The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on July 1, 1936 · Page 44
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 44

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Blytheville, Arkansas
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Wednesday, July 1, 1936
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Page 44
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' - , 4 SECTION E '•':'•••'.i-: "BLYTIIEVILLB. (ARK.)'. COURIER NEWS Well-Equipped Plants Pro .vide Water and Electricity at Low Rales " A million gallons of water for $107. That is the priec which was quoted lo ft large concern n'nlch recently requested a rate (rom the Osceola, municipal plant. It is a long way from muddy river waler lo a 1,600 feet deep elglii- inch artesian well that furnishes pure water at 'so low a rate, but it is the stride of civic progress in Osceola tlial provides the city wllh lig"nt. power and water at rates that are the envy of cltinens of much larger cities, Like most steps forward Ihe Os- •ceola water and light plant was organized in the face of great dtffl- cully and strong opposition. The plans of this'organization were formulated in I'ne dnys when Ihe fn- mlliar civ Of the unprogrcssive was ever to' ths effect thai "father had carried water and lighted tho •lump." But the courage of those w'flo had undertaken the task k:-nl on until nnally Judge Gould of Plus Bluff bought the bonds In the face of all opposition and the plant was established. The water plant was organized in r lt!03 and the light plant in 1911. when I'ne Iwo were combined and run under the direction of the same 'superintendent and the gasoline engine for pumping water Into the high tank was discarded for more modern equipment operated at a lower cost. There was no power plant in Osceola in 1902 and there were only 28 street lights in Old town, where the city was first located against Ihe levee.The electric plant was owned at that time by Abner Driver. The equipment was old and the plant was In a rundown condition when his franchise with the city expired in 1910. Realizing Mils was the bpiwrtuns time to acquire the plant, a committee of citizens head' cd by A. s. Rogers, the resent mayor, called a mass meeting at wlririi a fair majority decided to buy the plant am) establish a municipal plant The organization was then known as the Commissioners of Improvement, composed of W. J. lamb, j. L. Ward and A. F. Barham. The sum of $11,000 was paid for the Driver plant, which was operated by an old steam engine. The; commissioners continupd to ocrnte it until money could be obtained for a new engine. The commissioners sent a special representt- tive to. Kansas to investigate !ievfr methods in liglit and water plants and upon his recommendation installed new equipment. At- the time of organization the plant was municipally controlled, but the cilizen oj, I'ne town had pledged their property through ths commissioners to pay^ for it. Thai .-was' the simple : beginning of what is today one .of the most successful municipal plants in the state. Today the plant has paid off all indebtedness, released the property owners from their pledges, and has made possible a large number of city improvements by its earnings. The net income of Ihe plant runs between $1,800 and $2,000 a month. The street "lights alone would cost more than $1,000 a month, state _ members of the council, not con" siderhig the free service of light find water lhat is furnished to the schools, churches and WPA. No free ssnice Is'given to government buildings, but those occuied by the city arc furnished with light and water, which Includes the fire de- .partmcnt. Not only has Uiis plant saved the city thousands of dollars in service charges for water, light and power, but the earnings have paid off $55,000 of sewer bonds in district No 5 and maintained the.ex- pense of its own upkeep. That the irmmrjinal plant has been conducted on a conservative plan of operation is illustrated in the method the council has pursued in Increasing the capacity of both the water and light by ncv equipment, in 1020when the bondr had been paid off the, council added notlicr unit, paying for it oul of the earnings of the plant. A Vfial time they thought this new unit would furnish sufficient paw er for eight or nine years; .but the 1 had not realized the cxtehrof new uses for electricity, and it devel oped in four years that a third .unit would, have to be instance' and last year the council instance a new unit t'nat more than dou bled the capacity