Bishop Marvin A. Franklin, presiding bishop of the Jackson area of the Methodist Church, dedicated the new church building, March 28, 1954, which was erected to replace the building burned on January 11, 1949.
Following the fire, while deliberations were underway, a tornado on May 1, 1949, blew over some of the walls of the building and the membership decided to construct a new building. From the time of the fire until the new building was ready for use, the Sunday School classes met in the Masonic Temple and Episcopal Church while worship services were held in the Episcopal Church.
A contract for the new building was let in September 1949 and the first service was held on Palm Sunday, April 2, 1950.
Following the dedication service visitors and members repaired to the Fellowship Hall where lunch was spread, picnic style, for all present. You can bet there were some covered dishes.
• 5 years ago, March 26, 2009 – Yalobusha Deputies were using caution while investigating a two-vehicle accident after learning that the driver of one of the vehicles was firing shots at the other while chasing it down County Road 211. After the vehicles crashed, the drivers and one passenger fled the scene. The altercation began at a private club, The Night Owl, located on C. R. 211.
Shaniqua Wesley from Water Valley was the winner of the state finals of the Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest held at Mississippi Public Broadcasting in Jackson. She received an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D. C. to compete in the national contest.
Five computers were stolen from the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building during a pair of break-ins.
Several athletic programs were restored at WVHS after sports parents raised over $9,000. The programs were cut due to state cuts in education funds.
Mary Cloud Taylor was serving as a page for Rep. Tommy Reynolds at the Mississippi House of Representatives.
Gail Caldwell was named Teacher of the Year at the Lafayette School District for the 2008-2009 school year.
• 10 years ago, March 25, 2004 – A shooting incident near Coffeeville in the early morning hours of the past Sunday injured three people. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a private “establishment” on County Road 436 at around 1:19 a.m. There people, all from Grenada and under age 21, had been struck by rounds from a 9 mm handgun. Sheriff Steve Shuffield said that he would work with supervisors to regulate the hours of private clubs.
Water Valley High School’s new head football coach, Trent Hammond, spent the last week visiting with the school’s coaches and players and planning for a 15-day spring practice in preparation for the spring game against Independence May 13.
Workers took advantage of dry weather to complete most of the basement floor of the new Water Valley Housing Authority building on Blackmur Drive.
Eight local students attended the Lions Leadership Conference including Courtney Mills, Britany Simoneaux, Lovie Edwards, Charlisa Carr, Matthew Stevens, Chris Brown, Lee Gray and Matthew King.
Lubricus Terrestrias were released in the newly planted flowerbeds at Davidson Elementary School by the first graders. The earth worms – as they are more commonly known – were the topic of study by the young students.
• 20 years ago, March 24, 1994 – Betty Jean James, longtime teacher at Water Valley Elementary School, was honored by having the outdoor science center named in her memory.
Pictured preparing for the 14th annual Watermelon Queen Pageant were Chessie Clark, 5; Brittany Mills, 7; and her sister Austin Mills, 4.
Postal employees honored after the Water Valley Post Office was named as number two in the north central area of Mississippi included: Harvey Vance, Dennis Sutherland, Andy Grass, Bill Buntin, Ronnie Eubanks, Wilbur Herring, Bob Heath, Jennifer Paige, Wanda Bullington, Sharon Hobson, Carolyn Byford and Postmaster Gary Gray.
Stan True in his Stan’s Short Shots column said that crappie fishing was getting into high gear at Enid Lake.
Among the Diamond Darlings bat girls at WVHS were Jennie Griffin, Jinny Fachman, Margaret Keith, Jill Sartain, Candi Harris and Naketa White. The ladies were pictures with 1994 King of Diamonds Ronald Burgess.
• 30 years ago, March 22, 1984 – Senator Thad Cochran spoke at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet here. Mississippi’s junior senator told a crowd estimated at more than 200 that he would be back in Washington to help fund the farm loans program.
