The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on July 28, 1954 · Page 6
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 6

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 28, 1954
Page 6
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PAGE SIX BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.) u6"DKjnen JULT zS, LEACHVILLE Leachvillt'f Main Street By EDNA BROWN (Courier News Correspondent) In 1896 Joshua Leach came to what is now • Leachville and bought land for timber. In 1898 the Leach, McNamee Land and Lumber Co. built a mill on a spot 200 yards of where the Frisco railroad depot now stands. With Joshua Leach came four men by the name of Honnoll, close relatives of his. McNamee was also a relative. The Honnolls stayed in that community and raised their families and still like to tell the stories of Leachville in its youth. In 1899, the Jonesboro, Lake City and Eastern railroad came to Leachville, this is the familiar, J.L.C.&E. of today. The Hauk railroad, now the Frisco, came next, and in 1906 the Blytheville, Leachville and Arkansas Southern railroad was built by the Chicago Mill of Blytheville. This line was later sold to the Cotton Belt Railroad. Leachville still has the Frisco and Cotton Belt railroads. Mill hands began coming in to work at the new mills and in 1904 there were 18 buildings, but a cy- pacity of 90,000 gallons. Mr. and Mrs. John Wells have one child. Mr. Wells was Scoutmaster for three years, and won all national awards on registration. He was appointed Scoutmaster of Troop No. 2 of the Jamboree held in California in 1953. He is also a member of executive board of Northeast Arkansas Area Council and is vice chairman of the district in camping activities. ' The Scout troop meets alternately at churches but is looking forward to getting a Scout hut of their own. They have acquired a bus for the Scout troop within the past year. This troop is sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce. There are 45 Scouts registered this year. F. L. McHaney is Scoutmaster. Plans are being made to organize an Explorer post in August. This troop was organized in April, 1951. M»u M ~ I «,,:* u/ a ; M u A ..« THE GIRL scouts were organized Mayor Louis Wemberg . . . ° August> imi> yirgil clone came that down 15 of them. year and blew The town's first newspaper was founded and edited by Bate Appleby, who became the first mayor of Leachville in 1915. There were fewer than 200 residents at that time. Now Leachville has around 1750 population. At the turn of the -Century, Leachville had one store. They have around 110 business places now. Df 1911 the late E. M. Howard came to Leachville as an engineer on the B. L. & S. and in 1917 he established an undertaking parlor. This business is still operating, making it the oldest in Leachville. Since the death of the founder In 1934 the business has been operated by his son, H. H. Howard, known to everyone as "Buddy" who was born and reared in Leachville. Buddy Howard is a member of State Burial Association Board, is now serving his fifth term as president of Leachville Chamber of Commerce and was named "Man of the Year" in 1952, This year he has announced he is a candidate for state representative in the democratic primary. Dr. Marcum was the town's first doctor, coming to Leachville in 1905. People didn't use doctors a much in those days. He had to find outside employment to make a living and worked on a cut-off saw and as a section hand on the railroad. THERE IS only one doctor in Leachville today. He is Dr. T. N. Rodman, who owns and operates a 12-bed hospital, which is approved by the state board of health. This hospital has as its superintendent Carl Byrd of Manila. Dr. Rodman is a preceptor for the University of Arkansas School of Medicine. He is to have an assistant in July, Dr. F. M. Wilson of Caraway. Dr. Rodman was born in Bates- viUe and is 35 years old. He is a member of American Academy of general practitioners, the constitution committee of this organization, county and state and American medical associations, and is Leachville Health officer. He also is chairman of official board of local Methodist "Church and a 32nd degree Mason. His hobbies are model airplanes, golf, fishing and hunting. He is also engaged in grinding the lens for a telescope. Even though he is engaged in so many outside activities he gives the needed time to the sick and those who look to him for help. The Leachville Star newspaper is owned by Sam Hodges of Osceola. The editor is John H. Barker of Manila and Leachville. Local reporter is Mrs. Billy Steed. This is a weekly paper. • * » LEACHVILLE has grown from a tent-dotted village into one of the county's four largest towns. It has an annual income of $1,500,000 from such agricultural sources as cotton, corn, soybeans, fruits, vegetables and livestock. A second class town, it is