Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Columnists

February 26, 2013

Alan Anderson: Historic tidbits — January-June 1954

AMERICUS — Jan. 2, 1954: Susan Cobb, et. al., guests at Michelle Smith’s eighth party Dec. 31st

Jan. 9, 1954: county voters defeated school consolidation in Jan. 8th straw poll (“HOW THEY VOTED - DIST. FOR/AGAINST - City 670/212; 27th 248/71; Leslie 24/317; Sumter City 17/9; Thompson 6/21; Plains 14/189; Concord 23/36; Chambliss 29/18; Andersonville 52/8)

Jan. 12, 1954: “Frankie James, son of Mr. and Mrs. Quention James, of 1112 13th avenue, Albany, formerly of Americus, is undergoing treatment for pneumonia at Phoebe Putney Hospital in Albany.”

Jan. 14, 1954: “Welfare Dept. is Moving in Hospital - The Sumter County Welfare Department began moving into its new site at the old Americus and Sumter County Hospital Thursday. The moving is expected to be completed Friday, according to Mrs. Mary Will Moss, director. The site was recently purchased by the Sumter County Commissioners from the Hospital Authority. The building has been vacant since the local hospital moved into its new structure. The Health Department will also move into offices at the Dodson St. location with the Welfare Dept. and moving operations are expected to begin the middle of next week.”

Jan. 22, 1954: photograph of award-winning Americus Fire Department, left to right front, E.N. Chapman, Oscar Wisham, H.P. Nations, F.D. Norton, Jack Booth, Asst. Chief Williamson, Chief H.K. (Hop) Henderson, Capt. Jack Hicks, J.E. Suggs and J.D. Rushin. Second row J.R. Law, C.L. Crutchfield, E.R. Barnes, Robert Ranew, W.T. Silver Jr.; “Work has been started on the Benevolence Methodist Church located five miles south of Americus on the Albany highway. The foundation was laid and cement block walls are scheduled to be put up soon. Work may be slowed somewhat since most of the work is being done by church members. Rev. T.E. Davenport, assistant pastor, will speak … on the subject “You Must.” Sunday School will be held at the usual 10 a.m. hour.”; Russell Speer, et. al., guests at Johnny Smith’s sixth birthday party Jan. 21st

Jan. 25,1 954: reprints of Joseph A. “Nap” Cobb’s histories of Danville, Drayton and Pineville

Jan. 26, 1954: “Rushin’s Grocery and Market, S. Lee St., was broken into Monday night but the burglars took only a small amount of change and cigarettes … burglary was discovered Tuesday morning by Judson Rushin … ”

Feb. 1, 1954: Robin Rushin, John D. Rushin, et. al., guests at Ralph Nelson Jr.’s, eighth birthday party Jan. 30th

Feb. 2, 1954: “Cut-Off Community Formed To Keep Men From 14 Mile Jury Duty Walk - Lottie Pennington Coker - Ever old and ever new, why “Cut-Off?” …  About the year, 1840, Jim M. Wicker came here from Newberry, S.C., on horseback with his wife, Sara Smith Wicker, riding behind him. Mr. Wicker acquired a good bit of land. Other families here and coming later, were: Woodson Tolen, Rev. W.S. Bedenbaugh (and today the Sixth Generation living here in the same house); the Moran, Ben Golden, Jim and John Murphey, Lafayette Nelson, the Peacocks, McKenzies, Brooks, Joyners, Kitchings, Stubbs and Pennington families … The Wickers were the parents of eight children — three sons and five daughters. A romance grew almost overnight. Three of these Wicker sisters married three Pennington brothers, and the Pennington families hold their family reunion yearly. If you had to walk 14 miles every time jury duty called, you would want a cut off and would try hard to find one. Then you can’t blame Jim M. Wicker and Woodson Tolen of Sumter County for using their persuasive powers on the Georgia Legislature 100 years ago to cut them off from the courthouse in Americus … Legend says that two of the stage coach drivers had a feud and that when one of them knew he was to die, he asked to be buried erect in the middle of the road, so that his successor would have to drive his coach around his grave. Legend has it that his request was complied with, and until this day a large sassafras tree, as a marker for his grave, stands in the middle of the field where the coach road formerly was. This story has been handed down to each owner of the land, and no one has ever cultivated this spot … ”

Feb. 8, 1954: “Voice Of The People - Editor Times-Recorder: Recent articles in your valuable paper concerning an old roadway passing through the western part of this county, known as Barnes trail, are historically interesting. This trail must have been laid out and traveled many years before the section was settled by our people. It could have been one of the longest laid out trails in Georgia when it was first used, as is very strong tradition that it extended from North Carolina to Florida. Cull Battle of Schley County says he has traveled it over its original location from Oglethorpe, Ga., to below Albany … Some of the named trail of long ago were good roadways, later becoming better ones. Sincerely, W.T. McMATH”

Feb. 11, 1954: “Mrs. Quention James and children, of Albany, were guests today of her mother, Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr., S. Prince street.”

