Looking Back 60 Years Ago: May 25, 1951

by Nancy Wardlow Kennedy

Sewanee’s incredible basketball coach, Lon E Varnell is taking his basketball team for a three month tour of Europe. France, Belgium. Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal and possibly other counties.   Lon is a local Adamsville boy and basketball coach at Sewanee University.   He is a preacher and coach, he owns in various southern spots an automobile agency, a hardware store, a drug store, a restaurant and grocery store and a farm.

Alton L Hunter, senior at University of Mississippi, son of Mr and Mrs Jim Hunter of Route 1, Selmer, was named president of the National Pharmaceutical Fraternity.  

County Court Clerk J T Burks announces sportsmen have only a few more days to renew their hunting and fishing licenses which will expire on June 1.  Driver’s licenses will go on sale June 1.  The price of a regular motor vehicle operator’s license has increased from $1.00 to $2.00.  Chauffeur’s licenses will be $3.00 per person and applicant must bring a photograph of himself.  

Pre-School health clinic for children starting to school this year will be held at Selmer School on May 1.  The clinic will be for children starting to school at Stantonville, Pleasant Site, Gravel Hill, Rose Creek, Gooch, Sulphur springs, and Red Oak schools.  On June 7th, a clinic will be held at Michie School for children starting to Michie, Acton, Liberty and New Hope schools.  June 14, a clinic will be held at Ramer for children starting to Ramer, Guys, Hurley, Chewalla, Reed and Kings Mountain schools.

The Adamsville and Selmer Lions will hold a joint meeting at Shaw’s Restaurant and the Honorable Albert Gore, Member of Congress, will address the joint meeting.

Summer school will be held for McNairy county boys who want to make up one high school credit and further their training in the vocational shop work.  The boys will also earn wages for the period they engage in practical experience part of their instruction.  Mr L H Plunk will be the instructor and the boys are: from Adamsville: David Foster, Bobby Surratt.  From Selmer: Clifford Kirk, Bobby Pickle, T L Michael, J W Ferguson, Robert Lott, George Weatherford, John Browder, Alton Michael, Billy Mullins, Rudolph Gooch.  The boys are remodeling the Selmer Lunch Room and constructing extra sidewalks in front of the Selmer Elementary School building on Fifth St.

Cancer Crusade Chairman, Wayne Littlefield states $802.00 of the $1,000 goal was reached.  New contributions: Brown Shoe V - $74.92.  Brown Shoe F - $91.85.  Individuals giving one dollar or more: Al Chapin, F M Barron, Maxine Jamerson, Doris Dean Burks, V P May, Artie Mae Hawkins, Audrey Davis, Iola Barnes, B L Fuller, R M emmons, Ruthie Mealer, Mable Prather, Odean Campbell, Clyde Lambert, Hillard Vinson, Stanton Littlejohn, James McCormack, Arthur Moore, David Plunk, Rosco Garrison, Sidney Hawkins, Ocie Burks, L T Matlock, Roy mcDaniel, W G Christopher, R E McCormack, O C Garrison, Jim Hamm, Cleo Holland, Elbert Johnson, Arnold English, Donald Garrison, Irvin Pickle, J W Wilson, Robert Nowlin, Troy Lipford, R E Mabry, James T Carney, J D Basham, HA Mattox, Denton Horton, J D West, Major Hill, Elmer King, Mrs N J Boggan, T T Scott, E E Thompson, Claude Goodrich.  Mrs Henry Kirkpatrick, from Finger, sent in $7.75, contributions from that community.

The State Board of Education has adopted new regulations that will make it difficult to operate one-teacher schools.   Under the old rules, a school could get state funding if they had 15 or more students.  The new rules calls for 20 or more.  To keep the one-teacher school the county would have to bear more of the financial burden and raise taxes.  About 15 years ago, there were 45 white one-teacher schools and about a dozen one-teacher colored schools.    Four years ago, there were 26 white schools and 6 colored schools.    With the new regulations probably not more than 6 white schools and 3 colored one-teacher schools can meet the requirements.    There are several reasons why little schools are disappearing so rapidly. Rural population is decreasing.  People believe a larger schools provide better educational opportunities.  A teacher that has only one grade can give more attention to the pupils.  School bus routes are better.  The hot lunch program is better for students.  Most students like the social life of a bigger school.  Regardless of the cause, there is a definite trend toward consolidation.  