governed by * city council of five business men, and Mayor Louis Weinburg, who is serving his third term as mayor. He also operates a general merchandise store owned by his mother — the Joe Weinberg store. He is secretary of board of directors of the Leachville school. And on the board of director! of the bank. There is also a volunteer fire department with two fire truck*, a *iren warning system and a network of 50 fire-plugs. The town 1* supplied m'ith artesian water, and ** policed-by day and nifht mar- shals, a constable and a deputy , Pate as their leader and 16 members. sheriff. Transportation needs are met by the two railroads and seven buses daily making six trips a day and making connections with main lines. The Leachville State Bank was organized in 1951. Atherton Hiett served as the first president and Robert Braden' as cashier. At the end of the first year of business the total assets of the bank were $838,000. The bank, has shown a steady growth and 'at the end of business in 1953 the total assets were $1,286,000. Present officers of the bank are J. Lee Bearden, president; J. L. Swihart, vice president; Robert Brownie scouts are under the leadership of Mrs. Bill Cruse and sponsored by the P. E. O. with 19 girls meeting in the Library building each Tuesday afternoon. There is also an active Cub Scout program with Curtis Lybarger as the scoutmaster. The Leachville Library, a branch of the county Library, was opened in 1953. Mrs. Bill Cruse is librarian. The average circulation is 750 monthly. The Library is open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday afternoon and is sponsored by the local P. E. O. Chapter. A Masonic Lodge was organized and recieved a charter in 1918 with 13 members. lots adjacent to the church. One has a house that is used for the parsonage. This church has one of the largest congregations in" town. The. ladies class meets once a week. A general Bible class is held each Wednesday night for all ages. The Pentacosc Church and the Church of God both have active churches also. Both own their own buildings. The Boosters club has 50 members. They were instrumental in helping build the new gymnasium. Their primary interest is working with the athletic program for the school. They once raised $8,000 to keep the school going. President is Fred Alexander.. * * * THE LEACHVILLE Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1950. This is the leading civic organization in town. H. H. Howard, is the president, (He has served in that capacity for five years.) He read in the Nation's magazine the story of the wonderful work the resoure's and Development Commission and the State Chamber of Commerce had done. He sent a letter to the commission and asked that they send someone to help them. I, J. Steed was sent to them, under his work and direction the community clinic was held March 21-22 of 1950. j The community's needs were brought to the front. Work got under way to remedy 1 the different ailments of the town. In June 1951, Forrest Norman of the States Chamber of Commerce attended one of their meetings, and told them of the Arkansas Commerce Accomplishment Contest. * * * THE LOCAL organizations listed above and several others were called together and asked to help. All of them were eager and willing to do what they could. The contest was managed by a general chairman and a City Development Council. Each organization selected a project. They all worked on-the overall project. They were taken, first, to benefit the community and take care of the dire needs, and, secondly, to try to win recognition for one 'small town's" efforts to rise above the mediocre. These are some of the things that were accomplished: Reorganization of the town's or- dinaces. A. sewer system was installed. Processing plant was build for beans and vegetables. Scout troops were organized for boys and girls. A playground was started this is a long range plan. But a playground for children has been completed, along with a swimming pool. and Mrs. Dawson have one child and two grandchildren. Mr. Dawson was Superientendent of Osoeola High School from 1&38 to 1943. He was in the service for three and a half years, and taught in Florida for Six years, but is a native of Arkansas. The Leachville School has consolidated all the wing schools. They transport 650 children daily, using nine buses. * * * MBS. ERMA Watktos is the school secretary. Clyde B. Wetherington school and chairs torium. The new elementary school is a bee hive of activity, it is there that all the students are fed — about 650 a day. Mrs. Gladys Elli^ is lunch room supervisor and has four assistants. The children plan the menus with their teachers as a class room activity. All cold drinks, candy and ice crearn machines have been removed from the building. The school is carrying on a health program with the help of the county Baptist Church