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‘The People’s Choice’ in Weakley County and Beyond

The beginning of November in 1936 began with a large announcement with the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt for his second term as President of the United States and Gordon Browning was chosen as Tennessee’s Governor. With the national and state news gracing the front page of the Enterprise then, there was still plenty of local news.


November 6, 1936

A sixteen-pound sweet potato, grown by Dresden resident Ralph Everett, made the front page. The potato weighed 16 pounds and four ounces. The size of earned Everett a blue ribbon for being the largest potato grown that year. In the November 6, 1936, edition, Everett said, “Tater never would have reached such huge proportions under any except a Roosevelt administration, which has done so much for the farmer.”

It was also reported that week two inches of snow fell in Weakley County on Wednesday, November 4, 1936, which was the earliest snow in six years when the last November snow was on November 24, 1930. It was also reported some sweet potatoes were damaged from the weather.

There was also a new construction project in Palmersville for a new school building. The reason for the new school building was because the prior building burned down “some time ago.” It was reported the new school building would be “brick, 115 feet long by 45 feet wide. There will be four classrooms in the structure, a large auditorium that also will be used as a basketball court and general assembly place for the community. The stage is well proportioned, and the floor amply-supported to permit basketball games.”

The citizens of Weakley County were also alerted of Typhoid Fever. The story read as follows,

“Scarlet fever is still one of the outstanding contagious disease encountered in Weakley county. While this disease is not usually as severe as formerly, it never the less, is an important public health problem, because often the kidneys are involved, resulting, in permanent damage, or the ears become infected, leading to deafness or mastoid trouble. The joints and glands in the neck are also sometimes affected. In view of these complications, every effort should be made to prevent children from being exposed to this disease.

The continued prevalence of the scarlet fever is probably due to the fact that many mild cases are not seen by a physician and, therefore, not reported to the health department. This makes it difficult to check the spread.

The typical signs of scarlet are severe sore throats, fever and rash. Sometimes these symptoms are mild and rash is not noticed, so that little attention is paid to them, and sick children are permitted to mingle freely with others. This may result in exposure of this disease of susceptible children who may develop a severe case and possibly die. Since no parent would knowingly want to be responsible for such an occurrence, the best policy to follow, both for the protection of the sick child and community, is to call the family physician. His advice will help to prevent the development, so that measures can be taken to protect the other children in the community.”

In one section of the paper, which had an opinion article, “They Never Did; They Never Will Obey the Law,”

The article stemmed from the closing of two wholesale liquor houses in Fulton. It was noted that liquor sellers would never obey the law. It also stated that when the law to ban alcohol that, “… all the law-breaking was attributed to the illegal sale of liquor, and it was stressed that with liquor legalized all this would cease as if by magic.” It ended with the writer saying that because of the sale of liquor, it opens a flood gate to law violations.


November 13, 1936

That week’s issue reported three accidents, that caused injuries to some citizens of Weakley County. The first story was, “Grate Fire Victim Is in Serious Condition” where a seven-year-old girl of Martin was burned.

It was reported that the parents work and leave early before the children would go to school. While the older child was washing the dishes, the seven-year-old was dressing for school when her dress caught on fire from the grate. This caused her dress to ignite and left deep burns on her back, sides and chest. It was reported that there was little hope “entertained for her recovery.”

Another accident in Martin resulted in Dewey Akin being badly injured from a car accident. It was told that the wreck was caused because a truck had forced Akin off the road and his vehicle overturned. All others who were in the car during the accident were not injured.

“Bell Clay Company Employee is Burned,” reported Charles Higgins, who was an employee of Bell Clay Company, was in a serious condition after being burned at the clay plant in Gleason. His clothes were saturated with gasoline after it fell on him. When he stepped too close to an open flame, he was badly burned. However, his fellow co-workers stepped in to remove his clothes to prevent even harsher burns.


November 20, 1936

There were many noteworthy headlines, but one was especially notable with, “Baptists Declare War on Liquor, Movies Scored.” The article reads as follows:

“Clarksville, Tenn. – The state Baptist Convention, reviewing a variety of man’s activities ranging from war to movies called upon Tennessee Baptist to create a ‘hatred for liquor’ and to combat gambling.

In current movies, the convention, meeting in annual sessions here, saw both ‘good and evil.’ Delegates reviewed the movies and other current subject in adopting a report on temperance and social service.

“The motion picture industry is now producing a few great films,” the report said. “Some master-pieces of literature and history have been screened.

On the liquor question, the report said “persistent, prayerful and united effort among the Christians of the land” will eventually return the nation to national prohibition.”

“From many angles and in many ways,” the report continued, there is being created in the mind of our youth a fast-growing thirst for alcoholic beverages. This is no time for Christian leaders to spend their time complaining about moral conditions and wishing they were better.”

Discussing the probation phase of the report, Dr. W. F. Powell of Nashville said repeal was due to nationwide failure to “educate the public to the temperate.”

Also in this issue of the paper was the story by C. F. Powers titled, “Popular Minister Given Big Pounding”

This reported about the abundant harvest with one woman claiming she had seven cows and earned $222 worth of cream. Another part of the article reported new homes that were completed.


November 27, 1936

The week of Thanksgiving had a notable headline – “Jimmy Jones Held Up By Man-Woman in Auto Here.” Jimmy Jones, a black man, was a out delivering milk one morning when a car with a couple inside pulled beside his milk cart. The man asked Jones if they were in Dresden and before Jones could answer, the man inside the vehicle grabbed Jones’ coat while the woman looked through all of his pockets. The woman found no money. At this point, a neighbor in the area witnessed this to investigate the situation. Before the neighbor could reach Jones, the car quickly drove off. Jones was left unharmed, but very shaken.

In more lighthearted news the following was reported, “Marriage of Popular Couple on Wednesday,” which reads as follows:

“In the marriage Wednesday night of Mr. Ottis Powers and Miss Naomi Lamb, two popular families were united.

The bride and groom motored to Paris, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Kermit Rawls and Mr. and Miss Thomas Olds, where they were married by the Rev. John Powers, uncle of the groom.

Mrs. Powers is one of the teachers at the Gleason high school and is very popular with everyone. Mr. Powers has lived in Dresden for a number of years, being connected with the Cashion barber shop, and is one of the finest young men this community affords. Their many friends hope for them much happiness all during life.

They will reside at Gleason. However, Mr. Powers will continue his work there.”

In sports news, a headline read, “Believe It Or Not-Dresden Lions Win!”

“The pre-Thanksgiving game here on Wednesday between Dresden Lions and Trimble football squad resulted in a victory for the locals, the score being 26 to 6.

This was the first game the Dresden outfit has won this season, and this was also the last game for the year. Naturally, friends of the boys are patting them upon the back.”

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