Feb. 15, 1954: obituary of Thomas Frederick Robbins, died Feb. 13th, aged 74 years; “Mrs. Sam Gunn complimented Mr. Gunn … Saturday night [Feb. 13th] at their home on Oglethorpe … as a celebration of his birthday … Invited were: … Mr. and Mrs. Walter Cobb, Susan Cobb, … Mr. and Mrs. Spud Bass Sr. … Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Mathews … ”

Feb. 20, 1954: photograph of newly enlarged Sumter Livestock Association sale pen

Feb. 26, 1954: “The Brooklyn Heights Baptist Church will conduct the first services in its new building [Feb. 28th] at the corner of Washington and Mary streets … Rev. R.H. Forrestor, Leesburg, will be in charge … A goal of 200 has been set for Sunday … new unit consists of 10 classrooms, nursery, and large assembly room in which church services will be held until a main auditorium is erected … ”

March 2, 1954: “Voice Of The People - Editor Times-Recorder Dear Sir: From time to time during many years of the past, a story has been given wide publicity in some newspapers that Georgia was settled as a penal colony. Why these stories are published I do not know, but I do know that history proves them to be untrue and unworthy of belief. The historical records are that Georgia was settled as a military colony to protect the then settled Colony of South Carolina, from then Spanish Florida, from their constant war-like intent on the Carolina settlement. For the purpose of establishing the Colony of Georgia, England selected a great General and diplomat to be its leader …  As the colony grew in numbers greater protection was necessary. In 1732, 276 highland Scotchmen were assembled at Inverness, Scotland and boarded ship for Savannah. My ancestor was among them …  W.T. McMath.”

March 9, 1954: obituary of Nannie Sue Daniel Giddings, died Mar. 9th, age 88

March 10, 1954: funeral of Mrs. C.F. Giddings

March 11, 1954: “Sumter Selected In U.S. For Rural Phone Experiments - Nation-wide attention was focused on Americus and Sumter County today regarding this county’s selection as the initial site in the United States for the conducting of experimental field trials designed to revolutionize the rural telephone system and provide better service to farming areas, it was disclosed by Lane Watson, local manager of the Southern Bell Telephone Co. … Bell Laboratories engineers have set up equipment for the experiment along the Friendship Road and in the New Era Community … More than 300 transistors will be used in the equipment on trial here at Americus … ”

March 17, 1954: “Spud Bass, student at Auburn, has arrived to spend Spring holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O.S. Bass Jr. His wife, who is working in Atlanta, will join him here for the weekend.”

March 25, 1954: “Mrs. Ellinor Tillman Pruitt and Miss Lubel Speer spent yesterday in Atlanta.”

Mach 27, 1954: “Rev. Davenport Feels Like Schoolboy Going To Picnic, On Planned Return to His College - Will Address Student Body - … one of two surviving graduates of the class of 1884, Emory-at-Oxford’s 91-year-old Rev. T.E. Davenport, of Americus, describes his reactions on being invited to address the college student body in Oxford … The occasion will be the 70th anniversary of the spry minister’s graduation. He will be accorded special recognition while there … Thomas Edwin Davenport was born in Americus on Nov. 17, 1862, during the Confederate War … The tenth born of eleven children. Rev. Davenport and a 104-year-old sister, Mrs. Florence Hollis, of Americus are the only ones living … He is pastor emeritus of the First Methodist Church ... Rev. Davenport attended Public School at Furlow Masonic Female College in Americus … ”; photograph of Rev. Tom Ed Davenport and his Model A Ford

March 29, 1954: “Mrs. David Speer, of Geneva, Florida, is the guest of Miss Lubel Speer for a few days.”

April 2, 1954: “Albany’s new television station, WALB-TV, will take to the airwaves [Apr. 3rd] at 1 p.m. with a full schedule of commercial and network programs. The station will start sending at between 60,000 and 70,000 watts, gradually building up to its planned 120,000 watts … station is expected to be operating at full strength within a week … “Perfect reception” is expected in Americus and the entire area of South Georgia. WALB-TV will be affiliated with NBC-TV network.”; Hughlyn Rushin’s fifth birthday party Apr. 1st