News of the Colored by Mrs Lula Prather: Mr and Mrs Mose Harbor of Bethel Springs are the proud parents of a baby girl.  Pvts Billie L Prather and Lefloyd Murphy have returned to Camp Fort Deven after a short furlough.  Mr and Mrs Sam Robinson are proud parents of twin girls named Lillie and Louise.  

Cox’s Community by Dottie Jean Cox: Mrs Eupha Cox had a houseful for Mother’s Day.  The families of Mr and Mrs Oliver Cox, Mrs Ottie Foster, Mrs C R Smith, Mr and Mrs Johnnie Russom, Mr and Mrs P D Higgins, Mr and Mrs John T Cox, Mr and Mrs Everett whitten, Mr and Mrs Clifford Wilson, Mr and Mrs Elvis Higgins, Mr and Mrs M M Russom.  Little Larry Wayne Cox celebrated his first birthday May 16th.  Little Ronnie Foster also celebrated his second birthday on the same day.

You are cordially invited to attend the opening of The Flower Box, 108 North third St, next to Ritz Theatre, Saturday, May 26.  Mr and Mrs Raymond Lee Sweat, owners.  Phone 198-W.

Stantonville Community by Mrs Edgar Smith:   Mrs Talitha Gilliam has been sick for three weeks.  Bobby Neal Cagle returned to Peoria with Mr and Mrs Jonah Dancer.  He plans to work there.

Selmer Community by Mrs Terry Abernathy: Raymond Whitaker is working in Union City.  The Montie Curtis family have moved to St Louis.    Mr and Mrs Don Speraw have gone to make their home in Memphis.  Dr E M Smith has been on the sick list for some time.  

Gravel Hill community: Mr and Mrs Dewey Greer are proud parents of a fine baby girl.    Mr and Mrs Henry Latta, Mr and Mrs Roy Sharp, Miss Maggie McCoy, Mr and Mrs Ted Bowen and Nita Joyce & William attended the Primitive Baptist Foot Washing and Sacrament Service at Michie Sunday.    Mr and Mrs Rudolph Faulkner are proud parents of a fine girl.  Mrs Jesse Curtis is sick.

Tennessee rated 9 in insect damage to cotton in 1950 in the states considered the Boll Weevil Belt.  Texas and Arkansas were rated no 1 and 2.  Damage abnormally high because of the mild winter in 1949.

Pamela Cowset, daughter of Mr and Mrs Meldown Cowsert was honored with a birthday party at her grandparents, Mr and Mrs W D Robinson’s home.  Guests were Tommy Ellis, Mike and Dennis Cain, Sue Robinson, Charlotte Wilkerson, Frank Horner, Kay and Johnnie Crawford, Charles Mabrey, Kent Thomas, Larry Jackson, Lynn Scott and H E Hearn.

Mary Jane Abernathy celebrated her seventh birthday with a party.  23 little boys and girls enjoyed playing on the lawn. Children not named.

The family of the late E W and Sarah Perkins Wyatt had a reunion at Shiloh.  All children were present.  A moving film was taken of the occasion.  Those attending: Ebb and Lillian Wyatt, Joe Ebb & Virginia Wyatt, Morene Wyatt and Peggy & Judy, Norvin and Elois Case, Cecil Cox and Teryle, Hartle and Hester Littlefield, Mrs Charles Stephens and Lee, Agnes Burks and Beverly & Charlotte, Sid and Mae Burks & Elizabeth Ann. Oscar and Fredia Wyatt, Frank and Mary Ruth Bas & Leon, Oma Ammons, Mrs Nell Lunceford, Sam and Nannie Wyatt, Emmett Lunceford, Coleman and Thelma Smith & Bobby, Barbara and Sue, Elmer and Arlene Surratt and Sue, Charles, Donald, Billy and Betty, Walt and Artie Wyatt, Troy and Maurine m Eddie & Inez Humphrey and Kay & Patsy.

Ramer Community by Mrs J R Hamm: Andrew Lawson is working in Milan.  Virginia Anderson has gone to Memphis where she has a position with Dunn & Bradstreet.  Claud Teague and son Joe Teague and Bobby Blankenship went to St Louis to see a St Louis Cardinals game.

