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Look Back In Yalobusha History

City In Danger Of Being Restricted In ’43


Water Valley was in danger of being classified as a “restricted area” by the Army, Herald editor Edward B. Shearer wrote in his column Nov. 11, 1943. Such actions would be followed by similar action of the other services, he warned.
The problem was the amount of moonshine whiskey that could be bought in the city. The Army was seeking to prevent the sale of moonshine to Army personnel. The objection was not being made to the sale of bonded whiskey nor beer.
Shearer said that the Army sent 50 men dressed in uniform to Water Valley and within an hour each of the men had purchased a pint of moonshine whiskey. Shearer added an ominous note to local parents – most of the men secured the information as to where they could purchase the liquor from high school boys and girls.
The effects of restriction would include immediate removal of all military personnel now residing in the city, a considerable number. And, service members from Water Valley would not be allowed to come home on furlough and any soldier visiting the city would be subject to court martial.
Although Shearer’s information came from unofficial sources, he was told that one more incident like the recent murder of a soldier involving moonshine whiskey would likely result in immediate restriction.
Two week later in his column, Shearer wrote that there had been some who were upset over his comments because little moonshine had been available in the city since the bust of two stills (probably in the Pine Valley area, but he would have been hesitent to have said where because that usually got him in trouble, as well).

Through The Years From The Herald

• 5 years ago, Nov. 13, 2008 – An early morning fire Nov. 11 destroyed the home of Hugh Nicholson on East Lee Street.
A record breaking turnout of close to 70 percent of the registered voters in Yalobusha County gave Barack  Obama 46 percent of the vote to John McCain’s 53 percent.
The electric department would see as much as $15,000 additional revenue under the terms of a new contract with MetroCast, the city’s cable TV provider. The city receives fees for cable attachments to the city’s utility poles and the last time the amount was negotiated was in 1966.
The newly rebuilt Sonic Drive-In restaurant reopened on South Main Street.
• 10 years ago, Nov. 13, 2003 – In the first game of the state 2-A Play-Off series, the Blue Devils decisively defeated Mound Bayou JFK, 62-0, to record the third highest score earned to that point in WVHS history.
Sandy Morris won first place in the residential division of the Chamber of Commerce Fall Decorating Contest and Davidson Elementary School won first in the commercial division.
• 20 years ago, Nov. 11, 1993 – The Blue Devils play-off hopes died with a 27-0 loss to Senatobia in the last regular season game. The junior Blue Devils ended their season with a 34-0 win over Winona for a 6-0 record.
Pictured on the front page were Joshua Byford as Abraham Lincoln and Ketra Campbell as the Statue of Liberty from the upcoming Water Valley Elementary School American Heritage Day presentation.
Student council officers at WVHS for the 93-94 school year were Sholunda Rucker, Brian Baggett, Heather Horan and Tonya Bolden. Class reps were Brent Hollister, Tanya Joy, Naketa White, Thomasina White, Eric Allen, Delita Hawkins, Jill Sartain, Jordan White and Pam Allen.
Mrs. Ruth Rotenberry celebrated her 100th birthday Nov. 3 at the Yalobusha Nursing Home.
Members of the newly formed Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter of North Mississippi were Yalobushians Robert O. Riddick, Coffeeville and John E. McKinnon, Oakland.
Winners in the essay competition, As I See It,” sponsored by the Woodmen of America were fight graders Matt Weeks, Jill Terry and Natalie Pearcy.
• 30 years ago, Nov. 17, 1983 – The Lady Devils won their season opener basketball game over Senatobia, 54-41. The men lost, 84-53.
James B. “Sonny” Lollar was named to the board of directors at The Mechanics Savings Bank.
The annual Christmas Parade was set for Dec. 19 by the new WV Jaycees and Jaycettes. Chairman for the event was Robert Doolin and Co-Chair was Patricia Cotten.
Bonnie Sullivan and Donerell Judson, students in the Cooperative Education Department at WVHS, were pictured with a new Apple II computer. It was one of three in the school. A number of 1980s students learned on Apple computers only to be confronted with the more popular PC when they entered the business world.
Airmen Tracy E. Watts and Brenda J. Pedigo of the Water Valley area were assigned to Chanute AFB, Illinois, after completing basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas.
Among the winners in the Junior Auxiliary costume contest were Blake Simmons, jack-’o-lantern; Joeli Williamson, cute bunny; Shannon Jensen, clown; Terry Allen, Groucho Marx; Miranda Brown, hippie; and Bryan Patton, Count Dracula.
• 40 years ago, Nov. 15, 1973 – State Senator Bob Perry of Southaven told local Rotarians that President Nixon had placed his confidence in the wrong people. Speaking at their regular luncheon meeting, Perry also repeated his then famous quote, “We do not have enough poverty to go around,” in reference to some of the welfare programs.
Vernon Chambers of the Water Valley Electric Department warned that serious problems could result from the increased number of electric heaters being purchased for use with L.P. gas and heating oil in short supply.
Pictured on the front page were Ole Miss bandswomen from Water Valley Julie Sartain, Paula Knight, Judy Martin and Becky Reid.
Daniel McGregor was shown holding a 30-inch long mustard leaf from a volunteer plant growing in his garden.
Deborah White, who would later serve as a Miss Water Valley, was pictured riding on a float in the parade marking the gathering of grapes in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Miss White’s father, Henry R. White, was in the Navy on duty at Rota, Spain.
• 50 years ago, Nov. 14, 1963 – Harry Gorden, Coffeeville merchant who had devoted much of his life to helping others, died of a heart attack at his store Nov. 7. He was 75. Gordon was born in Russia and came to the U. S. in 1905. He moved to Coffeeville in 1912 and later brought his parents, three brothers and a sister to this country. He was widely known for his benevolence, particularly for helping young people toward getting an education.
B. H. “Blu” Clark, a member of Battery A, 140th Field Artillery of World War I, raised the flag in Railroad Park (then unofficially called Memorial Park) to begin the Veterans Day observance held Nov. 11. The remaining members able to make the trip to Water Valley were also pictured. Singing during open house at the Legion Hut were Miss Kate Johnsey and Mrs. Barron Caulfield, accompanied on the piano by Mrs. T. O. Gore, Sr.
• 60 years ago, Nov. 19, 1953 – Merle Cox in her Rambling column asked the “good people” who read her column to please not throw trash out of their car windows onto Main Street.
The roadside park on Hwy 7 south was dedicated and given the name Magnolia Roadside Park.
Fred “Red” Tindal, 30, of Coffeeville was killed by a hit and run driver after his car ran into a ditch.
Water Valley High’s basketball team beat Yocona, 46-37, and the girls’ won, 41-30. Patsy McCulley led the girls scoring with 17 points.
A full-page ad touted the health insurance being offered by Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company, which had the slogan, “The Volunteer Way Is The American Way.” What a quaint, old-fashioned notion.
• 70 years ago, Nov. 11, 1943 – The Navy announced officially that Lieutenant Commander George Wagner was missing in action, although his family had been informed about two weeks before. Wagner was commander of a submarine.
Water Valley Boy Scouts Aubrey Milstead and Harry Kelly received the Eagle Scout badge during ceremonies at the meeting Monday in the Legion Hut.
Notices in the Herald informed farmers that their scrap cotton should be brought to the B & B Gin as soon as possible as they were trying to finish up the ginning season. And, the ice plant was asking patrons to buy their ice for Sunday on Saturday, as the plant would close on Sundays and offer no delivery.

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