Item: Historical marker dedicated at Rather Memorial Park

From the May 17 edition of the Item: A City of Huntsville historical marker was dedicated at the Rawley Samuel Rather Memorial Park at the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street.

The park is located on the home site of Rawley Samuel Rather and his wife, Mary Caroline Henry — lifetime Huntsville residents — and their five children — Marian Leigh, Rawley Goss, John Henry, who died in infancy, Edward Seay and John Henry.

The Rathers’ oldest child, Marian Leigh, was the first woman elected to the local school board and served as the Walker County chairman of the women’s suffrage movement. Marian Leigh was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She taught math of Sam Houston Normal (later Sam Houston State University) and wrote the college song for homecoming in 1910.

The house was demolished in 1977, and the Rather-Powell family made the site available to the City of Huntsville for a downtown park in 1979.

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