Look Back In Yalobusha History

Through The Years From The Herald


• 5 years ago, April 16, 2009 – A grand opening was held at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and Visitor Center adjacent to Enid Lake. The “world class” facility sits on 58 acres leased from the Corps of Engineers and produces at least a dozen species of fish to stock the state’s waterways.
Rep. Travis Childers offered to pursue federal funding to help construct a new jail during a stop in Water Valley. He also spoke at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet.
Also at the Chamber Banquet, Bennie Turnage received the 2009 Braswell Hatcher Award.
Betty Ruth Swearengen attended her first city board meeting after being appointed to fill the remainder of the term of her husband, Thomas S. Swearengen, who died Feb. 11.
An 18-year-old Batesville woman had to be extricated from her car after she ran through the stop sign at the intersection of Frostland Drive and South Main Street. Her vehicle jumped a ditch, crashed into a directional sign, tore down a fence and came to rest on a large concrete block. She was transported by ambulance to Baptist Hospital Oxford.

• 10 years ago, April 15, 2004 – Dr. Joe Walker received the Braswell Hatcher Award at the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Ole Miss Lady Rebel Coach Carol Ross was the speaker. Pictured with Snooky and Mary Lou Williams was Amy Rotenberry who has just returned from a year’s tour of duty in Iraq.
Coffeeville Courier owner/publisher James Hamilton “Jimmy” Denley died April 12 in Memphis as the result of complications from a rare from of leukemia. His father and grandfather owned ad operated the Coffeeville newspaper when he was growing up. He ran the Internet division of the Commercial Appeal.
Charles Dewberry was elected Chairman of the Yalobusha County Democratic Committee at the convention in Coffeeville.
James Moody was reappointed to the Water Valley Housing Authority Board.
Senior members of the Water Valley Blue Devils baseball team were Mathew Stevens, Charlie Edwards, Cory Williamson and Tim Hamm.

• 20 years ago, April 14, 1994 – Mark Nicholas was STAR Student and he selected Chryl Goodwin as his STAR Teacher.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency ordered the Water Valley landfill closed April 11 along with 33 others around the state.
A group of visitors from Uzbekistan, a part of the former Soviet Union, toured agriculture related businesses in the county as they attempt to recover from years of socialist policies. At the time, a young local farmer joked that one day in the future, we would probably be touring in Uzbekistan trying to recover from years of bad U.S. government agriculture policies.
Water Valley Manufacturing, Inc. purchased Big Yank’s Water Valley jean plant and was planning to produce stone washed jeans, a hot product at the time.
Crystal Turner and Wendy Lockwood were pictured visiting the University of Mississippi during the annual Visit Day activities.
Water Valley Police Officer Richard “Rick” McCuan attended municipal court clerk training in Oxford.

• 30 years ago, April 19, 1984 – Three Water Valley school buildings were vandalized overnight Sunday with damages and other losses estimated to exceed $500. Hit were the old elementary school building where textbooks were damaged, desks overturned and four dozen eggs for a science project were smashed and about $100 stolen from the principals office. At WVHS, the concession stand in the gym and the business office taking money and candy. At the junior high school, the door to principal John Herrod’s office was heavily damaged and a $10 calculator stolen.
Coaches for the Tri-Lake Conference selected all-conference teams which included from WVHS Krisite Bost and Darrell Phillips. Honorable mentions went to Lance Clement and Janet Luster.
The charred remains of David Wilson, age unknown, were found inside Brown’s Body Shop just off Martin Street. Wilson often slept in the shop on an old car seat near a wood-burning heater. The provisional autopsy revealed that he died of congestive heart failure. Police Chief J. D. Watson said that there were no signs of foul play or arson.
Tim Rutherford and Marchelle Folson received full band scholarships to Northwest Mississippi Junior College and Mississippi Valley State University respectively.
Participants in the annual Mississippi Scholastic Press Institute at Ole Miss were Kent Breckinridge, Chris Vick, Devin Herrera, Billy Keith and Rodney Woodard along with sponsor Mrs. Mary VanWinkle.