Braden, cashier; Fred F. Alexan- .. - Order of The Eastern Star had der, assistant cashier; Mrs. Edna Kennet, teller; and Alexander, teller. Mrs. DeLean LEACHVILLE also has a 523,000 processing plant that went into operation "in 1952. This is used for fruits and vegetables and is managed by T. T. Everson of Memphis. Plans are now to begin work on the Frozen Food Storage Plant with LeRoy Carter as president of the company. This will be a 545,000 investment. It is to be located on land adjacent and south the Mobil Gas bulk plant operated by John of Magnolia who started business in Leachville April of this year. This the immediate vicinity. It serves Leachville, Monette, Carawoy, Manila and Black Oak. It employs three people and has a storage ca- D. Wells, consignee Petroleum products, is the only bulk plant in its first meeting in 1919. A Parent- Teachers Association was founded in 1926 and this organization fought and kept a school through trying financial times. Today, they have over 250 members. A HOME Demonstration club was formed in 1927. The members encouraged and worked with a local girl, Bobbye Byrd, and in the summer of 1951, she was an exchange student to Ireland. A P. E. O. chapter was organized in 1945 and has met regularly since that time. In 1950, a band- mothers club was formed. This group outfitted the school band. In 1946 American Leigon Post 205 was organized with 105 members. It was named Groom-Young Post is high'school principal, Boyce B. nurse > Mrs - Annabel-Pill, and Mrs. Virginia Robinson, county r"tri- tionist. Better living habits and better eating habits have resulted. The students learned to select a l.alanced diet. Another result is the lunch room is in a paying position now, enabling the school to pay old debts and buy some new equipment. There also Is a 20-minute rest period after lunch time. This program has been going on for two years. This year they are carrying on the same practices. The lunches are regular dinners. The 4-H boys and girls are making a garden and the food is used in the cafeteria. All this .is under the supervision of Mr. Serio. J. LEE BEARDEN, state senator of the 24th district, lives at Leachville, coming there when he was 14 years of age. He was graduated from Leachville High School. His father was W. C. Bearden, superintendent of the school in 1926. Today he is known throughout the state as he has been in the state legislature for 16 years. He owns and operates the Bearden cotton gin and bean elevator and owns considerable farming interests and property. He is the major stockholder and president of Leachville State Bank. Mr. and Mrs. Bearden are the parents of two children. Mrs. Norman Kennett was voted "Woman of'the Year" for 1953 in Leachville. She is a member of the Methodist Church, past president of the W.S.C.S. and Wesleyan pearances In Mississippi County. She is assistant organist of the church and secretary of the Sunday School,: past president of Parent • Teachers Association, and publicity director of P.T.A., a member of the Chamber of Commerce. "She also served one. term on the school board, and is correspondent for two newspapers. In addition, she is the mother of three children and a grandmother. * » * RONNI KENNETT, son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Kennett, is 18 years old and a senior of Leachville High Schol, best athlete, and Mrs. Norman Kennett Young who lose their lives in World War II. Fred Alexander is now commander for the third time. Their special project is the playground for the children. THE GARDEN club is three years old. Mrss. Robert Pierce was recently installed as the new president. Their overall project is improving the entrance to the cemetery and they have spent $200 on this. The first church in Leachville was called Honnolls Chapel and was non-denominotional. In 1915, the Baptist and Methodist churches were organised. Today the Rev. Harold White is the Baptist Minister. The Rev. Mr. White is associational music director for the county Baptist Assn. , serves on Advisory board of Baptist College in Walnut Ridge. During the past year the church has been air-conditioned at a cost of So,000. The auditorium has been redecorated, also. Sunday" school enrollment has risen from 208 to 349 within 18 months. F. L. McHaney is the superintendent. His family was elected Christian family of the' year among Mississippi County Baptists. Mrs. Oscar Welch is president of Missionary society. Mrs. John Bearden is organist, with Mrs. Lester j May field, pianist. H. A. Croom is| president of choir and John •Wells is training union leader. . . . Sen. J. Lee Bearden Installation of common battery telephone system to replace the old magneto system. New sidewalks were build, and many more are under construction. Paving of the streets was started. 