75 YEARS AGO - 1942
Oct. 31 - Nov. 6
J.M. Eleazer, Sumter County farm agent, will devote much of his time to improving the information service to farm people of the state, it was announced. Eleazer said D.M. Altman, with whom he was in college, has been secured as associate county agent and that he is reporting for duty this week, and that Altman will be familiarized with the work here before Eleazer gives his time to his new work.
• A very important meeting of all air raid wardens and fire spotters will be held Thursday night at 7:30 at the Central School, Washington Street, Chief Air Raid Warden W.M. Crawford announced today. Everyone was asked to wear arm bands and whistles.
• The seed house, meal house and fertilizer building of the Southern Cotton Oil Co. were destroyed by a blaze which city firefighters fought from 2 o'clock this morning until shortly before noon today. A.G. Fishburne, manager of the concern, said early this afternoon that the damage caused by the conflagration had not been estimated.
• Ed W. Hartin, a Sumter businessman who has been active in many phases of civic life, was named president of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce by directors of the organization at a meeting yesterday. Mr. Hartin had recently been elected vice-president of the Community Chest Inc.
• Post office receipts for the month of October just passed were $10,779.65, Postmaster J.C. Pate announced this morning. That figure represented a 31 percent increase over postal receipts in October 1941. The receipts have continued to show gains each month, despite the soldier's free mail, which enables Shaw Field and motor repair base men to send their letters free of postage. Last month's receipts were helped along, however, by gifts being mailed to men in the armed services.
• Directors of the Sumter Community Chest Inc., will meet Friday to discuss further the keeping system to be adopted by the chest and the selection of a bookkeeper and collector. Shepard K. Nash was named president of the organization and was chosen a director to replace John A. McKnight who resigned.
• The Stateburg Literary and Music Club celebrated its 57th anniversary Oct. 27, at half past four o'clock at Marston, plantation home of Mrs. John J. Dargan and Mrs. S.O. Plowden.
• Eight representatives of the Sumter County Health Department are attending the meetings of the State Board of Health, which opened in Columbia. The sessions will continue through this afternoon. From the department here went Dr. E. Alex Heise, its head: R. Marshall Hildebrand Jr., sanitarian; Miss Betty Fickett, supervisor: Mrs. Lula B. Exum, Miss Jane Watson, Miss Gertrude McGarth, Mrs. Lillian Payne and Miss Lulie Folsom.
• Sgt. Jesse Thomas Hynds, 21, son of Mrs. J.A. Ardis of Sumter, has been reported killed in action somewhere in the Solomon Islands, according to a telegram received by his mother from the Navy Department. Hynds was with the Marine Corps and had been in the service for 3 years.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
July 3 - 9
Osteen-Davis, in its program to become one of the most modern printing plants in the area, has recently installed the Model "B" Intertype typesetting equipment to set type for books, programs and newspapers automatically from punched tape. More than $55,000 has been spent by Osteen-Davis in the last four years in purchasing new equipment. An ATF Solna Offset press which performs quality color printing was acquired this spring.
• Rain shortened the card at the Sumter Raceway but not the action. Florence's Joe Lane drove his 1955 Chevy to victory in the late model main event which was cut from 40-laps to 25 because of the rain and some heating tempers. The late model main event started with 14 cars and only eight crossed the finish line.
• Navy Capt. M. Vance Dawkins Jr., a native of Sumter, assumed command of the Naval Air Station, Alameda, California. The Naval Air Station, located on an island in East San Francisco Bay, is the site of one of the nation's largest Navy aircraft overhaul and repair facilities, as well as home port for the aircraft carriers Coral Sea, Ranger, Oriskany, Hancock and the nuclear-powered Enterprise.
• The Sumter Area Technical Education Center is adding a new basic secretarial course in its business-education division this fall. The new course, set up for nine months, is designed for students with no background in shorthand or typing. Mrs. Nellie J. Black, business education instructor, says the new program will offer "a lot of English and vocabulary, and students finishing the course will have full command of shorthand, typing, office machines and filing."
