Small Talk: UDC gathers for Christmas Tea
by Annette Maddox
Special to The Star
Dec 23, 2012 | 1658 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The United Daughters of the Confederacy, organized in 1894, was a mere 18 years old when the house at 607 South St. East in Talladega was built. The beautiful 100-year-old house is the home of Patty Williams Hill, who is a member of the Major General Patrick R. Cleburne UDC Chapter. She graciously opened her home to Chapter members and guests for a delightful Chapter Christmas Tea on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Original invitations — designed by Chapter member Pat Killian of Anniston — were mailed in November, giving ladies plenty of advance notice to don their festive holiday attire for the tea. The beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the house, located in the Historic Silk Stocking District of Talladega, were equally as festive. Known as the Browne-Elliott Mansion, it was built in 1912 for Judge and Mrs. Cecile Browne. The home was designed by Frank Lockwood of Montgomery and has one of the two grand split staircases in Talladega.

Members and guests arriving between the hours of 2-4 p.m. were invited by Ann Norton of Oxford and Carolyn Skinner of Heflin to sign the Chapter’s guest book. Instead of sipping tea, many ladies opted for the unique coffee punch offered from a beautiful silver punch bowl by Peggy Holcomb and Peggy Huffstutler of Talladega.

Many General Cleburne UDC members displayed their outstanding culinary talents in tempting and delicious party fare which filled the dining room. Those responsible for food for the tea came from areas represented by the Chapter’s membership. Lynda Lowery and Willene Huddleston from Heflin; Martha Wilkinson, Alice Duckett and Peggy Gudger from Anniston; Jo Howard, Camellia Cooper and Sandra Trego from Oxford; and Anne Vaillancourt from Clay County.

Also, members Judy Rowell from Bowdon, Ga., and Ophelia Hughes from Bremen, Ga., contributed tasty treats, while Dale Brown and Rochelle Pilato arrived from Jefferson County, bearing trays of party sandwiches declared “almost too pretty to eat.”

Many of the guests who attended this Christmas tea are members of the Andrew Jackson Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Other guests included Alabama UDC Honorary President Judy Blackwell and Alabama UDC Corresponding Secretary Linda Edwards from Decatur, as well as Alabama UDC Assistant Registrar Martha Young and Letitia Ross District Director Mary Potts from Roanoke.

Adding to the ambience of the event, Iris Knight of Leeds played Christmas music on the grand piano in the front parlor throughout the afternoon.

To the delight of the ladies present, Patty Hill’s husband Terry gave impromptu tours of all rooms of the house — upstairs as well as downstairs — and shared wonderful stories and information about their home’s 100-year-old history.

To share your news with Small Talk, contact Annette Maddox at

Save the Date

Knox Concert Series presents China National Symphony Orchestra, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Anniston Performing Arts Center. In addition to blockbusters from the standard repertoire — the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Beethoven 7th Symphony — they will also play a work by Chinese composer Xia Guan, the First Movement of the “Earth Requiem.”

For tickets, call Lee Merrill at 256-741-8262, e-mail or visit
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Small Talk: UDC gathers for Christmas Tea by Annette Maddox
Special to The Star

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