In Some Ways, 1939 was No Different from Today in Madison County

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In Some Ways, 1939 was No Different from Today in Madison County


In some ways 1939 in Madison County was no different from today. The Jan. 4 headline in the Richmond Daily Register read "FDR Calls On Nation To Arm To Meet Challenge Of Dictatorial Nations". Similar to Bush's call? And for those who thought that the investigation of un-American activities began with McCarthy, how about this story in the Jan. 6 issue about how FDR told the FBI to probe un-Americans (Nazis and Communists)? Did McCarthyism begin with FDR? Also in the news was the pardoning of T.J. Moody by the first Democratic Governor of California in 44 years. Moody had been convicted of a bombing in 1916. An ad in the paper suggested the use of 666 for colds. Remember the 666 ads on the fronts of the country stores back then? Other headlines spoke of the fall of Barcelona in the Spanish civil war. Locally there were stories of the resignation of Dr. O.F. Hume as head of the local Republican party after four years service and his temporary replacement by J. L. Matherly and the announcement that G. Murray Smith would seek re-election as the Commonwealth Attorney on the Democratic ticket. There was a special story about J. A. Kunkel, who was honored by Madison High School and the Exchange Club with his portrait in honor of his 80th birthday. W. F. O'Donnell, city school superintendent, presented the portrait to Kunkel, who was a former industrial arts teacher at Madison and was currently the attendance officer. Comics in the Register that year were Big Sister, Etta Kett, The Old Home Town, Scott's Scrapbook and Sally's Sallies. In basketball, Madison High was coached by Ralph Carlisle. Members of the team, which became the first one from the school to go to the state tournament, were Ivan "Buster" Maggard, Eugene Blakeman, Bobby Jennings, Luther Wilcox, Charles Francis, Conrad Parrish, Eugene Wiggins, James Powell, Jimmy O'Donnell, Ralph Haddix, Nathan Moberly, Glenn Million, Donald Richardson, Glenmore Jones, John Wilson Brandenburg, and Bill Ritter. Jim Todd and Karl Schilling were the managers. Stafford Nelson helped them some in that category too. Cheerleaders were Elizabeth Sandlin, Nancy Lassiter, Blanche Taylor, Mary Harris and little Dorothy Parrish. The team won some and lost some in the regular season. The Paris team was coached by Blanton Collier and Maysville was atop the C.K.C. Other teams in the 44th District were Union City, Berea, Berea Academy, White Hall, Newby, Bobtown, Waco, Irvine, Kirksville and Red House. Coach McCray's Bobtown five had won 17 in a row, led by Earl Johnson. Played at Irvine, early decisions were Madison 48 Union City 11, Bobtown 30 White Hall 27, Red House 35 Kirksville 17, Irvine 23 Waco 18. Madison then beat Irvine 33-10, while Bobtown eliminated Red House 34-17. In the finals Madison prevailed over Bobtown 31-23. Both teams went to the Regional at Eastern. Madison beat Wilmore 34-26, Bobtown lost to Henry Clay. The Purples defeated Oxford 30-15 and in the finals upset Henry Clay 25-24 to put Madison in the state tournament for the first time. At the end of the game there was a 25-minute argument over whether Capt. Bobby Jennings had fouled a Henry Clay player before or after the buzzer. Tom Samuels, official scorer, said the horn sounded before the foul. Eugene Wiggins was high point man in that game with 13. Maggard, Jennings, and Parrish made all-regional team. In the state tournament Madison beat Paducah Tilghman 28-27, with Charles Francis high with 9 points, but lost to Hindman 30-23.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “In Some Ways, 1939 was No Different from Today in Madison County,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed June 28, 2022,