In 1924 Martinsville's Church Street was almost totally residential. Hiram Hundley, Jr. and his wife Ella Clifford Dyer Hundley lived where someday Leggett's and, much later, Grand Piano would be. This year was a milestone for them: their very first grandchild was born just across the street in the Shackelford Hospital. Her parents, Irvin and Mattie Hundley Groves, named their little daughter Ruth Dyer.
Ruth grew up on Mulberry Road. In those days Mulberry was not such a long street and Ruth's home was just a ways down the hill from the Rives Road intersection. In fact her grandfather Hundley had a farm where Spruce, Finley and Jefferson Circle exist today. At age 5 or so Ruth went to Rae Womack's and Lucy Brown's kindergarten.
Lucy Brown's kindergarten was in the back yard of her home. Lucy and her husband Akers Brown, the town's popular mayor, lived just where the BB&T bank parking lot is today - near the corner of Church and Ellsworth Streets. Both of Ruth's parents worked in banking; her father, Irvin Groves, Sr., would work his entire career at Piedmont Trust Bank and her mother worked at First National Bank. Even after Ruth was born her mother Mattie continued to do vacation relief work at First National Bank. But soon Ruth had a baby brother, Irving Minter Groves, Jr., and after this addition Mattie no longer worked at the bank.
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