Local News

November 25, 2013

‘Never forget the things individuals have done’

Murray County High School recognizes long-time residents; those gone


Mary Ruth Stevenson, 1954 graduate

When Mary Ruth Stevenson heard she would be a 2013 inductee, she said she “wasn’t surprised.”

“I was shocked,” she said. “It took awhile for it to sink in.”

Stevenson has been busy being “that part of your life” that unexpectedly affects you, said Toby Westmoreland, who spoke about Stevenson.

Westmoreland said Stevenson, a 1954 Murray County High graduate, has been part of the school system and community for a long time, teaching piano and helping with cheerleading, Beta Club, French Club and Glee Club, among other activities.

“As a young child, there were two things that I desired,” Westmoreland recalled. “One was to be a teacher and (God) has given me that. The second thing was to play piano. She (Stevenson) was part of my answer to that prayer. ... I want to tell Mary Ruth just how much I love her.”

Stevenson said being involved in the community has given her “very good friends, lifetime attachments.”

“In thinking in what I was asked to do (with my life), I thought about a song I love to play called ‘My Tribute (To God Be the Glory),’” she said, crying. “And there’s a line that goes, ‘just let me live my life and let it be pleasing, Lord, to thee. And should I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary.’ And that’s my testament and I think you all for recognizing my efforts.”

Erik Gallman, 1998 graduate

A sasquatch named Ted, a creepy mannequin and a fake severed hand were among his possessions.

A love of God, painting, carpentry, history and community were among his passions.

Erik Gallman’s “warped” and “morbid” sense of humor, mixed with his “hard work ethic” made him a “witty, smart and amazing friend” and a “good-natured prankster,” said Misty Watson-Wheeler, a friend of Gallman’s who knew him since the two were children.

Gallman, 33, unexpectedly passed away on Friday, Feb. 13, 2013, and was inducted posthumously as a Murray County High graduate of 1998.

He made a lasting impression on Murray and Whitfield counties, Watson-Wheeler said, working at Bagley Middle School, the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society and opening Fiddleheads Garden Center with Sam Brown on Walnut Avenue in 2011.

“"No matter where I go in Whitfield or Murray counties I’m reminded of Erik Gallman’s lasting impact on our community,” Watson-Wheeler said of his many accomplishments in his life. “Many people live a long life and do not accomplish as much or make as big of an impact in the world as he did in his short life.

Augustine, Gallman’s mother, said she was “very proud of Erik.”

“This is hard for me, being his mother and him gone,” she said, crying. “Erik always had a pretty smile everywhere he went. He was a wonderful son. All his life, he never gave us any trouble.

“He was a loving, compassionate person. He never said anything bad about anyone. Nothing ever made him mad. Maybe frustrated, but never mad. He was just a kind person.”

Watson-Wheeler said Gallman didn’t relish the spotlight.

“He didn’t ever want praise or honor for anything,” Augustine said, agreeing. “He just did it out of the goodness of his own heart. He loved God. He loved people. Old people, young people. I’m proud to call him my son and I’m proud of this honor you’ve bestowed upon him.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Kiwanis Club3.jpg Kiwanians get a lesson in money and banking

    It makes it easier for us to buy and sell goods and services. It is the measure by which we judge the relative value of those goods and services, and it allows us to “store value,” by placing it away and using it when we need it.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos