The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on October 10, 1950 · Page 70
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 70

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 10, 1950
Page 70
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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 'l950 (AKKJ COUKIEK' NEWS First Power Plant Here Erected In 1903; Ark-Mo Took Over in'25 Blylheville first got "lit up"—electrically, that ia—in 1903. . : H was in that year that the^City Council granted its' first two utility franchises, one for a telephone system and the other for an electric power company. The Incanrtescant light bulb, In-* —— — _^1 •' vented by Thomas Alya Edison 25 ••-.•-, . • .- . • .'ears previously, prepared In make . Its debut In Blytheville when W. W. I HoNipeler and R. J, Johns I granted a franchise Uj operate the city's first, light plant «nd power distributing system. The franchise was to run for a ^•'ear period. In addition to help- l^iound the first power company hfre. Mr. Hollfpeter. who came to Blytheville from Memphis in 1302, also dug the first, artesian we'll In the city and was president of the llrst pavln? district, which was or- laniKd dining World War I. His first businesses in Blylheville' were a cooperage mill. sasvmill and a slave mill. He accepted slock in thp water company in return /or finking the first well. Hollipeter and Johns later "sold the electric utility lo Ihe Missouri <md Southeast Power Company. I Exact date of this sale is uncertain. .Ark-Mo Tiwk Over In 1935 It was In May. 1925. that l hc! name "Arkansas-Missouri Powr Company" was chosen to:- a looselj connected electric distribution and transmission system serving Blytheville and Rector. Ark,, and Caruthersville and Kcnuett. Mo. The total generating capacity of Ihe company at that time was 562 kilowatts of electricity. Today, Ark-Mo serves nearly 100 touts and communities In Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri and the company's newly completed Jim Hill Plant alone has a ciparity of SO.Opll kilowatts. In addition, the company has other gen- eratlne facilities at Blytheville. 1921— » 'Scenic Highway' Work Is Moving Ahead Slowly From tht Aug. I, 1KB. edition of the Blytheville Dully Courier:: . H Is • noticed nlong the Scenic Highway Muth ot CKctola thai the work i.s progressing very slowly us to lh« final or warrnnile top. B*«minsty •bout, half a milt is completed, whereas il. was thought most of the four and a h»K mile* concreted would '*oon be open to the public. It wan «id »l the outset «00 feet could b« topped in » day. Maybe so. The work of concreting u now proceeding from Grider to Oceola. Judge W. M, Taylor, commissioner, when asked if the road would likely be completed Ihe entire distance of ten miles this fall, sain 1 It should be done by Sept. 15. He was sua»*»s- ert at the speed made on tile war- ranile top as well a,v others. It would be regretable if this strip of road is not completed before the winter rains set in. since the detouring would m?ke traffic practically impctfible this winter. •BCTTOX n—PAGE SEVEN and Mammoth Caruthersvllle Spring. Much of the company's early progress was marie during the years MSi-ll. Dunne this period the com- wliy's operating headquarters were moi-ed from St. Louis to Blytheville. where they were 'established (iver the Farmers Bank Building on the corner of Main and Fifl'i. Many new towns were added to the company's electric service roster during this period. Included among these towns were Stcctc, Hayti. Portageville. Koshkonoug, and Bramlsville In Missouri, and Walnul Ridge, Po- caUEinlas. Mammoth Spring and Iniborien in Arkansas. Rales Drop Over the Years Residential electric rates during this period, compared to today's ton rates, were relatively "out "of this world." ranging from 12 to 18 cents for each kllowatt-hotl Through efficient operation and constantly growing demand for tlectric service on the part, of its customers, Ark-Mo has been able ay )'KAKS IlKIKCi SUCCKSS—This is lhe home of Charley Abooti in the Flat Lake community in 1914. H contrasts greatly with the modern home he Inter built, on Barfield Rend after becoming one of the county's successful planters. Leaning against the fence In the picture above is Curtis J. Little, who now resides on North Highway 61. At the time. Mr. Plan to Gravel Street From ihe Mar. 9. 19Ti. edition of the Blytl'eville Dally Courier: Leachville. Ark.