BLYTHEVILLE COURIER NEWS VOL. 62—NO. 46 BLYTHEVILLB, ARKANSAS (72816) MONDAY, MAY 9, 1966 TEN CENTS 14 PAGES Blow of an Axe Signalled Founding of City By Herb Wight Slaff Writer In 1880 Blylheville was born with the blow of an axe. Since that time men like its founder, Rev. Henry T. Blytlie, have sweated and cursed and laughed and prayed to make Blytheville what it is today. And what is it? It is a 75-year- old youth with bumpy streets like the troubled complexion of a teenager, distressing now, but a sign of coming maturity. It is a gawky legged youth immensly pleased to find its prowess can include industry as well as fields of cotton. It is at the same time a worried mother and a carefree youth, fluttering with anxiety as it outgrows clothes patterned a quarter - century ago. What Blytheville is today she will not be tomorrow. It is not the most outstanding city on this green eartii, nor is it the most commonplace. But it is home to over 25,000 people and this gives it a certain distinction. « » » Twenty years after farmer- preacher Mr. Blylhe swung his axe on that first tree the city expanded to 302 souls. The villagers named the settlement Blythesville but a few years la'er the "s" was dropped. During the 20 years of growth the hamlet's residents tasted tl>cir own brand of political ex- cKement. It seems there was a family named Cook that lived just west of Blythesville proper. They moved the town's post office to their settlement, Cooksville, renamed their settlement C'lickasawba Village and settled back to watcb their city grow. But as events worked out the post office returned to Blythes- ville in 1890 and was rechris- tened. One year later, on.May 10. 1891, Blytheville was incorporated. Prominence as the county's seat of government couldn't be claimed yet, though, because Osceola had copped that prize via a 28-name petition. As Sie calendar nudged the year 1900 Blytheville did edge out Manila as county seat of the north half of Mississippi County. Ballot boxes, except that from Huffman, were thrown out by election judges who claimed the vote was rigged. » * » BlytheviUe's first mayor was Mack Rounsaville. The city'a first lawman is not known but its second was Town Marshal J. P. Allison. In 1902 John T. Collins was keeping law and order. In 1915 a bootlegger's bullet killed them. Sheriff Sam Mauldin and collins was appointed t» fill his term. Also in 1902 C. L. Mitchell was elected mayor. He was succeeded by Jack Bishop an! Wallace Blytlie. A year into Mayor Mitchell't tenure Blytheville began its second stage of progress. The Bell brain child — the telephone — connected the city with progress when R. C. Rose was granted a franchise to build and oper- • ale a phone system. Before Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., took over the system it was operated by Mr. and Mrs. Derby Rogers. With the advent of the tele, phone came permission to build a light plant and power .distributing system. The franchise was grantetd to W, W. Hollipeter and S. E. Smith. Tht electric company was sold t» Missouri and Southeastern Power Co., and in 1922 Arkansas- Missouri Power Co., w a s organized. * * * In 1904 — a year after tht telephone and electric lightt brightened the city scene — Blytheville's founder, Rev. Blythe, died. It happened Feb. 19. He was buried in the ceme« tery between Walnut and Chickasawba, the site which is now graced by the city's fountain. It would have pleased Rev. Blythe to see the city receiv* its second - class rating in 1907 as its population passed 2,530. Rapid growth continued and in 1910 the federal census listed Blytheville at 3,849 persons. This fantastic growth of from 302 in 1900 to nearly 4,000 in ten years is credited to the introduction of the iron horse of the wilderness, the railroad. Blytheville was commercially linked with St. Louis in 1900 by the St. Louis Southeastern line. In 1907 track was extended to connect Paragould, Jonesboro and Lake City. Controlling interest in the rail complex was held by St. Louis- Southwestern, better known a s the Cotton Belt. Also in 1907 the St. Louis - San Francisco Railway (Frisco) purchased the line formerly operated by the St. Louis and Memphis Railway SYMBOLIC — This fountain In Pounders Park may well be symbolic of the challenge facing Blytheville as it celebrates its 75th anniversary this week. The park is the final resting place of the city'* founder, Rev. Henry T. Blythe. Civic leaders today feel their task is to further the work Rev. Blythe began by making Blytheville as bright and sparkling as the fountain. (Courier Newi Photo) Co., and made Blyfiieville a ma-. jor point on the line. . A move was begun in 1908 to construct a water system here- but it was four years before hand-dug wells and rain barrels became obsolete. Bids.were rejected in 1910 but one year later a proposal by J. E. Thompson of Nashville was accepted and the BlytheviUe Water Co., was born. The system was completed in 1913. However, the utility apparently went into receivership that year, according to a bill presented City Council. It became the Consumers Water Co., and in the late 1930s was taken over by fee present Blytbeville Water Co. * * * In 1911 the city added a sewer district to its list of civic improvements and seven years later the first paving district was formed, signaling the end of dirt paths — then called streets. With all this accomplished, city fathers could rightly beam with pride when Blytheville passed the 5,000 population mark Feb. 1, 1916 and became classified a first class city. *• * * Progress — population wise — continued and in a decade — from 1910 to 1920 — fee city's population had nearly doubled, to 8,447. 