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Taking a Look Back Through the Archives: May 1936 Stories of Interest

Mangun & Son of Dresden promoted Firestone tires in this advertisement from the archives of the Dresden Enterprise and Sharon Tribune in 1936. Tires could be purchased for as little as $7.45 each, while automobile radios were listed at $37.95 in the ad.

The Dresden Enterprise has covered the latest and breaking local news from all over Weakley County since 1883. As the staff continues to spotlight Weakley County news in 2021, we will also begin highlighting history from the archives’ shelves over the last century. This new bi-weekly series titled, “Looking Back,” will reflect headlines, article content, photos, advertisements and sometimes, full stories that made their way onto the pages of this local newspaper.

The first book in the archive collection begins May 1, 1936. At the time, The Enterprise was known as the Dresden Enterprise and Sharon Tribune, until 1992.


Friday, May 8, 1936


HEADLINE: ‘Another World’s Largest Hog Comes from Weakley County’

“Weakley county has established quite a reputation for big hogs. First came “Big Bill,” who was the fattest hog in the nation, apparently, and who died finally. Now comes one that goes “Big Bill” one better. This giant Duroc hog, known as “Esau,” was bought by Meeks Bros. who, in spite of pleadings of those who could visualize a future in the big swine, killed “Esau” for sausage.

Mr. J. D. Garner, who resides near Midway farms, purchased “Esau’s” hide, mounted it himself, and is now going on the road with the big mounted hide in a truck. He was in Dresden Monday with “Esau” on exhibition, and many went in to see the curiosity. Mr. Garner states that “Esau” was three years old and weighed 1,085 pounds when sold to the sausage makers. He was tall and very active, jumped fences with the agility of a horse or mule, and measured ten feet long and almost five feet high. He was by far the tallest, and longest, hog ever known in the south. Mr. Garner tried to keep Meeks from killing “Esua,” but he was in such good form for sausage meat, not too fat, etc., that they could not resist, and “Esua” paid the price of about a half ton of sausage, but Mr. Garner did manage to buy the hide, and, after failing to find a taxidermist, mounted it himself, and, by the way, made a good job, too.”


That week’s front page also included the following headline: “DEATH HARVEST HEAVY FOR PAST WEEK’S PERIOD – Aged Citizens Numbered Among Those Claimed by Grim Reaper in County – HOMES SADDENED – Wife of Esq. C. C. Underwood, Sharon, Succumbs to Short Illness” along with many numerous front-page stories spotlighting agriculture in the county.

Another story that ran the week of May 8, 1936, was “It Happened 25 Years Ago: From the Files of the Enterprise May 5, 1911,” which reads as followed with censorship included:

“On Saturday, Jack Mayo was shot to death near Greenfield by Tom Holt. Both men were past fifty years old. They had been neighbors for years.

The election for mayor polled the largest vote in in the history of Dresden. Mayor Paschall was re-elected over R. G. Maloan by two voted. Total votes were 135.

One Tuesday night, Mr. Jess Workman, who lived eight miles north of Dresden, was awakened, called to the door and shot to death. Blood hounds were brought here from Nashville and trailed from Workman’s home to where young Stanley Means lived and then into the river bottom, than lost the trail. Workman had 123 shot in him, several of which penetrated his heart.

No week in the history of Weakley county afforded more tragedies than had happened up to then. Besides two persons killed guns, a white man and a n**** were mangled beneath a fast freight rain here. The white man was Henry Ellis, about twenty years old and was killed between the depot and cemetery. The n**** was Jim Nailings, who lost both legs below the knees.

Dick Brooks, son of John Brooks, near New Salem, was very sick with appendicitis.

Mr. Babe Stackes was the first to bring ripe strawberries to the market in this community. The new residence of Same Colley, new Dukedom was nearing completion.

Miss Maude Laws died at the home of her father, George Laws.

Berries were being shipped from Sharon, bringing $4 per crate.

Mr. Chester Pettie and Miss Gertrude Finnie were marred by Esq. J. A. Eskridge. The bride is the daughter of Mr. E. E. Finnie.

Dick Taylor was elected city marshal of Dresden by the board.”


Playing that week in theatres was “These Three,” the most talked about film of the year, featuring Miriam Hopkins, Merle Obero and Joel McCrea


Friday, May 22, 1936

The edition featured headlines regarding the American Legion’s Annual Fish Fry and the Annual Poppy Sale set Saturday, May 23, to honor those lost in World War I by No. 94 American Legion Auxiliary (Dresden).

A notable story from this issue was titled, “MIDDING MAN’S BODY FOUND ON HILLSIDE – Remains in Terrible State of Decomposition, After Being Exposed for 48 Hours: BURIAL TUESDAY. Tom Hastings Left Home Near Ruthville Saturday, Found Monday Eve.”

“The badly decomposed body of Tom Hastings, 45, who left his home near Ruthville early Saturday afternoon with a headache, was found late Monday evening near Rudd’s crossing, five miles south of Martin, by Gilbert Somers.

Hastings head evidently been hit by a train early Saturday night, and knocked down an embankment, where Somers found him. The left leg was badly mangled, the left arm crushed from the elbow down, his skull was crushed and practically all the ribs torn loose from the spinal column. It is estimated the man was killed early Saturday night by a passing train, the body being in such a state that even embalming was impossible.

Mr. Hastings left his home just afternoon on Saturday. He stopped at the Nix home, where we was treated for a severe headache. This was the last seen of him alive.

He did not return at nightfall, the alarm was sounded and a search instituted by half a hundred neighbors. The search was continued all day Sunday and far into the night. Monday, Sheriff Grooms enlisted the aid of 50 CCC enrollees. Every inch of ground for miles was covered. Some tracks in the soft ground lent hope of finding the missing man, but these were lost and the search discontinued at nightfall Monday.

Late Monday evening Gilbert Somers was going down the track and found the body, reporting his find to Esq. C. C. Underwood at Sharon. The deceased is survived by three children, his aged mother, seven brothers, and three sisters. The remains were interred Tuesday at Walnut Grove, with services by Rev. Cletus Moore of Greenfield. Winstead & Jones were in charge.

The aged father of the deceased, S. R. Hastings, 76, was buried on last Sunday.”

Playing this week in the new Capitol Theatre in Martin was “Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee” by Fox Picture starring Will Rogers and Myrna Loy.



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