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Look Back In Yalobusha History

The Water Valley School Parents Support Group helped fund new playground equipment at the elementary school. Students enjoying the new structure were (top photo, from left) Rhea Brown, Benjamin Eakes, Naketa White, Jennifer Griffin, Tenesha Show, Tyler Hill, Tammy Burgess, Tonya Joy, Amy Hodge and Yolanda Holmes. The support group also purchased a video disc player (bottom photo). Examining the new gear were (from left) Assistant Principal Dollie Henderson, Parents Support Group President Linda Maynor and Video Project Coordinator Judy Sartain.

• 15 years ago, Jan. 22, 2009 – City aldermen lowered the water rate for industrial customers, but left the higher rate for residential customers during a special, twice-rescheduled meeting of the board and after about 30 minutes of discussion. The lowered rate was actually below the cost to produce water, according to an official from the Mississippi Rural Water Association, which put in question the legality of the move. The beneficiaries of the lowered rate were Water Valley Poultry and BorgWarner.

• 20 years ago, Jan. 22, 2004 – The Yalobusha Economic Development Foundation was reorganizing into a county-wide organization after funding was cut by Water Valley city officials.

• 30 years ago, Jan. 20, 1994 – Yalobusha County Beat Three equipment barn burned Jan. 18. A tractor was destroyed and a motor grader damaged during the blaze, which was fought by volunteers from the Sylva Rena and Water Valley fire departments.

• 40 years ago, Jan. 26, 1984 – City officials built a fence around the Oak Hill Cemetery to keep out three-wheel riders who were roaming the cemetery at will, running over gravesites and desecrating monuments.

• 50 years ago, Jan. 24, 1974 – J. Watson Hunt was elected mayor to fill out the unexpired term of the late Tolbert Maddux. Hunt carried all four of the city’s voting precincts as he defeated opponent R. L. (Bob) Riley, 593 to 302.

Mrs. Mildred Bell was retiring from her position as Home Economist of Yalobusha County. She had worked here and in Washington County for over 20 years.

• 60 years ago, Jan. 23, 1964 – The Davidson High School Tigers, with a 17-4 record, were led by their captain James Morgan. Team members included Jerry Martin, McArthur Wilson, Chester Folson, Joe Bailey, William Bland, Leon Lester, Jack Cook, Sylvester Cook, Sidney Joseph and George Lawrence. The Tigeretts were Lucille Fondon, Barbara Riley, Berniece Turner, Christine Phillips, Martha Turner, Josephine Martin, Katie Pigue, Dorothy Wilmington, Dorothy Love, Emma Clark, Betty White and Josie Covington. Student trainers were Ethel Hudson and James Haywood. Score Keepers were Eva Sanders, Rochester Haywood and William Toliver. Coach was J. H. Ford.

•70 years ago, Jan. 21, 1954 – There was some excitement at the Ford’s Well community when a weather balloon landed there. The government balloon landed in a hay field near the Arlis Nichols residence.

• 80 years ago, Jan. 20, 1944 – The trial of Aaron Hefner on the charge of first degree murder began Thursday, Jan. 20, at Coffeeville.

Sgt. Harvey Tillman of Tillatoba, gunner on a B-17, was reported missing in action over France.

John S. Throop Jr. was promoted to the rank of Captain at his station in Atlanta, Ga.

Russell Gregory, a former resident of Water Valley, was one of only 13 African-American Chief Petty Officers in the U. S. Navy. Gregory grew up in Water Valley, before going to Memphis to finish high school. He began working for the I. C. Railroad as a machinist before joining the Navy. His brother, Chauncey Gregory, is a Water Valley resident.

• 90 years ago, Jan. 26, 1934 – Mitchell C. Newberry, 61, was shot by Ersel Stepp around 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Stepp home near Coffeeville. Newberry died Sunday afternoon at the Grenada Hospital.

• 100 years ago, Jan. 22, 1914 – The water was to be shut off this date from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. for needed repairs, city officials announced. “Take notice of this fact and draw plenty to do you during the shut off. Can’t do without water.”

John Newberry advertised his eating place, The EuDora Cafe, for sale “on account of leaving the city.” Newberry was the flagman who was tasked with stopping Casey Jones on the night of the infamous wreck in 1900.

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