A Special Message from our Founder

The Dixie Art Colony Foundation will be temporarily closed from December 3 until December 20, due to the passing of our founder's mother, Amanda Ellen Turner Harris Williams.

Dixie Art Colony Foundation

Covington County High School, Florala, Alabama; Class of 1952 Reunion; seated far left, Martha Moon (Kracke) daughter of DAC artist Shiney Moon; seated far right, Ellen Turner (Harris); circa 1986

AMANDA ELLEN TURNER HARRIS WILLIAMS, a longtime resident of Wetumpka, Alabama, passed away on December 1, 2021, at the age of 87. She was born on January 29, 1934, in Florala, Alabama. Ellen grew up on a farm just outside of Florala. She was a graduate of Covington County High School in Florala and Alverson-Draughon College in Birmingham.

Ellen was preceded in death by her first husband, John Paul Harris, Sr., and her second husband, Gerald Mitchel Williams. Her parents were Andrew Jackson Turner and Nora Holley Turner. She was the granddaughter of William Amos Turner and Amanda Elizabeth George Turner, and Alfred Holley and Nancy Ellen Adams Holley. Her siblings were Nell Turner Wilson, Peggy Turner Harvell, Eunice Turner Warren, John Cecil Turner, James Noland Turner, and Infant Turner. She is survived by two sons John Paul Harris, Jr. of Ft. Walton Beach and Mark Andrew Harris of Wetumpka.

She and her first husband, John Harris, moved to Wetumpka from Montgomery in 1959. They purchased majority stock in "The Wetumpka Herald" in 1961 and took over the operation of the newspaper and printing company. Founded in 1898, "The Wetumpka Herald" holds the distinction of being the oldest continually operating business in Elmore County. After John Harris died in 1979, Ellen assumed the role of publisher and editor of the newspaper and management of the printing company. Soon after that, she became the sole owner of the business. Ellen continued her management role as publisher and president of the newspaper and printing company until her retirement in 2009.

Over the years, Ellen was very involved in the local community and served as a sponsor for numerous community events and youth sports teams. In addition, whenever there was a civic cause that needed extra publicity, she was always eager to lend a helping hand. During her 48-year tenure at "The Wetumpka Herald," she was recognized repeatedly for her community service by numerous local and state organizations, including the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association. Ellen also served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Press Association. She was also a longtime member of Holtville Riverside Baptist Church.

Visitation will take place on December 4, 2021, at 10:00, am with the funeral service at 11:00 am at Trinity Episcopal Church, Wetumpka, Alabama, with The Rev. John Brannon presiding. Burial will follow at Pineview Memorial Gardens in Wetumpka. Pallbearers are Jay Goodwin, Jim Plott, Alan Farmer, Bud Docter, Scott Pryon, and Warren Brugh. Honorary Pallbearers are Arthur Bolin and Barry Chrietzberg.

The family would like to thank Amedisys Hospice and GP In-Home Care for their excellent and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Dixie Art Colony Foundation, PO Box 693, Wetumpka, Alabama 36092.

Dixie Art Colony Foundation, Prattville, Alabama



  1. Reply
    Elberta Reid says:

    Mark, I am so sorry you have lost your mother. She must have been a wonderful and remarkable woman. You have my sincere sympathy at this difficult time.

    • Reply
      Mark Harris says:

      Thank you so much!

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