of the plant. Recently-the council was asked by a large concern, for a powe rate, and should this develop int a contract it will necessitate th installation of another unit. Eaci of these new units Sias been pal for out of the earning of the plant All of the units except the first on are Diesel engines Opposition Overcome The development of the wale svsten' through the early years un til it was combined with the ligh plant is a story of an eveh great? struggle in overcoming oppositio than was Involved m acquiring th .light plant It is said that th elder/ citizens declared there wa ,plenty of water in the river, an the "new f angled" Idea of.turn.in « lap in (he home for water somelhing for lazy people lo con template. When the bonds were first pu on (he market the purchasers wer • told by citizens that they woul •MiJ , JULY 1, 193G iyor and Councilman Who Administer "die Public Affairs of City of Osceola MAYOR A. S. ROGERS SAM COBLE W. W. I'KEWITT C. B. DRIVER BEN P. BUTLER RAYMOND CAHTWIUailT F. A. WHITE Osceoia's Publicly Owned Utilities This Is an interior view cf the•'. welUemiipped plant which generates electric current for Osceola. An exterior view 'of the Osceola water and light plant, showing the big tank from which water Is distributed throughout the city. Tight the sale. Many and amusing arc the stories which relate v the iicans which many of the residents resorted to to defeat Hie, purpose of the bonds. However, the bonds were nnally sht in the face of nil opposition Judge Gould, Pine BlulT. and the first steps were then taken to construct the system. A gasoline engine was iissti : to pump ths water to a high tank, when the system was first organized, and from fills tank the water was distributed by gravity into the homes. This system of opiralion continued for eight years until th; plant was purchased from terns rs FIRST WHITE SETTLERS been of inestimable value to the city in many ways, and with the prospect of mills and factories Inking advantage of this low water and power rate and opening up plnnls at Osceola. the valueotlhe plant to the city' and Its citizens will increase year after year. Favorable climatic conditions are attracting canning factories to this" ute to lllc S'"ry of making Missis- section and as the advantages of """' '""'"'" "'" 1 """" 1 """"" — low rates on water nnd iiower at Osceola- gain attention the city council looks forward lo a greater demand on .the municipal plant for water and power. Directing the affairs of t'ne mu- Charlcs Bowen, second and third shcrllls of the county in 1B3C to 1818; James Williams, a name that has long been identified wifa Os- Luxora; Elijah Huford whose niiine was made permanent by (he lake of that name, an:l n Peter ficeves, all came to Mississippi county before and during 1828, and were the first settler.'; to follow Canon and Kelluins. It seems that Ihcse. early settlers ra;hmlly drew together at what is now Osceola, but which in its early days was called Pinch, then Plum Point. Several small settlements of three or four families were scattered over the lower end of the county at points such as Pecan Point, Shawnee Village, and a quaint community in tlie extreme" lower end of the county known iis Nanvoo. North of j trees growing about these huts and tins was Bardstown, which name mentions plum trees thai were red originated from the family of menUs visited and brought Lhcir legal m:Ut'.!i'.s to Osceola, ttie county seat, and this interest ami business caused this town to grow from the few men who first nettled in lhc> huts and houses on the liver bank to a population of 250 in 18V5 and tome 'half do/en business homes wlilll in 1889 it boasted of 1.030 inhabitants. Osceola was not only the flvsl town of the white man in the territory, but historical-fata prove that the Indians 'nart also selected it as n town site and Unit it contained Eomo five or six hundred inhabitants and hcmcs of the Red men in prehistoric days. An early historian speaks of an exploring party who came upon finite.a large group of homes on what is now the site of Osceola. He remarks on the fruit | Bards. Nauvoo is now Frenchman's Bayou and 'here lived the large Speck family, Sexton. an:l GiifTin, for whom Gnflins landing on Old River, a cutoff of the Mississippi, was named. Miss Mary Victoria Martin, later wife of James Anthony, one of the early surveyors of the county, and Dr. F. G. Mc- Oavock. ^ In the Shawnec Villiagc seltb- mcnt were the McGavock and Fin- villc families, and at Pecan Paint the Friends, Felix Glumly. Jacob McGavock