1939 Reflected in the Paper
1939 Reflected in the Paper
Here are three interesting news stories from May of 1939 as reported in the Richmond Daily Register. On Monday, May 8, 1939, Richmond attorney C.C. Wallace, spoke to the Richmond Exchange Club at their weekly meeting at the Colyer's Tea Room on Second Street, about the growth of Richmond since he arrived here on May 8, 1882. Back in 1882 the population was 3000 and there were 10 voting precincts, one in the city, nine in the county. The second city precinct was "Butcher Shop" and it was located where the McKee building is now. In 1939 there were ten times as many houses as in 1882. In the earlier days there were no Hallie Irvine, Orange, or B streets and no Madison Avenue. There were only ten houses east of the railroad, of which three were on Big Hill Road (now Avenue) and one was on East Main. There were only a few scattered residences on West Main in 1882. There were no North, Sunset or Aspen streets. What became Aspen Avenue (do you remember the aspen trees down the middle of the avenue which gave it its name?) was the private drive to the mansion Clay Towers. The mansion was fronted by North Street by 1939, and was later torn down to make room for the subdivision of the same name. Summit's official name was Auburn and there was only one residence in that area the Hill Smith house (from whence Smith-Ballard Street later came). The sign on the edge of town gave Richmond's population as 6,500. Wallace predicted the 1940 census would show 15,000. Leon Elder was president of the Exchange Club in 1939. Another news item stated that the First Baptist Church of Richmond, colored, would baptize 85 persons, the largest flock gathered into the Master's fold at one time, they having been converted at a recent protracted revival meeting. According to the pastor, Rev. Titus Bennett, 108 souls confessed and 85 of them were to be baptized by immersion on Sunday, May 21, 1939, at the rock quarry pool in Richmond according to the Baptist doctrinal ritual. The other 23 converts had joined Calvinistic and Methodist congregations. The third story was about the graduation of 55 from the seven Madison County high schools. The commencement was held at the Brock Auditorium on Eastern's campus, with the college's president, Dr. H.L. Donovan as the speaker. J.D. Hamilton, Superintendent of the County Schools, presided. The seven schools and their principals were Union City, J.B. Moore; Waco, Ralph Alexander; Bobtown. C.A. McCray; Kirksville, Price Christian; Newby, A.C. Duncan; White Hall, William Pearson; and Red House, Walter Moores. I recognize all but Alexander Christian as men active for many years in county school administration.
Dr. Fred Engle
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Dr. Fred Engle, “1939 Reflected in the Paper,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed January 30, 2023, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/949.