Dr. Jo Walker received the prestigious title of “Beauty Queen” for his portrayal of “Sweet Jo Jo” in the Womanless Beauty Queen pageant held by the Jaycees. Runners-Up included “Big Betty Lou” Joey Joyner, “Michelle” Michael Redwine and “Girl Georgette” Donnie Morris.
Smokey the Bear poster winners at Water Valley Elementary School included Julia Massey, Keli Quinn, Kandice Siglar, Jerry Brown, James Stricklin, Beverly Shaw, Cinnamon Foster, Jo Henderson, Lisa Lynch, Christina Ray, Bobby Huckaby and Theresa Norwood.
Chelle Wilson, 17, was selected a finalist in the Miss Mississippi National Teenager Pageant.
• 40 years ago, March 28, 1974 – Houston Vaughn was elected Alderman-At-Large in a special election to fill the vacant seat left by Watson Hunt, who became mayor after the death of Tolbert Maddux.
Peoples Wholesale ran an ad announcing their closing due to the health of Jasper Barron.
A large photo at the top of the front page touted the upcoming womanless beauty pageant featuring the Jaycees. Pictured were Jodie “Dirty Sally” Burk, Dave “Cuddles” Hollister and Dan “Marilyn” Hollister. Cuddles had the longest run in “her” panty hose seen in a long time.
The Blue Devils beat Coffeeville, 14-5, in opening play of the Tri-Lake Conference baseball season.
E. P. Stegall was named Headmaster at Yalobusha Academy.
Rob Clay of Coffeeville took second place in overall score in the District Land Judging contest held in Oxford.
Walter Moore Jr. of Oakland was elected President of the American Dairy Association of Mississippi.
• 50 years ago, March 26, 1964 – Freddy Wilkey Jr., a 9th grade student at WVHS, was the state winner in a subscription contest sponsored by the Jackson Daily News, the newspaper he delivered. He was set to leave the coming Friday for Jackson from where he would depart for New York City. He would gather with winners from other states who would then leave from Kennedy Airport for Milan, Italy. Freddy would personally carry a letter from Water Valley Mayor Stanley Perkins to the Mayor or Rome. Freddy’s only regret was that he would miss the state contest where he thought the WVHS might win top honors.
A freak wind hit the city Thursday afternoon rolling up the roof on the Blu-Buck building. No other damage was reported from the tornado-like blow.
Oscar Parsons would head the brand-new Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. L. C. Stewart was vice-president, Fred Kendrick, treasurer, and Ed Shearer, temporary secretary. B. C. McCullar would serve as manager of the group.
Along with writing letters to foreign city officials, Mayor Stanley Perkins declared Posture Week in Water Valley.
Bill Pryor Jr. was on his way to serve in Japan with the Navy after spending leave at home after “boot” training.
• 60 years ago, March 25, 1954 – The Water Valley Junior Auxiliary opened a library in the Water Valley Grammar School. The library was opened in a spare room on the second floor. Members of the vocational shop class under Rodney Childress built and painted bookshelves.
The number of veterans in Yalobusha County totaled 1540, with the most being from World War II (1170). The number from Korea was 190 and other was listed as 250.
O. J. Gregory was elected to serve as president of the Rotary Club.
• 70 years ago, March 23, 1944 – Robert Lee Womack, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Womack, was missing in action. He was onboard the submarine Scorpion that the Navy reported missing Wednesday, March 22. The Scorpion, one of the Navy’s largest submarines with a crew of about 75 officers and men was overdue and presumed lost. Womack would be declared dead in January of 1946.
Inez VanWinkle was promoted from seaman second class to seaman first class. The 22-year-old WAVE had been in the service about a year and worked in the metal shop, releasing a man for sea duty. Her commander was quoted as saying that she did splendid work.
• 80 years ago, March 23, 1934 – “Boots” Williams confessed to the robbing (burglary was the correct term) of the Ritter-Stone Cafe March 20. Taken were three pistols, some $50 cash and various other articles. He was being held in jail awaiting action of the grand jury.