By David Howell
• Five Years Ago, January 8, 2009 – Taken on the last day of the previous year, a front page picture showed the final paperwork being signed for Carothers Construction to donate property valued at $1.4 million to the county. It was described as a bittersweet deal as the company prepared to moved to a new facility in neighboring Lafayette County.
The kickoff for the 2009 Relay For Life was scheduled on January 13, as Relay Chairperson Glenda Gordon prepared for fundraising in the new year.
A big 12-point buck charged at J.R. Dukes and Waylon Dukes during a hunt. Bubba Dukes had taken the boys hunting and shot at the buck twice, missing it both times.
• 10 Years Ago, January 6, 2005 – A ring of thieves struck at the Yalobusha Country Club stealing golf carts valued at $40,000. The thieves also struck country clubs in Leflore County, Kosciusko, Lexington and Durant.
The baseball booster club members were scrambling to have field renovations completed before the season got underway the next month. A front page picture showed Roy Vance, Tommy Hill and John Pritchard working on the brick backstop.
Aubrey Trusty celebrated his 100th birthday a week prior and was pictured with his wife, Corrine, who was also 100. The couple had been married 79 years.
Sales tax collections in Water Valley were down in the first five months of the state’s fiscal year, July – November, almost six percent.
Supervisors opened bids for feeding the county’s prisoners during the first meeting of the new year. Rasputans bid $15.50 per day, Southern Kitchen bid $7.25 per day and Payback bid $6 per day. The bids were tabled as supervisors were also negotiating with the hospital to feed the prisoners.
• 20 Years Ago, January 5, 1995 – Tax Assessor/Collector Guy Dale Shaw announced that a five year lobbying effort from the state’s tax collectors had been successfully as legislators passed a “real tax cut” that will substantially reduce the price of car tags. Shaw, who served as Director of the Mississippi Assessor-Collector Association (MACA), said the break was the only real tax break on car and pickup tags since 1958. The decrease was five percent.
1995 was another political year and candidates were announcing their intentions to run for another term. Candidates in this week’s edition included Bob Chandler seeking a second term as Chancery Clerk, M.H. “Butch” Surrette was seeking a third term as supervisor and Lloyd Defer was seeking a fourth term as sheriff.
• 30 Years Ago, January 3, 1985 – Kim Boyd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Irby Boyd, was named Ambassador for the University of Mississippi.
Mrs. Tom Ashford and Miss Christy Ashford were hostesses for a family buffet supper at the John Ashford home. Those attending included: Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ashford, Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Ashford and Robbie, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Gean Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Ray Gean Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Littleton and Clay Ashford.
• 40 Years Ago, January 9, 1975 – Mrs. Markley Trusty was pictured on the front page surveying the damage to her home after a wounded buck jumped through the window and ransacked the house. The young buck had been shot earlier and ran down the railroad tracks, across the park, and jumped through the window. Game Warden Gerald Harmon was summoned to hem the deer up in the house and shoot it. The interior of the house and furniture were damaged.
Two longtime conductors for the Illinois Central Railroad retired. Robert Earl Gholson retired in November of 1974, and had worked for the railroad prior to World War II. He served in the United States Armed Forces in the 733rd Railroad Battalion for two years, before returning to IC after the war.
Houston Vaughn retired on Friday, Jan. 3, 1975, after a final run to Grenada. Crewmen for Vaughn’s last run were Barney Pullen, engineer; Pete Vaughn, brakeman; and Jack Craig (Tillatoba), brakeman. Vaughn was also listed as a member of the Water Valley Board of Aldermen, serving District 2.
At a staff meeting the previous month at Yalobusha General Hospital, Dr. Joe Walker was elected Chief of Staff. Others on the staff at the hospital were: Dr. D.E. Spears, Dr. M.S. McMillan, both of Water Valley and Dr. Ralph Criss of Coffeeville.
The expansion of the city limits remained in the courts after an appeal was filed in the Chancery Clerk’s office on Saturday, January 4. It had previously been thought opponents of the plan to extend the city limits had 10 days from the signing of the decree to file an appeal. It later developed that the 10 days should have been from the time the decree was filed in the Chancery Clerk’s office. Chancery Judge Hubert Fant signed the decree on December 21, but it was not entered into record until December 27.
• 50 Years ago, January 7, 1965 – The Davidson High School Tigers boosted their perfect basketball season to 11 games. On December 30, both teams hosted Winona, the Tigers winning an 87-68 victory to which William Bland and Joe Bailey contributed 20 points each; and the Tigerettes defeated their opponents 37-34, Bettye White scored 17 points, and Christine Phillips and Elonise Horton scored seven points each.
Captain John F. Swear-engen, son of Mrs. W.E. Swearengen of Oakland, received the U.S. Air Force Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters. He received the medal in recognition of his meritorious achievement in support of the fight against Communism aggression in Vietnam.
• 60 Years Ago, January 6, 1955 – The total number of deer killed in Mississippi for the first deer season was 1,198, according to the director of the State Game and Fish Commission, Wade Creekmore, who emphasized that “straggling reports” will continue to come in to raise this figure, and that the illegal kill record has not yet been compiled. Bolivar County re-corded the greatest number of bucks taken with 230. Warren, with 130 deer killed, was second. Breakdown by counties included: Calhoun 5, Grenada 5 and Lafayette 95.
The United States Air Force Recruiting Office in Grenada announced a “New Year’s Flight” to leave January 3. Thus enlistees can be home for holidays and join the “greatest team on earth” as the year 1955 gets underway. A goal of 20 men from Water Valley and surrounding area has been set. • 70 Years ago, January 3, 1945 – Staff Sergeant Thomas O. Reno, husband of Mrs. Evelyn Bynum Reno of Route Four, Water Valley, was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge for combat duty in France and Germany.
Seaman First Class Hollis Lee Tutor was promoted to Machinist Mate Third Class in the U.S. Navy.
The Mechanics Savings Bank re-elected the following officers: W.E. Blackmur, President; F.B. DeShon, Vice-President; Earl K. Fly, B.N. Suratt, J. Harris Samuels, R.S. Halliwell and W.C. Quinn, directors.
Staff Sergeant Thomas E. Chandler, son of Tom Chandler of Coffeeville, was cited by the 338th Infantry Regiment of the 85th “Custer” Division. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge.
Trusty Rotenberry, son of Mrs. Taylor Rotenberry, was awarded the Bronze Star for communications.
He was serving somewhere in France with General Patton’s 3rd Army, 80th Division.
Floyd R. Mays, Vice-President of the Illinois Central Railroad, retired from that position after more than 43 years of service.