The board of directors of the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce met March 23 in the City Library (now the Chamber Office) to complete the organization of the chamber.
The name, “Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce” was adopted for the organization and the annual membership fees were fixed at $25 for a business establishment and $12.50 for individual memberships.
Board members elected were: Earl K. Fly, Edward B. Shearer, Kermit R. Cofer, Dr. Rayford Edgar, Fred Kendrick, Albert Mott, L. C. Stewart, Bill Trusty, Mrs. Kathryn Williamson, Mayor Stanley Perkins, Oscar Parsons and Herman White.
Among the suggested projects was the selection of a uniform closing day as some businesses closed on Wednesday afternoons and others on Thursday afternoons. The group also wanted to erect better community signs and prepare a brochure for the town.
• 5 years ago, March 19, 2009 – A Marmota Monax, aka ground hog, terrorized the Williamson farm after Mike Williamson and Steve Holloway rousted the critter from a burrow a Lafayette County cotton field and brought it back to Yalobusha County.
An attempted child-selling incident in Enid prompted an amendment to the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act that would make buying and selling children illegal.
Water Valley’s sale tax collections were up six percent over the fiscal year, while other municipalities in the area mostly recorded decreases.
Christina Rogers and Leandrea Telford won first place in the Yalobusha Idol contest, which was part of the Relay for Life events.
MacKenzie Gordon won first place in the Arbor Day poster contest at Davidson Elementary School.
Charles Cameron of Scobey was charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of grand larceny after two houses near Tillatoba were broken into.
• 10 years ago, March 18, 2004 – Members of the Junior Auxiliary planning the Crown Gala included Gala Chair Kathey Wrenn, Co-Chair Glenda Gordon, Auction Chair Jill Olmstead, Tasha Higdon, Entertainment Tonya Eubanks, Ticket Chair Jo Lewis, Program Leah Anne Wrenn and Beth Villegas and Publicity Andi Epes.
The Oakland-Yalobusha Natural Gas District pipeline was under construction.
Marine Corps Corp. Alex Stratton received the Navy and Marine Crops Achievement Medal with Combat “V” for his involvement in four combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Volunteers preparing for the mission trip to El Sauce, Nicaragua, included Beth Villegas, Cathy Sartain, Erin Sartain, Jamie Cofer, Jeremy Sartain and Raulin Villegas.
• 20 years ago, March 17, 1994 – The Water Valley National Guard unit agreed to help the American Cancer Society volunteers collect for the 1994 Crusade. SSG Bill Person was pictured with Cancer Society officers Majorie Moxley, Mildred Nichols, Dorothy Shelley, Frances Gandy, Ora Lee Phillips and Patsy Wilbourn.
Beauty (?) Contest winners in the Queen of Diamonds contest at Water Valley High School were Jordan White (Wanda), Queen; Chris Hardy, 1st alternate; George Walls, 2nd alternate and Cam McQueen, 3rd alternate.
Dana Williamson was Holley Automotive’s Employee of the Month for February.
Mark Nicholas placed in the top three percent of competitors in the biology division of the Mississippi Science and Mathematics Tournament at Mississippi College. Jeremy Warren placed in the top ten percent. Other local participants included Jimmy Parrish, Stacey Avant and Brian Baggett.
• 30 years ago, March 22, 1984 – Faye Hawkins won the county spelling bee by correctly spelling the word “ballistics” at the contest in Coffeeville. Other participants were Camilla McGehee and Pam Carr, Water Valley; Lawanda Kunkendall and Anthony White, Oakland; and Gary Keeler and Vincent Bobo of Coffeeville.
Wendy Lockwood, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Lockwood, was pictured showing off her prize winning technique in the sidewalk art contest at Blackmur Memorial Library. She was first place winner and her sister, Crystal, won second place.
Winners in the Land Judging Competition in the Yalobusha County Soil Conservation District were (senior division) Ronnie Stark, Tony Turner, Buddy Nelson, Mike Dunn, (junior division) Art Fielder, Mark Fielder, Jason Purdy, La Donna Yarbrough.
Mrs. Ruth Hervey Throop was honored on her 90th birthday. The Herald described Mrs. Throop as a beloved Water Valley matron, but the article didn’t mention that Mrs. Throop was rather infamous for her driving.
