Jefferson, Georgia ~ 1954
News around Jefferson . . .
A. D. Aderholt had the new Fords on display in his showroom at Jefferson Motor Company.
Miss Betty Jo Bridges, the county nurse, was chosen to head up the March of Dimes drive.
Reverend J. Franklin McKiney became the new pastor of the First Christian Church.
Hazel Walker brought her Arkansas Travelers lady basketball team to Jefferson on January 30 to take on a team of local sports citizens. Walker was purported to be the “world’s best free throw shooter.” She challenged all comers and at one stretch she hit 36 successfully during her Jefferson exhibition. Oh yes, her team beat the Jefferson team 83 - 41.
The movie hit, “War of the Worlds” with Gene Barry was shown at the Roosevelt on February 21 - 22. It was very well attended.
Bill Booth of Jackson Electric Membership Corporation was installed as President of the Jefferson Rotary Club on January 21. The Program Chairman was Southworth Bryan. The guest speaker on this night was the Honorable ninth-district representative Phil Landrum.
Coach Davis, the city recreation director, announced that a Youth Recreation Center was to be opened in Jefferson. Mr. G. T. Kesler would serve as chairman of this committee.
Former Jefferson graduate and star basketball player Jan Anderson was elected President of the College Government Associate at Georgia state College for Women at Milledgeville.
On March 11, the Morris M. Bryan Sr. Memorial Clinic opened above Memorial Stadium. Dr. J. K. Adams would serve as the Physician on Duty at the clinic.
The April 11 Jackson Herald was almost entirely dedicated to the fifteenth anniversary of Jackson Electric Membership Cooperation. The large Co-op was now in eight North Georgia Counties ~ Banks, Barrow, Gwinnet, Hall, Lumpkin, Jackson, Madison County and Clark were under the Co-op umbrella. Over 11,500 families were enjoying the benefits and comforts of J.E.M.C.
In an article by William H. Booth he stated that there were now 90% of all rural dwellings now with electricity, but the co-op would not be satisfied until everyone had electricity in their service area. He committed that all resources would be applied to make this happen.
Up until the previous year co-op refunds had been returned as a free month of service to all patrons. This year would see checks sent out to each customer in the amount of 10% of your previous year’s service charges. This was down 3.5% from 1953. T.D. (Dick) Storey, the company office manager, attributed this to principal and interest on rural electrification, Administrative, maintenance and anticipated improvements for the upcoming year.
In may, Albert Westmoreland was elected as Jefferson Police Chief when Jim Bell, who had served for seven years unexpectedly resigned.
On May 13, a sold out Jefferson High school auditorium was the scene of a “Womanless Wedding” presented by the 1954 Youth Advisory Committee. Proceeds were to go toward the purchase of equipment and supplies for the “Teen Junction” Youth Club in Jefferson and surrounding communities.
The Cast was;
Bride ~ Spud Welborn, Groom ~ Leonard Brown, Best Man ~ Rufus Hooper, Candle lighters ~ Southworth Bryan, H. T. Hogan, Grandpa ~ Hillyer Johnson, Father of the Groom ~ Boyce Hooper, Mother of the Groom ~ Coach John Davis, Children ~ The Strickland family baby, Mammy ~Garnett Spratlin, Rejected Sweetheart ~ Henry Robinson, Old Maid Aunt ~ Storey Ellington, Mother of the Bride ~ Byrd Martin, Flower Girls ~ Dan Arnold, Mac Jackson, Bridesmaids ~ Dale Burch, Tommy Bryan, John James, Billy Elder, Billy Beale, Lewis Davis, Morris Bryan, Jr., Lou Holliman, Nat Hancock, Dr. J. T. Stovall, Tabo Tolbert, Ring Bearer ~ Albert Westmoreland, Maid of Honor ~ Jack Davidson, Matron of Honor ~ Coach Carroll Bufford, Minister ~ Edmond Garrison, Trainbearers ~ Buck Marlow, G, T. Kesler, Ushers ~ Bobby Bailey, Harold Jarrett, Albert Garrison, Frank Crawford, Music ~ Clarence Strickland.
