What was the last feature you saw here? What else do you remember about this place?
John G. Fee Moran, who was named after The John G. Fee, was part of the first cast of the Wilderness Road outdoor drama in June 1954. The life-long resident of Berea played Exom, slave to the Sims family. Moran had the distinction of being the only member of the Wilderness Road company to have personally been known by John G. Fee.
In the 1890s, John G. Fee visited Edward Moran, his wife, and his daughters, Priscilla and Amanda at their home at the corner of Ellipse and Jefferson. A son had just been born to them, and they hadn’t named him yet. John G. Fee reportedly asked, “Ed, have you named the boy yet?” When Ed said they hadn’t, John said, “Ed, why don’t you call that boy John G. Fee?” So the week-old child became the namesake of this important early founder of Berea. John G. Fee took a particular interest in the child, and his education.
Edward Moran had a profound desire for education, and was heard to have said that he would live on bread and water, if only his children might learn. He worked for Berea College, and expected that his children would all graduate from there. But his heart was broken when the Day Law passed in 1904, forbidding the co-education of black and white students.
The family struggled after that. The oldest daughter, Priscilla, became a teacher in Leslie County, and Amanda went to Lincoln Institute, but had to withdrawn because of lack of funds. When Ed Moran died, young John G. Fee Moran stayed with his mother and cared for her until she died in 1926. He worked as a pressor for a time, then had to serve in WWI, and struggled through the depression. He was then employed at various firms, and ultimately worked at Berea College in 1942. At the time that he was cast in the Wilderness Road drama, he worked as a janitor for Union Church. He married Adelia Bowman, and they had six children.
He lived long enough to see the Day Law repealed at Berea College.
The Memorial Day Service will take place on Sunday, May 25 at 2 p.m. at the Berea Cemetery. The American Legion, Cleveland Frost Post 50 with the support of the Madison Southern High School Air Force Junior ROTC program, will conduct the service, that will take place at the flag police in the center of the cemetery. Individual flags will be placed on the graves of each veteran on Thursday, and will be removed on Tuesday after Memorial Day.
From time to time we’ll be posting items of interest for you to identify. This is our first one—just for fun! Do you recognize anyone in this caricature? In the weeks to come we’ll post other pictures and places and people for you to reminisce over. Share your remembrances and thoughts. It’ll be fun!
In the Berea Citizen article on April 17, 2014, about the Village Trough receiving funding for First Friday events, Ali Blair was misidentified as Cecile Watkins. When referencing a prior article about the starting of Village Trough, an incorrect name was pulled out.
For the last three weeks before the primary election in May, the Berea Citizen will be publishing the results of a questionnaire we sent to the candidates running for office in Madison County; these are offices that effect the City of Berea. This includes the candidates running for the Judge Executive office, the Magistrate candidates in 1st through 3rd Districts, the County Clerk, the Jailer, and the Sheriff. We asked all of them three questions — Why they were interested in office? What they considered the most important issues of their office, and what they would like to accomplish within their first term? What would you like to know from the candidates before the election?
Welcome to the new website of the Berea Citizen! We will be using this as a platform to communicate with our readers, and to ease the way for people to renew subscriptions and submit different pieces to the paper. As a community, weekly newspaper, it is of utmost importance that we are in constant communication with the people who live in our vivacious town, and this website is another way for us to make that possible.
Thanks so much!