Written by Cindy Chapman
John M. “Toots” Tidwell was a prominent fixture in Roanoke for almost 80 years. After graduating from Roanoke High School, Mr. Tidwell stayed in Roanoke to open Tidwell’s Barbershop in downtown, serve as U.S. Postmaster, and serve two terms as Roanoke’s mayor. His civic duties also included serving on the school board and city council. Toots was a huge proponent of education until his passing in 1999, nearly a decade before his legacy would live on through Tidwell Middle School which opened its doors in 2010.