Memoried Glances: LaGrange in 1940 — Airport deal takes shape

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 10, 2015

Memoried Glances

Julia Dyar

Contributing columnist

Octobers past, 75 years ago.

From The LaGrange Reporter, 1940.


City, County Acquire Local Airport — The local airport has been purchased by the city of LaGrange and Troup County, and plans are being made to negotiate with the federal government in connection with the establishing of a United States air base here.

The purchase came Monday evening as the climax of special meetings of the county commissioners and the City Council and mayor. At the meetings resolutions favoring the purchase of the tract unanimously were passed and Fuller E. Callaway Jr., representing the ownership of the tract, signified his acceptance.

Terms of the purchase provide for municipal ownership of the entire airport tract of 331 acres of land within the fenced-in confines of the runway, however there are 560 acres in the tract that may be developed into a gigantic field.

A follow-up meeting of high officials of the county, city and Chamber of Commerce was held today to iron out plans for putting the field and plans for its development before the proper authorities in Washington, D.C. A delegation of local authorities will leave tentatively on Sunday for the capital.

Airport Group Returns Friday — Members of the LaGrange airport delegation, which has been in Washington this week in an effort to secure federal aid for the development of an airbase here, returned Friday after meetings with the navy and war departments and Civil Aeronautics Authority.

It was reported by returning representatives that an appropriation for development of 250 local airports has been passed by Congress, but the LaGrange airbase is reported as project 404 and is not presently eligible for funding.

Two alternatives are open to LaGrange at this time. The local project can be brought to the attention of aviation authorities throughout this section and if they favor it, the local development can be stepped up to a listing among the 250 for which funds have already been allotted. The other alternative is the awaiting of further appropriations in Congress.

J.J. Milam, representing the county, said that a modification of both alternatives will be followed in the effort to establish a base here.

Troup Countians Register for Construction — A total of 6,199 Troup County males registered Oct. 16 for national conscription, the nation’s first peace time military roundup of manpower. This was revealed today following a consolidation of the lists compiled in the LaGrange, Hogansville, West Point and Troup County school systems.

In LaGrange 3,502 registered, In Hogansville 770, in West Point 789 and the county system 938.

Superintendent B.A. Lancaster said that local registration far surpassed expectations. A total of 3,000 had been expected from LaGrange.

Superintendent J.H. Melson of the county system said that between 95 and 97 percent of Troup County males between the ages of 21 and 36 years registered and in many instances youths who had not yet reached their 21st birthday attempted to register.

Both Lancaster of LaGrange and Melson of the county said that teachers and others who volunteered their services as registrars worked hard and efficiently. They expressed their thanks to everyone.

Motorcade Commemorates New Road — With an expected 100 automobiles carrying residents of LaGrange and Troup County, the Chamber of Commerce goodwill motorcade, commemorating the completion of the LaGrange-Carrollton extension of the Taft Memorial Highway, was scheduled to pull out at 11 o’clock this morning for a visit to Franklin, Roopville, Centralhatchee and Carrollton.

High officials of the state highway department, Carrollton, Carroll County, Franklin, Heard County, LaGrange, Troup County, Georgia state executive department and the Taft Memorial Association are to participate in the ‘cade.

To add a colorful note, the Championship LaGrange Drum and Bugle Corps and the All-Girls band are slated to participate in the parade, playing at each stop. Lunch will be served in Franklin by the Franklin Parent-Teachers Association.

The motorcade is expected to promote better trade relations between LaGrange and neighboring cities.

LaGrange Now Available From Four Directions — The opening of the newly paged LaGrange-Carrollton Highway now makes LaGrange available to almost every city on the four points of the compass from the Troup County seat.

Last year on Oct. 25, a similar motorcade celebrated the completion of the LaGrange-Greenville paving job. Two years ago a third motorcade drove to Franklin when the LaGrange-Franklin Road was paved.

This latest connection is expected to be a creditable extension to the memorial highway, which runs from Florida into southern Canada.

Harriett’s Letter — The youngsters are anxious to do their part in the work of providing food and clothing for the refugees in war-torn Europe. Last week, a voluntary movement got underway at Dawson Street School. The pupils are dropping their extra pennies in a box, and the proceeds will be given by the Junior Red Cross to alleviate a little of the suffering.

Members of the Junior section of the LaGrange Woman’s Club are sponsoring a sewing project for the Red Cross. Mrs. M.M. Trotter has offered the use of her home as a sewing center during the winter months or as long as the section will do the sewing.

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