'This, too, is a long range program. Work is still going on and will' until they are all fixed. Road signs were erected, a cleanup drive was started, and old store fronts were removed along with old buildings that were not in use. a * • THESE. ALONG with many others, were the things that the people of Leachviile were doing and are still doing. This is a task that is never ended. The outcome of their efforts has been that they have a better, cleaner .more modern city in which to live. They also won the contest. The prize they was $750 in cash. For that were very proud, but the best was the feeling of pride in their success. None of this could have been accomplished if it had not been for all the townspeople working together as a team. The Chamber of Commerce was the spark that kept them going. E. R. Shannon, who has been manager of Leachville Lumber Co. for the past 10 years, said their company had done approximately $1,300,000 of construction in Leachville during that period. This is the only lumbre co. in Leachville at this time, and has been in continuous operation since 1900. There is no bonded indeptness on property in Leachville. LEACHVILLE Post Office has three rural routes totaling 143 .miles. . . . Roy E. Dawson . . * Hope is junior high principal and J. Anthony Serio is the elementary principal The high school had 50 graduates this year. The High School has 17 teachers. Mr. Wetherington, has been with the shcool for four years. He was also junior basketball coach. Charles McGrew is the head, coach. The athletic department offers basket-ball, baseball and track. An. extensive physical education program is planned for the coming year. Arnold Watkins has been the vocational agriculture instructor for the past five years. There are 65 members of F. F. A. Chapter, with Bobby Smith as president. They elected Betty Swiehart to be the F. F. A. Sweetheart. This department has a large library on which is spent $25 thi* year. The class as a whole participates in all the Federation activities. There are five applicants for state farmer degree. ¥ » • THEY ALSO have a well equipped shop. At the end of school, the boys were busy finishing tables for their class room, Cedar chests and several other wood working projects. They have a potato crop which will be sold to the lunch room with the money going to the chapter. Improvements in the department this year are new Venetian blinds for the windows, black-out curtanis, and fluoresent lighting for the room. This was paid for from chapter funds. Mr. Watkins exchanged student* for two weeks this year with Misi Bennie Wooward, the home economics teacher. He taught the girls to make lamps, stools, magazine racks and other articles. She taught the boys, etiquette, table manners, dating techniques, complete care of their cLothing &nd some simple cooking. Both classes found this to be good pratice, and plan to follow it up in the future. Miss Woodburn had 97 F. H. A. members. Mary Lee Bearden was the president. She will be president of the fedration in 1S55. Bonnie Johnson will be third vice president. Their projects for the Guild, board, member of the official and of the finance commission on missions, and director of Methodist Youth Fellowship Choir. This group has made several ap- . . . C. L. Smith . . , best all-round boy. He has been outstanding in all athletics and made all-district in baseball for past two years. In his sophomore year, he was awarded The Babe Ruth Sportsmanship award and won 2 first places in the District Track meet. He has been a member of the student council for all four years in High School and has been a mem- ber and is president of high school band for four years. , He was given the band medal for outstanding work. He sings bass ia the Youth Choir of the Methodist Church and' is president of local MYF and president of the Sub- District MYF. He also was carnival king at school this year. He plans to enter Russellville Tech in September and major in physical education. * * * C. L. SMITH has lived in Leachville for 33 years and is 84 years old. He is a retired merchant. However, he still has extensive business interests there. He and Mrs. Smith and daughter, Frances, all call Leachville home, but they have traveled all over the United States, Canada, Nova Scotia, Central America, and Puerto Rico, and several' islands. Mr. Smith was born in Kingston, Jamaica. It was there he learned to love the sea. He left Jamaica in 1880 and came to New York, then out West in 1893. He cast his first vote for McKinley in 1896 and went into the lumber and steamboat' business until 1921, when he moved to Leachville and took over the Chicago Mill and Lumber Co. Then he went into the mercantile business. He met and married Miss Linnie Vorder Brugge in 1907. They built the home they now occupy in Leachville in 1941. Each year until his retirement in 1935 they toured the United States — north in summer and south in winter. His hobbies are