Friendly Hall - Kirkland Hall - 1940's - 1992


Grave Sites!

Story By

John Strunk - LWMA Faculty, 1967 - 1974,
Paul Tate - LWMA Faculty, 1965 - 1983,
Brian V. Brunner('64), and
Phillip M. Potts('63)

From: John Strunk (JOHNSTRUNK)
Date: 3/11/99 12:48 pm
To: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)

The "Haunted House" or Dr. Ward's home was originally the main house for the Walker family plantation. There were several Walker families who settled in ante bellum Tallapoosa County. During my tenure at LWMA I lived in Kirkland Hall and was intrigued by the grave stone of the young man, William Walker, who was buried near the building and was inspired to research the family to which the young man belonged. I talked with several people in Tallapoosa County about the Walker Family on whose plantation LWMA stands. Most of my information came from Mr. Crow, now president of the bank in Alexander City and former colleague of Judge Coley, the avid historian who was principally responsible for the establishment by the Federal Government of Horseshoe Bend National Battlefield. Mr. Crow shared with me a great deal of information about the Walker Family. And yes... Kirkland Hall was indeed constructed on the site of the Walker Family Cemetery. It was a common practice in the Ante Bellum South for families to bury their dead in the garden near their homes.

By the way, has anyone noticed that the gravestone William Walker disappeared at the time of the demolition of Kirkland Hall?

LWMA The 50's
Friendly Hall
From: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)
Date: 9/19/98 1:26 pm
To: Jack Riley (JEFIRDJR)

Some of my earliest memories are of you Jack seeming like the "disk jockey" of Friendly Hall. The air was most often filled with music from your room. You seemed to always have all the latest "45's" and kept us entertained.

How long has it been since you were back to the school. Friendly Hall was torn down in the early 90'2s. Was a sad moment for all of us. I remember walking through the "rubble" wondering if they had found any goodies hidden in the walls.I know that was a place to keep everything from magazines to civilian clothes..:)

I think through the years I lived in nearly half of the rooms. Including the one that was supposed to have the grave under the closet..:)

Was my favorite place to be.

From: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)
Date: 9/25/98 11:43 am
To: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)
Yes, Friendly Hall(Later renamed Kirkland Hall) was a great place to live... Except in the winter! I think it was the coldest dorm we had!

Here are all the pictures that we have online of Friendly Hall:

Friendly Hall 1963
Friendly Hall(1963)

Friendly Hall 1966
Friendly/KirkLand Hall(1967)

Friendly/KirkLand Hall 1981
Friendly/KirkLand Hall(1981)

Friendly/Kirkland Hall 1992
Friendly/KirkLand Hall(1992 demolition) From the Southwest corner looking east.
The attachments are other views of the 1992 demolition.
These photos were all taken in May of 1992.

Friendly/Kirkland Hall(1992)
East Front

Friendly/Kirkland Hall(1992)
East Back

Friendly/Kirkland Hall(1992)
West Back

Friendly/Kirkland Hall(1992)
West Front

From: Paul Tate (PAULTATE)
Date: 9/25/98 4:29 pm
To: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)

Your story reminds me ... virtually underneath one of the outside windows (Rooms #2 and #3 ???) between Kirkland (Friendly) and the new dorm Hill Hall was the grave of some deceased man, and it had a full length, white marble slab or marker over it which was raised about six inches or so above the ground level. On the slab was engraved the man's name, birth date and death date and a quotation considered to be fitting for the deceased. During my era, cadets who knew the legend commonly believed that it was the grave of Seven Toes. During the Centennia last May when I saw the vacant lot where the building and the grave had once beenl, I inquired of the dispositon of the grave and its remains (probably none!!) when the building was razed, and I was told that it was moved to the vacinity of where Dr. and Mrs. Ward lie burried on the sloping hillside in front of the new chapel. For years, it was also belived that other graves lay underneath the entire building.

From: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)
Date: 9/25/98 5:01 pm
To: Paul Tate (PAULTATE)

There a LOTS of stories about that grave marker. I know where it is. It's out in the field beyond the chapel and the new auditorium. It's under a tree almost to the barn! Col. Smith had it moved there in 1992 when Friendly Hall was being razed.

Why it was moved? I don't know...

Later I can give you some of the info on the marker. I have a picture of it.:)

From: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)
Date: 9/25/98 6:22 pm
To: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)

Sounds Super!

This might be a story that can be a contributory conglomeration of experiences. The grave is definely a part of it as the legend also was that the grave was "Really" under Room 2 or three closet!

I remember us talking to Col Smith around the '92 time and he said that the whole hill had been a cemetery at one time in the past, or at least that part of it. They ran into graves while building the new Dorm adjacent to Friendly also.

I remember looking down at the marble stone with the name carved..(anyone remember the name?). It was not a simple stone. I always wondered who it was..

I thought also that the grave was moved way out toward the farm. But I may be mistaken.

