Formation of a new statewide baseball league to be known as the Magnolia Youth Baseball Organi-zation captured the interest of scores of cities in Mississippi and adjoining states, the Herald reported in January of 1963.
The group was headed by L. C. Stewart, who also served as mayor of Water Valley and was instrumental in starting a number of innovative programs in the city.
The league elected Jack Harper, coach at Oakland High School, as State Operational Commissioner and was planning a statewide organizational meeting.
The formation of the new league, which embodied the classifications formerly held by the Little League, would allow as many teams as desired to participate in annual play.
The farsighted group had already planned district and Magnolia State Series playoffs and 12 Mississippi counties had already joined the association.
Heading the group were Commissioner Stewart and Odis Logan of Bruce, vice-commissioner; Frank Evans, secretary; and directors Hon. Robert Gildre of Vardaman; Al Smith of Winona; Clyde Pace, Coffeeville; Wayne Carson, Grenada; and Avery Holland of Charleston.
• 5 years ago, Jan. 10, 2008 – Carothers Construction Company lost interest in purchasing a parcel of land on Railroad Street that had been the topic of three-months of city board wrangling and interference by outsiders. In a letter to city officials, Carothers chairman Arnold Wayne Carothers wrote that “due to the lapse in time, our circumstances have changed and we are no longer interested in purchasing this property.”
Representatives from two Yalobusha businesses appeared before the Board of Supervisors seeking to sell hot beer in their stores that were too close to churches under the county’s beer regulations. John Crawford and Bob Best, both owners of small stores, asked supervisors to allow beer sales at their locations. Supervisors refused citing, if one case, Biblical scripture that instructs Christians not to do something that offends their neighbor.
Several speakers asked supervisors to hold a public hearing on the ordinances to allow input from the public. One cited the 70 percent pro beer vote.
Letters to the editor commented on the “hastily” called meetings in which city and county officials passed what were called very restrictive ordinances to control beer. One letter cited the city’s use of an emergency meeting instead of waiting until the next regular meeting of the board of aldermen.
Mayor Bill Norris announced that a Founders Day celebration was being planned for April 19 in honor of the town’s 150th year.
• 10 years ago, Jan. 9, 2003 – Family and Consumer Science Agent Pamela Redwine received the New Professional Award from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences – Mississippi Affiliate.
The Valley City Lodge installed new officers including Sam Knox, treasurer; Charles Allen Ball, senior warden; John Allan Caldwell, worshipful master; Chadwick Heath Wren, junior warden; Freddie Howard McDougal, junior deacon; Curtis Wesley Rodgers, Jr., tiler; Billy Francis Knox, secretary; Billy Joe Barfield, junior marshal; and Clyde Lee Herron, junior chaplain.
Segan Prince earned a perfect attendance award for her Sunday school class at Rock Apostolic Church.
Shirley Kehoe took over as manager of the Helping Hands Mission.
Ann Womble Still sent in a photo of an almost perfect heart-shaped potato she found in a bag from the grocery store.
• 20 years ago, Jan. 7, 1993 – Winners of the 1992-93 Woodman of America Essay Contest at the elementary school were Julie Jones, first; Whitney Rogers, second; and Dawn Baker, third.
Economic Development Foundation officials were seeking money pledges to help secure a proposed veterans’ nursing home.
Ronald Jenkins won the $100 grocery gift certificate from the American Legion.
Mary McCachren was to teach attendees at the county wide crafts meeting how to change wreaths to match the season.
Eddie Ray was pictured in his Cub Scout uniform in one of those cute “ain’t it nifty, you’re turning 50” ads.
The Valley City Lodge No. 402 was installing officers including Sam Knox, worshipful master; William Paul Howard, senior warden; Grant Clyde Giles, junior warden; Robert Lynn Partain, treasurer; Thomas Olin Gore, secretary; Malcolm Eugene Burke, senior deacon; Buford Wilton Adams, junior deacon; and Cecil Benjamin Walker, tiler.
In the want ads, Mari Foster of the Crafter’s Mall was looking for the owner of a denture plate that was found on Main Street.
