North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

October 12, 2012

Atkins to speak at historical society

From staff reports
North Jefferson News

GARDENDALE — A renowned historian will be the guest speaker at the next Gardendale Historical Society meeting, which is Oct. 20, 10 a.m., at the Gardendale-Martha Moore Public Library.

Dr. Leah Rawls Atkins will give a history of the Warrior River.

She is on the board of directors of the Alabama Department of Archives and History and holds three degrees from Auburn University. She taught in the history departments at Sanford, UAB and Auburn, and is founding director of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in Auburn.

In addition, Atkins has written books and articles on Alabama history and has written three corporate histories about the Harbert Corporation, Brasfield and Gorrie and the centennial history of the Alabama Power Company, which won the James F. Sulzby Jr. Award for the best book on Alabama history published in 2006.

She retired from Auburn University in 1995 and lives in Hoover with her husband of 58 years.

Atkins was born in Birmingham and grew up in a family compound of four houses on land once a part of her great-grandfather’s antebellum farm.

In addition to writing about history, Atkins has made history. She was the first woman inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. She is in the hall’s Class of 1976 for water skiing.