The Director of the play was Mrs. Lanis Ethridge.
Much of the discussion centered on Morris Bryan dressed as a woman. He had his usual suit coat on with an accompanying skirt. This alone was according to many in attendance was worth the price of admission.
Jefferson Mills purchased a new twin engine airplane that was to be used on sales trips around the United States.
The Roosevelt featured “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” This is one of the earliest movies I can remember attending at the Roosevelt.
Jefferson High School News . . .
Jefferson was chosen to host the boys sectional on February 18 - 20, and the district on 22 - 25.
In February the first jackets and sweaters were passed out to the Dragon lettermen for the first time. Senior jackets went to Dwight Howard, Hoke Elrod, Jerry Johnson, Bobby Davis, Bill Wilbanks, Locke Potts, and Marvin Hall. Second year letterman sweaters went to Webster Samples. Don Marlow, Charles Freeman. First year sweaters went to Robert Taylor, James Black, Burley Johnson, Allen Duffel, Wayne Wages, Eugene Doster, Bennie Tompkins and Woodrow Stewart.
Coach Billy Beale’s boys started off after Christmas with three straight wins before losing to Clayton 43 - 38. They then beat North Habersham 40 - 31 as Potts scored 9 points. Oglethorpe County blasted the Dragons 77 - 29 with Henry Cabaniss scoring 30 points for the Indians. Edwards led Jefferson with 13 points. The Boys record at this point was 6 - 4.
The boys beat Winder 64 - 48 as Elrod scored 14 points, and won a hard fought game from South Habersham 41 - 37 as Edwards went for 17 points.
On January 25 Jefferson and Commerce played in Jefferson with all proceeds going to the March of Dimes. The Dragons won easily 52 - 30 with Edwards scoring 15 points. Lawrenceville fell 37 - 35 in a thriller as Potts led the team with 12 points. The boys beat Clayton 58 - 41 with Potts scoring 17 points. Edwards had 13.
The boys had now won 11 of 12 games and were appearing very formidable. Their record at this point was 12 - 4.
A loss to South Habersham by a score of 46 - 44 and a thrilling 47 - 42 win over arch rival Braselton closed out the season for the Dragons with a 13 - 5 record as they headed into the playoffs.
The girls lost to Oglethorpe County 52 - 25 as Pam Cutts scored 9 to lead the Dragonettes. North Habersham beat them 34 - 26 with Lynn scoring 10 points. Winder rolled over Coach Nancy Carey’s Dragonettes 50 - 29 as Lynn scored 15 points. South Habersham drubbed the girls 44 - 34 despite a season high 17 points from Barbara Elrod.
Scoring after eighteen games for the boys saw:
Wilbanks - 4.8 per game, Wages - 3.5 per game, Hall - 7.7 per game, Edwards - 11.1 per game, Potts - 8.8 per game and Elrod with 7.2 per game.
The sectional tournament saw Norcross beat Commerce 55 - 33 and Jefferson pound Buford 64 - 49. In the semifinals Norcross beat Lawrenceville 46 - 44 and Jefferson, behind Edwards 21 points, won in overtime on an Edwards basket, 54 - 52.
In the Finals Jerry Edwards scored 24 points to lead Jefferson to their first basketball sectional title by a score of 63 - 47.
The District Tournament saw Jefferson beat Hiawassee 49 - 39 and Pickens County 53 - 48 before falling to a very good Cumming team 45 - 27. Jefferson would make their first appearance at the State Tournament as the Region runner-up.
The Braselton team won the Sectional and the District and advanced to the state tournament in Macon.
Members of that team were: Roy McNeal, Donald Loggins, Clarence Tullis, Howard Cooper and Myron Stephens as starters with J.C. Maddox, Ross Wilson, Roy Martin, Richard Davenport and Weldon Tanner completing the team.
At the state the Dragons represented the school and their city well as they won over Sandersville 61 - 53 with Edwards scoring 19 and Elrod adding 14. A crushing defeat to Wrightsville 66 - 51 closed out their dream season. Elrod scored 16 to pace the team in the final game of the season for the Dragons.
