A recently discovered volume of one of Water Valley’s early newspapers, The City Itemizer, from 1913 provides a look at the city a century ago. The editor, H. A. Lee, wrote about one of the problems facing educators that isn’t all that different from today.
Everyone is interested in the progress of his child at school, yet when that child fails to make the record, blame is placed on the wrong person, Lee wrote.
When a high school pupil fails to pass his examination, or drops behind in the routine work of his studies, it is on him that his parents and his teachers place the blame. To him it belongs in most cases, but not in all. His parents, too, have a responsibility, and it is often they who have ‘failed to pass,’ rather than the boy.
A teacher telephoned to the mother of one of her pupils to suggest that he was not putting enough time on his lessons. “Why, I expect you to attend to that,” said the mother.
The teacher answered, “Madam, Johnnie is only one of my pupils, but he is all the son you have.”
The school provides opportunities for learning; the parents must see that the child uses them. Do you point out to your boy the personal and business value of an education? Do you help him to select the courses that will be most useful to him?
Do you see that he has a definite time for study, and that during that time he is not interrupted? Do you provide a place for him to study, or must he prepare his lessons in the midst of all the distractions of a family evening?
When he has a problem to solve, do you work it out for him, or do you give him the judicious help that will enable him to work it out himself? Do you make him take daily exercise in the open air? Do you see that he has nine hours sleep every night so that he can go to school fresh and alert? Do you insist that he eat a good breakfast?
Do you try to prevent him from scattering his mental and physical energies by going to theatres, dances, picture shows, and club meetings, or loafing about the street corners during the week? Do you know your child’s teachers and do you ever go to school to talk over with them his progress and find out what his difficulties are?
If you answer these questions honestly, you will know whether it is your child who has failed to pass, or you.
• 5 years ago, Jan. 31, 2008 – The flu bug was biting hard in Yalobusha County. “We’re knee deep in flu,” said Dr. Paul Odom, who had seen more than a dozen cases over the past weekend.
A front page photo showed the parking lot at Piggly Wiggly full of vehicles after the weather service issued a warning of frozen precipitation and a possible ice storm. Fortunately, the temperature rose above freezing mark as half an inch of rain fell.
The first restaurant in the county, Tito’s Tacos, received a beer permit for on-premises consumption at a recessed meeting of the board of supervisors.
The board presented Dorris Crawford with a resolution recognizing the community service of her husband, Brownie Crawford.
Annie Gaston was honored with a retirement ceremony at the Yalobusha General Hospital.
The Blue Devils beat Strayhorn (boys, 72-31 and girls, 64-18).
• 10 years ago, Jan. 30, 2003 – Ernie Aune was named a Melvin Jones Fellow at the District Lions Club meeting in Grenada.
Jimmie Jones was featured in an article in the January 2003 Health Care Directions publication that was reprinted in the Herald. Jones had a new surgical procedure that helped relieve his congestive heart failure pain.
WVHS Band members who attended the annual I-55 Band Clinic at Northwest Community College were Charlsa Carr, Amber Bowles, James Wright, Lucinda Walton, Marcus Jackson, Byron Surrette, Adrian Harris, John Rue and Hagan Vollbracht.
Chris Brown, an 11th grade student at WVHS, won 2nd place nationally in a recipe contest sponsored by Winn-Dixie. Chris, who works at the local Winn-Dixie store, won for his double chocolate crock pot cake.
Bettie Williams was BorgWarner employee of the month for February.
• 20 years ago, Jan. 28, 1993 – The Oddfellows Country Music Show was about to start again at the newly renovated building off Railroad Avenue behind the depot.
A business development week was going on in town with the help of the Chamber of Commerce and the Yalobusha Economic Development Foundation.
Cathey Maynor appeared on the cover of the national circulation consumer video magazine, Camcorder.
Yalobusha County was about to start solid waste collection due to new federal regulations.
A record number of bald eagles were spotted at Enid Reservoir, according to the Corps of Engineers.
Local manufacturer Bondafoam was up to 60 employees.
Steve Riley was Holley Automotive’s January employee of the month.
In the want ads someone was looking for a good home for a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. Give good home and promise not to barbecue, the ad stated.
• 30 years ago, Feb. 3, 1983 – The headline of a story about Wayne Harris read that he rewrote record books in his college grid career. Harris was considered one of Mississippi State’s “most dominating players in years” and had All-SEC first team honors three years in a row.
Jan Womble had her first novel, “The Challenge of Her Life,” published.
Three people were being held in the capital murder of James B. Williamson. Cecilia Williamson, his widow, along with Lee Hardin and Larry Hentz were being held without bond.
Frankie L. Moody of Coffeeville was pictured with a few of his awards from his nine months of Job Corps training at Pine Knot, Kentucky.
The Lady Devils beat North Panola, 34-29, while the Blue Devil boys lost, 82-68.
• 40 years ago, Feb. 1, 1973 – Local archers were forming an archery club to be affiliated with the Yalobusha Sportsmen’s Club. The group met at the home of Hershel Howell and elected Wallace Odom as president and Lawrence Cox as secretary-treasurer.
Chairmen for the Heart Fund Slave Sale were Reed Thompson, John Herod and David Aune.
Lowell Willingham spotted a wolf while driving out 315 north, west of town.
New National Guard members included David Stricklin and Kenneth Hughes.
Bruce Harding of Water Valley and Susan Snell of Coffeeville had perfect 4.0 averages at NWJC.
• 50 years ago, Jan. 31, 1963 – The January term of Circuit Court was featured on the front page with a picture of Judge Curtis Swango of Sardis seated at the newly constructed bench that includes a witness stand. The unit was constructed by John Hunsicker. Below that photo was another showing the Citizenship class from WVHS attending a session of court with their teacher Coach Charles Peets.
Peggy Ashmore was named as one of the 800 best English students in America as the result of taking the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Test.
Herald Editor Edward B. Shearer commented on his 20 years of residence in Water Valley and the same amount of time publishing the North Mississippi Herald.
Yalobusha County residents would pay $2,324,000 of President Kennedy’s purposed $99 billion federal budget.
The Junior Blue Devils were about to end their season with a 7-1 record.
Western Auto honored Mrs. Mary Suratt, owner of the local associate store, for her five years of service to the community.
• 60 years ago, Jan. 29, 1953 – Among the men in service were Toy Sutherland, Aviation Storekeeper Third Class, stationed at Moffett Field, Calif.; L. C. Jenkins, basic training at Lackland, AFB, Tex.; and Airman Third Class D. E. Pierce, Jr., stationed at Biggs AFB, El Paso, Tex.
• 70 years ago, Jan. 28, 1943 – Herald Editor Phillip E. Mullin’s time at the helm was over after only four months. A trio of Mississippi newspapermen purchased the North Mississippi Herald from Lt. Jack Dale. The new owners were Edward B. Shearer, Grady Cook and Ned Lee. Shearer was expected to arrive in Water Valley the next Monday from Vicksburg, where he worked at the daily newspaper.