S.E. Mary named Citizen of the Year in 1970

Published 7:11 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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Sebastian Etienne Mary had a sincere interest in civic affairs.  Among his other accolades, he served on the Board of Directors of O.C.A.P. since it began in 1867.  He was also selected as Citizen of the Year in 1970.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Sebastian E. Mary has been selected by the Troy Civitan Club as Citizen of the Year.  Mary, a resident of Troy since 1916, founded Mary Chevrolet, the oldest automobile dealership in Troy.

The plaque cited Mary for outstanding service to the community.  He served as a city councilman continuously for 20 years until the time when the system of city government was changed.

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Mary has been an active member of St. Marks Catholic Church.  During World War II, he was chairman of the Red Cross Committee in charge of collecting money.  A director of the First Farmers and Merchants National Bank, he is also on the board of directors of radio station WTBF.

The Brusley, La. native was graduated from Louisiana State University in 1910 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  It was this degree, used in his job as salesman of city electrical plants which brought him to Troy.  In the days before large utility companies, each small town had its own direct current electrical plant.  He met Miss Mary Kate Barr, in Troy, who later became his wife, and decided to settle down here.

Originally,  Mary was a Chevrolet-Buick dealer.  He was then a Ford dealer for ten years , and returned to Chevrolet.  Mary said, “I was a Model T dealer and quit when they went to the Model A.”

Mary has always been active in the Automobile Association.  He has been the outstanding automobile dealer in Alabama, as has his son-in-law Judson Colley.  The third generation of the family is now in the automobile business.

In 1920, Mary because a charter member of the Troy Rotary Club and is one of the three surviving charter members.  The others are Marvin Dodson and Dr. John McLure.

Mary will celebrate his 84th birthday in October.  He has three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.