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Look Back In Yalobusha History

Memorial Tree Planted In 1944 At Legion Hut

A memorial tree dedicated to Yalobusha County boys who fought in World War I and to the boys who were  in the service of their county was planted by The Garden Club of Water Valley Friday, Feb. 18, 1944 in the yard of the American Legion Hut.
Mississippi’s tree, the magnolia, was selected to be a perpetual reminder of the service of these men to their country.
Mayor F. B. DeShon acted as master of ceremonies for the exercises and gave a talk. The high school girls’ Glee Club sang “God Bless America.”
The dedicatory address was delivered by Earl Fly, member of the American Legion. The closing prayer was by the Rev. E. H. Cunningham.

Through The Years From The Herald

• 5 years ago, Feb. 26, 2009 – Longtime attorney Ben Horan called it quits after 50 years and closed his law office on Main Street.
A federal lawsuit filed by Fletcher Fly seeking to resolve ownership of a county road running through his property was tossed out of federal court.
An organization called Home Team was seeking to raise $9,350.70 to restore junior high baseball, junior high track and volleyball for the coming year to the Water Valley School District.
A fire in Coffeeville around 1:30 Saturday morning, Feb. 21, severely damaged a home at 3 Wayne Drive.
A vehicle crash on Market Street Feb. 20 knocked out power along the street and out Airways Drive.
A new director, Mickey Howley, was named for the Water Valley Main Street Association.
Hobby trapper Jack Grass was pictured with some of his furs. Just this season he had collected numerous coons, a bobcat, six gray foxes and a possum.
The Blue Devil baseball team racked up two wins against Independence.

• 10 years ago, Feb. 26, 2004 – An arsonist set seven fires in two hours along several county roads between Sylva Rena and Oakland.
State Auditor Phil Bryant presented Water Valley School District Business Manager Randy Goodwin a certificate recognizing achievement in fixed asset management after no errors or problems were discovered in a recent audit.
Ole Miss women’s basketball coach Carol Ross was scheduled to be the speaker at the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Water Valley Factory Connection held a grand opening with Charlene McMinn as new manager.
The high school baseball program opened with the Blue Devils defeating Vardaman, 10-0, and Calhoun City, 17-1.
The late Ed Shearer III was honored for his contributions to the community at the Wildlife Tasting Buffet.

• 20 years ago, Feb. 24, 1994 – Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association reported that some 7500 customers remained without service as a result of the ice storm out of 22,000 in a nine-county area served by the power company.
Electricity had been restored to all Water Valley Electric Department customers, according to Roy Bennett Stevens, city electrician.
Among the first out-of-town help to arrive in the area were BellSouth crews from Florida. They were repaying a debt to Mississippians who responded to their needs after Hurricane Andrew.
Yalobusha Nursing Home volunteers Lucy Faulkner, Arneal Lakey and Virginia McClaflin were honored for their work with residents.

• 30 years ago, March 1, 1984 – Attending the I-55 Band Clinic were WVHS Band students Marchelle Folson, Joe Gurner, Chris Goodwin, Gloria Joy, Kevin Herrera, Vet McLeod, Jimmy Huckaby, Amy Walley, Bill Sikma, Holley Guarr, Stefanie Boyd, Eric Morgan, Missy Dennis, Michelle Greer, Dana Singleton, Harold Turner, Gloria Joy, Missy Walton, Kim Herring, Luther Folson and Tim Rutherford.
Patricia Keith, Ole Miss student from Water Valley and Mississippi’s Watermelon Queen, was a contestant in the National Watermelon Queen Contest in Dallas, Texas.
Bob Singleton was pictured surrounded by Civil War era handguns as he demonstrated a percussion 1860 model Army Colt revolver at the Water Valley Elementary School. The collector was showing a portion of his collection to the fifth grade social studies students.
Letters to the editor continued to be received by the Herald regarding the demolishment of the Bank of Water Valley building. The latest was from Walter Hussman Jr., publisher of the Arkansas Democrat.

