75 YEARS AGO - 1943
Funeral services for John Joseph Brennan, prominent Sumter businessman, were held today at 10 a.m. at St. Anne's Catholic Church and interment followed at the St. Lawrence cemetery on Oakland Avenue. The Rev. John P. Clancy conducted the services. Brennan had been ill for several months prior to his death. The Rosary was said at his home.
• A resident of Sumter, motoring to Columbia to consult a specialist, may be called upon to share his automobile with another resident who has important business in that city or still another who is going over to be with a sick relative, when the car clubs planned for this city are organized. Mayor F.B. Creech said today that such clubs would be set up so that persons traveling in the same direction for purposes authorized by the new gasoline ration rulings might join on the trip.
• Sumterites would do well to remember two important salvage campaigns in progress. The Sumter Theatre launched one Saturday with a matinee that netted 268 pounds of vitally needed copper, three auto radiators and 100 pounds of iron. The scrap was sold for $17.15 and Kermit Ward, manager of the local theaters, said that the money had already been turned over to the United Nations Week Fund. Persons should save their scrap as there will be other drives. The tin can salvage campaign got underway today in schools of Sumter County. Prizes of $100 will be awarded monthly.
• The total for the third week of the stamp drive at Edmunds High School, ending last Friday, was $255.90, a considerable increase over the second week's sales. Miss Parker's ninth-grade homeroom was high for the week with $67.70 to their credit.
• A Seagrave pumper for the city fire department, which pumps 600 gallons of water per minute, will arrive sometime this week, City Manager Raffield announced. An engineer from the company where it was manufactured will come to Sumter to test the pumper and explain its operation when it arrives size.
• Mr. H. Brody of Sumter has been visited recently by six of his sons, all of whom are serving in the armed forces. Maj. William Brody of Camp Pickett, Virginia, and 2nd Lt. Julius Brody, who has completed the officer-candidate course at Camp Davis, North Carolina, are still here. Lt. Brody, who has been granted a seven-day furlough, has been assigned to duty at El Paso, Texas. Tech. Sergeant Morris Brody of Fourth Corps Area headquarters, Atlanta; Pvt. Sam Brody of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Pvt. Reuben Brody of Kessler Field, Mississippi, also have visited here. The sixth son of Mr. Brody, who will serve Uncle Sam, is Alec Brody, who will begin training in February for a commission of ensign in the Naval Reserve.
• Hugh C. McLaurin, manager of Sumter Insurance agency, has been commissioned a lieutenant (junior grade) in the United States Naval Reserve Air Forces and is now awaiting orders to report for active duty. He will train at the naval Air Station at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, Lt. McLaurin is a graduate of Presbyterian College and has 13 years' experience as a reserve officer.
• The results of the Army-YMCA league were a 38 to 22 win for the City All-Stars over the Lucky Seven quintet and a 29 to 19 victory for the Hill Billie's over the Blue Birds. Billy Trembley, former Sumter High star, and Johnnie McMillian, Sumter High coach, were high scorers for the city team with 14 and 10 points respectively. Natale with 10 led the Lucky seven outfit. Trowbridge and Amato with 7 tallies apiece topped the Hill Billie's in their conquest and Kincaid connected for nine to pace the Blue Birds.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
Army Capt. Eugene S. Witherspoon, 28, whose family live in Sumter, received the Bronze Star medal during ceremonies near Pleiku, Vietnam, Aug. 21. Witherspoon received the award for outstanding meritorious service in combat operations against hostile forces in Vietnam from September 1966 to August of this year, while serving as a liaison officer in Headquarters Company, 937th Engineer Group.
• More than 120 years of experience is represented in the department store merchandising background of the management team which will open the new W.A. Family Store on Sept. 28 at Main and Bartlette. W.I. Davis Jr., W.A. Family Store manager, brings a broad background of department store operating experience to his new job here. He came up through the ranks before assuming the responsibilities of a department store manager.
• Mutt Powell, who started in 15th place, overcame the odds and captured the 100-lap late model convertible main event at Sumter Raceway on Saturday night. It was the last racing card of the season for the local track. Powell, who drove a 1955 Chevy convertible, had qualified with the second-fastest time during time trials.
• The Capitol Department Store is celebrating its 40th year of service to shoppers of Sumter and this area. Officials of The Capitol are going all out to share the big event with all their many friends. The business was started in 1927 by H. Brody and Sons in Sumter.
• The final chapter was written in the distinguished history of the Tuomey Hospital School of Nursing on Sept. 7, when six student nurses, comprising the final class to graduate from the school, received their diplomas. The Tuomey Hospital School of Nursing was established in 1914 under the direction of Miss Astrid Hofseth, superintendent of nurses, and a graduate of Milwaukee County Hospital Training School for Nurses. Ona Groder of Albany, Georgia, was the first of 433 nurses to graduate during the 53-year history of the Tuomey Hospital School of Nursing.