and J. M. Bass, these lust three having come from Nashville, in the Bardstown settlement were the Ashburn, Drown, Musick Oary, Carlton, Evans, Ozzell, Adams, Jones and Joiner families. Site of Indian Town The inhabitants of these settle- anil grayish in color, and' mulberry an.1 walnut trees, all of which he states seems to liave been planted in orchard form. The lint municipal election was held in Osceola Nov. 23, 1875, ivlisn Leon Roussan was chosen mayor. He was also editor of tho first paper published in the county, winch tie established with J. o. Blackwood, father of Dwight' Blackwood. and the first recorder of the city. Aldermen elected at that time were Alex Goodrich, Berry Hcnwoo:!, B. F. Jones. Daniel Matthews, F. M Petty. W. M. Speed was marshal ami J. \v. Clapp treasurer. The town 'nas 'wen incorporated twice, the original charter bavins lapsed. An amusing paragraph in the old records of the city states that it would be against the law for 'horses to bo driven faster than six miles an hour ttnouah the streets of Osceola. Po^luiru-c in 1810 Much valimnic itilormntion about the formation of this early settlement that became Osceola iias been destroyed by file or lost, but il. was about 1810 t'nat Osceota became !>. P3£loffice with J. \v. DeWItt the first postmaster. A story hanrfed tloiMi through succeeding gensrij- tions describes the mail box as a crude packing box from which the residents Uclp?d themselves to their mail. DaWitl was also the flrsi school teacher in the county, having established his school building at the norm side of the city. The valuable farming lands in the immediate vicinity of Oscesla attracted many Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky men and around the lown on the various large plantations they acquired were erected large rambling homes with broad verandas and spacious lawns set with shrubbery and flowers that created picturesque spots over the countryside. The Edrlnglon iiose on Broadway- is probably the oldest In Osceola. Another with a history paralleling much of that of the town was built by the first Presbyterian minister. Rev. Frank C. Morris, and was later occupied by capt. S. S. Semmes after his marriage to Miss Fannie Morris, the minister's daughter. Five generations have lived in this old home, whch has besn added to to meet the needs of succeedng Generations, lions. There are now few buildings on the original site of Osceola, w'hich wa.s located down on the river bank, near the levee, which was constructed many years after the town was established. The town gradually moved bask la ward me railroad, 'which was extended through His county in 1001. Ths early court house was a Irame building with the county cilice in the lower and the courtroom in the upper story. The otil building was later used lor Ili3 county home until the institution's new builrlmi! was complaRd, when the o!d csiin' f house was torn down, though the' f vault Is slill standing on the ground ' on Broadway. The present courthouse was built in 1918. Osccola was the only county scat of Mississippi county until 1901 when it was decided to create a second comity seat at Blythcvill- in vi3w of the increased population, business, and t'nc difficulty or travel at that time. Achievement an:l architecture have pictured the progress of.Os- eeola in its business and residential district, with grey-jB old homes that Eeem lo 'have withdrawn within sheltering shrubbery, next to modern homes of great beauty set off by elaborate formal gardens New buildings on the Main strasi rub noses wilh Ihose of simple, frame structure, and a courthouse in t'/ie center of lh= city Unit is or great architectural beauty. combined, and the wrighl. merchant; Sam Coble, furniture store; w. W. Prewllt, attorney; c. B. Driver, vice-president Driver Gin Co.; Ben F. Butler, larm implements; F. A. White. Osceola Motor Co.. composing the city council. new unit was installed in t'ne power plant to furnish power to pump the water, discarding the old gasoline engine. Oemand Increases The' first well was only 750 feel deep but the iron in solution seemed to b? particularly heavy.al this point. The Improvement Commissioners put down a new six-inch artesian well m. 191-i, which was sunk 1.500 feet. Later a new eight- inch well was sunk, and now Ite're is the possibility of having to sink a new well to meet increased demands. The water i s distributed lo citizens through a meter system. * .