—The road eioni- missioneis to relieve so much traffic on the improved road througV I lie town have Nelson avenue. graveled from Third street lo the A. B. Jones wholesale house a'ir Little was doing survey work in connection with the lamous "sunken! p ' rst on to Main. This will relieve lands" lawsuit to establish title lo acreage in this area, i lo a ercat extent Jams on Main 'street. Tom Mohan, One of City's Leading Citizens, Brought His Bride Here by Boat and Wagon Yount Tom Mahan helped his btlde of ncarceljr two rtay» down from the rail coach and Inlo the »moke-Ulnted. chilly almosphere of ihe MemphU r»ll terminal, "We'll have lo «o the vest of the way by boat. Nannie," he told her «« she brushed blt« of sool from her loiv dress. Tiny flopped through Memphis' Mreeus, silting with baggage at their feet behind the driver they had hired to lake them lo the river. The driver reined (h» horse lo a stop in front of a small build- In?. Tom sprans down Jrom the buckboard and went In. "There wnn't be any boat* splng to Barfield for two days," he told her when he came out, ''But we. can get » boat to Rosa today. That's lust a few miles south of Bii-lielrl, What do you think Nannie?" "Let's 50 today." They threaded their way between bales of cotton piled about the riverfront and walked gingerly up the gangplank. "Where is all this cotton solng. Tom?" she asked hei husband us they leaned on the rail of the beat and watched husky Negroes loading and unloading cotton. "Some will , zn downriver lo New Orleans. The rest will probably be shipped out of Memphis by train." Ariei a 12-houi boat ride, Nannie Mahan looked appraising!)' at Ihe small clearing in the wooded area on (lie rlverbank which was the Rosa landing. nidlnt * mail vrxsoii toward Blylheville. ihe watched wild deer •camper through the. wood »nd wandered how she was going to like her new home ... In Arkan- Came Here In IISTi T J. Mah.ui. before his death In 1931, was one of Biylheville's leading citizens, having been merchant. fanner anil banker here since before 1891. Ihe year he brought his wife to this then wild countr Mr. Mahan was Princeton Collegiate Institute In Princeton. Ky.. and It was there ilia I he met years. H *•«.«, >t Princeton Miss Nannie Webb Satterfield They were married rxi. 10, 1894. Operated Rarilrld Store Mrs. Mahan recalls that after their marriage they rode the Iralji to Memphis and then came to the Ros, landing by rlverboat. Prom there they cnught a mail wagon, which had come to meet the boat, Into Blylheville "over some of . * gradualc of' tne rouchlesl toads yoi- ever saw" " " ' that he met Mrs. Mahan, * native of Kentucky, The son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Mahan. he was born March 10, 1810, In » house lhat stood on the banks of tlie old pemiscot Bayou on the spot where Ihe Chl- caco Mill and Lumber Co. later was, erected. His [alhcr was' a native of West poinl. Ky.. who had moved to North Mississippi county to farm. Tom Mahan's parents riled before ht was ninr. After their deaths, he lived with tils grandfather, who was known as Cedar Williams. Mr. Williams resided on a farm near Barfield. where young Tom irrew up nnd attended a rural school. . The youngster was studious but had little opportunity to study. Later, his grandfather sent him to Cape oirardeau, Mo., where he attended school l-wo years. Afler his grandfatthor's death In 1887, Tom went to live with Dr. w. H. Oples- by. it wfts Dr. Oglcsby who sent him lo Princeton InstliiUe, where Ihe vaunt man studied for Mr. Mahan farmed and operated store at Baificlrt in the early days of career. B.ufielrt was one of lhe busiest poims In no.,, Mississippi County due lo Ihe lac that it was A boat landing conur w Broadway »nij Wilnrrt Streets, 'we thought thtt perhtja w« *ere building too fur from th» city." It was one of Ihe first home* In Blytheville to have plaster on tht walls and skeptical older reildenf strongly advised against It. Hraded School HetrA Mr. Mahan was president nt the Hlythcville School Board for mor« than 22 years. He was president of the First National Bank «nd served as a director in th* earlj days of Blytheville's Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Mahan was also active for years in the First Presbyterian Church here. Mr. and Mrs. Mahan had (!»