Football legend celebrates centennial of Pine Belt building - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Football legend celebrates centennial of Pine Belt building

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The centennial anniversary celebration of the Smith County Courthouse in Raleigh was held Sunday afternoon. The landmark structure was built 100 years ago by the grandfather of legendary Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden, who flew in to the Pine Belt for the occasion.

About 200 folks, including local football great Brett Favre, gathered outside the historic building to ring in the building's one hundredth year.

Local attorney and historian Gene Tullos says the Smith County landmark is still in excellent condition thanks to the architect - Robert Cleckler - Bowden's grandfather.

"Mr. Cleckler who built the courthouse really really did a good job," said Tullos. "I know that when they renovated the courthouse in 1974, the architect told me that they could not build a building more structurally sound than the Smith County Court House that was built in 1912, so we're real proud of the court house. It's in as good condition today as it was in 1912."

When asked why he flew west for the event, Bowden said it was a priority. "My grand daddy built it ... Gene Tullos called me about eight or nine months ago and said my grandfather built this court house and they're having a hundred year ... anniversary. So he asked me if I'd come over and I told him I'd be glad to."

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