May 14, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Phil Wirey will be speaking on General James Longstreet and his ties to the North Alabama area.
Phil was raised in the small town of Clinton (originally called Burrsville) just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. After finishing public school he attended Carson Newman Baptist College and the University of Tennessee where at UT he received a chemical engineering degree in 1979. That same year he went to work for 3M in Decatur, where he worked for 36 years before retiring. As a hobby he researches local history, gives talks, and conducts walking tours about Decatur history he has rediscovered.
Phil became involved with local history while researching his family’s history and joined the Morgan County Genealogical Society where he has served as vice-president and is a past winner of the Elbert Minter Award. Phil is currently the vice president of the Morgan County Historical Society. His historical research has led him to studies of the early Decatur – Trinity area and its first settlers along with working with the Alabama Historical Commission in registering Kimbell and Fennel Cemeteries in Trinity. He helped in documenting the Garth and Menefee cemeteries in West Decatur and the Lafayette Street Cemetery located in downtown Decatur. His work has included documentation of the Old State Bank directors and presidents, the founding fathers of Decatur, and early local Paleo and Archaic archeological sites and archeologists that worked these sites in the 1950’s and 1960’s, as well as supplying input for the Native American Trail Signs at Point Mallard. Phil has worked with the English Department at Calhoun in researching the burial site of the southwest humorist, George Washington Harris, whose last residence was in Decatur. He has worked with the local churches in documenting early church locations, ministers, and members in the Decatur area. Phil has also developed various maps of the Trinity and Decatur area including downtown Decatur City plot maps, Decatur Civil War landmark maps, and various maps on early homes and businesses in downtown Decatur. His past work included working with Sheryll Cashin, Georgetown University professor, in promoting her book, The Agitator’s Daughter, which documented Decatur’s Cashin family. Along with this he documented early prominent African American families in the Decatur area for The Decatur/Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau video entitled Lift Every Voice and Sing.
He assisted the 3M Corporate office in obtaining multiple donations to both the Oakville Indian Mounds in Lawrence County and the Walls of Jericho Project with the Nature Conservancy in Jackson County.
Phil married the former Beth Hale of Decatur and they have two daughters and four grandchildren.