• da'i^liters and two sons. Tin »oni were Thomas Mahan and John H. Mahan. Their daughter* Included Miss Mary Mahan. now Mrs. Byron Morse; Miss Antiette Mahan. now Around lhc turn of the century.; han. now Mrs. j. B. Loftm- Mis. Mr. Mahan came to mythcnlle j Elizabeth Mahan and Mis, Margir- as manager of the Blytheville Sup- ct Malian ply Co. corner of Second and Main Streets. Moved Store In 1010 About 1010 Mr. Mahan moved his classtnale of hts W q Mender' «" " 1P " »«er Mr. Mahan', death in store, then known ns the Marian adjoining building Slore. to which he hud constructed. J. E. Brll and I). T. Heeder were his assoclnles in the new slore which came into prominence just „. , ,,. - -- .-.-- Hlythevile was srowliiR 11,1. Mr. Mahan subsequently bought the 1033: "Tom Mahan wa« 4 successful businessman; president of » hank; head of a lanif department store; farmer; cln operator; implement store keeper— and in fact, fitted into all the various activities, both commercial and Industrial of hi« Mellon of the cniinlir. stock of his partners. He Inter purchased and a K iu and i,, IM lo retire from Ihe lo reduce this rale lo a present d average cost of slightly over three cents per kilowatt-hour for the average household user. The first major project of Ark- Mo din-ins; this early period was the construction of interconnecting transmission lines between the var- iGfc\ towns served. This-was termed li^fssary in order to insure dependable electric service at reasonable prices. In constructing the lines. Ark Mo actually pioneered much of the jwrmp area in the rich delta area in Eritheast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas. Much of the work was done in water and mud that was waist deep ami it required as many as ei»ht mules to move a small load of poles. Many of the highways and roads, which followed later, were built alone the lines surveyed by the power company. During the depression years of the late twenties and early thirties. Ark-Mo's rate of expansion, like almost all other companies, slowed. However, a few more towns were added to the company's system, in- cl'Jdlng Ironton, Bismarck. Potosi. end Piedmont in Missouri, and Corning and Hcnrtv in Arkansas. Expansion Resumed In 1S33. .James Hill. Jr.. Joined tl'e A r k-Mo organization as pre^i- dcnl. a position lhat. he still holds tr-day. After two years of reorganization, the company b.^nan again I its expansion program in IMS nt frjfc accelerated p^ce that, except] «fW.i<T World War II. was maintained. Ne-v employees were added almost weekly. .s:ilarv increases large construction crew.s were work- in!: continuously. Hundreds of miles . of ne.w distribution and transmission line was Installed during these yrirs and several targe substations were rrerteri. Hmvevrr. il wns noi until the conclusion of World War II that Ark-Mo experienced its most remarkable growth and a corresponding development and expansion pro- grem. Most significant of the company's post-war projects was cis. Ark. This new 3fl,000-ki!owatt generating plant has recently bern i completed and is to he formally! dedicated Oct. 21. Other post-war : projects, amounting to more than ! two million dollars, included a HO.-' 000-volt transmission line looping lhe company's southern territory, four 110,000 KVA substations and I sv.-itchin? stations at Paraeould. Kector, Hayti, and Blytheville, re- " lated smaller stations, and distribution and transmission lines. Provides Street Ufhls Another of Ark-Mo's post-war projects is the company's -"fre,e ' street Ji^htjti^" plan. Under this plan, Blytheville alone ;eceives oven 510.000 a year in fr?e street light service. The pla.n Is based on one free street light for every six customers served within the city lim- • its of any town served by Ark-Mo I This includes installation, mainten- | ance and the electricity, as well as: the street light Itself. I Statistically, Ark - Mo's growth! during the past quarter of a century Is Impressive. In 1929, Ark- Mo had IO.B83 customers who used (U6Q13 kilowatt-hours of electricity during the year. In 1039, the com- ! pany had 16,143 customers who consumed 34.198.000 kilowatt-hours. As of Aug. 31. 1950. the company was serving more than 39.000 customers and last year the company's kilowatt-hour sales reached .118.284,000. This means that during the last twenty years the number of Ark- iMo customers has increased 253 per cent., while thp consumption of kilowatt-hours by Ark-Mo customers has increased more than 37,000 per cent. 1923— Workers Loses Three Fingers of Left Hand In Sawmill at Huffman From the Aug. 3. 