75 YEARS AGO - 1943
March 13 - 19
Pfc. James Lawrence Ardis, 25, has been reported missing in action in North Africa since Feb. 17, Mrs. Edward Bradford has been informed. Before entering the service, Ardis had been employed at Second Mill, serving as a lifeguard during the swimming season and working in the mill during the remaining months. He entered the service in October 1941, being inducted at Fort Jackson. He was later sent to Camp Wheeler, Georgia, and to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he was transferred to Ireland and from there went to the North African front.
• Dianne Lawson, first-grade pupil, was the high collector of tin cans last week in the city schools' second collection of the month. Bobby Broadwell, of the sixth grade, was second. Little Miss Lawson brought in 696 cans. High collectors in each grade: Elementary schools: first grade, Dianne Lawson, 696; second grade, Dick Baker, 158 and Gloria Graybeal, 158 (tie); third grade, Robert Galloway, 172; fourth grade, Marion Mobley Spyres, 102; fifth grade, Mary Ann Curtis, 203; and sixth grade, Bobby Broadwell 426; total for school - 4,319.
• First Lt. Hugh T. Stoddard, who was graduated from the Marine Corps Officer's Indoctrination course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, spent the weekend in the city. Stoddard is now ready to go with an advanced unit of Marines. He was graduated after five weeks of concentrated work by the officers in the court, including class room study as well as extensive field operations on combat problems.
• In 18 years in which he has been pursuing the sport of archery, Austin M. Francis, secretary of the YMCA has split three arrows. Two of those he split within 20 minutes of each other, which any archery fan will admit is probably a unique record. To split an arrow, one must strike it as it hangs in the target, exactly in the middle of the nock, (the nock is the back tip of the arrow which fits over the string of the bow). When he accomplished his singular fest, Francis was standing about 27 yards from his target, the length of the Y gym.
• A class in nutrition, which will be instructed by Miss Marguerite Beatty, will be organized at 4 o'clock at the Miller School just off Broad Street extension, Red Cross officials announced today. Any person interested in taking the course, which teaches the nutritional value of foods and proper planning of wartime menus, is invited to attend.
• Miss Ada Faile, storekeeper third class, WAVES, daughter of Lee A. Faile of Sumter, was a member of the first class to graduate from the WAVES training school at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. After finishing her course there she was assigned to the Naval Air Base in Jacksonville, Florida. Miss Faile lived in Columbia until a few years ago, where she was employed with the AAA. She later left to accept a position in the treasury department of the state of Georgia and after that was connected with the John Deere Plow Co. for some time. ... Her father was a Spanish War veteran and member of the David DuBose Gaillard camp for veterans in Columbia.
• Richard (Bunny) Allen, who reported last week to San Antonio, Texas, to begin training in the Air Forces, is the third son of Mrs. R.B. Allen of Sumter to enter the service. Jean Allen, also in the Air Forces, is stationed at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Jerry Allen, a private first class in the signal corps of the coast artillery, is stationed at San Diego, California, where he has been since he entered the service a year ago. Mrs. Allen has two other sons, Robert and Harold, each married and with a family. They are not in the service but are aiding in a vital part of the war effort by working in aircraft plants in California.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
Nov. 12 - 18
Lincoln's Bulldogs closed out their 1967 campaign with a 25-13 conquest of Wilson High, as Calvin Hastings and John Haynesworth each scored two touchdowns. The victory gave Lincoln a fine 7-3 record for the season.
• Congressman Tom S. Gettys has established a Sumter office in Room 104 of the Federal Building at 101 N. Main St. to serve as an information center for the public on matters related to his service to the 5th District. Miss Judy Austin, secretary in charge of the office, said that Rep. Gettys will be in his office from time to time after Congress adjourns and is looking forward to meeting with the people of Sumter.
• Mrs. Evelyn R. Cuthbert, Lincoln High School librarian, is among 21,000 outstanding women from the United States and Canada to be featured in the 1968 edition of "Who's Who of American Women." Biographies of each of the honored women appear in the volume.
• Growing oranges and lemons, a novelty here in Sumter, has become a reality for C.K. Rodgers, who says that he claims no "green thumb." The most remarkable thing about the happening is not simply that he is one of the first to produce them in Sumter County, but that they were grown on two one-year old trees which are just a few inches tall.
