Friday, December 17, 2010

Football Career Opportunity 1944

A contract for a prospective player to the Packers in 1944. This was a great opportunity for a young man in that time period.

Young ball players around Baldwyn and the area often sought to be recognized for their playing skills in order to be picked up by Mississippi Colleges or even other adjacent states teams.


Submitted by Don McKibben

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Johnnie Lee Smith, Nurse and Midwife

Johnnie Lee Smith, midwife, cook, maid, nurse's aide, and wash-woman (as she has described her duties throughout a long association with the Caldwell Clinic and Memorial Hospital).

She retired in 1977, having assisted several doctors and nurses, LPNs, and other midwives. Her career began in 1938 helping Mrs. Henrietta Shambry, a midwife, and waiting for the day she would retire. She eventually did, and Johnnie Lee took over and delivered a total of 527 babies during the years. Her first delivery was a boy, John Macon, and the last was Bronson Channing Miller on August 9, 1977.

The first clinic that Dr. R.B. and others built was near the Baptist Church on West Main street in 1934 and had 8 beds. It eventually got to 20 beds. According to Johnnie Lee, the first baby born at this hospital was Robert Heflin.

The move across the street to the new hospital in 1950 gave the patients 30 beds and eventually 35. The first baby born there was a Wesson.

Johnnie Lee also wrote that the wash-woman duty was that she would wash and clean the surgical packs after each use and get them ready for the next use. They only had 3 packs at first. The work was hard and tedious, but if she had made a patient comfortable for just a little while, she didn't mind the work.

Thanks for your devotion to duty and your passion for helping folks, Mrs. Smith.

I was born at home in 1939 and had Dr. R. B. and Vina Bradley there at my arrival. They ran my daddy off and he went back to work getting the newspaper out that day in May. I have been told that it got so cold the next day they sent for a ton of coal and got the fireplaces going again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Famous "Hatchery Speech"

Congressman "Private" John Allen Speech before the U.S. House of Representatives February 20, 1901

Many of you gentleman have never been to Tupelo. I hope none of you entertain any idea of dying without going there. I should hate to have it said of any Member of this Congress - for all of whom I have such kindly feeling - that they did not aspire to visit Tupelo before they died. I extend to you all an invitation to come and promise you a royal welcome. Come and go with me on College Hill one evening and see one of our Tupelo sunsets.

Come and see one of our southern, silvery, Tupelo moons! I think it is the only place in the South where we have the same beautiful moons we had before the war. I have often been asked about the size of Tupelo. I confess I have not been able to get the exact figures from the last census. The tabulating machines do not seem to have been able to work it out yet; but I can say, Mr. Chairman, that by sufficiently extending the corporate limits of our town we can accommodate a population larger than the City of London. The truth is that our lands about Tupelo have been so valuable for agriculture purposes that we have not yielded them up for building a city as rapidly as we should have done.

I can say, Mr. Chairman, that while there are larger places than Tupelo, I do not think there is any other place just exactly like it. Tupelo is very near, if not exactly, in the center of the world. The horizon seems about the same distance in every direction. The sun, when going down on regular schedule, comes right over the town, and sometimes gives us a hot time in the old town. It is a great place for the investment of capital, where it will be welcomed and protected. Come early, gentlemen and avoid the rush!

This, Mr. Chairman, is a proposition to establish there a fish hatchery. We have the ideal place for a fish hatchery. Why, sir, fish will travel over land for miles to get into the water we have at Tupelo. Thousands and millions of unborn fish are clamoring to this Congress today for an opportunity to be hatched at the Tupelo hatchery.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I only wish to say in conclusion that if there is a member here who wishes to have his name connected by future generations with that of Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold, if he wishes to have himself and his posterity pointed at with scorn, if he desires to be despised by men and shunned by women, let him vote against this amendment and he will secure all this infamous notoriety."

The Hatchery.
Shortly after Congressman Allen gave his plea to Congress, they voted in favor of it, the President signed the bill into law and, in 1904, the hatchery began operations. Almost 100 years later, it is still a productive fish hatchery.

Monday, October 11, 2010

An old Baldwyn Baptist Church Artifact

Kellie Conwill found the stained glass mural that was in the Baldwyn First Baptist Church many years ago. It is now in a church in Bay St. Louis, MS.