1023, edition of the Blytheville Daily Courier: Thursday morning at the Huffman sawmill at Yarbro. L. B. Wilhclm, a workman, had a large portion of all :-:ur fingers from his left hand severed by a cut off saw r . The patient was hurried to the city hospital in the Doc Funderburk car. where the member was dressed and at last accounts hr was getting along as well as could be expcclcd. The greater portion of the small finger was lost, the wound extending in a diagonal shape to the first finger. Fortunately it was his left hand, but he will be disabled for some time Mr. Wihiclm is an old redden! and has many friends who will An hr.ur's delay was occasioned at the hospital owing to other operations being performed. Grove/ Road Repaired From die M^r. fl. IP'Jo. edition o[ the Blytheville Daily Courier: Leachville. Ark. — Wagons and men were busy last week haulin; nravcl and fllliuj in Ihe holes and the i low places in the cravel road from cnp.truclmn of the SS.-VO.OOO Jim the stpte liue south to the Craig- Hill crneraltne pljnt near St. Fran-1 head County line. 7923— U. S. Aid Uncertain for Road Linking Elytheville, Manila and Leachville From lhe Aug. 3. 1923. edition o[,woi.:d allow the bid. Now It seem = the Blyttieville Daily Courier: | from this letter from the chief thit Commissioner Shaver of th^ this aid cannot be allowed. The Blylheville. Manila and Lcachvillc j amount involved Is S200.000. Mr. Shaver was met In Liltlr Rock by Senator Caraway, who lus a double interest in the matter, be- -h.ifd road, relumed from Little Rock Thuriday. where he had gone on road business regai-rUHg federal aid. He received a letter from Washington advising the commission that the assistant federal aid man. who land denalor and a tax payer and owner in lhat vicinity It 1- ^••^•••- ---------- -..,...., ..... .. ... ..... .. ,IM owner n a vcnity It 1- riilitly met with the commission- believed by him and Mr Shaver e:'- rere, st.Kltip that the assistant | that Washington may be convinced li.-c! been misunderstood regarding , since the chief has written letters' a sEven-mlle s«tiin of the road In confirming literally what the as' tl;e Manila - fWhville territory sMant ae.wd to In Ihe nlylhcvilv winch ^ls ^rtrrcriticrf a.s^ a shoestring meettne. The landowners on thl> " ..... " J ...... ' ...... district, that Is. it does not straiehi. as the government. Insist,'! on In all roads. This section being designed by legislative enactment could not be. changed by the commissioners without another act seven-mile loop have been taxes for three years on fhe road in anticipation of Rotting the road M others have, and this money' would ot necessity have to b« r*- - nnssioners without another acl nt funded If the road Is not built In that body, nnd they contend tl 1 ' -icr words lhe matter Is In 'b.irt when this fact was made plain i,, ne if Washington refuses to «1 the (ederai man, he told them thcf..,,, the lid, "In all. his transitions his competitors recognised him as a shrewd business man and respected him large farm I for his high standard of busine.w !*2fl was forced \ elhlcs. '» erc: >iitile on- "Th| s is not meant as *n obit- -slness because of poor health. ] uarv or eulogv nf the dead—It hi Mrs. Mahan recalls that when she I ralher n reminder of the pajslrm and her hmbanrf built the. two- of an exceptionally «ood citl- hrne story house v which slands on thnUen " MORE & MORE & MORE... Today, In Northeasl ArkRnsas and Sonlheasl Missouri, your electric iervice company is busy expanding ilg rxnver facilities.' New substations and Iransmission lines art; being built. New <lisl i-ihntiim lines are spring-. Ing up in every community. And Ihe Ini'KCKt "Kilowatt Karlory" between Sf. l-ntiis and Memphis—(he 3(1,000 kilmvad Jim Hill Tower f'lanl—haa jiiKt been completed and put in operation. lilylheville and this rich delta area will need more power to continue Its Ki-owlh. . . .and Ark-Mo is makirijr sure now thai this power will be available when needed. This continuing expansion program typifies Ark-Mo's failh in the American free enterprise system. H expresses our faith in the future growth and prosperity of Itt.vlheville and Ihe nearly 101) oilier (owns and communities in Northeast Arkitnsas and Southeast Missouri, which we have served for more (ban a quarter of a century. We are proud (o he a par! of (hese progressive communities. .. .proud to make this pledge—"there'll always be power to serve." Ark-Mo Power Co. Home Office, Blytheville, Ark.

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