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Memoried Glances: 1941 — Voters approve housing project

Memoried Glances

Julia Dyar

Contributing columnist

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Marches past, 75 years ago.

From The LaGrange Graphic, 1941.

Front Page News

LaGrange Citizens Vote 623–52 in Favor of Housing Project — LaGrange citizens “went to the polls” last night (March 7) and voted overwhelmingly to accept the $400,000 allocated by the federal government to build a housing project in this city.

The final count was 623 for, and 52 against. With this action LaGrange took a progressive step to join Athens, Augusta, Savannah, Decatur, Marietta, Brunswick and Columbus in securing better housing conditions.

Before an enthusiastic crowd that filled every available inch of the Troup County court room and jammed the hall space, the speakers for and against the project waxed hot and furious.

The landslide vote clearly shows which side carried the most weight.

City Council Votes to Accept Federal Housing Allocation — Members of the LaGrange City Council last night (March 14) voted unanimously to accept the $400,000 allocation for a federal housing project in LaGrange.

Following the vote, Mayor R.S. O’Neal nominated men to form a housing authority. The nominations are subject to approval of Gov. Eugene Talmadge, which is expected within the next few days.

Army Officers Seek Site Here for Air Depot — Five United States army officers are in LaGrange today inspecting available sites for a proposed $14 million Army aviation base.

The officers were accompanied on a tour of the city by J.J. Milam, Mayor R.S. O’Neal, Fuller E. Callaway Jr., J.R. Terrell Jr., B.J. Mayer, R.C. Swank, G.H. Sargent and Lewis Price.

The plant will employ about 2,800 civilian employees during normal times, and about 5,000 during an emergency. A majority of the workers will be sheet metal and welding experts, aircraft engine and construction mechanics.

Other sites which have been inspected by the board are Atlanta, Macon, Milledgeville and Chattanooga.

Last Links of Road Finished — Last links of the Taft Memorial Highway (Georgia 1, Federal 27) which traverses the entire length of the United States from the Canadian border to Fort Myers, Florida, will be forged at Carrollton and Franklin on Thursday, March 13.

Taft Highway officials, county and municipal leaders, Civic clubs and other organizations, newspaper men and other citizens of Troup County have been invited to take part in a celebration banquet at West Georgia College at 6 p.m.

Preceding this banquet, the newly constructed $108,000 bridge across the Chattahoochee River at Franklin will be dedicated.

This means a new north-south highway, directly benefiting the citizens of LaGrange, will now be opened to through traffic, eliminating all dirt roads and detours in the 1,700 mile stretch of the traffic artery.

Local Women Rally to Call for Red Cross Production — LaGrange women have responded with enthusiasm to the call issued by Mrs. Clyde Lovejoy Jernigan, volunteer service chairman of the LaGrange chapter of the American Red Cross, for volunteers to assist in the production program asked of the local chapter by the American Red Cross.

To date approximately 25 organized women’s groups have volunteered services of their members to do sewing and knitting to provide clothing for sufferers in war stricken areas. A number of individuals have also volunteered their services in the humanitarian program.

J. Forrest Johnson Has Married 1,288 Couples In 17 Years — Ordinary J. Forrest Johnson in the last 17 years has performed 1,288 marriage ceremonies since taking office in 1924.

People from all over the country have come to LaGrange to be married, including couples from such distant places as New York and Texas.

A total of 665 white couples and 628 (African-American) couples have been married by Mr. Johnson.

Workers Begin Construction Of WLAG Radio Tower — Construction began Monday on the 190 foot tower for LaGrange radio station WLAG.

Workers will install a copper wire ground system in order to make the service of the station more efficient.

The tower, which is being built in the Calumet Mill yard, will be painted and lighted as specified by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.

Remodeling of the LaGrange News office — LaGrange Broadcasting Company will be located in the same building — is going forward at a fast pace.

R.C. Swank, president of the LaGrange Broadcasting Company, announced today that the station is expected to be operating by April 15.

Oldest Home-owned Store To Close — Daniel’s Grocery store, the oldest home-owned grocery in western Georgia, will be closed after Saturday night, A.E. Daniel announced today.

The late Edmund Daniel, father of the present owner, opened the first Daniel store on the Columbus highway in the Pleasant Grove community in 1893, and in 1896 the business was transferred to LaGrange, where it has been in operation for the past 45 years.

In announcing the close, Mr. Daniel said, “I wish to express my deepest thanks to the people of LaGrange for their patronage through the years”

Julia Dyar, a retired journalist, is active in the Troup County Historical Society.