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Look Back In Yalobusha History

Vagrancy Law Was Enforced During Wartime


Water Valley Mayor F. B. DeShon announced in the Sept 23, 1943 Herald that by order of Governor Paul B. Johnson, Sr., the Vagrancy Law was to be strictly obeyed in Water Valley.
In his order, Governor Johnson said, “As governor of the State of Mississippi, I have instructed all law enforcement agencies to enforce the State Vagrancy Law. Idleness cannot and will not be tolerated while our sons are fighting and dying for the principles we hold so dear and there is need for food, ships and weapons of war.”
The article included a definition of a vagrant as: Any able-bodied person having no property sufficient for his support or who has no visible or known means of a fair, honest and reputable livelihood, who is a tramp and who wanders or strolls about in idleness or who is leading an idle, immoral or profligate life…
(I had to look up profligate. It means: 1. utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; 2. recklessly wasteful; wildly extravagant.)
…or who loafs, loiters and idles in the cities, towns and villages or in any other public place without any regular employment; any person who trades or barters stolen property or who unlawfully sells or barters any vinous, alcoholic, malt, intoxicating or spirituous liquors, common gamblers, beggars, common prostitutes, keepers of houses of prostitution, keepers of gambling houses; all persons over 16 years of age and under 21 years of age who are able to work and do not work and have no property or parents to support them and who are not engaged in work or attendance in school.
Mayor DeShon added, “A job is open to you now! Thousands of workers are needed in Mississippi war industries and on the farm.
I guess we don’t enforce that law anymore.

Through The Years From The Herald  

• 5 years ago, Sept. 25, 2008 – Carothers Construction Company was moving to Lafayette County and was about to donate their old headquarters property to the county.
A group of AIDS activists walked along the Hwy. 7 bypass on their way to Oxford and the presidential debate. Cory Williamson was the only local person known to have a ticket to the event.
The Titan’s 6-9 year-old team and the 10-13 year-old team were about to play their first home game against Oxford in a PopWarner football matchup.
The Blue Devils lost to Senatobia, 24-16, in a hard fought game.
• 10 years ago, Sept. 25, 2003 – The Blue Devils defeated Hamilton, 46-20, in the first division win of the season.
A whole group of Dallas Jones descendants gathered at the Yocona River bridge north of the Yalobusha County line to celebrate the placement of a historical marker honoring Jones, who helped enforce the quarantine of Taylor and Orwood during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1898.
Marty Langston of Oakland became a member of the American Angus Association.
• 20 years ago, Sept. 23, 1993 – The Blue Devils boosted their record with a win over Leland, 27-0.
Water Valley native Dr. Gary Jackson received the Andrew Kozak Award at Penn State University and was about to join the staff at Mississippi State University.
The Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association was promoting the replacement of incandescent light bulbs with long-lasting, energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
Linda Shuffield became a certified residential appraiser.
A historic marker was placed at the Sand Springs Church to recognize that the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Junior Auxiliary purchased new playground equipment for the city’s parks.
• 30 years ago, Sept. 29, 1983 – The Blue Devils handed North Panola a 6-0 defeat evening their record to 2-2.
Missy Anthony, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sammy Anthony, was named State Champion of the Buckaroo Class at the State Horse Show in Jackson.
Herald Editor Ed Shearer III commented that his coverage of “Lake Wilbur” has created some local interest. The “lake” was actually a puddle located behind Herring’s Ace Hardware and the Herald.
• 40 years ago, Sept. 27, 1973 – WVHS cheerleaders for 1973-74 were Joy Samuels, Joan Watson, Dorothy Campbell, Theresa Moorhead, Shirley Crawford, Eva Faye Folson, Jayne Edgar and Margie Potts, Captain.
Senatobia not only defeated the Blue Devils, 40-8, but put a number of starters on the injured list.
• 50 years ago, Sept. 26, 1963 – The Blue Devils upset  Senatobia by one point, 13-12, ending a three-year winning streak by the Warriors.
Cotton was still king in the area and Valley Gin Company had already ginned 1297 bales.
Kate Johnsey reported in her Hunting & Fishing column that Ted Ford killed a rattlesnake with 14 rattles close to his home near the Long Branch bridge.
WVHS Pep Club officers including Pres. Nancy Spears, VP Bobbie Poe, and Sec. Martha Bess Cooper.
Majorette Marilyn Sager was pictured performing a difficult fire baton routine for the record crowd at the WV-Senatobia game Friday night.
• 60 years ago, Oct. 1, 1953 – Mayor O. T. Hamner was looking for living quarters for about 200 families that would be in the area to help build a natural gas pipeline that would cross through the county. The transmission (or pumping) station would be located near Pine Valley. (Although the company wasn’t named, it would be Gulf Interstate Gas, later Columbia Gulf, with their station at Banner.)
Dr. and Mrs. Fred Hedges and sons arrived in Water Valley after his separation from the service to begin his dental practice here. His officers were to be located over the Ben Franklin store (Parker Building).
The Blue Devils were defeated by Oxford, 39-6.
1954 vehicle tags went on sale at Sheriff Loyd Farmer’s offices in Water Valley and Coffeeville.
Robert Brooks of Water Valley was a freshman at Mississippi State College and had a $200 scholarship from the 4-H club for outstanding work.
In the want ads… LOST–On Otuckolofa bank on Mr. Charlie Ritter’s old place–fishing tackle box.
• 70 years ago, Sept. 23, 1943 – Former Herald Editor Jack Dale was promoted to the rank of Captain in the Army and serves as public relations officer at Camp Shelby.
Prominent attorney R. F. Kimmons died Sept. 16 after a short illness. Kimmons was one of the most well-known attorneys in north Mississippi and had practiced for over 40 years. He was mayor of Water Valley in 1905-1906 and served as attorney for the city for several years.
The B Natural Music Club elected new officers including President Ann Crowson, Vice President Marjorie Edwards, Recording Secretary Teresia Bagguley, Corresponding Secretary Beverly Ann Edwards, Treasurer Charles Appleton and Reporter Bessie Mae Mize.

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