News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Cathy D. Wahl

School year is shortened by 1 month

From the archives of THE DECATUR DAILY:

75 Years Ago

Feb. 17-23, 1930

With little hope of reducing its large deficit, the Morgan County Board of Education decided to shorten the school year by one month.

Mary Lee Foote is apparently the first woman in Morgan County's history to qualify to run for public office. She filed the necessary papers to place her name on the ballot for tax collector. She taught in the Danville public school and lives in the Center Grove section.

The Ross Hotel, a first-class hotel, will open in Athens on March 30. Owners say the hostelry will offer 40 rooms with steam heat, hot and cold running water and a private or connecting bath. The hotel is designed so that 20 additional rooms can be added when the town's growth justifies it.

50 Years Ago

Feb. 20-26, 1955

More than 16,000 residents of Limestone County are hungrily awaiting the balance of a government surplus commodities shipment that might alleviate suffering brought on by the failure of the 1954 cotton crop. The county's Board of Revenue said it will wait a few days until milk arrives to distribute already-received shipments of butter, cheese, beans and shortening.

A "thing" in Lawrence County puzzles experts. Hayden Coffey, who keeps watch on the sanctuary area of the Bankhead National Forest, was on patrol when a large, dog-like animal ran near his vehicle. Coffey shot it three times with his .22 caliber pistol and killed the 42-pound beast. "Dogs refused to go near it," Coffey said. The "thing" is believed to be a rare Southern Wolf. The specimen is currently in a frozen food locker in Moulton.

Splitting 4-2, the Athens City Council accepted an Anniston contractor's bid to build a new municipal building for $259,855. The building will go up on a half block on Marion and Hobbs streets.

Dudley Jackson Smith, 17; and brothers Paul William Holmes, 20; and Freddie Roy Holmes, 18, all of Falkville, are completing their Air Force basic military training courses at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Priceville chopped a shaky Eva defense to ribbons and threw up an iron wall themselves Saturday night to win the Morgan County basketball tournament, 50-33. Named to the roster of the All-Morgan County Seniors were Blagburn of Austinville; Humphries of Eva; Hal Duncan and Nelson of Falkville; Kitchens of Trinity; Holliday of Danville; Higdon of Hartselle; Winton and Thompson of Priceville; and Wiley of Decatur.

Athens' Rocket Five turned on the scoring power to slash past Ardmore 79-64 and take the Limestone County Senior Basketball Championship. The All-County Senior Team included Clem and Hogan of Ardmore; Booth, Orr and Hargrove of Athens; Balch of East Limestone; Hargrove of Tanner and Safley of West Limestone.

Roads leading to Gum Pond in southeast Morgan County were deep in mud, but area residents jammed the little one-room schoolhouse to see sponsors of the statewide 1954 Cotton Improvement Contest present Gum Pond Community Club with a $500 prize as the best 1954 entry in North Alabama. John R. Burden and James Meherg of the club accepted the money.

25 Years Ago

Feb. 17-23, 1980

Decatur High School graduate Donald B. Whitmire joined the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Whitmire, who played football, made All-America at both The University of Alabama and the United State Naval Academy. He served 32 years in the Navy.

Christy Jones, 19, of Decatur, is the Alabama state winner in the Love's Baby Soft modeling contest.

Five years after becoming a law enforcement officer, J.C. Holliday became Moulton's police chief. Holliday replaces Ralph Heflin, who died of a heart attack in December.

Officials of SCI Systems of Huntsville are planning a 50-employee foundry branch of the firm in Lacey's Spring. Bill Abding of SCI said the company is negotiating for a 40-acre site about two miles south of Whitesburg Bridge.

The Decatur Elks Lodge honored teen-agers of the month for the past six months. Honorees included David Holmes, Phillip Thomas Robinson, Missy Atkins and Kaddy Lee Milam of Decatur High School; Andrea Leigh Arthur, Cynthia Aileen Jones, Howard Land Jr. and Bradley Darryl Long of Austin High; and Victor Marion Lemmond, Orvill Ray Landers Jr. and Carol Ann Haga and Jennifer Carol Holmes of Brewer High.

The Alabama Commission on High Education voted Friday 5-4 to recommend abolishing Athens State College and returning it to the Methodist church by Fall 1991.

10 Years Ago

Feb. 19-25, 1995

Laurie Hannah of Decatur is the new Miss Judson College.

Griff Alexander, 8, a third-grader at Moulton Elementary School, is Alabama's Easter Seal ambassador. He was born with spina bifida.

Moulton will add two more businesses on Alabama 157. Moulton Bank will remodel the Church of the Nazarene for an office. Huddle House will build a restaurant on the highway.

For the third year, Danville High School's boys basketball team lost to Winfield in the Class 3A playoffs.

— Compiled by

D. 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 Cathy D. Wahl
DAILY Staff Writer

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