Library dedicates room to Andrews family

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A room at the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library in Brundidge was dedicated to the Ben Andrews family at a ceremony Sunday afternoon.

The adult fiction room is now the Andrews Room in memory and honor of three generations of master craftsmen. Their work stands today as testimony to the talent, skill and dedication of Ben Andrews and his descendants.

“The dedication of this room to the Andrews family is something that we are extremely proud to be a part of,” said Sara Bowden, library board chair. “The City of Brundidge is in the process of expanding the library to include a second wing and the board wanted to recognize the man who built the present library building in 1897.”

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Five generations of Andrews from all across the country gathered at the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library Sunday for the dedication service.

The Andrews’ legacy as master builders began before 1897 but the home that Ben Andrews built for the Mathias Lightfoot family is one of his most storied works.

“Back then, there were few plans for buildings,” said Brundidge City Councilman Lawrence Bowden, who presented the dedication program. “Most of the time the builder was told what the person wanted and he built it. Ben Andrews was a master carpenter, stonemason and brick mason. He was extremely talented. He designed the intricate gingerbread trim work on the house.”

Andrews also built the Bass House, which now houses the Brundidge City Hall, and the McEachern house, which no longer stands, and other buildings and houses in Brundidge and the surrounding area.

Ben Andrews was born in 1836 in rural Pike County and lived much of his early life in the Williams Chapel area. He built the original Williams Chapel church building.

Andrews’ son, Jim, was also a master builder and built many houses in Brundidge including those originally owned by Monroe Logan, Henry Barr, C.L. Golden, Merlin Bryant, Tom Carlisle and Bill Jackson.

Jim Andrews had eight children, Richard, George, Elizabeth, Boykin, Joe, Floyd, David and Napoleon.

Floyd and Boykin were master carpenters whose work is a part of the city’s business and residential communities.

Floyd laid his first brick at the Bill Jackson home on East Troy Street and Boykin laid the brickwork on the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library sign that was designed by Brundidge artist Larry Godwin and built the ramps on both the library and city hall buildings.

Two other library “heritage rooms” have been named in memory of Knox Ryals, previous owner, and Janie Wallace, who was the librarian for about two decades.