BITS AND PIECES FROM 1946 JEFFERSON

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 MUSING WITH CECIL BUFFINGTON

Bits And Pieces Around Jefferson In 1946 

In early March of 1946, 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.

Upon reading of this old-time ordinance it struck a note with me, in that, my grandmother seemed to always have a pig that she was growing out.  She would later fill a freezer she had bought just for that purpose. I would feed the pig and watch it grow as the days and weeks went by. I always regretted that the day would come when that pig would become large enough to be slaughtered and become food for the upcoming year at the Bennett household.

I wonder if that city ordinance is still on the books . . . 

On April 25th, Jefferson Motor Company moved to their Lee Street address where they still operate from to this day.

While I never knew the owner,  Mr. Aderholt, I was a long-time friend with Mr. Bobby Bailey, his son and the owner throughout my teen years in Jefferson.

On June 13th, 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 several hundred Mill Whistle newsletters in my lifetime. I still have a collection of about 30 of the Mill Whistles from the fifties, sixties and seventies. I got to know a great deal about mill happenings by reading this newsletter. Early on, Bob Freeman did 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 were many mornings I was awakened by the sound of the mill whistle. It was a fixture while in school every day at 2:00 p.m. The whistle stopped blowing somewhere around the early seventies. A tradition passed that had added to the quaintness of small town Jefferson.

At a Jefferson Mills bar-b-que on July 18th, 1946, 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. Mrs. Sheridan operated a small florist shop just off the highway in front of their Porterville home.

The Jefferson Canning Plant opened its doors on June 18th 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, and fly spray. The patron furnished the; salt/pepper, knives, pans, and 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 the 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 that would come by the canning plant and inspect it every day before its opening for cleanliness and sanitation. The canning plant was located right above where Jefferson Motor Company is located today. My memories of this hot and steamy building are firmly implanted in my mind. I spent a week just about every summer when I was 6 to 10 years old watching my grandmother canning vegetables for five or six hours every day. It was a part of my life just as starting to school every September was.

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.

I can't remember anything about the Joy Theater. I have been told it was much nicer than the popular Roosevelt Theater. It just never gained the popularity of the quaint little building down behind the "Slick" Rankin Service Station. The Joy Theater would close shortly before my entering the first grade in 1951.

Now the Roosevelt Theater was another story. I think I spent most of the Saturday afternoons of my early youth in this long downward sloping building. I can never forget those days of watching Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Zorro's Fighting Legion and all the wonderful movies that were popular at the time. The building still stands in Jefferson, but is now an insurance building. It appears far too small to have once held scores of kids and adults on those all day Saturday adventures into downtown Jefferson. On September 18 - 19 at the Roosevelt Theater - the controversial Howard Hughes 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. Non-whites would sit in the balcony at the Roosevelt theater. I never knew of or heard of any racial issues coming up from this Roosevelt Theater policy.

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 in 1946

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 featured many Jefferson teacher icons.

Many of these teachers would make careers of teaching the children of Jefferson. Mrs. Mabel Matheson ~ 1st Grade, Mrs. Sara Gurley ~ 1st Grade ( Mrs. Gurley was my second grade teacher. ), Mrs. Elizabeth Moore ~ 2nd grade.( Mrs. Moore was my first grade teacher. ), Mrs. Emma Nelle Spratlin ~ 2nd Grade, Miss Frances Roberts ~ 3rd grade, Mrs. Stella Ash ~ 3rd Grade, Miss Hilda Tonge ~ 4th grade, Mrs. Miriam Moon ~ 4th and 5th grade, ( Mrs. Moon was the high school liberian during my high school years of 1961 - 1964 ), Miss Annie Roberts ~ 5th Grade, Mrs. Doris Turner - 6th Grade, ( Mrs, Turner was my third grade teacher ), Mrs. C. T. ( Mabel ) Potter ~ 6th grade. ( Mrs. Potter taught me economics my senior year at Jefferson High School ), Miss Frances Smith ~ 7th Grade, ( I had Miss Smith for Study Hall my senior year ), Miss Irene Rankin ~ 7th Grade.

I, of course, heard of all the eccentricities attributed to Miss Rankin. She was extremely religious, taught the Lord's Prayer to all her students, taught the Pledge of Allegiance, the words to the national anthem, hugged her students as they left for break, read bible verses to her students and required every student to say "yes ma'am." I don't and didn't at the time see a problem with any of these things she said, did or required. She was a bigger than life person that was the face of Jefferson High School in the fifties.

High School teachers 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 hopefully, a kinder, more gentle way of life.

Click on photo's to enlarge . . .

The 1952 Jefferson Dragons prepare to open the football season against Clarkston.

My aunt and uncle Nell and Ray Williamson receive recognition for their purchase of U.S. Savings Bonds from Jefferson Mills.

The Mill Whistle - June 30, 1950 edition.

The February 13, 1953 Mill whistle features two very good photos of Jefferson Mills on the front page.

July 1949 photo of my lovely aunt, Nell Williamson and my uncle Ray Williamson.

Caution:  Be careful about your pig pen's in Jefferson.  That pig pen ordinance from 1946 might still be on the books.