April 4, 1954: “HOW ‘CUT-OFF’ CAME TO GET UNUSUAL NAME - … Macon and Sumter counties were originally Lee County, the line somewhere about the “old camp ground,” north of Oglethorpe -- North of the old camp ground Muscogee county, and Macon county was a county as far back as 1853, when the first railroad came to Oglethorpe. We were cut off from Sumter county about the year 1870. It came about something like this: Two of our pioneer settlers, Jim M. Wicker and Woodson Tolen were jurors in Americus and their best means of conveyance was on foot (walking) it being a 14 mile walk to Americus for these jurors, so through them the Legislature gave the “Cut Off” formerly Sumter county land, to Macon county, the division to be two creeks, “Camp” and “Sweet water” creeks. Camp creek was the line between Sumter and Macon counties. After Sumter county gave us to Macon county, sweet water creek became the dividing line. There is a myth concerning “Sweet Water” creek. During the war of 1861 and 1865 an old pioneer settler was expecting Sherman to march through this section of Georgia and make his terrible raids as he had at other places, so this old settler was fixing to store his provisions when his oxen run away and spilled his syrup in the creek, hence “Sweet Water” Creek … ”

April 8, 1954: “BIRTHS - Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Lawhorn, of Dawson, announce the birth of a son, Sunday, April 4, at Americus and Sumter County Hospital. The baby weighed 9 pounds, 6 ounces.”

April 17, 1954: “A minor automobile accident … at 8:15 a.m. at the corner of Church and S. Lee … A car driven by E.S. Hagins … going North on Lee … collided with a car driven by L.E. Giddings, 412 Jones Dr., going east on Church … Damage was slight to both cars. Mr. Giddings was charged … with violating a traffic ordinance.”

April 19, 1954: “Mr. and Mrs. Spud Bass, of Auburn and Atlanta, spent the weekend with their parents … ”

April 24, 1954: “Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr. has returned to her home on Prince street after a visit with her sister, Miss Nell Walters, in Plains.”

May 3, 1954: “Mrs. J.C. Speer and Mrs. Hattie Gainey have returned from Waycross, where they spent a month with relatives.”; “James H. Cobb, an Americus native, now of Atlanta, has been named director of advertising for American Airlines … Born in Americus November 10, 1912, the son of an outdoor advertising executive, Cobb was brought up in Savannah … ”

May 6, 1954: “Mrs. C.M. Hale has returned from a visit with her daughter, Mrs. Ray Kinnamon, and Mr. Kinnamon in Cartersville. While away, they went to the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.”

May 7, 1954: obituary of Miss Ella Cameron, died May 7th

May 8, 1954: funeral of Miss Ella Cameron

May 10, 1954: “Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr., is spending a few days with her daughter, Mrs. Quention James, in Albany.”

May 13, 1954: “Mrs. D.B. Mayes left yesterday by plane from Albany for a visit with her son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Mayes and family in Miami.”

May 17, 1954: “ … Rosemary Giddings, graduate … complimented with swimming party … tendered by … Mrs. Marvin Giddings … ”; “Alan Anderson has returned to his home in Columbus after a visit of ten weeks with his aunt, Mrs. Jimmy Bass, while his mother, the former Edna Purvis, was a patient at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.”

May 19, 1954: Superior Court jury list: Wilbur Giddings, C.M. Hale, J.T. Bass

May 20, 1954: “Mrs. Ethel W. Robinson has returned from a visit with her son, Capt. R.A. Robinson and family in Charleston, S.C. and her daughter, Mrs. Morgan Smith, and family in Jacksonville.”

May 24, 1954: “Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr. has returned from Atlanta, where she spent a week with her daughter, Mrs. J.L. Snider and family.”

May 29, 1954: “Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Reynolds, of Tampa, are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Rushin, having been called here because of the death of their uncle, Carey Daniel.”

May 31, 1954: photograph of Americus High School graduating class

June 2, 1954: photograph and article re Coleman Speer

June 9, 1954: Alice Lee Rushin, Joy Lister, et. al., guests at double birthday party for Kay Moon’s eleventh birthday June 8th and Saranne Rushin’s eleventh birthday Aug. 4th

June 17, 1954: “Mrs. Spud Bass Jr. has accepted a position as technician at the Americus and Sumter County Hospital.”

June 19, 1954: “Mr. and Mrs. Lawson Gunn and sons, Billy and Lawson Jr., of Savannah, will arrive tomorrow to spend a few days with Mr. Gunn’s brother, Sam Gunn and family at their home on Oglethorpe Avenue.”; “Cpl. Georgia Nan Gunn … has received her discharge and will arrive Tuesday from Ft. Hood, Texas, where she has been stationed.”

June 29, 1954: “SPECIAL SERVICE AT NAZARENE - Miss Nan Gunn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Gunn, of Americus, will be the featured speaker Wednesday night at a special service of the Church of the Nazarene … ”

Alan Anderson, archivist of the Sumter Historic Trust, lives in Americus.


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