• 46°

Historic tidbits: January-June 1977

Jan. 12,1977: “MARRIAGES – Mr. and Mrs. Hugh M. Rushin announce the marriage of their daughter, Mrs. Hughlyn Rushin Haynes to T. Sgt. Robert Frank Weber … January 8,1977 … ”

Jan. 13,1977: “The Rt. Rev. Paul Reeves … Bishop of the Episcopal of Georgia, will administer the Order of Confirmation at Calvary Episcopal … Those receiving confirmation include Mary Jo Anderson … ”

Jan. 14,1977: “Mrs. Edna Anderson, who has been a surgical patient at the … Hospital, has been removed to her home on Barlow Street, where she is recuperating.”; “Alan Anderson has returned to the University of Southwest Texas [sic] after spending the holidays with his mother, Mrs. Edna Anderson.”

March 4, 1977: “BIRTHS – Mr. and Mrs. Charles Purvis announce the birth of a daughter born February 28, 1977 at the Americus and Sumter County Hospital, who has been named Elizabeth Ann. The baby weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces. “Beth” is the infant will be called in the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Milan Purvis’s, Americus and Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Jackson of Cartersville.”

March 8, 1977: photograph – “EDUCATOR DISPLAY DRAWING OF PROPOSED COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL – L-R Mrs. Mary Grace Counts president of Association and James East, Legislative chairman – For New High School – L-R Mrs. Grace Counts president of Association and James East, Legislative chairman – For New High School – Group Backs Bond Issue – A resolution concerning the Sumter County bond issue proposed for March 29th was passed at the recent meeting of the Sumter County Association of Educators. The association of educators recommend the passage of the $2,000,000 bond issue on March 29th. They resolved that the two high schools in the county are in deplorable condition. The educators further came to a decision to pass the resolution for the passage of the proposed bond because the number of students at each high school makes it wasteful to operate two high schools, and the operation of one high school will make it possible to improve the curriculum. The educators also stated in the resolution that the present junior high building is not large enough to house the number of junior high students in the county. All people concerned about education in Sumter County need to stand up and be counted and not accept the present education situation,” the educators said. The following is the resolution as passed: WHEREAS: The two high schools in Sumter County are in deplorable condition. WHEREAS: The number of students at each high school makes it wasteful to operate two high schools. WHEREAS: the operation of one high school will make it possible to improve the curriculum. WHEREAS: The present junior high building is not large enough to house the number of junior high students in the county. WHEREAS: People concerned about education in Sumter County need to stand up and be counted and not accept the present educational situation, THEREFORE: The Sumter County Association of Educators recommend the passage of the $2,200,00 bond issue on March 29, 1977.”; photograph of cast of Sumter Players’ children’s play “Who Can Fix the Dragons Wagon?”, including Mary Jo Anderson

March 23, 1977: “Ellaville News – Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Morrow and daughter Rhonda, of Bonaire; and Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Morrow and children, Mary, Terry and Mark, of Jekyll Island were Sunday afternoon visitors of Judge and Mrs. Troy Morrow.”

March 24, 1977: “FRONT VIEW OF PLAINS HIGH SCHOOL – President’s Alma Mater Constructed In 1921 – The date over the front on trace of Plains High School proclaims it was built in 1921 a few years before the firth of its most celebrated alumnus, President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. A comparison of the two county senior high schools shows that Plains High is in better physical condition than Union High School … Plains High is the alma mater of the President and First Lady and both have formally endorsed the $2.2 million school bond referendum scheduled Tuesday, the passage of which would bring a new county- wide high school. The new $4.5 million comprehensive county high school house grades seven through 12. The physical conditions prevailing at Plains High are not the same as they were when President Carter graduated in 1941. The red brick building stands there now in a dilapidated state with paint peeling on the twin columns flanking the front entrance and the concrete steps leading up to the double front door slant forward. It houses more than 200 students who daily attend classes are sub standard … The 56-year-old school houses eight classrooms in the main’s building and six outside in two mobile units. The combination gym and cafeteria is located behind the main building … The auditorium at Plains High … is still used frequently … Walton has coached winning teams racking up 198 wins and 51 losses. He pointed out however, “in a new gymnasium in more modern facilities the school spirit would be even higher. “Certainly it is evident the future citizens of Sumter County need better educational facilities,” said Bacon.”