Interesting to say the least.

From: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)
Date: 9/29/98 3:25 pm
To: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)

Here's another picture...

Alabama Hall(L) Friendly Hall(M) Dr. Lyman Ward's house(L)(late 1940s)
This overhead view is part a picture taken in the late 1940's.

This part shows the football field (now parade field) at the top. At the bottom (L-R) is Alabama Hall, Friendly/Kirkland Hall and far right is Dr. Ward's house. (Mr Kirkland may have been living there when this photo was taken!) Anyway it shows the U shape well.

(Alabama Hall was located about where the west end of Hill Hall is now. Ward/Howell Hall would be to the right of Friendly Hall. It was not built until 1950.)

The white lines going from roof of the house to the rooms wing is the hot water pipe housing I talked about in my story.

I'm sorry we can not see the grave marker next to room two. It should be to the left of the rooms wing at the upper left corner, just below the sidewalk. Remember the rooms wing is the U part.

I overheard some SII alumni talking about that grave marker some years ago. They said that they heard that some SII students had found it in the woods and hauled to that location. I have no proof of that. Just passing on a rumor I heard.

What Phil said about unmarked graves being found when Hill Hall was being built is true. We have that on good authority.

Phil, Friendly Hall was one of my favorite dorms too! I lived in it my entire first year and half of my senior year.

From: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)
Date: 10/1/98 8:39 am
To: Paul Tate (PAULTATE)

The info from the photo I took in January(1998) of the grave marker out near the barn that had been outside room # 2...

In the memory of
W. H. Walker
Son or Benjamin and Elizabeth Walker

---- three lines I can't make out. ---
The 16th of September
A. D. 1844
Aged 19 years 5 months and 16 days

--- six more lines I can't make out. ---

That means he was born around April 1, 1825.

FYI: Dr. Ward's house was built around 1826.

I remember we always told the new cadets who had to live in room # 2 that when thay built Friendly Hall they had to move the grave marker over. And that he was really buried under the closet in room # 2. :)

From: Paul Tate (PAULTATE)
Date: 10/2/98 5:34 pm
To: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)

Thanks for the information. Now I remember having read the name. I suppose that there were as many rumors and interest in that grave as there was about old seven-toes. Next time I am there I will have to visit the "slab" (I am sure that there was no longer a "soul" under it when it was moved.) and read the rest of the inscription.

From: hartimes (HARTIME)
Date;10/3/98 12:49 pm
To: Paul Tate (PAULTATE)

Paul as an eighth grader, the grave was know by all the above, seven toes and so on, I do remember some cadets stating that the fellow within the grave had died of cohlera, and to go near the site would have doomed you to the same fate. At 13 years of age it was enough to make you stay away from it. Friendly Hall or the Sandbox as we use to call it was a great place to live, in a place where privicey was so hard to find within the barracks it made you feel at home. I am glad to have spent my senior year within its walls with some very good people.

From: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)
Gate: 10/6/98 12:59 pm
To: hartimes (HARTIME)


Well said. Friendly Hall (The Sandbox) was a vary good "home away from home".:) It always had a "home" feeling about it.

And you thought you could hide things in the pine paneling! Of course everyone knew about that. Robert Bell('64) said that all contraband in the walls was the only thing holding that building up in 1992 when it went down. He was president of the Alumni Association that year.

Hank, You'd be interested to know that now-a-days Howell Hall is where thay house the younger cadets, and thay call it the "Sandbox" too!

From: hartimes (HARTIME)
Date: 10/6/98 8:20 pm
To: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)

Brian, I remember the staff living in the center house of the sandbox during the 70s, was it the same during the 60s? Also, I'm surprised Paul hasn't mentioned what it was like for the teachers to live there. I remember as many as 3 teachers sharing the house at one time. Kinda makes a two man room look good, and of course it beats the heck out of sharing a compartment with 80 guys (Navy style). Paul, whats the scoop???????

From: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)
Date: 10/7/98 8:16 am
To: hartimes (HARTIME)


In my time there 1959-1964 Mr. and Mrs. Yancy lived there from 1959-1963. Mr. Yancy was a retired Army CWO who ran the school Supply department and Mrs. Yancy was in charge of the canteen.

In my senior year we had another supply sergeant and his wife living there. I think his name was Sgt. Ogburn.

Later the building was renamed Kirkland Hall. Kirkland was the school's second president. He had Friendly Hall built in the late 1940's, and I believe he was the first to live in the house.

That's all I know for sure.

Did Paul Tate really live in the house too?

From: Phillip Potts(63) (PHILLP)
Date: 10/7/98 8:22 am
To: Brian Brunner(64) (BVBRUNNER)

I am trying to visualize if anyone lived in the "house" during the 58/59 year. I know that one side was definitely a "Day room" with a pool table.

Perhaps Jack Riley would remember??

Return to the Stories Contents Page.

Return to the Alumni Home Page.