Little Tim Boucher has been sick.  His tonsilectomy was postponed because of the illness. Mrs Tommie Lee Blasingame and her mother Mrs Emma Shelton are leaving to make their home in Memphis.  James Boucher has purchased her residence. Willie Joe Hamm and Ann Springer, both recent graduates in Ramer has announced their marriage.  The bride is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Vonley Springer of Gravel Hill, and the groom is the son of Mr and Mrs Euel Hamm and is now in the Army Air Corps.   J T Blackwood, brother of Mrs Brooks Derryberry underwent a brain operation at Western State.  Blackwood has been a mental patient since his return from WWII.   We hope this operation will restore him to good health.

James E Smith of Stantonville constructed 5500 feet or terraces.  Allie Hurst has built 4500 feet of terraces.  C W Moore of Michie constructed 2500 feet of drainage ditches.  The ditch will drain 15 acres of wet land.  Archie Raines seeded two acres of lespedeza sericea.  Joe Kerby has completed drainage work on his farms and about 50 acres will benefit.  

Pebble Hill community by Mrs Gerry Kiddy: Mrs Robbins is sick this week.    A large crowd attended decoration day at Pebble Hill on the second Sunday.  Mrs Carl Donahoe had surgery in a Memphis hospital last week.  Her brother, Pvt  Billy Baker in the Army, has returned to camp.  Mrs Nellie English’ funeral was held at Tulu and several from this community attended.  

This is the time of year to guard against cocklebur poisoning in pgs and cattle.  

Showing at the Ritz next week: Tomahawk, Rhythm Inn, Bedtime For Bonzo, The 13th Letter, Sinister Journey, I can Get It For You Wholesale.  

Dividing Ridge by Mrs Ester Gatley: Mr and Mrs J C Pickett moved to the Floyd Johnson farm last week.   Mr Ernest Moore is sick.    Several have measles in the community.  Everyone in this vicinity could be glad to see a good rain.  Junior Tedford and Joe Gatley left for Peoria, Ill, where they are now employed.

Lawn mowers sharpened and repaired.  W E Foote, 237 N Canal St.  Selmer.   Phone 131.  Hines Store by Miss Irma Plunk:   Mr T E Milford is in Baptist Hospital in Memphis.  

Sulphur Springs by Miss Joyce Cox: Mrs Grady Boatman is on the sick list at this writing.  Little Kathy Cox is very sick.    The farmers are getting little cotton up, the weather is too dry.

Lawton community by Mrs Hilmer Crabtree: Lt and Mrs R J Browder and Nancy were home on furlough from Ft Bennings, Ga.    Sgt and Mrs C L Crabtree are also on furlough for a short visit home.  

Cavit Cheshier of Bethel Spring received an award at U -T Martin.

Oxford Creek Home Demonstration Club met in the home of Mrs Arnold Hockaday with 12 present.   New officers elected: Pres - Mrs Jewel Hockaday; VP - Mrs Dorothy Godfrey; Sec - Mrs Recie Brown; Treas - Mrs Lorraine McCullar; Reporter - Mrs Geneva Harris; Song Leader - Mrs Wilma Henson; Clothing - Mrs Ethel Henson; Gardening - Mrs Mary Browder; Food - Mrs Jewel Hockaday; Poultry - Mrs Myrtle Brown; Home Mgmt - Mrs Louise Brown; Crafts - Mrs Henry Burks; Marketing - Mrs Dorothy Godfrey; Home Furnishing - Mrs Opal Dickey; Devotion - Mrs Wilma Henson; Recreation - Mrs Lorriane McCullar.

Mrs Garvin Pittman was hostess to the Acton Home Demonstration Club.  Devotion given by Mrs Malcolm Atkins.  Roll call was answered by helpful household hints.  Mrs Harry Helton gave a report of the County Tour in May.    The club surprised Mrs Gerald Ray Baker with a shower. She received many nice gifts.  Mrs Pete Qualls, reporter.

Argonaut Book club met in the home of Mrs Lester Moore with Mrs Herbert Lewis co-hostess.  Officers elected: President - Mrs Jack Rinehart; VP - Mrs Allen Wooten; Sec/Treas - Mrs Robert Johnson.  The club voted to donate $5.00 for books at Selmer High School.  Retiring president, Mrs Eldon Thomas is moving to Mayfield, Kentucky. 

A letter written in 1864, Mrs Emiline Ozment to her husband, Calvin Ozment, a soldier in the Confederate Army in the War Between The States.  The letter was written in McNairy County and sent to Shelby County, which was a great distance in those days.  (Note:  punctuation was probably added by printer since most letters during that time didn’t use it.)

