|Porterdale Mill on
the Yellow River
NAMED for: Oliver S. Porter, Mill Owner
|Reunions||Friends of Porterdale Inc.|
Billy Carl Crowell
Billy Carl Crowell
Billy Carl Crowell was born on Sunday, September 9, 1923, at his family's home on 6 North Broad Street, adjacent to the baseball field, in Porterdale, Georgia. His parents, Homer Guy Crowell, Sr. and Thelma Miller Crowell, moved from Rome, Georgia to Porterdale in 1922, bringing with them their young son, Homer Guy Crowell, Jr. Shortly after their arrival in Porterdale a second son, Joseph, was born; however, he died in infancy.
Guy, Sr. was brought to Porterdale by Sam Jordan, Town Maintenance Supervisor and Osprey Mill Shop Supervisor, to work as a machinist under Sam's brother and Master Machinist, Carl. Billy's arrival on a Sunday morning prompted his mother to lobby to name him "Billy Sunday", for the famous evangelist; however, Guy would not agree. He wanted to name his third son for his good friend Carl Jordan. "Billy Carl" was the compromise. As a young boy growing up in Porterdale this was the name he was called. Today, most folks in Newton County know him as B.C. If you hear someone address him as "Billy Carl," you can be sure that person is one of his Porterdale contemporaries!
Billy spent his childhood playing baseball on the field adjacent to the house in which he was born. After graduating from Porterdale High School in 1940 he attended Oglethorpe University on a baseball scholarship. Upon his return to Porterdale in 1948, after serving in the US Navy (during WWII), playing for the NY Yankees farm team in Lakeland, Florida and working on an Arkansas farm, he began a 22-year coaching career during which many games were played on the very field he had played as a child. He coached, not only baseball, but also softball, football, basketball and track, resulting in a 1,280/274 won/loss record. In 1996, he was honored by the Covington/Newton County Recreation Commission with the naming of the field on which he had spent almost 50 years of his life .. "B.C. Crowell Park".
As Bibb Manufacturing Company's Athletic Director, Billy not only taught physical education and coached teams at Porterdale High School (1948-1949) and Porterdale Junior High (1949-1970), but he also managed the Porterdale Swimming Pool, the Porterdale Golf Course, coordinated the adult baseball and softball leagues, and served as Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 207. From 1950-60 he served on the Porterdale City Council and from 1960-1965 he was Mayor of Porterdale. In addition, during this period he was a founding member of the Covington/Newton County Recreation Commission and was instrumental in organizing the athletic program for Newton County's junior high schools.
When Bibb began downsizing its operations in 1970, the position of Athletic Director was eliminated. Billy then spent a year as Personnel Director for Bibb's Porterdale Division before becoming Personnel Director for Covington Moulding (1971-1985). Since retirement in 1985, he has been a full-time volunteer for Newton County, serving the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, Covington/Newton County Clean & Beautiful Board, Covington/Newton County Recreation Board, Special Olympics, Gwinnett-Newton-Rockdale Mental Health Board, and Friends of the Newton County Library Board.
Billy, or BC as he is now known, is also quite a storyteller and can entertain anyone willing to listen for hours on end with his tales of growing up and coaching in Porterdale. One of the stories he retells is also one of his fondest memories and is worthy of space here. After a bout with pneumonia when he was 12 years old, he recalls, "Dr. J.C. Loveless said for me to get a lot of exercise. Where the golf course (The Oaks) is now, Bibb had a dairy. I walked there every day after school to milk cows and drink free milk. I met and became friends with Sherrod Malone Smith of Mansfield. Sherrod was a retired professional baseball player who ran the dairy and was police chief in Porterdale. He had played against the famed Babe Ruth. One day, Sherrod told me to ask the principal for permission to leave school so that I could go with him to Thomaston to watch Babe Ruth play in an exhibition game to open a new park. We drove down to Thomaston and found the train station where Ruth was expected to arrive. We waited and waited and the crowd kept getting bigger. Finally, the train arrived and Ruth was the last person off. He was carrying two big bags on his shoulders. When he spotted Sherrod, he threw down those bags and held out his arms to give Sherrod a big hug. Then he put his arm around me. I was in shock. Later, after the game, Ruth came into the stands and gave me an autographed baseball. I was speechless!"
Today the dirt road Billy walked to get to the dairy each day has been paved, extended, and in 1970 renamed, "Crowell Road."
