Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Columnists

January 7, 2013

Alan Anderson: Historic tidbits — July-December 1952

AMERICUS — July 3, 1952: obituary of Mack Thompson King, died July 2nd, aged 62, brother of Mrs. Russell Speer

July 9, 1952: “Miss Rose Mary Giddings is spending three weeks at Ridgecrest, N.C. and Westville, Ill.”; “Marvin Giddings Jr., who is attending the Summer session at Emory University, has accepted a bid to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.”

July 10, 1952: “Hugh L. Speer, of Leslie, dropped by The Times-Recorder to show the staff an 1850 state document signed by the governor at that time, George W. Towns, naming Speer’s father, the late H.L. Speer Sr., as a clerk of superior court … ”; “Mrs. Dennis Durham and children are spending a week with her sisters, Mrs. J.L. Snider and Mrs. Quention James.”

July 14, 1952: aerial photograph of Americus-Sumter County Hospital, with background article

July 18, 1952: “Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Bass are spending the weekend in Savannah with Mr. and Mrs. Theo Bass.”

July 22, 1952: REA Day Edition of The Times-Recorder

July 29, 1952: “Mrs. O.S. Bass and grandson, Bob Bass, are spending this week in Atlanta with Mr. and Mrs. Quention James and Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Snider.”

Aug. 7, 1952: Tommy Gunn, et. al., completed Safety Patriot Training Camp at Lake Blackshear

Aug. 11, 1952: “Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr., is spending this week with her sisters, Misses Pearl and Nell Walters, in Plains.”

Aug. 12, 1952: Coleman Speer given key award by Americus Lions Club

Aug. 18, 1952: photograph of newly renovated Amelia Cohen Building, on the southeast corner of Forsyth and Jackson; Bethel Baptist Church history

Aug. 20, 1952: North Side Homes, 150-unit public housing between North Jackson and North Lee ready for occupancy

Aug. 21, 1952: Georgia Peace Officers’ Association awarded “Life Membership” to retired Americus police chief John N. Worthy, only eleventh such in its 52-year history

Aug. 22, 1952: “Twenty Years Ago Today” column inaugurated; “Leslie News – The friends of Alva Speer, of Ochlochnee, will be glad to learn that he is able to be carried home after a serious operation.”

Aug. 23, 1952: Pennington Family reunion photograph with history of St. James Pennington Episcopal Church, which noted that “ … Samuel Cobb was superintendent of the brick work.”

Aug. 26, 1952: “Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Durham and family have moved from 141 Furlow street to their new home 509 Oak avenue.”

Sept. 3, 1952: concrete block restrooms being built on west end of Americus High School stadium

Sept. 4, 1952: “Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr. has moved from 1213 Oglethorpe avenue to 134 Jackson street.”

Sept. 8, 1952: “Mrs. J.A. Nall and Vance Nall, of Jacksonville, visited relatives here last work.”

Sept. 10, 1952: “First Flying Saucer Seen In Americus Back In 1918 - For the past few weeks little has been heard from the flying saucer phenomena. It seems that nobody has seen any, or rather no one has reported seeing mysterious objects in the air. However, the saucer epidemic isn’t new, because either a saucer or something resembling one was spotted as long ago as 1918 right here in Americus. This was brought to light recently when a chap, writing under the initials “F.R.B.” wrote a letter to Miami Herald concerning the flying objects. It read: “All these reports of flying saucers remind me of 1918 when I was in charge of pumping water for an Army camp at Americus, Ga. I had a negro that fired the boiler for the pump and one night he called me to the door and pointed to some large lights overhead, some moving and some not. We saw eight in all, and I reported what we and 50 soldiers had seen. The army brass wired around to all the flying fields in the country and all said there were no planes, so the office decided we were dreaming and told me I would have to quit telling the story or what the lights were. F.R.B.”

Sept. 13, 1952: “BUILDING PERMITS - … to O.S. Bass for a six room, $11,000 brick veneer dwelling on West Cornelia Drive.”

Sept. 16, 1952: “Mrs. Gladys Giddings is a surgical patient at the city hospital.”; “Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr., was given special honor Monday afternoon at the meeting of the First Methodist W.S.C.S. when she was presented with a lifetime membership in the organization, a gift of her daughter, Mrs. Walter Daniel … Mrs. Bass has been a member of the Missionary society for the past 50 years and for 30 years has been a member of the First Methodist church missionary.”

Sept. 17, 1952: “Mrs. W.F. Livingston continues ill at her home on the Albany road.”

