The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on June 24, 1954 · Page 4
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 4

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 24, 1954
Page 4
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THURSDAY, JUNE 24. 1954 BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS PAGE SEVEN OSCEOLA Osceola's Hale Avenue . . . By EDNA BROWN (Courier News Correspondent) Osceola, Mississippi county's first white settlement of any size and it's first seat of government, today stands as one of the world's richest small municipalities. Located in the heart of the agricultural Mississippi delta, Osceola has risen from a small unimportant settlement of a dozen or more log cabins sprawled on a clearing on the west bank of the river to the thriving city that we know today. Although there are no official records available on the dates Osceola actually was settled, T. • J. Higgs and family lived there in 1823-24. Mrs. Higgs died there and is the first one to be buried in the old cemetery. Mr- Higgs couldn't stay there after his wife had died. Although he had acquired a large acreage of land, he moved away and left it. He is the grandfather of Mrs. Ellie Hughen of Joiner. 1828 was the first year that settlers of any number came to this settlement. Some of these were the Ed- ringtons, Brackens, Mills, Troy, Whitworths, Barfields and many others. Some of their descendents still live there- This settlement was first called Pinch When it was first incorporated in 1856, it was named Plum. is now president of the school board. Mr. Butler married Miss Irene Tidwell of Memphis in 1919. They have there is no bonded indebtedness in Osceola. The power plant furnishes free power and water to the two boys, both active in the Inter-j schools, hospital and churches. On national Harvester business with I Feb. 23, 1953, the city installed new him- He has been in this business [ equipment that increased the pow- Point because of the large Plum growth on the point near the landing. It was incorporated again in 1875 and named Osceola, after a tribe of Indians. It is believed that since 1929. He has five grandchildren, three boys and two girls. Mr Butler was elected mayor in 1938, and has served continuously since that time. He is past president of the Chamber of Commerce, past president of Osceola Rotary club, past director governor of District 200 of Rotary Internationl, chairman of the Industrial Com- mittete of Chamber of Commerce and a church. member, of the Baptist He said the first paved street in Mississippi County was Hale Avenue in Osceola- During his administration 7 he has seen most all of the streets paved, sewer system enlarged and improved, water system improved, new engines installed at the light plant, swimming pool built. City Hall improved, OKeola raised to a first class city. Fire department improved, police system improved, municipal court established and has seen orie of j the largest textile mills locate in Osceola. THIS OSCEOLA Finishing Plant is one of the finest things to happen to Osceola. It is a 56,000,000 plant which will finish cotton material. It is expected to be in operation by September with a capacity of around six million yards of material annually. They plan to operate one shift and will furnish employment for around 550 people. There are other industries in Osceola. Steed's ice cream plant opened in spring of 1946. This is the only ice cream factory in thej county. Owned and operated by J. A. Steed and W. A. Steed, this plant furnishes employment for 16 persons. It has lour refrigerator trucks to serve all towns in the county. The plant makes 900 gallons of cream daily and has an ice cream machine that makes one thousand dozen bars in one morning. In connection with the plant, they operate a sandwich bar. The Osecola Foods Co., Inc., is the only plant of its kind in the State. This plant was built by L. F. Conway, who is still the chief engineer. L. C. B. Young is the president and general manager. They made their first production run on May 3, 1949. Today they serve accounts from Philadelphia to San Antonio. This is exclusively an oleomargarine plant and at pres- ! ent is manufacturing approximate- they inhabited this site for many ; ly 118 brands of oleomargarine for years before white men came, as j about 625 accounts, there are many old Indian relics'i The plant has a capacity of 6 er by 3,400 horse-power, making a total of 8,725 horsepower at this time. The light plant is paying for the swimming pool at the new park. THE WATER comes from three deep artesian wells. This plant employs 20 persons with J. L. Giascoe as manager. He has operated this plant for 23 years. The Andrew Florida Park site of seven acres was purchased from Carroll Watson at a sacrifice price by Andrew Florida and presented to the city for a park. Various city organizations have taken over the park to get it going. The pool was opened recently with Billy Beall in charge. 