• 40 years ago, March 24, 1974 – Work had begun on a new pretreatment facility at the city’s wastewater treatment lagoon. Mayor Watson Hunt and Alderman Richard Flowers were pictured at the site.
On the same day, the mayor, Flowers, Jaycee President Jodie Burk and Earl Fly, who was the first president of the Jaycees, broke ground for the Little League-Softball Park at the site of the old high school.
Houston Vaughan and Wallace Odom were to face each other in a run-off election for the office of Alderman-at-Large.
Diane Logan Jones was named Outstanding Educator of District 3, Mississippi Education Association. Mrs. Jones was a music teacher in the Water Valley School System.
The gates were closed at Enid Lake and that was good news for crappie fishermen because the lake was stable, according to Stan True in his Stan’s Short Shots outdoors column.
• 50 years ago, March 19, 1964 – About 1200 local people attended the open house at Mott’s Incorporated of Mississippi.
Roy Eugene Starks, son of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Starks of Water Valley, was electrocuted while trimming trees in Gulfport when he came in contact with a high voltage line.
Pvt. Jim Ed Larson completed basic training at the U. S. Army Training Center at Fort Gordon, Ga.
Eddie Cofer was among thirty freshmen at the University of Mississippi designated as scholars in the Scholars Program of the College of Liberal Arts.
Assisting with clerical work during the Sabin Vaccine program at WVHS were Bena Lou Kendrick, Janice Dickey and Kay Tyler, all dressed in their Candy Striper uniforms.
Barbara McNamee was named Sweetheart and Don Harding Beau at the FFA-FHA Sweetheart Dance held at the National Guard Armory.
• 60 years ago, March 18, 1954 – Water Valley had a business increase of about 18 percent in January of 1954 over January of 1953.
Mississippi State Senator Murray Williams of Water Valley introduced a bill calling for appointments of city officials in towns of less than 10,000 population.
Mrs. J. B. Cowan and 26 of her students attended the Federation of Music Clubs Festival at Ole Miss. Receiving excellent ratings were Gary Cox, Lynda Edwards, Alma Ann Everett, Geri Mitchell, Nancy Turner, Brenda Shirley, Diane Thompson, Sara Nell Trusty, Lucretia Webb and Bessie Fay Champion.
• 70 years ago, March 16, 1944 – War prices at Jackson were: wood, $15 per load and scarce; lard, $1 per pound; butter, $1.50 per pound; flour, $80 a barrel; eggs, $1 per dozen; corn meal, $3 per 100 pounds; sugar, 40 cents per pound; coffee, $5 per pound; and sweet potatoes, $2.50 per bushel. It was also noted that a small drink of whiskey cost $1 and a pint, $12. But, the Herald editor wrote that you shouldn’t be alarmed. Those wartime prices were from March of 1863.
Beginning March 16, local merchants would take Thursday afternoon of each week through August.
Construction had begun on restrooms for the city. Plans call for a building of native rock similar to the Legion Hut. The structure was being built across Main Street from City Hall (Water Valley Main Street Association building). A delegation of women, led by Miss Jessie Wagner met with aldermen to ask that a separate facility be built for ladies facilities.
Soldiers featured on the front page were Pfc. Rufus Wade Doolin, stationed with an M. P. Battalion in New York, and Corp. A. D. Morris with the Fifth Army in Italy.
• 80 years ago, March 23, 1934 – Confederate Veteran W. H. Thorn, 89, died suddenly Saturday, March 17, at the home of his son.
D. Eugene Wagner, vice-president of the Samelson Company and a Water Valley native, was elected chairman of the Memphis Red Cross Chapter.
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Lee, 61, widow of the late Harry A. Lee, died Wednesday, March 21, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Fred Waldron. She ran the “City Itemizer” newspaper after her husband passed away.
State officials placed the entire county under quarantine because of the presence of rabies. All dogs running at large, without wire muzzles, were to be shot by law enforcement.
• 100 years ago, March 19, 1914 in the City Itemizer – The Elk Lodge members elected new officers including Wortley Johnson, Exalted Ruler; Robert Halliwell, Leading Knight; W. J. Tippler, Loyal Knight; W. W. Frost, Lecturing Knight; J. L. Fulson, Secretary; and H. K. Hunter, Treasurer.