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SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 2005
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VALLEY OF YEARS PAST
Cathy D. Wahl

New Year's Eve celebrants at Princess see 'Showboat,' revel at 'Whoopee Party'

From the archives of THE DECATUR DAILY:

75 Years Ago

Dec. 29, 1929-Jan. 5, 1930

The Princess Theatre ushered in 1930 with a midnight frolic. The theater sold out of seats to see and hear "Showboat" starring Florence Ziegfeld and Helen Morgan. Following the picture, "New Year's Eve Whoopee Party" depicted college life in the 1920s. Everyone received noisemakers and souvenirs.

A front-page DECATUR DAILY article noted that Decatur and Morgan County enjoyed a good year in 1929. Prosperity and no serious outbreaks of illness marked the year.

Wholesale grocers Brock & Spight entered its 32nd year of business on Jan. 1. The company is one of the largest wholesale distributors in the territory.

50 Years Ago

Jan. 2-8, 1955

Decatur's third all new school building the past four years will open Monday to about 320 students. Walter Jackson Elementary School, costing $300,000, will open and relieve Somerville Road School of split shifts.

Sidewalks into the new wing at Somerville Road school are now complete, along with two new unloading docks in the driveway. The new addition to Cherry Street School will open Monday morning, but the cafeteria is not yet complete.

Lakeside School students will return to the old building Monday morning. The new Negro high school will not be ready for another two or three weeks.

A daughter born to Mr. and Mrs. Silas Nix of Route 2 Moulton was the first child born in 1955 in Cullman, Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties. Miss Nix was born at 2:45 a.m. at Baugh-Wiley Clinic. At Hartselle Hospital, a daughter arrived at 4 a.m. to Mr. and Mrs. Quinion Blevins of Route 1 Falkville. Lawrence County's first was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Morrow of Route 1 Hillsboro. The first boy, born to Mr. and Mrs. Alvie Snow of Route 1 Tanner, arrived at 2:14 p.m. at Decatur General Hospital.

His clothes soaked with gasoline from the ruptured tank of a 1954 Dodge, 21-year-old C.T. Hamilton Jr. of Route 2 Hillsboro escaped death when an unidentified man pulled him from the blazing auto. Hamilton was trapped in the car after it went out of control on a curve on the Irvin-Hollis county road.

The Rev. Frank F. Davis of Arcadia, Ind., accepted a call to the First Christian Church of Athens. He succeeds R.N. Simpson, who retired in December 1953.

Agnes Jones entertained on New Year's Eve with a turkey dinner. Nandina and Jackson vine decorated the house. Guests included Luella Moseley, Mattie Reeves, Maggie White, Gladys King, Juanita Long, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Porter, Mr. and Mrs. Clifton Cooper, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Pointer, Mr. and Mrs. Ruben Fields, Mr. and Mrs. Hosea Grigsby and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Phillips.

Dr. and Mrs. Berthold Kennedy entertained on New Year's Day at their beautiful ante-bellum home, Belle Manor, on the Mooresville-Belle Mina road. They will leave soon for their winter home in Anna Maria, Fla.

The Dimes Drive on Saturday at 10 a.m. will open the March of Dimes drive with a motorcade through the streets of Athens. Howard Roper and Clarence McDaniel are chairing the drive.

25 Years Ago

Dec. 30, 1979-Jan. 5, 1980

Farmers in Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties are planning their 1980 cotton and soybean crops and it appears that soybeans will again be tops in total acreage. Morgan County farm agent Harry Houston says farmers can make an average profit of $88 per acre with soybeans, compared to $35 per acre profit with cotton.

Moulton Police Chief Ralph Heflin Jr., 44, died of a heart attack Saturday.

Donna Jean Reeves, born at 2:26 a.m. on Jan. 1 at Decatur General Hospital, was the first baby born in 1980. She is the daughter of Bonnie and Elbert Reeves of Route 1 Trinity.

Jerry's Restaurant owner David Burnham said food prices could increase because of the minimum wage increase that went into effect Jan. 1. The minimum wages rose from $2.90 to $3.10 an hour.

10 Years Ago

Jan. 1-7, 1995

Brittney Sadai Green, Decatur's first baby of 1995, shares a birthday with her mother Sophia Green, 28.

Luis and Sheila Meneses were among 400-plus dancers from Decatur's Hispanic community who rang in the new year at an alcohol-free party for families at the Morgan County Fairgrounds.

East Lawrence High School cheerleaders won second place at the national Cheerleading Association competition in Dallas. The team competed in the small varsity division. Cheerleaders are Kelly Dutton, Leslie Whitlock, Allison Delashaw, Kari Delashaw, Monica Witt, Karen Lentz, Bridget Carraway, Pam Micklow, Brandi Wade and Misty Witt.

Decatur construction fell 28.5 percent in 1994, a slowdown blamed on high interest rates, corporate downsizing and an overbuilt market for expensive homes.

Ronny Adams, David White, Wayne Holliday and 12 other members of the Polar Bears Club took their annual noon plunge at the Decatur Boat Harbor.

Two months after his election as a Democrat, Limestone County Commissioner Walter McGlocklin said his party "has moved too far to the political left" and he has become a Republican.

— Compiled by Cathy Wahl

THE DECATUR DAILY welcomes the loan of any photos depicting people, places and events from Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties for each Sunday's "Valley of Years Past" column. Photos will be returned. Contact the Living Today department at 353-4612, or Cathy D. Wahl at 350-6983 or cathy.d.wahl
@decaturdaily.com.

Cathy D. Wahl Cathy D. Wahl
DAILY Staff Writer

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