72 oak trees have been planted. Osceola Memorial Hospital was opened July 23, 1953. Dr. JEldon Fairley is chief of staff. They take turns at the hospital to be on call. Different doctors from nearby towns also use this hospital such as Dr. Hollingsworth from Dyess and Dr. Harwell from Memphis, who is a native of Osceola. The hospital is well equipped for all types oi surgery, and has 32 beds, with 35 persons on the staff There are eight doctors who take calls there in Osceola. John S. Cherry is superintendent. Mrs. Da Greer Wadsworth, director of nurses, A. F. Speise is bookkeeper of both Osceola and Blytheville Hospitals. The board members are C. F. Tomkins, who is president, Dr. Joe E. Beasley, H. F. Ohlendorf, R. C. Branch, Dr. L. D. Massey, L. G. Nash, and Earl Wildy. * * * THE'OSCEOLA Post Office is one of the three first class offices in the . ..._ Osceola High School . . . J. L. Giascoe (left) and Mayor Ben Butler . . . sons. PHILLIP DEER, county judge since who served the entire county. Stanley Carpenter; Hudson Wren; Joe Walker and E. H Burns. Home de- Januarv l<m siid an acoustical j monstration agents who have work- januaiy iyoj. sam an acoustical, , , p /-«i£>_ board is being installed, the court room. He also used county farm on- mate to work on court yard and to clean and help beautify the school grounds- They also set out trees and shrubs at the hospital. While Judge Deer was teaching at Whitten. he sent in the first $100 raised at Whitten for the county library board. Act 244 of 1938 that made it possible for libraries to be established and maintained. In 1937. $13,500 was made available by state aid to purchase books for the county library, another $1,280 was raised throughout the county under direction of the library board. On Nov. 8, 1937, citizens from different parts of the county met for the purpose of perfecting an ... H. L. StanfiH .. . and knolls in the county. THIS BEING the largest of the of the few settlements in the coun-- ty at that time, it became the county seat. The first court house was a two story frame building that was destroyed by fire many years ago, as were the records. That is the reason so little is known of the real history of Osceola- The present court house was built in 1918. It has had a lot of improvements within the past few years. During. Judge Faber White's tenure of office, he gave his salary to have the courtroom completely redone. The floors in the entire building have have- been taken down off the lawn other improvements. The old trees have ben taken down off the lawn and it has been landscaped. Osceola's first councilmen were million pounds per month and operates 13 tandem trucks. Their oleomargarine is sold over the entire United States. . Teen-Age Club . . . county. Leo Schreick, the present! organization. Mrs. W- B. Burkett OSCEOLA HAS two city police officers with J. W. Thrailkill as chief. They have two way radios connected with the entire county The city hall has recently deen remodeled. It also serves as an office for the Municipal Light and Power Co. elected in 1875 in a municipal election. Osceola has grown from the start, using the river as an outlet for river boats. The word got around of the little town and people began to come in from the surrounding states. The coming of the railroad in 1904 contributed much to the growth of Osceola. It ran a & short distance west of the town at first but now it cuts the town almost in half. Other than the railroad, Osceola is served by several buses daily. It also has two - paved highways, 61 and 40, and several graveled state and county roads. • * • TODAY OSCEOLA is a modern city of over 6,000 population. It Is one of the richest small cities in the nation- Its agriculture wealth is untold. It is surrounded by large and small plantations. Osceola ha« over 100 business places, and has a trade area of around 68,000 population. Osceola recently ranked third in a statewide achievement contest. Everyone in town worked hard to get this honor, but most of all Mrs. Ted Woods was untiring in her efforts towards this project. Mrs. Woods also helps her husband at radio station KOSE- Established in 1949, it is owned and operated by Osceola Broadcasting Corporation. H. F. Ohlendorf is president and Ted Woods is general manager. This station employs 10 people* operates on one thousand watti daytime on 860 kilocycles and has listeners in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee. • * * OSCEOLA HAS eight white churches and five Negro churches- Ben F. Butler, Sr., is the mayor of Osceola, He was born and reared there .attended Osceola school and The fire department is excellent for a town of this size. J. D. Fletcher is the fire chief. There are 23 firemen, and two fire trucks. They meet twice a month for fire drills and conduct & fire school weekly. Each member of this department has a diploma from the Arkansas State Fire College. W. W. Prewitt, now retired from the department, was its chief for 30 years. The late Clay Ayers was the assistant chief. J. W. Taylor is the present assistant, Joe Griffin is truck driver and L. W. Walters is instructor at school. There have been several new fire plugs installed, making one to five fire plugs to the block. Osceola is rightly proud of its city-owned light and power plant. This helps to keep the, taxes down postmaster, has served in that capacity for nine years. There are 17 other employes. According to the post office records, an office was established as Plumb Point in 1838, with John W. Buckner ,as postmaster. In all there have been 31 postmasters at Osceola, with one negro Post Master, John B. Riggans, who served from June 25, 1897, to Jan. 5, 1899. The volume of business is tremendous. In 1951, which