Sept. 19, 1952: “1953 EDITION OF THE AMERICUS HIGH SCHOOL PANTHERS - First row, left to right: Gerald Speek, Ray Baldwin, Luther Bell Co-captains John Edge, Ted Baldwin, Sam Lott, Melvin Kinslow, and Bobby Holloway, Second row: George McDouglad, Bill Harris, Milton Gardner, Douglas Tye, Frank Worthy, Frank Hardin, Carr Dodson, Jimmy Usry, and Billy Studstill. Back row: Stanley Bivins, Danny Griffin, Leon Tye, Bob Wall, Jimmy Schmidt, Eugene Coogle, Ed Taylor, Solon Wisham and Tommy Davis. (Photo by Charles Myer, Staff Photographer.)”

Sept. 23, 1952: “Mrs. Kitty Guerry has returned to her home in Richmond, Va., after a visit to relatives and friends here.”; “PFC Georgia Nan Gunn, of Fort Hood, Texas, is spending a 20-day leave with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Gunn, on McGarrah street.”

Sept. 24, 1952: “Leslie News – H.L. Speer has as his guests for the weekend his daughter, Mrs. C.J. Cheves, of Gainesville, Ga., John S. Speer, Dahlonega, and Mr. and Mrs. Alva Speer of Ochlochnee.”

Sept. 25, 1952: “Coleman Speer, Americus veteran officer, has been appointed to the American Legion Rehabilitation Commission for Georgia … ”; “LESLIE MAN SUFFERS STROKE – H.L. Speer Jr., 85, well-known Leslie man suffered a severe stroke early this morning. He is in a serious condition and relatives have been called to Leslie.”

Sept. 30, 1952: “Leslie News – H.L. Speer, who has been ill for the past week, is reported about the same.”; C,J, Cheves … and John S. Speer … were here Sunday to see H.L. Speer.”

Oct. 9, 1952: newly paved streets: McGarrah from railroad to Hwy. 19; Cotton from railroad to Forsyth; Varsity from Felder to Furlow; Hampton from Church to Seaboard depot; working on N. Jackson and Bell

Oct. 10, 1952: “Spud Bass, student at API, Auburn, Ala., has accepted a bid to Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.”

Oct. 14, 1952: “Leslie News – C.J. Cheves … spent the weekend here to see H.L. Speer and Mrs. Cheves.”

Oct. 17, 1952: “Mr. and Mrs. Quention James and children, Libby and Frankie, of Atlanta, are spending a week with relatives here.”

Oct. 21, 1952: “Mrs. Tony Howard is the guest of Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr.”

Oct. 22, 1952: “Leslie News – Mr. H.L. Speer continues ill at his home here. Mrs. C.J. Cheves … is with him.”

Oct. 23, 1952: “Mr. and Mrs. O.S. Bass have moved from Brannon avenue to their attractive new home on Glendale Estates.”

Oct. 25, 1952: photographs of Kiwani’s Pet Parade, including Russell Speer

Oct. 31, 1952: progress report on Southwest Georgia Experiment Station, Duncan McRainey, supervisor

Nov. 1, 1952: “Spud Bass Jr., student at API, Auburn, is spending the weekend with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O.S. Bass.”

Nov. 4, 1952: “Mr. and Mrs. George S. Cobb and Mr. and Mrs. Bob Moorhead, of Miami, will spend Thursday night with the former’s sister, Mrs. Rufus Mathews, and Mr. Mathews, going up for the Tech game, where Bobby Moorhead is a player.”

Nov. 5, 1952: “New Americus Industry Will Serve The Nation - Americus Designer Opens Shop Soon - A new industry, which is setting up shop in Americus this week, will turn out terry cloth items for the entire nation. Operating under the name of Gertrude Davenport, Inc., the offices and work shops are located on Hampton Street. There garments have been on the market for several years, with headquarters on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Previously the garments have been made by jobbers, but since the beginning of operation, Miss Davenport says she has wanted to manufacture them in her own plant. Americus was picked, Miss Davenport pointed out, because of its ideal location. It is near the mills that we buy our material from and it is a convenient shipping point. The sales offices will remain in New Work. Miss Davenport, president of the company and designer of all of the garments, was born and reared in Americus. She is the daughter of Mr. James A. Davenport. Before going into business for herself she was a designer for Butterick in New York. For the first garment she designed on her own, the wraparong, she and associates applied for a patent. The new garment immediately became popular as a beach robe or to throw on when the doorbell or phone rings when one is in the bath or shower. Later she designed other garments and the product to be produced here that is a terry cloth apron with deep pockets, padded so that they may be used as hot pot holders. About 12 persons have been employed to operate the machines, with cutter, fore lady and other helpers. Emory Rylander Jr., co-owner, vice president and secretary of the company is also a former Americus resident, and is the son of Mrs. Catherine D. Rylander, of this city.; “Spud Bass, Auburn student, spent yesterday with his parents … coming to vote.”

