1901.
Dr. Johnson began practicing medicine at Clanton at the remarkable age of 18 years. In 1906 he was commissioned local surgeon for the L & N Railroad. A number of post graduate courses at different times has kept him abreast of the times in the practice and science of medicine.
As a local surgeon for Alabama Power Company, the excellent service and ability of Dr. Johnson has received recognition of high authorities of his profession in that organization.
Besides being a splendid doctor, this man is a worthy citizen. He believes in Clanton and devotes much of his conscientious thought and energy to the things which concern the progress and permanence of the life of our community. He is vice-president and director of the Peoples Savings Bank, has served as city councilman, and has always taken an interest actively in every movement for the progress of the city or county.
The homes of Clanton are the blocks out of which the fine structure [of] our citizenship and community are builded [sic]. It may be truly said that in this respect the home of Dr. Napoleon Johnson represents one of the most beautiful units of our civic structure. His noble wife and sweet, congenial children are a glory which any man might be proud to contribute as a part in the building of social prestige for his community.
This article first appeared in the Union-Banner, December 1st, 1927 in "Who's Who In Clanton" and was reprinted in The Chiltonian, the newsletter of the Chilton County Historical Society and Archives, Inc. in Volume 29, Number 4 October 2009.