Jefferson, Georgia ~ 1946
1946 - After the War
Around Jefferson . . .
The war may have ended, but it was obvious to the people of Jefferson the consequences of that great war would remain for a long time.
In the January 3 edition of the Jackson Herald it was announced that the nations sugar supply was down 16% from the previous year. Sugar must continue to be rationed. The old sugar stamp - Number 38 was no longer valid after December 31, 1945. Number 39 now had to be presented to acquire the five pound ration of sugar. The new stamp would be good through April 30, 1946.
The army had backed off on selective service placement to a great extent, but still required the registration of young men between the ages of 18 and 25.
A drive to recruit showed Army pay and eventual retirement figures as an enticement to young recruits. A master Sergeant would receive $ 138.00 per month with an $ 89.00 retirement after 20 years. $ 155.00 after 30 years. The lowest rung of the ranks - private would receive a rate of $ 50.00 per month with a retirement of $ 38.50 per month after 20 years. $ 60.75 after 30 years.
The minimum wage had risen to $0.40 per hour in October of 1945. This was $ 16.00 per 40 hour week. $ 64.00 per month.
There was not a great deal of monetary incentive to drive a military career at the enlisted level.
More and more ads began to appear in the Jackson Herald and Atlanta newspaper seeking employees.
Carwood Manufacturing of Winder wanted to pay 75 experienced workers $ 0.50 per hour. Jefferson Mills added equipment to increase production by 15% and add 10 to 12 employees. Pulpwood cutting was becoming a big attraction to the young unemployed worker with starting rates of $ 0.55 to $ 0.65 per hour. Victory Pulpwood Company , the 6th largest such company in the world enlisted the aid of a Jefferson committee consisting of J.T. Flannigan, J.N. Holder, W.D. Holliday, J.H. Kinney and R.L. McElhannon to actively recruit Jefferson and the north Georgia area.
The Jefferson farm scene continued to branch out with expanded cotton production after several years of down production. The 1945 cotton crop in Georgia saw 665,000 bales, down 19% from 1944. The most ever produced in Georgia was 2, 769 bales in 1911.
Some of the most prominent Jefferson farmers were Ben Wright, G.N. Breazeale, Storey Porter, Jimmy Johnson and M.L. Brooks.
Morris Bryan, Jr. . . .
On January 18 in the Jackson Herald it was announced that Lt. Colonel Morris Bryan, Jr. had returned to Jefferson. He and wife Eileen had arrived from England and were staying at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Bryan, Sr.
The younger Bryan had married the former Eileen Margaret Hennbey in Christ Church in Cheltenham, England.
It was stated that Colonel Bryan had been stationed overseas for three and one-half years. He was a recipient of the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star medals.
Morris Bryan, Jr. was a graduate of McCallie School of Technology in Tennessee and the Georgia School of Technology in Atlanta. He had plans to enter business with his father who is President and Treasurer of Jefferson Mills.
It didn’t take long for Morris Bryan, Jr. to move into Jefferson social activities. He joined the Rotary in March and became a member of the new Jefferson Community Improvement Club. The club received its charter on April 11. Bryan was elected by the 44 member club as its president shortly thereafter. The Morris Bryan, Jr. era was underway.
The Jefferson Community Improvement Club was chartered with three primary objectives. Number one was to maintain mutual cooperation to obtain maximum pride and high community spirit. Number two was to undertake projects that will be beneficial to the city of Jefferson. Number three was to promote social activities within the community.
Bryan quickly steered the club toward city improvements by designation of various committee chairmen. Clyde Boggs headed up the Jefferson park cleanup program. T. Dickson Storey directed the Jefferson parking lot cleanup group. Rufus Hooper was in charge of the trash can implementation project. This program was designed to place trash cans at needed intervals within the city to keep Jefferson litter free. Nat Hancock was the chairman of the inter-city cleanup committee. He was responsible for seeing that downtown Jefferson remained litter free. Britt Elrod headed up the traffic safety committee, while Bud Wilbanks was in charge of the street marking team.
Perhaps the greatest projects for the club was the “Dixie Jamboree” tour group and the organization of the Jefferson High School football program. Members of this group were: Chorus ~ Carol Hancock, Eileen Bryan, Claire Hooper, Annie Lou Kinney, Annelle Hogan, Joyce Ethridge, Frances Melvin, Lavenia weir, Grace Yonce, and Joan Tompkins. The pianist was Miss Mabeth Storey, soloist was Mrs. R.D. Gasaway. Bill Booth served as interlocuador. End vocalists were Lauren McDonald of Commerce, Richard Nix, Hardman James, and Bill Cutts.
The group would perform at Jefferson High School on several occasions and travel to Commerce, Nicholson and various churches in North Georgia. All proceeds went for travel expense and to the upcoming Jefferson football program.
Jefferson Mills ( Morris Bryan and Morris Bryan, Jr. ) provided advertising and both were in attendance at all performances.
Young Bryan had been an excellent high hurdler during his Georgia Tech years. He was to become the “Father” of the Georgia High School Olympics in the late seventies. I can remember him visiting track practice while I was on the Jefferson track team in the mid-sixties. He was an ardent track and field fan.
Morris Bryan, Jr. had placed his stamp on the Jefferson Football and athletic program early on. It would grow to fruitfulness under his watchful eye.
More around town . . .
In early March an ordinance was passed on having pigs in the city of Jefferson. First you had to have a license , then you had to have them far enough away from your neighbors so that they did not create a noise or odor nuisance and finally you had to have boarded floors in the pens.
