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Ernest Berry Gaston

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Ernest Berry Gaston

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Ernest Berry Gaston was the head and one of the founding members of the utopian community of Fairhope, Alabama. A follower of Henry George, he was a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa and a member of the Populist Party, and it was in Iowa that the first members of the founding group came together. He was elected secretary of the proposed colony as soon as its constitution was approved and he remained in this position for 41 of the next 43 years. While he was still in Iowa he served as editor of the “Fairhope Courier”, the organ of the colony. He bought the paper several years later and remained its editor until he died in 1937. Through the Courier and other means he found and recruited members from various parts of the country. A search committee consisting of James Bellangee and Shuah S. Mann then visited several sites in the south of the United States as land there was cheaper. In 1894, they chose a site on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, and the first settlers moved there to start the colony.

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