Nov. 11, 1952: “BIRTHS – Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Purvis, of Columbus, announce the birth of a son, Monday, November 10, who has been named Timothy. Mr. Purvis is a former Americus resident.”

Nov. 12, 1952: “Mr. and Mrs. George Worthy and children and Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr. have returned from Atlanta, where they spent a few days with relatives.”

Nov. 20, 1952: “Coleman Speer has been reappointed a member of the National Rehabilitation Advisory Board of the American Legion … ”; Jaycees announce locations of 200 new street signs

Nov. 22, 1952: “Old Seaboard Railroad Station Landmark Is Being Torn Down - One of Americus’ Landmarks - The Seaboard Railroad Station on Jackson Street - is being torn down by construction men and soon will be used for building purposes. Built about 1897, the passenger station was considered to be the “latest thing” in railroad construction. Although most persons thought it was built out of logs it was discovered during the dismantling that the logs were only imitation, known as novelty siding a practice widely used in the last years of the 19th Century. Bush Construction Company purchased the building and warehouse from Shiver Lumber Company who in turn had purchased it from the Seaboard Railroad this past summer. The railroad ran its final train on the Savannah - Montgomery, Ala. run in 1951. At the peak of the railroad travel six passenger trains stopped at Americus every day. Now the only Seaboard trains passing through Americus are freights and the railroad operates yards here. Paul Bush, in charge of the demolishing, said he expects to use the runway to build a warehouse and use the lumber for building work. In tearing into the old relic the construction men found that the lumber was still in good shape. The station was a great favorite with the town’s children because it was only one block from the grammar school. One set of children watched the structure being built, then ten years later another set watched workers install a new type Spanish tile roof and today another generation, attending the same school, is watching the end of the station. Many old-timers remember well the first days of the station. Two who worked in the station are still living in Americus. Wible Marshall was chief clerk and ticket agent from 1903 to 1914 and Allen Hill was a night ticket agent for many years. Other Americus men, A.B. Woodard, city councilmen, E.E. Lee and W.H. Sanborn worked on the railroad for many years as engineers and conductors on trains that stopped in Americus. H.P. Everett, now deceased, was agent for many years.”; photograph - “RAILROAD STATION DEMOLISHED - Jimmie Reed, Americus, left, pries the siding loose from a wall of the Seaboard Station which is being demolished in Americus. Paul Bush of Bush Construction Company, waits to get a sledge hammer on the building. Most people in Americus had thought the station was built of logs but it was found that the logs were imitation siding. The station was built about 1897 and was one of Americus landmarks.”; proposed Veterans Administration tubercular hospital in Americus cancelled; photograph of unbeaten AHS Panthers, with members of 1926 team (including Sam Gunn), only other undefeated team

Nov. 28, 1952: “Spud Bass, student at API, is spending the holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O.S. Bass Jr.”

Dec. 1, 1952: “Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Beamon and children, of Columbia, S.C., spent the holidays with Mrs. Beamon’s mother, Mrs. M.E. Purvis.”; “Mr. and Mrs. Harry Brooks and son, of Columbus, spent the weekend with Mrs. M.E. Purvis.”

Dec. 2, 1952: photograph of 1926 Americus High School Panthers

Dec. 10, 1952: obituary of Miss Pearl Walters, died Dec. 9th, aged 82, sister of Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr.

Dec. 12, 1952: special edition with photograph of front entrance of new Americus-Sumter County Hospital

Dec. 17, 1952: “Leslie News – Mr. and Mrs. Walter Williamson have bought the H.L. Speer home and farm and will move to the home Thursday.”

Dec. 23, 1952: “Miss Barbara Hale, of Atlanta, will spend the holidays with her mother, Mrs. C.M. Hale.”

Dec. 27, 1952: “Mr. and Mrs. Theo Bass and son, Theo Jr., of Savannah, spent Christmas day with relatives here.”; “Mr. and Mrs. Quention James and two children, of Atlanta, are visiting relatives here.”

Dec. 30, 1952: photograph and history of Mrs. Erin Watts Stewart [retirement ceremony photograph Jan. 7, 1953]

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

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