75 YEARS AGO - 1942
July 30-Aug. 5
Members of Team 3 of the Item carrier boys who have been working to get new subscriptions to the paper are at Myrtle Beach for two days - their reward for adding the most names to the list of Item subscribers since an earlier contest closed, July 20. The boys, who are under the chaperonage of Circulation Manager R. Mood Dollard, are expected to return to Sumter early Friday afternoon. They are: Sonny Stevenson, Buster Plowden, Jimmie Williams, Muldrow Sutton, Wylie Blackmon, T.M. Ward and Joe Blackmon. More than 500 names have been added to the Item subscription list through the carrier boy's contests.
• At least eight Sumter firms will be represented at a meeting in Columbia called by the regional office of the War Production Board for the study and explanation of new production regulations. The meeting will be presided over by J.E. MacDougall, W.P.B. manager for North Carolina and South Carolina. Sumter firms to be represented include: The John Evans Manufacturing Co., Sumter Machinery Co., O.L. Williams Veneer Co., Williams Furniture Co., B.L. Montague, Sumter Ice and Fuel Co., and the Sumter Chamber of Commerce.
• Herbert A. Moses, incumbent, defeated Mortimer M. Weinberg in the run-off election for city councilman by a slim margin of 23 votes. Moses chalked up 572; his opponent, 549. The election, in which the present administration was the issue, was a hotly contested one from the beginning when Dr. Carl B. Epps was also in the race.
• The iris kaempferol, oriental flower, which has become a naturalized citizen of this country and the particular pride of two well-known Sumter garden lovers, is given special publicity in this month's issue of the "Flower Grower," national floral magazine. Author of the article on iris, titled "Orchid of the Orient," is Julia Lester Dillion, Sumter's landscape artist. Mrs. Dillon describes the varieties of iris, their colors and other characteristics, and the two Sumter gardens, Swan Lake and Dunndell, where they probably have received more beautiful display than anywhere else in the world. The article is accompanied by photographs of both Sumter gardens, and the frontispiece of the periodical is a sketch of the flower which Mrs. Dillon describes. Owner of the Swan Lake gardens, who is given credit for inspiring iris planting in large numbers in the Southeast is H.C. Bland, who first began with his flowers in 1930. Dr. and Mrs. J.R. Dunn are the owners of Dunndell at Stateburg, where more than 100 varieties of the iris are said by Mrs. Dillon to be planted.
• Willie Lee Ashley Jr., has the distinction of being the first Sumter black youth to win wings at the Army Basic school, Tuskegee, Alabama. A member of the largest class to complete the course at this school, he was the first in the class to solo the basic trainer and the first to get his wings and bars. He entered the cadet corps in February. Ashley is now in combat and pursuit school. Other Sumter men training at Tuskegee are Emmett Rice and James Rembert.
• One South Carolina man recently began his training here at the world's largest navigation school. Upon successful completion of the intensive 15-week course of instruction in the four accredited methods of aerial navigation, he will graduate as a second lieutenant and receive his "wings" as a navigator in the Army Air Forces. He is Navigation Cadet John M. Platt, 22, son of Mrs. Lucie G. Platt, of Sumter.
• When notified that she had been selected queen of Shaw Field's Class of 42-I, Rosalind Russell wired "High Pitch" the following reply: "Thanks a million for naming me the girl with whom you would most like to be stranded on a cumulus cloud. I not only accept this nebulous honor but will try to be the best 'cloud queen' on record if I don't get dizzy from the altitude: Good luck to your magazine and love to you all. Rosalind Russell."
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
The Poinsett Garden Club held its annual installation tea at the home of Mrs. Lawrence Brunson. Hostesses were Mrs. Brunson, Mrs. Carl Weldon, Mrs. L.F. Owens, Mrs. Alfred Scarborough, Mrs. C.L. Lutz, Mrs. Charles Mason Jr. and Mrs. R.J. Cavendish. Plans were discussed for the horse show and spring flower show to be held in May.
• Mrs. Lillian E. Stephen, daughter of Mrs. Mary Stafford, Sumter, last week received a Certificate of Merit for Special Act or Service from the Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also received a 10-year length of service award. Mrs. Stephen was cited for her superior performance in administratively directing the Staffing and Employee Relations Branch and in achieving high quality results in staffing functions.
• Major General Don O. Darrow, who will relinquish command of Tactical Air Command's Ninth Air Force when he leaves Shaw Air Force Base for an assignment in Southeast Asia, became the first person in the state of South Carolina to receive the Liberty Bell Award. The Liberty Bell Award was presented to Darrow at a luncheon which capped special ceremonies marking the observance of Law Day USA. South Carolina attorneys, civil law enforcement officials, and representatives of county, state and national bar associations joined with Air Force Staff Judge Advocates in ceremonies held at Shaw AFB near Sumter.
