The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in America, and the Arthur family of Munford has made it a family tradition to do just that.
Seventy-six family members from Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee gathered this past weekend at the home of Jim and Margaret Robinson of Munford to reunite and reminisce.
The Roy and Lucille Arthur family began celebrating July 4th with a picnic in the early 1930s. It combined the birthday of our country with the birthday of their second oldest child, Layton.
The Arthurs had nine children - Willard (Brock), Douglas Layton, Mary, Melba, Roy Jr., Billy, Jean, Faye and Beverly - and 23 grandchildren. Melba McDonald of Meridian, Miss,, Jean Heffernan of Memphis, Faye Kennedy of Munford and Beverly Wood of Germantown are the surviving family members.
In the early years, Roy Sr. would cook a whole hog over a pit dug in the ground and later a permanent concrete pit. The hog would be put on the pit in the late afternoon and cooked slowly over hickory embers all night. The meat would be pulled the next day and served with accompanying dishes made by family and friends.
At one time as many as 400 people, which included most of the community, attended.
After Mr. Arthur’s death in 1972, Billy became the chief cook of the pork, along with his son, Bill Jr., and the fete was held at the home of Brock and his wife, Rubye.
In 1991, it moved to the Robinsons' home, where the whole hog barbecue continued.
Today, the torch has been passed to Roy’s great-grandchildren with Matt Griffin serving as chief cook. Family recipes and a time honored tradition have been preserved.
A proud legacy continues.