New historical markers capture the arts

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 13, 2003

Catherine Wyler, the daughter of the late acclaimed film director, William Wyler, came to Demopolis Thursday to celebrate her local roots on her mother’s side.

Two historical markers were dedicated in the Demopolis Public Square and along Washington Street in the old theater district. A large crowd of prominent local citizens and family attended the dedications in downtown Demopolis. The celebration also continued Thursday evening at two receptions, one of Washington Street and one in Bluff Hall, both sponsored by the Marengo County Historical Society.

The marker on the public square celebrates playwright Lillian Hellman, a niece of one time Demopolis native Henry Marx, who wrote the play "The Little Foxes." William Wyler directed the 1941 film of the play.

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William Wyler was married to Margaret "Talli" Tallichet, the daughter of Kate Compton and Albert Tallichet of Demopolis.

Catherine Wyler brought her own family along, husband Richard Rymland, daughter Amy Lehr, and son Billy Sind, for the dedication and receptions.

Demopolis City Councilman Thomas Moore read the proclamation for the first marker unveiled.

Those assembled then walked down Washington Street to a location near the office of William T. Coplin where the second marker was unveiled.

That marker honored the five theaters including the Braswell Theater and Si-Non Theater, which stood in that area. City Councilman Woody Collins read the proclamation for the second marker.

Catherine Wyler was also on hand Friday morning to introduce the showing of "Directed by William Wyler," a 1986 documentary she produced about her father, at the Demopolis Public Library.

This was Catherine Wyler’s third visit to Demopolis.