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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Bell Buckle painting from 1894 on display

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BELL BUCKLE -- When Dr. Charles E. Hawkins, III (Webb class of '42) and family members were perusing some of his mementos last spring, they discovered a painting of Bell Buckle United Methodist Church, where Dr. Hawkins' grandfather, the Rev. C. E. Hawkins, served as pastor. It was painted in 1894 by Susan Webb, daughter of The Webb School founder, W.R. "Sawney" Webb, when she was 12.

Susan Webb later married Edward Price, who taught for 40 years at the Webb School in Claremont, Calif., a school founded by her brother, Dr. Thompson Webb.

Family heirloom

The painting was given to Dr. Hawkins by his aunt, Elizabeth Hawkins Shultz. The church was the first pastorate of the Rev. Hawkins, Shultz' father, and the church where she was baptized in 1923. "Miss Susan" (Susan Webb Price) gave Mrs. Shultz the painting in 1974, when Mrs. Price was 92. A note on the back of the framed piece provided the history of the painting.

Jane H. Inscoe, daughter of Dr. Hawkins, wrote in a letter to Webb that her father asked that she send the painting to Webb as it might be of interest to someone at the school. Dr. Hawkins, a resident of Albany, Ga., died in July.

"Daddy always spoke of his years in Bell Buckle," said Inscoe. "He felt he received an excellent education there and was proud to be a Webb graduate."

Back home

The Webb School has loaned the painting to the Methodist church to be displayed. The church was founded in 1807, and the current building was erected in 1893.

"We will be hanging the painting this week," said Bro. David Adams, church pastor. Adams expressed thanks to the school for allowing the church "to use this wonderful painting that connects us and Webb School."