are latest records available, their money order sales were $299,850.84, an increase of 124 per cent since 1930. The stamp sales for 1951 were $42,110.19. The Osceola Times weekly newspaper is one of the oldest establishments in Eastern Arkansas, established in 1870 by Leon Roussan (first mayor of Osceola) and purchased by Sam Hodges, Sr., shortly after the turn of the century. Now owned and operated by Sam Hodges, Jr., it has for four consecutive, years been winner of the state's top award for journalism and the general excellence award. It is the only Arkansas weekly with complete photographic and engrav- to only five mills. At this time'ing facilities. It employs 15 per- of Bassett, was selected as chairman. Other board member's were Mrs. Thomas R. Ivy and Mrs. E. A. Robinson of Leachville, Mrs. Edgar Carney of Etowah. J. W. Sebaugh of Milligan Ridge and George Deer of Osceola. MISS NANCY A. Waddle was the first librarian. Judge S. L. Gladish and Judge Roland Green were both instrumental in Mississippi County having the library it has today. It new has 33,075 volumes, with 159,172 circulation and 6,352 readers. It has Branches in Wilson, Manilia and Leachville. ' j Miss Eula McDougal has been librarian since March 24. 1S43. A past president of State Library Association, she received her library degree in 1935 from Emery University at Atlanta, Ga. She is assisted by Miss Agnes Stephens, who came to the library the same year as Miss McDougal. Miss Betty Taylor has been there since last September. Before coming to Osceola, Miss McDougal was org'an- ed here are Miss. Cora Lee Coleman, who at present is an tvgent in South Carolina. Miss Inez Kin- caiu, Mrs. Hazel Summers, Mrs. Bowen Thompson and Mrs. Colleen Owens. The new agent as of May 10 is Betty Smith. Recently, a Mississippi County agricultural program was published. This program summarizes the present interpretation of 40 years of volunteer leaders under the guidance of the Extension Service. These books are at the county agent's office at the Court House- The planning and promotion of the argicuitural program has brought to us the research program at Osceola. 1 This project alone has meant a lot to fanners during the four years it has been in operation and promises to be very valuable in the future. There are 26 acres of plot work in the projects located at Osceola, Grider and Marie. BECAUSE of the agricultural location of Osceola, it is the site ol a large canning factory, cotton seec and soy bean oil mill, an alfalfa dehydrating plant, a compress anc several large gins. These are all locally owned. H- L. Stanfill as superintendent of Osceola Schools. This is his first year at Osceola. but' has nine years teaching exper- ance. He received his masters degree from Peabody college in Nashville. The school secretary, Miss Billy Fain Sheddan, has been with the school system for 10 years. Herbert Smith is principal of the High School, which had an enrollment of 890. Ben Butler has been president day of school, has sponsored a P- D. Juhnson is president of the Parent-Teachers Association, and for the past few years has been beautifying the campus on all three schools and working with the Teen- Age club. The members have had Eltmtntary School'. . . The site for the present library was donated by W. J. Driver. The building belongs to the Progressive club who use the upper story. The library has the entire first floor of the building. THE CHAMBER of Commerce was organized seven years ago and since that time have accomplished a lot toward improving the city. President is Elliott Sartain. ^ Carroll Watson recently received a* pin for 17 years perfect atten- dence at Rotary club. This club is active in all phases of their work and on local projects- Kiwanis is a strong organization in Osceola- Tim Bowles is president. They send delegates to Boys State and Girls State each year, and have an annual party for underprivileged children. Last Christmas they entertained 200 children. They visit in groups all churches in town once a year, sponsor Boy Scouts and conduct an Easter egg hunt for children. They are now building a barbecue pit and installing playground equipment at both of the grade schools and have given $300 to the Little League. They furnish supervisors for and operate the Teenage Club.. • * EXTENSION work has been going on in the South Mississippi County for 40 years, according to D. V. Maloch, county agent at Osceola, Six agents have worked in south end of the county during that time. They are L. E. Howard, some old trees removed and others set out They furnish mothers for hostesses of teen age parties each Friday and Saturday nights and have equipped a lounge at the Junior High School with new furniture for the teachers. • * * MRS. HARRY Matlock is the PTA health chairman. This department has been carrying on a dental clinic giving free dental work to needy children. This amounts to $300. The PTA held open house the first day of school, has sponsored a womanless wedding, gave a life-time membership and pin to Mrs. Carroll Watson, and recently sponsored a fishing trip for the faculty on Horseshoe Lake. Austin Hanner is principal of Junior High and also the Junior coach. Mrs. Charlsie Baldridge Little is principal of the elementary school. All three departments are located in separate parts of town. principal; Carson Lake