'When 1930 rolled around 10,098 persons had decided to make Blytheville their home.; From 1930 to 1940, however, the city's numerical growth was stunted. Only 554 additional persons lived here. The lag was only temporary. In the next See CITY on Page 10 Seven Die On Highways By THE ASSOCIATED PRES A motorcycle slammed into a Sedan at Little Rock, killing a young mother and critically Injuring her husband and a car plunged into 30 feet of water in Lake Hamilton, taking the life of another woman. They were among seven persons who died on Arkansas' highways during the 102-hour traffic fatality count of the As- socated Press from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight Sunday. A third accident killed Raymond 0. (Bud) Raley, 43, own- McMillian Against The Death Penalty PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) Gus McMillian of Sheriman, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, says he supports organized labor and favors the repeal of capital punishment. McMillian, a Democrat- turned-Republican. .told a group here Saturday night that he also would like to see the voting age lowered to 18 and that he would like to see juvenile delinquncy halted. . A newsman cam Mi™'" •• speech attracts about 20 •dulti. er and manager of Radio Station KWYN at Wynne. He drowned when his car plunged into 20 feet of water after hitting a bridge west of Augusta on U. . 64 Friday night. Killed in the motorcycle crash Saturday was Mrs. Donna Willis, 25, of Little Rock. She was riding on the rear of the cycle, driven by her husband, Kenneth Willis, 28. Mrs. Bonnie Buck, 32, of Arkadelphia drowned when the car she was riding in missed a curve at Point Lookout on Lake Hamilton, plunged down an embankment and into the water early Saturday morning. Joseph B. Chambers, 55, of near Carlisle was killed Friday night when his pickup truck collided with a car at the intersection of Arkansas 13 and a rural road four miles north of Carlisle. James Morris Grafton, 57, of near Bernice, La., died Saturday when his truck hit a bridge about 12 miles south of El Dorado, James Clifford Kessinger, 47, of Hammond, La., was killed Saturday about 5.2 miles north' west of Mena on U. . 59-270 when his car struck a Kansas City Southern train. Jessie Abner, 63, of Joiner died Saturday of a heart attack after the Car he was in was in- olved in an accident 18 miles north of West Memphis on In- IteriUteK. •ininninunBinnuiiiuiiiniiMinnnnnninin DAUGHTER KILLED FOR BURGLAR INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (AP) A high school girl who arose before dawn to quiet the family dog was shot to death in the kitchen today when her father mistook her for a burglar. Larna Kay Wilson, 18, cried, "Oh, Daddy!" then collapsed and died. Her father, Jack Wilson, 45, was sobbing beside the body when police arrived. Wilson, a television repairman, told officers he heard a noise in the kitchen. He got his shotgun, saw a figure silhouetted against the back door, and fired. Judy Porter Is Top Driver Judy Porter yesterday won the Teen-Age Ror.d-e-o and will represent Blytheville in the state contest. The annual competition was held at Safeway parking lot and was under sponsorship of Blytheville Jaycees and Union Motors. Runnerup was Pam Powers of Gosnell. Ik* in Walter Reed WASHINGTON (AP)-Pormer President Dwight D. Eisenhower will remain for an indefinite time at Walter Reed Army Hospital center for what a spokesman described as a routine examination. Eisenhower, who was described as "taking It easy and taking some tests" Sunday, entered the hos-pltal last Wednesday. He suffered a heart attack Hart November, Rep. Kennetk S ulcer Missco Salesman Faces His Toughest Assignment By JOHN R. STARR Associated Press Writer LITTLE ROCK (AP) -Kenneth Sulcer calls himself the only "real" candidate for governor in an eight-man Democratic field. "I'm the only man who filed before Gov. Orval Faubus announced he was not running," Sulcer said. "I'm Sie only man with.a detailed platform. For 10 weeks I was the only candidate." Sulcer filed Feb. 1 and had something to say on every political issue that has developed since then. He concedes that he has a difficult job ahead because he is not as well known as most of the other candidates. "I've got to sell my name and my face," he said. And he also is a vigorous, enthusiastic salesman of ideas. He has a lot of ideas