News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Mary Lott

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Courtesy Photo
The aftermath of an April 3, 1974, tornado at Tanner. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a storm system spawned a super outbreak of tornadoes with 148 twisters in 24 hours. In all, there were 29 deaths among residents in Morgan, Lawrence, Limestone and Cullman counties, and hundreds of injuries that night.

Speake girl is named Miss Decatur

75 Years Ago

Oct. 2-8, 1931

Frances Blackwell was named Miss Decatur for 1931 at Princess Theatre. She represented Speake.

At District 4-H calf show in Huntsville, Limestone County won second in junior calf, third and sixth in senior calf, first and fourth in junior yearling, first and second in senior yearling, and first, third and fifth in cows 2-years-old and years and older. Alvis Davenport's cow was grand champion.

50 Years Ago

Oct. 2-8, 1956

Nine Limestone County 4-H Club boys received cross meat type hogs in a 4-H project that officials hoped would reduce the cost of producing quality pork. The hogs were crosses between pure bred Landrace and pure bred Hampshires.

In 1955, W. Van Gilbert, a prominent Limestone farmer and businessman, purchased the first registered Landrace boar from the Alabama Experiment Station for improving the type of meat hog being produced on his farm.

The next step in Gilbert's program was to cross the Landrace with purebred Hampshires, which gives a modern type of desirable meat.

In order for others to have the advantage of producing meat hogs of this type, Gilbert worked with Extension workers and the 4-H club program under the supervision of David R. Kelley, a 4-H club agent.

As a result, the first cross meat type hogs were placed in the 4-H club project program. The members that participated in the program and received hogs were Eldridge Siniard, David Griffin, B.I. Griggs Jr., David N. Usery, Jimmy Wales, Charles Daucom, Harry M. Gilbert, Glenn Foster and Charles P. Black.

25 Years Ago

Oct. 2-8, 1981

Army Lt. Col. Perry Rolfe of Morgan County became the new battalion commander for the 877th Engineer Battalion of the Alabama National Guard. Rolfe was employed by the Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal as chief of construction section, quality assurance branch facility engineer division.

He and his wife, Julia, and their children lived in Somerville.

Gary Payne and Dan Edwards captured top honors in the Decatur Men's Tennis Association's season-ending singles tournament at Point Mallard's Jimmy Johns Tennis Center.

Payne won the No. 1 position of the White Division and Edwards won the No.1 position of the Orange Division.

Pete McMahan was crowned Tennessee Vally Fiddle King for the second time.

10 Years Ago

Oct. 2-8, 1996

Decatur Realtor Bob McMillan was installed as 1997 president of the Alabama Association of Realtors during the association's 70th annual convention. McMillan, who is the broker and owner of Coldwell Banker McMillan and Associates in Decatur served on the AAR board, was president-elect of the executive committee and was chairman of the governmental and political affairs committee and was vice chairman of the financial committee. He also was a member of the Information and member services committee and an ex-officio member of ARPAC trustees.

Kent Quinn, partner in the Decatur accounting firm of Wear, Howell, Strickland & Quinn, was elected secretary of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, made up of more than 6,000 certified public accountants.

He also was elected to the executive committee and as director of the education foundation.

— Compiled by Mary Lott

THEDAILYwelcomes the loan of vintage photos of people, places and events in Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone counties for use in this column. Photos will be returned. Contact Mary Lott at 340-2352 between 3 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or e-mail her at

Mary Lott Mary Lott
DAILY Staff Writer

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