In the summer of 1920, my grandfather with his wife Ella with 5 youngest of 10 children moved from Columbia, SC to Franklin Springs, Georgia. For transportation by train, two boxcars were utilized, one for household goods and a second one for farm equipment and animals. My father, The Rev. Mr. A. C. Shealy, at the time was 15 the oldest child, had the responsibility to ride and care for the animals.
My grandfather along with others worked to build the first building of the newly established Franklin Springs Institute, known as the Taylor Memorial Building; it was located on the east side of the property and included a large auditorium surrounded with student housing. I heard President Aaron preach from the auditorium pulpit; families of former President W. E. Drum and administrator of the PH press Robert Robinson lived for several years in the apartments around the parameter along with student apartments for men students. I remember the report that students pulled a prank one night by leading a mule through the wide circular hall that separated the housing area from the auditorium.
In 1950, I was asked to haul off the records of George Floyd Taylor from his tenure at Franklin Springs Institute/Emmanuel College which were stored in the top floor of his home. A 12 foot trailer load of 14 inch ledgers line by line listed minute by minute activities of his presidency. Before dumping the trailer load of material in the ditch, I took time to scan through several. Every item and contribution by each one was hand written with a date and recorded time. I saw many items listed as: “A load of sand from Broad River by John Shealy.” Broad River is about 2 miles west of the campus. Similar statements read: “A load of lumber by John Shealy.” The lumber was hauled from Royston a town about 3 miles east of Franklin Springs. One of Mr. Taylor’s sons, Zelotese, told my brother, Alton, that they could not have done what was accomplished without the work given by Grandpa Shealy.
Unfortunately, due to the economy of that time and the approaching depression, the outer concrete walls lacked the stucco finish as designed, but the structure served the institution and the Pentecostal Holiness Church for many decades before it was demolished around 1980. The PH printing press occupied the basement floor for many years while at the same time serving the students.
Over the years, I have so much regretted that I did not preserve these records rather than destroying them as instructed, but I did want to give an eye witness account for anyone who might be interested.
Floyd M. Shealy, Ed.D. , Shealyf@att.net; phone: 405-625-7546
Grandson of John Henry Shealy, alum and former faculty member of Emmanuel College