Jefferson, Georgia ~ 1959
News around Jefferson . . .
In April, Governor Ernest Vandiver and State Highway Board member Willis N. Harden lent their support to what was to be known as “the lower route” for Interstate Highway 85. This location would bring the highway directly through Jackson County at Braselton, between Jefferson and Pendergrass and near Commerce. Its extension to the South Carolina line would bring it near Lavonia and Royston. Support of these two state leaders was looked upon as apparent approval for the lower route location.
In May a FIRST BIRTHDAY celebration was held for the new Jefferson Brownie Scout Troop 53. Participating in the event were Barbara Roberts, Linda Davidson, Carolyn Harbin, Chris Garrison, Linda Kinsey, Sharon Nelms, Jean Stephens, Teresa Daves, Patsy Bryant, Angie Jarrett, Phillis Webb, Melody Carithers, Joan Moore, Paula Adams, Elaine Simmons, Mary Sue Standridge, Diane Everette, Rita Benson, Sandra Knight, Samatha Pleas, Taffey Jo Griffeth, Peggy Jean Hoard, Susan Robinson, Kathleen Bryan and Shirley Johnson.
The Jefferson High School Faculty consisted of Dr. Dan Cagle, J. L. McMullan and A. W. Ash in administrative positions with first grade teachers Mary Lou Dadisman, Sara Gurley and Roberta Miller. Second grade teachers were Joyce Crosby, Emma Nell Spratlin, and Sara Mears. Third Grade saw Gloria Frederick, Frances Roberts and Shirley McCorkle. Fourth Grade teachers were Wayne Adams, and Hilda Tonge. Fifth Grade teachers were Cathryn Mobley and Annie Roberts. Sixth grade teachers were Burnice Adams, Stella Ash, and Laurie Boggs. Seventh Grade saw Irene Rankin and Frances Smith as teachers.
High School teachers were Martha Jo Blackstock; High School Math, Guy Butler; Band, Suzanne Chambers; Science, Louise Cox; Spanish, John W. Davis; Physical Education, Jerrye Dunahoo; Home Economics, Fred Herren; Science, Miriam Moon; Librarian, Lounette Shrigley; Commercial, Viola Turpen; English, Gilbert Underwood; Agriculture, and Sarah Whittimore; Social Studies.
The 1959 graduating class at Jefferson High School was;
James Aaron, Janice Ayers, Beverly Benton, Lynn Brothers, Harold Butler, Tommy Carithers, Mary Grace Curruth, Billy Crowe, Bennie Davis, Beverly Davis, Gary Duke, Hillyer Duke, Larry Edwards, Sandra Evans, Wayne Foster, Sara Jean Freeman, Amy Hargravo, Janice Hargrave, Edwin Herman, Thomas Herman, Ann Hays, Barbara Head, Peggy Howington, Iris Hunter, Jane Jones, Valerie Jones, John Kesler, James Mauldin, Ginger McClure, Carolyn Mize, Kenneth Mize, Jack Nix, Willie Parks, Talmadge Perry, Beth Pierce, Brenda Porter, Jimmy Pruitt, Marilyn ray, Dawn Silman, Tyrone Taylor, Jane Venable, Linda Voyles, Wilma Watson, Jo Anne Whitmire, Henley Wilkes, Faye Wright, Tommy Wright, and Jackie Brooks Marlowe.
In July, James “Rocky” Rothschild confessed to the murder of Charlie Drake setting off a chain reaction that would eventually free James Fulton Foster.
Dr. Dan Cagle came to Jefferson to serve as the High school Superintendent.
Mrs. Leola Buffington was killed in a car wreck behind Jefferson High School.
Jefferson High school News . . .
1959 Jefferson Cheerleaders;
Lollie Ann Huff, Alice Gilbert, Brenda Samples, Brenda Ricks, Jane Blackstock, Betty Berryman, Ellen Hall and Judy Burch.
Brenda Samples, Brenda Ricks, Noreen Botelho, Lilly Scroggins, Jennie Lou Pethel, Ellen Hall, Pat Silman, Jane Melvin, Jane Blackstock, Polly Berryman, Betty Jo Sosebee, Betty Parks, Sara Frances Ellington, Elinor Craven, Eva O’Kelly and manager Sara Massey.
