Saturday, January 30, 2010

Be a Blog Follower

You may notice on the right panel that a "Follower" gadget has been added. Right now, Marlee of the TREUTLEN E-NEWS is our first follower. We would like to have others.  I'm already following Marlee as well as Scott Thompson's blog for Dublin area history (including Treutlen). If you are already blogging you probably know more than we do.  If you are interested in setting up a free blog we are willing to help.

REWARD: If you become a follower we're offering a free 8x10 glossy of any black and white picture we have ever posted on Bill Ricks of Soperton.

William A. Ricks

1985 Coleman's Restaurant Fire

85 0130 04
January 30, 1985

Although witnesses saw it early, and the Soperton Fire Department responded, the Coleman Restaurant in Tarrytown burned to the ground during the night. The building was originally one of the earliest gas stations in the area, and the family had added to the facility. It was known for it's barbecue, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, and Thursday night all-you-could-eat chitterlings. It was popular with truckers, and train crews stopped for a few minutes to pick up meals.

Others that week: Basketball, Parker Waller honored at Tarrytown Baptist Church, Wayne Hooks and Bob Sanford at Lions Club.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

1980 5th Grade Gifted Students

80 0130 05
January 30, 1980

The TES gifted students of the 5th grade took a tour of Suburban Printing Corporation at Higgston to learn how newspapers were composed. They posed between shelves of office supplies. Since most of them were born in 1969, they have already celebrated their Lordy Lordy birthday in 2009. Time flies!

Others that week TPS kids, basketball, TPS "wedding" program, Eloise Phillips and Bob Sanford inducted in the "Order of the Pine Stump."

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

Leave a comment to name these smart young folks.

1975 Mr. Windsor

75 0129 01
January 29, 1975

Although the people in his hometown of McRae, even the children, called him James, in Treutlen County he was Mr. Windsor. He bought the Soperton News from the Vidalia Ledfords at Thanksgiving 1971 and created his publishing shop Suburban Printing Corporation at Higgston a year later. He was the most intelligent man that many people ever knew with a supreme understanding of people. He is pictured in the Soperton News office on First Street (later MLK Drive), shaped like a boxcar but smaller. Middle-aged but slim with boundless energy, he made the News a model of country journalism, known by journalists all over the state. As News Editor, I used the desk when he was out, and when he was in my space was the typewriter behind him on a rolling  fold-up stand. The ever-personable Jeanne McLendon had the desk near the front door.

Others that week: Basketball, Clayton Stephens with Wayne Sumner, Jennie Belle Gillis, two scouts, APDC group, Ralph Burgess, Jack Sweat, Stevie Meeks, Wade Clark, Phyllis Ricks and daughter, Jim L. Gillis, Jr., 4-H.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1985 Jail "One of the Worst"

85 0123 01
January 23, 1985

Dr. James Metts of National Institute of Corrections visited at the request of the Sheriff Wayne Hooks, and he declared the jail one of the worst he had ever seen in many years. That led to extensive improvements so the jail was able to serve for another 25 years before the new facility was finished recently in 2009.

Others that week: Sportsmen Deer Contest, Soil Conservation Awards, Masons Banquet, Perry Blount retired.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1980 Powell Indian Artifacts

80 0123 12
January 23, 1980

William Hammock, state director of Indian Affairs, spoke to the Treutlen County Historical Society, which met at the First Baptist Church social hall, with refreshments served by the Retired Teachers Association. The Powells: Danny, Vivian, and Harold brought part of their collection of local Indian artifacts for the large crowd to see.

Others that week: Masons Banquet, beavers, Fisher House, Pageant, basketball, TPS program, Barbara Cauley state winner essay, kids pictures.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

1975 Contact Sport

75 0122 01
January 22, 1975

Football has so much physical contact that pads are worn, but other sports have contact of their own causing injury. Basketball is an example. One player in the early 70's even broke an arm at the wrist against the backboard. These two players got by with hurt feelings.

Others that week: Gilbert Hester, Pauline Daly, log pike, and Clayton Stephens with Rupert and Sharon Barnhill.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bernadene Villanueva of Soperton

Jean Dixon may have been the most psychic of the 1970s, but Benadene Villanueva was making a good living down in the Tampa area 35 years.  Chet Fuller of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated in a 1975 article that Villanueva was from Soperton. Clayton Stephens at the time said that although he had never heard of Bernadene, Treutlen County had plenty of psychics and they could be found sharing their knowledge on the streets of Soperton any Saturday afternoon. (Times have changed!)

Examine the clipping from the Soperton News.

