Ernest F. Alley
(Glendale Assistant Fire Chief)
Story furnished by Clarence Crocker

Ernest receives plaque from Glendale Fire Department as his wife looks on.

I have known Ernest Franklin Alley all my life. A native of Glendale, he was one of the finest men I every knew. His character was impeccable, his disposition was kind and gentle, his smile was contagious. He was a genuine Christian gentleman.

The son of Garley B. and Bertha Irene Lowe Alley, he was born November 10, 1906 and reared in Glendale. He was a member (life long I believe) of the Glendale Methodist Church where he served in various capacities of leadership. He was a life member and Past Master of the Glendale Masonic Lodge, serving 30 years as secretary.

Ernest married Mary Cash, the daughter of a prominent local family and they were the parents of one daughter, Mary Ernestine Alley. They lived on Douglas Street in the home which Ernest bought when the Mill sold the homes in the village.

Ernest was a textile worker for most of his life, working for the D. E. Converse Co. Mills, (Glendale, Clifton) until the mills closed after which he joined the Long Mile Rubber Co. of Spartanburg, retiring in 1971. 

After the homes were sold and the mill ceased to provide fire protection, Ernest along with Jack Key, canvassed the village regarding the establishment of a volunteer fire department. The department was organized in 1958 with Ernest being elected Assistant Fire Chief. (Click Fire Department)

In 1972 Ernest became a school crossing guard at the Jessie Boyd School. The Nature trail at the school was named, “The Ernest Alley Trail” in honor of Mr. Alley. He volunteered for service with the Spartanburg Medical Center and Mobil Meals. On November 10, 1990, the Mayor of Spartanburg proclaimed the day “Ernest Alley Day”. In 1997, he was honored as, “one of Spartanburg’s five unsung heroes.”

Ernest Franklin Alley died Tuesday, April 13, 2004 at the age of 97. His obituary printed in the Spartanburg Herald & Journal listed his survivors as; a son in-law, James Worthy and wife Sylva of Cowpens; a grand daughter, Elizabeth Hyland and husband, Mike, Cowpens; a grandson, Larry Worthy and wife, Debbie, Spartanburg; four great grandchildren, Victoria, Joshua, Alley and Blake; one brother, Raymond Alley, Spartanburg. 

He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Cash Alley; his daughter, Mary Ernestine Worthy; brothers, Roy, Pierce and David Alley; sisters, Helen A Junk, Susan Bowyer and Sara Edgens. Funeral services were held at Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens. 

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