1959 Dragon Boys:
Jerry Middlebrooks, Tilman Kinney, Burton Riddle, Brian Duke, Ralph Kinsey, Jeff Davis, Don Tompkins, Doug Tatum, Herbert Wilson, Dugar Strickland, Harold Fletcher, Douglas Garrison, Donald McEver and Douglas Hester.
In February, Gary Duke scored 33 points against Braselton in a 69 - 38 Dragon Win.
The Bryan High school Basketball team consisted of:
Arne Chaney, Horace Maxey, Archie Chaney, Walter Stephens, Robert Davenport, James Rucker, Nathaniel Pattman, Steve Pattman, C. D. Kidd, Talmadge Davenport and John Dowdy.
The first state championship ever won by Jefferson in any sport was the 1959 track state championship in Macon.
In 1953 the Dragons had placed second in track and fourth in 1957. This year they won it all.
After the first day, when the finals in the field events are held, along with the mile and the 880 yard run, Jefferson had only 9 points and was running far behind leading Fort Valley which had 15 points. On the first day Gary Duke captured a first place in the broad jump with a leap of 21 feet, 8 inches. Burton Riddle and Jerry Elder finished third in the 880 and mile run respectively. The finals on Saturday saw every Jefferson boy who had qualified place either first or second. The Jefferson 440-yard relay team of Richard Langford, Jeff Davis, John Kesler and Gary Duke tied the class B state record with a sizzling time of 46.1 seconds. Jeff Davis won the high hurdles in 15.6 seconds and the 180 yard low hurdles in 21.7 seconds. Duke finished second in the low hurdles. This was the eighth straight win of the season for the cinder-Dragons.
Gary Duke participated in the Georgia-Alabama track and field meet in Atlanta and finished 2nd in the 180 yard low hurdles.
Other Sports and activity News . . .
Campers of the Year were; Debbie McNeal, Tom Bryan, Kay Simmons, and Ralph Kinsey.
A new era of recreation was becoming prevalent in Jefferson as slow-pitch softball began a huge popularity movement. The Jefferson Community Recreation Softball League started out with four teams. The Billy Ricks and Woodrow Stewart led Highway Department won the first half of the season with strong opposition from the Davis Roberts led Jefferson Mills. Three new teams joined the league for the second half of the season pushing the team total to seven and the participants to well over 100 Jefferson softball enthusiasts.
The second half of the season proved extremely competitive as the Baptist brotherhood team featuring some of Jefferson’s most prominent citizens like A. G. Mitchell, Fuzzy Hoard, G. T. Kesler, J. T. Wilkes and some younger talent tossed with them in went undefeated at 6 - 0.
They played the Highway Department and were beaten 15 - 8 as Billy Ricks went 5 for 5 for the highwaymen.
A ladies softball league was organized with two teams that played 6 games in it’s inaugural season.
280 campers were registered at the Jefferson Day camp.
Syracuse was the only unbeaten and untied major college team in the nation in 1959. As such, the Orangemen became the first eastern team outside the military to win the national championship since Pittsburgh did it in 1939.
Number one in both total offense and defense, and winning each week by an average score of 39–6, Syracuse rolled through 10 regular season games and then beat No.4 Texas by nine in the Cotton Bowl.
Ole Miss (10–1) and LSU (9–2) were ranked second and third in the final AP poll. They also played each other in the year's most memorable game.
On Halloween, defending national champ LSU was ranked No.1 and Ole Miss was No.3. The visiting Rebels led 3–0 at halftime, but the Tigers won the game late on an electrifying 89–yard punt return by Billy Cannon, who would later win the Heisman Trophy. Visions of a second straight national title were dashed the next weekend, however, when LSU was upset 14–13 by Tennessee.
Mississippi and LSU were matched up again in the Sugar Bowl, but it was an anticlimax as the Rebels won easily, 21–0.
For the second year in a row, the NCAA introduced a rule to help promote scoring. Last season it was the two-point conversion option after a touchdown. This year the goalposts were widened from 18–feet 6–inches to 23–feet 4–inches. Place kickers on major college teams responded with 192 field goals in 390 attempts.
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