School. Mamie Wilson, principal. Their combined enrollment, this year was 850. Osceola High School has an honor society, composed of 16 member* the past year, with Airs. Gladys Burr, English teacher, as sponsor. The School has a student council form of government, the president of which was John Strickland. The High School is Billy Beiill, This year the school hud 44 graduates, with Mitzi Guyn as valedictorian and John Strickland as Salutatorian. * * • MRS. ED PHILLIPS is the home economics teacher and consultant in menu planning for the lunch room. Her group staged a style show during the last purt of school She had 53 members in F.H.A. with Carolyn Edrington as president. The vice president, Carolyn Fuye Bobbins, will be delegate to a leadership training conference at Cornvay beginning May 31. George P. Schreiner is band director and music teacher. Public school music is taught in grades three 1 through six. Beginning band members are in the 6th grade. The high school band is made up of students from grades 7 to 12. They play for al athletic events at school and all special events, took part in both the Cotton picking and Christmas parades in Blytheville, and attended the district music festival at Searcy April 2. They also played for the Cotton Carnival in Memphis and for their own graduation exercises May 29. * * * THE ELEMENTARY school has" the newest building. This is Mrs. Little's fourth year as principal- She came there from Heber Springs. She has 14 teachers, With 412 enrollment. There were 147 in kindergarten. She holds a master degree from Peabody College- This school has no candy or cold drink boxes, but it has a lovely "Cafetorium" with the seats and tables of the proper height for the children. Mrs. Margaret Morse ii in charge of the kitchen. There is a record player in each room, and as it is only four years old it has all modern furniture and fixtures with a first aid room, a teachers lounge and a childrens library. The school system operates six buses. The teacher who has the longest service record in Osceola schools is Mrs. Bess Gribsy. • . . South Missco Court Hous* . . . Is Our Miss Brooks the Real Eve Arden? Not So, Says Eve Miss Eula McDougal ... By BOB THOMAS HOLLYWOOD UP)—Is Eve Arden really Our Miss Brooks and vice versa? Now that may sound like an odd question to you, but it's an issue that has fascinated me. I'm always interested in measuring the disparity, if any, between real-life actors and roles they play. Some stars fit their movie characters like a glove. Bob Hope is the same fun-loving, wisecracking guy on or off the screen, although he may have more serious moments off, Katharine Hepburn has the same brittle, unattainable quality in real life. Errol Flynn, at least in his younger days, was a before the camera. But many others are far removed from the public's conception of them. Jack Benny is not tight-fisted, as witness his outlay for his daughter's wedding. Jane Russell is no slinky siren, but a wholesome girl with a strong religious inclination. Reporters have found Danny Kaye is not the gay buffoon; he can be cold and cut- ~UR is complicated in Eve The Junior High School is the old- ' Arden's case because she has two est building of the three. Osceola has three Negro schools— ......ji me public. In one, Arden of films, Rosenwald High School, with George the friend oi the heroine who car Kim bell as principal; Grider ele- j , uv .iys be counted on for a caustic mentary school, David Marie Davis,* remark at the end of the scene. In the other, she is the more gentle Miss Brooks, a much-harassed schoolteacher on the prowl for Mr. Boynton, another faculty member. I discussed all about Eve's alter egos with the real Mis? Arden, the one who is pregnant. We sat in her car in a drive-in restaurant on the Sunset Strip while .she munched a late-afternoon hamburger—"I'm always hungry." Very Mild Person "I can't tell you much about the movie roles T played, because I've never cared for the character I renerally played in films. "I certainly don't think it was ne. I really think I'm kinder than that. My friends will tell you that 'm a very milQ person. "And I don't tninK Our i<w "And I don't think Our Miss ieve I'm that harassed. At least t's a different kind of harassment, n Miss Brooks, I'm harassed by eople above me—the principal, or example In real life, my trou- le comes from people under me— Carrol Watson ... Gen. Clark and Wits Feel They've 'Arrived" CHARLESTON, S. C. UP) - Gen. Mark W. Clark, former Supreme United Nations commander in the Far East, was made to feel perfectly at home soon after assuming the presidency of The Citadel here. On a stroll about the city, he passed a store and the shopkeeper called out: "Hello, General, how are you getting along?" "Fine, thank you," Clark replied. "Just wanted you to know," the shopkeeper said, "that your wife was in here a few minutes ago and bought you a pair of shorts. If they don't fit, just bring the mback." "That." Clark said later, "convinced me that we had arrived." Mrs. Clark added that, "That's never happened to us before." the housekeeper, the dressmaker, and so forth. "And though Miss Brooks is no dope, I like to think that I am a little more hep than she is." Osctola Memorial Hospital for the COURIER NEWS in Osceola, call BILLY BEALL; 567-J

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