-i-ocvn i«nu me oinger .01 uons The Osceola utilities have keep, i lurking in the long grass beside Icng sought alter by various power [ttc paths for the purpose of rald- ccmpamcs, and not only hove'the;ing stock, native authorities in the offers been extravagant bunlimdUB-Tabora district prepared a niim- effort and pressure have been ] her of pit traps. The accused native found a lion Native Fined for Aiding Lion to Escape Trap NAIiiOin.. (UP)—A native was escape. With the approach of the rainy " and the danger .of lions brought to bear on prominent citizens. To induce the municipal -council to'sell the plant. However, A. In a Irap, and then made a ladder, went down and helped the S. Rogers, the present mayor. £Ut- 1 teasl to escape. *M to the court that u« dnce quEs!loa VV85 ^ Mlnil Ju!ul c {Continued From Page 1) yers from Tennessee ami Virginia; while t'ne oilier group was bankers or wide experience and great wealth rrom Kentucky. From these states there came sonic very noted and cultured men among whom were David Craighcad and his brother. Thomas B. Craig'ncad. for whom the county of that title took its name. They, were .both noted at torncys in their home city of Nasli ville and numbered among their friends Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk. JOTIII Harding nnd Jacob McGavock of the widely known McGavock family of Franklin and Nashville, Tenn., settled near Os ccola during these years. Following about the same lime were Isaac Lanier, Edwin Jones and William Daird. These men were tho true pioneers of the county, coming to the county when it was a wilderness, in"habited by wild animals through which they.not only carved enviable careers, built homes, and cleared great fields which contrib- slppl county the largest cotton producing county of the world todav bill they left an impress of fine character and In some instance? achieved positions of national recognition. One was Judge Jacob McGavock Dickinson of the Dickinson plantation on Frenchman's Bayou, and Osceola. who served as secretary of war during Ihe Taft administration. The Craigheads were men of high standing and fine character which has been projected through t'he century by the noted editor of the Mobile Register, Dr. Erwin Craighead. He was one of the Souths most beloved and brilliant newspapermen, and in his early career established "The States" in New Orleans, which he later sold, when he joined the Mobile Register where he served in every capacity from reporter to editor in chief until his death In ID32. Most of these early .settlers came lo Mississippi-county and established farms between the years 1833 and 181(1. Osceola was then a-f mall settlement but it was Ihe county seal and Ihe center of social as well as business activity in the county, AH legal matters had to be settled In Osceola. and the old court house was the scene of many gay balls .'where the beaux and belles of the plantations would happen. The plant- has (the !lon gather from long and difficult dis- and Warrant Uncashcd 39 Years OAKLAND, Cal. (UP)—Mrs Augusta Smith La Rue found in a trunk and presented lo the propsr anlhorilies - for payment, a sc'nool election warrant for $3 issued to her rather 39 years ago. The Board of Education is pandering, the question of il s right to authorize .payment. : . The Same Strength of Character! ; REN E. BUTLER CO of Osceola, Arkansas The McCormick-Deering Farm Machinery and Implements and International Tracks We have sold moi-e farming implements in lower Mississippi Coun- - ty than any other one concern— a record achieved through service de pendability and a study of farming noer j s . Many of the toughest farming jobs have been made easy and economical with FARM ALT farming- methods. From the "Far East" to the near west — from the wheat fields to the cotton fields . . . abroad or on -your npiirhhm-'* farm you will find FARM ALL implements serving through a fi c me ' because replacement parts are always available. " IFc Can Tell You How Yon Can Save By Spending More For McCormick-Deering Farmall Tractors The Savings-The Speed and Service Have Cut th d Cost, In Greater Accomplishment. Ben Butler has.not forgotten the small farmer . . . the horse drawn implements to meet his need are here . . . and the service that backs the sale of a tractor also backs the plaw and the shovel. Whether you farm the FARM- ALL way . . . McCormick- Decn'ng Tractors equipped with pneumatic rubber tires ... or the small farm way talk your needs over with KEN LEI AND IU<]MEMBER-International Trucks haul the aix-whceler load and the light delivery load. V

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