April 19, 1977: “BASS FAMILY HAS REUNION – The children of the late Mr. and Mrs. O.S. Bass Sr. had a family reunion dinner at the home of Mr. George Worthy Sunday. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. Theo Bass Sr., Savannah, Ga.; Mrs. Walter Daniel, Birmingham, Ala., Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Snider, Atlanta, Mr. and Mrs. Quention James of Orlando, Fla., Mr. and Mrs. O.S. Bass Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Durham, Mrs. Jimmie Bass and son, Tommy of Americus.”April 22, 1977: “First State Electric Streetcar System Operated One Year – Almost 90 years ago Americus became the first city in Georgia to start construction on an electric streetcar system, one that would ultimately operate only about a year. A charter had been granted in 1888 for the Americus Light Co. to produce gas and electric power, then late that same year on Dec. 28 permission was given to operate electric street carters when the electric plant was completed. The first streetcar run finally occurred on Jan. 8, 1890 at 12:30 p.m. and was witnessed by a large crowd all along the route. The City of Atlanta had actually started the first system although it did not start construction until after the Americus system … John B. Felder was mayor at the time the streetcar system plan was launched in Americus. The topic had apparently been discussed for several years since Felder (for whom the local street was named) … “The first passengers were Mayor Felder, U.H. Harrold, H.A. Bagley, E.A. Hawkins, W.H. Weaver, William Hawkins, H.W. Storey, W.H. Howard, Capt. C.W. Felder, Mrs. M.R. Ray and two ladies from the U.B. Harrold family. The motormen were Eugene V. Haynes, Edward Andrews and Taylor Felder. Mayor Felder also commented during the period that it was “regrettable” that Americus was the first to start construction on the system but that Atlanta was first to begin operation of its own system on Aug. 22, 1889 while Americus began on Jan. 8, 1890 … ”

May 24, 1977: photograph – “WASHINGTON – THE WINNER – Larry Comer, of Americus, Ga., gets a kiss of congratulations from his wife Jane after he was named winner gets a kiss of the Small Business Person of the Year in Washington Tuesday. Comer is president of Metalux Corp. of Americus” Comer National SBA Winner – An Americus, Ga. businessman, who built his company into the fifth largest lighting manufacturing company in the United States, was named national small businessman of the year today. Larry Comer, president of Metalex Corp., received the award personally from President Carter at a White House Rose Garden ceremony … ”; photograph – “CHURCH CEREMONIES – The Rev. William Givens, with shovel, is shown during groundbreaking ceremonies for a new Fellowship Baptist Church here. Others, l-r: John Blount, finance committee; Broadus Willoughby, building committee; Lynn Frisbie representing the church deacons; and Charles Buhler, building designer.” Fellowship Baptists To Build New Church – Four Years Old; Larry Comer, founder of Metalax, named National Small Business Person of the Year; photograph – “CHURCH CEREMONIES – The Rev. William Givens, with shovel, is shown during groundbreaking ceremonies for a new Fellowship Baptist Church here. Fellowship Baptists To Build New Church – Fellowship Baptist Church of Americus observed its fourth anniversary last Sunday with an out-door morning worship service and a groundbreaking ceremony for the church’s new building. The events were held on property owned by the church on Tommy Hooks Road just off South Lee Street. The future church building will be located on the 13 acre site … The new building will be built from plans designed and drawn by Dr. Charles Buhler. The building will contain an auditorium, fellowship hall and classrooms … ”

June 11, 1977: fire destroyed 2-story house 502 E. Church and all but east wall of 1-story 508 E. Church; “Fire Destroys Two Homes Early Today – On E. Church St. A fire which began in a vacant house on E. Church Street early Saturday morning left the house completely destroyed and the house next door gutted. Americus Fire Department rushed to the blaze at the vacant house, 506 E. Church Street, about 4:15 a.m. where flames were leaping through the top of the roof when the firemen arrived. It is not yet known how the fire started and is under investigation. The intense heat at the vacant two story structure caught the adjacent house, 508 E. Church St. on fire, the one story residence of Roland Hancock. All that remains of the vacant house, known as the old Stephens Home, is a chimney and all remaining of the Hancock residence is the east wall. Firemen turned their attention to fighting the blaze at the Hancock house, but the fire raced through the structure and could not be contained. Sparks from both blazes were flying and the department averted other houses in the neighborhood from igniting by playing water on the other structures. All five units including the snorkel unit were on the scene and all off duty firemen were called in to fight the blaze remaining on the scene for approximately five hours.”

June 29, 1977: 2 photographs – “DEMOLISHING PLANNED – Shown above are landmark structures on South Jackson Street being demolished or expected to be shortly. Top panel shows the old Prather Clinic and Merrill Buildings and in bottom panel the Wise Clinic. The buildings are to be removed by the City of Americus to provide parking areas in connection with the new $700,000 Police-Fire Complex scheduled to get underway in a few weeks.”

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