Horace Miller Sproull, Jr. ’41

Horace Miller Sproull, Jr. ’41, of Anniston, Ala., died at his residence on Jan. 30 following a lengthy illness. Mr. Sproull, a native of Anniston, was born the son of Horace Miller Sproull, Sr. and Sara Powers Sproull on Apr. 29, 1920. His mother died five days after giving birth. As a young boy, he was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and earned the Eagle Scout badge. He received his B.S. degree in economics from Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. While at Davidson, he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and the varsity tennis team. He joined the U.S. Navy in July of 1941 prior to Pearl Harbor. Following his graduation from midshipman school in 1942, he was assigned to the Pacific Theatre where he served during World War II, participating in six naval battles against Japan. He was honorably discharged as a lieutenant commander from the Navy in October 1946. Upon returning to Anniston he was made vice president of The Anniston Hardware Company. In 1947, he married Barbara Crook Vaden, and they had six children. Hee became the third generation president of The Anniston Hardware Company and The Gadsden Hardware Company, family owned businesses co-founded by his grandfather, James Creswell Sproull, in 1887. He was widely known as an astute businessman and civic leader. He retired from the hardware business in 1976 when the business was sold to a local group of investors. A lifelong member of The First Presbyterian Church, he was an elder and a deacon. He was a teacher of The Sam Russell Bible Class there for 30 years. He helped found and was president of The Soup Bowl, a charitable organization feeding the hungry. In the midst of the Civil Rights Era, he was instrumental in the formation of the biracial Anniston Human Relations Council, which President John F. Kennedy later touted “should serve as a guide and model for other communities throughout the United States.” During this period, he led the peaceful integration of the Liles Memorial Library, now the Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library. Mr. Sproull served as a director of the First National Bank of Anniston for 35 years, which later became the Southern Bancorporation, then Southtrust Bank, and now the Wachovia Bank. He founded the Anniston Federal Savings and Loan in 1953 with others and served as a director and chairman of the board. He was chairman of the Calhoun County Committee for Law and Order, chairman of the Industrial Development Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, and was instrumental in bringing new industry to Anniston and Calhoun County. He was elected finance commissioner for the City of Anniston and served from 1962–66. He helped found and build The Anniston Academy, a college preparatory school, and served as chairman of the board. The school later was named The Donoho School for which he was a director emeritus. His leisure-time activities included being an avid reader, a scratch golfer, an expert hunter, a world traveler, and a civilian pilot. He is survived by his wife, Barbara V. Sproull, 100 Raemon Dr., Anniston, AL 36207; children, James Creswell Sproull IV, Sara Sproull Choquette, Eva Abel Sproull, Hunt Miller Sproull (Susan Vinsant Sproull), Barbara Sproull Snow (Gary), and Horace Miller Sproull III (Joy Martin Sproull); grandchildren, James Creswell Sproull V, Drayton Allison Sproull, Paschal Trippe Sproull, Suzanne Sproull Choquette, Sara Catherine Choquette, Justin Hunt Sproull, Marie Louise Sproull, Eva Catherine Sproull, Chelsea Caroline Sproull, Logan Sproull Snow, Shannon Wimberly Snow, Vaughn Morton Stewart III, Houston Sproull Andrews, H. Miller Sproull IV, Wimberly Elisabeth Sproull, Holly Milliken Sproull, and Gabriel Sparks Sproull; and great-grandchildren, Lucienne Sproull, Hunter Jackson Sproull, Jackson Sproull, and Reagan Sproull.