75 YEARS AGO - 1942
The season's first bale of cotton was sold this morning to Middleton-Baker and Co. and brought 20 cents a pound. The bale weighed 571 pounds. The cotton was grown and sold by W. Lamar Kolb of Privateer. It was ginned at the Southern Cotton Oil Co. and was graded as follows: middling, slightly rough, full 11-32 staple. The early sale is believed to be a record. The cotton crop this year is well advanced, having been aided by a long period of favorable weather.
• An interesting courtroom trial will be re-enacted by the Shaw Field Players at 8:30 over WFIG. The State vs. Thomas Crosby will be presented by a cast of 12 Shaw Field and Sumter actors. In Shaw Field's presentation, Sam Roach will play the part of the defendant, Steve Libby will be his attorney, and W.B. Daughtrey will be the district attorney. Other important roles will be played by John Korbusewski, Paul Sinclair, Woody Parramore, Louise DuRant Shumate, Edith Joel, Edward Belford, Ramon Schwartz and Leonard Grossman. The narrator will be Stan Cooper, and Richard Joel is the director.
• Last year, Sumter County farmers shipped cooperatively 129 cars containing 9,038 hogs that netted over a thousand shippers $123,129.86. To date this year the local weekly shipment totals 116 carloads containing 8,147 hogs netted 1,200 farmers $165,883.65. County Agent Eleazer estimates that shipments for the year will bring a quarter of a million dollars to Sumter County growers.
• E.L. Yarborough of Shiloh can testify that tobacco farmers are getting well-deserved pay for this year's leaf crop. He sold more than 4,000 pounds of the golden weed at the opening last week and received .40l6 a pound. His check totaled more than $1,800.
• The municipal election to name a councilman to serve for four years will be held between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Councilman Herbert A. Moses is the only qualified candidate, having been nominated in the recent primary to succeed himself.
• A butter bean, in as perfect a V-shape as could have been possible, was found recently in the garden of Mrs. W.J. Seale, 245 Broad St. Mr. Seale brought the bean to the Item office saying he hoped that it was a good omen.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
Retired Lt. Col. George Paine Hilderbrand, Sumter County director of Civil Defenses for the past five years, died suddenly of a heart attack. Hilderbrand had served as director of Civil Defense here since his retirement from the Air Force. He was born in White Haven, Tennessee, one of 10 children, the son of Ernest Daniel and Elma Rebecca Hudson Hilderbrand. He was married to the former Virginia Denning of Union City, Tennessee, and the father of three sons: George Denning, James Ronald and Charles Paine.
• Blair Shuler, in second place most of the way, roared out front on the 30th lap when leader Ray McCoy was knocked out approaching the first turn and went on to capture his first victory of the season at the Sumter Raceway in the 35-lap late model sportsman race. Displaying unusual patience in the early going, Shuler and his '55 Chevy started in third place behind McCoy and Jimmy Jones. The latter had to drop out about halfway through the race and when McCoy left, Shuler's waiting had paid off.
• General Manager James Hailey of The Capitol Department Store announced the signing of a long-term lease with the Stubbs family for the building adjacent to the firm's present downtown facility on South Main Street. Hailey said the building, formerly occupied by Stubbs Brothers, a boys' and menswear store, and Wilbur's Sporting Goods Store, will be completely renovated and modernized. Acquisition of the building will add more than 3,000 square feet to the Capitol's existing store.
• Miss Vera Moore and Benjamin Scurry were named "Most Valuable Players" of the year at the annual basketball banquet of the Christian Academy of the First Baptist Church. All members of the basketball teams were honored at the event, and letters were presented to the outstanding players. The Rev. Frank B. Haynes, Headmaster of the Academy, presented the Most Valuable Player trophies.
• Clemson University granted 397 degrees at its 71st commencement. Eight graduates are from the Sumter area: Bentley Fishburne Jr. - forestry; Harold J. Willson - civil engineering; John W. Stoudenmire - economics; Francis T. Brown - forestry; Tommie W. James Jr. - textile science; James H. Carson Jr. - pre-medicine; James E. Walton Jr. - industrial management; and James W. Logan Jr. - economics.
• For the second year in a row, The Sumter Daily Item has won the South Carolina Mental Health Association's Distinguished Service Award for outstanding news coverage in the field of mental health. Lt. Gov. John C. West will make the presentation.
• This year's version of the Edmunds High School Literary Yearbook has been published, with a theme of "Awareness Through Expression." The 139-page yearbook has as its purpose the recognition of the best creative and analytical writings from students at Edmunds High School, and to encourage students to strive for excellence in their writings. Editor-in-chief of the 1967 yearbook is Celeste Gordon, while J. Grady Locklear, Edmunds English teacher, is sponsor.
• The 22nd annual public speaking contest of the Knights of Pythias, Domain of South Carolina, highlighted the 82nd annual banquet held at the Elks Club. The topic of "A Moral and Ethical Code for Teen-Agers," was the subject of the oratory. Barry Hedden, a student at Edmunds High, was judged the first alternate and received a $50 award toward college tuition.