• Morris College, with a new coach and almost an entire new team, begins its 1967 season Saturday night when they travel to Delaine, Flordia, to take on Edward Waters College. "As of now, we are in real good shape. The boys are fast and are really thinking football, and that's all they think about," commented new head coach W.H. Neal.
• Sumter's junior varsity, behind the quarterbacking of Jimmy Eaves and the running of Wayne Johnston, continued to roll along by picking up its third straight win of the season with a 27-7 thumping of Orangeburg at Memorial Stadium. The young Gamecocks defense also played a big part in the triumph behind the savage play of linebacker Jeff Sanford. Bill Lesesne's crew got their first score of the day the second time they got their hands on the ball.
• Bound copies of papers presented before the Sumter County Historical Society have been turned over to the Sumter County public library. The original papers contain biographies of noted persons from the county and places and events of Sumter County. The copies were turned over to librarian Chapman J. Milling by Sherman F. Smith, president of the Sumter County Historical Society.
• The City of Sumter has hired a fully qualified horticulturist who has been given the full-time assignment of developing and maintaining Swan Lake Gardens. The new man is James Macfarlane Roxburg, 24, who holds a degree in horticulture from Clemson University. He has been at work in the gardens since the first of the month.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
About 1,000 local, state and Air Force officials gathered on the Shaw Air Force Base flight line to say goodbye to Gen. Charles A. Horner, the architect of the U.S.-led air war against Iraq in 1991. Horner handed over command of the 9th Air Force to Lt. Gen. Michael A. Nelson. Sumter Mayor Steve Creech; U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C.; state Sen. Phil Leventis, D-Sumter; Sumter County Councilman Rudy Singleton and other dignitaries attended the ceremony. During the change-of-command ceremony, Horner was also awarded the rank of four-star general.
• Although his team defeated Dalzell 5-1 to move into a first-place tie with Camden, Sumter P-15's head coach Wallie Jones was not a happy man. "I was not proud of our team tonight," Jones said. "I wasn't proud of the pitching, the offense or the defense. What worries me is that we don't seem to be making any progress." Offensively, the P-15's managed eight hits, including four for extra bases.
• Sumter City Councilman Bill Painter filed to run for re-election to his District 5 seat. Painter, 54, is a retired Sumter School District 17 administrator and a former Alice Drive Middle School principal. He was first elected to council in 1984.
• Luke Blackwell used to carry his great-granddaughter to school in a horse-drawn, black patent leather buggy. Not an unusual sight in the 1860s, but in the 1960s, it was a different story. "Oh, I used to be so embarrassed," recalled Bobbie Jean Frierson, now all grown up and the mother of three. "I was the only one going to school in a buggy." Her voice was full of that old childhood angst. Modes of transportation change, but there are some things between fathers and daughters that never change. And Blackwell ought to know. At 116 years of age, he is quite possibly the oldest father being honored this Father's Day, not to mention one of the most experienced - the Manning patriarch has raised 33 children, including grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other relatives.
• Bobby Richardson retired from the New York Yankees and the game of baseball in 1966 at the tender age of 31. He retired a seven-time All-Star, a World Series most valuable player, a five-time Gold Glove winner at second base and with four World Series championship rings. It was then time for Richardson's second career to begin. No, not his successful college coaching career at South Carolina, Coastal Carolina and Liberty. Richardson's new career took place on the playing field as well - as an Old Timer.
• Every day is Father's Day when your dad is the boss. That's exactly the situation for dozens of men in Sumter, where father-son businesses have flourished for generations. John Karvelas has been working for his father, "Big Jim," since he was tall enough to reach the Coca-Cola machine. "When growing up in a family business, you're exposed to it a lot and it comes natural to do, easy to do." Like John, Big Jim also worked with his father. Both John and Jim say the business has strengthened the bond between them.
• Frank Baker has been named superintendent of Sumter School District 2. The board gave Baker unanimous approval. Baker, 43, and 21 years an educator, had served as interim superintendent since the death of Superintendent Joe Lefft.
• Sumter coach Wallie Jones used an early hook on starting pitcher Chad Hoshour, and the move backfired as Camden claimed a 9-2 American Legion baseball win in Camden.
• Newly appointed Sumter School District 17 Superintendent Andrena Ray will draw an annual salary of $74,500. The District 17 Board of Trustees unanimously approved a two-year contract for Ray, which also includes a monthly travel and automobile allowance of $500. Ray has served as the district's interim superintendent since the death of Lawrence Derthick and was chosen as the permanent superintendent for the district.
• The current site of Grace Baptist Church on Calhoun Street has a varied history. It was once populated with homes, some of General Potter's Union troops camped there in 1865, a girls' high school was built on the site which later became McLaurin Junior High School, and now it is home to one of the most beautiful churches in South Carolina.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at email@example.com or (803) 774-1294.