Memoried Glances: 1941 — Community celebrates ‘King Cotton’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2016

Memoried Glances

Julia Dyar

Contributing columnist

Mays past, 75 years ago.

From the LaGrange Daily News, 1941.

Front Page News

Cotton Celebration Is Big Success In LaGrange Thursday — King Cotton was dictator for a day, however, he ruled in LaGrange on Thursday with nonaggressive thoughts.

Officials of the Junior Chamber of Commerce announced today that the parade and Cotton Ball were the most successful ones of any Cotton Week celebrations ever held in LaGrange.

Hundreds of people lined the streets yesterday to see the big parade. Many comments of praise were heard concerning the remarkable ability of the Junior Drum and Bugle Corps and the Callaway All-Girls Band.

The Cotton Ball at the LaGrange High School gymnasium was a success from the first bit of melody to the last.

Once again the community acknowledged the importance of cotton to our economy.

Callaway Auditorium Will Be One Of Best In Georgia — The Callaway Auditorium now being erected by Textile Benefit Association will, on completion, afford to the people of the city one of the most up-to-date and best equipped auditorium and gymnasium plants in the state.

An imposing structure of red brick and limestone, the building is situated in the center of a 22-acre plot, with beautifully planted grounds in Southwest LaGrange, directly opposite the baseball stadium on Dallis Street.

The total seating capacity for stage productions will be approximately 2,000, with temporary seats available for placing on the gymnasium floor for special occasions.

Providing for banquets and dinners accommodating around 50 guests, a fully equipped kitchen, modern in all appointments, and a dining room, finished in walnut, are included in the plans.

Because of a delay in steel delivery, the structure will not be completed before the fall months.

Thirty-Eight Industrial Plants In Troup Employ 6,204, U.S. Census Reveals — LaGrange and Troup County have 38 industrial plants that employ 6,204 people and pay them $4,382,067, according to the latest U.S. census figures. The report is for 1939, which was not an exceptionally good year for industries.

It is estimated that the present figure would show several hundred more people employed and the payroll in excess of four and a half or five million dollars, since our mills are running on better schedules due to defense activities.

The same report shows LaGrange with 24 plants and 4,632 employees. The other 14 plants are located outside the city limits. 1939 wages are not disclosed.

Tax Digest For 1941 Exceeds 1940 Figure — The 1941 tax digest for the city of LaGrange exceeds the 1940 digest by $79,000, City Clerk J. H. Moss announced today. In 1940 the digest amounted to $12,081,167 compared to $12,160,767.

The tax rate for this year was set at 15 mills, which is the same figure as last year.

Recreation Centers Used By Many LaGrange People — Approximately 1,300 individuals were reached during the months of February, March and April through the two recreation centers maintained by the LaGrange Recreation Planning Board, John Wilcox, chairman of the board, reported to the LaGrange Community Fund directors at the recent quarterly meeting.

The total attendance at the various activities at the two recreation centers, Harwell Avenue for white persons, and Union Street for African-Americans, during the three months approximated 16,800.

Both programs are directed by Joseph E. Briggs, WPA unit supervisor of recreation, with the assistance of eight other recreation leaders, all of whom are paid by the Works Progress Administration.

St. John Methodist History Will Be Relived On Sunday — The history of the St. John Methodist Church will be relived by its members and former members at the homecoming celebration next Sunday.

The second oldest Methodist Church in LaGrange, it was organized April 5, 1892, by the Rev. W. H. Speer, under the name of the Second Methodist Church with 30 members on roll.

By 1898 the church had attained a high place in the spiritual life of the city, with 236 members. The membership of the first church did much in assisting the new church to attain this record.

Registrants Asked To Make Themselves Fit For Army Duty — Calling upon all registrants to “make yourself fit for service,” Selective Service officials today announced they planned general distribution of an educational pamphlet in LaGrange concerning standard physical requirements of the Army and suggestions for correction of remedial defects.

The information distributed will suggest that registrants consult their personal physicians and dentists prior to their examination by local board examiners and have remediable disorders corrected to fit them for military service.

This is expected to reduce the percentages of registrants being rejected by local boards as physically unfit for general training.

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