• A hole-in-one, two eagles and the steady play of Buddy Bramlette highlighted the annual Fourth of July Sweepstakes Handicap Golf Tournament at the Sunset Country Club. Bramlette, playing with a 16 handicap, toured the 18-hole course in 76 strokes for a net total of 60 to clip runner-up Buddy Hodge, who had a net 64, for the title. John Marshall, who finished fourth with a 65 net, chalked up a hole-in-one on the par three, No. 12 hole while eagles were recorded by Bob Wimberly on the 16th and Dick Harvin on the 17th.
• Bendale Farm, operated by Joe and J.P. Brogdon on Route 5, has received special recognition from the American Jersey Cattle Club for an outstanding production record in its registered Jersey herd. The production level, according to the national organization, "far exceeds" the average of all U.S. dairy cows
• Morris College is among 52 predominantly Negro colleges in the South receiving a series of Ford Foundation grants totaling $1.1 million. Morris received $19,982 for faculty development and shared a $31,785 grant with eight other colleges. The shared funds are to be used by the colleges for a workshop to plan cooperative projects.
• Starting blocks drop and off roll the two soap box racers, down Tank Hill at Fort Jackson. This will be the scene today at the running of the second annual Soap Box Derby Race in Columbia as a Sumter boy tries to out-race the field of over 70 participants and win the $500 scholarship prize and trophy. Bobby Robbins, 12, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Robbins, after over three months of hard work, has his 80-inch black-beauty racer ready to roll.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
April 3 - 9
It is hard to realize that Bible Fellowship Church is over 50 years old. It had a very meager beginning in an old tobacco warehouse which stood on the corner of Hampton and Magnolia streets. A fine young evangelist from Fayetteville, North Carolina, John Cowell, held an evangelistic campaign here which lasted for nine weeks. There was no sponsor and the crowds were small, but Cowell never gave up hope. He led the Christians who had rallied around him in a whole night of prayer.
• The Sumter County Sheriff's Department is trying to track down the person who killed a man and his 17-year-old son late Friday night at their family owned convenience store on the corner of Pinewood and Kolb roads. The two were found dead with gunshot wounds in the Kwik Fare convenient store about 11 p.m. Police are not clear what the motive was and have no leads.
• Porcher Rembert has been working to employ Sumter and Clarendon County job seekers for 30 years. Now that he is retiring as the Sumter and Clarendon County area director for the state Employment Security Commission, it should come as no surprise he has found another job for himself. Rembert, 71, said he plans now to delve into historical research and writing, activities that have always been dear to his heart.
• While the road to earning a university degree isn't always an easy one, USC Sumter's new Student Activities Coordinator Anthony Rice insists there's nothing wrong with having a little fun along the way. Rice assumed the responsibilities of his new position after USC Sumter Dean Jack Anderson announced the appointment.
• David Deru has joined the faculty of Sumter Area Technical College as a biology instructor. A graduate of Igbobi College in Lagos, Nigeria, Deru earned a bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a master's degree from Tennessee State University. Prior to coming to Sumter Area Technical College, Deru was affiliated with Aiken Technical College.
• When Theodis Palmer discovered the Young Women's Christian Association 34 years ago, her eyes opened wide to the importance of women's rights. The YWCA presented an opportunity for Palmer to support women, oppose racism and gain public awareness of social, economic and political issues that affect women and girls. "It provides growth," Palmer said, "You never get through growing with the YWCA."
• The field of candidates vying for the Sumter School District 17 superintendency has been cut to six, and the district's trustees expect to name a new chief administrator by mid-June. Dr. Andrena Ray has been interim superintendent since January, when Dr. Lawrence G. Derthick Jr. died. The candidates were chosen from a field of 35 applicants presented to the board by the South Carolina School Boards Association.
• Newly hired Superintendent Joe Lefft has shuffled the administrative deck of Sumter School District 2, making more than a dozen personnel changes. Lefft, hired Dec. 3 as District 2 superintendent, reassigned eight district administrators and switched principals at six elementary schools as part of last month's annual contract renewal.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 774-1294.