By Terry Harpole
MATHISTON — At most book signings, you will see the author of a book signing his name to a book he or she has written. However, this was different at a
July 24 book signing at the Mathiston Public Library.
What made this book signing by Lavelle McAlpin different is that you might say this book had many authors. The history teacher’s Local Culture class at East Webster High School wrote the book, “Window into Webster: A History of the East Webster Communities.”
Under McAlpin’s leadership beginning in November, his students began collecting old pictures and stories about the communities in Webster County, including Mathiston, Maben, Spring Valley, Cumberland, Clarkson, Dancy, Mantee, Hohenlinden and others.
This was interesting and most unheard of. The students began their research after the new school in Cumberland was opened following the destruction of the campus by a tornado.
McAlpin, a Webster County native, said he was there with the students if any help was needed, but they did much of the work.
This project did not start out as a fundraiser but as a public service to the community, as the plans were to have one book published to present to the Mathiston Library. McAlpin said soon word got out and there was a demand from the public for the book.
Soon, a publisher was found and 275 copies were published. McAlpin said he feels more people will be requesting the book, which sells for $15 per copy, with 190 pages of interesting historical information.
“Window into Webster” also has sections about schools, including Mathiston, Cumberland and Wood College.
This book would be a treasure for anyone who is interested in the history of Webster County.