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Kyzar family descendants were prominent in Covington County area

In this column for the past two weeks, the ancestry and career of Dr. James Hugh Kyzar has been presented. In today’s story, more of his life and family will be featured.

James Hugh Kyzar Sr. was married in 1915 in Lumpkin, Ga., to Clara Lude Solomon, daughter of Marcus L. Solomon and Leila Pauline Everett. Leila Pauline was the daughter of Marcus L. Everett and Elizabeth Shepherd Bryan of Irish and English descent. Her Bryan lineage traces back to Clement Bryan to Needham Bryan, veteran of the Revolutionary War, to Marquis of Thurman of Ulster, Ireland. Clara grew up in Lumpkin and later attended LaGrange College. She has been described as an accomplished pianist who taught piano lessons, painted and once hooked a beautiful rug, which has been framed and displayed in the restored home. In addition to caring for her home and family, she enjoyed playing golf as many of her family learned to do.

During the early years of their marriage and while residing in Goshen, Ala., James Hugh and Clara Kyzar had three children born to them: James Hugh Jr., b. 1916, d. 2009, m. Marjorie Grimes, b. 1920, d. 2000; Terril Franklin Sr., b. 1920, d. 1983, m. Annie Sue Danford, b. 1924, d. 1996; and Marcus Randolph, b. 1922, d. 2013, m. Mary Courson, b. 1928. The children attended the public schools in Andalusia with James Hugh Jr. and Terril being graduated at Andalusia High School when it was housed in the school building on Church Street. Randolph was among the first class to graduate in the new Andalusia High School building. James Hugh Jr. and Randolph entered Auburn University and earned degrees while Terril pursued business interests. 

The oldest son, James Hugh Kyzar Jr., was born in Goshen in 1916, and moved with the family to Andalusia in 1925. He began attending the Andalusia Elementary School and later graduated from the Andalusia High School. He continued his education at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) where he earned a degree in agricultural science. Upon graduation, he went to work for Cosby Hodges in Birmingham. While visiting home one weekend, he met Marjorie Grimes who had moved to Andalusia to teach English and Spanish at Andalusia High School. Marjorie, the daughter of Herman Grimes and Rebecca Stone, grew up and attended public schools in Pine Apple, Ala. She attended Alabama College in Montevallo where she earned her degree in 1942.

Following a long-distance courtship, James Hugh and Marjorie were married in 1944 in her hometown of Pine Apple. The couple resided in Birmingham for two years before returning to James Hugh’s home in Andalusia. He began working for his family’s Kyzar Milling Company where he worked for a number of years. He later decided to seek employment as a salesman for Mid-South Feeds which prevented him from any work with a competing business.

James Hugh was happy to make his home in Andalusia where he enjoyed golfing and hunting along with members of his family.  He also reared three of his four children to become championship golfers. He loved gardening and was especially proud of his collection of Camellias in which he took great pride. He was respected for his “gift” with plants. He also accumulated an extensive collection of knives and always had a story to tell. He appreciated his heritage and became a member of the Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. One of his most significant achievements as a young man was being the first in Andalusia to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. In his later years, he became Chairman of the Covington County Board of Registrars. 

James Hugh Kyzar Jr. and his wife, Marjorie, were the parents of four children: Rebecca Meade, b. 1950, m. James Jackson Smith; James Hugh III, b. 1952, m. Keron Faircloth; Claire Bryan, b. 1955, m. Phillip Parker; and Allan Grimes, b. 1960, d. 2013, m. Patricia Furguson. They were blessed with four grandchildren, and the James Hugh Kyzar name has been given through the fifth generation. James Hugh Jr.’s older daughter, Becky Kyzar Smith, recalled her “Grandy Doc” prescribing her first pair of eye glasses and swabbing her throat with a very bitter antiseptic (Bichloride of Mercury & Tincture of Benzoine).