• 30 years ago, Jan. 13, 1983 – New water lines being installed by the city were nearing completion, city aldermen were told at their meeting Jan. 4 at city hall. The board also elected officers for the Industrial Development Association to purchase the railroad property. They were Hamric Henry, president; Travis Clement, vice-president; and Doris Cox, secretary-treasurer.
Editor Ed Shearer commented that the Bank of Water Valley announced assets in excess of $33 million, which was ten times the amount shown just 20 years before in 1962.
Officers of the Yalobusha County Heart Association were Mrs. J. G. Carpenter, president; Mrs. E. B. Shearer, secretary and public relations director; and Mrs. Margaret Ross, heart memorial chairman for the Oakland area.
Mrs. Lucille Chapman retired from her 30 years as representative of the Western Union Company.
• 40 years ago, Jan. 11, 1973 – The municipalities of Yalobusha County were joining with the Board of Supervisors in a rodent eradication program to be conducted by Doyle Varner, county agent.
The Methodist Bishop was in Water Valley for the dedication of the replica of an old-time church located at the north end of Railroad Park. The building commemorated the forming of the North Mississippi Conference in 1871 and was intended to be a museum.
Officers of St. Cyr Commandery No. 6 were installed including Tomie R. Ashford, sword bearer; Robert H. Miles, generalissimo; Charles L. Simpson, eminent commander; Robert A. Ellis, captain general; R. L. Christian, sentinel; Edward B. Shearer, treasurer; John Raymond Crook, standard bearer; T. H. Scarbrough, prelate; Howard Lynn Edwards, senior warden; T. Olin Gore, recorder; and Ira Lee Crowson, warden.
Danny Odom, 13, was pictured with a large eight-point buck he got still hunting near Highway 315 north.
• 50 years ago, Jan. 10, 1963 – Mrs. Francis McVey, known for her gardening and decorating skills, caught 14 crappie and one two-and-a-half pound catfish, reported Kate Johnsey in her column, Hunting & Fishing.
Mrs. Christine Maynor was installed as Noble Grand of the Order of Rebekahs, replacing Mrs. Florine McCullar.
Lucy Kendrick was outstanding senior for the current issue of The Yellow Jacket.
Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs with their Foggy Mountain Boys appeared at the City Auditorium direct from the WSM Grand Ole Opry and sponsored by Martha White Self-rising Flour and the Sylva Rena Community Club.
• 60 years ago, Jan. 8, 1953 – Military services for Lt. Henry Franklin Wright, killed in action in Korea on Oct. 21, were held Friday, Jan. 9, at First Baptist Church. He was buried with full military honors in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Lt. Wright, 23, had worked with his father, John F. Wright, at Valley Stave Co. before joining the Army on Dec. 1, 1950. He had been in Korea about ten days when he was killed.
The Water Valley Blue Devils had eight victories in as many outings and were favored to retain their Chickasaw Conference title.
Ordination services were to be held the next Sunday for four new deacons, Doke Dickey, Rayburn Westmoreland, Melton Blount and Loyd Raley, at Otuckalofa Baptist Church.
Thought for the Week – A narrow mind and a wide mouth usually go together.
• 70 years ago, Jan 7, 1942 – Edith Chapman became the county’s first WAC and was to report for duty at Daytona Beach, Florida. Miss Chapman, of near Coffeeville, had three years of nurse training at the Water Valley Hospital.
Water Valley’s new city administration passed a strong ordinance prohibiting billiard tables and poolrooms. The law also outlawed fortunetellers, pistol or shooting galleries, ten pin alleys (bowling alleys), slot machines and other like things within the corporate limits.
Herald editor Phillip Mullen noted that the law was apparently aimed at the city’s two pool halls, one operated by Stanley Harris and the other by D. H. Holt. The other things were not available in the city except the slot machines, which he noted were well hidden like the city’s beer and whiskey.
Lt. Paul Pickering, a medical officer in the U. S. Navy, spoke to the Rotary Club and explained the fanatical nature of the Japanese fighting man. “The only whipped Jap is a dead Jap,” he told Rotarians.