‘Dear Husband: Tis that I seate myself with pleasure of writing to you once more to let you know that me and the children are well and I hope that these lines may go safe to your hand and find (you)  well and doing well.  I heard from you once since you left here.  

Amy Plunk got back and said you well when she got there.  She said that you were going on a Scout.  I was glad to hear that you were well but sorrow to hear that you were on the Scout.  I hope that you may have good luck and escape the enemy hands and get home safe.

Calvin, I want to see you worse than I ever did in my life.  I have been pestered since I last saw you.  Pop has moved down the creek since I saw you.  I am living at your Mothers now and I hadn’t suffered for nothing yet I have had plenty have some means to go on.  Yet, Calvin, you don’t know how much I miss you.  You have got so far off I never expected that when I parted with you that it would turn out like it has.  I have shed many tears about you since we parted.  I long for the time to come when I can embrace you in my arms once more as I have in time past.    I am living in hopes of that if I die in dispare I pray that you may have your health good.  

Calvin, Mary and Caldonia are pretty as ever.  Mary says she wants to see you and Caldona grows more like you every day. 

I want you to write to me for I haven’t received a letter from you yet and I don’t want you to think hard of me.  I would have written you if I had any chance.

Calvin, I want you to have your likness taken and send it to me for you don’t know how glad I would be.  That would help some, but not like it was your own body.  If I don’t see you in a short time I will try to do and see you for it looks like a bad chance to come in here now.  

I want you to take good care of yourself and do the best you can for I want you to live.  Calvin, the time seems long to me since I saw you but I hope the time won’t be long till you can come to me and the children for we miss you.  You are my friend and a loving one too.  I am left here behind and when this you see remember me at home and many miles apart we be.  I want you to write often as you can and I will do the same.  My dear so far are you.  Well say no more. 

Tell John I send my respects to him and tell him that Pops is well.  Your Mother is all well and says she wants to see you bad.  Me and Aly thinks that we will go and see you before long.  Emiline Ozment to Calvin J Ozment.  

The following was added at the top of the last page: Write and fear not - My hand and heart - For me and you to meet - Or never to part.’

(Note: In 1860 Calvin was 34 and Emaline was 21.  Emaline was a Plunk.  Apparently they had two children that died young.  Calvin did return home but in 1870 his wife is named Nancy A, age 24.  So apparently Emaline died before 1870 or a mistake on the census.  The wife in 1870 died and Calvin married Almedia and they moved to Dyer Co where he died ca 1901.)

Mr Troy Whitten, age 66, died of a heart attack while plowing in the field near his home in Leapwood community on Monday, May 21, 1951.  Funeral services, conducted by Reb W l Gilmore, Presbyterian Minister of Selmer Church, were held at the Bethesda Presbyterian church with interment in the cemetery there.  The deceased is survived by his wife, Mrs Hattie Barnes Whitten. One son, Lee Whitten; two daughters, Rubie Whitten and Mrs Simpson.

Troy E Barnes, age 53 of Adamsville and Nashville died of a heart attack at the Hotel Peabody, Memphis May 17, 1951.  He was looking after business in Memphis and his passing was quite sudden.  Funeral services were held at Adamsville Baptist church and he was laid to rest beside his wife in the Adamsville Cemetery.  Mrs Barnes preceded him in death a few months ago.    He was an executive of one of the State’s Insurance Company, a member of the Elks, veteran of WWI and held membership in Adamsville Methodist Church.  Survivors are: one sister, Mrs Clarence V Hughes; two nieces, Mrs J L Carothers and Miss Rhunell Hughes.

Mrs Nellie English, age 88, died at her home near Michie on May 19, 1951.  Bro Moore of Corinth conducted the service at Michie Baptist church and burial was in Carter Cemetery.  Shackelford Funeral Directors in charge of arrangements.  She is survived by one son, H E English.

Infant Bright, 3 day old son of Mr and Mrs W L: Bright of Route 3, Ramer, died may 23, 1951.  The infant, one of twins, was laid to rest by the family in White Oak Cemetery.  Besides his parents, the infant is survived by two sisters, Barbara Ann and Wanda; two brothers, Jerry Warren Bright and twin brother, unnamed when this information was received.

Volume 48 No 45.  Wilbur Wright Editor and Publisher.