•  40 years ago, April 18, 1974 – Eight of Yalobusha General Hospital’s room had been furnished by people from the area at a cost of $500 each. The program was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce under President B. C. McCullar. The Chamber’s goal was to furnish all 26 rooms in the new addition currently under construction.
Pictured preparing for the Water Valley Elementary School Music Department Concert were Clinton Moore, Michael Houpt, Joyce Townsend and Linda Doolin.
Chryl Goodwin was the new president of the Water Valley Junior Auxiliary taking over from outgoing president Mim Carpenter.
Among the top egg-hunters at the Jaycee-Jaycette Egg Hunt were (1-5 age group) Clay Vaughn, Benji Massie, Paige Williams, (6-9 age group) Joey Joyner, Casey Dickey, Linda Livingston, (9-12 age group) Billy Ricks, Jennifer Jones, Buster Quinn and Kevin Surrette. Little Master Sean Horan found the Queen Nest and was pictured with his giant basket.
Long service members with the local National Guard unit were SSG Buford L. Adams, 18 years; SFC John D. Watson, 22 years; and SP5 Bill Person, 14 years.
Air Force Master Sergeant Benny Moore received the Meritorious Service Medal during his retirement ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Florida. Moore spent 20 years in the USAF.

• 50 years ago, April 16, 1964 – Yalobusha County Supervisors were proposing a bond issue in the amount of $120,000 for the purpose of building and equipping a new county jail. It would have to be passed by county voters at a special bond issue election May 9.
The Chamber of Commerce was up to 92 members under membership chairman Dr. Rayford Edgar.
Carr Johnsey was honored by being proclaimed a member of the “750 Cotton Club” for producing more than 750 pounds per acre in 1963. Mr. Johnsey averaged 839 pounds over his entire farm.
A smiling Dr. W. E. Young was pictured with an unsmiling Governor Paul B. Johnson as he proclaimed “Good Posture Week” in Mississippi.
Gary Cox, freshman at Mississippi College, turned in a brilliant 8-2 singles record on the Choctoaw tennis team.
T. J. Wright, Raymond Ferguson and Eldridge Coleman, all of Coffeeville, took top honors in the Northwest Mississippi Fiddlers Contest held at the WVHS gym.
John Hunsicker, owner of Hunsicker Manufacturing Company, was the subject of a feature story by Lucia Holloway. Hunsicker was making ornamental garden sculpture, decorator products and art objects from Florestone, an imitation stone that uses plaster of paris mixed with epoxy as a hardener. His products were being sold in several gift showrooms in Memphis and four table accessory items were featured in the Quality Stamp catalog.

• 60 years ago, April 15, 1954 – Jeff Davis 4-H Club was judged as the best overall club in the county at the county-wide rally at City Auditorium.
Gladys Walker, a senior at WVHS, was winner of a $25 prize in the Lion Oil Scholarship Fund essay contest. Her essay was “How My Favorite School Subject Can Influence My Future.”
David Langford was named to the public relations staff at Mississippi State College. The Water Valley grad already was reporting for the Reflector, school newspaper. Langford was a freshman in the School of Business and Industry and planned to enter the newspaper field when he graduated.
A3C Benny R. Moore had completed basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, and had entered the medium jet bomber course at Amarillo AFB, Texas.

• 70 years ago, April 13, 1944 – Tech Sgt. I. S. Rogers Jr. was reported missing in action over Burma. Sgt. Rogers was a member of the 490th Bombardment Squadron stationed in India and had completed almost all of his required missions and was about to return home.
The WVHS senior class play was almost interrupted as the action began when two members of the cast got into an altercation over a third member. It was all part of the production and the fight began in the audience before the curtain went up. Prof. Bell wasn’t informed of the action and he thought they were actually having a fight. Fortunately, for the sake of the play’s progress, someone informed him before he tossed out the antagonists.

• 80 years ago, April 20, 1934 – An overflow crowd of melon growers and farmers met at the courthouse to plan planting dates, proper preparation of the soil and other related items regarding the upcoming melon crop.
The Watermelon Growers Association numbers some 500 members.

• 100 years ago, April 16, 1914, The City Itemizer – In the want ads: For Sale Cheap – Our 16-foot Becker soda fountain, Easy terms, big bargain. Turnage-Atkinson Drug Company

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