Chet Fuller was an undercover  reporter for the AJC, posing as a day laborer, so he might have personally visited Soperton anonymously. His non-fiction book was reviewed by the New York Times:

I HEAR THEM CALLING MY NAME A Journey Through the New South. By Chet Fuller. 255 pp. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. $12.95. How many generations of reporters will have to go tramping through the ''New South'' before it is worn down into middle age? This account confirms that for the many blacks still working the white man's land for subsistence, or forced to hold two low-paying jobs to meet their bills, or without any job at all, the newness was never all that new. Chet Fuller, a young black reporter for The Atlanta Journal, traveled around four states in three months of 1978, posing as a job hunter. He is fair to the individual whites he encounters, such as the gas-station rednecks who help him out when his car breaks down, and he has a good ear for the street-corner jiving of the aimless young black men he meets wherever he goes. Now and then he hears about progress in race relations. ''You know,'' a hard-working Georgia man tells him, ''if you whup a cracker fair and square now, he just whupped. Used to be - and not long ago - white folks could do anything to you they want, and you couldn't fight 'em back. Now you can whup they head.'' But that is the exception. Mostly, he learns that power still resides with the white landowners, plant bosses and politicians. ''Gadsden is rotten,'' a black woman tells him in a town where white policemen have recently killed a black man. ''They sho' don't b'leeve in helping no black folks here. The way them polices shot Madden, it's a crime. The polices here treat black people like dogs. They can't ask you a simple question, and then when you go to answer it, they tell you to shut up. Just like you ain't grown yourself. That's the way they do.'' Mr. Fuller works hard at padding the book out with his own feelings as an educated comfortably situated black professional confronted by the misery of blacks who have not made it and have no hope of ever making it. But that sort of introspection takes a different talent than most journalists can claim. Still, nobody is likely to quarrel with his observation that ''Your color still matters in the South, in this country.'' He finds no black faces in the front offices where he goes to ask about jobs, and much white manipulation behind the scenes. In the records office of a North Carolina county, he digs into the story of an elderly woman who was induced to put up her interest in 87 acres of land as collateral on a loan of $615 for heating oil - and lost the land.
Used copies of the book can be found at Amazon as little as $3.95 including shipping.

A book recommended for students of black history. We hope that history has advanced in 35 years.

For your information, some newspapers have converted their microfilm images to digital images available free on internet. A great milestone. I hope that UGA libraries will one day do this for all their microfilmed newspapers. Check it out at the link below. After opening you may grab the page image and move it around to look at the whole page.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Court Decision Is Dangerous

The Supreme Court decision this week is, in my mind, the most dangerous one in my lifetime if not in the entire history of the Constitution. The decision to allow corporations, unions, and other corporate entities more interference in elections is a step to define a corporation as a person.

Every corporate entity is a conspiracy, in which two or more individuals get together and agree to maximize their power beyond that of the sole person. The effect of such a conspiracy is to create a power separate from the individual persons, behaves like a person, but without the individual responsibility of a person.

Most people know of at least one situation when a corporation declares bankruptcy and turns to nothing, while the individual members of the corporation receive "golden parachutes," houses, property, and other perks.  And it's all legal. It seems that some corporations are created just for that purpose. Consider the big banker bonuses, too.

I don't even understand how corporate conspiracies ever began under our Constitution. Their meddling in elections is certainly skirting the edge of violating the "one person one vote" already decided by the Supreme Court in the 1960s. Georgia's County Unit System was found unconstitutional under that decision.

The hated ACLU or some other constitutional experts should now launch a test case to determine whether any corporate entity has rights under the U.S. Constitution before things get worse.

William A. Ricks

Some of my thoughts this week

Did you know that Dr McCoy of Star Trek fame, actor Deforest Kelley was born in Toccoa, Georgia on January 20, 1920?

I've been Googling about Dr. Bones, since this is his birthday, and found that his friend Kristine M Smith wrote both "DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories" and "Purposeful Christianity: Sharing the Verve and Value of the Prince of Peace." Let me know if you read one or both and like them. I read too slow.

I hadn't paid attention to the Massachusetts election because I don't vote there, but now that Brown will be the Senator, I'm looking at him closer. You may have already seen his centerfold in Cosmopolitan, and if you haven't you can Google and possibly be shocked... or not. My question is, "Would Ted Kennedy, even with his defects, ever agree to this kind of exposure?

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

1985 Baptist Minister Kent Miller

85 0116 04
January 16, 1985

Kent Miller of Laurel, Mississippi, moved to Soperton to be Youth and Music Minister of First Baptist Church. He earned his bachelor's degree from Southern Mississippi University and his master's degree in Religious Education from the Baptist Seminary in New Orleans. His tenure in Soperton was one of the longest of any local church leader.