• 40 years ago, Feb. 28, 1974 – City officials were meeting with county officials and officials from Coffeeville and Oakland to discuss implementation of a county-wide civil defense search and rescue team.
The Blue Devil baseball team under coach Butler McLeod was set to open their ten game season with ancient rivals, the Coffeeville Pirates.
Seeking the Miss Water Valley title were Kim Horan, Janice Crow, Wanda Davis, Zandra Morris, Cathy Chandler, Ginger Allen, Deborah White, Shan Stacy and Holly Hart. The contest was the first held in years.
Patsy McCulley Wright was the manager of the new T-W-L store located in the building formerly occupied by Parker’s Ben Franklin store.
Mississippi’s highway speed limit signs were being changed to 55 miles per hour under a new law passed by the legislature.
Van Hedges of Water Valley was running for Associated Student Body President at the University of Mississippi.
Yalobushians did well at the Northwest Mississippi Livestock Show in Batesville including Vonda Varner, Daryl Burney, Keith Burney, Jeff Burney, Paul Martin and Shot Harbour of Coffeeville and Rich Ross of Oakland.
The Gregory’s Department Store, owned by Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Gregory, was sold to the Wood and Miller Company of Tennessee.

• 50 years ago, Feb. 27, 1964 – Herald sportswriter E. J. Mays was selected as one of 19 in the state to serve on the selection committee to pick the North and South squads for the Mississippi All-Star Football Game.
Three Yalobusha boys, Joel Surrette of Water Valley and Phil Sides Jr. and Harold Waller of Coffeeville, scored the highest number of points in the Northwest District Cotton Contest.
An accident survey conducted by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol showed that Yalobusha County had 111 accidents, 55 injuries and nine fatalities during 1963. Total cost to the local economy was $56,500.
Dr. M. S. McMillan was elected president of the Yalobusha Saddle Club. Other officers were Crip Tyler, vice president and Dorris Massey, secretary-treasurer.
Carnes McCormack of Coffeeville and Albert Wilbourn and Jimmy Dale Sartain of Water Valley were members of the cast of “South Pacific” at Northwest Mississippi Junior College.
A Memphis company was seeking a 100’ by 100’ lot for a Mug ‘N Cone Drive Inn in Water Valley. Potential earnings were upwards of $11,000 net annually, the ad stated.

• 60 years ago, Feb 25, 1954 – Jaycee members were pictured on the front page cooking pancakes for the breakfast at the grammar school. Jimmie Ware and Bailey Baddley were taking turns cooking the hot cakes while Pat Holloway Jr. and Ray Cox were doing K.P. Bill Hall was frying sausages and Pete Brassell watched.
A half page ad offered the Grand Theatre property along with the Valley Theatre and another leased property for a drive-in for $45,000.

• 70 years ago, Feb. 24, 1944 – Sgt. John Anthony was wounded in the South Pacific theater. The son of Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Anthony had served there for the past 20 months.
Sgt. Buck Suratt had arrived at an undisclosed location overseas and so had Pvt. Gerald Lowe, who had written that he liked it over there and planned to spend a weekend in London soon.
Air Cadet Malcolm O. Woodall passed his examination to be a pilot and was beginning his training with Wing Squadron 66 at Santa Ana, Calif.

• 80 years ago, March 2, 1934 – The sale of beer was legalized in Mississippi after Governor Conner signed the bill. According to the Herald report, the Senate applauded and the House adjourned to take a drink. The act ended an 18-year dry spell. The bill had been held up in the Senate’s temperance committee for as long as they could, but the Senate rejected their version of the bill providing for a referendum and passed the original House version.

• 100 years ago, Feb. 26, 1914 in the City Itemizer – Plea for child protection was the title of the front page article as child labor laws were about to be considered by state legislators. The Itemizer quoted the Jackson Daily New writer who said that powerful forces were at work to oppose sane, humanitarian legislation to safeguard childhood. “Will you gentlemen of the legislature allow the cotton mill owners to issue this decree to the little children of Mississippi.”
One of the biggest cotton mills in the state, Yocona Mills, was located in Water Valley and used small children as labor.

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