· Born 6 North Broad Street, Porterdale, Georgia - Sunday, September 9, 1923 to Thelma Miller Crowell (b. December 6, 1899, d. April 1973) & Homer Guy Crowell, Sr. (b. February 7, 1892, d. August 6, 1978)
· Siblings Homer Guy Crowell, Jr. (b. July 9, 1921, d. May 18, 1984 ); Pauline Crowell Sullivan (b. May 27, 1929)
· 1937-1940 Attended Porterdale High School; played baseball, basketball and ran track
· 1940 Achieved Eagle Scout Rank; graduated Porterdale High School
· 1940-1943 Attended Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia on a baseball scholarship lettered in both baseball & football named to Blue Key National Honor Society
· June 1943 May 1946 Served in US Navy
· Summers of 1944 & 1945 played baseball for Peachtree & Morton's Market Team in the Dixie Steel Amateur League
· November 17, 1945 Naval Air Station, Atlanta, GA married Jane Depew Hedges (b. May 17, 1921) of Long Island, NY & Malvern, Arkansas
· 1946 Played baseball for the NY Yankees Farm Team in Lakeland, Florida
· 1946-1947 Worked as Recreational Therapist at VA Hospital in Atlanta
· June 11, 1947 daughter Sherrill Margaret born at Emory University Hospital
· August 1947 August 1948 worked on Hedges' farm in Malvern, Arkansas
· 1948 1970 Athletic Director, Bibb Manufacturing Company, & Coach Porterdale, High School ( after consolidation of all high schools in Newton County B.C. continued as physical education teacher and coach for grades 6-8 at Porterdale Junior High School); managed Porterdale Golf Club
· 1948-1961 - Scout Master for Troop 207 in Porterdale
· May 6, 1949 son William Matthew (Matt) born at Emory University Hospital
· 1950-1960 Served on Porterdale City Council
· 1950's Founding member of Covington/Newton County Recreation Commission; Board Chairman from 1990-2004; Interim Recreation Director 1972, 1975 & 1996
· 1950 Present - Founding member of Covington BPOE Lodge 1806; Exalted Ruler (1986-87)
· January 15, 1954 daughter Susan Nora born at Porterdale Hospital
· June 24, 1955 daughter Nancy Pauline born at Porterdale Hospital
· 1955 Earned Boy Scouting's Silver Beaver Award (First to receive this award in Newton County)
· 1960-1965 Mayor of Porterdale
· 1970-1971 Personnel Director, Bibb Manufacturing Company
· 1970 Honored by Newton County Board of Commissioners with naming of road between GA HWY 81 in Porterdale and I-20 in Almon, Crowell Road
· 1971-1985 Personnel Director, Covington Moulding
· 1989 Received Newton County's "Robert O. Arnold Award"
· 1990 B.C. Crowell Scholarship Fund established; funded through Annual Golf Tournament at The Oaks Club (former Porterdale Golf Course)
· 1990 Honored by Covington Kiwanis Club with Hickson Award
· 1991 Received "The Award of Excellence" from Gwinnett-Newton-Rockdale Mental Health Association
· 1992 Received "Volunteer of the Year" award from Covington-Newton County United Fund
· 1993-2003 Chairman, Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful Advisory Board
· 1996 B.C. Crowell Park dedicated in his honor
· 1996 Honored by Newton County Board of Education with Lifetime Athletic Pass
· 1997 Inducted into Oglethorpe University Athletic Hall of Fame
· 1998 Named a "Georgia Hometown Hero" by Governor Zell Miller for work with Keep Georgia Beautiful Commission
· November 2000 Named "Volunteer of the Year" by Georgia Sate Parks and Recreation Association
· March 2001 Named "Man of the Year" by Keep Georgia Beautiful Commission
· September 2003 Named "Member Emeritus" of the Newton County Recreation Commission Board
· One time member of Porterdale Presbyterian Church (Elder)
· Served on the Board Gwinnett-Newton-Rockdale Mental Health Board
· 2007 Current Memberships/Boards
o Covington Kiwanis Club
o Covington BPOE Lodge 1806
o Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce (lifetime member)
o American Legion Post 32
o Covington/Newton County Clean & Beautiful Board
o Newton County Recreation Commission Board (member emeritus)
o Member of the First Presbyterian Church Covington, Ga.
o Friends of Porterdale, Inc. (Member of the Board of Directors)
|Provided by: Sherrill Crowell Jones
B. C.'s Daughter
Memories of B. C.