If you recall, it was in the baptistery and many of us, including myself, were baptized next to it. It was given back to the Shellnut family when the church was torn down, and then was given to the church it is in now.


Kelly Conwill is the daughter of Ed and Lane Sue (McVey) Kesler of Baldwyn.
From Facebook.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baldwyn Bearcats 1938

Your parent or other relative might be on this team.

Submitted by Milton Copeland.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hagy's Catfish Hotel in Shiloh, TN (Stantonville)

Many of you still enjoy a somewhat long drive to get the catfish and atmosphere at the Catfish Hotel. I have been a guest of theirs for many years, also, and since it is close by now, take an ocassional trip there.

The restaurant in the 30s or 40s. Lady pictured is not known.

On this spot in 1825, Henry Hagy and his wife Polly docked their flat boat, laid claim to several acres of bottom land, and began to build a farm and family. Later their son John built a rough log shack next to the river to store items that were to be shipped by steamboats. The shack was occupied by Union soldiers during the Battle of Shiloh.

The shack earned the name "Catfish Hotel" during the early thirties when Norvin Hagy entertained friends at cookouts. He became well known for the delicious catfish, hushpuppies, and hospitality he served up. Guests who had arrived by river were often forced to spend the night after becoming engrossed in yarns spun and darkness made it unsafe to travel the river, thus the nickname Catfish Hotel.

Yum, yum. Ya'll come!

The river view is from the parking lot looking North at Diamond Island.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Okeelala Festival 2010

Well, it's about that time again! The Baldwyn Okeelala Festival will be held on 2 October (Saturday) and you are invited to attend and meet and greet old friends again. We have been having a good attendance of old Bearcats the last few years, and it seems more are able to come each time.

There are at least two get acquainted events to plan for this year. The 1940-60 (or so) BHS alumni will meet at Agnew's Restaurant at Pratts at 9AM for breakfast, coffee and greetings. Afterward, a former student, Dr. Robert Hamblin will give a reading from his new book Crossroads: Poems of a Mississippi Childhood, published recently. Robert lived across the road from Brice's Crossroads battlefield site and heard many tales from the local loafers that sat around the porch of his family's general store. He has written from those accounts.

Another breakfast for 1960s and up BHS grads will be held the same morning at The Country Inn in Baldwyn. Info for that event will be forthcoming from Phil Cooper and Don McKibben. I will post it to this when complete arrangements are sent to me.

Please try to be there if you can!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First TVA City

Remember this old sign as you came into Tupelo from the North on old US45? It greeted us for many years, and I think it may still be there in the area of Main Street and Gloster.

Tupelo was the first city to become a T.V.A. power purchaser. In those days you were required to join as a member to get a reduced rate on your power bill.

The structure in the background is over the railroad tracks and held the traffic lights for the Crosstown intersection as well as for the trains' signals.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Liddon Lake

-click to enlarge-

Here are a couple of old photos of Liddon Lake swimming pool area in Corinth in the 1950s or early 60s. It was the place to go for a swim in the hot Summertime. There were games, food (5 cent slugburgers and 10 cent hot dogs) and lots of places to sit with your main squeeze after swimming. The lake out front (not shown) had rental boats- with oars- that you could get to take a little "cruise".

Bad thing about it was that your parents loved to come there, too, so they usually told you that they would be there. Then you had to be on your toes and watch your behavior.

The facility has been closed for years and sadly, the structures are still there but in decay. This was reportedly the largest concrete pool in Mississippi and the entire South for many years. When Booneville got a pool, it took some of the load off of Corinth and Tupelo pools.

Thanks to "anonymous" for emailing these photos.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kids Photos from Yesterday 2

Click to enlarge-

A couple of photos from 1957 (top) showing some of the group from that time. Notice a fad that was popular then; Lanny has a watch chain and possibly Jim does, too. We wore them although some had a pocket watch and others kept their keys on the pocket end.

Wrist watches were getting cheap in those days and most people were getting them from Popeye's for under 20 dollars.

Can you recall the girls in the lower photo? The year is unknown. The faces are familiar still but names are beyond my recollection.

Submitted by Jim Greene.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Baldwyn R&R Club

click to enlarge...

Carolyn McCarley and Harriet Franklin seem eager to welcome you to the "opening dance". Anyone recall what this was about? A social event, I feel sure.

Anyhow, dances at homes and pavilions were a great thing in this time era. The larger commercial dance halls were expensive and far away from Baldwyn.