hunting and fishing. When he retired, he, with his daughter, spent most of the summer months on their boat, "The Mona," a 40-foot cabin cruiser. He is active and alert and enjoys life in Leachville, but had rather be on the sea than any other place. He also has an interesting ship model collection. Mr. Smith's life has been written up many times, but the Leachville story would not be complete without him. Not many towns that size can boast of a world traveller — especially one with as much energy as he has at 84. High School Gymnasium Misplaced Wedding DES MOINES (ft— Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Filby attended a wedding at Grace Methodist Church. They didn't recognize any of those attending and when the bride turned around after the ceremony, they didn't know her, either. Back home, the Filbys checked we dding invitation. It said the . year were World Christmas Fest- j ceremony would be in Grace Methodist Church — but at Cedar Falls, Iowa, instead of Des Moines. D. j Floyd Selby, one of the carriers, has 1 served in that capacity for 32 [ years. J. L. Witham was the first PASTOR Or the Methodist< postmaster. The present post-rnas- church is the Rev. J. E. Linman. This church is in the midst of remodeling its auditorium. Dr. T. N. Rodman is president of the official board, Mrs. Roy Dawson is presdent of W. S. C. S. and Mrs. Sam Steed, president of the Weslyian Guild- Sunday School superintendent is Arnold Watkins. Mrs. Norman Kennett has charge of the Youth Choir. Her son, Ronnie Kennett, is president of the Methodist Youth. • * * THE CHURCH of Christ minister i* J. S. Jones. Their church is a white frame building, one of the ter is J. D. Hodges, who has held that position for the past 12 years. There are three clerks. The gross receipts from this office are about $15,OCO yearly. The first school was taught on 1899 and in 1906 the frist school building was built, a three room school on the west side of town. This original building still stands, but it is now an attractive residence, enlarged and improved since the first, nail was driven. Leachville schools today have 1,050 pupils enrolled and employ 39 teachers. Roy Dawson who has been the superiented for the past two ival, F. H. A. Week, city wide clean -up week and redecoration of the home economics building. * * * THEY HAVE had a variety of units such as child care and play school for two weeks for pre-school children. Students had complette care and out of this came the play school for the P. T. A. They had a unit on personality, some of the girls took this as home project to improve their personality and grooming habits. They had home improvement classes, planned color schemes in the home economic living room, and refinished the furniture. The music department, under the direction of George Shedd, is one of the most popular in the school. He is a native of Manila, but this is his first year at Leachville. The department has a Senior and Junior High Chorus, Girls, Glee Club and Girls Ensemble. From all these come the combined choir of 39 members. This group has made several appearances in Mississippi, Craighead, Greene and several other counties. All programs are opened and closed with a religious number. The band has 45 members, with Ronnie Kennett as the band president and trumpet soloist. There are seven majorettes. This group attended the state band festival held at Hot Springs in April. • • t THE FARENT-Teachers Association members have worked hard ,his year under the leadership of Mrs. Mary Hitt. The project they Beethoven for Japan TOKYO L?) — The Japanese love Beethoven. The Tokyo Metropolitan Theater asked its 6,674 subscribers to send in their favorites for a series pf request programs. It was Beethoven's Seventh symphony, Beethoven's Fifth and Bee- IHEWCAHC VKTUtt ««. art, f uliaf to d«p- A.H. P»!t> IUIM p»iM. G«t tvnnia KIRBT DRUG STORES thoven'i Sixth in one, two, tore* order. Only Aspirin At Its Best Paint Closeout Type* ani C»l»r» i Price Hubbard Hardware Ronnit Ktnnttt . . . oldest buildings in town. Thev have j years, was voted the "Man of the'have finished this year is the pur- recently purchased two additional] Year" in Leachville thii year. He j chasing of two projector! lor the TV and RADIO SERVICE Minor Repairs and Tube Replacement in home (inside Blytheville city limits) Only More Than 20 Yean Training and Experience. Factory Service Guarantee on All Makes. Blytheville Sales Co. F«lix Carney, Mgr. 109 E. iMain Ph. 3-3616 Do you fed the heat HIRE, too Stop kwinf income in hot weather!O-i: Air Condi- tionin; increases summar- time butineet-payi for *• Kit! Packaged- MR CONDITIONING • O.f.'i vniqw* flU-m-vn* ••Of* M MVIftf I. Fr»t«cf!«fi Plwt". • T«HM I* wit j wr h*4f«k ttt MM UMVWt GENERAL^ ELECTRIC BILL'S REFRIGERATION SERVICE 2337 lirch Phont 3-6986

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