The KMJ Law building at 994 Main Street in Roanoke was built from 1919 to 1921 by W.H. Knight. Upon completion of the “bank” in 1921, Mr. Knight sold the building to R.J. Hooton. Two years later R.J transferred ownership to Paul Hooton and the Hooton family of lawyers owned the building until 1993. Though etched in stone above the entryway, the building never housed the “First National Bank”. Merchants and Farmers Bank, City Bank and Trust, and Sheppards Jewelry were all occupants of the first floor over the years.
In 2010, Kesa M. Johnston purchased the building and though some initial repairs were necessary, the full remodel did not begin until Spring 2015 and KMJ Law moved to the building February 2016. Kesa was fortunate to work with artisans who understood the significance of the revitalization and worked hard to lovingly restore this important landmark. Those individuals included Guy Baker and his sons Jefrey, Kyle and Adam who did the majority of the construction work, Mike Mekkelson-windows, Roy Whaley-roofing, Freddy Brown- plumbing, Jody Driver-electric, Patty Yearta-painting, and Dewayne Garrett-courtyard masonry.
Norton’s Flooring, in Wedowee, painstakingly restored the marble in the foyer. Many of the detailed projects in the building including the chevron patterned floor in Kesa’s office, the conference table on 1st floor, and the kitchen island in the loft that were all lovingly designed by Kesa’s dear friend, Chris Mitchum. The large desk with round legs in Kesa’s office was handcrafted by Tommy Hendon. The larger art pieces in the building are from Catie Radney, Sally King Benedict, Melinda Rombokas Melvin and Lynthia Edwards.
Author Leslie Hooton Gathings graciously donated many family artifacts including law books, documents and photos belonging to Robert and Paul Hooton as well as the original window advertising Hooton Law Office. Other photos throughout the building and local memorabilia on display were gifts from Wyner Phillips, Paul Swisher, Pat Awbrey, Chuck Rice and other local historians. Countless other friends and family offered their time, labor and support throughout the process. It is Kesa’s long term goal that friends, clients and the community can enjoy the building for many more generations.
The Chris Mitchum Memorial Scholarship is hereby established to promote the education and advancement of a Randolph County or Handley High School student who will attend Southern Union State Community College pursuing a degree or certification in the performing or fine arts or other areas that provide for use of metals, wood and other materials to create usable tools and art.
The William and Mary Sue Tatum Memorial Scholarship is hereby established to promote the education and advancement any High School student in Randolph County who will attend Southern Union State Community College.