Jefferson, Georgia ~ 1947
1947 - Football comes to Jefferson
News around town . . .
In the January 2 edition of the Jackson Herald Mr. J. L. McMullan, a member of the Jefferson Civic Improvement Club and an agriculture teacher at Jefferson High school made the comment that ~ “Football, The All-American Sport will come to Jefferson High school in the fall.” This was after final approval by the State High School Authorities Football committee.
Members of the city football committee were the chairman of the City Improvement Club; Southworth Bryan, Mr. McMullan representing Jefferson High school, and Britt Elrod, Clifford and Garnett Spratlin representing the City Improvement Club membership. They would seek donations for operating expense and uniforms, equipment, etc.
The Jefferson Community Civic Club sponsored an open house at Jefferson High School on Friday January 18 with 63 Jefferson citizens touring the new school. It was conducted at 5:00 p.m. where afterward guests were served the same meal the school kids had for lunch that day. The meal consisted of fish croquets, mashed Potatoes, lettuce-tomato salad, corn bread, a cookie and Milk. The tour required a $ 1.00 donation that went to the football team fund.
G.T. Kesler bought Massey’s Food Store on Feb. 20, 1947 ~ It would become Kesler’s Super Market. In July of 1947 you could purchase at Kesler’s Supermarket:
Grapefruit Juice - 46 oz can ~ $ 0.15 each
Potted Meat # ¼ can ~ $ 0.15 each
Van Camps Pork and Beans ~ 2 cans for $ 0.35
Stokley’s Catchup ! 14 oz. Bottle ~ 2 for $ 0.45
Maxwell House Coffee ~ one pound pack ~ $ 0.41 per pack
Fruit Jars ( small ) ~ 12 for $ 0.75
Fruit Jars ( Quart ) ~ 12 for $ 0.89
Fruit jar tops ~ $ 0.25 per dozen
Blackeyed peas ~ 1 pound ~ $ 0.25
Raisens ~ 1 pound pack - $ 0.10
Milk - Large can - Pet - 3 for $ 0.37
Lima Beans - 2 cans for $ 0.25
Heinz Tomato Soup ~ 3 cans for $ 0.35
Grapes ~ 2 pounds ~ $ 0.25
Potatoes - 10 pounds - $ 0.45
Cabbage - 1 pound - $ 0.07
On February 14 - 15, Walt Disney’s “Song of the South” appeared at the Roosevelt theater. The family movie saw long lines into the theater during both nights.
A telegraph service was installed at the Joy Theater in May of 1947. On August 7 the theater was leased to Roy Martin for 5 years. Two weeks later Nat Hancock would sub-lease the Joy and serve as proprietor of both Jefferson movie houses. By December 25 ~ The Joy was down to one show on Friday and Saturday only.
On September 18 ~ Hank Henry and the Cowboys appeared at the Joy. The Nashville singing group was a big success and paved the way for other live stage shows at the Joy Theater.
The first Dixie Jamboree appearance was in Jefferson at the high school auditorium on May 2. They continued to tour Jackson County with shows in Commerce, Nicholson and Maysville. An encore at Jefferson in August was followed by shows in Gainesville and at several churches in the Northeast Georgia area.
Marlow’s Café celebrated it’s one year anniversary on Oct. 28 - It had opened in 1946.
The first bale of cotton in the county sold for $ 0.34 per pound . It was sold by Joseph and Jimmy Johnson to James Carter of Carter’s Bonded Warehouse. It weighed 520 pounds. It was four days later than the first bale sold the previous year.
The decision was made to open the canning plant on Tuesday and Thursday on September 9. Daniel E. Cochran was the Director. He was the Vo-Ag teacher at JHS.
Ernest Anderson Electrical Service was opened in the basement of the Maddox Building behind the Roosevelt Theater on July 16.
On June 1, General Jonathan Wainwright, the “Hero of Bataan” left Gainesville bound for Macon, Georgia. His itinerary include a stop at just inside the Jefferson City Limits in front of Jefferson High school. He was met by Albert Gordon American Legion Post 56 members and presented a document of appreciation. Colonel Damon Lance Gause served under General Wainwright’s command on Corregidor . A seven year-old Damon Lance Gause II presented him with a flower honoring all that had perished in the war. General Wainwright arrived about 15 minutes early and many who wanted to pay tribute did not have the opportunity to view him.
In September of 1940, General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright was promoted to temporary Major General. He returned to the Philippines to take command of the Philippine Division. As the senior field commander of United States and Filipino forces under General Douglas MacArthur, he had tactical responsibility for resisting the Japanese invasion that began in late December 1941. Pushed back from beachheads in Lingayen Gulf, his Philippine forces withdrew onto the Bataan Peninsula early in January 1942, where they occupied well prepared defensive positions and commanded the entrance to Manila Bay. In throwing back a major Japanese assault in January the defenders earned the name of "battling bastards of Bataan." When McArthur was ordered off Bataan in March 1942, Wainwright, promoted to temporary Lieutenant General, succeeded to command of US Army Forces in the Far East, a command immediately afterward redesignated US Forces in the Philippines. The Japanese attacks resumed in earnest in April.
A Small core of the now starving, ill and unsupplied garrison pulled farther back onto the island fortress of Corregidor, leaving 70,000 defenders on Bataan to surrender on April 9th. The Japanese gained a foothold on Corregidor on May 5th against a furious defense, and the next day he was forced to surrender the 3500 men on the island. Under orders that he was forced to broadcast, local commanders elsewhere in the Philippines surrendered one by one, and on June 9th the US command in the Philippines ceased to exist.