• Sumter's new YMCA director Jack B. Harvie has been in town only two days but already he's impressed with the physical layout of the local Y and is making plans to expand its program. "This is as good a physical YMCA plant that I've seen anywhere," said Harvie. "And the Health Club can take a backseat to none."
• Lucy Jeanette Reuben, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. O.R. Reuben of Morris College and a senior at Edmunds High School, has won a National Merit Scholarship in nationwide competition. Announcement of the award was made today by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation which provides funds for the scholarships through its founding grants.
• "Bill Engwer, 10th-grade student at Edmunds High School in Sumter, has earned for himself and his science teacher a trip to the National Youth Conference on the atom to be held in Chicago this fall. The expense-paid trip for Engwer and his teacher, Mrs. Harriet Kirven, was awarded by Carolina Power and Light Co. in recognition of the excellence of his exhibit at the district science fair in Columbia. His project was a "binary digital electronic computer."
• The duo of Harry Demosthenes and Frank McLeod survived a field of 36 two-man teams to win the annual Men's Four Ball Golf Tournament at the Sunset Country Club.
• One contestant claimed her cow ran out of milk. The cow Jim Eaves, manager of the Chamber of Commerce, was milking put her foot in the bucket and bent it. J.C. McDuffie, Sumter merchant and vice-president of the Downtown Sumter Improvement Assn. was the winner.
25 YEARS AGO 1992
Jan. 30-Feb. 5
Sumter High's wrestling team rallied from an early deficit to forge a 29-29 tie with Brookland-Cayce at the Sumter High gym. Individual winners for Sumter were: Norwood Owens, 119 pounds; Ty Hwang, 125; Nathan Tomes, 140; Josh Crowe, 145; Henry Leventis, 152; Rodney Jones, 171; and Robert Marye, 189.
• Morris College split a basketball doubleheader with Barber-Scotia at the Morris gym. The Morris men fell to 5-12 with a 103-76 loss. Tracey Alexander and John Mercer scored 17 points each for the Hornets; James Scott added 13 and Willie Davis scored 10. The Lady Hornets improved to 10-7 with a 67-57 win. Jacqueline Jones scored 23 points and Rebecca Hickson added 11 for Morris.
• After spending a decade turning a football doormat into a powerhouse, Charlie Combs is moving on. Combs, the Manning High School head football coach and athletic director, has taken the head coaching and athletic director job at Lexington High School. "I leave Manning with a lot of mixed emotions," said Combs, who guided the Monarchs to the 1988 3A state championship. "I've been here 10 years and accomplished everything we've set out to accomplish."
• Former Sumter Police Chief Edward Eugene McIntosh, 76, died at Baptist Medical Center. McIntosh was chief of police from 1952-62. "Gene was a natural leader," said Les Griffin, Sumter's police chief from 1968-1984. Griffin served under McIntosh before becoming chief. "Everyone got along well with him. He was a real likable Christian man who had many friends."
• The Sumter High wrestling team's won-loss record this year doesn't indicate overwhelming success, but , for more than one reason, head coach Troy Philips was pleased by the events of the just-completed season. Going into Friday night's regular-season finale at Airport, the Gamecocks were 7-7-1. While not satisfied with a .500 mark, Phillips wasn't totally displeased. "Coming into the season, I really didn't expect a whole lot," the coach said. "We didn't have much experience at all, but we've gotten better"
• Sumter Police Sgt. Linn Skipper was named American Legion Post 15's Policeman of the Year at an awards ceremony. Skipper, 31, a 10-year veteran of the Sumter Police Department, was honored for his work in reducing traffic accidents and injuries in the city in the past few years.
• Bishopville City Council pondered ways to escape a county-imposed jail fee hike. Lee County and Bishopville officials have been at odds since July when the county doubled the fee it charges Bishopville to house city prisoners at the county's jail. The fee was raised from $15 to $32.13 per day. The hike could increase the city's jail expenses to $40,000 this year, but city council budgeted only $16,000.
• The state Supreme Court Tuesday heard an appeal of a lower court ruling that a Lee County ordinance can't be used to prevent the construction of a private landfill near Bishopville. The five-member court heard arguments before about 40 Lee County residents. No ruling was made, and no date was set for a decision.
• Linda Gray defeated Sylvia J. Smith in a special election to win a town council seat. Gray, to be sworn in during a regular council meeting, will serve the unexpired council term of Robert "Bo" Osborne, who resigned his seat in December to become mayor. The council term runs through 1993. Voters of this Clarendon County community of 698 picked Gray over Smith by a 98-41 margin.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at email@example.com or (803) 774-1294.