History Advocate & Community Activist
By Megan Zinger
Alma McLemore is a true Williamson County socialite and is heavily involved in her community. Best known for her role in the African American Heritage Society nonprofit, as well as many other community-centric organizations, she epitomizes who is Williamson! Here are her answers to our questions for a special person in our community:
YW: How long have you lived in Williamson County and what makes it feel like home to you?
AM: Born and raised here. Williamson County is home because this is the only place I have lived. There are so many memories of my childhood and the earlier years of my life. I have been truly blessed in my years of living here thanks to amazing people and a giving and caring community. We definitely are not the small town I grew up in. However, we still possess small-town values and a sense of caring and support for one another and we maintain community character and the great quality of life that we so enjoy.
YW: Tell us about your family roots in Williamson County.
AM: Believe it or not, despite being a part of the African American Heritage Society and historic preservation, I have not even taken the time to trace my own roots in this community. I do know that my mother was not from here. She was from Hickman County. My parents lived on the Jesse Short farm on Boyd Mill Pike, with four of their children here in Franklin. I am not biologically related to Harvey McLemore, who built the McLemore House. I married into the McLemore family.
YW: What do you like to do in your spare time (hobbies, traditions, etc.)?
AM: I love spending time with family and grandkids! I travel but haven’t enjoyed that pleasure for some time now. I love sports, especially football! I love Bible studies, inspirational readings and opportunities to encourage and motivate people to be their best!! I love reading and being a part of my book club. Also, going out with friends and sending cards to people. Pretty boring life to most people, but fulfilling to me!
YW: Where is your favorite place to go in Williamson County and why?
AM: I love going to church and seeing everyone on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights. I am surviving and doing so well because of the spiritual food and my faith, hope, trust and belief in God. I still attend some events and always see people I know, but there is no favorite place. However, I do love going to Franklin Chop House restaurant for lunch where everybody knows your name and you always see someone you know.
YW: Why do you feel it is important to preserve history and encourage others to understand the mission of the organizations you support?
AM: Preserving history is very important. It helps us learn from our past while building and maintaining community character as a healthy community. History helps us celebrate and embrace our diversity and links us to our past while helping us to appreciate all those who came before us and made our community what it is today. So, I encourage the community as a whole to support the missions of historic preservation. Because without them, we could lose our sense of place and lose so much to new developments and gentrification. And once it’s gone — it’s gone.
YW: What is your favorite memory from growing up in Williamson County?
AM: I have many wonderful memories. Family gatherings. Going to church, of course. Childhood friends. Close-knit community. Classmates. Going downtown shopping with my grandmother on Saturdays was special to me and one of my favorite memories — probably to her as well.
YW: Anything else you would like for the readers of YOUR Williamson to know?
AM: Again, I feel so blessed to live in Williamson County and the city of Franklin. I love the community in which I live. We are not perfect, but our community is rich in more ways than most. The pandemic and so many unprecedented events in our lives today have made me appreciate every moment. Our community has the resources and opportunity to work together to provide an excellent quality of life that all citizens can enjoy here. If we all could give back in some capacity, we can take our city and county to even greater heights. I encourage everyone to strive to make a difference and love God and your community. Give more than you expect to receive. Build relationships and engage with others who are not like you!
The I Am Williamson County column features individuals in Williamson County who are known and unknown, as staples of our community; doing good, being seen and exuding Williamson County! If you know of someone who we should ask our questions to let us know at email@example.com.