Episcopal Church Resurrected After 1984 Tornado
By David Howell
• 10 Years Ago, April 7, 2005 – Winners in the 19th annual Wildlife Tasting Buffet’s Best Tasting Category were Barbara Rogers, first place with deer enchiladas; Carole Hill, second place with her wild turkey; and Marty Bardo, third place with her venison casserole. Winners in the Most Unusual Dish category were Tyler Wortham, first place with his Catfish Lagniappe; S.T. White, second place with his barbecued coon; and Barbara Rogers, third place with her deer enchiladas.
Myron Kuykendall of Oakland served as a page for Representative Tommy Reynolds. He was pictured with Rep. Reynolds and Speaker of the House Billy McCoy.
John and Johnny Avant accepted the 2004 Grand Award at the Mississippi Home Builders Association’s 10th Annual Best In Mississippi Awards Banquet. The award was for their company’s work on the Allen residence in Oxford, and the criteria included style, creativity and craftsmanship.
• 20 Years Ago, April 13, 1995 – Miss Heather Horan was named 1995 Watermelon Queen at the annual pageant held April 8.
Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce President Cam Tyler presented a plaque to outgoing President W.C. Griffin at the Chamber banquet. Representative Roger Wicker was the speaker at the banquet, which had record attendance.
The Country Yard of the Month was awarded to Francis and Charles Boros. Their residence was located at the end of North Pine Ridge Road at the Water Valley Boat Landing. Town and Country Garden Club made the monthly selection.
• 30 Years Ago, April 11, 1985 – Sammy Higdon, Jr. was elected principal of the Water Valley Elementary School, replacing Melvin Ford who was retiring after a 30-year career in public education. Higdon had been working as assistant principal of Oxford Elementary School.
Work was expected to be completed my mid-summer on a new building to house the Water Valley Episcopal Church of the nativity. The building was under construction at the same site as the structure that was destroyed a year earlier in the Easter Eve tornado.
Ken Bailey is pictured alongside his father with his first turkey, a 16-pound tom with a nine-inch beard. His father, Gerald Bailey called the gobbler into shooting range.
• 40 Years Ago, April 12, 1975 – Funeral services were scheduled Saturday for William Edwin Blackmur, who served as president of The Mechanics Savings Bank from 1918-1974. Blackmur was a lifetime resident of the county and former mayor, President of the original Water Valley Junior Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Water Valley Watermelon Carnival Association and longtime member of the Water Valley Rotary Club. During his tenure at Mechanics Bank, he witnessed the growth from a beginning capital of $20,000 to its present capitalization of $120,000.
Three Yalobusha students were listed on the Mississippi Valley University honor roll for the first semester, Cecil Kimble, Jr. and Georgia M. Phillips of Water Valley and Linda A. Harris of Coffeeville.
• 50 Years Ago, April 8, 1965 – Water Valley’s new tennis court in City Park was being put to good use by local players, who were pictured on the front page.
Statistics released by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce showed Yalobusha County’s 60 service establishments grossed $551,000 in 1963, an increase of 22 percent from the 1958 base period. The service trades included: personal services to individuals, miscellaneous business services, auto repair and other repair businesses. The trade establishments in the county employed 76 people, not including proprietors and had a payroll of $109,000.
Tommy Hudson pitched a two-hitter in the opening game of the 1965 opener against Yocona, leading his team to a 7-1 victory. The Blue Devils crushed Yocona in the second game, 16-2, with Kenny Taylor as the winning pitcher and a homeroom by Larry Evans. Ricky Parsons and Joe Holt led the Devil attack against Walnut with home runs to lead their team to a 9-1 win over Walnut in the third game of the season. Tommy Hudson pitched a one-hitter in the fourth game against Ingomar to lead the Devils to a 9-1 victory. Kenny Taylor was the winning pitcher in the fifth game of the season against Ashland, recording a 5-3 win.
• 60 Years Ago, April 7, 1955 – A fox hunters’ meet was scheduled April 12 six miles northeast of Water Valley on the Claud Murphy plantation. All fox hunters were cordially invited to come and bring hounds. The cast will be at daybreak and a great crowd was expected.
In 1955, Mississippi farmers would plant the smallest cotton acreage they have seeded in 80 years. The state allotment was 1,750,852, a drop of about 329,000 acres of the previous year’s quota. The reason for the decline was many farmers had failed to plant their full allotment in previous years.
• 70 Years Ago, April 12 – 1945 – The nation’s longest serving President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away at Warm Springs, Ga., on April 12.
Cpl. Dale Sartain of Water Valley was awarded the Bronze Star for outstanding service in the Army.
John Horan was elected the new president of the Water Valley Rotary Club. Other officers elected included Ed Shearer, vice-president; and Elbert Womack, secretary-treasurer.
Cpl. “Red” Cotton and wife left recently for Miami Beach, Fla. Where Cpt. Cotton was re-assigned.