The Jefferson Boys B-Team played 11 games, finishing out the season with a 6 - 5 record. Members of the team and their final scoring average were;
Webster Samples - 10.81 per game, Bennie Tompkins - 5.54 per game, Dale Murphy - 4.18 per game. Hale Duke - 4.72 per game, Ed Stancil - 4.36 per game, “Ace” Adams - 2.36 per game and Charles Gilbert - 1.00 per game.
In April the Dragons won their first tri-meet of the track season. They scored 95 points while Commerce scored 66 and Gainesville 25 at the Jefferson track.
Billy Taylor set a new school High Hurdle mark of 18.0. Don Cole also set a new record with a 10.0 ~ 100 yard dash time. Gus Johnson ran a 5.27 mile and Benny Tompkins won the 440 in 57.0. Marvin hall ran 23.0 in the low hurdles while Cole turned in another victory with 24.5 in the 220 yard dash. He also won the broad jump with an under-par for him 18’9".
The Dragons won the District track title with 50 points. Commerce had 50 to finish as runnerup.
In the District Cole won the 100 in 10.3, the 220 in 23.6 and the broad jump in 20’8”. Hall won the 180 yard hurdles in 22.8 and Benny Tompkins won the 440 in 55.8.
At the Jefferson Sports Honor Day Banquet in mid-May, Pam Cutts was named as Most Valuable Player for the Girls basketball team. Hoke Elrod won the award for the boys. Baseball saw Marvin Hall named Most Valuable, while Don Cole won the Track award.
The Jefferson High school Graduation was on May 31.
Those graduates were;
Martha Jean Adams, Milton Archer, John Bell, Terrell Benton, Jr., Ray Black, Donald Cole, Margaret Crowe, Pam Cutts, Bobby Davis, Charles Davis, Shirley Davis, Claire Elrod, Jimmy Fields, Jerome Fleeman, Bader Giles, Lewis Gooch, Marvin Hall, Shirley Harris, Beverly James, Gewn James, William Legg, Annie Jane Lynn, Dwight Howard, Jimmy McMullan, Jackie Marlow, Clyde Martin, Johnnie Martin, Bobby Nash, Alma Parks,
Grace Porter, Locke Potts, Helen Rainwater, Charlotte Ray, Lou Richey, Jimmy Sailors, Carolyn Shirley, Shirley Simmons, Martha Joe Smith, Billy Spratlin, Kathie Standridge, Geneva Stepp, Caroline Storey, Lucinda Strickland, Billy Taylor, Carolyn Weir, Billy Wilbanks, Helen Williams, Joyce Williamson, and Tom Williamson.
Coach Billy Beale resigned to accept a coaching position with Gainesville. His replacement was Coach Fred McManus. He would serve as assistant football coach, head basketball coach of the boys and girls and head baseball coach.
Coach Beale would later become the Head football coach at Evans, Southwest Macon and Aquinas. His teams won 47 games and lost 75 with 5 ties.
The 1954 Jefferson Dragon Football team and results;
RE - Woodrow Stewart, RT - Webster Samples, RG - Charlie Freeman, C - Bucky Johnson, LG - Dan Hutchins, LT - Gilmer Glenn, LE - James Black, QB - Wayne Wages, RHB - Ed Stancil, LHB - Donald Marlow, FB - Benny Tompkins
The Dragons concluded a very good 8 - 2 - 1 season. The football future looked bright for the Jefferson program.
Award winners in football were; Woodrow Stewart - Most Valuable Player, Dan Hutchins - Best Defensive Player, and Webster Samples Best Blocker.
The Dragon B-Team had a season record of 3 wins and 3 defeats.
Members of the B-Team were: Ends - Thomas Anglin, Al Venable, Dennis Simmons and James Wood, Tackles, Kenneth Samples, Franklin Wilkes, Jeff Yarborough, Johnny Thomas, Billy wood, Guards - Ed Powell, Albert Logan, Tyrone Taylor, Bobby Veal, Ronald Woodall, QB - Daniel Gasaway, LHB - Buddy Tolbert, Lamar Purcell, Bobby Pethel, RHB - John Kesler, Brain Duke, Larry Wood, FB -Larry Bullock, Dickie Fleeman.