He was then held in prison camps in northern Luzon, Formosa, and Manchuria until he was liberated by Russian troops in August 1945. After witnessing the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2nd, he returned to the Philippines to receive the surrender of the local Japanese commander. A hero's welcome in the United States was accompanied by promotion to General and the awarding of the Medal of Honor. "Memoir, General Wainwright's Story," was published in 1945.
The Chairman of the American Legion was Jimmy Johnson. Byrd Martin served as Adjutant Chairman with the War Team consisting of: Foster Eckles, Claude Robison, Hubert Martin, H. C. Aderholt, Thurmond Griffith, Guy Wilson, Martin Davenport, Douglas Walker, John Miller, O. L. Singletary, Ralph Lott, Dr. M. T. Pirkle, Hugh Crooks, H. W. Kizer, Y. D. Maddox, Curt Anderson, Sanford Boswell, Henry Robinson, Charles Cuttlett, Talmadge Williamson, Horace Singletary, Edmond Garrison, Morris Bryan, Morris Bryan, Jr., Southwoth Bryan, Billy White, Tabo Tolbert, Howard Bridges, Lamar Murphy, Herman DelaPerriere, Wyatt Williamson, Bill Cutts, T. Dickson Storey, Britt Elrod, Jimmy Tompkins, Stan Escoe, John Godfrey, Curtis Mize, Ralph Banks, Jess Murphy, Charles Murphy, Claude Moore, Bobby wilkins, Walter Martin, and Dorsey Bell Ray.
Jefferson High School News . . .
The 1946-47Jefferson High boys basketball team closed with a record of 14 wins and 12 losses. Gene Varnum scored 312 points while “Tickler” Wilbanks scored 261 points for the year.
The girls won 16 games with 8 losses. Jean Ash scored 350 points for Jefferson High School. It was considered a successful year as both teams were able to beat arch-rival Commerce at least once during the season.
Just as Mr. J. L. McMullan had prophesized back in January, football did come to Jefferson High School.
On March 6, Southworth Bryan, Chairman of the Jefferson football committee for the Community Civic Club ordered 35 football pants, 30 shoulder pads, 30 hip pads, shoes, jerseys and helmets for the football team. He stated he would add equipment as needed during the season.
The football cheerleaders were: Betty Roberts, Jean Ash, Bobbie Dozier, Jane Hendrix, Nelle Tolbert, Imogene Westmoreland, Billy Bard and Louis Toney.
Contrary to what may be believed, the Jefferson team was never named the Mud Turtles. During their 1947 initial season Jefferson played four of their regular season games in driving rains or on an extremely wet playing field. Jackson Herald beat writer Jimmy Williams referred to them as a "bunch of mud turtles."
When the 1948 season saw several early games played in horrible, wet conditions, Williams began to call the team the "Mud Turtles" in his weekly Jackson Herald game recaps. Coach Snyder did not like the name, he felt it implied weakness and slowness. He preferred to call them the "Locals" or "Local Team" but Williams persisted in calling them the Mud Turtles so the Jefferson fans picked up on that name. In 1949 the team officially became the Dragons after a contest at the school saw the name "Dragons" Submitted by 9th grade student Joyce Venable and 12th grade student Virginia Payne. They won a prize of $ 2.50 each for submitting the winning name "Dragons" to the school contest.
May 26, 1947 saw the first class to graduate from the new Jefferson High School. These graduate were; Jane Adams, Emily Aderholt, Shirley Allen, Harold Dean Archer, Katie Archer, Donald Barnett, Donnie Beatty, Tommie Bell, Carol Dean Berryman, Agnes Black, Barbara Blackstock, Billy Bryan, Betty Jean Carlyle, J. D. Culpepper, Dean Dadisman, Marilyn Doster, Martha Dowdy, Joyce Elder, Lloyd Garrison, Betty Hancock, Amy Highfield, Doris Howard, Barbara Johnson, Lanelle Lyle, Sara Nabors, Hazel Whitlock, Betty Nunn, Ruby Parks, Monroe Payne, Margaret Perry, Grace Phillips, Ellis Redd, Ben Smith, Elizabeth Thompson, Alline Satterfield, Rebecca Tolbert, Pete Usher, Carol Jean Vandiver, Eugene Varnum, Betty Jo Venable, Allene Watkins, Ellie Weir, Austin whitlock, Wilson Wilbanks, and Paul Wilson.
A Tuition cost to attend Jefferson High school for out of district students was established at $ 3.00 annually per student.
The City School Superintendent in 1947 was A.W. Ash.
The County School Superintendent was Terrell T. Benton.
Sports in General . . .
The Albert Gordon American Legion Basketball Team finished with a record of 14 - 8. Henry Robinson scored 267 points during the season. Howard Bridges scored 244 for the Legion team.
It would be announced in early June that Jefferson Mills would again sponsor a baseball team for summer play.
The 1947 college football season finished with Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State all unbeaten and untied, but the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame were the first place choice for 107 of the 142 voters in the AP writers poll, and repeated as national champions. Michigan went on to meet USC in the Rose Bowl and won 49-0, while Penn State was tied 13-13 by SMU in the Cotton Bowl. Notre Dame didn’t participate in the postseason.
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