• The Edmunds High School Air Force Junior ROTC Awards Day program was held at Memorial Stadium. Approximately 100 persons were on hand to witness the formation and recognition of outstanding cadets by Retired Lt. Col. James McCrary, commander. Angels Cheryl Dew, Christine Cole and Bobby Beales were given a special Commander's Award. Cadets winning awards included Outstanding Flight Award, Cadet Sidney Brown; outstanding junior award, Cadet Sam Gibson; and outstanding sophomore award, Mike Gardner.
• Coach Bill Painter, with fingers crossed, takes his Edmunds High track team to Columbia where the Gamecocks will be shooting for the top spot in the State AAA track meet at the Rex Enright Athletic Center. Thirteen of Painter's boys qualified for the finals while breaking two school records and tying another. Hamp Norris smashed the discus mark with a toss of 148 feet 6 inches, as he and teammate Jimmy Trembley gained a berth in that event along with three others. Eddie Connor won his heat in the 880-yard run, and the Gamecocks' Sammy Way also qualified first in his heat for the championship gathering. Wayne Davis gained a spot in the pole vault finals
• The annual spring concert of the Edmunds High School Band, under the direction of Robert Simmons, will be held in the EHS auditorium. On the same program will be the Edmunds High School chorus with Ward Yarborough directing. Highlight of the concert will be the presentation of a piano and concert band arrangement of Richard Addinsell's "Warsaw Concerto," featuring Nancy Lyons at the school's new concert grand piano.
• Sumter County's fourth private school and the first in the city will open its doors for classes this September. The school, to be called Wilson Hall, will begin its first year of operation with grades one through six. Classes will be held in the educational building of the Southern Methodist Church on Miller Road until permanent buildings are erected. Plans to form the day school have been in progress for the past year. The school is named after John S. Wilson, attorney and civic leader, who was interested in forming such a school.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
There's no turning back for Chris Rantin. He's in the Navy now. More like the U.S. Naval Academy, which the Manning High School running back signed with. "I never thought about (the military) until Navy started recruiting me," said Rantin, who will serve a six-year-hitch in the Navy after his four years at the academy.
• The Sumter School District 17 Board of Trustees hopes to name a new superintendent in May. Odell Stuckey of the S.C. School Boards Association met with board members in a workshop to help outline requirements of a successful candidate and to establish a time frame for the board's search.
• Sixteen Hillcrest High School students have been recognized in the state and region as top musicians in 1992. April Todd and Jimmy LePalme were named as members of South Carolina's All-State Band, and 14 students were listed among the best in the region that includes Sumter.
• Dr. Keith Fox, podiatrist and noted sports medicine expert, will speak on "Running-Induced Injuries: Diagnosis and Prevention," at a meeting on USC Sumter's Miller Road campus. The first offering in USC Sumter's 1992 Health Science Lecture Series, coordinated annually by Dr. Bob Costello, associate professor of chemistry, the lecture is open to the public at no charge.
• The target date for Aubrey Brooks is Saturday, March 21. That's the day the University of South Carolina begins 1992 spring football practice. It will also be the first time Brooks has been in an official practice or game since Dec. 15, 1990, when the former Sumter High School linebacker played in the North/South All-Star Game. More than 15 months off from the sport one loves makes for an eager athlete. "I think the time off will help me; it's helped me get the hunger back," said Brooks, who had quite an appetite playing linebacker for Sumter.
• Bob Marye, president of Sumter's Gleaton Floor Covering, was elected president of the S.C. Tile Contractors Association at the organization's monthly meeting in Columbia. The association works to further the advancement and use of ceramic tile, marble and terrazzo in the building industry and to promote fair and honorable business standards among members of the organization.
• In the phone book, he's listed as "Robert Baker." Most of his friends know him as "Bobby Baker." To his co-workers within the Sumter Fire Department, he is "Assistant Chief Baker." But, to generations of young basketball players, he was, is, and always will be "Coach." For the past 30 years, Bobby Baker has volunteered his time and energy as a coach in the Sumter Family YMCA's youth basketball league. Recently, the YMCA of the USA recognized Baker for his tireless devotion to the youth of Sumter by presenting him with its Distinguished Program Service Award.
• After swearing in its newest member, the Sumter School District 2 Board of Trustees will hear a financial update and discuss both a policy change for absenteeism and the approval of funds for long-awaited bleachers at Furman High School. Kay Raffield's selection to fill an empty board seat was approved by Gov. Carroll Campbell. Raffield was selected from a field of four candidates who expressed interest in serving on the board. Raffield will represent Area 2 of the district, which includes Rembert, Dalzell, Hagood and Borden.
• Sumter High qualified nine wrestlers for the lower state tournament while finishing second to Spring Valley in the Region IV-4A wrestling tournament at Spring Valley. The Vikings, who have won several of the past eight region championships, ran away with the title, accumulating 209 points to easily outdistance the Gamecocks, who had 107 points. Rodney Jones, who defeated Lancaster's Tomas Carter in the 171-pound finals, was Sumter's only first-place finisher.
• "Good morning," said the young teacher brightly with a deliberate flutter of her hands and fingers. "Good morning," her students replied, signing the words hesitantly with their own aging hands. Then, the group proceeded to sing the letters of the alphabet and the days of the week. "Sunday' is just like the doors of the church opening up," said the instructor with a gentle wave of her hands. Members of the Shepherds Center are learning the language from Lisa Halter, who is a sophomore at the University of South Carolina Sumter majoring in special education.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at email@example.com or (803) 774-1294.