On March 15, Hoyt and Lucille Buffington gave birth to a strapping 8- pound baby boy in a small white house in the small Jefferson community of Porterville. He was born at 5:47 a.m. They named him Cecil Alan. Thus it began for me on that cold, wintry Sunday morning.
On April 25 Jefferson Motor Company moved to their Lee Street address where they still operate from to this day.
On June 13 it was announced that Jefferson Mills would publish a weekly newsletter for its employees and Mill Village community. It was to later be named the Mill whistle.
I must have read a hundred Mill whistle newsletters in my lifetime. I got to know a great deal about mill happenings by reading this newsletter. Bob Freeman did most of the photography for the paper while Virgil Adams served as editor.
The newsletter got its name from the actual mill whistle that blew every day at shifts startup/end. Jefferson Mills had three shifts. They ran from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. ( 1st Shift ) 2:00.p.m. until 10:00 p.m. ( 2nd shift ) and 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. ( 3rd shift ).
There was many a morning I was awaken by the sound of the mill whistle. It was a fixture while in school every day at 2:00 p.m. The whistle died somewhere around the early 70s. A tradition passed that added to the quaintness of small town Jefferson.
At a Jefferson Mill Bar-B-Que on July 18, Mr. Marvin Sheridan, one of my Porterville neighbors, received a 30 year award from Mr. Bryan. It was the Jefferson Mills 15 year anniversary celebration.
The Jefferson Canning Plant Opened its doors on June 18 in 1946.J.L. McMullan, an Agriculture teacher at Jefferson High School was to serve as the director. The plant opened on Wednesday; From 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
The plant furnished the following items:
Cans ~ Electricity ~ Fuel ~ Building ~ equipment ~ water ~ Washing soap ~ Fly Spray
The Patron furnished the: Salt/Pepper ~ Knives, pans, after use cleanup
Can cost for Fruits and Vegetables were;
Plain # 2 can ~ $ 0.4 ½ per can
Plain # 3 can ~ $ 0.5 ½ per can
Enamel cans # 2 - $ 0.5 per can
Enamel cans # 3 - $ 0.6 per can
When cans were furnished by patron the cost was $ 0.2 per can
For meats # 2 cans furnished by the plant were $ 0.5 each
For meats # 3 cans furnished by the plant were $ 0.6 each
John Anderson was the County Extension Agent
The Joy Theater opening day was announced as July 18, 1946. Its Theater Grand Opening was Friday August 30 - 1946 at 5:00 p.m.
“God’s Country” with Robert Lowrey and Helen Gilbert was the first movie shown at the theater.
O.L. and H.K. Singletary were the owners of the Joy Theater.
On September 18 - 19 at the Roosevelt Theater - The Controversial Howard Hugh’s classic featuring Jane Russell - “The Outlaws” was shown to overflow audiences as patrons from Winder, Commerce, Gainesville and other surrounding cities flocked to Jefferson to see the movie.
The colored sat in the balcony at the Roosevelt theater.
In June, the Jefferson Selective Service Board received commendations from the State Department for its role in providing quotas to the armed forces in 1945. The board consisted of H.E. Aderhold, H. F. Bray and Lloyd Lott. The appeals officer was Mr. H.W. Davis.
Jefferson High School News . . .
On March 15 in the Jefferson High School cafeteria a banquet was held for the basketball teams. Coach T. H. Riden presented gold basketballs to the top seven players on both girls and boys teams.
The first new school Jefferson faculty starting in September of 1946
Mabel Matheson ~ 1st Grade
Sara Gurley ~ 1st Grade
Elizabeth Moore ~ 2nd grade
Mrs, Emma Nelle Spratlin ~ 2nd Grade
Miss Frances Roberts ~ 3rd grade
Mrs. Stell Ash ~ 3rd Grade
Hilda Tonge ~ 4th grade
Mrs. Miriam Moon ~ 4th and 5th grade
Miss Annie Roberts ~ 5th Grade
Mrs. Doris Turner - 6th Grade
Mrs. C.T. ( Mabel ) Potter ~ 6th grade
Miss Frances Smith ~ 7th Grade
Miss Irene Rankin ~ 7th Grade
High School teacher were;
Mrs. Helen Britt, G.E. Elrod, Mrs. Mildred Murphy, Mrs. Elizabeth McFall, Mr. J.L. McMullan, Miss Cathryn Mobley, Miss Mabeth Storey, Miss Montine Head, and Superintendent A.W. Ash
In September of 1946 the new era of Jefferson High school started. Post war Jefferson was on the way back to a kinder, more gentle way of life.
The Sports Scene . . .
In May it was announced that Baseball was returning to the Northeast Georgia area. Jefferson Mills had entered a team in the Georgia - Carolina Industrial Baseball League. Teams involved were Chicopee, Chicopee Mills, Perelot Manufacturing Company of Greenville, S.C., Owen-Washburn of Gainesville, Jefferson Mills, Habersham Mills, Latourneu Manufacturing Company of Toccoa, and Oconee Mills. Each Team would play 28 games. Jefferson Mills won the regular season title with a 19 - 8 record and lost a 4 of 7 series to second place Habersham 4 games to 2 in the playoffs.
The 1946 college football season finished with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame crowned as the national champion, with the United States Military Academy the runner up. The two teams had won all of their games, with the exception of their November 9 meeting at New York’s Yankee Stadium, where they had played to a 0-0 tie.
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