In his “Shearings” column for Independence Day, Herald Editor Edward B. Shearer commented on the average age of the world’s great civilizations, which is 200 years. He wrote that 19 of the 21 civilizations have deceased, not from outside enemies, but rather from internal decay.
The normal pattern for the rise and fall of these great nations has been the following sequence:
• From bondage to spiritual faith;
• From spiritual faith to great courage;
• From courage to liberty;
• From liberty to abundance;
• From abundance to selfishness;
• From selfishness to complacency;
• From complacency to apathy;
• From apathy to dependency;
• From dependency back to bondage.
These words were written forty years ago in 1974.
• 5 years ago, July 2, 2009 – Ray Hawkins, assistant chief of police at the University of Mississippi, was named officer of the year by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Former Water Valley police officer Calvin Sellers, chief of police at the University, was named president of the Mississippi Campus Law Enforcement Officers Association.
The Water Valley Main Street Association’s Better Back Street project won the Best Public Improvement Project award for 2008.
The jobless rate in Yalobusha County soared to a 22-year high of 16.4 percent. It was the highest in the northern part of the state and the 7th highest state wide.
Retired pastor Jim Allen appeared in a video for the North Mississippi Medical Center helping promote their CARES program.
Water Valley School District Superintendent Sam Higdon announced his retirement effective June 30, 2010.
• 10 years ago, July 1, 2004 – Adam Jeffries was pictured on the front page cooking during the 4-H Outdoor Grilling Contest at the Multi-Purpose Building in Coffeeville. He was one of 45 teams in the competition. Also pictured was one of the judging teams consisting of Earline Townes, Bubba Tillman and Julie Tyler.
The Davidson School Reunion Committee including Rubye Carr, Ester Folson, Lena Mitchell, Alma Nicholson and Chairman Dollie Henderson were preparing for the sixth reunion.
Nine Water Valley cheerleaders were selected as UCA All-Stars at the Universal Cheerleader Associa-tion camp. They were Maresha Harmon, Brittany Mills, Austin Shaw, Deana Harmon, Kelsey Reed, Steffi River, Marlie Pannell, Marli Craven and Austin Mills.
• 20 years ago, June 30, 1994 – Steele Manufacturing Company’s Water Valley Plant officially opened with ceremonies held June 28. Watermelon Queen Keli Quinn, Mayor Larry Hart and owner Bobby Steele cut the ribbon.
Ole Miss senior Nycole Campbell was serving her social work internship at the University Medical Center in Jackson.
The first cotton bloom of the season was brought in by Brad Brooks followed by Steve Williamson and later by Corey Williamson accompanied by his dad, Mike.
T-shirts for the 1994 Watermelon Carnival were designed by Lecia Bain.
Tommy Jenkins, 19, died as a result of injuries sustained when the auto he was driving collided with a truck on Highway 315 about five miles north of Water Valley.
• 30 years ago, July 5, 1984 – The Holley Carburetor Division of Colt Industries announced a reduction of production operations at the Water Valley plant that would lead to 350 employees being placed on indefinite layoff. The plant’s workforce exceeded 1,200 at the time.
New officers for the Water Valley Jaycettes were Shelia Barley, president; Patricia Cotton, vice-president; Barbara Hayles, secretary-treasurer; and Cathy Patton, scoreboard chairman.
Local winners at the Mississippi Youth Championship Horse Show held in Coffeeville were Jackie Craig of Tillatoba and Christy Anthony and Tammy Foster of Water Valley.
Bennett Hill and Elaine Elliott were pictured bobbing for apples at the Black-mur Memorial Library’s Summer Reading Program.
• 40 years ago, July 4, 1974 – Malinda Hill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Hill, was selected as Drum Major for the WVHS Band for the coming school year.
Robert Taliaferro was pictured wearing a “corsage” made from the first cotton bloom of the season. He had brought in the first bloom 15 times over the past 20 years.
Mary Anne Fair and Tricia Campbell, both seniors at WVHS, attended a yearbook clinic at Gulf Coast Junior College, Biloxi.
The WVHS Class of 1954 held a reunion with class members Ada Ann Baddley Traylor, Elsie White Booker, Pat Person Wright, Nell Edwards, Ann Appleton Laster, Gay McVey Sims, Kate McMinn Hill, Yvonne Russell Jones, Beverly Edwards Walls, Gaylon Booker, Henry Pierce, Claude Marchbanks, Kenneth Mathis, Jack Clark, Gearell Wright, Lowell Willingham, Robert Hill, Dale Shaw and Don Holloway.
• 50 years ago, July 2, 1964 – An unidentified white male was the victim of a hit and run on Interstate 55 north of Oakland. Charles Edward Bond of Michigan City, Indiana was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident by Yalobusha Sheriff J. G. Treloar. Bond said that he knew he hit something but could not stop. He abandoned his car, caught a ride to Memphis, telephoned his insurance company and returned to the scene with a wrecker when he was arrested.
The accident touched off a flurry of activity when it was thought the victim might have been one of two white civil rights workers missing in the Philadelphia area. The FBI confirmed that the body was not that of Mickey Schwerner or Andrew Goodman.
C. E. “Buster” Beene received a ten-year service certificate from Col C. S. Sanders, state director of Selective Service.
• 60 years ago, July 1, 1954 – City fathers reinforced, cleaned and painted the water tank (the old stand pipe) built in 1894. The refurbishing was expensive, almost $6,500, but should last a long time and eliminate the possibility of the city having to purchase a new tank, according to Mayor O. T. Hamner. It would be a decade before the city began erecting the first new tank in the north part of town.
Eight volunteers left for the Army including Charles Kenneth Mathis, Donald Eugene Holloway, Wayne Alton Simpson, James Edwin Gean, William Louis Tatum, H. C. Logan, all of the Water Valley area, Robert Herman Boland of Oakland and Willie Logan of Coffeeville.
Jaycette officers for the coming year were Mrs. Pat Holloway, president; Mrs. Bill Hall, vice-president; Mrs. Rayford Edgar, secretary; and Mrs. Markley Trusty, treasurer.
• 70 years ago, June 29, 1944 – A memorial service was held Sunday, July 2, for Joe Adams Jr., the first Yalobusha casualty of World War II. He had been listed as missing in action, but the Navy Department had abandoned hope of finding him and presumed him dead.
In a letter/advertisement to the people of Yalobusha County, Congressman Jamie Whitten said that he had worked hard to keep any reservoirs from being constructed in Yalobusha or Grenada Counties.
He added that as a member of the appropriations committee, he would oppose any effort to secure money for their construction.
In another ad, Whitten was defending his record on drafting “teenage boys” at 18 instead of the 21 age limit.
• 80 years ago, July 6, 1934 – Miss Mary Elizabeth Barber – described as “a golden blond, tall, graceful and very fair complexioned” – won the beauty contest at the Coffeeville Legion Hut on July 4. She represented the Curtis E. Pass American Legion Post No. 37 in Water Valley. Runner-up was Miss Lima Gray, representing Harry Gordon Store of Coffeeville.