Booneville, Rienzi, Fulton, and New Albany had nice teen dance functions. Can you remember others?

Submitted by Jim Greene.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kid's Photos from Yesterday 1

-click to enlarge-

Do you remember these guys and gals? Hint: they lived on N. Second Street and nearby.


Thanks to Jim Greene.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Official Patrol Car

-click to enlarge-

Photo of Billy Greene and his Ford F-1 pickup truck. Notice the logo on the door is his initials in Old English (top) and "Bat Patrol BSA" (lower).

The old truck is probably 6-7 years old - the F-1 was introduced in 1948 - so this photo is probably from 1955 or later.

The Boy Scout troop in Baldwyn (Troop 33 at the time I was a member) was made up of groups of boys called patrols. I was in the Wolf Patrol and remember that there was a Badger Patrol, a Hawk Patrol, and others that escape me. Each Patrol had its' own unique flag, badge, call, and cry in order to gather and stay together by sound other than voice commands.

Evidently there was a Bat Patrol that Billy belonged to, and he was probably a leader and had transportation for his group to go on outings. There were many fun outings, marches, overnight camping and cookout trips. We would walk to an encampment at Blue Mars in Prather Bottoms, swim, cook, camp overnight and return the next day (sometime raw with poison ivy and chiggers) but had a dickens of a good time. The cold artesian water was better that we had to drink in town!

Photo courtesy of Jim Greene.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Smoking is Bad For Young'uns

Mrs. Martin: Grover, you shouldn't smoke in bed! To be perfectly clear, you shouldn't smoke at all! They cost 20 cents a pack and aren't good for your lungs...

From Ellis Christian (circa 1957 on the senior trip). Click on photo to enlarge.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Small Towns are Preferred

Some thoughts about the future from Barbara Bryson. As with half-century old clippings some of the text has been damaged, but you can get the entire meaning with just a little imagination.

Submitted by Nancy Goodson Bruce

3 Ways to Decorate a Christmas Tree

From Nancy Goodson Bruce


From Nancy Goodson Bruce

More Spotlights From 1957

From Nancy Goodson Bruce

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Bludworth Family and Others.

Mr. and Mrs. Bludworth, Miss Hortense Latimer on right, Billy Bludworth (left) and Mrs. Stanley McKay. Not at all sure of the year, but probably mid 1960s.

Submitted by Jim Miller.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Remember your first Phone Number?

Sometime in the late 40s we got our first phone. Our number in Baldwyn was 3332. The only places that were a local call was the community near Baldwyn and Tupelo. Elsewhere was long distance and needed an operator to assist with the call and record charges according to the amount of time you talked.

We had at least one technician stationed in Baldwyn to maintain the service, I believe his name was Jack Farmer. I still see his name on a mailbox south of Guntown on old US45.

How many of you can recall your phone number at that time? Later, exchange numbers had to be used; FOrest 5 for Baldwyn and VInewood 2 and others for Tupelo.

Thanks to Milton Copeland for the old rental bill.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dudie's Diner and Festival

I'll bet many of you have eaten at this little diner! It was a favorite of folks from all over the county.

UPPER PHOTO (1957): In 1947, Truman "Dudie" Christian bought a decommissioned Memphis streetcar, brought to Tupelo and turned the barely six foot wide streetcar into Dudie’s Diner. Dudie’s Diner and the burger soon became a local favorite in downtown Tupelo.

Christian learned to make the burgers (a mix of meat, flour, oatmeal, and water) when meat and staples were rationed during World War II. But neither the burger's appeal nor the charm of the diner's converted Memphis streetcar could compete with fast-food chains. The diner closed in 1986, and the streetcar ended up at Tupelo's Oren Dunn Museum, where the town's beloved dough burger is celebrated with a festival each year on the first Saturday in May.

The namesake of the festival is the Dudie Dough Burger. At one time you could get ten for a dollar.

LOWER PHOTO: Today the diner is on display at the Oren Dunn Museum in Tupelo where, incidentally, the Lee County Bookmobile is also on exhibit.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alec the Crow

When we were young, we had a variety of pets. Not only dogs and cats were found around the house, but also were turtles, rabbits, 'coons, and other animals. The following stories from Don and Gerald McKibben struck my funny bone and I thought I would post it here for others to chuckle about. It is from a couple of emails, but putting it here will preserve it for a laugh later...

