PROFILE: Niven reflects on 20 years as Chelsea’s first, only mayor
Published 4:19 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016
After graduating from the University of Montevallo with a degree in business administration and a minor in math in 1965, Earl was hired as the first math teacher at Chelsea High School. He also operated an income tax business for many years and served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1968 to 1974.
He has served as the school’s booster club president, PTO president and as a trustee of Chelsea’s school system.
“I have always supported the community,” he said. “I’ve always been active.”
Earl and June have been married for 50 years in March and have two children, Earl Niven Jr. and Brandon Niven, plus six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Earl and June knew each other as children. June and his sister Louise were good friends, and June’s mother taught Earl in the sixth grade.
“She said, ‘I knew in sixth grade that he was going to amount to something because he always put others first,'” June said of her mother talking about Earl. “He was the most well-liked person in the room.”
June said Earl’s classmates repeatedly chose him for “best personality” and “most likely to succeed.”
It wasn’t until June and Earl were in college that their dating relationship began.
After their first date, the two spent time together every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a year.
“As the months went on, we knew God had something there because we wanted to be together all the time,” June said.
After they talked to each other about their desire to be married––and after Earl received June’s parents’ blessing––Earl proposed to June in her living room.
The couple married on March 26, 1966 in the Liberty Baptist Church chapel, before family, friends and “every child he (Earl) taught in school,” June said.
June graduated from Samford University with a degree in elementary education and landed a teaching job.