Others that week: 4-H CPA, TPS kids, Lions District Governor, Jerlene Warnock, and basketball.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

1980 Lions Visit UniPress

80 0116 04
January 16, 1980

Head Pressman Charles Auman showed off the facilities at Treutlen County's UniPress newspaper printing facility to members of the Soperton Lions Club. He said that the five-unit Harris press could produce 18,000 20-page newspapers per hour.

Others that week: TPS kids and basketball.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality enlargements.

1975 Donkey Basketball

75 0115 03
January 15, 1975

The Boosters Club sponsored the annual Donkey Basketball game to raise funds for school athletics, but it was fun for the jam-packed crowds in the Augustus McArthur gymnasium.

Others that week: Roscoe Peacock, Wayne Sumner, Rupert Barnhill, John Lee, bluebird houses, and basketball.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality prints.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

1985 TPS Kids

85 0109 06
January 9, 1985

When you notice "TPS kids" or "Primary kids" in the "Others this week" you can know that they were the children who I photographed for the weekly newspaper feature "Primary Viewpoint". Sometimes they were "shot" one at a time or two or three at a time. This unusual picture shows five students. The "head and shoulder" cropping eliminated the valuable information on the sheets of paper --- the name and the number of the question, as we would give each student a list of 15 or 20 questions. Much time was invested in the selections. If the photo turns too small to read, the students are Chelle Jordan, JoHanna Odom, Michael Williamson Margaret Gillis, and Chris Rogers.

Others that week: Old jail before renovation, "Benji" type dog, basketball, local UGA alumni, Bill Boyd promoting his book, fire at Elvin Young house, Laurianne Pullen becomes DFCS director, TPS program, Editha Foskey with a large outdoor honeycomb.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality prints.

1980 NSI, Inc. New Side Track

80 0109 05
January 9, 1980

The $5 million expansion of NSI, Inc. in the Industrial Park included a new side track. When Range Fuels, September 2009, brought in a very heavy piece of its configuration, the side track was unable to handle such a load, so it was unloaded in town near the College Street crossing.

Others that week: A house fire, an older couple with a group of children, Soperton fire and police station under construction, Davis 50th anniversary, TPS kids, Mabel Williamson birthday, Councilmen inducted.

1975 Sidney Smith Resigns

75 0108 04

January 8, 1975

After serving 18 years as Treutlen County Tax Commissioner, Sidney Smith turned in his resignation at the Probate Court office. Judge Clayton Stephens was home with the flu, so his assistants Teresa McLendon (Left) and Jane Asbell accepted the letter. Smith never had opposition in the elections all that time. He was authorized by the Georgia General Assembly to lie about his fishing. He gave James Windsor a good start as editor of the Soperton News by taking him on a river tour, which Windsor recounted in words and pictures, establish the paper's reputation for many years.

Others that week: A 1924 SHS graduation invitation, City Council induction, Barry Norris's turnip, and basketball.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Treutlen School System- a bit of history

I ran across an article in some old papers and it needs preserving on the internet. It was published December 18, 1974. I compiled the information from Superintendents Bates and Driggers and added my notes.

Note by Bill Ricks:
"The most important institution in any community, other than the churches, is the system of schools. The influence of the school affects each of us, whether it be as a student, as a parent, or as an interested spectator or supporter of the many activities and sports sponsored by the school.
"Practically all of us have attended school at one time or another, and each alumnus takes pride in supporting his old Alma Mater. As we near the end of another year, we thought it would be an apppropriate time to reflet on the history of our 55 year old Treutlen County School System.
"We gratefully acknowledge the work of the late Ferd B. Bates, former Superintendent of Schools, for compiling the information presented in the first part of the article, and our thanks to Treutlen County School Superintendent Bobby Driggers for bringing us up to date with the final portion."

The Treutlen County System began officially on March 21, 1919, when the Board of Education met for the first time. This Board, composed of J. J. Moring, R. L. Gillis, W. B. Snow, M. L. O'Brien, and J. B. Ricks, organized by electing M. L. O'Brien president and confired the election of R. E. Ward as Superintendent and Secretary of the Board. Mr. Ward had been elected in December of 1918, but owing to the situation existing at the time and resulting from the creation of Treutlen as a county in 1918 from the counties of Montgomery and Emanuel, there were no funds to operate schools until March. Prior to March of 1919 the history of our schools is a part of the history of the above counties, and I have not studied any of those records.
In the almost 36 years of the Treutlen County School System six people have served as Superintendent, 3 men and 3 women:
R. E. Ward - March 1919 to January 1, 1929 - 10 years.
Mrs. James Fowler - January 1, 1929 to her death - August 28, 1931 - 2 years 8 months.
Mrs. W. L. Sessions - September 1931 to January 1, 1933 - 1 year 4 months.
J. W. Fowler - January 1, 1933 to January 1, 1949 - 16 years.
Mrs. Louise Thigpen - January 1, 1949 to January 1, 1953 - 4 years.