The 1954 - 55 Jefferson boys basketball team consisted of; Bucky Johnson, Wayne Wages, Hershel Middlebrooks, Tommy Henderson, Jerry Edwards, Webster Samples, Benny Tompkins, Dan Hutchins, and Howard Langford.
Not too much was made of it when the Dragons won their first four games before Christmas. They had back the talented Jerry Edwards, who was expected to be one of the better players in not only North Georgia, but the state of Georgia. Edwards stood at 6’6” and was a tremendous force inside on defense. He also had good quickness and was a good leaper. Despite losing four starters from their state participation team, the Dragons were expected to be very good.
Before Christmas the boys beat Rabun County 65 - 42, and Stephens County 70 - 47 with Edwards scoring 23 points. Oglethorpe County fell 51 - 33. North Habersham was beaten 54 - 39 and South Habersham fell 58 - 42. The boys first loss was to Cumming 56 - 49. They would defeat them later in the season.
At the Christmas break the boys stood at 8 wins and 1 loss.
While the boys were enjoying great success the Dragonettes were struggling to put points in the board. They started the season off with losses at Rabun county 39 - 19, Stephens County 36 - 23 and Oglethorpe County 39 - 27. Lilly Murphy and Jackie Wilson led the team in scoring in most games. Their first victory was over Commerce - 46 - 8.
The girls concluded their post Christmas schedule with a 1 - 8 record.
Lillie Murphy had averaged around 12 points per game, Linda Meade 7 points and Freshman Reba Ricks 5 per game.
Other Sports News . . .
A Championship league was started in basketball with the games free to the public on Wednesday night at the community gym. Teams were Jefferson Mills, Stell Photo, Commerce Vets, Victrum Athletic Club and the Winder Engineers.
Jefferson Mills opened the season with a win over Victrum athletic Club 33 - 29 as Charles Middlebrooks scored 11 points to lead the locals.
The Jefferson recreation league started up strong with an 18 under girls league featuring the Ramblers captained by Doris Skelton, the Glamazons with Captain Junan Davis, the Dragnetts led by Linda Holder, and the Rebels captained by Martha Langford. The Glamazons would win the league title.
The boys 18 and under teams were; the Possums captained by Hale Duke. Billy Ricks was the team’s leading scorer. The Devils captained by James Black, the Sneakers captained by Billy Taylor, and the Lakers, captained by Grady McDonald. The Possums would win the league title.
The Boys under 14 teams were; the Stingerees captained by Jeff Davis, the Blue Cats, captained Dan Truluck, the Rebels captained by Don Truluck and the Giants, captained by Dickie Storey. The Stingerees, led by Charles Gilbert, went undefeated to win the league title.
A church and civic league was started on Thursday night for ages 6 to 90 according to Coach Davis. They would put together four teams that would play four games during their season.
Jefferson Day Camp started on June 21 and would end on July 30.
The Day Camp Staff senior staff was; Coach Carroll Bufford, Coach John Davis, Jack Purcell, Billy Sailors, Ethyl Martin, Nita Stevens, Jean Ash and Mrs. R. S. Rogers . Junior staff members were; Don Cole, Junan Davis, Robert Taylor, Patricia Venable and Caroline Storey.
Campers of the Year were Reba Ricks and Jeff Davis. Reba was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Ricks. Both were long time employees of Jefferson Mills. Reba had two brothers, Billy and Tommy and a sister, Brenda.
On July 1, it was announced that Jefferson Mills would sponsor a colored basketball team to play other teams throughout North Georgia. Member of the Jefferson team were; Talmadge Davenport, Lawrence Stevens, Edward Carithers, Paul Carithers, John Lay, Fred Wilson, J. R. Kidd, Cal Newton, Ralph Hughey and Dolphus Carithers. Their home field would be the Jefferson Junior League Field.
Continue to: Jefferson Archives