News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Cathy D. Wahl

Contagious skin infection reaches epidemic level

From the archives of THE DECATUR DAILY:

75 Years Ago

Jan. 6-12, 1930

Decatur doctors and health workers fought a widespread, contagious skin infection in 1930. After sporadic outbreaks during the summer and fall, the disease was declared to be in epidemic stages with scores of households affected.

Riverside High School seniors voted to build up the school library instead of publishing an annual. The entire student body divided into "reds" and "whites, under the leadership of Evelyn Giles and Katherine O'Brien, to secure books.

Hartselle's Morgan County High School is one of four state high schools to win a top ranking for efficiency of operation. E.L. Hays is school superintendent.

50 Years Ago

Jan. 9-15, 1955

The Decatur Red Shield Boys Club All-Stars will leave for Nashville on Friday to play the Salvation Army Community Center. Director and coach Ron Osborne said the team is made up of boys in the 16-year-old and under Junior League. Players are Jack Smith, John Thronbrough, Ed West, Bill Holladay, Bill Sessions, Bob Stephenson, Jim Francis, Jim Johnson, Jim Jones, Don Johnson, Malcolm Smith and Bill Holland.

Decatur Transit owner W.J. Williams warned that Decatur could be left without mass transportation.

Williams stated that in 1948, company buses carried an average of 5,143 passengers per day. In 1954, the company carried an average of only 2,769 passengers per day. "Our cab operations' revenue for a month is less than it was for a week during 1948," he added. He noted that there was a 75 percent increase in auto registration from 1948 to 1954.

"If you want to be sure to have bus service when you need it, use it at least once a week," he warned. "Picture a future Decatur without its mass transportation system."

The problems are similar to those in 1924 when streetcars were discontinued because of auto competition.

Jack Cambron, second vice president of the Alabama Archaeological Society, will talk with the Flint Teen Age Club about Indian groups that roamed this area before the white man came. Mrs. J.L. Howard will host the meeting. Cambron will present several Indian artifacts that he has discovered.

The newly seated Alabama Legislature raised its pay from $20 to $30 per day and then recessed until Tuesday, the day after Gov.-elect Jim Folsom was inaugurated.

Southern Bell Telephone Co. added another 291 telephones in the Decatur area during 1954.

New officers for the Lacey's Spring Community Club are Walter V. Hough, J.W. Maples, Edwin Morris, Mrs. Winfrey, James Oakes, Mr. Keener and Mildred Thomas.

Morgan County High School's National Honor Society and the Sub-Deb Club of Decatur will sell miniature blue crutch lapel pins to raise money for the Morgan County 1955 March of Dimes campaign. Judy Newman, Carolyn Block, Rhona Howell, Wanda Gatlin, Maurine Duncan and Carolyn Moss of MCHS sell the paper crutches Saturday in downtown Hartselle. Sub-Deb members who will sell the pins include Mary Ann Russell, Gerry Sivley, Mona Ray Kelly, Joan Hoppenjans, Marguerite Livingston and Sandra Neher.

25 Years Ago

Jan. 6-12, 1980

George Royer, who is circulating petitions calling for a vote on legal sales of alcoholic beverages in Morgan County, says he has only half enough signatures.

Some 400 Lawrence County residents turned a Courtland public meeting into a virtual pep rally, urging TVA to build its proposed coal gasification plant there.

Calhoun Community College named its science center for the late Harry W. Rice, who was director of development for about 10 years. He raised $11 million for capital outlay and established the Calhoun Foundation. He previously served as executive director of Point Mallard.

Calhoun Community College professor Steve Reisser owns a home computer and predicts that someday all homes will have at least one computer. He writes software on his TRS-80 computer.

Decatur High School's girls basketball team made history Friday night with their first-ever victory over the Austin Lady Black Bears 55-51. "This is the biggest win ever for us," roared coach Mike Smith. Susan Neville led the potent Lady Raider attack with 15 points. Debbie Evans added 11. Tina Chairs led Austin with 25 points, and Joyce Holt added 11.

Decatur's youth ice hockey teams won one of three games against Birmingham at Point Mallard. John Johnson scored both Decatur goals as the Chargers lost 7-2. John Hoppenjans, Mark Trammell and Mark Prestridge accounted for the Sabers' goals in a 5-3 loss. The Stingers won 6-2 with Marty Dore scoring three goals. Lee Burrus and Kenny Knable had one each.

10 Years Ago

Jan. 8-14, 1995

Bobbie Ward, manager of Badcock Home Furnishing Center, says she's excited about her store's move to the old Woolworth building in downtown Decatur. The store was located at 1519 West Moulton St.

After 29 years of clerking for Lawrence County's tax collector, Tommy Pugh is now the grandma in charge. Gov. Jim Folsom appointed the 58-year-old to take the place of exiting tax collector Harce Hill, who was elected to the circuit court clerk's position in November.

Alabama's hi-octane running game, low on fuel, turned to former Decatur High star Yolanda Watkins to defeat No. 6 Vanderbilt 71-63. Yo poured in a game-high 24 points.

Hugh Greene and Paul Chism Jr. of Scientific Utilization in Decatur have a machine that treats sewage with electric shock. The company, partly owned by Russians, uses technology and parts imported from Russia.

— Compiled
by Cathy D. 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 Cathy D. Wahl
DAILY Staff Writer

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