on how the state government could be changed or improved and he nniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiHiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnii BULLETIN TOKYO (AP)-Communist China announced Tuesday it has detonated its third atomic device. Peking Radio, in a Chinese language broadcast monitored here, said the third took place at 4 p.m. Monday at • lest site In western China. likes to talk about them. Fourteen years in the Arkansas House as a representative :rom Mississippi County gave him a working knowledge of government. "I'm for economy and I mow the places where we need to tighten up," he'said. "I'll be talking about them in the campaign." The tightening, apparently, will come in existing budgets because Sulcer had ideas about spending the $40 million in surplus funds he says will be available for the next governor. He would spend $1 million of it to increase old age welfare checks by $10 a month, $20 million for public school aid (an $800 salary increase for teach- Parade Entries Are Sought For City's Birthday Party Blytheville Jaycees continue] to seek float entries for Saturday's diamond Jubilee parade 'We had hoped we would have more clubs enter floats in the parade, but thus far very few have done so," Dickie Nokes, who, with Mickey Shelton, is cochairman of the parade, announced today. v Invitations have been mailed to various area bands, but because of the Memphis Cotton Carnival acceptances have been slow. The parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and will form at Ninth Street off Ash (at Little League park). All men who have grown beards are being asked to meet in the area and will march in the parade as » group. , Any club or organization wUh- ing information on entering a unit in the parade may cotact Nokes at PO 3-4578 before noon Friday. Blytheville Rebekah Lodge 18 is sponsoring a Gay Nineties smorgasbord Wednesday, as another feature of the city's 75th anniversary celebration. Lunch will be served at the IOOF Hall between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Blytheville Rebekah Lodge also is supplying meter maids who will attempt to as- sit overtime parking motorists by depositing coins in meters for visitors whose meter has expired. Chickasaw Jaycees said today they are not sponsoring a box supper as was previously announced. |ers) and the remainder to promote tourism and industrialization, continue the institutional construction program and expand facilities for the mentally •etarded. Sulcer .has two mentally retarded children by his first marriage and his interest in re- ardation is of longstanding. He was one of a group which pushed the idea of a Children's Colony for the retarded to fruition in the 1955 and 1957 legislatures. * * * The 40-year-old businessman was born at Palestine in St. Francis County and lived at Forrest City until he finished high school. He was stricken with polio at tte age of six and his right arm and left leg were immobilized. Experimental bone surgery at a Memphis hospital returned use of the limbs. Sulcer moved to Joiner in Mississippi County when he wa,s 17 and his home was there until seven years ago when he moved his business interest to Osceola. As a young man, he considered a career in aeronautics and he trained in aircraft mechanics, earning a Civil Service rating as a senior shop foreman. He worked at rookly Field and Maxwell Field, both in Alabama, during World War II. He left aeronautics early in Set RACE M Page U Luxoran's Body Found The body of John 'I. Watkins, 22-year-old Luxora resident, was found yesterday in the Tennessee River near luka, Miss. He had been missing since May 1 when he was last seen by shipmates aboard a riverboat. Presumably, he fell overboard. He was a deckhand and was on night watch when last seen. Mr. Watkins was born at Luxora and lived there all his life. He leaves his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Watkins; Six brothers, Ernes!, Charles, James, Joe, Paul and Clarence Watkins, all of Luxora, and a sister, Mrs. Rosa Lee Fountain, Luxora. Services were at graveside today at 10 a.m. in Memorial Park Cemetery, Rev. Cecil Howell officiating. Howard Funeral Service was in charge. $300 Million Defense DAMASCUS, Syria (AP)-The Saudi Arabian government announced today it ''as signed contracts to buy U.S. missiles and British jets. They ar' part of a new air-defense system that will cost about $300 million. Weather Forecast Mostly cloudy and cooler this afternoon with widely scattered showers and a few thundershowers. Clearing and cooler tonight. Tuesday partly cloudy and cool. Temperatures this afternoon mostly in the 50s. Lows tonight 38 to 48. Highs Tuesday in the 60s. Thirty percent probability of measurable precipitation this afternoon. Outlook Wednesday partly cloudy and warmer.
What members have found on this page
Get access to Newspapers.com
- The largest online newspaper archive
- 8,600+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
- Millions of additional pages added every month