Note by Bill Ricks:
"Mr. Bates was our sixth Superintendent and Mr. Driggers the seventh."

The first payroll of the Treutlen County System was made on March 21, 1919 in the amount of $1,738.53 and was made from funds received from Montgomery county on March 18, in the amount of $1287.45, with an overdraft of $451.08. The second overdraft in April left a deficit of $1,548.40, but in May with the help of a $3,500.oo loan the system had a balance of $876.16. Briefly, the financial situation of the system from 1919 to 1949, when the last loan was made, was largely a matter of borrowing and repaying.
The School System in 1919 was composed of 15 white schools with 36 teachers and 7 colored schools with 8 teachers. This number of school and teachers varied, increasing to 20 white schools and 11 colored in 1922 with 43 white and 12 colored teachers.

Note by Bill Ricks:
"According to County Board Records from Mr. Driggers' office some of the names of the schools at that time were: Bridge, Crooked Run, Edna Terrace, Holton, Hutcheson, Live Oak, Lothair, Mount Hope, Oglethorpe, Orland, Orianna, Page, Pine Grove, Phillips, Red Bluff, Rosemont, Soperton, White Oak, Willis and Zaidee."

After 1922 a period of consolidation set in. Actually consolidation began in March 1920 when White Oak, Red Bluff and Orland voted to consolidate, but had to wait for a building to be constructed. (Actually went into effect November 1922). In October 1920 Bridge School and Oglethorpe School were to be consolidated after May 1, 1921, but both schools continued on the payroll through April 1923. Thus Orland was the first to consolidate, with Bridge and Oglethorpe next.

Note by Bill Ricks:
"From the minutes of the meeting of the County Board during 1923 came this information: Mr. R. E. Ward bought the old Red Bluff for $125.00 and the Red Bluff land was deeded to the Baptist Church there. The Orland property went to Mr. M. D. Davis for $125.00 and the White Oak School sold to Mr. Elmo Smith for $225.00. (Pictures of the White Oak School building were made in 1974, and are on the 'Bill Ricks of Soperton' blogsite."

This consolidation of white schools continued to the present time when we have 4 white schools employing 17 teachers. (The previous sentence is confusing. Probably it meant that the consolidation had ended with four integrated schools with 71 teachers.)

You might be interested in the development of the Soperton School. In May 1922, at a special meeting of the Board of Education Professor Burton made a proposition the the county board to establish a nine month High School. After discussion the proposition was deferred to next meeting. At that meeting the proposition was tabled. In January 1923 Soperton Independent School was abolished by resolution of the City Board of Education, composed of Will Stalling, Chm.; J. E. Hall, Secty, and W. W. Wade, and all schools rights and supervision of the Soperton Independent school system were ceded to, and accepted by the county Board of Education. In February of the same year Edna Terrace, Live Oak and Zaidee schools were consolidated with Soperton. In 1936 Phillips and Eillis Schools came into the Soperton district. In 1945 Hutcheson, followed by Cross Roads in 1946, joined with Soperton. This completed the Soperton School consolidation, except for transferring the 8th and 9th grades from Gillis Springs which was done in 1952-53. --- Ferd B. Bates

Note by Bill Ricks:
"The above information came from a Soperton News article, November 4, 1954. it was written by Mr. Ferd B. Bates, who was completing his second year as County School Superintendent. Mr. Bates' term of office was January 1, 1953 - December 30, 1958. After Mr. Bates' death Mr. Bobby Driggers began his term of office on January 20, 1959 and has served as County School Superintendent until the present (1974) We especially appreciate Mr. Driggers taking the time and effort in gathering and writing the following information to bring us up to date on  this history of the Treutlen County School System."