Don writes:

I do believe he was capable of performing almost any task that would irritate our mother....she took great pride in her Spring flowers, her favorites were the beautiful and very sweet smelling Hyacinth....she always had several, pink, purple and other pastel colors that bloomed in early Spring.

When the Hyacinths were in full bloom, Alec would pull each individual bloom from the plant.....mother would come out to check on her plants, see how he had pulled all the blooms off, and after she "lit in on him", scolding him, threatening to catch him and put him under a wash tub(that was the punishment he most-hated and mother's favorite) and let him stay there all day.

When he heard her scolding him, he would go directly to the Hyacinth blooms he had pulled off, pick them up individually and with his beak, force each one in the ground.....he seemed to take great pride in his placement of each bloom in the dirt with just a small amount of the bloom left in view.....after he finished sticking all of the blooms in the dirt, he seemed to be proud of his accomplishment.

Gerald mentioned about his ability to talk.....the funniest part about his episodes with Mother was after she would pause from threatening and scolding him for something he had done, he would get a safe distance away from her AND SCOLD HER.....that would go on for a while, back and forth until Mother finally gave up and went back in the house. Many days when we returned home from school, we found Alec under a wash tub......after we rescued him, he was on his best behavior the rest of the day, sitting on our shoulder, gently rubbing his head against our face.

There are many stories about him....seeing the episode you sent, Carl, brought back many memories....maybe Gerald will add more stories......stealing clothes pins off the clothes line.....letting the freshly-washed clothes fall to the ground, then hiding the clothes holes in fence posts....we found hidden clothes pins in strange places long after he was gone. He also knew who liked him and who didn't.....our Aunt Lillian teacher....disliked him and he knew it and could pick her out in a crowd of relatives....sneak up behind her and almost take a plug out of her leg or behind, then fly up in a nearby tree and boast about it !

I'll hush about Alec.....I agree with Gerald, he (really) could talk !

From Gerald:
The attached picture is not a good one but is the only one I have.

Don talked about him burying things. Once Mother was setting out onion plants in the garden. When she got to the end of the row she turned and saw that Alec had quietly gone behind her and pulled up every single onion plant. To his credit he had poked them into the ground again, but not where Mother wanted them.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another Senior Class Photo


From Nancy Goodson Bruce

Two More "Spotlights"

Thanks to Nancy Goodson Bruce

How Many times did You Letter at BHS?

A recent letter and clipping from Robert Coggins, BHS '63, listed his athletic feats and the letters he received.

We have been talking about that, and several Baldwyn players have lettered in more than one sport (example: Robert Thomas - 5 straight years in football).

We would like to hear from those of you that excelled in your favorite sport! Post any of your sports awards info in the comments.

How about that, Ellis and Aaron??

Robert Coggins, former Baldwynian now lives in Holly Springs, NC.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The "Johnny Reb Platoon"

Pictured above are some local guys from Baldwyn and the nearby area who joined the US Marine Corps in the late 50s. Top photo is when they enlisted and the lower is a followup photo from "boot camp" at Parris Island.

About that time the recruiters for all branches decided that in order to get more enlistees, they would let buddies remain together throughout their BT (basic training) and AIT (advanced individual training) if at all possible.

I don't know what happened to these guys after training. If anyone reads this who knows, please comment!


Thanks to Henry Outlaw and Nancy Faye Goodson Bruce.

The Big House on North Second Street

From Jo Carolyn Anderson Beebe

In the war years of the '40s these families lived in a house that had been converted into apartments. I don't know who owned the house. Maybe someone who sees this will remember. The house was located on the main street just before the street where the Carnation Milk Plant was located. It was huge (or so I thought at age 6) with big columns around the front porch. In the back was an addition that was referred to as "Old St. Louis." I'd sure like to know where that name came from. The back yard adjoined a pasture that went up to the railroad tracks. I used to stand back there and wave to the soldiers on the troop trains.

I was in the front yard playing when Mother came outside and told me President Roosevelt had died.

When I was about seven, lightning struck the house. I remember running across the street with Eddie Sue to Barbara Ann and Brenda Joyce Bryson's house yelling, "Fire! Fire!" By the time the volunteers got the big old fire hose rolled down the street, the house was pretty much a goner.