Like his older brother, Terril Franklin Kyzar Sr. was born in Goshen and moved with family to Andalusia circa 1925.  He attended the public schools of Andalusia and was graduated from the high school which was located on Church Street. He was an outdoors man and chose to begin working rather than attending college. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his dad and throughout his life time. Once he had sons, he enjoyed sharing his hunting and fishing trips with them and their friends. His nephew, Marcus Kyzar, recalled his first trip with his Uncle Terril floating down the Conecuh River from Point A Dam to Prestwood Bridge. They were in a jon- boat with sculling oar for steering. Terril is remembered for his outgoing personality and the pleasant way he treated others.

Marcus also recalled his uncle along with his dad introducing him to dove hunting, something Dr. Kyzar enjoying very much along with quail hunting. James Kyzar III recalled a story of when his Grandfather Kyzar paid $300 for a prize bird dog which he allowed a Mr. Coxwell in Wing, Ala., to keep for him.  Dr. Kyzar was known to simply enjoy walking in the woods with his dog and gun. When he was ready to give it up, he gave his dog to Mr. Coxwell and began fishing as a past-time.

In 1947, Dr. James Hugh Kyzar Sr. purchased Judge Brogden’s milling company on Montgomery Street thinking it would assure reasonable employment for his sons. He named it Kyzar Milling Company, Inc., and all three sons worked there for some time and shared ownership. However, when James Hugh Jr. sought employment with another company and Randolph was away in the United States Air Force, Terril was left to manage the company. He did that faithfully until the company was closed in the mid-1980s. The property was then sold to the Jones family who established Covington Metals, Inc. on the site.

Terril Franklin Kyzar Sr. and his wife, Sue Danford, were the parents of two sons: Terril Franklin Jr. “Terry,” b. 1948, m. (1) Phala Enzor (2) Anne Hoyle (3) Kathy Roth; and James Danford “Jimmy,” b. 1951, m. (1) Debra Ryals (2) Lisa Cauthorn (3) Debbie Lawson.

Dr. J.H. Kyzar’s third and youngest son, Randolph Kyzar, was born in Goshen in 1922. He attended the public schools in Andalusia and was a member of the first class to be graduated from the beautiful new Andalusia High School building which is still in use. His attendance at API (Auburn) was interrupted by World War II and his enlistment in the United States Army Air Forces. Upon the war’s end, he returned to Auburn and earned a degree in pharmacy like his father before him. He later re-enlisted in the United States Air Force and completed 26 years of total service before retirement in 1968. 

Randolph returned to his home in Andalusia in 1968-69 and decided to work in his chosen field of pharmacy. He re-opened a closed retail pharmacy department at the Columbia General Hospital and also managed the pharmaceutical needs of the hospital patients and the adjacent nursing home. After the hospital was closed circa 1984, he worked for various pharmacies in Andalusia for a number of years before finally giving up practice in 2011.

Randolph Kyzar was married to Mary Courson, daughter of Luther Eugene Courson, b.  1888, d. 1954, and Lena Tollison, 1901, d. 1993, of Andalusia. They were the parents of two children: Karen Patricia, b. 1953, single; and Marcus Randolph Jr., b. 1955, m. (1) Debra Renee Mosley (2) Virginia Douglas Van Hoose.

 

At one time, Dr. Kyzar and the family owned a beach house in the Grayton Beach, Fla., area. On one occasion, his wife, Clara, found an unusual piece of drift wood which she gave to her son, Randolph who was stationed at the time at Tyndall Air Force Base. He was able to make two unique lamps out of it, and they are currently prized possessions in the home of Randolph’s granddaughter in Jackson, Ala.

Dr. Kyzar’s wife, Clara, died in 1972 at the age of 77 years. Afterwards, their son, Terril, and wife moved in with him to help care for him, which they did until his death in 1982. Following Terril’s death in 1883, his wife, Sue, continued to make the house her home until her passing in 1996. Afterwards, the house was sold a few times until a grandson, James Hugh Kyzar III and his wife were fortunate enough to purchase it in recent years.  They remodeled it and have restored this family’s heritage in a most tasteful manner. The families of Dr. Kyzar have had several reunions with the most recent being in 2019 and have plans for more in the future.

The family of Dr. James Hugh Kyzar is well-known and respected in the Covington County area.

Sources for today’s writing included news articles and memories of Dr. J.H. Kyzar’s grandchildren.

Anyone who finds an error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.

 

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