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SUNDAY, JANUARY 23, 2005
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VALLEY OF YEARS PAST
Cathy D. Wahl

League of Women voters erects sign welcoming Decatur visitors

From the archives of THE DECATUR DAILY:

75 Years Ago

Jan. 20-26, 1930

A new sign at Keller Bridge will welcome visitors to Decatur. The League of Women Voters worked for several months to raise funds for the "Decatur Welcomes You" sign. City Council members agreed to pay for lighting the sign at a cost of $11.32 a month.

The Morgan County Board of Education paid $20.83 per pupil to educate the county's youngsters during the 1928-29 school year. The board paid an average salary of $601.82 per elementary school teacher and $1,036.37 per high school teacher.

50 Years Ago

Jan. 23-29, 1955

Decatur completed a $3 million, five-year modernization of schools for some 4,400 students. Half of the money is invested in the 117,760 square feet of space that comprise the new Walter Jackson Elementary School, new Lakeside High School which opens Monday, new additions to Somerville Road and Cherry Street elementary schools and renovations to Gordon-Bibb and Riverside elementary schools. The other $1.5 million built West Decatur Elementary and Decatur High schools, which opened doors in September 1950.

Robert L. "Bob" MacGregor won the Distinguished Service Award given annually by the Decatur Jaycees to a citizen between 21 and 35. Nominated by the Lions Club, MacGregor is industrial engineering supervisor with Wolverine Tube.

Limestone County's Board of Education has too many members. The Alabama attorney general's office may decide which of two men installed this week will keep the only legitimate opening on the board. Outgoing state superintendent W.J. Terry named Hoyt Williams or Williamson (take your pick) to the board. Incoming superintendent A.R. Meadows appointed C.R. Jones, who qualified with Limestone Probate Judge Roy Malone on Thursday morning. Malone duly swore him in. Then, Saturday about 2 p.m., Williamson claimed he was the legitimate appointee. Malone swore him in, too.

New officers of Decatur Assembly No. 26, Order of the Rainbow for Girls, include Vonda Nelms, Jane Upchurch, Julia Sue Terry, June Terry, Charlotte Pace, Margaret McDowra, Alma Suggs, Jean Rogers, Jo Anne Elliott, Shirlene Lyle, Donna Leonard, Patsy Harvey, Jean Posey, Pat Sanderson, Reba Dinsmore, Shirley Lonas, Patricia Powell, Dement Hughes, Jimmie Burks and Douglas Ann Thrasher.

Light snow swept over North Alabama with temperatures as low as 15 degrees. Some bridges iced.

The Opera Group and Orchestra of the Decatur Music Club will perform selections from "Rigoletto" at West Decatur School. Mrs. W. L. Roberts, Reneau Carrell, Mrs. R.E. Conner, R.H. Helle, G.R. Baur and Walter Carter will sing with Mrs. Doyle Taylor accompanying on piano.

Jane Hannah, 16, is the sweetheart of the Hazlewood High School FFA chapter.

Gloria Speaks of Athens won the title of "Miss Florence State."

Chairman David McCray opened the first 1955 meeting of the Joe Wheeler Division of Boy Scouts of America at Cherry Street Elementary School. Leaders set goals for the 223 boys who are scouts. Those at the meeting included David Kelly, T.W. Bridges, M.B. Evans, Henry Evans, W.L. England, Robert Reeves, William Vaughn, R. Jackson, John Cowans, Miss A.C. Banks, Mabel Johnson and Addie Glascow.

25 Years Ago

Jan. 20-26, 1980

Decatur's Fire Department is seriously short of on-duty firefighters. The city's six fire companies have been manned completely only three times in the last 139 days. Chief A.D. Terry said that the department is short three firefighters.

Hundreds of Lawrence County property owners cannot protest tax assessments — a right guaranteed by state law, tax records show. Their right to protest is being denied because the county's Board of Equalization hasn't met since May 1977. When the board adjourned after 30 days of work, it left hundreds of property owners without answers to tax protests they had filed during the year.

Hartselle policeman Wayne Coots' warm hug and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation may have saved the life of 18-year-old James Clemons of Athens, abandoned in a field near Hartselle after his mother was slain. Clyde Reeves found the infant, lying in a field and covered with a bright yellow jumpsuit, when he returned home.

Priceville fifth-grade cheerleaders are Dana Collins, Emily Houser, Shelly Dunkin, Karla Patterson, Selena Wright, Tracy Allen, Karen Duran and Sherry Byford. Robin Malphrus is mascot.

The Decatur Rescue Mission, which will host an open house Sunday, is the dream of director Bobby Crawford and wife, Shirley. The mission began as the Sonshine Mission, connected with a group of Christians operating Sonshine Ministries.

10 Years Ago

Jan. 22-28, 1995

Natsuko Nakagawa, 25, lived through Japan's devastating earthquake last week. She is now in Decatur visiting her father Shin Nakagawa, who is vice president of Daikin.

Facing a competing buyer for the empty Robinson-Royal furniture building, the Decatur City Council agreed to purchase the property for use in a downtown civic center proposal.

Decatur Police Chief Frank Shafer Jr. is giving Decatur's bingo games until Sunday at 12:01 a.m. to shut down. He said he advised the clubs and organizations running the games that they are illegal.

Melvin Baldwin Jr., 28, who quit his job at Goodyear Mill in Decatur to be a fulltime musician, will appear on "The Tonight Show" with singer Dionne Farris, former singer with the group Arrested Development.

— Compiled by
Cathy D. Wahl

THE 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. Call Cathy D. Wahl at 350-6983.

Cathy D. Wahl Cathy D. Wahl
DAILY Staff Writer

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