I hope someone can identify these very familiar faces. I remember some of the names:

Seated: Jo Carolyn Anderson and Eddie Sue Hassell
Standing left to right: ______, ___ Hassell, Blanche Anderson, Flossie Hassell, Morgan Hassell, Lanois Williamson, Luster/Lester? Williamson, Mrs. Williamson, _____. Photographer: Oscar Glover.

Thanks, Jo. Good photo quality after all these years. Can anyone help with identifications?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lampkin Barber Shop - Additional Information

This photo was posted previously but was a faded newspaper copy. This is a better photo.

There were four chairs in this shop.

Bill (Billy Bob) Lampkin sent the photo and the following info:

The first chair, which doesn't show, is empty. Martin Jordan, from Blue Springs only worked on Saturday. (This was about 1944.) The second chair is Cecil Lytal. He later took the shop in the Henry Clay Hotel in West Point. His customer is Jim Barnett.

The third chair is Audrey Green. His customer and Jack's customer are brothers. (I am pretty sure their name is Gholston or Gholson.)

Audrey went to West point in 1952 to work with Cecil.

The fourth chair is Jack Lampkin.

Frank "Hambone" Stewart is leaning abainst the back mirrors.

Martin truck farmed and barbered in his house. Cecil ran the body shop at Prather Ford.

Audrey loved music and sang and led singing at revivals and taught singing schools.

Jack was a lay preacher and helped at Lebanon Methodist and Asbury Methodist and Wheeler Methodist pretty regularly. He taught boys' Sunday school and was scout master for over 30 years. He was awarded the Silver Beaver in 1947. He was a first class father, too, as his four sons' lives attest.

Bill Lampkin took the shop in 1950 and worked there until 1953. Gene Prentiss took Cecil's place, and in 1953, bought the shop.

Dayton Mink worked there in 1949 and 1951.

Click on image to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Attention 1960 BHS Grads!!

After talking with several BHS '60 classmates, we have scheduled a planning session for our 50th Class Reunion for SATURDAY, March 20th, 2010, 2:00 PM at the PRATT SCHOOL LUNCH ROOM. The facility has been reserved for that date, please bring drinks and/or snacks for yourself and your wife/husband/date, etc. If you have the contact info for classmates other than the ones shown above, please either call or email that to me or contact the other classmates and let them know about the planning session and encourage them to attend. When contacting classmates who live outside the area and will not be able to attend the planning session, encourage them to give their opinions, suggestions, etc to be discussed.
Also, please be prepared to discuss your ideas, including the info below:
1) Date for Reunion(some have suggested having the reunion on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010 to coincide with the Okeelala Festival & Car Show).
2) Location for Reunion.(including food, etc)
3) Contacting all Classmates.(possibly forming a committee responsible for contacting everyone).
4) Mementos.(Classmate Bios, commemorative coffee cups, etc).
5) Forming committees responsible for each category.
6) Other ideas and suggestions.
Since the Pratt School has been reserved all day the 20th, I plan to be there early and probably will eat lunch at Agnew's, join me if you can.
Don McKibben

June 1964 Parade

-click to enlarge-

Some street scenes from the 1964 crossroads celebration. Notice the town was still lively then, quite a few people handy for the parade including the gentleman in overalls in the lower photo.

These photographs were made, I believe, at the same time as the one we use every June showing the parade coming west from town.

The band majorettes and band members didn't have their uniforms at that time. One of the girls in the center photo has tentatively been identified as Linda Gail White. Hope that is correct, and can someone identify the other two?

The upper photo is a marching column of the "Mississippi Grays" turning the corner at North Second and Clayton Streets (Al's Cafe used to be on this corner, it is now the PCEPA).

The stores shown are easily identified... The Farmers and Merchants Bank, Shellnut's, and the Philco Store owned and operated by Walter Sprinkle, Tom's Drug Store sign, etc.

Thanks to Robert Palmer for submitting these photos.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cowboy Music Trio

A photo from the early 1960s with Ralph Pennington on guitar/vocals, "Googe" Prather (center) on vocals, and Simon Spight on harmonica/vocals.

This band had a name but I cannot remember it. Maybe some of you can.

As you may recall, there were many good singers in Baldwyn; Googe Prather and Simon Spight were especially involved in christian and gospel music. Ralph was a very good guitar player and country singer. I understand he also sang gospel, but I personally never heard him do that.

From a clipping out of the Baldwyn Weekly News. The setting appears to be the BHS stage.