• Cecil M. Drakeford Jr., of Sumter is among 15 Clemson University seniors elected for the 1968 edition of "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges."
• William "Billy" Knox Lambert Jr., 23, of Sumter, died at the University of Tennessee Medical Center of brain injuries sustained in an accident at Knoxville. The third-year University of Tennessee dental student was critically injured when he fell from the fender of an automobile during a student celebration of the Vols' football victory over Tulane.
• Six Sumter County young people have captured trophies as outstanding fair exhibitors and achievement winners, with scores earning more achievement medals, according to Dick Tillman, associate county agent. Johnny Spann, for the boys, and Becky Edens, for the girls, were named outstanding exhibitors for Sumter County.
• Cherryvale Elementary School, Sumter County's newest educational edifice, will be dedicated formally when Dr. Hugh Stoddard, School District No. 2 superintendent, will present the keys to the contemporary structure to Principal J.M. Kolb III.
• Sumter Chief of Police Clarence N. Kirkland was guest speaker at the Hartsville Lions Club bi-weekly luncheon meeting. Kirkland spoke on the stature of law enforcement, the full range of duties and responsibilities of law enforcement, the depth of understanding of the problems of crime causes and environmental influences.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
Aug. 14 - 20
Accused killer James Neil Tucker was in Sumter this morning for a preliminary hearing, and the numerous cases against him for a two-week crime spree in South Carolina earlier this summer will be sent to the Sumter County Grand Jury for indictments. Tucker is accused of shooting to death two women, as well as committing several robberies in Sumter and Calhoun counties.
• S.C. Supreme Court Justice and Sumter native Ernest A. Finney Jr. was honored recently by the American Bar Association during a special "Minority Justice Conference" at an association meeting in San Francisco. The Minority Justice Conference, "Recognition of Ethnic and Racial Diversity in the Judiciary," was a gathering of about 30 minority members of state high courts to address the progress of minorities in our nation's judiciary and efforts to increase minority representation on the courts.
• It's been a long time since the office of Lee County sheriff has been held by anyone other than Liston Truesdale. But come Jan. 1, there'll be a new law chief in town. Three Democrats are vying for the Democratic nomination for the sheriff's seat. No Republicans are seeking the seat, so whoever wins the Democratic primary faces no announced opposition in the November general election. The new sheriff, who will take office in January 1983, will oversee a department of 18 deputies and earn about $30,000 a year.
• A citizens group complained about classroom overcrowding at Sumter School District 17's monthly board meeting, saying lower test scores are the result. Members of Sumter Citizens for the Advancement of Local Education (SCALE) asked District 17 trustees to reduce overcrowding at the district's elementary schools before the start of school. SCALE spokeswoman Mary Deakin said overcrowding has caused the performances of district fourth-graders on the Stanford-8 achievement test to fall below par.
• In the past two decades the number of drive-in theaters in the United States has fallen from 3,000 to 900. Those still in business are dependent on a loyal or captive audience made up increasingly of parents looking to save on babysitting expenses or young people in small towns with no place else to go. A fair weather business, drive-is once were king. The first drive-in was the Camden Automobile Theater opened by Richard Hollingshead on a 10-acre site near Camden, New Jersey.
• Sumter's two school districts have named a principal and an assistant principal to head their joint alternative school, which they've decided to locate in the Jackson Wing of Patriot Hall on Hasell Street. The alternative school is scheduled to open about three weeks after students in both districts begin regular classes. The school will serve 64 of the districts' middle school students most at risk of dropping out, including some who have been expelled from regular school.
• The controlled scrimmages in which coaches can walk on the field are no more. Scrimmaging in front of small crowds is history. The high school football season gets its official "unofficial" start at the 11th Annual Sumter County Football Jamboree. The jamboree will feature the football teams of Sumter, Hillcrest, Manning, Furman and Mayewood high schools and Wilson Hall and Thomas Sumter.
• Members of the Lee County Arts Council are trying to persuade the Greater Lee County Chamber of Commerce to move into the newly renovated Opera House on Main Street. Arts Council representatives Mrs. Jerry Law, Anne West and Jack Bethea addressed the chamber board of directors and presented the body with a number of options and benefits for the chamber if the deal is completed. Law stated that moving the chamber to the Opera House would "be a highly visible, prestigious and impressive location for the chamber."
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 774-1294.