Montgomery mayor of 1919 makes a comeback at City Hall

By John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - He was the mayor of Montgomery for nearly a half century and his face hasn't been seen around City Hall for quite some time. But William Gunter, Jr. is back, in a way.

Gunter, who served at the city's chief executive officer from 1911-1915 and then again from 1919-1940, was the focus of a ceremony at Montgomery City Hall Friday.

Current Mayor Bobby Bright and relatives of the late mayor held the ceremony to return an historic bust and plaque of Gunter to the building's foyer.

"To have this rededication and to believe that this will be the resting place of this sculpture means so much to our family," said Fairle Hayne, grandaughter of Mayor Gunter. In her noticable Southern accent she added, "Thank you very much."

This isn't the first dedication of a Gunter bust for Hayne. She was just four years old when she and a cousin dedicated another plaque for him in 1937 she says. Though she can't remember much about the first time, she says this is one of the happiest moments for her family in recent times.

Gunter, who died in 1940, had terms marked with several advances including areas such as civil rights, public education and public health.

He's also the namesake of Gunter-Annex.