The schools that were consolidated in September of 1955 were: Gillis Springs White School; Orland; Rosemont; Gilis Springs Colored School;; Love Industrial; and Phillips Chapel. Grades 4-12 of the Treutlen County Training School, located at the old Fair Grounds, was moved to the new building located on Third Street (called Fowler Street in 2010).
This change left only three buildings and three schools in Treutlen County.
In the Spring of 1970 the Treutlen County Board of Education received an order from the United States Federal Court in Atlanta to eliminate the Dual School System by September of 1970 and bring about a unitary one for all children regardless of race, color or national origin.
This "order" caused another change to be brought about in the system. The changes were as follows: The Treutlen Elementary and High School Plant was desnated as Th Treutlen Elementary School for grades 3-7; The Treutlen County Training School was designated as The Treutlen High School for grades 8-12; The Treutlen Primary School retained that name and was designated to house grades 1 and 2 along with whatever Pre-Programs might be implemented. The afore-mentioned change still exists. (In 1974.)
Treutlen County being a rural one, it is necessary to transport approximately 73 percent of the students who attend the schools. In 1958 the County Board of Education owned only school bus. The other eighteen or nineteen buses that were being operated in the county were privately owned and operated by individuals with compensation being given on so much per mile for dirt roads and so much per mile for paved roads. (All the drivers wanted their routes laid out on paved roads.)
Since 1958 the Board of Education had gained ownership of all the buses and replaced the older models with newer models. A school bus garage has been constructed to maintain the equipment and keep it operable. It was proven that the Board could buy gas and parts cheaper and as a result operated the buses cheaped than an individual.
At the present, sixteen buses and three spare are used to provide pupil transportation to some one thousand students who attend one of the three schools. Drivers have to pass physical examinations on a yearly basis as well as other examinations given by the State Department annually.
During the Spring and Summer of 1960 the Board of Education constructed an adequate cafeteria for the Treutlen Primary School to replace the "old" obsolete barracks-style building that was used to serve lunches.

(In 2010 James Willis uses one of the "old" buildings as a shop. It may be seen at the Willis house on Adrian Road.)

Since this time the Board of Education has caused the following construction to be brought about:
A Gym was constructed on The Treutlen High School Campus; A Band Room was constructed on the Treutlen Elementary School Campus; five classrooms have been added to Treutlen High School; a Vocational Sop and Band Building have been constructed on the Treutlen High School Campus;; the driveways have been paved and sidewalks and parking lots at each school have been constructed.
Currently (1974) the school system has a total enrollment of 1,400 students and 72 teachers and principals. Eight maintenqnce people are employed along with sixteen bus drivers, one mechanic, fourteen cafeteria employees, twelve teacher aides and four secretaries representing a total of 127 employees in the system.
In 1919 the payroll was $1,738.53; the payroll in November of 1974 was $63, 790.79. The total budget for the 1974-75 school year is $1,083,598.65. This money will come from Federal Sources, State Sources and Local Sources. The amount of local money in this amount, which will come from local tqxes if they are all collected, will be $212,736.36. This represents 20 percent of the total budget for education.

Did you know that you can download or print photos from Bill Ricks of Soperton?
Give copies to your friends.  Call about high quality prints.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

1985 B. L. Powell's Model A

85 0102 08
January 2, 1985

It was a quiet day in Soperton, but B. L. Powell added excitement when he took his 1931 Model A Ford for a shine-up at Baker's Service Station. Mr. Baker and his son were drying it off, when other auto experts showed up. J. C. Stephens (left), who operated a filling station for years, and Ford salesman Otis Wade (right) joined Mr. Powell for another picture.

Others that week: Basketball, Barry Norris painting the TPS gym, Higgston Durden family, First Baptist Church with steeple.

See the Soperton Sign Man's signs on TREUTLEN E-NEWS:

Did you know that you can download or print photos from
Bill Ricks of Soperton
Some people share the pictures with friends.
Enlargements available up to 13" x 19".

1980 R. H. Warnock's Big Pencil

80 0102 01
January 2, 1980

Clerk of Court R. H. Warnock, "the consumate politician", gave away tons of pencils to adults, children, voters and non-voters. Clayton Stephens and Kenton Gillis got together to help Santa give this big pencil to Mr. Herbert.

Others that week: Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Clark's 50th anniversary, retirement of Rev. George Holton.

See the Soperton Sign Man's signs on TREUTLEN E-NEWS:

1975 SHS Class of 1924

75 0101 01
January 1, 1975

The Soperton High School Class of 1924 held a 50-year reunion at the Soperton Community House. Pictured are N. G. Reeves, Jr., Lamar Mixon, Julian Wade, Mrs Bernice Warnock Orr, Jack Walker, Mrs. Claudia Evans Pullen, J. V. Wallace (Principal), Mrs. Martha Mixon Kent, Eugene Wilkins, and Mrs. Zelma Burns Ricks. Deceased meembers at the time were Harvey Linton Calhoun, James Edward Hyman, and Herbert Sumner.

Others that week: Kids at Christmas.

See the Soperton Sign Man's signs on TREUTLEN E-NEWS: