75 YEARS AGO - 1943
March 20 - 26
Martha Turbeville of Liberty Street has been recently inducted and now placed on the WAAC Reserve. She will await orders for active duty. She has a brother, George Turbeville, former big-league baseball hurler, at Shaw Field and another brother, Warner Turbeville, who is somewhere in the Pacific. A nephew is also somewhere in the Pacific Theater.
• Miss Bobby Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Frank Williams of Stateburg, placed first in the American Legion's annual district oratorical contest held at Edmunds High School. Her subject was "The Freedoms We Protect." David Mills placed second with his "Fight On America -Your Constitution Will Live," and Miss Helen Jones was third with "United We Fight." Others taking part were Gregg Horne, Robert Courtright, Kinloch Bull and Linnie Hynds.
• The Army Air Forces added hundreds of new pilots for the spring offensive sweeps over Europe and the Pacific, with graduation of aviation cadets from the 10 advanced flying training schools of the AAF Gulf Coast Training Center. New pilots include Lt. William M. Reynolds Jr. of Sumter, who received his wings from Eagle Pass Field, Eagle Pass, Texas.
• Junior High School students and faculty are still buying bonds and stamps with enthusiasm. The total sales amounted to $224.45. Miss Sophie Brunson's seventh-grade homeroom won the United States flag for the highest amount sold, $91.55. Miss Catherine Bass' eighth-grade homeroom tied with Miss Margaret Yeadon's eighth-grade room for the highest percentage buying. Both rooms were 100 percent the past week. However, the South Carolina flag was awarded to Miss Yeadon's group because their sales were higher for the week. Robert Esch, a student in Miss Brunson's room, brought $24 worth of stamps and bonds and was the highest pupil for the week.
• Collections in the Red Cross War Fund Drive reached $20,983.56, Director F.E. Gibson reported, following further reports from some of the sources where canvassing still is being conducted. The drive went over the $20,000 quota which had been set for Sumter on Friday. Mr. Gibson has expressed many times the conviction that before it is finished the figure will be $25,000 or more.
• Seven Sumter County cattlemen and the associate county agent were attending the first sale by Hereford breeders in Edgefield. The delegation included A.H. Forester, Dr. C.J. Lemmon, H.B. Tomlinson, H.W. Harby, J.M. Edens, H.C. Edens, H.M. McLaurin Jr. and D.M. Altman, the associate county agent here. After the sale, they were scheduled to visit several farms where cattle are bred to observe pastures and silos.
• John B. Duffie, county auditor, said that the same evaluation would be placed on mules, horses and cows in personal property return as last year, in compliance with an order sent in yesterday to his office. The value of mules has been set at $30 a head. For horses, the figure is $25 and for cows $10. In the county, last year 3,936 mules were listed at an evaluation of $119,115. Three hundred and four horses were recorded at $7,610 and 3,225 cows at $32,375.
• William S. Heath, 28-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. A.T. Heath, has been promoted from the rank of captain to major in the U.S. Army, according to information received today. Maj. Heath was stationed in Portsmouth, Virginia, and was in the anti-aircraft division of the coastal artillery.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
John Marion Evans of Sumter was appointed director of organization for the South Carolina Republican party by Ray Harris, executive director of the party. Evans, who has served in numerous volunteer capacities for the party including Sumter County chairman, will spearhead a program to "encourage every county to organize every precinct," said Harris.
• Woodland Antique & Gift Shop, located on the Mayesville-Florence Highway five miles east of Sumter, is holding grand opening ceremonies, and the public is invited to register for free door prizes. Mrs. Eva C. Kirven and her son Danny are owners and operators of the new firm, which will feature antiques, collectors' items and paintings by Sumter artists.
• Two meetings are on tap this week for members of residential communities located to the south of Sumter who have been actively pursuing a project to incorporate South Sumter, including Shannontown, Hoyt Height and Red Bay substation, into a township. Representatives of the Department of Housing and Urban Development are slated to meet with the Rev. W.T. Lewis, pastor of Union Station AME Church, and president of Sumter CORE, and J.P. Rembert, director of the Sumter Community Information Center, and other community leaders.
• "This year will be more or less a rebuilding year, for us," began Summerton High basketball coach Bill Springs talking about his 1967-68 Blue Streaks, who open the cage season against Manning. "But I'm looking forward to big things," he added. "You almost have to."
• The "Second Mill problem" appeared nearer a solution with the announcement that the Sumter Elks Club had taken an option on the 100-acre property. According to Richard Moses, chairman of the Elks board of directors, the organization plans to build a new club on a site formerly occupied by a swimming pavilion.
• Jerry Coker, yesterday's football star but today's basketball standout, led the Manning Monarchs to a big 71-29 season opening rout against the stalling Summerton Flashes. For Coker, it was his first actual basketball game ever, but that seemed to make no difference to the rookie, who pumped in 16 points of individual effort.
• Sumter School District No. 17 will advertise during January for bids on the $3 million bond issues, passed at the special Aug. 1 election. The board of trustees approved going ahead with the bond issue sale at the regular meeting. Decision to advertise during January was based on predictions by financial experts that the bond market would be improved by that time, said Superintendent L.C. McArthur Jr.
• John S.W. Buxton of Sumter was elected to the post of vice president of the Interstate YMCA of the Carolinas at its Special Convention held in Charlotte. The Interstate YMCA of the Carolinas works with all 52 YMCAs in North and South Carolina.
• "I was eating supper about 6 o'clock and then it happened," began E.D. Porter as he described the inferno fire which struck his cabinet shop at 1190 S. Pike W. late Wednesday afternoon, causing an estimated $45,000 total loss damage to his uninsured business.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
Aug. 21 - 27
Tom Lewis might very well consider placing a quick phone call to the department of missing persons. Among the missing: Wally Richardson, Martin Burns, Kelton Dunnican, Jeff Burgess, Tyrone Carter, Kenny Simon, Keith Atkinson, Tyson Mack, Corey Harvin, Eric Graves, Taff Witherspoon, etc. In all, 15 starters, including 14 All-Area performers and 12 who will be performing on the college level this season, were missing when Lewis called his first practice this fall.
• One of the few dependables in a constantly changing world is the high quality of a show by the Puddin' Swamp Singers. The 35-member chorus, named after a muggy swamp outside Turbeville in neighboring Clarendon County, came through again with an enjoyable concert at Patriot Hall. The event was a benefit for the Teige Cantey Chapter, South Carolina Society of Colonial Dames.
• Today marked the end of summer fun for nearly 20,000 children who headed back to school in Sumter County. The back-to-school migration put a strain on the bus routes of Sumter School Districts 2 and 17. A shortage of drivers meant fewer school buses were picking up more students, some as early as 6:35 a.m. in District 17, to accommodate the stacking of drivers' schedules.
• Robert J. Cavendish lived it. The memories will be ingrained forever. A B-24 navigator, he was one of many young American airmen shot down during World War II. For 16 months, Cavendish was a prisoner of war. Most of his days were spent in a 12-by-16-foot room in Stalag Luft 1, "right on the Baltic Sea," with 23 other POWs. He publicly shared his memories through a Sumter County Museum exhibit which he narrated.
• Danny Johnson won the Late Model race sponsored by Coors and Coors Light on Saturday night at Sumter Rebel Speedway. Johnson crossed the finished line ahead of Joey Griffin, Bob Sharp, Ronnie Johnson and Billy Coursey. Arthur Winn took the checkered flag in the Super Stock division. Winn took the lead early in the race and held off Ronnie Johnson.
• The Sumter Touchdown Club begins its second year at the Sumter Family YMCA, and YMCA CEO Rand Bailey is excited about the list of guest speakers already lined up. "I think we've got as good a group of speakers as you can get for this area," he said.
• Sumter County Council lightened setback restrictions on hazardous-waste landfills, saying current restrictions could prompt lawsuits. Council approved the changes with a 3-2 vote. Council Chairman Joe Davis and Councilmen Chuck Fienning and Louis Fleming approved the change, while Councilmen the Rev. Otis Scott and Rudy Singleton voted against it.
• The wheels of development have been set in motion in Rimini. Sumter County Council voted to sell the county's $5,000 option on 140 acres near Pack's Landing to the Regional Development Corp., an arm of the Santee Lynches Regional Council of Governments. The nonprofit corporation will act as an impartial administrator in developing the area.
• State education Superintendent Barbara Nielsen says students aren't taking enough challenging courses and that's why South Carolina is worst in the nation on Scholastic Aptitude Tests for the third-straight year. The national average improved, but South Carolina's became slightly worse, according to figures released. The SAT, which measures verbal and math skills, is supposed to help predict success in college.
• They endured nearly 100-degree temperatures as they marched in cadence, carrying heavy gear across the grassy fields and shining asphalt. One member of the group said it was like "blowing up thousands of balloons while on a treadmill under a tanning light." This person is no soldier. He is Carl Jackson, a trumpet player in Sumter High School's marching band. He is the story of hundreds of Sumter County youths who annually cut their summer vacations short to attend band camp.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at email@example.com or (803) 774-1294.